Volume 35 (Fall 2001) Issue 1
Article Abstracts

Abstract: Mara L. Keire, "The Vice Trust: A Reinterpretation of the White Slavery Scare in the United States, 1907-1917"

During the white slavery scare of the Progressive era, American reformers intertwined the story of the sexually coerced maiden with a heated condemnation of the business of vice. Economic allusions permeated the rhetoric of anti-vice reform, but three metaphors in particular anchored reformers' representation of social relations in urban red-light districts. The first metaphor depicted the business of vice as a trust composed of allied interests. The second metaphor was that red-light districts were like marketplaces where the Vice Trust bought and sold prostitutes to fill district brothels. And finally, contemporary writers correlated white slavery with debt peonage. By shifting the rhetorical terrain away from sin and individual salvation and toward an economic analysis of urban culture, American anti-vice reformers appropriated laws governing commerce as a new set of legal referents and strategically employed the three interlocking metaphors as juridical analogies for constructing legislation and interpreting the laws that regulated vice. Anti-monopolism was not the only discourse urban reformers used during the white slavery scare-traces of abolitionist rhetoric, evangelical exhortations, nativist captivity narratives, and social hygiene education were also present-but the shared commercial critique explains how a diverse group of reformers could unite into a culturally cohesive movement with a powerful legislative agenda.

Abstract: Victor M. Uribe-Uran, "Colonial Baracunatanas and Their Nasty Men: Spousal Homicides and the Law in Late Colonial New Granada"

This article discusses 51 incidents of spousal homicide occurring in New Granada (today's Colombia) during the late colonial period, ca. 1750-18 10. It examines the regional distribution of the crimes; looks at the gender, ethnicity, class, and occupations of the participants; discusses the circumstances of the crimes (weapons, motives); and evaluates the legal treatment and punishment of the defendants. Its most significant finding concerns the high incidence of spousal murder among all murders committed by women. The article establishes that women were four times more likely to commit spousal murder than any other type of homicide, a rate compatible with findings for other regions of the world and other periods in history. Unlike other studies, however, this, work claims that women's involvement in this type of crime was not the logical result of the fact that a woman's place was firmly in the home, making her more likely to strike against husbands and others present in her circumscribed space of activity. On the contrary, it finds that women had relatively active public lives and were prone to irreverent behavior that provoked their husbands' jealousy, and rage. The men, sensing that their patriarchal prerogatives were spinning out of control, resorted to abuse. In these situations, women could be killed if they did not kill their husbands first.

Abstract: David Ortiz, Jr., "Redefining Public Education: Contestation, the Press, and Education in Regency Spain, 1885-1902"

Literacy has been cited as an important factor in nation building in late nineteenth-century Europe, particularly where politically active citizenries are concerned. But what about the millions of non-literate Europeans? How were they incorporated in the nation-building process? This article suggests answers to these questions by focusing on the spread of literacy in late nineteenth-century Spain. It discusses a broader notion of public education, spurred in large part by Spanish print culture, as part of a complex interaction that resulted in a larger, more politically active citizenry in turn of the century Spain with obvious parallels for other European nations. This article also suggests that there are myriad ways to educate a populace outside the restrictions of a formal state education system. Spanish newspapers were at the vanguard of this informal education system, but were not the only means of political transmission of ideas. Simultaneously, reading clubs and other extra-state educational and political bodies developed that also used newspapers, along with other materials, to politicize Spaniards. The result, as I show here, was a symbiotic relationship between the press, the state, and Spanish citizens that altered the direction of educational reform while it broadened the numbers of politically-active Spaniards.

Abstract: John Higginson, "Hell in Small Places: Agrarian Elites and Collective Violence in the Western Transvaal, 1900-1907"

During the five years that followed the Anglo-Boer or South African War of 1899-1902 the political consciousness of white farmers and former Boer republican soldiers in many areas of the western Transvaal (presently North-West Province) was quickened by a series of violent or near violent incidents. The catalyst for these opstands or "armed protests" was the collapse of the prewar institutional basis of white supremacy over large portions of the South African countryside well over a year before the formal surrender of the armies of the Transvaal Republic and the Orange Free State. As a result, in the immediate postwar period, relations between African agricultural laborers and share tenants, many of whom had served as irregular combatants for the British, and their white landlords echoed the brutality of the closing phases of the war.

Lord Milner's postwar Reconstruction administration proved uniquely incapable of coping with the snarl created by the grievances of white landlords and the modest but no less real gains of Africans in the Transvaal. By January 1904, younger rural Afrikaners began to figure prominently in the ensuing protests. By April 1905, with the outbreak of labor riots by indentured Chinese workers on South Africa's gold mines, armed protests by rural Afrikaners assumed their definitive shape.

Abstract: Tracy McDonald, "A Peasant Rebellion in Stalin's Russia: The Pitelinskii Uprising, Riazan 1930"

This article begins by describing, in as much available detail, the anatomy of one peasant rebellion in the Pitelinskii district of Riazan, Russia in February 1930. The article discusses the rebellion in the context of the history of peasant-state relations and local-level politics toward a more nuanced understanding of collectivization, the Soviet state and the Soviet peasantry. The re-writing and re-interpreting of Soviet History over time is explored. The article suggests that the "foot-dragging" and traditional, as in customary, behavior of the sel'sovet, the lowest level of the Soviet administrative structure, may have actually saved the regime from even more serious anti-state resistance on the part of the Russian peasantry during the course of the first collectivization drive in 1929-1930.

Abstract: Gareth Canaan, "'Part of the Load': Economic Conditions of Chicago's African-American Working Class During the 1920's"

This article investigates economic and living conditions of African-American workers in Chicago during the 1920's. This was a time previous histories have characterized as being economically prosperous for Black Chicagoans. The documentary evidence from contemporary sources, such as newspaper articles, reports of social agencies such as the Chicago Urban League, government reports, and individual accounts, indicates that African-American workers during this decade experienced chronic unemployment and were consistently underpaid. This, in turn, resulted in many families living below the poverty line in those years. These conditions were caused primarily by employers' discriminatory hiring and promotion policies, by a surplus of labor at a time of continued black migration from the South, and also by residential segregation in the African-American neighborhoods of Chicago.

Consequently, the economic conditions which brought about political radicalization and realignment of African-Americans during the 1930's, and which are associated primarily with the Great Depression, were in evidence throughout much of the 1920's. Accordingly, the Great Migration of the 1910's and 1920's, rather than being seen largely as a phenomenon associated with World War 1, takes on greater significance in terms of its economic and political repercussions in Black Chicago in the years before the Depression.

Abstract: Steven J. Hoffman, "Progressive Public Health Administration in the Jim Crow South: A Case Study of Richmond, Virginia, 1907-1920"

TIn the early twentieth century, Richmond, Virginia embarked on a campaign to modernize its public health department. One consequence of southern racial attitudes, however, was that African Americans did not constitute a primary constituency for public health intervention. This was based, in part, on strongly held beliefs that African Americans were largely responsible for creating their own particular health problems, either as the result of behavior or inheritance. As a result, improvements in black health were largely incidental to efforts to make southern cities healthier for their white citizens. By exploring the role of race in the development of three campaigns conducted by the Richmond Department of Public Health-the campaigns against typhoid fever, infantile diarrhea, and tuberculosis-this study shows that African Americans received few of the benefits derived from Richmond's move toward improved public health, and that the benefits they did receive were confined to those programs administered by the city's public health nurses. Because of the racial discrimination inherent in the system of healthcare delivery, the potential to dramatically improve the health of the city's blacks was never fully realized and Richmond's African American community benefited only marginally from the city's overall advancement in public health.

Abstract: Dr. Ayse Durakbasa, Dr. Aynur Ilyasoglu, "Formation of Gender Identities in Republican Turkey and Women's Narratives As Transmitters of 'Herstory' of Modernization"

The article tries to uncover women's narratives as transmitters of 'herstory' of modernization in Turkey after the foundation of Turkish Republic in 1923. Based on personal narratives collected through a research project carried out by the Women's Library, Istanbul, the authors suggest historical processes of modem Turkish femininity and point to the gendered nature of the public rhetoric and discourses, social mores and conduct, as well as daily practices both in the public and the private sphere, generated by the modernization project.

These discourses defined the 'new women' as 'modem but virtuous' and set the limits to what degree the women could be 'modernized' while 'traditional womanhood' was scrutinized. The tensions that these women lived through between tradition and modernity are best revealed in the oral history interviews with women who are almost at the age of the Republic. The first-person narratives also provide an interesting account of women's adaptive strategies in dealing with such tensions.

 

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