Volume 35 (Winter 2001) Issue 2
Article Abstracts

Abstract: Ross W. Jamieson, "The Essence of Commodification: Caffeine Dependencies in the Early Modern World"

Caffeine drinks were unknown in Europe prior to the 16th century expansion of European colonial powers. Coffee, tea and cacao were the three caffeine commodities which, by the late 17th century, dominated European caffeine consumption habits. World systems models of mercantile expansion have emphasized European consumption as a driving force behind the development of plantation economies. The process by which these drinks gained prominence, however, was initially centred on regional production and consumption in the colonies themselves. The history of other caffeine beverages such as guayusa and yerba mate in South America provides a wider view. Such products never gained a market in the metropole, but illustrate the variables involved in the transition of caffeine plant domesticates from pre-colonial regional products to cosmopolitan, global commodities.

Abstract: Richard Keller, "Madness and Colonization: Psychiatry in the British and French Empires, 1800-1962"

Cultural, social, and intellectual historians have begun to examine the intersecting histories of European colonialism and psychiatry. At their best, these studies engage with at least four distinct historiographies. First, they revise the history of European medicine by illustrating the importance of the colonies to metropolitan scientific developments. Second, they explore the relationship between knowledge and power in the colonial context that the pre-occupied scholars since the publication of Edward Said's Orientalism in 1978. Third, they explicitly address the psychology of colonialism, a phenomenon at the heart of many intriguing yet speculative works in postcolonial studies. Finally, they open a new methodological window into the history of race by exploring institutional psychiatry's contributions to definitions of race and citizenship under colonialism. This essay reveals the potential implications of such research by highlighting recent studies of British and French colonial psychiatry in Africa and Asia, while also addressing possible future directions for the study of colonial psychiatry.

Abstract: Bela Tomka, "Social Integration in 20th Century Europe: Evidences from Hungarian Family Development"

The study investigated the trends of family changes in Western Europe and Hungary from the end of World War I to 1990. The examination focused on how Hungarian development related to the changes that took place in the Western part of the continent, and in which areas and in what periods divergence or convergence can be observed. The issues examined included nuptiality, family and household structures, changes in the relationship between spouses, the evolution of divorces, and the emergence of new family forms. On the basis of the above, three main periods in the 20th century Hungarian family development can be distinguished. In the first period, from the beginning to the middle of the century, Hungary converged to the societies of Western Europe. In the second period, approximately from the middle of the century to the mid-60s, the diminution of differences between Hungary and Western Europe halted on the whole, but the gap still did not begin to widen. In the third period, from the mid-60s to 1990, considering all aspects, Hungary took a course diverging from Western Europe.

Abstract: David Wolcott, "'The Cop Will Get You': The Police and Discretionary juvenile justice, 1890-1940"

While urban police are the public officials who most directly regulate juvenile crime and delinquency, their work has rarely been considered in histories of juvenile justice. Most studies concentrate on Progressive-era reform and juvenile court, not how kids got in trouble and entered the judicial system in the first place. This essay addresses that gap. Focusing on everyday interactions between police and disorderly youth in Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles, it demonstrates how the exercise of discretionary authority by the police shaped juvenile justice, both before and after the creation of juvenile court. First, police performed a filtering function, deciding which complaints against children and teenagers to handle at their own discretion and which to refer to court. Second, the police regulated adolescent behavior on their own by targeting potential offenders for arrest based on the perceived problems of the day (larceny and truancy in turn-of-century Detroit, auto theft in Depression-era Los Angeles). Third, the police, not the courts, decided whether or not to detain arrested youth prior to court hearings. Thus, the police largely determined the intake of the juvenile court and could discipline young offenders in their own fashion regardless of the outcome of a case.

Abstract: Dennis C. Rousey, "Friends and Foes of Slavery: Foreigners and Northerners in the Old South"

Many foreigners and northerners made their homes in the antebellum South, especially in cities and towns where they constituted a majority of white adult males. Some of their nativeborn neighbors had good reason to doubt the loyalty of nonnatives to the South's peculiar institution of slavery. Foreigners and northerners were less inclined to enforce the system of slavery, more willing to flout the law, more likely to view slaves as unwelcome competitors for jobs, and less able financially to hire or purchase slaves. Census data for five Deep South towns in 1860 show that white northerners and foreigners invested less in slavery than native-born southerners did-even after wealth differences among the groups are factored out. Migrants to the South who used slaves were less likely than native southerners to persist in doing so. The diaries, letters, and memoirs of native and adoptive southerners indicate that those born and reared outside the South were more likely to harbor antislavery feelings. Thus, the large "outsider" presence in the Old South made southerners highly conflicted about the ethnocultural diversity of the region and especially suspicious of its urban places.

Abstract: Neal Garnham, "Both Praying and Playing: 'Muscular Christianity' and the YMCA in North-east County Durham"

Sport apparently played an uncertain role in the YMCA in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Although the moral messages of sport were well recognised in the public schools and universities of the day, evangelical organisations such as the YMCA, have generally been seen as being reluctant to become involved in sporting ventures. Sport was condemned as sinful, immoral and an unwarranted distraction from the vital work of evangelism. In practice however, some YMCA branches did promote sports and games for the moral, physical and spiritual benefits they were seen as imparting. At the same time, there remained a seam of scepticism and opposition within the organisation. The debate within the local YMCA branches as to the role, if any, sport should play, was in fact often protracted and keenly contested. In the case of County Durham it was the sceptics who largely won the day. This triumph should not be seen simply as a victory for moralists and the spiritually minded over the more liberal evangelical Christians. Rather the failure of the YMCA in Durham to effectively utilise sport as a means of mobilising their constituency was the result of both scepticism within the organisation, and apathy without.

Abstract: Cheryl A. Wells, "Battle Time: Gender, Modernity, and Confederate Hospitals"

The presence and perseverance of female nurses in Confederate hospitals freed women from the patriarchal control of Old South gender relations and accelerated social change. This article applies the historical study of time consciousness and multiple temporalities to the experiences of Confederate nurses to illustrate the ephemeral nature of such changes. The article's principal points are these: first, it argues that some Civil War temporalities effectively degendered Civil War hospitals by making both Confederate nurses and male surgeons increasingly hostage to a new, entirely capricious temporality: battle time. Military time, generally, battle time specifically, complicated antebellum gendered temporalities and reconfigured them with a more antiseptic and ruthless time of large scale battle. Second, this article argues that in Civil War hospitals, battle time eroded men's time and their customary authority over its allocation and replaced it with a neutral and standard temporality. Finally, this article illustrates the nature of Confederate nurses' work in order to illustrate how the Civil War encouraged women to embrace an antebellum masculine time consciousness and how the southern defeat at Appomatox resulted in a reemergence of southern white women's time.

Abstract: Michael Ayers Trotti, "Review Essay: The Lure of the Sensational Murder"

TIn the last decade, a new stream of scholarship has emerged in the history of American crime and criminality: the study of sensationalized murder stories. This review of the recent literature focuses upon three particular books-Patricia Cline Cohen's The Murder of Helen Jewett, Karen Halttunen's Murder Most Foul, and Virginia McConnell's Arsenic Under the Elms--while considering a number of other works published in the last decade. The reviewer argues that this is a deceptively broad field, and that each work has strengths and weaknesses. Cases studies like Cohen's Murder of Helen Jewett are riveting, creating a rich and nuanced portrait of a historical moment. But they cannot so easily explore important changes in culture and society over time. Broader works center upon significant transitions in American life, but emphasize varying sides of those transitions. Halttunen's Murder Most Foul emphasizes changes in the American mind in regard to crime stories, for instance, whereas Daniel Cohen's Pillars of Salt is centered more upon social and cultural change. Altogether this is a rich and rewarding new vein of scholarship in the history of American crime and culture.

 

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