Writing samples

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Spoils of War: Development and Displacement in the American Southwest

The end of the American Civil War and the opening of the West led to a dramatic shift in the country’s economic and industrial trajectory in the following decades. The Pacific Railroad Act, one of several wartime policies enacted by northern lawmakers after the southern states seceded from the union, connected western products to eastern and European markets, driving outside interest in western lands. Even before the final spike was driven into the nation’s first transcontinental rail line, speculators, investors, and developers rushed to exploit the rich coal fields and agricultural lands of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Through the appropriation of massive Mexican land grants, these capitalists gained control of millions of acres of land that generations of indigenous tribes and Hispano farmers had called home. By the 1890s the region was covered with railroad tracks and coal mines, a massive steel mill in Pueblo, and thousands of European immigrant laborers who came looking for a better life for themselves and their families. This paper documents the industrial development of this portion of the Southwest, and the resulting displacement of native and Hispano people at the hands of American capitalists. It also sets the foundation for profound social and cultural changes that took place in the Southwest in the following years as a result of industrialization.

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Atrocity of Words: Anticlerical Rhetoric and Violence at the Beginning of the Spanish Civil War

The war of words that was fought alongside the military campaign of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 was every bit as destructive as the physical war because of the conviction, contempt, and zealous rage with which it was fought. The fiery rhetoric of both Nationalist and Republican leaders convinced men and women in Spain to take up arms against their countrymen, to view each other as spies and traitors, and to murder their ideological opponents without mercy or compassion. Both sides spoke passionately against the other, both sides printed newspapers and other publications demonizing their opponents, and both sides embellished the actions of the other to gain local and international support. It was Republican leaders’ hostility towards the clergy, however, that did the most damage to their own cause. These passionate ideologues inspired the Spanish people to react violently against their opponents, with their most venomous rhetoric aimed at the Catholic clergy. Powerless to contain the rush of anticlerical violence that ensued following the election of 1936, Republican leaders watched helplessly as their own followers publicly tortured, mutilated, and murdered thousands of clergy members. This paper connects political left-wing rhetoric to anticlerical violence, and explains how these acts contributed to the downfall of the Spanish Republic.

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Writing Sample #2

Abstract

Writing Sample #2

Abstract

Writing Sample #2

Abstract

Writing Sample #2

Abstract