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Saber and Scroll

The Saber and Scroll Historical Journal is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal which welcomes submissions from graduate and undergraduate students, as well as alumni on history or military history topics, book reviews and exhibit/museum reviews.

Call for Papers

Current Issue:
Volume 9, Number 1 – Summer 2020

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Welcome Letter

Gina Pittington
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.1

Letters to the Editor

Chris Schloemer, Senior Editor
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.2


Slavery in New York: Through the Lens of James Fenimore Cooper’s Written Works

Sharon Powell
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.3

In this article, I propose to analyze James Fenimore Cooper’s written works, including The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish and “A Defense of Slave-Owning America,” in terms of the ways that these works, and others, represent Cooper’s attitude and the attitude of Americans toward slavery and the black community during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly those residing in the state of New York.

Identity in a Teacup: Tea’s Influence Over the Lives of British Women in the Nineteenth Century

Caitlin Khan
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.4

This paper studies the link between the development of the social aspect of the tea table and the roles it allowed upper-class English women to play within the set framework of nineteenth century British society. Literature of the period clearly indicates that the tea table provided wealthy English women with an identity in society. Worsening political relations between China and Britain restricted the availability of Chinese tea, which led to the development and marketing of Indian tea. Advertising for newly developed Indian teas, which primarily targeted housewives and upper-class women, demonstrates the significance of the authority that English women held over home purchases. In studying the culture surrounding tea as both a social activity and political message, there comes a greater understanding of women and their positions in nineteenth century British upper-class society.

Unintentional History Makers: Evolution of Feminist Historiography

Tara Dyson
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.5

What is now considered the early feminist movement initially began in simplicity as women’s endeavour to gain social, political, and educational equality. Slowly emerging into Western civilization during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the movement birthed new ideas regarding American society, which ultimately perpetuated continual change throughout history. Women such as Abigail Adams, Mary Wollstonecraft, Lucy Aikin, Maria Edgeworth, Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Virginia Woolf produced literature that transversed the gender limitations of their times, endeavoring to achieve equality in varying aspects of American culture. Their documentation requires acknowledgement of women’s roles throughout history, their contributions to it, and their evolution of change within historiography itself.

Not Fit to Breed: Eugenics in Sweden, 1900 to Present

Susan Danielsson
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.6

In the 1930s, the Swedish government enacted eugenic policies that permitted the forced sterilization of individuals the government deemed unfit to reproduce, often targeting them with accusations of mental illness. When officials passed the Sterilization Acts, they kept socioeconomic benefits in mind, but the eugenics movement in Sweden had deep roots in race-based science. Charles Darwin and his famous works on evolution inspired Swedish scholars to promote social hygiene within their own population, and they used political parties and the elite to push their agenda into social policy. Officials implemented sterilization laws that were intended to improve the gene pool of the Swedish population as a way to ensure the affordability of their welfare system. In the 1950s, the Swedish government started to prioritize the rights and wants of the individual, instead of making them second to the wellbeing of society.

Australian and American Relations in the Southwest Pacific Theater of World War II

Alisha Hamel
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.7

While both the Australians and Americans fought the Japanese during World War II, leadership and cultural differences became apparent when they fought together in New Guinea. While Australia and the United States were and still are great allies, even the best of allies have different cultures, training, and leadership methods, often resulting in difficulties when they are put into combat roles together.

The Morality of Genocide: The Holocaust Revisited

Mike Rechtien
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.8

Subjective labels such as “evil” or “immoral” cannot effectively be evaluated, bringing little understanding to a phenomenon of human behavior called genocide. History clearly shows that the Holocaust was merely a single chapter in the ongoing saga of human prejudice-based mass destruction. The Bosnian genocide and the massacre of Jewish families by their fellow Polish townspeople in Jedwabne in 1941, for example, illustrate that this latent human impulse can be activated when three conditions are present: opportunity, impunity (perceived or actual), and moral basis.

Revisiting the Slaughter House Cases (1873)

Eric Balkan
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.9

Fear of yet another cholera epidemic plagued New Orleans in 1869. Attributing the cause of cholera to the pollution of the water supply, of which slaughterhouse waste dumping was a chief component, the Louisiana State Legislature passed a law regulating slaughterhouses. Opposition to this law by butchers eventually led to an 1873 Supreme Court ruling, which became a landmark decision in Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence, as the butchers had sought relief under that amendment. The conventional modern opinion of Justice Samuel Freeman Miller’s majority ruling in the Slaughter-House Cases, which denied the butchers’ claim, is that it was an anti-Reconstruction ruling that gutted the “privileges or immunities” clause in the amendment, forcing future courts to rely on “substantive due process” to justify their decisions. However, relatively recently, several historians and legal scholars have offered a revisionist view that looks more favorably upon Miller’s opinion, asserting that it was misinterpreted. This paper analyzes the majority and dissenting opinions in that case and related cases, reports on the congressional debate on the Fourteenth Amendment, and considers the historiography of the case, both conventional and revisionist. It concludes that Justice Miller, a Lincoln appointee and physician with a long-standing interest in public health, wrote a decision defending the actions of the biracial Louisiana Reconstruction legislature against white supremacists, defending it against laissez-faire economics, and defending the concept of federalism in general.

Book Reviews

Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

Gina Pittington
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.10

Wendy Lower is a Holocaust and genocide professor at Claremont McKenna College. Her research for Hitler’s Furies began in 1992 when she visited Ukraine. The Soviet archives had recently opened for access, and Lower stationed herself near Heinrich Himmler’s headquarters in Zhitomir. While there, she found multiple German records of the Nazi-occupied Eastern territory during World War II listing thousands of women that transferred to the eastern front beginning as early as 1941. While examining the newly released documents, she noticed women had served in multiple positions both civilian and conscripted. She compared them to the pioneers of the American West, as they were pioneers for Germany opening the new frontiers for extended living space.

Kevin Gutzman’s Virginia's American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776 1840

Matt Brent
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.11

In the late eighteenth century, the American British colonies developed a revolutionary fever caused by various conflicts and disagreements with the British crown. It was this excitement that drove the colonies to break with their mother country and seek their own destinies. One of those colonies, Virginia, the largest and most populous colony, is the center of Kevin Gutzman’s Virginia’s American Revolution. In his text, Gutzman explores the political and legal background to Virginia’s desire for independence and seeks to explain how the attitude of Virginians affected the Commonwealth’s development in the decade following independence.

Museum Review

Samegården Sami Museum; Kiruna, Sweden

Susan Danielsson
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.12

Every year, thousands of tourists travel through Kiruna, Sweden to Abisko National Park to chase the Northern Lights or enjoy outdoor activities, such as dogsledding or wildlife safaris. Kiruna offers tourists an opportunity to learn about the little- known Sami, the Indigenous people of Northern Scandinavia, through the Samegården Sami Museum.

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