The ninth publication of Davidson History Journal includes work from the Spring 2021 semester. The editorial staff would like to thank Davidson’s History Department and all student contributors.
The Lesser of Two Evils: Indentured Servitude in the Colonies. Written by Michael Callahan and edited by Anika Banerjee.
Indentured servitude was one of the most brutal and horrific institutions in American history. However, many contemporary historians place little emphasis on the tribulations of servants, as their sufferings tend to be overshadowed by the worse circumstances faced by African slaves directly succeeding the era of servitude. While enslaved people clearly faced harsher conditions than white indentured servants, we should not dismiss the system of pseudo-slavery that servants had to withstand for extended periods. This paper examines many of the exploitations servants regularly had to endure, including physical, sexual, and institutional abuses, primarily relying on first-person accounts from the servants themselves as well as court records from the seventeenth century.
Intersections of French Colonialism and Consumer Culture in the Popular Press. Written by Cecie Bassett and edited by Eamonn Choukrane.
The media played an influential role during the period of French colonization in Africa. This colonization was inherently linked with a rising consumer culture in mainland France that found its outlet in the French colonies. This paper seeks to explore the tensions and hypocrisy that define the commercialization of the colonial experience. The sources collected for this paper will focus specifically on this link as it pertains to both consumer goods and tourism. Through an analysis of the work of illustrator Albert Robida and writer Jules Demolliens, this paper will uncover the dangers of colonial consumer culture and the ramifications of these histories in the current day.
Honoring the Past, Writing the Present: Modernist Uyghur Poetry in Historical Context. Written by Nada Shoreibah and edited by Henry McGannon.
Poetry has long been an important mode of cultural and spiritual expression for the Uyghur population of Xinjiang, China. The 1980s saw the emergence of a modernist vein of Uyghur poetry that bridged between the mystic poetic tradition and contemporary themes. This article analyzes selected works from four Uyghur modernist poets, demonstrating how they remained anchored in this tradition while also addressing modern political and social concerns.
The Nineteenth Century American Whaling Industry: An examination of the unique incentive and wage structures through a study of the rise and fall of American whaling. Written by Emily Ezell and edited by Henry Wilkerson.
Emily Ezell details the evolution of the United States Whaling industry to highlight its structural similarities to the US economy. She describes how the evolution of the whaling industry mirrors the evolution of US corporations, yet the unique industry factors in whaling, namely experience and location ensured a unique evolution in payscale and the ultimate demise of the industry.
Racial Undertones in Public Health Measures Against Malaria in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 1895-1915. Written by Olivier Merlin-Zhang and edited by McNeill Franklin
Racial Undertones in Public Health Measures Against Malaria in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 1895-1915 offers a look into the colonial discourse regarding the prophylaxis of malaria and the British colonial government’s underlying motives of the period. Despite a comprehensive effort to maximize their own health at the cost of the native people of Freetown, the colonial government is found to have failed in achieving their objective in a multitude of ways. Medical segregation led to a retaliatory response from elite natives and prompted class tensions within the British population, all while failing to ameliorate the malarial issue of the time.
From Morality to Politics – Reevaluating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Written by Maddux Reece and edited by Katherine Drozd.
Scholarship on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 has tended toward the sensational, framing the revolt as the pinnacle of a collective, helpless Jewish resistance against the unstoppable machine of Hitler’s Nazi regime. This paper contends that such a framework eliminates the complexity of Jewish interactions and ghetto politics. It examines the divides among Warsaw’s Jews in fundamental religious ideologies and the socio-political competition instilled in the ghettos, among other things, to show that uniting the Warsaw Ghetto to achieve such a revolution was a monumental task in and of itself.
Inequity in the Ghanaian Healthcare System Fostered by User Fees: The World Bank’s Decision to Value Economic Stability over Health, 1983-1995. Written by Jaden Hardrick and edited by Jennevieve Culver.
In 1957, Ghana’s independence from Britain was a beacon of hope for other African colonies to break away from the clutches of European powers. However, as Ghana’s story continued to unfold, it became clear that separating from the grasp of Western influence was not so simple. This essay explores how the World Bank’s economic agenda disrupted the Ghanaian healthcare system from 1983-1995. Through an examination of World Bank-produced documents, Jaden aims to highlight how user fee policies disproportionately hindered the ability of the Ghanaian poor to receive healthcare.