Monday, April 12, 2010
MA Student Thomas Bockhorn Successfully Defends MA Thesis and Wins Department's Outstanding Graduate Student Award
The history department is proud to congratulate MA student Thomas Bockhorn, who will graduate in MA, for defending his thesis, "To Save Alabama’s Children: Power, Politics, and Child Labor, 1880 - 1908," and then winning the award for Outstanding Graduate Student in History at the April 6, 2010 Honors Day at UAHuntsville.
Pictured are a photograph of Thomas with his thesis advisor Dr. Stephen Waring after the Honors convocation and a historical photograph of Merrimack Mill employees, including many children.
Here is Thomas's thesis abstract:
Alabama became a political battleground during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Anti child labor reformers held rallies and created literature to aid in their cause. While southern anti-child labor reformers campaigned for the same cause, the question of whether states or the federal government should intervene became a heated controversy for southern progressives. Two major camps emerged by the early twentieth century: state reformers and southern nationalists. State reformers brandished their hope that the best advocates and defenders of children were the particular states where they resided. Southern nationalists, on the other hand, believed that the child labor problem was so vast that only a federal solution would stop the labor practice. The public split among southern Progressives, coupled with the 1907 Beveridge bill, allowed business interests to change the debate from saving children to decrying federal interference. These competing interests effectively stalled the movement.