51 results for UC Research Repository, Undergraduate

  • The Sons of Liberty from a Bottom-Up Perspective: Reviewing New Social Scholarship Fifty Years Later

    Leeson, Benjamin James (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    New social history had a profound effect upon the nature of American historiography. Its bottom-up approach radically challenged the traditional historical narrative, producing a string of dynamic studies throughout the 1960s and 1970s. New social historians increasingly focused their studies on the localised experiences of marginalised groups, heralding in the highly influential cultural turn of the early seventies. Yet despite its resounding significance, scholars have a tendency to brush over the complexities and nuances of new social history. Rather, they simplify the school to a few corresponding traits, thus undermining the multifaceted character of this rich historiographical tradition. This dissertation intends to amend such misconceptions. A number of scholars have attempted to define new social history. Yet the school itself naturally evades precise definition. New social history was both individualistic and pluralistic. As such, any attempt to conceptualise the school renders a result riddled with deficiencies. This dissertation will examine how the new social historians approached a singular historical phenomenon, namely, the Sons of Liberty. By focusing solely on the Sons of Liberty, this dissertation will uncover a profusion of divergent interpretations that not only exemplifies the multifaceted character of new social history, but also enables us to appreciate the rich complexities of this historiographical tradition.

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  • Executioners of Convenience - The Wehrmacht's Atrocities on the Ostfront. Genocide and Ideology in a War of Annihilation, 1941-1943

    Cheer, Michael (2013)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Abstract This thesis explores to what degree the Wehrmacht was involved in atrocities on the Eastern Front and the structures that led to this involvement. The goal is to show that the men of the Wehrmacht were incorporated more completely into a genocidal 'war of annihilation' than has been previously thought. It will be demonstrated that the Wehrmacht Heer on the Ostfront cannot be understood as a traditional army conducting a conventional war. However, it was not made up of rabidly anti-Semitic 'willing executioners' either. This research is based mainly on perpetrator testimony, including secret POW recordings, official Wehrmacht documents and soldiers testimonies. Upon examination of these documents, it becomes clear that Wehrmacht Heer units during the Ostkreig were instructed and prepared not only to assist the SS and Einsatzgruppen in prosecuting the Final Solution, but also to act independently as a kind of 'vanguard' of annihilation in their area of operations. In contrast to existing interpretations however, this thesis will argue that in general soldiers did not commit war crimes due to Nazi indoctrination/ingrained anti-Semitism or through peer pressure and brutalisation but because of indiscriminate rules of engagement set within an extremely rigid military structure, which explicitly equated Jews with Bolshevik partisans while considering Soviet POWs and civilians to be expendable.

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  • To be Made Disabled, A Discourse Analysis of Intellectual Disability in New Zealand, 1900 - 1960

    Burt, Lucy (2013)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The New Zealand historiography on intellectual disability has been expanded in the twenty years by histories of the residential institution and the foundation of advocacy groups. However, there is still a limited field of history regarding how the intellectually disabled were discussed in twentieth century New Zealand. This thesis will discuss how the identity of the intellectually disabled was constructed as a social category, through different discourses, in twentieth century New Zealand. It shall be argued that from 1900 to at least 1960 those who created medical, government and public discourse also maintained the power to create the identity of the intellectually disabled. This argument will take the form of a discourse analysis and will draw on both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources will include government documents, medical literature and newspaper content. The secondary sources will cover material which provides context, and / or which has discussed the construction of intellectual disability. It will be argued that discourses centred on an idea of a 'problem' within the intellectually disabled individual. Also, the medical discourse and 'medicalized' understandings of intellectual disability will be seen to influence public and government discourse. Further, a tension will be shown in these discourses between the desire to assist the intellectually disabled and their families, as well as to protect the New Zealand community from these people.

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  • Immaculate Perceptions : Gender and Sanctity in Jacobus de Voragine’s Legenda aurea

    Wilson, Cressida Lilian (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    During the medieval period saints played a significant role in the religious culture of Western Europe. During the thirteenth century a Dominican monk named Jacobus de Voragine compiled and edited a collection of hagiographies, named the Legenda aurea, or ‘Golden Legend’. The lives of women saints included in this text highlight gender-specific concepts of sanctity. The sanctity of women was constructed in a distinctive way, and saints provided a model for religious women to imitate. Historians have largely ignored both female saints and the Legenda aurea as areas of research, despite the popularity they inspired in medieval society. Certain themes permeate the vitae so frequently that it appears Jacobus intended to promote particular tropes of female sanctity. Saints who were virgins were probably included to appeal to a young female audience, possibly to encourage them to join the fledgling Dominican nunneries. The economic concerns of the order are also highlighted through Jacobus’ emphasis on the saint’s renunciation of wealth, as the Dominicans survived on alms. Noble and widowed saints could have appealed to an older audience of economically autonomous women. By emphasising a return to apostolic types of sanctity Jacobus is promoting his order and safeguarding the economic interests of the Dominicans.

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  • Native forest monitoring : tracking changes in native forest remnants.

    Arnold, T. A. H. (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Native forest monitoring is undertaken by forest companies as a requirement for certification of their forests by groups such as the FSC. It is important for companies to be able to track changes that are occurring to native forest remnants that are often spread throughout their operational plantation forest estate. Pan Pac tasked me with completing their 2016 native forest monitoring programme and review the results that have been collected since the programme was implemented in 2002. The objective of this was to both gain a better understanding of how the composition of the remnants in their5 estate is changing and to make recommendations on how the programme could be improved in the future. The majority of the 11 Permanent Sample Plots (PSPs) measured were in good or stable condition, several of which showed strong regeneration of the understory over the past 14 years. Three of the sites have been affected by heavy ungulate browsing (deer and/or goats), which has resulted in the continued suppression of the understory vegetation. While all current canopy layers of the PSP have not changed significantly, current and future disturbance such as ungulate browse could result in a change in composition from the current forest makeup. Ungulate browsing has been identified as the biggest driver of change in the native forest remnants within Pan Pac’s estate. To further examine to magnitude of this, exclosure plots could be established in impacted remnants to assess the effect of removal of browsing pests as a basis for Pan Pac to make decisions about future ungulate control. Continued monitoring of native forests is key to be able to identify as well as understand what is happening with native forest remnants. Tracking composition change is important as it allows the forest manager to target management practices such as ungulate control to combat non-natural changes that are occurring.

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  • Genetic parameter estimates for growth traits of Eucalyptus bosistoana : assessment of two progeny trials in Marlborough, New Zealand.

    Burgess, Jack (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This paper presents a follow up study to that was already completed by Luis et al. (2011). Luis et al (2011) investigated the survival of E. bosistoana half-sib families within two progeny trials in Marlborough, New Zealand. The study investigated genetic growth parameters of the same two progeny trials. Trees at Craven (progeny trial) were statistically taller and larger in diameter than Lawson (other progeny trial), which is likely to be a result of thinning occurring one year earlier at the Craven and Lawson North sites than at the Lawson East site. The progeny trials were set up into randomized incomplete blocks which allowed effective calculations of fixed and random effects from a mixed-effect linear model. The family, incomplete block and residual variances from the mixed-effect model made heritabilities of growth traits possible to calculate. Narrow sense heritabilities for diameter at breast height ranged from 0.13 to 0.18, while tree height heritabilities ranged from 0.1 to 0.17. The inter-site correlation of family performance was weak to moderate for both height;  Craven : Lawson North = 0.28  Craven : Lawson East = 0.44  Lawson East : Lawson North = 0.27 And diameter at breast height (dbh); Craven : Lawson North = 0.32 Craven : Lawson East = 0.39 Lawson East : Lawson North = 0.36 Heritabilities were weak to moderate for growth traits but there was substantial variation so selection is still likely to provide sufficient gain. Further studies will need to consider researching the genetic parameters of wood qualities of E. bosistoana.

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  • An investigation into the system production balance within three mechanised harvesting case studies.

    Malietoa, K. K. (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Safety issues and high costs of traditional harvesting methods have been driving mechanisation increases in New Zealand. However, productivity increases from mechanisation alters system productivity balance. This can result in underutilised machinery and cause an increase in harvesting costs in real terms. A time study was carried out to understand the system productivity balance between felling, extraction and processing and the factors affecting system component productivity rates, for three case studies. The three case studies observed were (1) a semi-mechanised cable yarder extraction operation, (2) a fully-mechanised swing yarder operation and (3) a fully-mechanised ground based operation. There were large production imbalances between felling, extraction and processing in all three case studies. Felling was the most productive system component, being 98%, 37% and 88% (case studies 1 to 3 respectively) more productive than the bottleneck. System bottleneck for case studies 1 and 3 was extraction, and processing for case study 2. The number of stems bunched, number of stems shovelled, wind throw interference and machine position shift affected felling cycle time. For every stem bunched, average productivity decreased by 35% (24m³/PMH) and 21% (20.9m³/PMH) for case studies 2 and 3 respectively. Every additional stem shovelled reduced felling productivity by 7.4m³/PMH for case study 2. Haul distance, the number of stems extracted and site factor affected extraction productivity. Haul distance and the number of stems extracted had significant impact on hourly productivity for all case studies. Site factor affected hourly productivity by 6.9m³ and 56.7m³ for case studies 1 and 3 respectively, largely attributed to the cable system employed and ground conditions. Processing was affected by the number of logs cut per stem and if delimbing occurred. Delimbing and each additional log processed, decreased productivity by 16% and 14% respectively. These three case studies showed that mechanised systems are often not well balanced and result in system components being underutilised. Companies can consider task strategies, or machine sharing between systems to minimise the effect on cost.

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  • Comparing performance of seedlot types in the Kaingaroa Forest using ground pilots and aerial LIDAR : Comparing the performance of open-pollinated, control pollinated and clonal seedlots in a plantation trial in the Kaingaroa forest utilising airborne LIDAR.

    Henderson, Theo J. A. (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Problem: As more improved planting stock such as clones and genetically improved seedlings are introduced to the market it is important to properly understand the benefits of each production type. Various breeding programmes make claims around performance of their seedlots but there is a shortage of literature around the performance of these production types in a plantation setting for most production species. Approach: One seedling, two cuttings, and 7 clonal varieties were compared in a plantation setting on a single site. The stand was measured via five permanent sample plots (PSPs) per seedlot. The seedlots were categorised by material production type and compared using pair-wise analysis to find statistically significant differences. The seedlots were then compared individually to find any intramaterial differences. Available aerial LIDAR was then used to estimate tree height for the total seedlot area and establish whether this was an accurate estimate. Average LIDAR height was then used to estimate tree height for each of the five PSPs to establish whether this would improve the prediction of heights and permit its use for large-scale evaluation of genetic material. Results: Categorising seedlots by material type there was no statistical difference for height performance but there was for DBH and basal area. Clones and open-pollinated seedlots showed superior performance over controlled-pollinated material, but not different from each other. Clones showed reduced height variability over non-clones. DBH and basal area variability was also reduced but the difference was only statistically significant versus open-pollinated seedlots. Comparing seedlots individually there was large variation in performance and variability within material types, with clones showing some superiority and non-clones inconsistent improvements. The LIDAR tree height model for whole seedlot area showed to be a significant predictor average PSP height but poorly predicted CV. Predicting PSP area provided with LIDAR improved correlations over whole stand predictions for both values. Implications: The performance superiority for clones over other production types in this trial is not as pronounced as previously suspected. Clones do, however, provide a more uniform crop. The LIDAR tree height model could be used for further analysis but not for height variability without further improvement. Result validity was, however, reduced by the lack of trial replication and randomisation. This is the key limitation and makes guaranteeing improvements are due to improved genetics (not environment) problematic.

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  • The performance of blocks of clones in a radiata pine production forest.

    Farmery, Acacia (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Problem: Genetically identical clones of Pinus radiata are being planted in New Zealand plantation forests. There have been many clonal trials carried out; however there is a weakness in published literature surrounding the performance of clones in production blocks. Method: Five comparisons in four of Pan Pac Forests Products production forests were measured. Three comparisons were measured at age 4.5 years old and two were measured at 7.5 years old. There were six Forest Genetics clones and three different control-pollinated seedlots measured in these comparisons. Each comparison had a different number and selection of seedlots. There were six different traits measured for the trees; diameter at breast height over bark, height, acoustic velocity, straightness, branching habit, and malformation. The different traits were compared between the seedlots within each comparison. The differences in variation for diameter at breast height and modulus of elasticity were compared between clones and control-pollinated seedlots. Finally, the results by clone for the traits, excluding height, were compared to the expected performance supplied by Forest Genetics. Results: There were differences in performance between seedlots. Four clones performed well across a range of traits. One clone performed well in the 7.5 year old blocks but not in the 4.5 year old blocks. One clone did not perform well in size and stiffness. Clones were significantly less variable than control-pollinated seedlots for diameter at breast height but not for modulus of elasticity. The performance of each clone in Pan Pac Forest Products forests was very similar to the expected performance provided by Forest Genetics. Implications: There are clones that can produce desired yield, stiffness and form. Clones will provide a more uniform crop in diameter than control-pollinated seedlots. Pan Pac Forest Products can rely on Forest Genetics prediction of clonal performance as a guide to performance in their forests.

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  • An analysis of vessel loading of export logs at four New Zealand ports.

    Duval, Alfred W. (2016)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Over half of New Zealand’s annual harvest was exported as logs in 2015 (MPI, 2016). The large scale and economic importance of log exports highlights the importance of efficient port operations. Productive cycle elements for the log loading operation were defined. The vessel loading cycle was split into six elements: three ‘action elements’ (loading, tallying, and slinging), and three ‘carting elements’ between the ‘action elements’. Time study measurements were carried out at four New Zealand ports (Tauranga, Marsden Point, Gisborne, and Port Chalmers) to identify differences in productive time to load log export vessels. Port Chalmers wasn’t compared to the other ports as it was too different operationally. Loading had the longest productive element time, followed by slinging and tallying, and lastly the ‘carting elements’. Loading was uninfluenced by port but affected by log grade, length, operator skill, and the time of day. Tallying was significantly different between the three ports with Marsden Point fastest and Tauranga slowest. Slinging was quickest in Gisborne and faster whilst loading below-deck and during the daytime. Carting elements were heavily influenced by distance to or from log stack for all four ports. Tauranga displayed the fastest historic gross load rate (JASm³/hour) yet the slowest productive cycle time. Gross load rate is influenced by delays, volume per cycle, and productive cycle time. The difference in productive time and gross load rate could therefore be assumed to be from increased volume per cycle and/or reduced delays in Tauranga. Exporters are fined for loading slower than scheduled. This cost is greater when shipping rates are high as fines are based on shipping rates. A 5% increase in loading efficiency can save the exporter US$11,000 per vessel at historic maximum shipping rates.

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  • A comparative study of the influence that motor-manual felling and mechanised felling has on stem breakage.

    Andrews, S. D. (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Motor-manual felling has been the predominate method of severing trees in the felling process of a forest harvesting operation. Yet this method has been coupled with numerous injuries and deaths, as trees can strike fallers during this task. An alternative felling method was developed in the form of mechanised tree felling, in an attempt to reduce the frequency of injuries. Subsequently, mechanised felling is poorly understood when compared to motor-manual felling upon the impact it has on stem breakage. 183 trees were assessed by measuring the frequency of breakage, height of the first break and the volume retention abilities of three felling treatments; motor-manual, mechanised felling out of the stand and mechanised felling into the stand. The effect that directional felling had upon the length to the first break was also investigated for motor-manual and mechanised felling out of the stand. The percentage of stems that broke once felled was 73%, 76% and 94% for motor-manual, mechanised out of the stand and mechanised into the stand felling respectively. The height at which the first break occurred for the aforementioned felling treatments was 71%, 71% and 69% of the total tree height. Mechanised felling out of the stand had the greatest volume retention ability with 94.5% of the trees total volume being below the first break. Followed by 93.7% for motor-manual and 91.9% for mechanised felling into the stand, however these differences were statistically insignificant (p=0.14). Lastly the length to the first break for motor-manual and mechanised felling out of the stand failed to statistically change when a tree was felled through a range of directions from downhill to uphill. The influence that motor-manual felling and mechanised felling out of the stand had on stem breakage is similar, yet mechanised felling into the stand had a much greater impact on the percentage of stems that broke. With further improvements in technology, it could be seen that the number of mechanised tree-felling operations over take motor-manual felling, as their impact on stem breakage is comparable.

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  • Investigation of Potentially Expansive Soils, 'The Birches' Subdivision, Rangiora, New Zealand

    Clendon, Nicholas (2001)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    'The Birches' is a recently developed subdivision in the township of Rangiora. Early in 1997 a Benkelman Beam test on Lowes Place, one of the two major access roads into 'The Birches', produced deflection results as high as 12.76 mm. In addition to this was the raising of a section of footpath 10-20 mm up from the curb. Early 1998 saw longitudinal shrinkage cracks appear in a house access driveway, while later in 1998 two house experienced cracking and movement of the interior wall linings, subsequently requiring redecoration. These types of damage are typical of the damage caused by expansive soils, and an investigation was put in place to evaluate these potentially expansive soils. There are no previous cases of swelling soil problems in Rangiora or on the Canterbury Plains, so a field investigation program using crack monitoring, shallow moisture pits and trenches was implemented. A range of samples were gathered from three trenches, including bulk, long and short tube, and block samples. The laboratory methods for analysing these samples included a scanning electron microscope for the identification of microscopic layering, the plotting of grading curves to establish grain distribution, the establishment of dry density, and laterally confined vertical swell levels. The aim of this was to establish both a cause, and the controlling factors of the observed soil volume expansion. The trenches revealed massive, homogenous, silty clay units, with numerous rootlets throughout. The SEM study showed no layering or bedding to be present, but showed evidence of possible bioturbation or leaching. XRD analysis discerned the clay mineralogy was, on average, 20% kaolinite and 80% muscovite. Both of these are very stable minerals, and showed no swelling properties when glycolated. This indicates the causes of volume expansion in these soils are structural. Remoulded samples were also tested, and proved to be more susceptible to volume expansion when moisture content was increased. This is because the process of remoulding destroys the stablility of the lattice structure of the soil, which has formed through repetition of the shrink/swell process. The presence of leaching and bioturbation, and the presence of kaolinite, indicates acidic leaching. The historical data, combined with the evidence of previously high levels of vegetation in the area, as indicated by the presence of rootlets in the silty clay unit, suggests the depositional environment was that of a swamp margin.

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  • An exercise in perception

    Clairmont, Philip A (1970)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Subject chosen for this thesis is the interior of a room and its myriad aspects. When experienced subjectively it can appear as an outer protection or barrier for inner turmoil, providing security, shelter and privacy, or the direct opposite, four walls unnaturally imprisoning that which should be free. Objectively it provides a startling array of forms shapes and textures, both functional and nonfunctional, rigid and organic. The visual tensions influence and condition the actions and thoughts of the human figure within this environment. A room contains within its four walls residue of human thoughts, actions and emotions, a visual catalyst of memories and associations ; past and present. A room is in a constant state of evolution expressing itself in movements from light and dark - a place where time and space can be measurable. I have tried using a variety of means: signs and symbols, dots, dashes, line and tone to capture at once the stationary together with the transitory nature of observed appearances. I have dwelt on and emphasised those ambiguities which have arisen out of the process of creating an image and may reveal something of another reality.... of those submerged realities behind appearances and beyond normal consciousness. The language of an artist is able to cast a glimmer of light on those essential truths.....truths which normally elude civilised man. This thesis provides for sensory and visual appreciation rather than intellectual gratification (thus the emphasis on visual rather than written work). It comprises of a series of drawings, covering some aspects of one particular interior .... in this instance, my livingroom - an immediate environment. The drawings are essentially a visual record of sensory thinking, emotional and free-form imaginative interpretation of commonplace objects. The drawings follow a sequence, both chronologically and in thought development towards painting in which the experience gained of the room, crystallises in paint, size and colour adding dimension. The drawings should perform a dual role, one of providing a direct link with unconscious creative processes, and one of showing a developing awareness of the vital forces and movements that motivate a painting and validate the act of creating it. A variety of techniques have been used, each in its turn revealing some significant facet of the interior. Mixed media drawings predominate, for this media with its own unique properties, is capable of providing a bridge ..... an interlocking of concept and technique where image and media are inseparable.

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  • Defining the enemy : intellectuals, soldiers and their attitudes towards the rules of engagement.

    Foss, Nicholas William (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This dissertation examines the different attitudes of soldiers and intellectuals towards the laws of war and the rules of engagement, with a particular focus on defining the enemy. In the past there has been a focus on the broader theories of the laws of war and how they work on paper. This is why studying the attitudes of soldiers who have firsthand experience of the rules of engagement is useful in understanding the moral issues in war. The general attitudes of intellectuals and soldiers towards the laws of war are first examined, relying on the past historiographical work of Michael Walzer and John Fabian Witt. This is followed by an examination of the moral ambiguities generated by war in a historical context, using specific examples from past conflicts. Soldiers’ autobiographies from the War on Terror are a rich source of analysis They reveal how the rules of engagement imposed by the legislators do not necessarily correspond to the soldiers’ perspective on the battlefield which leaves soldiers vulnerable to charges of murder.

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  • Putaringamotu/Riccarton Bush : from wilderness to native bush reserve

    Morrison, Melissa A (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This research essay examines the significance of Putaringamotu/Riccarton Bush to the various facets of Canterbury’s history to which it is connected. Putaringamotu/Riccarton Bush is a place of significance to the history of Canterbury as it helps to tell the story of the environment, Maori and the first pioneers of the Canterbury Plains. This research essay draws upon a number of primary sources, such as legislation and personal correspondence, in order to answer the question of why an area of native bush within the city of Christchurch is still significant and relevant today. The answer to this question lies in the ability of the Bush to tell the story of the Canterbury Plains, and those who have called the area home, from the 1300s until the present day. Putaringamotu/Riccarton Bush is the only remnant of the Kahikatea Swamp forests which once covered the Canterbury Plains and therefore contributes to the environmental history of New Zealand. The Bush also uncovers the cultural and social practices of local Maori before the arrival of the first European settlers. However, the reason that Putaringamotu/Riccarton Bush remains so significant today is because of its connection to the pioneering foundations of Christchurch. The Bush inspired and influenced the Deans brothers, Canterbury’s first successful pioneers, and the Canterbury Association, to choose the Plains as the location of the city of Christchurch. It is highly probable that had the Bush not existed upon the Plains then the city of Christchurch may have been established elsewhere. The current use of Putaringamotu/Riccarton Bush as a conservation area and meeting place ensures that each of these facets of Canterbury’s history are acknowledged and remain relevant and significant within Christchurch today.

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  • Toxic tabloids toxicology, the press, and the public in nineteenth-century England.

    Easton, Holly (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This dissertation examines the way in which the English public in the nineteenth century engaged with criminal toxicology, through the medium of the newspapers. It aims to fill a gap in the historiography of toxicology, by combining the approaches of single-case analysis and statistical analysis to assess public opinion and action. This dissertation argues that the public’s engagement with criminal toxicology occurred through the context in which they encountered it, namely the judicial system. In addition to this, public engagement was built upon an informed understanding of the role of toxicology in the courtroom and was capable of producing tangible change. Through examining four sensational cases of criminal poisoning over the nineteenth century, this dissertation traces the development of the general public’s understanding of toxicology and resulting reactions to it. Throughout the century, the newspapers gradually disseminated more information about trials and the toxicology involved in them to the public, which they were able to act upon, by means of placing pressure on the authorities to reconsider the outcomes of contentious trials and the laws that had contributed to them. Overall, the public engaged increasingly with toxicology through the judicial system, agitating for and successfully creating change, in the interests of ensuring justice was done in individual cases and in the future.

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  • Canterbury – Full Steam Ahead 1863 – 1878 : The History of the Canterbury Provincial Railways

    Cross, Alastair Adrian (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This research essay examines and investigates the history of railway transport in New Zealand by utilising the Canterbury Provincial Railways (in operation 1863-1878) as operated by the Canterbury Provincial Government as a case study. The Canterbury Provincial Railways are considered by New Zealand historians and in particular transport historians to be the beginning of the modern-day New Zealand Railways network and the start of the rail-making era of New Zealand History. I consider the role that the Canterbury Provincial Railways have played between 1863 and 1878, and to what extent the railways benefited the region of Canterbury. In addition, the place of other Provincial attempts at railway construction are also briefly considered and their place in New Zealand’s railway history next to that of the Canterbury Provincial Railways. All previous revisions of the Canterbury Provincial Railways’ history have either been to look at it in a regional rail perspective or to solely focus on the railway, but not within the wider context of Canterbury region, which this research essay seeks to do. Overall, this research essay seeks to develop better the understanding of the place the Canterbury Provincial Railways plays in the wider history not only of the Canterbury region but also New Zealand too.

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  • Blast From Byzantium : The Alexiad on Crusader-Byzantine Relations During the First Crusade

    Reynolds, Gordon (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    In order to rest and regroup the pilgrim masses of the First Crusade collected in the city of Constantinople, modern day Istanbul. Thousands answered the call for help from the Byzantine Emperor, Alexios I Komnenos, far more than he anticipated. These crusaders were culturally different from the Byzantines, in need of provisions, fanatical followers of the Latin Church and well armed. This tense situation was made more troubled as Bohemond of Taranto, who had waged a war against Alexios a decade prior, arrived leading a major contingent of the expedition. The complexity of the relationship between these uneasy-­‐allies has been the topic of much debate amongst historians. This historiographical discourse has been intensified by the dearth of written sources from Byzantine eyewitnesses, the only significant source being The Alexiad, by Anna Komnene. Until recently the majority of historians studying the period treated The Alexiad as an unreliable account. Considered by many to be littered with chronological errors and tainted by the musings of an exceptionally opinionated author. Viewpoints like these are rooted in a culture of distrust surrounding The Alexiad and perhaps a conscious movement by commentators to distance themselves from the pro-­‐Hellenic writings of Steven Runciman. This dissertation is an effort to establish the cultural and political context within which Anna Komnene was writing and how her perspectives were entirely representative of contemporary Byzantine thought. As such, The Alexiad can be seen to be a highly valuable resource in studying the Crusade.

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  • Peter the Great and British Perceptions of Russia: A study of how the image of Peter informed British ideas of Russia

    Ng, Wai Nam Boswell (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    In British eyes, Russia was considered a non-entity before Peter the Great came into the scene. Aside from trade, it was largely irrelevant to British interests. Very few aspects about the nation appealed to the British. Indeed, Russia was considered the home of a group of ignorant, drunken, and brutish people governed by an absolute monarchy. However, by the end of Peter’s reign, Russia was seen in a more positive light. Through the rule of Peter, Russia was able to replace the hitherto powerful Swedish Empire in northern Europe and was firmly established in the Baltic Sea with a powerful navy at its disposal. At the same time, the reforms that characterized Peter’s reign so much also led to a shift in how the British perceived Russia in cultural terms. Breaking a trend that existed close to two centuries, the British began to view Russia as a nation that was progressing towards civilisation at a significant pace. Yet Peter’s image in British eyes was significant in encouraging such changes. Many saw Peter as the heart and soul of Russia, giving rise to a tendency to assess Russia from how they perceived Peter. Throughout his reign, the British came to know Peter for a number of things. He was seen as a competent and ambitious ruler who aimed to raise his empire to the highest degree possible. At the same time, he was also seen as an autocratic reformer who was forcing civilisation upon a backward country. With such images at the back of British minds, it was easy for them to invoke an image of a Russia that was threatening and more civilised than before. These perceptions of Peter therefore helped inform British ideas of Russia in a political and cultural context.

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  • ‘If we never meet again’ : the migration experiences of Emma Barker in nineteenth-century Canterbury.

    Martens, Paulien (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Studies of migration from England to New Zealand in the nineteenth century have tended to neglect the stories of women. My study addresses this gap by examining the migration story of Emma Barker and her family, and analysing in what ways family dynamics resulted in a gendered experience of migration. It explores gender in a relational manner by comparing and contrasting Emma’s experiences with those of her husband, Alfred. This study also adds to the historiography of the Western family and illuminates broader issues of marriage, parenthood and migration networks. It is based on a sequence of letters written by the Barker family to their extended family in England and highlights the importance of personal correspondence in writing migration histories. This study argues for more nuanced stories of migration that challenge accounts which emphasise the alienating aspect of migration for women.

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