Individual Research Project

Research in progress for HIST 1302: United States History II

Faculty Mentor: Kyle Wilkison, Ph.D.

This paper well represents the individually-selected research topics produced by a decade's worth of Honors History 1302 students. The two-semester-long project typically begins with an annotated bibliography in History 1301, followed by a complete paper in History 1302. Each student chooses her or his own topic bounded only by the chronological scope of the course with a demonstrable connection to the people of the United States. The assignment urges students to select topics—no matter how broad or narrow—to which they feel a strong connection. Once a special area of interest is established, we work together to discover a research question to explore.

Peter Whitfield's paper demonstrates a particularly well-developed set of skills the course sought to strengthen. The author bases this story of an unlikely alliance between Gilded Age radical social reformer Henry George and New York City Catholic priest Father George McGlynn on thorough readings in a number of monographs, scholarly research articles, and primary sources. The reader finds herein clear narration and critical, incisive analysis that bodes well for this young scholar's planned future graduate study of philosophy

Author Abstract

Examines the tense political relationship between American Gilded reformer Henry George and the Catholic Church. Said tension is analyzed through George's 1886 New York City mayoral campaign and his friendship with Fr. McGlynn, an Irish labor priest. The conflict between George and the Church manifested itself in various news-worthy, scandalous, and tumultuous events, such as the excommunication of McGlynn, an open letter to Pope Leo XIII, protests in the pews, last-minute political pamphlets, and Tammany Hall intrigue. George's beloved Single Tax proposal was also played a key role. Disagreement over the Single Tax would be yet another cause of tension between George and Catholicism.

Faculty Mentor

Kyle Wilkison




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