Michigan State Journal of History

The undergraduate editorial board of the Michigan State Journal of History (MSJoH) is pleased to announce the release of Volume 6!

 This volume continues the tradition of featuring outstanding undergraduate scholarship at the university. As one of the few undergraduate-operated journals in the country, the journal strives to reflect the intellectual climate fostered by the Department of History. It is our privilege to publish works of such high intellectual caliber.


Volume 6, 2014

Letter from the Editor

Mikhail Filipovitch, Editor-in-Chief

 A brief discussion on the resurrection of the academic journal. Includes acknowledgement of the undergraduate editorial board and faculty that were indispensable to the project.

Bandits and Heroes

The Partisan Struggle in the Soviet Union

Greg Spenchian

 The partisan war in the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War has recently been the subject of renewed academic interest. The official history of the Soviet period hailed the struggle as a spontaneous and heroic rebellion of the proletariat, while their Nazi oppressors largely categorized the partisans as bandits and thieves. Drawing from a myriad of primary and secondary sources, many from the Stalinist era of Soviet history, this project is an attempt to build on past scholarship and answer some significant questions about the nature of the partisan struggle, as well as its lasting legacy in Soviet history.

Armenian Nationalism

Emergent Political Organizations and Revolutionary Activity Surrounding the First World War

Connor Yeck

 Most historical studies of Armenia and the First World War inevitably lean towards the brutalization of local peoples at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. This paper, however, aims to uncover a distinct trend of Armenian resistance during this period. Forged through Western ideologies, ineffective reform, international sympathy, and mounting violence, revolutionary organizations arose out of the fractured, nationalist landscape of the late Ottoman Empire, and provide unique glimpses of upheaval demonstrative of approaching chaos. Acting to counter well-known aggressions, and provide safety for Armenian communities, these political bodies remained extremely vocal surrounding the events of 1914-1918 and beyond.

The Folly of Manifest Destiny

Filibustering in Antebellum America

Kevin Cunningham

 This paper explores the adventures of the American filibuster during the antebellum period. Filibusters were seen as both privateers and heroes during an age of racial and political tension. These men looked to conquer lands in the name of America and saw land acquisition as a sign of power and prestige. These men embraced the ideology of continentalism and embraced the phrase coined by John L. O’Sullivan, “Manifest Destiny.” This paper then intends to explore these men on their escapades and how the American public and government handled their actions.

The Mexican Problem

Daniel Sherwood

 After the Reconstruction Era of American History, American politicians found the time, money, and power to continue their imperialistic tendencies in the Western Hemisphere. This essay examines the American public’s split stance on intervention into Mexico and how interventionists justified American involvement to the public. Focusing on how alcohol consumption and issues of gender came to the forefront as justifications of America intervening into Mexico during their revolution, one can quickly see how America is subject to inaccurate information with a clear political agenda. Analyzing political cartoons, documents and letters from politicians, businessmen, and intellectuals, and rethinking American prejudices, this essay aims to shed light on the flaws of a foreign power intervening in another country’s affairs.

Development of Episcopal Elections in the Early Twelfth Century

Trevor Mattis II

 This essay examines the volatile nature of episcopal elections leading up to the twelfth century and subsequent reforms. Episcopal elections in medieval Europe were lucrative and rarely adhered to canon law, warranting the statement volatile. Elections were plagued by secular coercion as secular powers, I argue, sought to exploit episcopal elections for personal gain limiting the influence of the Church in the process. Reforms in the early twelfth century were thus crucial to the greater development of medieval Europe in ensuing centuries.

A War Between the Pages

A Historic Look at the Influence of Vogue on Women during World War II

Caroline Voisine

 When the United States joined the war in 1942, the entire nation jumped to support the patriotic cause. The popular fashion magazine Vogue was no different. The magazine made joining the war effort in itself stylish. Articles on clothes and lifestyle all portrayed ideas of fashionable patriotism. However, throughout the course of the war, Vogue went from showing its patriotic efforts in every aspect of dress and lifestyle to separating fashion and the War. In this research I explore the influence Vogue had on fashion as well as women throughout the duration of World War II.

Influences of Socialism and the Socialist Workers Party on the Detroit Gay Community During the 1970s

Sean Wolski

 This paper explores to what extent the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) influenced the gay community and gay rights activism in Detroit during the 1970s. In addition, how this influence changed over the course of the decade will also be assessed. The goal of this essay is to show that the SWP and socialist ideals played an important role in forming the gay community of Detroit during the early 1970s. However in studying historical documents from both Detroit’s gay community and the SWP, socialist influence on the Detroit gay community waned during the latter part of the decade.

A Note on our Review Process

 A brief overview of how submissions to the journal are evaluated.

Essay Submission Policy

Do you have scholarly work that you believe would make a strong additional to the MSJoH? Herein lies our policies in regards to submissions.

Staff of the MSJoH1

 The staff directly responsible for the success of Volume 6.


 Previous Journal Volumes of the MSJoH

 For the first time, interested scholars are able to revisit the intellectual research of former students in the newly archived Volumes 1-5. Showcased within them is the research of aspiring historians that covers a diverse selection of topics, spanning various cultural areas and eras of the historical world.

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Volume 4

Volume 5