Capstone Projects

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    The pragmatic law: Law as a relationship through experience
    (Washburn University) Adamson II, Barry
    In today's society there exists a definite distinction between what law is and what it is perceived to be. For many people law is simply a set of rules that are made by a government and upheld by a court. However, when people discuss law in this manner they are only scratching the surface. Certainly, the sets of rules are important. They provide the structure and the foundation to a system that might otherwise exist in chaos. But as Karl Llewellyn points out, rules are only the shell of law; mere words that mean nothing without substance, or meaning (Llewellyn 12). What's more, is that rules are not absolute as so many people think. Rules can change over time; words can be erased or added, therefore, changing the rule. So, then, what else can be said about law if more exists than just rules? Fortunately,a s I have discovered, a lot can be said about law when a person looks at law beyond the structure that man has created for it. In fact, when looking into the matter, a reader can find a whole slew of answers. So what is the crux of law, if it is not just rules and regulations? Law is about relationships and how law deals with those relationships.
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    Allowed to speak, difficult to ignore: Methodist women shape the religious and political identity of Kansas through the Temperance Movement
    (Washburn University) Burnidge, Cara
    When considering the history of Kansas the relationship between religion and politics is the crucial element required to understand Kansans. An examination of the major political and social issues throughout Kansas history will lead to a study of Kansas religious groups, particularly evangelical Protestants. Overwhelmingly, evangelical Protestants in Kansas have taken part in every great political, social, and religious reform the state has experienced. This activism by Kansas evangelical Protestants complicates the relationship between religion and politics. In the most recent examination of religion in Kansas, historian Gary Entz partially answered journalist Thomas Frank's question, "What's the Matter with Kansas?" Examining Kansas' history of the church influencing the state, Entz explained that one of the most significant intersections of religion and politics in Kansas occurred during the Temperance Movement. What Entz failed to mention, however, was the significant role women played within this religious, political, and social movement. This failure to fully acknowledge the significance of women's involvement in the Kansas Temperance Movement marks a historical void for Kansas history. The study of women in Kansas' Temperance Movement will lead to a better understanding of Kansas religious history and, ultimately, the relationship between religion and politics in Kansas.
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    "Do to me as thou wouldst be done to:" The Pennsylvania-Maryland-Delaware land dispute and the failure of William Penn's "holy experiment"
    (Washburn University) Fredrickson, Cole
    In August 1681, William Markham, the Deputy Governor of Pennsylvania, delivered to the proprietor of Maryland, Lord Baltimore, William Penn's correspondence of April 12, 1681, one that began a turbulent dialogue between the two colonial proprietors over the boundaries of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Penn wrote: "It haveing graciously pleas'd the King upon divers good considerations, to make me a neighbour to Mary-land." He continued, "I only begg one to me as thou wouldst be done to." Penn believed that he had the upper hand, due to his relationship with the Stuarts, and continued to half-threateningly share: "I do so much depend upon the influence & prevalence the Kings goodness will have upon thee...believing that a great & prudent man, will always act with caution & obedience to the mind of his Prince." Penn concluded with his request that his "cousen & Deputy," Markham, be given "all dispatch possible in the business of the bounds," which began the long and drawn dispute to determine the boundaries of Pennsylvania and control over port access. The nature of this essay is to examine the documentary evidence surrounding the Pennsylvania and Maryland border dispute over New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties in present day Delaware, and to determine the impact of the conflict upon William Penn's "holy experiment."