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|Title: ||The Somers mutiny of 1842|
|Authors: ||Goldberg, Angus Ephraim|
|Supervisors: ||Spackman, Steve|
|Issue Date: ||2000|
|Abstract: ||This dissertation presents an analysis of the Somers mutiny of 1842
that goes beyond the simple narratives offered by previous studies of the
cruise. The mutiny is examined within the context of contemporary
American politics and social reform, particularly as they related to naval
affairs. These emphases clarify the rationale behind the cruise of the
Somers, and shed light upon the nature of her crew.
The immediate physical environment of the brig is described in
order to reveal the difficulties in its operation, and the destabilising effect
that this had on both the functional and social worlds of the vessel. The
social environment on board is further defined by examining the daily
progress of the cruise with reference to antebellum naval life and practice.
When so combined, these factors clarify the officers' perception of the
mutiny threat, and go far to explain their actions throughout the crisis.
Finally, the dissertation examines the controversy that arose after
the Somers returned to the United States. In particular, the military
courts convened to investigate the mutiny are subjected to critical analysis
since they are fully part of the events that they purported to explain, and
because their proceedings remain the primary source material for
reconstructing the cruise it is necessary to identify their biases. To
conclude, the societal lessons of the Somers mutiny are explored, and an
alternative reading of the event is posed.|
|Publisher: ||University of St Andrews|
|Appears in Collections:||Modern History Theses|
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