My senior thesis apparently was very good!

Time to take a moment of pride: I got an A in my capstone history course at UWM! This comes after bringing home two backpack-fuls of books on the First World War and spending a few intense days pounding out the paper while also moving across town and caring for my beautiful young daughter. (Who, now that she’s older, is in many ways easier to manage.)

But yeah, I did it!

Naturally, a day or two after I turned the paper in, I was going through the standard post-mortum. “I didn’t prove anything… should have found more primary soures… one reference to English or French food policy doesn’t make the cake…” It’s what happens after after you turn in a big project such as this, finding every possible hole that you’d not seen before. Which was ironic, as my paper was entitled “Imperial German food supply, hubris and até during the First World War.”

Follow that? Até is/was an ancient Greek deity that would strike a person blind just before they committed an act that would lead to their undoing. I argued that the German Empire acted with such hubris (pride) and até getting into the war that they couldn’t see that their food supply was going to be inadequate. How many papers do you see that span the millenia like that? Not many, I bet.

For the curious, I’ve posted a link to a PDF version of my paper. If any of you plagiarize it, I’ll personally track you down and kick your ass — just after I find out what you thought of it. [To make life difficult for potential plagiarizers, I have removed it.]

If you don’t want to read all 23 pages, including appendices, here’s the cover picture:

,,Altonaer Kriegshilfetag'' -- "War Assistance Day"

From my paper:

“The Altonaer Kriegshilfetag poster is an interesting piece of propaganda. The poster reads, ‘War Assistance Day. Exhibition of vegetables and fruits from small garden plots, September—1 October, in Kaiserbof.’ While it is not clear if a particular government body or a German social club made this poster, the sense of the children and the hopelessness of the food supply both stand out from this poster. German civilians who were able to plant small gardens of fruits and vegetables wherever they could in response to the critical food shortages that the ‘turnip’ or ‘hunger’ winter of 1916-17 had caused. The outstretched empty pockets of the German child in the artwork are symbolic of both the people’s hunger and their government’s failure to come to their assistance in the time of great hunger.

[Photo fromWorld War I & European Society: A Sourcebook by Frances Coetzee and Marilyn Shevin-Coetzee. (D. C. Heath & Company, Lexington, Mass., 1995), 118.

So here it is: Haas Senior Thesis (656K PDF)

May you enjoy reading it almost as much as I did writing it! Which was actually a fair bit. The pictures (all three of ’em) are in Appendix A.


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

One thought on “My senior thesis apparently was very good!”

  1. Congratulations! I know how how hard you had to work. My senior paper was Amish and Special Education- not many books to read and interviews, well, forget it.

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