Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Avery O. Craven

Second Advisor

Dr. Albert Castel

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The Background: 1846-1850

The term "Fillibuster" has a different connotation in modern times than that of a hundred years ago. Today according to The American College Dictionary, the term means, "a member of a minority in a legislative assembly who resorts to irregular or obstructive tactics to prevent the adoption of a measure generally favored, or to force a decision almost unanimously disliked." The dictionary also gives the older definition, which will be used in this paper. This meaning is "an irregular military adventurer; a freebooter or buccaneer."

The purpose of this thesis is to describe a number of filibustering attempts in the period from 1850 to 1860. There were three attempts by Narciso Lopez to take the island of Cuba; three tries by William Walker to establish a dictatorship over the country of Nicaragua; and finally there was the dream of the Knights of the Golden Circle to secure control over Mexico.