Thursday, December 26, 2013

Horace Mann PSA

"One more suggestion will close the argument on this topic. What is the course of the wisest of governments and of men in a case closely analogous? When an exciting cause is to be tried in a civil court, does not every judge examine the jurors upon oath, to learn whether they have expressed or formed an opinion on the merits of the case, and does he not set aside as unworthy to be upon the panel, those who have formed such opinion? Every man sees and feels the reasonableness of this course. Yet this is just the reverse of what is done in regard to controverted religious doctrines, in most of our private schools, Sabbath schools, Colleges, and Theological Seminaries. Hence Truth, claiming by divine warrant to be heard, is silenced; error, worthy of annihilation, is perpetuated, and hostile sects, the scandal of the Christian religion, are increased in members and virulence."
Mann, Horace. Educational Writings of Horace Mann. 1891. Lee and Shepard Publishers. (accessed December 25, 2013).

This primary source is from a collection of Mann’s writings on the topic of public education. Horace Mann was a public education reformist in the nineteenth century and was known by some as, “The Father of Public Education.” Mann was also a politician and serve in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate, was secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, and later served in the US House of Representatives, making Mann a credible source on the topic of public education. Mann’s goal in this excerpt is to introduce moral and religious lessons to the public school curriculum. In the nineteenth century, teaching morals to children was an important issue because drunkenness and crime were widespread issues plaguing society and it was thought by some that the best way to stop these problems was to teach religious morals at a young age. This document has a significant bias because Mann is the leader of the reform movement so he had an agenda in writing this. It also offers no opposing opinion. Mann calls for religious education in this excerpt and emphasizes how Christian morals are important to teach. He uses the example of juries needing to be filled with people that could and would form a moral opinion of the case. This source explains why the reformists wanted reform and shows the arguments they used to achieve it.

*The second line of the citation and the entire annotation should be indented.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Andrew Jackson: People's President or People's King?


Andrew Jackson is one of the most controversial presidents of all time. Some people of both the time and today call him the people’s president, while some call him a tyrant. One controversial action was his extensive use of the veto. The first six presidents used the veto ten times, while Jackson alone used it twelve times. Also, seven of those vetoes were pocket vetoes and he is considered to be the first president to veto for political reasons. This cartoon, King Andrew the First, criticizes Jackson’s use of the veto and shows how many viewed him.

In this image, the cartoonist depicts Andrew Jackson in king’s robes with a crown and an artistic representation of a veto in his hand.  The constitution is ripped up and on the ground. The cartoonist is saying that Jackson’s use of the veto makes him like a king. The torn up constitution shows that the cartoonist believes that Jackson was exceeding his power and disregarding the constitution. However, the right to veto is given to presidents by congress so what Jackson did was not unconstitutional. The cartoonist did not approve of Jackson or his actions. While Jackson was given the right to veto, it was meant to prevent laws that were unconstitutional or bad for the country. Instead, Jackson used his power for selfish political reasons. Since his actions were not for the people and were greatly disapproved of by the people, Andrew Jackson was not the people’s president.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Democracy or Not?

Democracy is a government in which the power is held by the people. However, democracy was different in 19th century America than it is today. Back then, people had less power in controlling the government. This means that the United States was less democratic in the 19th century than it is today.
One reason the United States was less democratic was less people could vote. Not only did voters have to be white males, there also were property and tax-paying requirements in many states for a large part of the 19th century. This limited the number of people able to vote significantly because many people did not own the required amount of property. As Benjamin Franklin put it, “Today a man owns a jackass worth fifty dollars and he is entitled to vote; but before the next election the jackass dies….and the man cannot vote. Now gentlemen, pray inform me, in whom is the right of suffrage? In the man or in the jackass?” The property held the as much the right to vote as the person because they could not vote without property. The number of states with both the property and tax-paying requirements gradually declined as the century progressed. Also, in the beginning of the 19th century presidential electors were chosen by the legislature. This means that there was three degrees of separation between the voters and the president. As the century progressed most states changed to electing electors by popular vote as is still used today.
The County Election by George Bingham, 1852

 Some other problems of the election process were depicted in George Bingham’s painting, The County Election. One problem is that people could vote intoxicated. This is not a good thing because people can accidently vote for the wrong candidate or be easily persuaded. Also, votes were written down on a piece of paper the voter could not see so there was no way to know if the vote was counted and accurate. This also means the vote was not private. Only five people in the painting took the voting seriously, as few did back then, and a man is beaten up showing the violence present at elections back then. In most states reform in the election process was peaceful, but in Rhode Island it was violent and called the Dorr War. Thomas Dorr launched a campaign to draft a new state constitution and repeal voting restrictions. The governor declared Dorr guilty of insurrection and arrested him after he tried to take the state’s arsenal. Reforms in the state’s democracy were achieved as a result though. In the 19th century the United States was less democratic than today, though improvements were made throughout the century.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Romanticism Post
Grotto in the Gulf of Naples by Karl Blechen
Oil on oak panel, 37,5 x 29 cm
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

At the same time as the revolutions in throughout Europe were going on, an artistic age was blossoming. Romanticism was a movement in literature, music, and the visual arts. Both the revolutions and Romanticism were reaction to Enlightenment ideas and heavily influenced each other. The important themes of Romanticism were awe of nature, nationalism, emotion, the importance of the individual, the grotesque and horrific, and the irrational. One example of Romantic art is the painting Grotto in the Gulf of Naples by Karl Blechen. One theme in this piece is awe of nature. The painting depicts a large cave in front of the sea. Both of those things are massive, both in the painting and reality, and demonstrate the power of nature. Another theme is the importance of the individual. In the painting two men are sitting alone in the cave with no other signs of civilization in sight. The lack of other people highlights there importance and is symbolic of the importance of the individual. The painting is emotional as well. People only go to places like the one depicted to think, there is no other use, and deep thought and reflection is emotional. Also, this painting is irrational. Presumably, the grotto is far away from society and is very secluded. It is irrational to go out to it just to have a conversation. All four of these Romantic themes are key characteristics of the era and the painting.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Revolutions of 1830 and 1848 Post

Decembrist Revolt Educreations

In the years 1830 and 1848 revolutions sprung up all across Europe. Liberals and radicals from several different countries wanted a constitutional monarchy, and, in some cases, no monarchy at all. Another thing these revolutions have in common is they are generally regarded by historians as failures. This is true of the revolutions because they only achieved change temporarily, if at all, before the conservative ways were restored and many revolutions were very violent.
The Decembrist Revolt

One failed revolution, the biggest failure of all, was the Decembrist Revolt in Russia in 1825. In this revolution, liberals attempted to overthrow Tsar Nicholas I and create a constitution. This revolution was poorly planned and organized and failed miserably. No change was achieved at all and the revolt was very violent for the short time before it was crushed. As Nicholas I said, “The leaders and the instigators of the conspiracy will be dealt with without pity, without mercy” and he did deal with them harshly, killing or imprisoning most. The revolt was crushed entirely. Another failed revolution was the Polish Revolution of 1830. In this revolution, nationalists wanted independence from Russia. Poland did gain independence for 5 months, but it was then taken back under Russian control and no permanent change was achieved. Tsar Nicholas writes in March 1832, “an end has been put by force of arms to the rebellion in Poland, and that nation, led away by agitators, has returned to its duty, and is restored to tranquility.” Everything returned back to the way it was before the Polish revolution. The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 was also a failure. This revolution was also led by nationalists. They wanted to form a government independent from Austria, abolish serfdom, and also write a constitution. The feeling that “the future of Hungary can never be secured while Austria maintains a system of government in direct antagonism to every constitutional principle” led Hungarians to revolution. The revolutionaries actually had enough power that Metternich fled and Austria allowed reforms. However, not long after, Russia intervened and crushed the revolution. In all of these revolutions, permanent change was not achieved and instead the revolutions were crushed violently. It is for these reasons that the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 were failures; a revolution cannot be successful if nothing is changed.  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Monroe Doctrine Selfie Post

At the Congress of Vienna in 1814, Europe’s major powers joined together to create the Quintuple Alliance. The Quintuple Alliance was conservative, as all the countries in it had monarchies, and it was created to stop revolutions throughout the world and to restore the monarchy to those countries.  The Quintuple Alliance created many issues for the United States. The United States responded to these issues with the Monroe Doctrine which was received in different ways in different parts of the world.

The Monroe Doctrine was the United States response to many issues posed by the Quintuple Alliance. One of those issues was Russia wanting to create a colony on the west coast of North America. The United States did not want Russians in the Western Hemisphere because they could help the alliance take back independent countries in Latin America. Also, the United States had claimed that land. This was resolved by negotiations with Russia. The Monroe Doctrine says, “a full power and instructions have been transmitted to the minister of the United States at St. Petersburg to arrange by amicable negotiation the respective rights and interests of the two nations on the northwest coast of this continent.” Another issue was the possibility of the Quintuple Alliance fighting to win back their former colonies in Latin America. The United States did not want to get involved in a war, but did not want to lose its major trade partners. The solution in the Monroe Doctrine was to say that interfering with the Latin American countries is a direct threat against the United States. It says, “we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly d United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.” The other issue was Great Britain wanting to form an alliance with the United States against the Quintuple Alliance attacking Latin America. The Monroe Doctrine declined the alliance, but said the United States are friendly with everyone and set up the United States own foreign policy. It read, “Our policy in regard to Europe, which was adopted at an early stage of the wars which have so long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless remains the same, which is, not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of its powers.”

Different groups responded to the Monroe Doctrine in different ways. Russian diplomats, as the image below shows, were annoyed that America thought it had enough international power to negotiate with them. While they did not have any colonies in Latin America, they were part of the Quintuple Alliance and supported the countries that had colonies there. They also were not happy that the United States was threatening their power and was nervous about their potential alliance with Great Britain because it had the strongest navy in the world. United States congressmen were happy about the negation with Russia because they wanted to maintain good relationships with everyone. They also agreed with Monroe’s decision to turn down the alliance with Great Britain and to support the Latin American countries because they were important trade partners. Latin American revolutionaries did not want Russia to become a threat to them so they supported the United States negotiating to keep them away. They found it empowering that the United States turned down the alliance with Great Britain because it shows that a new country can have its own foreign presence. They were also happy that the United States was supporting their independence and willing to defend them. However, they were wary that the United States would try to influence their government.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Congress of Vienna Post

The Congress of Vienna in 1814 made many important decisions about foreign policy for the European nations involved. One of the new ideologies adopted during the Congress of Vienna was the Principle of Intervention. This ideology gave the Holy Alliance the right to send troops into foreign countries to stop revolutions and restore the monarchy. The Holy Alliance was the alliance of the countries that attended the Congress of Vienna, minus England and was founded by Tsar Alexander. All countries of the Congress of Vienna except England agreed with this ideology. This provided a solution to the problem of how to prevent future revolutions. This “privilege” of the Quintuple Alliance was acted upon several times in the years after the Congress of Vienna. In the 1820’s, the powers met to decide what to do about the rebellions in Spain and the Spanish colonies. Ultimately, Louis XVIII sent an army to crush the uprising in Spain, but the alliance left the colonies alone. Also, in 1820, Austria crushed a rebellion in Italy that intended to unify the country.
The ideology of Principle of Intervention was agreed upon by Klemens von Metternich, the foreign minister of Austria and its representative at the Congress of Vienna. Metternich was a conservative so he believed that the old system of government of absolutism was the best one. He thought the subjects of a country were like children and needed to be told what to do. Because of this he supported efforts to maintain and restore absolute monarchs throughout the world. He was willing to use military force to enforce conservative government, as shown by Austria crushing the rebellion in Italy. Metternich supported the Principle of Intervention and Austria used it as a reason for invading. The Congress of Vienna set the formal policy on intervention and the decisions made there were followed for decades to come.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ideologies Vine Post

Liberalism was a nineteenth-century ideology that professed that the job of the government is to promote individual liberty. Liberalism supported innovation and reform and was against absolutism and aristocracy. Instead liberals believed in constitutional monarchies and meritocracy. This vine represents the beliefs of liberals in several ways. One part of the vine is the word tradition being torn in half. Liberals were against doing things just because they were traditional and instead insisted that countries should reform and support innovation. The social pyramid morphing into a circle is another symbol of the social beliefs of the liberals. It represents how liberals wanted to get rid of the privileges of the aristocracy and church and instead establish a meritocracy where people are rewarded based on skill, hence the circle for equality. Another part of the vine is a shrinking crown. This is representative of the political beliefs of liberalism. Liberals were against absolute monarchies and wanted the power of monarchs to shrink, like the crown did. Instead liberals supported the political system of a constitutional monarchy, where the people have some say in the government in the form of a parliament or similar governing body. The vine also has a scale with a crown and constitution on it that goes from the crown outweighing the constitution to them being equal. This represents the transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy. This support of a constitutional monarchy and the idea of more equal social classes were the main beliefs of liberalism.
Conservatism and nationalism were also nineteenth-century ideologies. Conservatives were in favor of absolute monarchy and traditional political and social systems, like aristocracy. Conservatives were resistant to change and instead used tradition as a reason for keeping things the same. They wanted to stop social change and believed in keeping the minority in power socially because they believed giving average citizens power would create chaos. Conservatives were against the beliefs of liberals and believed in keeping with tradition. Nationalism asserted that countries should be defined by people sharing culture, religion, language, and more, instead of who ruled it. They also believed that countries had natural borders based on these things. Nationalists were against being ruled by foreign countries and tried to expel those leaders. They also were in favor of unification of divided city-states, like in Germany and Italy. Nationalists shared many of the same beliefs that liberals had.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Independence in the Americas Post

Within 100 years of each other, the United States and many Latin American countries, including Haiti, declared independence from their colonial powers. All of these revolutions involved major political change and the ones in Latin America also involved social and economic changes. The United States was better prepared for independence than the Latin American countries that followed it because it had more political experience and less racial tensions than the Latin American countries.
In many Latin American countries, there was great racial tension prior to their revolution and it made independence more difficult. In Haiti, in 1789, approximately 90 percent of the population was enslaved and half of the free population was non-white. For Haiti, abolishing slavery was the main reason for seeking independence and in doing so Haiti received major social change along with political change. Since Haiti’s entire economy depended on free slave labor, Haiti also had to undergo economical change after the revolution. All of these changes are much harder to handle than just the political changes that the United States underwent so it was much harder for Haiti to be prepared for independence than it was for the United States. Not only were there major changes that needed to happen when Haiti achieved independence, the colored and white populations did not get along well. In a primary source about the slave rebellions it is written that “the carnage that the slaves wreaked in northern settlements, such as Acul, LimbĂ©, Flaville, and Le Normand, revealed the simmering fury of an oppressed people.” Years of oppression under slavery made the slaves hate the whites and seek revenge. The white population was no better and “reprisals against nonwhites were swift and every bit as brutal as the atrocities committed by the slaves.” All of this fighting is a clear sign that the slaves and whites did not get along and it is even harder to fight a revolution and create a new country when the inhabitants hate each other and will not work together. In the United States, none of these problems existed. The slave population always remained the minority throughout the United States. Also, neither slavery or racial questions were ever at issue between Britain and America at the time of the Revolution.” At the time of the revolution, people did not even consider abolishing slavery or giving rights to colored people. Because of this, it did not play a role in the revolution and provided one less complication. In the United States pursuit of independence, the people were united and only focused on political change while it was much harder in Latin America, especially Haiti, because of the racial division and larger goals of revolution.

The United States also had more political experience than the Latin American countries. In Latin America, the colonies had little say over their own government. Most important offices in the governing of the colonies were located in Spain and occupied by people who had never been to the colonies. Also, political office could only be held by Pennisulares. The government in Spain “regulated trade, appointed officials, made laws, and determined who should be allowed to emigrate.” The colonists and natives had very little say in making laws. In the 13 colonies, the people were able to participate in the government. The colonists were able to be elected to the colonial assembly which made the laws of the colony. While the assembly was under the control of the governor and had little actual power, it gave the colonists some experience in running a government and “North Americans had developed largely autonomous economics and policies.” This experience made it much easier for the colonists to set up their own government after they achieved independence. The colonists were already doing the day to day job of the government and making most of the decisions so the transition was much less drastic than in Latin America where the people had barely had any involvement in or experience with the government. The United States was better prepared for independence than Latin America because it knew how to run a government.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hatian Revolution Post

The hard times in Haiti did not end when it won its independence from France and Napoleon in 1804. Instead the hard times continue to today because the new Republic of Haiti was not well received by other important countries of the time, especially the United States and France. In 1825, after Haiti won its independence, instead of leaving Haiti alone, King Charles X of France “demanded that Haiti pay an ‘independence debt’ to compensate former colonists for the slaves who had won their freedom in the Haitian Revolution.” He demanded 90 million francs, equivalent to 17 billion dollars today, and sent warships to Haiti to force them to pay. This shows that France was not happy with Haiti winning its independence. It was their most profitable colony so they were not happy to loose it. They did receive Haiti’s independence, but neither did the United States. The United States was not supportive of Haiti because they did not like the idea of a Black nation and slave rebellions. The United States relied heavily on slave labor and did not want slaves to be inspired by the successful rebellion in Haiti, as was feared by many. Thomas Jefferson tried to get Congress to stop trade with Haiti, but it was too profitable so they refused and the US did not recognize Haiti’s independence until 1862. Neither the United States nor France were supportive of Haiti’s independence.

Instead of helping Haiti, both countries actions were crippling to the country. France’s indemnity payment was not paid fully until 1947, 120 years later. This payment crippled Haiti’s economy and doomed them to poverty. The payment was six times Haiti’s annual revenue at the time. Having this huge debt to pay, Haiti was unable to grow and improve for a huge part of its time as a country. The effects from this are still felt today because Haiti is still very poor. The United States being unsupportive of and essentially ignoring Haiti allowed France to force Haiti to pay the indemnity. If the United States and other powerful countries supported Haiti, it would have prevented France from demanding an indemnity. Also, since Haiti was ignored, its ability to trade was limited which also prevented the economy from growing. The actions of both France and the United States prevented Haiti’s economy from growing which hurt the country greatly.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Napoleon Reflection Post

Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the greatest generals and most important leaders of all time. He had a great impact on the social, economic, and political systems of not only France, but all of Europe. Socially, Napoleon reduced class division and increased equality. Many upper class citizens were not happy about this because it reduced their privileges. One member of the upper class, Madame de Stael, was quoted as saying, “What particularly characterizes Bonaparte’s government is his profound contempt for all the intellectual riches of human nature: virtue, dignity, religion enthusiasm.” She believes that Napoleon as taken away all of these things by taking away upper class privileges and not focusing on developing these riches, but instead improving the conditions of the working class. Napoleon started great reform and did many things to improve the lives of the many, but all the rich cared about was the loss of privileges of the few.
Napoleon also reformed the economic systems of France and the rest of Europe. Napoleon abolished serfdom and gave people the right to own property and freely conduct business. As Marshal Michel Ney said, “The times are gone when the people were governed by suppressing their rights. Liberty triumphs in the end.” Napoleon ended the system of the rich controlling the poor and all of their actions. He also regulated prices and improved transportation infrastructure. All of these actions improved the economies of Europe and the lives of the people in them.
            The political systems of Europe also experienced significant changes under the rule of Napoleon. Napoleon abolished the monarchies of the countries he conquered and granted the people many new rights like the ability to own land and freely travel. Under his new system of ruling people were more equal than under monarchies. Napoleon also put in place a system where people were rewarded based on ability, not social standing. Joel Tyler Headley wrote, in Napoleon and His Marshals, “Napoleon's moral character was indifferent enough; yet as a friend of human liberty, and eager to promote the advancement of the race, by opening the field to talent and genius, however low their birth, he was infinitely superior to all the sovereigns who endeavored to crush him.” Napoleon was in favor of liberty and his changes were in line with that. He viewed everyone except himself as equal, so he removed the monarchies that posed a threat to his power. The political systems of Europe under Napoleon shifted from absolute rule of monarchies to a meritocracy where people were more equal and enjoyed more liberty.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain and the United States

The Industrial Revolutions in Great Britain and the United States both had many advantages and disadvantages compared to each other. While both the United States and Great Britain had many opportunities for industrialists, Great Britain was the better place for them. One reason that Great Britain was the better place is that labor was plentiful there. Rich landowners took farmland from the peasant farmers, forcing them to move to the cities and work in factories. All of these farmers looking for jobs gave industrialists a plentiful source of labor whereas in the United States there was plenty of unclaimed land for people who travelled far enough west. This abundance of labor allowed factory owners to pay their workers very little and make them work in dangerous conditions for long hours because they could always find a replacement for an unhappy worker. Great Britain was also advantageous for industrialists because of the lack of labor laws in place. The laws about child labor in Great Britain were far less restricting than those in the United States. Children were allowed to work longer days and in more dangerous conditions, like mines. Child labor was the cheapest form of labor so having minimal restrictions on it is ideal for industrialists. The interests of the government also were better in Great Britain. The government in Great Britain was easily corrupted by money and served the interests of the wealthy industrialists. The British government had always been controlled and influenced by the upper class, so the industrialists were more likely to get what they wanted as opposed to the working class. Because of these reasons, industrialists were more likely to succeed in Great Britain.

While Great Britain was the better place for industrialists, the United States provided the more positive experience for workers. One reason is the workers worked less hours and had more breaks. Emily Nutter, an average Lowell mill girl, worked 12 hour days and got breaks for all three meals. In comparison, William Cooper, a young British factory worker, only received a break for lunch and worked 16 hour days, while his sister worked 18 hour days. Another reason the United States was the better place for workers is the conditions in the factories. As Charles Dickens said in his visit to the Lowell mills, the girls “were all well-dressed: and that phrase necessarily includes extreme cleanliness” and “they were healthy in appearance, many of them remarkably so, and had the manners and deportment of young women.” Dickens was comparing the mills to his experience in the factories of Great Britain. He thinks that the girls are being treated well because they are clean and healthy and also had developed the manners of a woman while working in the mills. He also describes the factories themselves as places with “as much fresh air, cleanliness, and comfort, as the nature of the occupation would possibly admit of.” In Great Britain, the factories were much filthier and more dangerous. Overall, the experience for workers in the United States was much better than in Great Britain.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mary Paul Post

Throughout her letters, Mary Paul’s experience and attitude gets progressively worse and shows both the successes and failures of the “Lowell Experiment”. In her first letter, Mary begs her father to let her go to Lowell and work in the mills. She wants to help provide income for her family and she also wants to be able to buy clothes by working in the mills. This shows the success of the experiment because it is able to attract farm girls to work in the mills. In her next letter two months later Mary is disappointed that she is not making as much money as she thought after paying bills, but she is still happy and recommends that other kids go to work in the Lowell mills. The “Lowell Experiment” succeeds in attracting people because current workers recommend it to other people as well as going themselves. Mary is also homesick because she asks for paper so she can write to her family and friends. In the third letter to her father, Mary talks about the many deadly accidents that had occurred at the mill she worked at and how she still is not saving much money. The negative events she describes indicate that Mary is not very happy with working at the mills anymore. Nevertheless, Mary still encourages other girls to go work at the Lowell mills, causing the “Lowell Experiment” to succeed. In the fourth letter, Mary is still homesick and not very happy. She is being underpaid because of backwater in the factory, but she still tries to stay positive in here letter and writes about her schedule and how she likes the other girls. In the next letter, Mary talks about how hard her labor is and says sometimes she thinks she cannot endure it. She also talks about how the mill is lowering wages even though they do not need to. She says that she moved to a lower quality boarding house just to save twelve cents per week. She is clearly unhappy in this letter and many other girls like her are unhappy about the wage cuts. This is a failure of the “Lowell Experiment” because it angers the workers. In Mary’s last letter, she explains how she had been sick and did not expect to get paid a lot even though she worked hard. After this letter Mary goes back home to Vermont. This is another failure of the “Lowell Experiment”. After a few years most workers decide to leave. Overall, the “Lowell Experiment” was a success. It was able to bring in many teenage girls as the labor force and kept them for several years. While most girls left eventually, they also encouraged more to come which is how come the “Lowell Experiment” was successful in providing labor for the mills.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Wealth of Nations PSA

Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations (Excerpts). Modified from the Modern History Internet Sourcebook. 1776. Fordham University. (accessed September 18, 2013).

This excerpt of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations explains Smith’s theories on the division of labor and the invisible hand of the free market. Adam Smith was a Scottish political economist in the eighteenth century, author of many acclaimed books about economics, a graduate of Oxford University, and a professor and dean of moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow. Smith also met Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and other Enlightenment thinkers that inspired his philosophies. He is also known as the father of capitalism. In this excerpt, Smith is trying to convince the reader of the benefits of a free market economy and explain how it works. This document was written in 1776; a time when the American Revolution was ending and the French Revolution was starting and people wanted freedom and no absolute ruler. In the excerpt, Smith explains how division of labor benefits the economy. It allows the production of goods to be more efficient and people to do more work because of the invention of machines and factories. He also explains how self-interest balances the economy by driving people to produce goods in a higher demand. He says that this supply and demand is only possible with division of labor. Adam Smith convinces the reader of the benefits of division of labor by using many examples and positive language.

*The second line of the citation and the entire annotation should be indented.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Luddites RAFT

The Luddites were a group of protesters in England during the Industrial Revolution who were followers of the mythical Ned Ludd. They once were skilled artisans and factory workers, but started to attack factories and destroy machines. They would cross-dress and break into factories to smash machines with hammers as a form of protest. The Luddites did not protest against the technology itself, they protested against unfair pay and working conditions. They were also opposed to the misuse of technology and wanted the world to think about how technology can hurt or help people before using it. This mock primary source is a letter from a soldier sent to protect a factory that is a potential target of the Luddites. He is writing to his cousin in America about the situation.
November 15, 1812
My dear cousin,
I am writing to inform you of the difficult times I am experiencing here in England at this time. I have just been stationed to protect a textile factory in Manchester. A group of cross-dressing terrorists called the Luddites has been destroying factories all around the area, so the factory owner has requested our assistance. Thankfully, I hear that the Luddites are not inherently violent people and have apparently only killed one man so far in their attacks. These criminals are allegedly carrying out these attacks as a form of protest towards factory conditions. In the time I have been stationed here, I have seen the dangerous working conditions and the poor workers present in these factories. While I understand why the Luddites feel a need to protest these conditions, violence is not the answer. I hope that the Luddites never attack this factory, for I do not want to have to harm them. I hear these men once worked in the factories and are good people with families to provide for. I understand their need for protest and hope it helps them somehow. However, it does not matter to me their cause because I have orders to kill any Luddites that try to attack this factory and I do not intend to defy orders and risk my life for a cause that does not affect me. I, after all, make plenty of money to support my family. I hope this situation is resolved soon and I can return home safely. I hope to visit you in America soon.
Your dear cousin

Friday, September 20, 2013

Museum Curator Reflection

Behind every museum exhibit, there is a curator and behind every artifact in the exhibit, there is extensive analysis done by the curator. In the exhibit, The Industrial Revolution Brings Poverty and Pollution, the sources were analyzed and sorted based on topic. The sourcing information and ideas conveyed by the source were also discussed. The first source is a map of England from 1715-1815. It shows major milestones in the Industrial Revolution and the population of some large cities. There are also two pictures, both sketches of various parts of life. One picture shows the pollution caused by all of the smokestacks and the dirty river. The other one shows a typical street where factory workers live. It is cramped and filthy with very small houses. Another source is a chart that shows the average income and cost of living from 1770 to 1882. There is also a document with two opposing views on industrialization and a document describing the pollution in the Thames River. The exhibit is organized so the two sources pertaining to pollution, the picture of the river and the writing about pollution, are on the left and the two sources pertaining to the condition of living, the chart of incomes and the image of the street, are on the right. The map and opposing views are in the middle because they do not fit well in the two categories and instead provide more of an overview of the situation. The exhibit is titled, The Industrial Revolution Brings Poverty and Pollution, because poverty and pollution are the two main themes of the sources. From this exhibit, visitors will learn about the negative effects of the Industrial Revolution on the environment and on working-class peoples’ daily lives.

An Era Built on the Backs of Children has information about child labor. Children under the age of ten would work in dangerous factories and mines for low wages. Even though some laws were passed with the Factory Act of 1833, they did not change much and only imposed age limits and limits on hours worked per week. Cotton and Slave Boom in the Industrial Revolution is about slaves and cotton production. From 1770 to 1860 the amount of slaves in America increased from 500 thousand to four million. Entire towns were created to make cloth and from 1830 to 1860, 80 percent of America’s cotton went to Europe. The exhibit, Before and After the Industrial Revolution Textile Industry, is about how the textile industry of England was affected by the production of cloth in factories. Before the switch to factories for production, women made cloth at home and could supplement their husbands’ earnings. After factories started to produce cloth, women stopped making it by hand and families lost the extra money. The last exhibit is Transporting the Industrial Revolution which talks about advances in transportation during the Industrial Revolution. From 1804-1825, advances were mainly in water transportation with the invention of the steamship and many canals were dug. From 1826-1853, the train was the main mode of transportation focused on and many railroads were built during that time.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Engels PSA

Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 (London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1892), pp. 45, 48-53.*

This excerpt of Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 talks about the awful working class living conditions in Manchester, England. Freidrich Engels was an author and philosopher and was one of the fathers’ of Marxism along with Karl Marx. Engels is disgusted with the conditions and blames them on the Industrial Revolution. This book was written in 1892 which was almost 50 years after the events he is talking about and near the end of the Industrial Revolution. The excerpt describes the segregation between the rich and poor in Manchester and how polluted, grimy, and cramped the poor section was. He writes how there is debris and garbage everywhere and how the whole area smells foul. He also mentions that people live in tiny, cramped one-room homes that were sometimes even floorless. The issue with his book is that it was written 50 years after the events in it occurred and it is only from the perspective of a foreign communist. Engels calls the horrifying condition of Manchester “hell upon earth” and thinks that it is an awful and inhumane place to live. He explains how it is filthy and has heaps of garbage. He also says how it all smells foul and is polluted, especially the river. The cramped living quarters are also described. Freidrich Engels is trying to convince the reader of how it is inhumane to subject people to such an uncivilized way of life.

*The second line of the citation and the entire anotation should be indented.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Syria Socratic Seminar

The situation in Syria is critical right now and is threatening the security not only of itself, but of the rest of the world as well. The participants seemed to realize this and most of the details of what is going on. They knew all of the numbers involving the chemical attack on August 21 in Damascus and basic facts about Syria and the attack. The participants focused mainly on the possibility of some sort of military attack and what would be related to it. They did not spend much time, however, on whether or not it was Assad’s government behind the chemical attack and accepted as fact that he was responsible. The participants also mentioned who was involved, especially the parties with links to extremist groups. They covered all of the basic facts and talked about many different issues and possible solutions.

Out of the eleven participants, eight were in favor of some sort of intervention, but only four supported military intervention. Arguments against military intervention included that there was no proof that it could successfully create a democracy, weapons could fall in the hands of extremists, and troops would just cause death and financial problems. People were equally against a drone strike and argued that they posed a threat to civilians, could cause a chemical leakage, and even that they are unfair and a war crime. For both boots on ground and drone strikes people feared Ass ad could retaliate and attack other countries. A pro given for drone strikes is that it is the best option for destroying weapon stores. A better received option was for economic sanctions and to support refugees. For economic sanctions, it would be difficult due to Russian vetoes and would only delay the conflict. It is too late for it to be of much help. Most people were in favor of aiding refugees, but decided a line would need to be drawn between aiding and arming.

This meeting went very well. The discussion flowed and avoided long pauses while also allowing everyone to voice their thoughts. It was overall very productive and a lot was discussed.

The participants were too dismissive of the possibility of a drone strike. They called it a danger to civilians even though technology has reached the point that rockets are accurate within inches of their target. The strikes are completely safe it is only the intelligence that can pose a danger. Also, people were afraid of chemical leakage even though the military’s plans are to take out delivery devices not the chemicals themselves. Someone even called a drone strike unfair and a war crime. This is completely wrong because no government in the world considers drones a war crime. Drones however are the best way to eliminate weapons and pose the least of a threat to US military. Unlike a boots on the ground approach, which will cause many US soldiers to die, and humanitarian support, which is just useful as a supplement to another solution, drone strikes are the most viable solution.