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.