Monday, December 16, 2013

Nineteenth Century Protestant Revival

The protestant revival caused a great renewal of love for god in the common people of the time. The new ideas of revivalists appealed to many people. One method of getting this new message out to the masses was by having massive "camp meetings." These were events in which a stage was built, and a preacher would spout holy fire for thousands of listeners to hear. These events could last days, and even as long as a week in some cases.
Religious Camp Meeting
By J. Maze Burbank, 1839
J. Maze Burbank was an artist of relatively high esteem at the time. He exhibited this watercolor in the Royal Society in London. However, it is unknown what specific preacher this was, when it occurred or where it occurred. Because the creator of this painting had no known religious bias, it is assumed that he was painting this from a neutral point of view. Burbank described the watercolor as, "a camp meeting, or religious revival in America, from a sketch taken on the spot." When this painting was produced, the Protestant Revival was sweeping across the nation, and especially in the Northeast. Preachers and revivalists such as Lyman Beecher and Charles Grandison Finney were important figures in the revival movement. We can see from this painting that the speakers at the camp meetings were very powerful and sent a strong message. There are people in the crowd weeping, rejoicing and everywhere in between. However, this painting shows just one camp meeting, and there were likely hundreds throughout the protestant revival movement. We are not able to see whether all camp meetings were so emotional as this one. The author was not trying to convince us of anything, for he was simply recording the events that transcribed at this event.

J. Maze Burbank, Religious Camp Meeting, Watercolor, 1839, Old Dartmouth Historical Society-New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Massachusetts

Monday, November 25, 2013

Andrew Jackson: Democratic or Not?

Andrew Jackson The Great Father of The Indians
This painting is a satire on the removal of indians during the Jackson administration. The controversy of Indian Removal first arose when the Americans were "running out of room" in the east. The American leaders, including President Jackson believed that they needed to expand to the west in order for the United states to continue to grow. Jackson also said that America would be better off with white people throughout, instead of the "savages" (native americans) who currently live there. Andrew Jackson tells the indians that it would be in their best interests to leave where they are and head farther west. He tells them that the migration would be voluntary, but in reality he forces them to leave. Some tribes that refuse to leave have to be shut out and destroyed by Jackson. However, from the point of view of the indians, specifically the Cherokee, this is an unfair proposal. They have already taken many steps to integrate into the American society, and they have not broken any laws or infringed on other people's rights. They wish to remain on the lands that their ancestors have lived on for countless generations. Finally, they raise the point that the land in the west will be unsuitable for the Cherokee lifestyle, and they will be in danger. However, Jackson is ignorant of this fact, and forces the indians to leave along the "trail of tears." Along this "trail of tears," over 2000 Cherokees died, and they were forced to walk hundreds of miles. Throughout this whole ordeal, Jackson claimed that he was acting like the "Great white father" to the natives. It is unclear whether he was delusional in thinking that he was helping the natives, or if he was just trying to maintain his democratic image with the American people.
This artist seems to be portraying Jackson in exactly the way that Jackson thinks he is treating the indian people. However, the scene is so childish, that it seems that the artist is poking fun at Jackson's idea of being a "Great father" to the indians. In my opinion, Andrew Jackson definitely does not deserve the "people's president" reputation that he has. He treated the Cherokees and other indian groups brutally, and essentially deported them to a strange land. Although this may have been good for the whites of America, a true democracy includes everyone, and is fair and equal to all. This was clearly not the case in Jacksonian America.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nineteenth Century American Democracy

Although America has long been portrayed as a "beacon of democracy," The United States was not always as democratic as it is today. As a fledgling country, America was far from a true democracy.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of democracy is:
"1: a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting
2: an organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights"
This is a good definition for democracy, however it is vital that the second part of this definition be followed strictly to maintain a true democracy. All people, no matter what the social or economic class, should have the same rights as all other people. Someone's beliefs or their appearance should not govern how they are treated. However, these things were often not the case in the early stages of American democracy.
In the 19th century, The United States were not completely democratic. In a 1852 painting by George Bingam, he depicts some of the flaws of the American "democratic" election system.
The County Election - George Bingam, 1852
One flaw portrayed in this painting is the presence of the men up for election. He is standing next to the voting stand and attempting to convince the voters to vote for him. Another flaw with this system is that people are forced to say their votes out loud, and that they are not sure that the name that they say is actually being written down. The man in the red shirt in the top/middle of the painting is saying his choice, and the men on the porch to the right are writing down his vote. One vital part of this painting is the man in the bottom right. He is slumped over and has a bandage, as if he was just in a fight. This shows that even though the system is democratic and is supposed to please everyone, it is not always peaceful and people do get hurt. Finally, only men are present in this picture, showing that women were not allowed to vote, or take any part in the "democratic" process.
The democracy of 19th century America was also restricted by strict voting regulations. In order to vote, one must: be white, be a male, and must own $50 of property. This vastly restricted the amount of people who could vote. In 1816, presidential electors were not elected by the people, they were all elected by legislature, therefore making the government highly undemocratic. Through time, however more states began to have the electors chosen by people's vote. By 1836, all electors were elected by the people, except in South Carolina. The American "democratic" system was far from democratic in the 19th century. There were many restrictions in voting that made it so that only certain few people could vote.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Pilgrim in a Rocky Valley
Carl Gustav 1820
Romanticism was a cultural and artistic movement during the nineteenth and early eighteenth centuries. Romanticism led to developments in literature, music and visual arts due to reactions to the order imposed in the enlightenment. There were five main artistic focuses of the enlightenment: awe of nature, emotion, importance of individual, grotesque/horrific, and irrationality.
This painting is a prime example of Romantic ideals. This painting shows: awe of nature, importance of the individual, emotion, and irrationality. Awe of nature is shown in the way that the landscape is depicted. The walls of the valley are fantastic and awe-inspiring; they are massive and looming. The star in the sky adds to the beauty of nature. Importance of the individual is shown by the sole pilgrim in the painting, he is the clear focus of this painting. Emotion is invoked by this painting by the humbling size and scale of the mountains. This makes the observer feel small, but also makes them appreciate nature. The pilgrim in the middle of the painting appears to be motionless, almost as if reflecting on himself. Irrationality is shown by the presence of the pilgrim in this seemingly isolated valley. What is he doing there? How did he get there?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Revolutions of 1830 and 1848

Most of the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 were failures, just as most historians conclude. Nearly every rebellion was crushed, and any gains made during the revolutions were lost. Thousands of rebels, and government forces lost their lives in bloody, unproductive wars.
One of these such wars was the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. This revolution was led by Louis Kossuth, and consisted primarily of Hungarian students and young adults rebelling against the foreign Austrian rule. The revolution gained ground temporarily, when Metternich was forced to flee Austria. When this happened, the Austrian emperor was forced to concede to the requests of the rebels. This revolution was powered by a strong nationalist movement, this is an excerpt from the Hungarian National song, "We truly swear the tyrant's yoke/ No more to bear!/ A miserable wretch is he/ Whofears to die, my land, for thee!/ His worthless life who thinks to be/ Worthmore than thou, sweet liberty!" This fierce nationalism, led by Kossuth did not last forever. The Russian Tzar used the principle of intervention and assisted the Austrians in crushing the rebellion.
This shows Russia and Austria "Overwhelming the Hydra of the Revolution"
The country was reverted almost entirely back to how it was pre-revolution, however, Metternich never did return to power. The revolution was rated to be a 2/5 on the success scale.

Another rebellion was the Frankfurt Assembly of 1848-49, this rebellion was a liberal, nationalist movement. The rebellion was against the conservative government and forces of Fredrick William IV of Germany. The rebellion was very successful for almost a year, a constitutional monarchy was established. However, after some time, Fredrick William IV rejected the constitution and put down the rebellion. Many people either died, were imprisoned, or fled the country. This image shows that Fredrick William did not believe that a piece of paper should diminish his power.
The Frankfurt Assembly was temporarily successful, but it was eventually crushed and all change accomplished was reverted, so it was rated a 2.5/5 on the success scale.
Yet another rebellion was the Decembrist Revolt of 1825. This revolution took place in Russia. The goals of this revolution were to make the system of rule more liberal, a written constitution, and social reform. However, their opponents, Tzar Nicholas and the Russian government had other things in mind. Tzar Nicholas says, “The leaders and the instigators of the conspiracy will be dealt with without pity, without mercy.  The law demands retribution and, in their cases, I will not use my power to grant mercy.  I will be unbending; it is my duty to give this lesson to Russia and to Europe.” The revolution was a complete failure, nearly all of the rebels are killed and the Russian Government instates even tighter restrictions. The revolution was poorly planned and spontaneous, this caused it to be stopped easily. This revolution was rated a 0.5/5.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Monroe Doctorine

The United States reacted with strong opposition to the strongly conservative ideologies of the Quintuple Alliance. The Americans felt threatened by the settling of Russian people in the north-west of the American Continent. In the Monroe doctrine, he says "It is only when our rights are invaded, or seriously menaced, that we resent injuries, or make preparation for our defence. With the movements in this hemisphere, we are, of necessity, more immediately connected." This means that the Americans now feel more connected to the politics of Europe, now that a major European power is again attempting to colonize America. Before the advances of Russia on the north-west territories, Americans were able to take a spectators role, and avoid conflict. In response to the Latin American Revolutions, the European powers were proposing to use the principle of intervention to put down many of the rebellions and reinstate a European ruler for each colony. The United States strongly disagrees with this, Monroe says, "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." This means that if any European power attempts to re-conquer any of the Latin American countries, then the Americans will take this a direct threat, and will take action.
The Latin American Revolutionary
Latin American Revolutionaries were pleased with the American stance in the Monroe Doctrine. The Revolutionaries would have been happy that the Americans are preventing the Russians from settling in America, because they are part of the Holy Alliance, and would be closer to the Latin American countries. The Latin American leaders were grateful for the protection offered by America, however, they were wary because the Americans may attempt to influence the new countries. Finally, the Americans were remaining relatively neutral towards Europe, therefore maintaing stability, and the safety of all people.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Congress of Vienna

Klemens Von Metternich was an integral member of the congress of Vienna. He was the representative from Austria, and because the congress took place in Austria, he had great control over the proceedings.
Klemens Von Metternich

The congress decided upon four important ideas: a balance of power, the principle of legitimacy, the holy alliance, and the principle of intervention. The principle of intervention was agreed upon by all countries present except England. This principle meant that if a revolution was ever to begin in any country, then the armies of the other countries in the alliance would help them to put down the rebellion and restore order. The members of the congress of Vienna recognized that war was bad not only for their own countries, but that it also caused instability in all surrounding countries. The revolutions that were prevented or stopped were often intended to remove the monarch, and this was against the intentions of the congress of Vienna, so the monarch was reinstated after the rebellion was crushed. Not all rebellions that occurred were stopped before damage was done, in 1848 a revolution occurred in Vienna and caused Metternich himself to be rousted from power. This principle of intervention pleased all of the rulers because it helped them retain power and keep a stable society. The congress of Vienna resulted in many new rules that benefited the peace of Europe, and the well-being of the aristocracy. However, in many cases, the people were not given a constitutional monarch, so they still had no say in government.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Political Ideologies of the 19th Century


Conservatism in the 19th century, was a political ideology that favored returning to they ways of tradition, and avoiding change. Our vine shows the riotous behavior of the common people (Thomas), when they are given power. The conservatives used the French Revolution as a prime example of what would happen if there is no strong monarchy. Then the two rulers (Ellie and Parker) state that the riots are a reason that common people can not be left in charge of themselves. Next, a scientist is discovering new things, and bringing new ideas and knowledge into light. However, the conservatives were very stuck in their ways, and often used religion as a reason to keep to tradition. [Parker hits the apple (gravity/science) with a bible]. One main idea of conservatism is that social action should not be taken, conservatives opposed innovation and reform. The conservatives claimed that the French Revolution was a result of radical social and political reform, and so these things should be avoided. The political action that was promoted by conservatives was reinstating the old monarchies. The supporters of conservative ideas were usually the aristocrats.
Liberalism was an ideology that greatly contradicted the views of conservatives. Liberals believed that social and political reform were necessary for the advancement of the people. The liberals wanted "God-given, natural rights and laws that men could discern through the use of reason." The liberals supported a constitutional monarchy instead of absolute rulers. Many of the supporters of liberalism were members of the middle class. Nationalism was a belief that grew from a feeling of unity within a country while they were occupied by France. The people of the country saw their lack of unity as a weakness that allowed them to get conquered, and they developed a idea that a stronger nation is one that is bound together by language, customs and history. They believed that national unification was necessary and that foreign rulers must be removed.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Why Was America More Prepared For Independence Than Other Atlantic Colonies

There were a myriad of factors that contributed to the relative success of the American Revolution compared to other Atlantic revolutions around the same time. The driving force behind the revolutions played a large factor in the degree of success for each revolution.
A major reason for the success of the American Revolution, was the lack of widespread racial tension and violence. In America, the black population made up only a third of the total in the south, and under 5% in the north. 

This meant that the leaders of the colonies and the revolution were 
able to ignore the needs and opinions of the blacks. Although this is morally wrong, it allowed the country as a whole to stay more united with a similar purpose. Even though many Americans felt uneasy about the enslavement of blacks, they realized that in order to succeed in this revolution, they needed to focus solely on their goal of economic and political independence from Britain. On the other hand, in the Latin American revolutions, the racial and political tensions were the driving force behind the revolutions. In Haiti up to two thirds of the population was enslaved blacks; this meant that the minority had most of the power. The rebellions often "revealed the simmering fury of an oppressed people" who fought back, very violently after hundreds of years of enslavement. The Latin American revolutions often attempted to accomplish social reform, economic reform, and political independence all at the same time. This was overwhelming for the fledgling governments and many of the countries became poor.
The way that America had been treated by Britain also differed greatly from how the Latin American countries were treated by their mother countries. The Reparations that were imposed (or not imposed) and the relationships with the former colonial powers differed from country to country. After the American Revolution, the Americans and the British were able to form a treaty that helped satisfy the needs and wants of both sides of the war. The Americans agreed to make peace with loyalists still in the country and to return their goods to them. The King of England offered that if any British loyalist wished to leave America, that they would pay for the transportation and for any lost goods. However, in Latin America, especially Haiti, the relationship between them and their mother country was not as rosy. The French government demanded that an "independence debt" be paid to France to compensate for the goods (mostly slaves) lost in the revolution. This was an unlawful debt to impose, and the amount that was charged was ten times that of Haiti's annual income. This left that Haitian people and government poor and weak from this crippling debt. America was in a much easier situation because they had not been exploited by Britain.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Haitian Revolution

When the people of Haiti finally earned their freedom for French control, their welcome into the world was far less than satisfactory. When the Haitians successfully repelled the French attack, and declared themselves an independent nation, they were nearly ignored by the rest of the world. The other nearby newly independent nation, The United States, refused to recognize Haiti as a country, and did not trade as openly with them. Thomas Jefferson was afraid that if the ideas of a slave uprising, as had happened in Haiti spread to the united states, then there would be chaos. Haiti was not recognized by the united states until 1862, six decades after the revolution took place. The French government was still not pleased that they had lost Haiti, so they decided to impose a "independence debt" on the Haitian government.
Haitian Rebels Fight off French Troops
The lack of support and interaction with other countries in the world dealt a heavy blow to the new country of Haiti. The lack of trade with this new country caused the economy to fall to ruin, and poverty was rampant. When the French instated the "independence debt" the people had to way to resist the unlawful fee that they were being force to pay; they had no allies in the area, they were unable to resist the French. The Haitian people had no other option than to pay the 90 million gold francs (6 times the annual income of Haiti) because the french fleet was stationed in the bay, threatening re-enslavement. The reception, or lack thereof, of the new Haitian country caused it to be crippled by economic problems, and instability, the effects of which can still be seen today.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Napoleon Bonaparte undeniably left a resounding impact on all of Europe. His actions of conquering other countries, changing governments, stripping down old social orders, and instating new economies was revolutionary.

Each country Napoleon conquered, he removed the old monarchy, or the Ancien Regime, which were governments ruled by hereditary kings. He abolished the old monarchies and allowed for more of a free-form government. This allowed for more prosperity and freedom in the people of these countries. This government system lasted until Napoleon was defeated. However, when the old monarchies were reinstated, there was much resistance against the form of government that was "going backwards." The old monarchies were too weak to defend against attacks, and they were not ideal for the people.

Napoleon completely redesigned the social orders, not only in France, but also in conquered countries. He was opposed to the rich, upper class having a large sum of the money, and oppressing the poorer classes. This made him vastly unpopular with the bourgeoise of every country. One member of nobility in France,  Madame de Stael said that, "his profound contempt for all the intellectual riches of human nature: virtue, dignity, religion enthusiasm; in his eyes they are 'the eternal enemies of the continent.'" This shows the opinion that the upper class had for him because his removal of many arts and leisure activies from society primarily affected the rich. When the old rulers were removed, many of their laws went with them. People in the countries he conquered had more freedom and rights than they did under their old rulers. For this reason, Napoleon was seen in a positive light by many of his conquered people.
This depiction of Napoleon clearly shows a powerful, respected ruler
This made them very reluctant to changing back to the old government when Napoleon was defeated. The freedom they felt under Napoleon laid the seed for many revolutions that were to come later.

Napoleon's impact on other countries also included economic reforms. In the Ancien Regime the economies were strictly operated by the government and most of the money was controlled by the upper class. This meant that the lower classes were suffering under the strict laws of trade that prevented them from making as much of a profit as they could. One of Napoleon's generals, Marshal Michel Ney says, "The times are gone when the people were governed by suppressing their rights." Under Napoleon, the trading was much more open and the wealth was distributed more between the people. For all of these reasons Napoleon is seen often in differing lights; sometimes as a great leader in reforms, and sometimes as a ruthless conqueror. Regardless of your opinion, it is evident that he had a tremendous impact on the world.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Great Britain & U.S. Comparison

During the industrial revolutions in Britain and in the Unites States, the conditions were very different for workers and for industrialists. Industrialists (factory owners and upper level employees) were more likely to succeed in Britain. One factor that made industrialists more successful was the plentiful supply of cheap labor. The industrial revolution forced many women who were spinning wool at home to work in the factories. The factories were making textile goods for cheaper, so women were no longer able to sell their goods. This meant that women and many children had to work in the mills to make money. There were no other alternatives for income, so the factories were able to pay them very little money. In Britain, there was not enough land available that the common people could farm their own land and support themselves, so they had no option but to work. In Britain, the advanced technologies of textile production allowed the factory owners to make a significant amount of money. They then used part of this money to help "persuade" government officials to not make labor laws. This meant that the industrialists were insuring their own success. Even though the workers were living and working in derelict conditions, there were no laws that required these conditions to change, and the factory owners did not care. 
Young children were forced to work in the dangerous mills
For the workers, their experience was not ideal no matter where they were working, but in America, the conditions were better. In America, specifically Lowell, the mills and the city surrounding them were considerably cleaner and more organized than the factories in Britain. This is not because the industrialists were better people, it is because they had to be in order to attract workers. In America, the availability of very cheap labor was not as plentiful. People had more alternatives to factory work; there was so much available land out west, that if people wanted to claim their own land, they could. This meant that the people were not as desperate for work as they were in Britain, so the conditions and the pay had to be more appealing. The workers in Lowell were primarily young women. They were the cheapest to hire, and the easiest to control. However, often the factories had to convince the father of the women to let them go to the mills, this meant that the factories would have to at least seem attractive. The working conditions in Lowell were less extreme than in Britain. The work day was still painfully long, but there was some time given for social activities. Most of all the conditions were clean and organized, the women were given housing and food which is a vast improvement over the filthy streets of Manchester.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Lowell Experiment: A Success or a Failure?

For the thousands of girls who worked in the Lowell Mills during the American Industrial revolution, their experiences greatly shaped who they were, what they became, and their outlook on life. The impact of their tough work in the mills, as a whole, made the girls more independent and hard working than other women who did not share the same experiences as them. For the mill owners, the amount of financial success was staggering, they expanded factories into multiple cities and made even more money. From a social and humanitarian standpoint, the mills were still a poor place for anyone to work, let alone young girls.
Before Mary Paul left home to go work in Lowell, she wrote that,
"I want you to consent to let me go to Lowell if you can. I think it would be much better for me than to stay about here."
 She was expecting a place where she could earn her own money, buy her own things, and still send home some money to help support her family. At first she was pleased with her conditions, 
"We found a place in a spinning room and the next morning I went to work. I like very well"
 She was befriending many of the other girls, who were there for much the same reason that she was, and she seemed satisfied with her new working conditions. However, as the months drag on, her tone in the letters changes. Her pay is not amounting to what she wishes it would be. She is forced to spend much of it on board, and the rest on necessities. However, during this time she is still working hard and learning the value of hard work and independence. Throughout the final months of her living in the mills, she falls ill often and is unable to work very well. In her final letter she writes, 
"I have not been able to do much, although I have worked very hard."
 This shows her determination to make good out of what she has been given. Mary, along with many other mill girls, departs from the mills a strong, independent and determined young woman. Many of these mill girls were so deeply effected by their experiences at the mills; some of which were good, while some were bad, that they became activists for women's rights in their adulthood. The overall impact on the girls in the mills is that, while they may not have felt successful at the mills, their lessons learned from hard work at the mills helped them to succeed in life. 
The owners of the Lowell mills became very rich men, at the expense of a cheap labor force. The product that the mills put out was easier to make, so more could be sold, and at a lower price. This meant that more people were buying the goods from American factories, and less goods from other countries. This in turn led to a boosted economy which was good for everyone, but especially the mill owners. Because they hired almost exclusively young women, which were the cheapest section of the work force, the owners were able to keep much more money for themselves. The massive profits came at the cost of living and working conditions for the young women.
The living conditions, although far better than those in mills in Britain, are still deplorable. The girls were forced to live multiple people for a small room, and the work hours were unbearably long. At first Mary was pleased with her living and working conditions, she writes, 
"I get along in work have a first rate overseer and a very good boarding place." 
She is doing well in work and likes where she is living. However, as time goes on, she begins to realize that things are more treacherous than they initially seemed. In a later letter she writes, 
"My life and health are spared while others are cut off. Last Thursday one girl fell down and broke her neck which caused instant death... The same day a man was killed by the [railroad] cars. Another had nearly all of his ribs broken. Another was nearly killed by falling down and having a bale of cotton fall on him." This shows her fear of injury, and the real presence of danger in everyday life at the mills. For the owners of the mills, it was cheaper to have mills where accidents occurred 'infrequently' than to spend money to make sure that people were always safe. 
The Lowell experiment was both a success and a failure. For America as a whole, the factories in Lowell helped to advance our country industrially, economically, and to inspire some women to take active roles in women's and worker's rights. However, for the poor girls who were forced to work in these mills, many of them had no other option and were trapped in this system that gave them little to no pay.
The Lowell Mills - 1858
A place of constant motion and production

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Marx PSA

Marx, Karl and Frederich Engels. The Communist Manifesto.  Modified from the Avalon Project.  1848.                      Yale University. September 18, 2013).

Karl Marx was a Prussian (German) born philosopher, author and economic revolutionary. He was born in 1818 and his father intended him to be a law major, but he had disciplinary problems at the Universities and decided to pursue literature and philosophy.  Two of his greatest influences was Georg Wilhelm Friedrich von Hegel, and Ludwig Feuerbach, who each had contrasting ideas on how the world functioned. Marx combined their ideas to develop his idea of dialectical materialism. Marx's most important acquaintance during his life was Friedrich Engles, who often supported Marx with money. Marx's most famous work, The Communist Manifesto was written in 1848 protesting the current economic and social system which he believed was trapping the proletarians (commoners) under to overwhelming power of the bourgeoisie (upper class). Marx's personal experiences with financial troubles and personal loss (4 of his 7 children died and his wife suffered a great mental toll) vastly influenced his desire for change to the system. His biased point of view, although it contributes to the document, also limits it, due to it's one sidedness. Marx uses a myriad of words and phrases that all are anti-bourgeoisie. He compares the bourgeoisie to the proletarians using "freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf... oppressor and oppressed." He wishes to abolish all property that is owned by the bourgeoisie and distribute all wealth evenly between all people. In the final words of the Manifesto, Marx calls for all proletarians to unite against the bourgeoisie.

**** the large paragraph should be indented to the right one tab

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Luddites: Taking Sides

During the British Industrial Revolution, not all were happy and ecstatic with the new advances in technology. There was a group of people, who were unhappy with the use of these new technologies. The Luddites, as they were called, often raided factories that contained the frames that made textile goods. The Luddites were men, who before the industrial revolution were skilled weavers, mechanics or other artisans. They took their name from their claimed founder, "King Ludd" in truth, Ned Ludd was a worker in a factory who in a fit of rage, smashed two knitting frames. They did not inherently dislike technology, but they strongly disapproved of the use of this technology to make lower quality goods and to pay workers less. They believed that the technology should be used to improve the lives of all people: the workers, the consumers and the society. However, the owners of these factories were making much more money than they needed and were not sufficiently paying their workers. They luddites wanted to punish the factory owners for their "crimes." The Luddites almost never attacked people directly, and most of the blood that was shed during this time period was soldiers killing Luddites out of fear. We can learn from the Luddites to think about technology, is it truly helping us, or is it just absorbing part of our life? The following paragraph is a mock primary source letter that is written from the point of view of  a skilled weaver to their cousin in America.
"King Ludd" The Mythical Leader of the Luddites

Dearest Cousin John,
Here in England, we are enveloped in a state of turmoil, an "Industrial Revolution" is occurring and I, for one am not sure it is for the better. There are massive, loud machines lined up by the hundreds in factories, that work day and night, fabricating textiles and other goods. They employ small children who often get injured or killed by their moving pieces. Worst of all, the goods they make are scrappy and cheap. The workers on the machines get paid even less than before. However, there is a ray of hope, a group of men, who call themselves the Luddites are protesting these atrocities. They hate the lower wages and dangerous working conditions; and much like me, they are losing their jobs to these newfound machines. The Luddites sneak into factories at night, or even in broad daylight, and destroy these horrid machines that are disrupting our wellbeing. This industrialization has cut my profits in half, and I am now in serious need of basic necessities. The factories produce similar goods as I do, and they sell it for cheaper. My skills are nearly obsolete due to these wretched beasts in the factories. I am going to join in this Luddite rage against the machines. I promise to personally destroy dozens of frames, in order to preserve mine, and other's jobs. This may be dangerous work, and this may be the last you ever hear from me. Wish me luck, and tell the family that I love them.
Yours Truly, William Webb

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Museum Curator Project

Group A: Vanessa Navin, Melanie La, Thomas Peacock, Adam Bergeron, Parker Webb

My group was assigned six sources that displayed information about the evolving textile industry during the industrial revolution of Britain. We first analyzed each source for it's significance in relation to the developing textile industry and its impact on the common family. Source one (top left) was determined to be a display of how cotton was spun into thread before the industrial revolution. This source shows that a source of income for cottage families was making goods from textiles. However, source two (top right) displays a spinning jenny; this machine would be present in a factory, powered by anyone or possibly by water power. This had the effect of removing a source of income from the cottage families. Sources three (middle left) and four (middle right) have a similar relationship. Source three is a hand loom that would be present in the home of a textile maker, but when the industrial revolution began, the presence of power looms (like in source four) make it unprofitable for commoners to make cloth goods at home. This also decreased the income of the average person in England, and contributed to poverty. Source five (bottom left) shows the exponential growth of the population of London, from 1800 to 1914. This massive population growth was caused because the common people of England were forced to move to the city for jobs. They were no longer able to make money in their homes so they had to find a new occupation. The final source (bottom right) summarizes the impact of industrialization on the cottage families. 
The title for our project was determined by the relationships between our sources and the topic of the sources. Two of our sources showed technologies for textiles before the industrial revolution and two others showed the technology during the industrial revolution. The focus of our sources was the effects of the innovations in textile technologies on the family life in England.
We intended for all visitors of our group to learn that the industrial revolution was not necessarily good for all people. In fact it caused an increase in poverty and took many jobs from the skilled women who wove clothes at home. The textile revolution caused millions of people to be forced to cities in order to find jobs that they had lost to factories.  

Transporting the Industrial Revolution:
From this group we were able to learn about the necessary expansion and innovation of transportation due to the industrial revolution. The revolution caused many more goods to be available, this meant that these goods had to be transported, fast. The British made a intricate system of railways and canals in order to expedite the shipping process.

The Industrial Revolution Brings Poverty and Pollution:
This project showed us some serious negative impacts of the industrial revolution. One problem was that the thames river was heavily polluted. Another impact was that the wages of workers fell, but the cost of living continued to rise. This caused extreme, widespread poverty.

An Era Built on the Backs of Children:
From this poster we learned that thousands of children were forced to work in very dangerous and often lethal conditions during the industrial revolutions. In cotton factories, nearly 50% of the workers were under 10 years old, and they were working with equipment that could kill or seriously injure all of them. Many young children were also forced to work in coal mines, in constant danger of death by collapse. It took until 1883 for a preliminary law against extreme child labor came into effect.

Cotton and Slave Boom in the Industrial Revolution:
This exhibit showed that the industrial revolution caused even more slaves to be brought to America. England had more need for cotton, so America needed more workers for the fields. This picture shows that the industrial revolution truly depended on the work of slaves in order to be successful.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Engels PSA Assignment

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

Friedrich Engels was a German-born philosopher, author, and social scientist. He was a friend of Karl Marx’s, and together they formed the basis of Marxism as it is today. Engels wrote The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 in order to expose the abysmal conditions that the workers of England were working in. Engels is a believable source due to his reputation as “the finest scholar and teacher... in the whole civilized world.” This was written while Engels was observing the situation in Manchester. He was a first hand view and he was writing things as soon as he observed them. There is little reason for inaccuracy due to the book being written continuously while he was in Manchester. When the document was produced the industrial revolution was in full swing in Britain. Hundreds of thousands of people were moving to cities for work and were thrown into terrible living conditions. This document teaches us that for the people who made the industrial revolution happen, life was one step away from a living hell. Some limitations of this source are that there is only one point of view; some other people may have had different opinions. There is no point of view from the workers in the industrial revolution, only from the detached observer, Engels. In his opinion, the situation for working people is completely uncivilized and filthy. He uses a multitude of words to describe to unprecedented dirt and grime. Engels was successful in showing, through words, the unacceptable condition that many British commoners are living in.

**** The large paragraph should be indented over one tab.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

United Nations Advisory Council

At the United Nations (UN) Advisory Council meeting on friday the twelve members discussed the roiling state of the Syrian country. The events of the past two weeks, the roots of this conflict, and possible resolutions were reviewed and discussed. Each advisory council member appeared to have an exemplary grasp on the situation in Syria as it is today. There was a unanimous agreement that the use of the chemical weapon sarin is morally wrong and an international war crime.  The death toll was said to be 1429. The Assad Regime is the main governing body of Syria, and the Syrian National Council is the leading group for the rebellion. Most representatives agreed that action should be taken, but many were wary of taking direct military action.
Many variables that had to be taken into account before any discussion about taking action occurred. Not all members were convinced that Assad carried out the chemical attack. Evidence that was proposed was that when Secretary of State John Kerry requested for the Syrian government to leave that site of attack open for investigation, they obliterated the site with devastating artillery. To many this is enough, but for some, especially those sympathetic to Syria, a confession or other hard evidence is required. Many members were against the Syrian government was because of it dictatorial nature and history. When Bahsar "ran" for president, there was no opposition, and he won with 97% of the vote. This indicates an unfair election and a fake democracy. 
The first proposed method of intervention was a direct military intervention. This would involve soldiers, missile strikes, air superiority. This could cause much more problems than it has the potential to solve. Even if Assad is routed, the people could elect someone who is unfit to rule. Assad also released a statement that if military action is taken, then they, along with Iran will attack the UN troops and possibly even Israel. 
Another proposition was to threaten drone strikes and weapon inspection (and destruction). The representatives were not pleased with this proposed course of action either.  The members were afraid of the near inevitable collateral damage from drone strikes, if a chemical weapon was hit with a drone strike it would cause unspeakable devastation.
The final proposed course of action was to impose international economic sanctions against Syria and to aid the refugees. This was the most widely accepted proposal. It was said that this will help with the deplorable conditions that the hundreds of thousands of refugees are living in every day. However, it is believed that the economic sanctions would just slow down the inevitable conflict. The humanitarian effort to help the refugees was near unanimously seen as a good idea.
This is truly a crisis that is affecting everyone across the world, and a resolution is needed soon. We, the human race, can not sit by and wait while innocent civilians, even children, who had their whole lives ahead of them, are being mercilessly slaughtered.