Monthly Archives: July 2007

Failure of Tudor Rebellions

The majority of rebellions during Tudor England – 1485-1603 – did not carry out their principal objectives and reasons of this can be harshly classified by category in consequence of the weakness in the rebellion, or of the force of the reigning monarch. For example the poor control of a revolt beside the purely localised complaints would not have probably led to a successful rebellion and can be seen like defect of the rebels. On the one hand the stability and the force of the government would also lead to an easy defeat of risings. However, it would not be right to declare that all the rebellions not were successful; friendly Grant of 1525 is an example of retirement of government like direct consequence of revolt. Moreover, it would be simplistic to allege that the military defeat of a rebellion constitutes the revolt like failure automatically. Instead of that the principal objectives of much of rebellions to express the dissatisfaction bus with the demonstrations and not to pose a direct challenge on the diet. Consequently, though the rebels were demolished in the battle and were thus a failure, the rebels would have carried out their objectives by raising the conscience and as the comrades of historian says carried them, “their complaints with the knowledge of the government”.

The poor control of the rebellion can be seen as influencing factor if the rebels could carry out their objectives. The rebellion of the Scandinavian counts in 1569 and to rise of Oxfordshire of the exposure a 1596 effective lack of control which on the first evaluation would seem crucial for the successful revolt. It was said that the counts de Westmoreland and of Northumberland are undecided which could explain the difficulties that they had by receiving the support apart from their room – a fine lack of rebellious numbers could have played a part of determination in the results of the rebellion. Interesting, this tendency of poor control in the last part of the dynasty of Tudor can probably be dependent with the hesitation of people of the high society which, after 1549 became more and more less laid out to imply themselves of the open rebellion. Because the nobility were traditionally the chiefs of the revolt, this could explain the following lack of control. However, two rebellions – the friendly rebellion of Grant of 1525 and Kett of 1549 -, for various reasons, defy the idea that control was principal to the rebels carrying out their principal objectives. The chief of the rebellion Robert Kett de Kett which, because the word of Fletcher and MacCulloch was a chief inspired by “”, is an example of the failure of the revolt in spite of the dynamic order. Reciprocally the friendly rebellion of Grant was without identified chief. However, the rebellion can be seen as a one the most succeeded of throughout the period of Tudor while the rebels largely succeeded in resisting the attempts at government for another tax. It must thus conclude that control was not crucial while determining if the rebels carried out their principal objectives, as the examples exist rebellions failed with the dynamic chiefs and the successful revolts carried out by the masses.

A device which enters far while explaining why many rebellions did not carry out their principal objectives is that the complaints of the rebel consider mainly localised complaints. In all the reigns of the rebellions of monarchs of Tudor aiming at the local government, the land questions or religious meant that the support could not be increased apart from immediate sector, because the men of the people would have felt little constraint to revolt against nonrelevant questions with their lives. Yorkshire and the rebellions cornouaillaises for the period of Henry VII are examples of at which point the interested people were with their room and that they did not look at England like “entirety”. The complaints of the rebels cornouaillais in 1497 were directed to the advisers mauvais’ Morton of `and with the bawling, while they were offended by the application of the tax to demolish Warbeck in Scotland while the question was so distant it seemed unimportant. Later during the time it is plausible to look at the failure of the Westerner and the rebellions of Kett because an incapacity to coordinate as, had linked as a one, they could have made greater pressure on the government and could have succeeded in carrying out their principal objectives. To promote to reinforce the argument which them national questions in opposition to the localised objectives was integral with the successful revolt is the friendly rebellion of Grant which saw the country going up upwards against the tax required by Henry VIII for placer son invasion de la France. Les rebelles ont réussi en vigueur d’Henry abandonner complètement le Grant amical et leurs accomplissements sont dus en partie du refus au-dessus de beaucoup de comtés tels qu’East Anglia, Kent et crucialement Londres pour payer l’impôt. L’aversion pour l’impôt était un grief national – un que beaucoup pourraient allier au moment – et en conséquence ces comtés déjà dans la révolte ont eu l’effet de remplir de combustible la rébellion pendant que d’autres étaient alors encouragés à suivre le mouvement. L’incapacité de l’homme du peuple de regarder au delà des réclamations localisées et de ne pas exploiter des soucis de national pendant que les moyens d’unir le pays signifiaient qu’ils n’ont pas gagné des nombres et l’influence valables au-dessus du gouvernement. Les soucis locaux des rebelles peuvent être vus as a primary reason why many revolts failed to achieve their principal aims. Both the sheer military strength of the government and occasionally the clever use of propaganda to enhance the already present respect for monarchical authority can be seen as a further reason why rebels did not succeed. Wyatt’s rebellion in 1553 during the reign of Mary I is an example of the difficulties of assembling a force in opposition to the crown as, despite remaining silent about the plan to depose Mary in favour of Elizabeth, Wyatt only was able to gather 2,000 men against the Queen. Elizabeth I was, out of all Tudor monarchs, the most concerned with her image and the way the public perceived her. She worked hard both by going on progress through the country and through portraiture to promote the ideal of a ‘virgin queen’. Though other factors played a role it is important to highlight that the most stable period England since 1485 was those of the years 1558-1601. Another aspect influencing whether the rebel’s would achieve their principal aims, which is also determined by the strength of the government, is the superior military force of the regime. The 1486 Lambert Simnel uprising is an example how, when forced into pitched battle, the government could muster forces that outnumbered the rebels – in this instance Henry VII’s army was 4,000 men stronger. Though the government never had a standing army, there ability to outnumber the rebels in battle is a recurrent theme throughout the entire Tudor period. Even during Elizabeth’s reign the only major threat to her security she suffered – the1569 rebellion of the Northern Earls – were eventually defeated at Carlisle with government numbers of 10,000 versus a rebel strength of 6,000. Finally, respect for the rightful authority of the monarch was also influential in lessening support for the rebels and consequently making them less able to achieve their principal aims. Finally, however, though it is true that many revolts were not successful some rebellions were without doubt instrumental in changing government policies and thereby achieving their aims – the Amicable Grant. Furthermore, an examination into the purpose and intention of the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace shows that, though superficially the revolt appears to be a failure as the rebel’s agreed to back down and negotiate, their aims were not to pressurise the government through a military-style campaign. The use of ‘pilgrimage’ to describe the rebellion does in itself show the rebels aims to be peaceful and as merely wanting to bring to the attention of Henry VIII some of their grievances. The numerical strength of the rebels forced the king to agree with the requests and, had it not been for the Cumberland rising a year later, the Pilgrims aims would have been met unreservedly. To conclude, it would be unfair to say that all rebellions failed to achieve their principal aims yet the primary reason for their failure is the lack of unity between the commoners of England. The only rebellions that were successful were those that rebelled over national issues such as the Amicable Grant and Pilgrimage of Grace. Other factors such as poor leadership were influential in determining the outcome though not crucial. As the strength of the government, both militarily and symbolically was continuous throughout the period then, as there were successful rebellions, this factor cannot be seen to be as essential as unification over national grievances. Most rebellions failed yet when the counties were able to ally together against a common grievance the rebels stood a greater chance as fulfilling their principal aims.

16th Century English Weapons

During the 16th century England and much of Europe found itself in turmoil and in a constant state of war.  The outbreak of fighting led to the invention and development of new weapons and the growth and change of weapons of old.  The development of weapons was a trademark of the time, with a sort of renaissance, or re-birth in the field of weaponry (Miller).  The technology was highlighted by the invention of gunpowder by the Chinese which eventually found its way to England (Grolier).  However, the use of gunpowder was minimal, because the use of had yet to be perfected.  The technological advancement most useful during the period was progression of the metals used in weaponry.  The new forms could be found in the production of swords, arrows, cannons, and armor, as well as varies siege weapons.
The three major categories of weapons used during the 16th century were handheld, siege, and missiles.  The primary use of handheld weapons is for the obvious is hand to hand combat in close quarters.  Handheld weapons were not always the most efficient weapons but played a major role in battle because of their simplicity.  An entire army would depend on the use of foot soldiers and simply outnumber their opponent while fighting in the trenches (Grolier).  Siege weapons were effective not on battles on an open area, but rather when one army would attack the fortress or castle of the other army.  The siege weapons were used to either knock the gate at the entrance of the castle, or other wise gain entry, or to hurl large objects or arrows over the defensive walls around the perimeter of the castle.  Fire was another common tactic used with siege of castles, as well as the use of the newly found gunpowder (Revell, "Missile").  The third type of weapons are missile weapons, which came to be the signature of the time period.  The missile weapons were fired or projected from a distance and were found effective due to their range, but accuracy became important and so did the skill involved in warfare.
Handheld weapons represented a large portion of the weapons used during 16th Century warfare (Iannuzzo).  Most commonly used was the sword.  Throughout the middles ages, metals were developed to withstand more abuse and thus became more effective (Iannuzzo).  The metals now had to strong enough to pierce through the newly developed armor of the time (Revell, "Armour").  The use of carbonized iron, which was heated, beaten, and cut the process repeated many times over to form a solid and durable and lighter than previous swords.  The double edge sword was far superior in strength and sharpness of the other swords of the time (Grolier).  The 16th century also brought forth the use of flamberge sword that had an undulating cutting edge, that was believed to be able to easily pierce the armor, but was too awkward for battle and was eventually abandoned.  By this time the Great sword, sometimes over six feet in length, were being deployed.  This sword was deadly only because of the pure size of it.  The great swords required enormous strength just to hold and even more to be effective.  Eventually the great sword became too awkward to use in battle just as the flamberge.  These two inferior swords took a back seat to the smaller and more agile estoc sword.  The estoc had a narrow triangular blade that was used to pierce the joints in the armor, rather than slash through it.  But the progression in the strength of these swords made it able for the estocs to be strong enough to pierce through entire plates of the armour (Revell, "Armour").  This more effective sword led to a revolution in the art of sword fighting, because now a soldier must be able to beat an opponent with speed and quickness, rather than raw strength.
The second type of handheld weapon that made an impact during the 16th century, were maces.  The mace was as a secondary weapon that was used after the initial charge, where swords were the primary weapon (Iannuzzo).  Maces were heavy lead balls attached to a chain, which was attached to the metal handle that the warrior would hold.  They were small and quick enough to crush a man’s skull (Revell, "Armour").  Early maces that were smooth were found to slide off the armor and not cause much damage.  This lead to the elaboration of putting metal spikes on the ball that would be able to puncture the armor and cause injury to the opponent.  The mace was also used by medieval knights, who would hang them by their side and use them when they were too close to use their swords or they had lost it.  It was also a weapon used heavily by churchmen while defending their church (Rowse).  The last type of handheld weapon were the pole arms that were primarily used to guard other weapons while they were loading (Revell, "Armour").
Siege weapons were the vital weapons when an army needed to attack their opponents’ stronghold.  The two types of siege weapons were catapults and ballistae, with catapults being the predecessor (Iannuzzo).  The catapults would heave large objects over the enemies’ walls and varied in size, from small for one or two soldiers to operate and to large, which required up to ten people to operate.  The catapults would use large objects such as boulders, firepots, and dead animals as ammunition.  The boulders would cause damages from impact, the firepots would start fires, and the dead animals would spread diseases inside the town or castle into which it was thrown (Revell, "Missile").  Ballistaes were gigantic cross bows that were capable of firing multiple arrows at a single time, as well as firing arrows with multiple heads.  These arrows were much greater in size than those of the common bow and arrows, which were carried by a single soldier.  The ballistae weapons were more complex than the catapults, and were required to be built prior to battle, due to their complex configuration.  In addition it took many men to move them, but their effectiveness was well worth the extra manpower that was used for the transportation.
The missile type of weapons was commonly used and was very effective because they could be fired from afar.  The bow and arrow was effective but slow in firing at opponents.  The arrows were fired high into the air and would then come down with greater force then if they were fired straight at the enemy.  The arrows were placed in the bow and pulled back against the tension and then release, thus propelling the arrow with great momentum in the direction they were aimed (Revell, "Missile").  The crossbows on the other hand were horizontal and would be drawn back and latched.  The arrow was then released by pulling a trigger (Brigatta).  The next weapon used the relatively new, at least to England, gunpowder.  The discovery of gun powder by the Chinese lead to the development of the matchlock musket.  The musket was small enough to fit under the arm of the soldier.  The gun consisted of a wood base and a barrel made of lead strips held close by spirals and welded together (Brigatta).  The arquebus was a matchlock weapon that used a trigger for the first and was found to be effective.  This replaced the lever action and now made the matchlock easier to hold steady while aiming and firing (Revell, "Missile").  The use of gunpowder made the armies of the 16th century more dependent on supply trains and more powerful while attack strongholds (Grolier).  The cannons then became the primary use of gunpowder, because of their effective use and rather simple mechanics.  In 1543 England made the first single-cast iron cannon and ensured England as a dominant producer of military supplies (Iannuzzo).
The 16th century was a time when the weapons of warfare took on a rebirth and the force of the armies greatly increased.  The handheld weapon alone became quicker and easier to manage and thus deadlier then ever.  This was through the development of the shape, size, and texture of the swords and mace.  The siege weapons also became so effective that the castles were no loner effective enough to stop the onslaught brought on by the catapults and ballistae.  Both of these weapons were so effective that new architectural designs were needed for the castles.  The missile weapons most likely had the greatest evolution, from the somewhat primitive design of bow and arrows to the rather modern introduction of the matchlock musket.  The advances in weaponry were a gigantic step into the direction weapon technology we see today.


Newspeak is a name given to the forecoming language of the totalitarian society portrayed in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.  The language itself is a supposed creation by Big Brother, the fictitious political figure made up by the Inner Party – the government of Oceania, INGSOC. The language of Newspeak is the product of diminishing and reducing of words thought unnecessary in the existing language – the same as Modern English – by the government, resulting in a smaller vocabulary.  This way the totalitarian leaders of Oceania, the Inner Party, can control the knowledge of the people in the society, Outer Party and the Proletarians, to wipe out all heretical thought by destroying unorthodox words and meanings.  Once the language of Newspeak replaces the existing speech of Oceania, the Inner Party could spread propaganda without any opposition capable of expressing their feelings.  In this way, the use of Newspeak will ultimately lead to the perfect society according to the philosophy of the Party.
The philosophy the Party follows is to hold and maintain power over the nation, unlike earlier governments that have fallen against revolts and revolutions; to make their power over the lower classes of the hierarchy – Outer Party and the Proletarians – permeant.  To do this, the Party follows their slogans of, ‘War is Peace’, ’Freedom is Slavery’ and Ignorance is Strength’, each one a summary of the blueprint of the Party’s workings.  The first slogan, ‘War is Peace’, can be narrowed down to a meaning that, while there is war being fought across the country, the Outer Party and the Proletarians will be too contempt in defending themselves that their attentions will not turn against the Inner Party – the rulers.  The second, ‘Freedom is Slavery’, means that the freedom of the Inner Party’s high ground leads to slavery within the governing system whereby they have to constantly make decisions and choices of ruling and control over lower members of the hierarchy.  The last slogan is the most important as far is Newspeak is concerned in that Newspeak is directly related to it.  It means that by keeping the lower classes of Oceania ignorant of what is going on around themselves and by controlling how much and what these people get to know, the lower classes are made easier to control and inturn the Party is strengthened.  The Inner Party could spread any form of propaganda or conspiracies without any resistance of non-believers.  With the use of Newspeak, the Party would be greatly strengthened in that Newspeak is designed to narrow the possibility of human thought.  By cutting out all forms of words and meanings that describes a revolt for example, anyone only knowing Newspeak will be ignorant to even the thought of rebelling.

‘Thoughcrime’, a word in Newspeak meaning any thoughts by a person evolving plans or actions that are unorthodox, with the adoption of Newspeak, will be, “…literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”(p55, ln14).  “Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think.  Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”(p56, ln15).  Indeed, in the novel, there is no war going on, but a false war is created existing only in the mind, by the Party in accordance of the first slogan.  The false war will never be uncovered because the use of Newspeak will limit even the thought of a false war.  The way the Inner Party keeps its subordinates happy and loyal is by creating propagandrous false statistic of achievements in the country.  Again this will never be uncovered because of the limitations Newspeak puts on one’s thoughts.  In this way, through the help of Newspeak, propaganda can be spread with the most monovalent ease.
In conclusion, “We’re getting language into its final shape – the shape it’s going to have when nobody speaks anything else…”(Topic Sheep, 1), and when this happens, the Party will have reached their ultimate goal of control.  Propaganda will be spreadable across boundless plains through every desire of the Party.  The most doubleplusgood for the Party, no one will be able to do anything about it because no one will be able to think anything of it.

The History of Electronic Sound and Music

Even 100 Years History of Electronic Instruments before the turn of the century, when the electronic age was still in its infancy, the first attempts to generate sound from electricity had begun.  By 1901, Thaddeus Cadhill had already manufactured the Telharmonium, an electric organ, powered by dynamos and designed to send sound down telephone lines.  The Telharmonium proved to be the first of several forward-thinking electronic instruments to be developed in the early part of the century, the most important of which was the Theramin.

Named after its Russian inventor Leon Theramin and consisting of a box with two ariels sticking out to control volume and pitch, the Theramin was the favorite instrument of Russian revolutionary leader Lenin.  It was also manufactured for a short time in the United States, and although Theramin’s ideas proved too progressive for the American public, they would later inspire Robert Moog to develop his first synths.

Other electronic instruments, like the rautonium, the Odnes Martenot and the first mass-market electronic instrument, the Hammond Organ, continued to pop up through the 20′s and 30′s.  It was with the arrival of magnetic tape, developed around the same period and perfected during World War II, that the next major innovation in electronic music occurred, as the use of found-sound opened a new world of musical possibilities.  Steve Reich experimented with manipulating tape to affect pitch or speed.  Although tape editing was a difficult process that involved physically cutting and splicing the different sections together, tape continued to be used by anyone wishing to manipulate recorded sound until samplers were introduced in the 1980s.

At the same time as tape was being used to unlock the world of found-sound, the development of electronically generated or synthesized sound was continuing apace.  American Hugh Le Caine developed a proto-type synth (short for synthesizer) with his ‘electronic sackbut’ in 1948.  The room-sized RCA synthesizer was active throughout the 50′s and others continued to work on the idea of electronic synthesis.  Finally, in the early 60′s Robert Moog expanded the idea of the Theramin into what would become the first ever commercially available synth, the Moog.  The first synth’s were clumsy modular systems the size of sideboards and changing sound on them meant negotiating a mass of wires or ‘patch-chords’.  However, they did allow users to sculpt their own sounds and provided the blue print for every synth that had come after.

From the late 60′s onwards, electronic instruments, effects and production techniques became an increasingly familiar feature of popular music.  The arrival of psychedelic rock had a big impact.  Artists like The Beatles and the Beach Boys experimented with tape loops, over-dubs and other studio trickery.  Others like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd fed guitars through layers of effects to create powerful, strange and fiercly electronic new sounds.

At the same time as electronic sound was being incorporated into a traditional rock blueprint, others were using similar technology to create radically different forms of music.  Perhaps the most obvious example are the German bands Can, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream.  These bands blended the futurism of their avante garde classical backgrounds with a pop aesthetic for incredible results.  Kraftwerk in particular must go down as perhaps the single-most influential act in the history of dance music.  Techno visionaries who used modified synths, Kraftwerk self-designed sequencers and improved drum pads to create a radical sound that spawned a string of US dancefloor hits throughout the 70′s and early 80′s.

Important and certainly commercially successful pioneers were the many funk and soul artists to notice the potential of electronic sound at an early stage.  Stevie Wonder was an early Moog client, while George Clinton’s P-Funk mob used synths and outboard effects to add weight to their bass-lines and create unusual dancefloor sounds.  With a space-age sound to match their sci-fi image, P-Funk laid-out a blueprint that would be picked up by generations of dance producers.

The release of the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 in 1978 saw the next big step in synth design since the Mini-Moog.  It offered polyphonic sound, which meant that you could play more than one note at a time.  It was the beginning of a particularly fertile period in the growth of electronic music technology, with samplers, digital synths, sequencers and programmable drum machines all becoming commercially available within the next few years.  Midi became a standard in 1983 and companies like EMU, Roland, Akai and Ensoniq took over the market.  The new technology became affordable to musicians and producers working on a budget.  When the first Fairlight samplers were sold in 1978 they were priced at $25,000, in 1981 EMU’s Emulator 1 was selling for $10,000 and by 1985 the Ensoniq Mirage was available for a mere $1295.  The introduction of digital keyboards also helped to make electronic instruments available to small producers, as shops filled with old and supposedly redundant analogue gear.

The 90′s saw the dance music explosion gather pace, as technology continued to drop in price and increasingly sophisticated equipment enter the market.  Midi was now well-established and even old analogue devices could be fitted with Midi Converters.  This meant that any piece of equipment could now be synchronized up to any other.  Samplers continued to improve and the arrival of physical modeling in the 90′s provided the next step in synth technology.  The most important innovations were computer sequencing program’s like Steinburg’s Pro 24 and later Cu-Base.  These programs provided producers with a full-screen visual display and far more ophisticated levels of control.

Medieval Yarmouth, England

Yarmouth was a town consisting of two major sections, Great and Little Yarmouth. The founder of Yarmouth is believed to be a man named Cedric, who was a Saxon leader, but people still doubt this to this very day. One of the main reasons for the foundation of Yarmouth is the Herring, a fish that was very healthy to eat, and especially important to the lower classes because it was cheap and readily available. Fishing was a very important part of their society. The seal of the town of Yarmouth has everything to do with fishing, including a Herring boat and a picture of St. Nicholas. Yarmouth consists of several rivers, which was important for its economy. All of the rivers flow into a big estuary, which then flowed into the ocean. Two main features of Yarmouth, were its port and marketplace. Another major function of this town is silting, which developed from a huge sandbank formed over a long period of time. The sandbank became strong enough to become a place for the salting and smoking of Herring, and a great dock for boats. This attracted many fisherman from all over the continent, including the Clique Port fishermen. After awhile silting became very useless and migration began to occur towards the south part of the town.

In the royal domain, Yarmouth was known as a borough, in which they had to pay “every third penny” of revenues to the Earl. Yarmouth was a very small town compared to others in the region. According to the Doomsday survey, it had at least seventy burgesses by ten sixty six.  Yarmouth was known as a frontier town due to its lack of role of administration in the area. In addition, the king never set up anything financially significant in Yarmouth.

There was one church in Yarmouth, St. Nicholas’s Church, which was dedicated to St. Benedict. It was founded by the Bishop of Norwich. The Church became a major attraction to townspeople. Another marketplace was built shortly after the church. Due to the migration and construction, the town wall was expanded around the Church. Another significant building, St. Mary’s Hospital was soon built, and covered up a large portion of the East Side of the town.

For centuries , government was a huge problem for Yarmouth, resulting in many changes of power. The town started out with a Reeve, which was an official appointed by the King. Shortly thereafter, the king granted the town their first self-administration. A royal charter was granted, which included conditions such as: “free borough”,and “the right to choose your executive officer of your local government”.

The town was divided into four main sections, therefore, four bailiffs were appointed who were elected annually. Despite these changes, government became conflicted, resulting in violence, and formation of a town council to assist the bailiffs. In response to the conflict, officers responsible for the borough treasury, also know as the “pyx”, were created. Balance of power soon shifted from democracy to oligarchy, and bailiffs were downsized. A second council was created featuring a Chamberlain, whose main responsibility was finances, and a water bailiff, who collected the bills.

Originally the meeting place for the administration was the Toll house. It was too small and a second “common hall” was built to replace it.  The borough court presided each Monday to deal with pleas, but soon extra days were added for special occasions. One day a year was set out for Leers to present various suggestion to help the town, including annual fairs.

Conflicts emerged between the Yarmouth and Clique ports administrations . The conflicts were caused in part because the King granted Clique the ability to administer justice in cases involving their own townsmen. In Twelve Seventy Seven, king Edward the First had a plan to compromise power between the groups by making a shared jurisdiction. This attempt failed, as well as many different interventions during the reign of Kind Edward. In addition, a deadly fight broke out between the two towns, resulting in many lost ships. The fairs had to be regulated, hoping to supervise the sales of goods during this time. Soon new conflicts prevailed as Clique complained to the King about new regulations, and that Yarmouth had control over the fishing areas. Problems with France pressed the communities to set aside some of the conflict for a short period of time, but soon that problem was resolved.

Yarmouth, then had yet another problem. The inhabitants that lived by the harbor area were avoiding payments and were getting very disrespectful to the King’s rules. In response to the disobedience, the King annexed the area of loading and unloading cargoes, and taxed the town for jurisdiction. Parliament unsuccessfully tried to take away the annexation.  This Medieval town spent many years trying to make a better authority, in which many charters were signed and many failed. Eventually, cargoes were allowed to be boarded back on the harbor area, but with strict rules.

Yarmouth consisted of three main streets: Northgate, Southgate, and Middlegate. Yarmouth was famous for its architectural rows, which were very narrow. Rows were named after many wealthy. As soon as rows were built, Yarmouth’s populations expanded, consisting of over five thousand people. Unlike streets, they were very slim passages, separating rows of peoples homes. Despite their small size, these rows managed to last throughout the Medieval times. The only reason they were destroyed was because of the Second World War.

Two architectural problems in Yarmouth were the cost of a harbor facility, because the people wanted it to be so big with boat docks all around, stores, and many more things.  The second problem was construction: a very large wall surrounding the city for protection, including a wall and ditch at the opening of the town. Both propositions were very costly. The only way to raise money for these expenses was for the King to tax the town. Corruption soon followed as the townspeople were complaining of paying too much money, however the workers did not even begin to start to work.  As a matter of fact, no work had begun on the walls of the city until about Twelve Eighty Five.  That delay of construction brought a great threat of invasion from their rival France, and the King soon ordered for a faster paced work, but it took too long and the walls of defense were just too big to finish in a short amount of time.  The walls were built poorly, and soon crumbled into pieces. Therefore the king made a new tax on the people and construction of the town’s defense began once again.

The safe harbor was also a huge problem. Due to too much silting, water was too shallow for boats to dock in, and therefore a new harbor had to be built in replace of it.  Soon a new and bigger haven was built, with the expenses paid off from the money made from the sale of Herring in the town. Soon the King of England wanted yet another haven to be built in Yarmouth, which resulted in angry townsmen being taxed again, but this haven was built very well and lasted throughout the Medieval period.

Back then, with the advantage of the sea that Yarmouth had, it became a very popular site for shipbuilding, etc.  Merchants came in this town trying to purchase boats, but the townsmen could have the right to all the fish that the brought had brought in.  Yarmouth conflicted its economy trying to purchase Herring while they were still at sea, in an attempt to discourage out- of – towners from making deals.  Parliament did its best to stop that, but it still went on.

Also, Yarmouth became an important maritime base, due to its defensive port. It became a great resource of ships to provide for other areas, carrying over forty ships, which was fifteen bigger then the next biggest town.  But supplying ships for other people was unpopular in Yarmouth because of the fear of them being damaged at war, and a lot of times the boats required supplies to be brought with them, and the King was not ready to pay for any of that.

Another problem for Yarmouth was they were being accused of Piracy. An investigation was held and they found out at least thirty of Yarmouth’s ships had been involved in piratic activities.

In the later years of the middle ages, Yarmouth was in decline. Due to piracy, their ships being damaged, problems with silting, and the Black Death wiping out a large part of its population. Also, they became a rival with another town in England, Norwich. Norwich controlled the trade the exports of wool. Yarmouth fought for many years to get that back. When they finally did, they didn’t even care about it because they were profiting so much from smuggling goods and the exportation of cloth.

Yarmouth was surely a medieval town with problems, corruption, and a lot of ups and downs. It profited the most amount of money on Herring and became feared for its advantages of the sea. They had many problems with construction and was severely set back with the Black Death Plague. Yarmouth was surely a famous medieval town, but it surely wasn’t powerful and strong enough to be called one of the best!


Recently, there has been much fighting in the former country of Yugoslavia, involving all ethnicities and religious groups and without making a difference between military or civilians. Diplomats have been hard at work to attempt to resolve the differences that led to conflict and bloodshed, but it has proven to be a very difficult thing to do with extremely limited success. To understand the situation, it has to be realized that a big part of the problem lies in the geography of the region and its demography. These factors have contributed to conflicts in the past and do so now.
Yugoslavia covers mountainous territory. The backbone of the region is made up of the Balkans, a mountain range that runs north-south. Continental plate movement from the south has created an intricate landscape of plains, valleys and mountains. This led to intensive compartmentalization of the region. As a result, there were few low-level routes and those that existed became very important strategically. Most notable are the Varda-Morava corridor, which connected the Aegean Sea and the Danube, and the Iron Gates of the Danube, linking Central Europe and the Black Sea, that controlled much of the trade between the Mediterranean and Central Europe since ancient times. Most of the populations have lived separated from each other geographically and culturally, developing very strong national and tribal allegiances. This region is a frontier between Eastern and Western European civilizations and has also been influnced by Islam during the Turkish invasion.
The roots of the conflict in the Balkans go back hundreds of years. Farther than recent events in the region indicate. Dating back to Roman times, this area was part of the Roman Empire. It was here that the divide between Eastern and Western Roman Empires was made when it split under the Roman emperor Diocletian in A.D. 293. Along with the split, the religions divided also into Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. This line still divides Catholic Croatians and Hungarians and Orthodox Montengrins, Serbs, and Romanians. The Romans left behind them excellent roads, cities that are still important political or economic centers, like Belgrade, Cluj, or Ljubljana, and the Latin language, which is preserved in Romanian.
The period of Turkish dominance during the middle ages left a much diffferent imprint on the region. An alien religion, Islam, was introduced, adding to already volatile mixture of geography, politics, religion, and nationalism. The administration of the Ottoman Empire was very different from that of the Romans. The Turks did not encourage economic development of areas like Albania, Montenegro and Romania that promised little in producing riches. They didn’t invest in building roads or creating an infrastructure. Greeks controlled most of the commerce and Sephadic Jews, expelled from Spain, had influence as well.
The diversity of Yugoslavia can best be captured in this capsule recitation: "One state, two alphabets, three religions, four official languages, five nations, six republics, seven hostile neighbors, and eight separate countries." This had more than a little truth. Yugoslavia employed Latin and Cyrillic alphabets; it was home to Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Muslims; it’s Slavic groups spoke Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian and Macedonian; they identified themselves as Serbs, Montenegrins, Croats, Slovenes, and Macedonians; each had its own republic, with an additional Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina for a mixed population of Serbs, Croats, and Serbo-Croatian-speaking Muslims; Yugoslavia was bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania, all of whom harbored some grievances against it; and the "autonomous regions" of Hungarian Vojvodina and Albanian Kosovo within Serbia functioned until 1990 in an independent manner comparable to that of the six formal republics. This indeed was a diverse state. Yugoslavia had been "a geographic impossibility, tied together by railroads, highways, and a Serbian-dominated army." (Poulsen, 118-9) This country is a patchwork of complicated, interconnected ethnic and religious entities that intertwined so densely that it is probably impossible to separate them and make everybody happy.

It was a witness to two bloody Balkan wars that took place in 1912 and that contributed to the outbreak of World War I. The conflict seems intrinsic to the region, with painful fragmentation after the fall of the Hapsburg empire and further discord during and after World War II. In fact, there was hardly any time when there was little or no conflict.

The events that started the most recent escalation of conflict took place in 1991. The first republic to express anti-Serbian sentiments was Slovenia. They felt that although they and Croats had prospered the most in Communist Yugoslavia, they were lagging behind Austria, Italy, and even Hungary. They saw the transfer of their profits to the southern republics as the reason behind it. During the 1980s many started calling for separation from Yugoslavia. Serbia boycotted Slovenian products in 1990 and this only intensified the hostilities. In 1991, Slovenians declared their independence. The federal army attempted to suppress the Slovenians, but was humiliated by Slovenian militia forces. From there, it spread to Croatia, who resented the Serb domination in government and the economy. All the previous conflicts, from Serbian-led atrocities committed at the end of World War II that surfaced in the 1980s to Croatian support of the former Ottoman lands in Yugoslavia that came to the fore in the 1970s, and others, greatly contributed to the Croatian resentment of the Serbs and led to their declaration of independence in the summer of 1991 (Poulsen, 123).

But this was only beginning. Croatia had a Serbian minority that made up 11% of its population. The strong feelings of nationalism didn’t escape them either. An attempt was made in 1990 to declare autonomy of the mostly Serbian regions in the southwestern parts of Croatia. It was rejected by the Croatian government and as a result, the Serbs ignited a rebellion. They were supported by the Yugoslavian army. Bitter fighting ensued, with sieges and a massive flow of Serbian refugees eastward. Like cancer, the conflict kept spreading and by 1992 nearby Bosnia-Herzegovina was engulfed by it. It is no surprise because Bosnia-Herzegovina is a patchwork of Christian and Muslim, Croat, Serb, and Bosnian, Orthodox and Catholic. The only way for the government to preserve its territorial integrity with so many groups pulling in different directions was to declare independence. The Serb and Yugoslav army moved in to drive out the Croats and Muslim and attempt annex Bosnia to Serbia. The Croat army moved in to protect its Croats there. With all these different ethnic and religious groups so tightly intertwined in Bosnia, it would be nearly impossible to negotiate a treaty that would pacify all sides.

The grief and damages of Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina were not the only ones suffered in this volatile region. Another province of former Yugoslavia was experiencing unrest. In a southern part of Yugoslavia called Kosovo, that was bordering Albania, irredentist movement was taking place. Kosovo is 90% ethnic Albanian and following the suit of the other republics, Albanians started asserting their rights in Kosovo. They wanted autonomy, independence and annexation to Albania. Serbia was not willing to let Kosovo go and disagreements between the opposing sides began escalating. A major reason Serbia was so unyielding is the fact that Serbs view Kosovo as a core area for their culture and its development. It is also a site of a tragic defeat by Muslim Turks in the medieval times.

The other regions of former Yugoslavia that are experiencing problems are the regions of Vojvodina and Macedonia. Like other parts of Yugoslavia, Vojvodina had a lot of different ethnicities living side by side. Serbs, Hungarians, Croats, Slovaks, and Romanians all share thi region. As they were becoming polarized in other republics, it spread to Vojvodina also. Macedonia is having problems with its Albanian minority, who are sympathizing with their brethren in the nearby Kosovo and for a time there was with the Greek government over the use of the name ‘Macedonia’ and Macedonia’s flag, which were Greek in origin. That was settled with an agreement that Macedonia will change its flag, but not its name.

Given the geography and demography of Yugoslavia, it is hard to imagine real, long-lasting peace coming to the region anytime soon. It is virtually impossible to strike any deal that would please all sides, since virtually everywhere there will be pockets of minorities with long-running hostilities towards the majority that could not be cut out of the territory and would have to be incorporated somehow, whether it be Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo or Macedonia. These differences led to much suffering and bloodshed over the last several hundred years and no solution has been found yet. The nearby future does not seem to be any different. The Dayton Accords, that were struck in 1995 in Ohio, were supposed to have resolved some of the differences and stopped the fighting, but just opening a newspaper today proves to be on the contrary. There have been rather prolonged moments of peace, as when the country was united under the rule of Josip Bronze Tito after World War II, so it is possible. One keeps hoping that there will be more to come, no matter how hard they are to achieve.
 BASS, WARREN, "The Triage of Dayton", Foreign Affairs, vol.77, No.5, 1998, pp.95-108
 CONNOR, MIKE, "Kosovo Rebels Gain Ground Under NATO Threat", The New York Times, December 4, 1998, vol.CXLVIII  No.51, 361
 PERRY, DUNCAN, "Destiny on Hold: Macedonia and the Dangers of Ethnic Discord", Current History, March 1998, vol.97 No.617 pp.119-126
 POULSEN, T.M., Nations and States, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1995

Women: the Effect of Industrial Revolution

The industrial revolution was a great time of change for men, the economy, domestic life, and brought the change in the role of women in society to the forefront. As time evolves, so must the lifestyles we as a society lead. This was no different during the industrial revolution in Britain and France. Throughout this paper I will begin to discuss how the impact of industrialization effected the switch in labor from domestic to factory, the new role of the mother in an industrialized family and the issue of education in the lives of ordinary people, as discussed in the memoirs we have read in class.

One of the main effects of industrialization was the switch in labor from the women working at home in a domestic environment to that where her labor brought in wages to the family. Suzanne Voilquin speaks of this in her memoirs “A Daughter of the People”,  “And so, at the end of the first week, we were very proud to to deposit on our father’s mantle piece the eighteen francs we earned as wages.”(Voilquin, 112). Throughout her story, she tells of how through the ability of her and her sister being able to work, they were able to support the family while her father was infirm. Without this opportunity, the family may have been put out onto the streets. It is through these two women’s effort that the family survived.


With the women now being able to earn wages out of the home, the role of the mother greatly changed within the home of the industrialized family. Before the revolution, children were raised on the plantation with the mother, father, and siblings as discussed in Agricol’s, “Memoirs of a Compagnon”. “[In regards to his father's plantation] moreover he made good use of his children’s labor. He wanted to make us hard workers rather than gentlemen and ladies, and in this he did right.”(117). We have also learned form this era that when women moved to factories, newborn children no longer had the opportunity to reside with the mother. Infants were sent off to a wet nurse, so that the women could return to work as soon as possible after the birth. This provided a new environment in which children were raised; however the pro’s and con’s of this new lifestyle varied.


This brings me to my final point of the issue of education in the industrial revolution. It seems that throughout the memoirs the common theme is that labor was valued over education. Most children had no education at all and went to the factory as soon as they were able, while children who had a little schooling rarely went beyond the third grade. Jeanne Bouvier speaks of this in “My Memoirs”, “[after her first communion] ‘It’s a shame you cannot leave her longer. She’s very gifted. She even works hard when it comes to manual tasks’.”(34). It is shown here that girls were not inferior to boys and were just as capable in school. This did nothing for the stigma that was already set on women. Many times the father was not willing to pay for his daughter’s to go to school; just the sons were worthy of the cost of education. “My mother…paid the fees for her daughters with the money she earned…my father paid only for his sons.”(Perdiguier 119). Obviously, the emphasis was placed on manual labor during this revolution, for it brought in money that the family may so desperately need.
The industrial revolution placed the ordinary worker into a mirade of new, enterprising, and yet sometimes compromising situations. Workers were faced with new problems, but also with opportunities that had never been available before. It is through their struggle that we are the society we know today. It is through the past that we can mold our future.


Richard III reigned for two years, two months and one day.  His reign was over run my rumour and even to this day people see Richard as a tyrant.  One of the rumours that plagued Richard throughout his reign, was that he had murdered his two young nephews. (one of which was Edward V, who succeeded to the throne immediately after the death of Edward IV).  Even in the days of Richard’s reign, murdering children was seen as an appalling thing to do and whether Richard did kill his nephews or not, it did not matter the general public did not trust Richard.  Richard’s position was made worse, because the previous king (Edward IV) had left conflicting instructions as to who should rule the country after he had died.   Richard was killed in combat, at the Battle of Bosworth.  It could be argued that Richard was responsible for his own demise and indeed his own death.

The obvious key factor in Richard being overthrown is the fact that he was killed in battle, some historians say that it was Richard’s own bold and soldier-like personality that got him killed.  Richard lost the Battle of Bosworth because of a number of different factors.  One very important element was that Richard managed to alienate a great majority of nobles from the south of England.  Whilst Edward IV had been king Richard had been left to run the north of England, in this time he was able to establish a power base for himself, and acquired the himself the ‘title’ Lord of the North.  This process began in 1471 where Richard obtained Neville Lordships in Yorkshire and Cumberland, and when he married Anne Neville, which gave him the loyalty of Warwick’s men.  The relationship between the northern gentry and Richard was strengthened further when Edward IV entrusted Richard and his northern counterparts to the war against Scotland.  When Richard became king he invited northern nobles and gentry to the south of England to rule over the southern counties.  This quite clearly upset and angered a lot of the nobles from the south.  However Richard did not reward all the northern nobility accordingly the Earl of Northumberland expected a lot of power in the north, after he had helped so much in Richard’s accession to the throne.  However, Northumberland was left of the council of North., this in turn led Northumberland withdrawing his aid for Richard at the Battle of Bosworth. Richard also killed a number of noble men from the north and south without trial.  With so many nobles feeling angry towards Richard, it would be incredibly difficult to gain support and men for his army at the Battle of Bosworth.  Richard’s actions would also tempt many nobles to side with Henry Tudor, which would result in Richard’s dissolution.


Richard’s had many problems to resolve with France.  Problems dating back to 1340 (to recover or extend territories in France).  When Richard came to the throne he launched attacks on Breton shipping for piracy, although it would seem Richard was allowing these attacks, because the Bretons were keeping Edward Woodville as a refugee.  Another more important refugee was in France though, Henry Tudor.  Tudor was taking shelter in Brittany.  The King of France used Tudor to try and blackmail Richard into sending him archers, Richard did not comply with his requests.  The conflict between Richard and the King of France was very unfavourable to Richard, as France would not release Tudor.  Richard needed to get hold of Tudor, to crush his attempt to overthrow him, (Tudor had put in an official claim for the throne on December 25th 1483 in Brittany)  it could be argued that if Richard had been able to get hold of Tudor and imprisoned or even killed Tudor, he may not have been overthrown.  However Richard did not concentrate on this issue enough.  Richard’s encounter with France was heading towards a war, which inevitably meant that Scotland would begin to start trying to attack England.


It would seem that Richard III was a very unpopular man with the general public, English nobility and foreign nobility.  He lacked trust between himself and the people he needed to be able trust the most.  It would seem that Richard relied heavily upon the loyalty of other nobles instead of using his own men, nobility that quite possibly did not trust him, and therefore were likely to change sides, to a leader who could offer them more favourable opportunities.  However with any subject concerning Richard III it is difficult to assess the situation as his entire reign is shrouded in mystery, rumours.  Even so evidence that is available does tend to show that Richard did not do enough to gain support from other nobles, until it was too late (as when he tried to reconcile his problems with southern nobility before the Battle of Bosworth) and he did not realise the severe threat henry Tudor was to the crown.

Wang T’ao vs Chang Chih-tung

The Opium War in 1839 marked the end of China’s status as an independent civilization.   The Opium War introduced the power of western armies and technology that the Chinese lacked.  The war resulted in foreign intervention and control of Chinese provinces and cities, but it was not until the Taiping rebellion (1850-1864), the most disastrous civil war in human history, that the Ching government and its people realized that reform was necessary. The “self-strengthening” movement, one wave of reform,  aimed to achieve stronger military power while preserving the traditional way of life, and Wang T’ao was among the most famous scholars advocating such reform.  By the late nineteenth century, conservative reactions swept the country, and scholars such as Chang Chih-tung believed western techniques should only be used to defend the Chinese way.  This resistance to reform was held by three principles: 1) ancestral institutions should never be changed 2) successful government depended on the men not the laws 3) teachings from China are superior to those of the West.  On the surface, it appears that Wang T’ao and Chang Chih-tung dramatically differed in their thoughts of how and if China should adopt western ideals.  A thorough analysis of their work, however, reveals the many similarities between the two individuals.  Though the two had different plans for achieving their objectives, their ultimate goals was for China to excel and become great once again.
As a scholar, Wang T’ao had visited many foreign countries including Japan and Europe, and by the time he became a journalist, he had already established many contacts with the outside world.  Having such a background, Wang T’ao naturally believed that although China should still follow the “Way of sages”, she must adopt the Western methods of defense and administration and renovate much of Chinese society.  In his published article, On Reform his views are expressed.  Wang T’ao believes that when China adopts the western methods it will surpass the West, “a sailboat differs in speed from a steamship; though both are vehicles.”  He does not ask the Chinese to invent new methods but only to take advantage of their resources, “When new methods do not exist, people will not think of changes; but when there are new instruments, to copy them is possible.”  Although the West may be superior in terms of techniques and technology; they bicker and fight among themselves and “indulge in insults”.  The Chinese should not follow their way of life but only use their instruments.  The Way of Confucius should be followed and unchanged by all men for they must follow the three bonds (subject to master and ruler, son to father, wife to husband) and the four Cardinal virtues (decorum, righteousness, integrity, and sense of shame).  Wang T’ao believes reform within the government and Chinese way of life is also necessary for China to become a nation on a par with the Western nations.  Among some of these reforms include:  the abolishment of the examination essays as a way to select civil servants, change the currently inefficient training of the army and naval troops, change the empty show of schools, and have the laws and regulation set by the government  be fair and just to all individuals.  The most important reform, however, is that the government should have the power to change customs so that people could gradually be accustomed to their new environment.  It is the able people that can help China move forward, “the weapons we use is in battle must be effective, but the handling of effective weapons depends upon people.”  If China could properly govern its people and effectively train its soldiers, then the nation can progress.

However Wang T’ao’s ideals were not shared by everyone.  Many conservative reformers were content with the current Chinese system and felt change was unnecessary.  Among one of those scholars was Chang Chih-tung, a leading figure during the end of the Manchus rule.   Although Chang Chih-tung was a moderate and avoided radical measures, he was a firm supporter of neo-Confucianism ethics.  He sought to preserve Confucian traditions but also believed western administration was as essential as western technology.  On the surface, it seems that Wang T’ao and Chang Chih-tung each have radically different solutions for the incorporation of western influences on Chinese society, but if we look thoroughly into their works, we realize there are also many similar underlying principles between the two figures.

In Exhortation to Learn by Chang Chih-tung, he emphasized the importance of maintaining the state, preserving the doctrine of Confucius, and protecting the Chinese race.  Similar to the ideals of Wang T’ao, Chang Chih-tung is certain that the Confucian way make sages which represents the highest ideal of human relationships.  Scholars should know the Classics and be familiar with the literary collections written by Chinese scholars because the Chinese have a superior culture.  Students should read the Four Books and the Five Classics but also know about the western administration and technology because “the old learning is to be the substance and the new learning is to be for application”.  The three bonds and four principles are still to be upheld by the people.  Chang Chih-tung agrees with Wang Tao’ in that it is necessary to have able ministers in government and generals for the armed forces.  It is also imperative to establish new schools in which there should be western influences while retaining knowledge of Chinese traditions and history.  While the two reformers have similar views, we must not be fooled their thinking is the identical.  There are many differences between the two philosophers.  Wang T’ao believes the law should treat everyone with fairness while Chang Chih-tung interprets the Confucian way strictly without people’s rights or women’s rights.  He believes only scholars could become officials because others are unaware of the workings of the state.  The right to be ones own master is altogether foolish as well, since everyone must obey the laws. Ideas of a Parliament run government did not apppeal to him because not everyone knows enough to be able to have power in the state and it would only be harmful. Despite Chang Chih-tung’s acknowledgement of the need for western influences, we can see the importance he places upon the Chinese traditions as a foundation for the future.

Wang T’ao and Chang Chih-tung believe it is necessary for China to learn and mimic some of the ideals and actions of the western society.  Both believe western influences should serve for purpose while the Confucian Way should be the governing principle of Chinese society.  Their thoughts on reform have both similarities and differences.  They both believe in the bonds and virtues of the Way and schools need to be reformed to promote western learning.  However, Wang T’ao believes in people’s rights and the need for a strong government and military.  Chang Chih-tung on the other hand emphasizes the importance of following traditions and order.  According to these two philosophers, some western influence is obviously needed and some traditions need to be kept but to what extent is the debate among not only these two but many other scholars as well.

Weimar Republic

There were various factors that contributed to the failure of the Weimar Republic of Germany and the ascent of Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers Party into power on January 30, 1933. Various conflicting problems were concurrent with the result of a Republic that, from the outset, its first governing body the socialist party (SPD) was forced to contend with. These included the aspect of German imperialism, the unresolved defeat of 1918, financial collapse and the forced struggle against the activities of the National party as well as inflation. Other factors that influenced the failure of Weimar were the structural weaknesses induced by the constitution and the basic lack of support for the Republic among the German people particularly amongst the elite. All in all, these aspects were the major causes that doomed the Weimar republic to ultimate failure and the eventual ascent of Hitler’s nationalist party to power.

The new socialist government of Weimar (SPD), whose constitution was adopted on July 30, 1919, entered a situation they by no means created. The period during which they were appointed to rule was associated with defeat and misery, and when disorder was nationwide. The situation then, was that of revolution. However, rather than to make it a revolution of there own, they co-operated with the liberals and with the catholic centre party to lead Germany in a reformed version of her old self. In June 1919, they voted to comply with the treaty of Versailles.  However, the signing of the Treaty served to promote protest and unrest amongst the soldiers, sailors and the German people generally, and democracy thus resulted in becoming an alien device. The imperial army, for instance, never got over the humiliation of surrender, which they felt, was a ‘stab in the back’ by their own countrymen. The sailors at Kiel mutinied in a last desperate effort on October 28 and on November 9 1919, the streets were filled with crowds marching to demonstrate at the center of Berlin.

Furthermore, compliance with the Treaty of Versailles meant that Germany would have to make reparation payments it could scarcely afford. This fact placed a heavy strain on the already suffering economy of Germany which was bankrupted by four years of war thus ensuing in the ascend of inflation and the occasioning of the respite of payments by Germany in 1922. The French reacted by occupying the Ruhr, a major industrial area of Germany, in January 1923. This was felt a grave humiliation by the German people and eventuated in widespread discontent. Germany’s currency was already fragile, and in face of the occurring circumstances consequent to the Ruhr invasion and the overprinting of currency, the Mark fell to chronic levels, eventually reaching the value of four billion against the US dollar, which therefore generated massive hyperinflation. The economic instability, on top of the disillusionment and resent caused by the humiliating peace settlement, resulted in vast sections of German society feeling alienated by the Republic. They responded by attacking the democracy and as a consequence it became impossible to control the hostility and discontent.

The deteriorating economic and social situation also managed to wreak havoc on the political atmosphere of the time and the Republic wound up having no positive friends and too many enemies. The Republic faced opposition from the extreme left by Spartacists who resorted to force in efforts to overturn the Republic. In March 1920, the Freikorps who in Berlin launched a pro-Monarchist putsch in an attempt to install Wolfgang Kapp as Chancellor also challenged the Republic from the right. During this incident troops both refused to defend the Republic or take action against Freikorps. In protest the working classes then responded by organizing a general strike in Berlin, which had the effect of frustrating this putsch. The present regime was able to survive despite the numerous threats.

Extremism remained to pollute the atmosphere, the evidence being represented in the alarming amount of political assassinations that continued occurring. In evidence, according to an estimate of the Minister of Justice, rightists committed 354 murders between 1919 and 1923. During this time, when the Republic was suffering most and was being threatened, practically from all sides, Hitler had been making affective attempts to capitalize on the resultant circumstances. He exploited the economic collapse by blaming it on all those he wished to portray as enemies. These were the same enemies he declared as the ‘November criminals’ who had brought about Germany’s defeat in 1918. Hitler’s plan was to seize power in Munich, and, with Bavaria as his base, to launch a march on Berlin not unlike Mussolini’s march on Rome of a year earlier, but without first being invited to take power, as Mussolini had been. Hitler, however, continued to fail until 1933 when he finally seized power.
 The continued disruption caused by his attacks on the Republic, notably his Munich putsch, in addition to the economic crises as well as the resurfacing of the previously unresolved issues promulgated the grounds for an increased anti-republican sentiment which reached a climax in 1923 when the Republic was on its knees due to hyperinflation. It was against this traumatic background that the leadership of the republic was passed to the hands of Gustav Stresemann in August 1923. His determination and ambition to rectify circumstances in Germany were realized in November 1923 when he introduced a new currency.  Valued at one billion old Marks the introduction of the Rentenmark at the end of 1923 was a main reason for the currency stabalization. Further stability came with the Dawes plan of April 1924, which provided a modified settlement of the reparation issues. In addition, French troops were then confirmed to leave the Ruhr, and disputes between the two countries then went too independent ruling. In September, Stresemann called off passive resistance unconditionally. These headed many positive changes in Germany, whose effects were felt universally in almost every facet of German life.

By 1929, the German economy revived. The changes Stresemann managed to bring about still had the effect of deviating opposition by both the extremist groups on the right as well as the left. However, while it seemed that politics might have settled down, the circumstances that were to follow in the coming years proved that Stresemann perhaps merely postponed internal problems rather than eradicated them. The relative stability achieved through the late 1920s by Gustav Stresemann was, for instance, heavily reliant upon foreign investment, loans and economic prosperity, not only in Germany but also in the United States from whence much of Germany’s foreign investments originated. Consequently, as the American economy boomed the attractiveness of investment in Germany became overshadowed and the German economy thus, again proceeded to decline in 1928. Additionally, during October 1929, two crises befell the Republic – Gustav Stresemann, the architect of Germany’s stability, died and later that month the collapse of share prices began on the New York stock exchange. Had Germany’s prosperity and economic stability been self-reliant events and circumstances on the New York stock exchange may have had a somewhat subtle effect in Germany. However, as said earlier, Germany’s prosperity was merely financed by international loans and was excessively dependant on foreign investment. Germany was thus forced to remain in a very vulnerable position, the results leading to the onset of depression and the virtual crumbling of the Republic’s very foundations in recourse to the Wall Street crash during the end of 1929.

The depression that hit Germany in 1929, is said to have been the most severe economic depression in modern world history. It devastated the lives of the urban population as well as those living in the country districts that in recourse to the economic circumstances struggled desperately. The unemployment figures for Germany show the rapid deterioration of the economic climate. In September 1929 1.3 million employable workers were unemployed, for September 1930 the figures rose to 3 million, in September 1931 the figure was 4.35 million and by 1932 unemployment reportedly escalated to 6 million. These conditions, in addition to the loss of confidence generated overseas which resulted in the rapid withdrawal of the foreign loans Germany relied on extensively placed additional strain on the republic. The political repercussions were just as acute. Unresolved issues and old determinations to destroy the Republic again resurfaced. These resulted in the renewed attacks by the extremes of the left and the right who proceeded to take advantage of the situation and manipulate it to suit their own ends. Strikes, violence and constant bloodshed in street battles against communists suggested to be deliberately provoked by the ‘brown shirted toughs of the NSDAP’, soon replaced political dialogue and debate, and while the Republic had no Republican army to deal with the synchronous persistence of violence, the power of Weimar to instill democracy became largely disabled. Moreover, the continued unrest further exacerbated a general feeling of a loss of faith in the Republic and support for it therefore deteriorated.

The Republic had also been suffering from structural weaknesses, which also played a major role in crippling its progress. For example, the constitution of the new Republic emerged finally from the National Assembly in July 1919. It was considered to be one of the most liberal documents written up of its kind in the twentieth century on. In practice though, it left much to be desired. One of its weaknesses was the elaborate system of proportional representation, which was devised to allow for minority parties to have a share in the system of government. Unfortunately, this system also made it virtually impossible for a single party to hold a majority in the Reichstag and therefore coalition governments were inevitable.

Another weakness was the infamous Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution. Under this article the President had the right to suspend civil liberties – with the Chancellor’s assent – in an emergency, thus giving him virtual dictatorial powers. Chancellor Bruening was first to make use of Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution from 1930 on when he, in response to the political and social unrest incurred in Germany during that period, was provoked to rule under emergency decree. Correspondingly, politics were radicalized once more and resulted thus, in the intensifications of divisions amongst the parties in the Reichstag to an extent that parliamentary government became all but impossible. Accordingly, the Weimar constitution became unworkable as well as unwanted. Moreover, as a result of the existing atmosphere and circumstances at the time of the Republic, the Republic perhaps resulted in not being looked at as a State in which the German people desired to live or to which they were prepared to give positive encouragement. The repercussions had the effects of helping the communists who succeeded in gaining the support of an overwhelming number of the urban workforce. However, the main beneficiary was Hitler’s party, the NSDAP, who managed to increase their seats in the Reichstag from 12-107 thus concluding in their becoming the second largest political party at the time.

Thereafter, as the NSDAP continued to attract a positive response from the people, eventually seizing power in 1933, the Republic was doomed to eventual collapse and ultimate destruction. It is suggested that the eventual collapse of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler to power was almost inevitable. As a result of the existing circumstances of economic crisis, near, if not, complete social disaster and almost universal discontent, there were ultimately only two choices left open to the German people; “a narrow, army-backed Presidential dictatorship (the Communists)” or a young, dynamic and broadly-based Nazi movement. For many, particularly the middle classes, the second choice was perhaps also perceived as the only choice available to them, especially as the prospect of Communist rule, with also the existing presence of Article 48 that allowed too much power to be vested in any one person, may have seemed too frightening a risk to undertake. In addition, very many powerful groups preferred to lend their support to the opposite extreme the NSDAP. Hitler successfully managed to jockey his party as having the dual attraction of offering radical solutions to economic problems while upholding patriotic values. He seemingly promised something to everyone and the German people, thus responded to him as he had foreshadowed.

The Nazis still did not succeed in retaining more than thirty seven per cent of the vote. In November 1932 Hitler lost an additional thirty-four seats. However, in as much as the acting president (von Hindenburg) allowed himself to be convinced by generals and right-wing politicians that only the Nazi leader could restore order in Germany, in the following year leadership was passed to him. Hindenburg felt that he was a good president, but it was old age that rendered him helpless to his advisors and the German people. Accordingly, Hitler was made Germany’s fifteenth post war Chancellor in January 1933. At this stage Germans had scarce knowledge of what the future under the rule of Hitler would mean or result in.  However, Hitler lost no time in a founding a harsh totalitarian state known as the Third Reich, which he enforced within a mere month of his appointment. The results were the destruction of a modern civilized society that turned crisis into catastrophe, bringing the democracy of Weimar to its end.

When assessing the reasons for the failure of the Weimar Republic and the ascent of the NSDAP to power, one has to make various considerations for these events occurred as a result of a plurality of factors. Perhaps the most important factor was the economic crises that befell the Republic in 1923 and again in 1929. However to neglect considerations like the possibility that the revolution of 1918 failed to create institutions loyal to the new regime, that perhaps the constitution of the Republic was too idealistic and lacking in practicality, causing certain structural weaknesses and finally, that the desertion of the Republic by the masses and more powerful interests made the failure of Weimar and the rise of Hitler to power a mere matter of time would give a distorted view of the issue. Moreover, several political and social issues arose with the creation of the Republic, one of which was the influence of Imperial Germany. The Republic failed to resolve these issues and these issues created the context that made the failure of the Republic and the rise of a dictatorial leader to power possible.
 1. Fischer. F., (1986), From Kaiserreich to third Reich, Oxford University Press, London. 2. Gilbert. M.,(1997), A history of the twentieth century: Volume one: 1900-1933, Bath Press, Great Britain.
 3. Gill. A., (1994), An honourable defeat, William Heinemann Ltd, London.
 4. Ramm. A., (1984), Europe in the twentieth century 1905-1970, Longman Group Ltd, USA.
 5. Simon. T., (1983), Germany 1918-1933 revolution, counterrevolution and the rise of Hitler, Oxford University Press, London.
 6. Peukert. D., (1991), The Weimar Republic, Penguin Press, London.

Women in Vietnam

Towards the end to the Twentieth century, Vietnam a rapidly changing country goes through a political and social transition, from a socialist to an open market “capitalist type” society.  Since the late 1980′s Vietnam has adjusted it’s economy to compete with the world.  In doing so, the country undergoes many political and social reforms.  Ideals of the west have been implemented into Vietnams “market” economy.  There is definitely a change that is occurring however the social status of women in Vietnam has not changed much.  Moreover Vietnam’s transformation into the global economy has created large social gaps, which in turn creates many social inequalities, in particular, women in the sex industry.

The sex industry has always been a profitable industry.  One can find this to be the case in many parts of the world.  But what is it that makes the Vietnamese “Pleasure Industry” different?  By using the works of Nguyen-Vo (Governing the Social: Prostitution and Liberal governance in Vietnam during Marketization) and Tran (Through the eye of the Needle: Vietnamese Textile and Garment Industries, Rejoining the Global Economy), I will discuss the problematic conditions of women in lower economic class of Vietnam.

Prostitution is considered a “social evil” in Vietnam, but being deemed “evil” does not put an end to this endemic problem that has been around for thousands of years.  Prostitution is an issue that few individuals have taken to fully understand and in this case, the issue is misunderstood and many voices go unheard.  Classified as “whores”, the women of the lower class in Vietnam don’t have much to turn to.  Vietnam’s open economy has only created a bigger market for “pleasure”.  Gradually the identity of the young ladies in Vietnam become more and more of a commodity, well at least in the eyes of the foreigner.  “Foreign guest’ sought out a ‘taste of nice and cool specialty dishes of Vietnam’.  High quality goods, whores deluxe” and so on (Nguyen-vo, 92-93).  Being identified as “high quality goods”, they do what is expected from them and they survive.  Due to the lack of education, these girls find themselves lost in the advancing city.  Their hopes for success are crushed and with it lies the memories of disparity, the starvation of childhood, the beating of the drunken father, and many other troubles of poverty.

A society living under the Communist idea of all being equal; come to realize that reality is far more complex.  In ever society lies different social classes.  Each class is looked at differently and unfortunately, treated differently too.  What can be done to change things for the better?  As the government of Vietnam attempts to end the everlasting problem of prostitution, they implement ideas that are genuinely bogus.  Creating prison like education camps for many of these young girls caught in the world of prostitution was an idea that would be easy to cash in on.  This definitely proves to be the case for those who were unlucky enough to experience this sad reality.  Forced into becoming what is so called the “traditional women”.  One might ask what is it that is deemed traditional?  According to the “changing” society of Vietnam, women must follow the old rules of Confucianism, an idea that has obviously sickened the East.  The so-called “social evils” are taught “tradition, morality and ethics” (Nguyen-vo, 397).  This ethical education served the wardens of these camps as sources of income and free labor.  As their life become less livable, the girls in these camps resort hope a hope of a better life, in order to get by.  The jobs that were suited for these girls are unbearable, at least to many of us who are from Western Society.  “All of the jobs taught to women in the camps made slow and monotonous work that required much patience.  Most of them required a high degree of dexterity” (Nguyen-vo, 391).  This is what is expected from them, instead of extracting the creativity and art in these girls, the camps force them to do what is considered best for them.  Once they are done serving “time” the are released back into the concrete jungle.  Searching for the life that they longed for, however with the skills they have learned, the only life they can live is one of poverty.  The poverty and hopelessness weakens their mind and turns them back into a state of prostitution.  A quote found in Nguyen-vo’s work, “I get so sad/depressed/bored in the countryside.  Every time I went back there, I could only stay for a few days and I just had to leave” (119).

How can the government of Vietnam expect these girls to change when they are taught to live a tedious and wearisome life?  They are forced to change from making a hundred dollars a night to maybe half a dollar a day.  Surviving is just impossible, considering the amount of work they put in and the income it yields.  In order to preserve their souls they create a theme for themselves.  By reentering the “Pleasure Market”, they truly believed that, “Sex was a service to be provided for a monetary price, and their female surrender to conquest was only a surface exchange” (Nguyen-vo, 116).  Because of this idealism, tourist and many businessmen sought out for what was considered authentic “Vietnamese”.  In this case a “tropical night” behind the huts of Vietnam.

The role that women play in the Vietnamese economy is critical.  At this point we have discovered that women of the lower economic classes don’t have it easy.  In addition the social expectations of these young ladies are pretty much falsified.  The claim is that they are put in camps and are taught “traditional” values and so on, but these girls are only being exploited for cheap (moreover, free) labor and when release they will return to the life they considered “Surviving” (prostitution).  It is no surprise that “the garment industries, which employ 600,000 workers in Vietnam, 80% of whom are women, best exemplify this pattern of global production” (Nguyen-vo, 401).  If it means tedious labor and continuous hardship to be a woman in Vietnam, then there is pretty much no propose for life.  To sell your body as a commodity is just another example of a globalizing economy.

Vietnam being a large garment and textile industry supplies countries such as the Russia, Germany, and other European countries in exchange for machinery and capital investment.  Tran describes the open market economy for Vietnam as a change for the better, however the adjustments that must take place are ones that are rapid and possibly even bad for the Vietnam as a whole.  In order to compete with the world Vietnam is constantly improving production quality and quantity.  This is an illusion that is seen to be good for Vietnam, but since Vietnam is a young country and still not use to the “capitalist” way of life find themselves struggling to meet the standards of the world.  Since the politics of Vietnam has become economically based, the transition into the capitalist world has left many scars in the starving communities of Vietnam.  “Opening Vietnam” to the world has not only created many social inequalities, but it has implemented the “Burden of Capitalism” where the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer”.  In particular the Women of the lower class find themselves as the bearer of this growing problem.  It is they who provide the energy to make Vietnam a small tiger in the garment industry.  Cheap labor and horrendous working conditions create a social catastrophe for country of Vietnam.  In addition with the spread of endemic corruption, Vietnam finds itself on the verge of anarchy.  I would claim that it is the men with money that run the country, just like the rest of the world.  This problem makes social control very difficult to implement, however if there is little or no attempt to fix this problem, then one must feel compassionate towards those whom have sold their bodies in order to keep up with the changing “pace”.

For many of the women in Vietnam, the possibility of liberation lies with a different vision and a decentralized, “perpetual individual politics of everyday interaction” (John Doe, forgot his name).  Without a widely shared vision, individual changes will not occur.  Society will be at a halt.  Not only must the world look at the many “authentic dishes” that Vietnam has to offer, but natives of Vietnam themselves must realize that the creation of these “dishes” were made through constant fabrications of struggle and poverty.  Vietnam as a country must create “new dishes” to serve to the world.  They must no rely on the dishes of poverty and of struggle, but instead they must cultivate a “dish” that truly reveals the hardworking ethics of what it means to be Vietnamese.

In our society today we have problems that arise from corruption and other various factors.  It saddens me to say that to escape prostitution is impossible, yet it is the responsibility of society to heal the wounds that have been left “bleeding” for quite a while now.  Even American Journalist Barbara Walter states, “Prostitution is a world that is here to stay, like it or not it is time to make the best of it”.

Who Built the Great Pyramid Giza

It’s the oldest and the only surviving of the Seven Wonders of the World.  It is the Great Pyramid of Giza.  It doesn’t need any speculations in reference to the appearance, size, or shape.  It is located in the city of Giza, a necropolis of ancient Memphis, and today it is part of Cairo, Egypt.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is believed to have been built over a 20 year period.  First, the site was prepared, then large blocks of stone were transported and placed.  An outer casing was used to smooth the surface.  This outer casing disappeared over the years.  It is still not known how the blocks were placed, but there are many theories.  One theory is that the construction of a straight or spiral ramp that was raised as construction proceeded.  The ramp, coated with mud and water, eased the displacement of blocks.  The blocks were pushed or pulled into place.  Another theory says that blocks may have been placed using long levers with a short angled foot.

All through history, the pyramids of Giza have motivated the human imagination.  Pyramids were referred to as “The Granaries of Joseph” and “The Mountains of Pharaoh.”  Today, the Great Pyramid is enclosed, along with other pyramids and the Sphinx, in this region of the Giza Plateau.

When the Great Pyramid was built it was 481 ft (145.75 m) high, over the years it has lost about 30 ft (10 m) off the top.  It was the tallest structure on Earth for over 43 centuries, it was surpassed in the 19th Century A.D.  It was covered with a casing of stones to smooth the surface.  Some of the casing can still be seen near the top of Khefre’s pyramid.  The sloping angle of the sides is 54 degrees, 54 minutes, 0 seconds.  Each side is carefully oriented with one of the cardinal points on the compass (N, E, S, W).  The horizontal cross section is square at any level, each side is 751 ft (229 m) in length.  The maximum error between side lengths is amazingly less than 0.1%.

This structure consists of about 2 million blocks of stone, each one of the stones weighs more than two tons.  It’s been said that there are enough blocks in the three pyramids to build a 10 ft (3 m) high, 1 ft (0.3 m) thick wall around France.  The area capped by the Great Pyramid could hold St. Peter’s in Rome, the cathedrals of Florence, Milan, Westminster and St. Paul’s in London combined.

The entrance to the pyramid is on the north face.  There are a lot of corridors, galleries, and escape shafts that either lead to the King’s burial chamber, or were meant to serve other purposes.  At the heart of the pyramid is where the King’s chamber is located.  Every single one of the interior stones fit so well, a card won’t even fit between them.  The sarcophagus is also oriented to the compass directions, and is only 1 cm smaller in dimensions than the chamber entrance.  It may have been introduced as the structure progressed.

There are new theories concerning the origin and purpose of the Pyramids of Giza.  The many different theories have to do with astronomic observatories, places of cult worship, geometric structures constructed by a long gone civilization, and extraterrestrial related theories.  There is little evidence that supports the extraterrestrial theories.

According to most people the pyramids were built by great armies of slaves, by ancient pharaohs of Egypt to preserve their bodies.  They were meant to be monuments to the pharaoh’s greatness, filled with treasures for the afterlife.  In order to construct such a massive structure, the pharaohs copied the Great Pyramid.  The Great Pyramid doesn’t contain a pharaohs body, treasure chamber, and no treasures itself.  So who built this wonderful structure?

The Great Pyramid is thirty times larger than the Empire State Building, the features are so large they can be seen from the moon.  The base covers 13.6 acres, which is equal to seven midtown Manhattan city blocks.  Each side of the pyramid is greater than five acres in area.  A highway lane that is eight feet wide and four inches thick could be built from San Francisco to New York and put inside the Great Pyramid.

Only a solid stone mountain could hold the Pyramid’s massive weight, and there just happens to be a flat solid granite mountain just beneath the surface of the ground directly under the pyramid.  The pyramid is located at the exact center of the Earth’s land mass.  That means that its East-West axis corresponds to the longest land parallel across the Earth, passing through Africa, Asia, and America.  Likewise, the longest land meridian on Earth, through Asia, Africa, Europe, and Antarctica, also passes through the pyramid.  Seeing how there is enough space on Earth to have 3 billion pyramids the odds of it’s being built where it is are 1 in 3 billion.

Like our bridge designs, the Pyramid’s cornerstones have balls and sockets built into them.  Being several football fields long, the pyramid is prone to expansion and contract movements from the heat and cold, as well as earthquakes, settling, and other such events.  After 4,600 years it’s structure would have been somewhat damaged without such construction.

The 144,000 casing stones, were so radiant that they could be seen from the mountains of Israel, hundreds of miles away.  On sunny mornings and late afternoons, sunlight reflected by this immense mirrored surface of 5 ¼  acres noted the pyramid as being visible from the moon.  In Bible prophecy 144,000 is the number of people, (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel) who are supposed to evangelize the world at the end time.

Incredibly, the outside surface stones are cut within 0.01 inch of flawlessly straight and at almost perfect right angles for all six sides.  They were placed together with an intended gap between them of 0.02 inch.  Modern technology cannot place such 20 ton stones with better accuracy than those in the pyramid.

The 0.02 inch gap was planned to allow space for the glue to seal and hold the stones together.  A white cement that connected the casing stones and made them watertight is still undamaged and more powerful than the blocks that it joins.

Scientists over the centuries have taken many measurements in their pursuit to find out more about the pyramid’s mysteries.  Among the intrigued was the great scientist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton.  He was trying to draw up his famous law of gravity, he needed to know the diameter of the Earth.  In the 1600′s no measurement was precise enough, especially since Newton theorized that the Earth’s spin would result in an equatorial bulge.  Having heard legends saying that knowledge of the Earth (past and future) were in the pyramid, Newton set out to research.

After he examined the detailed measurements made by the investigators before him, Newton identified that numerous key measurements would be in round numbers if the standard unit of measure was just 0.001 inch larger than the British inch, which is the Sacred Jewish Inch.  The Sacred Jewish Inch, 1/25 of a cubit, equals 1.00106 British inches.  This finding allowed the secrets of the pyramid to be unlocked and exposed unmistakable and mathematical relationships.

“For instance, we know from geometry that there is a universal relationship between the diameter of a circle and its circumference.  Consider this: The height of the Pyramid’s apex is 5,812.98 inches, and each side is 9,131 inches from corner to corner (in a straight line).  If the circumference of the Pyramid is divided by twice its height (the diameter of a circle is twice the radius), the result is 3.14159, which just happens to be pi.  Incredibly, this calculation is accurate to six digits.  So the pyramid is a square circle, and thus pi was designed into it 4,600 years ago.  Pi is demonstrated many times throughout the Pyramid.”

More numbers are also repeated all over.  Each of the pyramid’s four walls, when measured as a straight line, are 9,131 inches, for an amount of 36,524 inches.  At first glance, this number might not look important, but move the decimal point over and you end up with 365.24.  Modern science has proven that the precise length of the solar year is 365.24 days.

All of the evidence in the Great Pyramid proves that 4,600 years ago somebody knew a lot about the Earth.  Here is where it gets better.

“The average height of land above sea level (Miami being low and the Himalayas being high), as can be measured only by modern day satellites and computers, happens to be 5,449 inches.  That is the exact height of the Great Pyramid.”

Each of the four sides of the pyramid are very slightly and evenly bowed in, or concave.  This effect, which cannot be spotted by looking at the pyramid from the ground, was learned around 1940 by a pilot taking aerial photos to check certain measurements.  As measured by today’s laser instruments, everyone of these perfectly cut and intentionally bowed stone blocks copy accurately the curvature of the Earth.  The radius of this bow is the same as the radius of the Earth.  This radius of curvature is what Newton had long been searching for.

All the scientific and historic evidence still supports the conclusion that Ancient Egyptians built these massive structures as tombs for their magnificent kings.  Tombs where Khufu, Khefre, and Menkaure could start their mystic journey to the afterlife.

Whoever built the Great Pyramid had access to some information outside of that which earthlings had at the time, at least earthlings as we know them.  Now, one can dispute that we may have been visited by scientifically advanced beings from outer space who educated us with their technology.  That is possible with the evidence that was given.  If so, these advanced beings had the primary goal of leaving behind a message that would last for ages.

Suppose they did leave a message, it would have to be understandable by many languages that would not come into existence for centuries after the message was made.  So far the message suggests that whoever built the pyramid knew the Earth well.  They had to know the length of the year, the radius of curvature, the standard measurement techniques, the average height of the continents, and the center of the land mass.  They were capable of constructing something that we still cannot construct today, and they were able to tie all these things together in this single structure.  Were they extraterrestrial, or perhaps even supernatural?  Or were they just Ancient Egyptians?  The answer is not yet clear.  However, we have only examined the outside of the pyramid.


 1. Ashmawy, Alaa K.  The Seven Wonders: The Great Pyramid of Giza.  Internet Explorer 4.0.

 2.  Zajac, John.  Inside the Great Pyramid of Giza.  Internet Explorer 4.0.

 3.  Zajac, John.  Who Built the Great Pyramid?.  Internet Explorer 4.0.

Western Europe from 400 – 1000 AD

The changes that occurred in Western Europe, from the “Fall of the Roman Empire” until 1000 A.D., transpired in a series of events involving the actions and movements of many peoples across the continent.  This period of history following the Fall and preceding the High Middle Ages was a chaotic time in which an aversion to central power became the norm, warfare ran rampant, and yet the foundations for Western civilization were formed.

Following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the late fifth century, the Mediterranean Sea was still a center of trade and travel.  Rome was still considered a prestigious piece of real estate to own, as it had been the seat of power for several centuries in Western Europe.  Constantinople’s influence and geographic location helped it to remain a huge center of trade for Europe and Asia, and that would continue for centuries to come. (McEvedy, p25, 40) Consequently, this created a surplus in the treasury sufficient for Justinian to attempt a reconquering of the West in the early to mid-sixth century.

However, in later centuries, Western Europe became more land based, and the center moved north of the Mediterranean coast.  As the Roman Empire had been agrarian based, so was the lifestyle for the myriad of cultures and peoples that had migrated to the West.  The land there was well suited for it as, “Northwestern Europe’s dependable, year-round rainfall and the fertile soils of its numerous river valleys encourage agricultural productivity.”  (Hollister, p56-57)  The new kingdoms that formed placed their interests in these fertile valleys of the West, and not so much in the Mediterranean.

At its height in the second century A.D., the Roman Empire contained around 45 million people.  By its Fall, the number had been reduced to around 22 million, and population did not really begin to rise again until the mid-eleventh century. (Hollister, p146)  The shrinking of the cities that began in the late fifth century continued unabated.  For the next 500 years, there was no city of decent size anywhere in the West.  Plagues, which appeared sporadically throughout Europe, killed about one third of the populace each time it made a resurgence.  The only possible population expansion was occurring in Scandinavia, and may have been responsible for their invasions in the ninth century.

The basis for the economy at the time of the Fall was slave-driven agriculture.  The slaves were mostly acquired as booty from Roman conquest, “but as the frontiers jelled and the flow of war captives dwindled, the chief source of slaves was cut off.” (Hollister, p13)  Thus the turn to coloni, a form of sharecropper who, while technically free, nevertheless evolved into the semi-free serf so prevalent in later centuries.

Trade broke down markedly in the West after the Fall, due to the lack of cultural unity between manufacturing centers that had existed under the Empire.  In addition, without a central government providing protection for merchants, those transporting goods by land or sea were prone to attacks by pirates.  Taxes in turn became tribute, or protection money, paid to a local warlord to prevent lands from being pillaged.

Agriculture remained the economic center of life, although the forms it existed in altered.  Earlier settlements consisted of, “scattered individual farms, or small clusters of them.” (Hollister, p139)  And the Germanic tribes practiced slash-and-burn agriculture, which is by nature nomadic.  Later settlements became more structured, taking on the more permanent form of villages.  The basic type of village consisted of houses set close together, surrounded by great fields, specializing in different crops.  This type of grouping became the norm of civilization, as cities were rare.

Charlemagne standardized weights and measures which made determining value of goods easier.  He also minted coinage, facilitating tax collecting as well as determining wealth.  When he seized the Avar treasury, it created an influx of new money to the Western economy.

During the Carolingian reign, nobles were granted booty as reward and incentive to support the current king.  The problem inherent with this system is that it requires a constant stream of war and victories to appease the nobles.  Therefore, “with the flow of lands and booty drying up, many great landholders deserted the monarchy and looked to their own interests.” (Hollister, p109) Another issue with this system is that it creates hereditary titles that may not feel allegiance to the monarch.  To solve this aspect, lands and titles were granted to members of the clergy, who because of vows of celibacy did not have children.  Thus at the demise of the clergyman, the title and lands would revert back to the crown to be awarded to someone else.

At the time of the Fall and for most of history, the great majority of the populace belonged to the poor lower classes.  In Rome, the poor were appeased with free bread and entertainment, while the extremely poor may have become slaves.  The unhappiness of slaves is evident in the many revolts that occurred during the Roman Empire.  Women for the most part had little rights and were subject to the whims of their fathers, and then their husbands.  But as Hollister puts it, “life in Rome’s “golden age” could be pleasant enough if one were male, adult, very wealthy, and naturally immune to various epidemic diseases.” (Hollister, p14)

In the following centuries, owning land remained a major indicator of status.  The upper classmen were landowning nobles who were either granted their land by a warlord or monarch, or they had their own private army to stand guard.  Out of the creation of villages and the granting of lands after military conquest came the institution of feudalism.  This reciprocal system was a, “convenient way for a lord to support a retinue of warriors in an age in which money was scarce and land abundant.” (Hollister, p126)

The hierarchical structure, in theory, heralded the monarch as the supreme lord, who entrusted great territories to dukes and counts, who in turn supported vassals of their own, continuing down to the serf, the supreme vassal.  In truth, the vassals serving the king were as likely to fight against him as for him.  Under this system, the lords are afforded sustenance and men-at-arms from those beneath them on the hierarchy ladder, while those below are afforded protection by those above.

The enveloping tie that held the Roman Empire together for centuries when it was perhaps on the verge of downfall was the adoption of Christianity.  The Empire lacked a moral soul that Christianity provided.  It put an end to child abandonment, gladiators battling to the death for sport, and feeding criminals and slaves to wild animals.  But, slavery continued even after the Empire became Christian, because, “The Church generally accepted it, recognizing that the freeing of slaves would result in economic ruin.” (Hollister, p20)  It created a common bond between the peasants and the wealthy.  It even gave women a way out of an unwanted marriage, through dedication to a convent.  And it promised everyone that if they lived justly, a better existence awaited for them in the next life.

However, factions existed within Christianity concerning such things as the nature of the Trinity and of Jesus.  These divisions were a cause for much strife as it caused further animosity between the Empire and the Arian Germans.  However, through the centuries a melding of Germanic and post-empirical cultures came to exist, and formed the foundations for Western Christendom.

High culture, such as art and literature, abounded in the Roman Empire, but the mostly illiterate Germans had little use for it in their warrior dominated society.  During the centuries following the Fall, it was the establishment and spreading of monasteries that kept the old arts alive.  Monasteries formed the basis for learning and creativity during the early Middle Ages.  The contributions of the Benedictines were a major force in the conversion of “barbarian” races.  “They spearheaded the penetration of Christianity into the forests of Germany and later into Scandinavia, Poland, and Hungary.” (Hollister, p69)  The conversion of the Scandinavians was in fact a major contributor to ending their disastrous attacks on Europe.  In addition, the land which the monasteries owned in the name of the Church, led bishops and abbots to have distinct political power as well.  This integration of religion into the everyday life of the populace helped the papacy to achieve influence in all of Europe.

The word “diplomacy” can be misleading in dealing with the affairs of the Middle Ages.  Diplomacy tends to give the impression that a compromise is attempting to be reached.  For the most part in the Roman Empire, their diplomatic affairs that were limited to encounters with the Germanic tribes, consisted of either paying them off, or going to war with them.  Generally, the Empire was more successful in its campaigns than the Germans due to its legions and superior commanders.

In the later centuries, diplomacy goes out the window in an all-out attempt by kingdoms to accumulate as much land as possible.  The entire early Middle Ages is filled with conflict between neighboring Germanic tribes, Christian remainders of the Roman Empire, and invasions by Muslim Saracens, Hungarian Magyars, and Scandinavian Vikings.  There were some alliances, such as between the Church and Charlemagne, but they were brief as compared to the widespread warfare.

If there is one constant from the Roman Empire lasting through the Middle Ages, it is war.  The Roman Empire had a standing army of 400,000 well-trained legionnaires.  These foot soldiers were spread throughout the borderlands of the Empire to protect from invasion and secure against revolts.  While successful during the height of the empire, their effectiveness began to wane as they faced new enemies with new fighting styles, such as horse mounted light cavalry and archers.

Warfare in the following centuries was a determinant of political power.  The more battles you won, the more land and booty you acquired.  The early kings were basically warrior chieftains who were more successful than their rivals were.  Booty from campaigns was a large source of acquiring wealth, considering that taxes, and money in general, were almost nonexistent.  Charlemagne used lands won in battle as rewards to his nobles, who supplied him with troops.  One reason the Church allied with him and named him Holy Roman Emperor is because he controlled so much land in Western Europe.  While inventions and creativity in domestic life were rare, there was a constant search for a better armor, a more effective bow, and a stronger sword.

The kingdoms that emerged out of the chaos of the early Middle Ages would be the forces that shaped the modern Western world.  The nations of England, France, and Germany were defined in their early stages as world powers.  The Church took on the role of common denominator among the warring nations.  The stage was set for the next phase of mankind’s development:  The High Middle Ages.

The Treaty of Versailles

In the peace settlement Germany was forced to accept sole responsibility for causing World War I. This was a totally justifiable demand on the part of the victorious powers.

The Treaty of Versailles was enacted into history in June 1919 with Germany forced to accept sole responsibility for causing World War I. Since then there has been considerable debate concerning the war but even today historians still cannot fully agree upon the causes. Some support has been given to the theory that Germany was totally responsible for the war however substantial evidence does not support that view. Therefore the insistence by the victorious powers to include in the Treaty that Germany accept total blame cannot be justified. This essay examines certain events and actions prior to the July crisis. These caused tension and hostility among nations but did not have a direct bearing upon the war. Also it has been determined that there were decisions and courses of action taken by several nations following the assassination of Franz Ferdinand heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne which did have a direct bearing upon World War I.


Development of political and military alliances caused tension and hostility among nations leading up to World War I. Two major alliance systems developed due to conflicting national interests which had been evident during the past two decades throughout Europe. These were the “Triple Alliance” of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy and the “Triple Entente” of Britain, France and Russia. Also several smaller countries became indirectly involved in the alliances which effectively divided Europe into two “Armed Camps”. Russia pledged to support Serbia in order to prevent further Austrian-Hungarian expansion into the Balkans. Germany stated its support for Austria-Hungary and Britain had given its support for Belgium’s neutrality in 1839. However while these political and military alliances existed there is no direct evidence to indicate that any nation declared war on that basis. There had been several ‘crisis’ during the period 1905-1913. First the Moroccan crisis involving France and Germany during 1905 and 1911. No wars eventuated only tensions and fears regarding Germanys aggressive expansionist policies. Britain supported France being involved in Morocco and France conceded some territory in the Congo to Germany. Second the 1908 Balkans crisis eventuated because of the collapse of the Ottoman [Turkish] Empire. Austria-Hungary annexed the provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbia was insensed and sought Russian assistance. Germany became involved and Russia backed down. Finally two wars developed in the Balkans. The first Balkan war [1912] was between Turkey and the Balkan League [Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece] with Turkey being driven out of the Balkans. The second Balkan war ! [1913] occurred between Bulgaria and Serbia/Greece. Winning this war strengthened Serbs position and this gave Austria-Hungary concern regarding its influence in the Balkans. The main significance of the Balkan wars was the position of Britain and France placing restraint on Russia and Germany restraining Austria-Hungary. This did not happen with the July crisis of 1914 which resulted in World War I. [Condron - The Making of the Modern World] Also the two Balkan wars resulted in renewed antagonism between Bulgaria and the other Balkan states especially Serbia and caused general dissatisfaction because of the interference of the great powers in Balkan politics.[Grolier - World War I]. Evidence does support that while the various events discussed did not contribute directly to World War I they did indeed contribute to extreme tensions and suspicions between the great powers and certainly fueled the arms race which in effect prepared nations for the total disaster that w! as to follow the July crisis.


The arms race which mainly involved Britain and Germany began in 1896 when Germany took the decision to significantly expand its navy. This intense competition which developed created significant tensions between nations. The intensity to expand was further fueled following each major crisis which developed during the period 1905-1913. Britain hardened its position towards Germany. The arms race also extended to other areas such as the expansion and modernization of armies. Evidence suggests that due to the large increase in expenditure on navies and armies together with transport and equipment Britain and the European nations were in fact preparing for a war that they knew would eventuate at some stage. Germany ignited the arms race with its aim to develop a navy two thirds the size of Britain’s to protect the vulnerable North Sea and possibly through the fear of “encirclement” but evidence supports that Britain led the arms race and thus this action contributed significantly towards the carnage and destruction that resulted from World War I.


The assassination of Archduke, Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary occurred on the 28 June, 1914. This crisis was seen as the key event that started World War I. Austria-Hungary were presented with an opportunity to move against Serbia and resolve it’s Balkan problems. Germany agreed to support Austria-Hungary and presented them with the infamous “Blank Cheque” resulting in unconditional support. Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum containing impossible demands in effect provoking war with Serbia. However Serbia agreed to most of the demands. Germany advised Austria-Hungary to negotiate but instead they declared war on Serbia (28 July 1914). Russia immediately mobilised its troops and Germany supported Austria-Hungary. By August 1914 all major European powers except Italy, had become involved. Britain delayed its entry until German troops moved through Belgium in order to attack France.


The alliance system failed to prevent war as previously but perhaps nations did not expect it to escalate outside the Austria-Hungary and Serbian borders. Russian mobilisation may have been a show of strength for Serbia or perhaps it was in relation to the Schlieffen Plan. However the speed with which the mobilisation of European armies occurred would not have given time for negotiation. The Schlieffen plan was put into action by Germany and controlled by the Generals rather than the German government. It was apparently very rigid in nature and it was the Schlieffen Plan or nothing even though Germany at that point had no specific quarrel with France.


However what really contributed to the commencement of World War I. Historians today still cannot agree upon the causes. Nevertheless it is suggested that the events leading up to the July crisis such as imperial rivalry, arms race, alliances and the Balkan wars though not directly related must share some blame. This view can be supported due to the immense tensions and hostility that was generated among Britain and the European nations.


Evidence suggests that there was no single major cause for World War I but in effect there was several major events associated with its commencement. For instance the assassination of the Austrian-Hungarian heir Franz Ferdinand while an important event because it triggered off a series of events did not have any direct bearing on the war. However the Austrian-Hungary declaration of war upon Serbia did and this hatred for Serbia had been building up over many years. Also blame can be shared by Russia, Germany and France over their mobilisation plans-particularly Russia who commenced action first. Germany was further to blame for its totally unconditional support for Austrlia-Hungary who was the aggressor in the war with Serbia. It seems their thinking was that the war would be contained within the Balkans. Finally Britain must share some blame because had they been more decisive in supporting France then Germany would most certainly have had second thoughts about invading! France under the Schlieffen Plan.


Military alliances resulting in Germany’s encirclement, diplomatic mistakes, the arms race, imperial rivalries and immediate causes combined to cause World War I eg/ July Crisis. Each was a signficant factor, no one cause was the sole cause. It is clear that the Articals of the Treaty of Versailles, claiming sole German responsibility for causeing World War I was unjust, thus it was a shared responsibility for the cause of World War I.

Western European Agricultural Advances

Over the course of world history, there have been many factors that have changed the course of Western European history. Two of those main factors were the inventions of the chest harness for the horse and the three-field system of agriculture.
The harness for the horses of the early middle ages was poorly designed and needed to be changed. The early harnesses were used around the horses neck. This led to strangulation of the horses while pulling the plow. Obviously, these early harnesses needed to be designed better to better put the use of the power and speed of the horse. This change came about in the early 900’s.  An invention was made that allowed the harness to be placed around the horses chest. This new invention prevented horses from being strangled, which allowed for faster plowing and greater food production.
Around the same time as the chest harness’ invention, medieval villagers were organizing their land into a two field system of agriculture. This system utilized one large field divided in half, one half of a  field with crops and left the other half of a field was left  unplanted for a year so as not to exhaust the soil. This system led to problems, because dividing the land in half led to shortages in the production of food because only half of the field was being used. This system of agriculture needed some minor adjustments to increase the production of food without destroying the soil in the process. This new system came about around the year 800. Farmers began to use a new system, the three-field system, to farm their crops. The three field system used one large field like it’s earlier counterpart. The only change, was that the field was divided into three fields. Instead of only getting food from one half of your land, you could use two-thirds of the land to produce your own food. The direct result was a greater food production.
Both of these agricultural inventions forever changed the course of western European history. Using the three field system allowed for the villagers to have more to eat because of the amount of food produced. They produced more of the foods that are good sources of proteins which led to decreased sickness and disease. This led to the increase in the population of Western Europe. People were now able to raise larger families. With the new and improved harnesses on the horses, horses could now plow quicker. A farmer could start farming more land quicker because of the faster plowing methods. This led to even more food being produced, also increasing the population.
These two inventions, brought together, forever changed the course of European history. They increased fertile land growth, increased the population, help to try and prevent disease and sickness with better foods and increased food production tremendously.

Women in 18th Century France

Many changes occurred during the Enlightenment period of the eighteenth century.  For instance, more and more emphasis was placed on the family as the eighteenth century passed.  There were three groups of urban women in eighteenth century, lower-class, middle-class, and upper-class.  This essay will discuss the experiences of the lower and middle class urban women.  It will also cover Olympe de Gouges’, The Declaration of the Rights of Woman.

The changes were different for lower-class women as opposed to middle class women.  “Only those wealthy enough to afford to dispense with women’s work could partake of the new domesticity.” Our textbook, does not spend as much time talking about the lower class as it does the middle class.  None the less, it seems that in the cities, the condition of the poor was as desperate as it ever had been.  Mothers abandoned their children to foundling hospitals because they could not raise them properly themselves.  It was thought that they would live a better life at the hospitals, but hospital death rates were close to 80 percent.  Women who had a job could not afford the material needed to educate their own children, nor did they even have time to educate them if it were possible.  Working women now used wet nurses, which in the past had only been used by the wealthy.  Lower-class women had no privacy whatsoever as large families often lived in one room.  Wives were still beaten by their husbands. Having a large amount of suffering was nothing new, however, the urban poor blamed the government for all of the economic hardships.

Women fought alongside men in urban revolutionary activities.  In October 1789, a group of women, acting on their own, forced the king to leave Versailles for Paris.  It was the job of women to buy food for the family, and when they became unable to do this, the situation became intolerable.  They wanted the king to deal with these problems himself.

For Bourgeois women there were many changes.  Marriages that had been arranged in the past, became more of a romantic relationship as well as economic.  Mothers stayed at home and cared for their children more.  “The image of the doting mother replaced that of the domestic drudge.”  Female education and the intellectual pursuits of females became more accepted and common.  Although Men were more likely to be literate than women were, over one quarter of French women could read at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and towards the end of the century that number had doubled.  With the increase of female literacy, the overall rates also increased as women began to teach children.  The leisure time of bourgeois women increased greatly and more entertainment and literature was available to them.  Women began to read more and a vast number of books were available to them; a teach-yourself book, fanciful romances, and books of moral instruction.

Domestic life also began to change.  In the past, marriages had based on economic partnership and “a means to carry on lineage” .  Husbands ruled over their wives and made all of the family decisions.  Even in the middle of the eighteenth century, the “rule of thumb” was passed; it said that a husband could legally beat his wife as long as the stick was no thicker than his thumb.  During the second half of the eighteenth century, all of this began to change.  Although economic elements of marriage were still very much a factor, many other elements came into play.  “A new desire for individual happiness, romantic and sexual attraction developed into a factor in marriage” .Courting became a more common occurrence as “prospective partners could dance, dine, and converse with each other to determine compatibility”. Young people were now able to search for their own marriage partners and could turn down unsuitable ones.  Married couples began to spend more time together and personal lives changed dramatically.  Houses were built so that husbands and wives could have privacy from their children and anyone else who may bother them.  Sexual activity outside the marriage and premarital pregnancy rates were on the rise as well.  Village festivals still shamed husbands whose wives were unfaithful or women with bad reputations.

Furthermore, Women began to bear fewer children, which had a great impact of the lives of women.  Few children reduced the danger of death and gave them more leisure time to use at their discretion.  The early part of a woman’s marriage was devoted to her children.  People had a new attitude towards raising children.  Mothers began spending more of her time to raising her own children.  The use of wet-nurses steadily declined, as mothers wanted to nurture their own infants.  Women also began to teach their own children.  Childbirth also changed dramatically.  In the past, midwives had been predominately female, but as time passed, more and more males became involved.  Childbirth had been a completely female encounter, as it was experienced by and with other females.  However, it became a private event experience only by the woman giving birth and her doctor, which was usually male.

Women also demanded their place in politics, but they continued to be excluded even “though the importance of their participation in the revolution was indisputable”.  The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen was released on August 26, 1789.  No references to women or their rights appeared in this document.  Women were not thought of as being fit for participation in politics because of their “biological functions of reproduction and child-rearing”.  Wives were not independent or equal to their husbands in owning property, access to divorce, and the custody of their children.  When a woman by the name of Madame Germaine de Stael asked Napoleon whom he considered the greatest woman, dead or alive, he responded “The one who has had the most children.”

Dissatisfied to how women were treated and in response to The Declaration of the Rights of Man, Olympe de Gouges wrote The Declaration of the Rights of Woman.  In her first two paragraphs, she asks men, as a whole, what gives them the right to oppress women.  “Your strength? Your talent?” She then asks men to observe all of nature and find another example of how the female sex is treated the same way.  De Gouges then states that it will never be found, everywhere males and females cooperate in “harmonious togetherness”.  In the next paragraph it is stated that man alone is this way.  She basically states that man, blind with science, wants to control and command the woman and he claims rights to equality only so nothing else has to be said about it.

Article IV of her document declares that liberty and justice consist of giving back to people everything that belongs to them.  The only limit on women’s rights is male tyranny and this limit is to be reformed by the laws of nature and reason.  Article VI states that the law must be the same for everyone, regardless of gender.  Both males and females must contribute to the law some way, whether it is personally or by someone who represents them.  Just as both men and women are equal in the eyes of the law, both must be “equally admitted to all honors positions, and public employment” without and other distinction except virtue and talent.  Article VII further goes into law and declares that no woman is an exception and all are subject to the law equally.  Women should be accused, arrested, and detained just the same as males.  Article XI pertains to children.  It states that communication of thoughts and opinions are one of women’s most precious rights.  Fathers can declare their children, and so women should be able to do the same without barbaric prejudice for hiding the truth.  Article XIII declares that the contributions of women are equal to those of men.  Females share all of the painful tasks and duties and therefore should share the same “distribution of positions, employment, offices, honors, and jobs”.

Article XII says that guaranteeing rights to women implies a major benefit and that this guarantee should be instituted for everyone’s sake, not just for those who it helps.  Article XVII pronounces that property can belong to both sexes, whether they are married or single because it is a sacred right and no one can be deprived of this right.  The only way one can be deprived of this right is if public need obviously prescribes it, and then it can only be done with just reimbursement.

In her postscript, de Gouges begs women to wake up and discover their rights.  She states that men have become much stronger and needs women’s strength to be complete.  She declares that when men became free, they became unjust to women.  De Gouges also asks what advantage for women have come from the revolution?  Only more pronounced scorn.   She wants women to reclaim their estate based on nature.  In de Gouges’ final statement, she asks women what the have to lose?

I believe that in the beginning of the eighteenth century, women were treated very unfairly.  In no case should there be a law passed that a man can beat his wife as long as the stick he used is smaller than his thumb.  Perhaps I have this belief because of the time period I live in, but I can’t help to think that all men in eighteenth century felt this way.  I also learned that the middle-class progressed much faster than the lower-class.  The obvious reason for this is the extra income that a middle-class family would have.  I am happy to learn that more emphasis was placed on the family over the period of Enlightenment.  As far as de Gouges document, I can see why she would be so upset over the lack of women’s rights.  I think that today, some women take the rights that they have for granted.  I agree with de Gouges in some parts, yet disagree elsewhere.  I agree with the fact that women were discriminated against.  I somewhat disagree with the extent that de Gouges’ documents depicts.  However, if the document had not been as powerful as it was, women’s rights may have taken longer to achieve.  I really learned a lot about the rights of women during this time period and surprisingly, enjoyed doing it.

Women in Ancient Greece

Women’s role in Greece can be seen when one first begins to do research on the subject.  The subject of women in Greece is coupled with the subject of slaves.  This is the earliest classification of women in Greek society.  Although women were treated differently from city to city the basic premise of that treatment never changed.  Women were only useful for establishing a bloodline that could carry on the family name and give the proper last rites to the husband.  However, women did form life long bonds with their husbands and found love in arranged marriages.
Women are “defined as near slaves, or as perpetual minors” in Athenian society (The Greek World, pg. 200).  For women life didn’t extend far from the home, which was thought to be their sole realm of existence.  Though they ranked higher than slaves did, they were treated in many of the same ways.  Just like slaves, their mothers trained women as adolescents what their domestic duties were.  They were secluded from all males, including those in their family.  They lived in gynaikeion, which were women’s apartments in Athens (Daily Life in Greece, pg. 55).  They were kept at home where they were taught the proper manners and duties of a desirable wife.  “Marriage was the inevitable goal to which her whole life tended.  To remain a spinster was the worst disgrace which could befall a woman” (Everyday Life in Ancient Greece, pg. 82).  However, it was seen as more of a disgrace on her father who ‘owned’ her until she was married.
Although Athenian women were completely in charge of their household and slaves, they didn’t have much freedom.  They rarely left the house, unless they were part of some sort of religious procession.  They could only walk abroad in the streets if accompanied by a slave or other attendant.  It was improper for respectable women to share the same social entertainments as men.  Even if caught in the courtyard of the house by a male visitor, they would return to the seclusion of their own apartments.  Pericles once said, “it was their business to be spoken of as little as possible whether for good or ill” (Everyday Life in Ancient Greece, pg. 82).  This sentiment describes the extent of the importance of women in society.  Marriage was their only major role in the lives of men.
The betrothal was arranged by the parents as a strictly business contract.  The parent’s choice of a suitable groom for their bride was a matter of pride and status for the family.  The groom’s choice in bride was largely determined by the amount of dowry the bride would bring with her.  Although the wedding was a happy ceremony, it was only the beginning of a woman’s loss of independence.  Not only did women possess no independent status in the eyes of the law; she always remained under the supervision of a male.  If her husband died, she was returned to her father’s or brother’s home where they would take charge of her.
After the wedding, the wife’s duties were centered on the management of the home.  She would overlook the slaves, mend and make clothing for her family, usually done by spinning or knitting, weave rugs and baskets for the home, or just fold and refold the clothing kept in the family chest.  The wife was also responsible for maintaining her attractiveness for her husband.  A proper Athenian wife would adorn herself with jewelry and use rouge upon her husband’s arrival home.  Sometimes she might spend an entire evening sitting next to the couch where her husband lay reclining.
Most importantly the Athenian women were seen as “fine upstanding matrons” fit to bear a race of excellent athletes” (Everyday Life in Ancient Greece, pg. 86).  An Athenian man married primarily to have children.  These children were expected to care for him in his old age, but more importantly to bury him with the “full appropriate rites” (Daily Life in Greece, pg. 57).  Moreover, Athenian men married to have male children in order to perpetuate the family line and guarantee him honors when he died.  It was also a large disgrace for a man to be unmarried.  Basically, Athenians married not out of love for each other, but for religious and social convenience.
All this aside, love was abundant in Greek society.  Although love was never a determining factor in marriages, a lifelong bond and devotion developed between a couple as the years passed.  “We know that the Greeks of the fifth and fourth century used the word eros (love) to describe the passion linking a husband and his wife” (Daily Life in Greece, pg. 58).  There are many instances in myth and history where husbands and wives in Greek society have sacrificed themselves for the sake of the other.  They were bonded together by their love of their family and by their dedication to each other through their family.  Women were dedicated to the happiness of their husband and the well being of their children.  Men were dedicated to providing for and supporting their family and raising noteworthy children.  These common goals brought together the husband and wife like never before.  It was this bond that sparked the beginning of a lifelong commitment to one another and the growth of their love for one another.
Although women were not given formal rights, they were able to find pride and happiness in the mundane applications of their life.  Women found pride in their children and satisfaction in their husband’s happiness.  I would like to leave you with closing remarks that illustrate the bond between a wife and her husband.
“The greatest pleasure to me will be this, that, if you prove yourself my superior, you will make me your servant and there will be no fear lest with advancing years your influence will wane; nay the better companion you are to me and the better guardian of the house to our children, the greater will be the esteem in which you are held at home; and all will admire you, not so much for your good looks as for your good deeds in practical life” (Everyday Life in Ancient Greece, pg. 86).
“Atthis, who didst live for me and breathe thy last toward me, once the source of all my joy and now of tears, holy, much lamented, how sleepst thou the mournful sleep, thou whose head was never laid away from thy husband’s breast, leaving Theios alone as one who is no more; for with thee the hope of our life went to darkness” (Everyday Life in Ancient Greece, pg. 87).
  Everyday Life in Ancient Greece; C.E. Robinson.  1933.  Pages 81 – 87.
  The Family, Women and Death;  Sally Humphreys.  1983.  Pages 33 – 79.
  Daily Life in Greece;  Robert Flaceliere.  1959.  Pages 55-83.
  The Greek World; Edited by Anton Powell.  1995.  Pages 199 – 273.

Who Built the Egyptian Pyramids

According to most beliefs, pyramids were built with the help of great armies of slaves, by the ancient pharaohs of Egypt as tombs for preserving their royal bodies. Pyramids were meant to be monuments to the pharaoh’s greatness, filled with great treasures for the afterlife.  There is only one problem with this popular theory, the Great Pyramid itself contains no pharaoh’s body, no treasure chamber, and no treasures.  Since no bodies or treasures were found this opens up a door for the possibility that the pyramids were built by aliens using their far-more advanced technology than the Egyptians had 4500 years ago when the pyramids were built.  This essay contains proof that the Egyptians did not build the pyramids and will elaborate on: How could the Egyptians build such structures, why the pyramids were built in their location, how long it would take to build these pyramids and how many people.
One issue that appears is how have the Egyptians built such massive structures without advanced technology? This structures is thirty times larger than the Empire State Building, the Pyramid’s features are so large they can be seen from the Moon.  I.E.S. Edwards believes that a very long ramp was used. He says, “only one method of raising heavy weights was open to the ancient Egyptians, namely by means by ramps composed of brick and earth which sloped upwards from the level of the ground to whatever height was desired”.  There are a few problems with his theory one is that the ramp would probably end up being over a mile long, meaning that the ramp itself would be harder to build than the pyramid.  I.E.S. Edwards also says. “Finally, when the wall had been built to its full height, the ramp would be dismantled”.  Dismantling the ramp would probably take years, and where would all the rocks be put?  This long ramp seems very unlikely; even if it were used it would still take over a Pharaoh’s lifetime to build.
Another interesting issue, is numbers.  Calculate the perimeter of the pyramid, and divide it by two times the height, a number that is exactly equivalent to the number pi (3.14159…) up to the fifteenth digit is produced. The chances of this happening are remarkably small. Did the ancient Egyptians know what the number pi was? Not likely, seeing as it was a number not calculated accurately to the fourth digit, until the 6th century; and the pyramids calculate it to the fifteenth.  Another interesting fact is that the height of the pyramid (481 feet) is almost exactly 1/1,000,000,000 of the distance from the earth to the sun (480.6 billion feet).  How would the Egyptians know how far the earth is from the sun?  Another believer of aliens quotes:
   If you take the line of longitude that the pyramid lies on, and the
   latitude that the pyramid lies on, 31 degrees north, by 31 degrees
   west they are the two lines that cover the most combined land
   area in the world. (In essence, the pyramid is the center of all of the
   land mass of the whole earth!) .
No way the Egyptians knew how to calculate these figures and it is nearly impossible for all these numbers to be coincidental.  Only someone more advanced would know these figures.
Another important issue is the time it would take to build one of the pyramids.  Believers of the Egyptians having built the pyramids say that they were built over a pharaoh’s span, which for Khufu who had the largest pyramid built for him was around 20 years.  For the average pyramid, 100 heavy rocks that weighed about two tons each had to be carved carried and piled on top of each other per hour.  Erich Von Daniken quotes:
If the industrious workers had achieved the extraordinary daily piece rate of ten blocks piled on top of each other, they would have assembled the 2,600,000 stone blocks into the magnificent stone pyramid in about 250,000 days-664 years.
Six hundred and sixty-four years is a very long life span for a human being.  Surely the Egyptians would have encountered problems trying to build a pyramid in at 20-year period.
Imagine counting the number of people it would take to build the pyramids.  To pull all the stones needed to build the pyramid in a quick amount of time, the Egyptians would need a couple hundred people per block, this would add up to thousands of people which would be impossible to put together in one area.  Charles E. Sellier argues, “52,500 men all jammed together, shoulder to shoulder, pulling and sliding in mud, while maneuvering huge blocks at great heights, presents a ridiculous scenario. “According to Erich Von Daniken experts now estimate the number of inhabitants at the time of building the pyramid to be at around 50,000,000, that is quite interesting because the pyramids where built around 3000 B.C. and the population of the world was estimated at around 20,000,000 people.  How could the Egyptians have built the pyramids if they did not have enough people? This itself proves the Egyptians could not have built the pyramids.
These arguments prove that it was nearly impossible for the Egyptians to have built the pyramids. How would they do it, if they used a mile long ramp, it would take just as long to build and break down as it would take to build the pyramid alone.  How did they know about pi? Or about the distance from the earth to the sun? Or where the center of the earth is?  Another argument is how could they build in less than 20 years, this would take a miracle, the people would have to carve, carry, and lift 100 rocks per hour.  If they could somehow manage to do that than they would need more people than the entire population of world, which is impossible unless there are others living amongst us.  Not even the modern world could build such structures with their advanced technology; the Egyptians had no technology.  The pyramids must have been built by a far more advanced civilization than the Egyptians or the modern day.

World War II

Before World War II broke out the world took a backseat ride during HitlerÆs rise to power.  The entire world didnÆt think that he would become as influential as he became.  Hitler achieved his power by relying on the navieness of the world to sit back and allow him to do as he pleased.  The world was too concerned about political, economic and militant unrest to worry about a yelling German who thought we would rule the world.

Before and during the war, the world was concerned about the economic system.  Since ever since World War I, the world countries have been in and out of depressions, no one wanted another costly war.  The United States, which was in the Greatest Depression of all, was deep engulfed in its isolationist policy.  The US didnÆt want war, especially after the last one they fought with huge causalities and huge amounts of money spent.  The citizens of the US didnÆt want another war because they knew that another war would cause another depression and that was something that the people didnÆt want.  Even thought the war would create jobs, and put the economy back into a war boom, the American public didnÆt want to have to deal with the downsides of a war.  The major downside being the huge economic toll it would take on the government, which would be fighting on two oceans on different sides of the world.  It would become very costly to maintain war and win too.


The world also had enormous political concerns.  The US was in a period of isolationism and they wanted no part of anything else in the world, except the Western Hemisphere.  With GermanyÆs rise of Nazism, the world responded with fascist parties popping up in every nation across the world.  Hitler has spread his beliefs into every county in the entire world, exactly what he wanted.  These parties responded to every action that their leader took, they helped him scout out a specific country and infiltrate that countryÆs government.  These parties believe in Hitler and did whatever he told them to do, including in the United States.  After the countries realized HitlerÆs power they all formed different alliances.  The GermanÆs allied with Italy and Japan.  The US allied with Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union.  It seemed as though each day another country would sign up with either side.  Sometimes, even, countries would agree not to fight each.


The pre-war and during the war, militaries from all countries fought a war with superior equipment than in the last war.  With the invention of the plane, tank, machine gun spread war supplies all over the globe and allowed each country to empower itself.  The US prepared for war by passing a series of congressional acts that enabled the war budget to increase dramatically.  These acts also allowed for the US to help other countries without actually engaging in the war.  The US supplied Great Britain with supplies and ships without ever declaring war on Germany.  GermanyÆs invention of the Blitzkrieg they attacked nations and conquered them in single days.  No nation had ever seen tactics like this before, and they worked for Hitler.  HitlerÆs air force was the best in the world, he had the most planes with the best pilots.  They were unstoppable.  JapanÆs increase in military power proved itself with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December.  Japan showed off its massive air force that dominated and destroyed the majority of the United States Navy fleet.


World War II was a war that brought the world together.  There wasnÆt a place on the earth were this war wasnÆt fought.  There wasnÆt a place on this earth were people didnÆt take sides, whether with the Allies or the Axis powers.  The war brought countries like the United States and the Soviet Union together.  However, the war did bring mass destruction the Europe and the massive demise of the people hated by the NaziÆs.  Hitler almost wiped out an entire race; however, he failed because the on dominance and perseverance of democracy upon the world.

Viking Raids On England

From 793 to 1066, England was terrorised by Viking warriors. These were people from Scandinavia, especially Danmark and Norway. Scandinavia at the time had a growing population and with inland areas inhospitable, the vikngs looked overseas for new territories and wealth.
“In the year 793, the pagans from the north came to Britain like stinging hornets…” wrote an early Saxon chronicler about the first Viking raid on England. The Vikings had struck a small costal monastery, killed and pillaged. This was the frist blow in a mighty struggle between the Vikings and England whch ended with The Battle Of Hastings in 1066.
For the next 40 years however, there was peace. The Vikings had been preparing for a full-scale invasion and from 835 onwards, hardly a year went by without a raid being reported to the Saxon chronicles. In 851, the Vikngs first wintered in England and in 856 forced England to pay its first Danegald or tribute.
In 867, 3 famous sons of ragnar hairy-Breeches : Ivar the the boneless, Ubbi and Halfdan landed in East Anglia, marched across country, seized York and settled in Northumbria. By 871 the Vikings had overrun the north of England and were preparing to invade the Saxon stronghold, Wessex. This was the first time they had come face-to-face with the Saxon Prince Alfred. Although only second in command, Alfred led the Saxons to victory.
Later that year, Alfred became King Alfred and within months was on the battle fields once again. This time however, he was defeated at Wilton and forced to pay a tribute. After this the Vikngs split in two. One group under the leadership of halfdan went and settled in northumbria. the remaing under Guthrum settled in South Cambridge and waited for another chance to invade Wessex.
In 875, Alfred went to sea with a small naval force and on the south coast of Wessex met 7 Viking longships and defeated them. This was the first time that the Vikings had been challenged at sea so Alfred decided to build a fleet. While busy seeing over the shipbuilding, Alfred failed to notice that Guthrum had struck south. Guthrum had taken Chippenham thus surrounding Wessex and giving himself a much greater chance of success. The Vikings had taken control of most of West Wessex and the Saxons submitted to them. But not Alfred. He and a small group of troops made a small stronghold at Athelney.
Alfred, wishing to know the Vikings plans and tactics, dressed as a wandering minstrel and walked boldly into the viking camp and snuck his way into the council of war. After staying a few days, and content that he knew all he needed to, Alfred hurried back and told his men how easily the Vikngs could be beaten.
With the people of Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire united, Alfred drove the Vikings back to Chippenham and stayed to negotiate a treaty with Guthrum. This treaty stated that Alfred and the Saxon people aknowledged their new neighbours and territories. Guthrum returned to Danelaw which was comprised of the five boroughs of Derby, Stamford, Leicester, Lincoln and Nottingham but not before being baptised in the presence of Alfred.
After Guthrum moved back to Danelaw, there was seven years of peace. this was until a new army from the continent came across the English Channel and seized the city of Rochester. Alfred’s army came once again to the rescue a\though and defeated the new invaders and pushed them back to sea.
Alfred steadily pushed the Vikings back with many small invasion attempts and by 886 had regained control of London. by now all the English looked upon alfred as their leader. Alfred felt an easing of pressure and now concentrated on his defences. He built fortified towns or Burhs.
There were seven more years of peace, until The Great Army from Germany crossed the Channel with 250 ships, sailed un the Lympne estuary and stormed one of Alfred’s Burhs . These Vikings were defeated at Farnam and at the same time the Vikings in danelaw chose to send 100 ships to the north coast of Devon, so that the Saxons had to march west. The Saxons overtook the vikng army on the banks of the Buttington and on the Banks of the Severn and besieged it on every side. The Vikings this time were defeated be famine and when they finally faced the Saxons they lost a very bloody battle. After 2 further years of fighting, The Great Army broke up.
In October 899, King Alfred died. He went down in history as the man who saved England from being completely overrun but the Vikings still held Danelaw.
Alfred’s successor edward the Elder (899-925) was a powerful king. He conquered much of Danelaw in his reign as king. The next king, King Athelstan (925-940) was a powerful king also.
Despite this, the Northumbria Vikings were restless and joined forces with the Scots and the Norwegian vikings from Ireland. Athelstan inflicted a devestaing defeat upon them. The Northumbria Vikings continued however until their last king, Erik Bloodaxe was driven out in 954, when Northumbria became an English earldom. The Norwegian Vikings settled down and started to settle in the Northeast and Midlands.
Edgar the Peaceable (959-975) became friends with the Vikngs as he respected their beliefs and customs. But his son Ethelred the unready (978-1016) was a different kind of man. The Viking attacks were soon renewed. The Vikings had a string of victories and made Ethelred pay higher and higher amounts of Danegald. The most annoying of Ethelred’s foes was the king of Denmark, Svein Forkbeard. He attacked mercilessly until Ethelred ordered that “all the Vikings that have sprung up on this island shall be destroyed”. This led to the massacre of St. Brice’s day on 13th November 1002. Among those killed was Svein’s sister, Gunnhild. Her death enraged Svein and from 1003 onward there were continuous attacks.
When Svein died, his second son Canute took his place. He wooed the church and went on a pilgrimage to Rome. In all he ruled England, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and the Orkney and Shetland islands. While he reigned the Vikings and Saxon people lived in harmony, but when he died everything changed. His son died unexpectedly and as the fight for succession carried on, the English elected a new king, Edward the confessor (1042-1066).
The Vikings made one last attempt to conquer England under a new leader Harald Hardradi. However three days after losing the battle of Stamford bridge, the Normans landed led by Duke William. They fought hard with King Hardradi and all his remaining troops but were defeated and it was there that King Harald was killed. The Viking raids were over and the English had new tormentors.

Vietnam War

Before the U.S. went to Vietnam, twelve years before the war started, the French were there, it was their colony.  The French controlled the country.  Northern Vietnam wanted to make their nation Communist as China was probably their influence.  The people of southern Vietnam wanted the opposite. It was a typical tropical climate in Vietnam. South Vietnam urgently asked for immediate and extensive help from the United States. As the struggle progressed the U.S. Government made a decision to send troops to South Vietnam. This was how they ended up fighting beside the U.S. military.  Fighting aircraft and army helicopters flew to South Vietnam.  (They flew from U.S.  aircraft in the South China Sea.  Their major objectives were to keep peace before war erupted.  However, keeping the peace did not work.  The battle began, which meant time for three thousand more troops, more accurate machinery and high radio frequency links.
“The word Vietnam has evoked powerful and often contradictory images, and the lessons drawn have dictated answers to the most pressing questions.”  The Vietnam War occurred roughly thirty-five years ago.  When researching the Vietnam War, one may expect some confusion.  To this day, the United States remains confused about the war and exactly how it ended.  We, as a society and economy, lost thousands of soldiers and billions of dollars.  However, when viewing the bigger picture, a small outcome of the whole thing.  The United States also gave up a gigantic victory.  The Northern Vietnamese Army won the war.  Not only was it a horrible scene but the invasion capped the nation’s eyes and hearts in 1968.  During the fight, the United States military did not know how the South Vietnamese were going to react to the bombings.
You are maybe asking yourself a question, “Why or how did the South Vietnamese settle on the United States’ terms?”  After the Joint Chief of Staff accompanied the city with practice bombings, the United States troops invaded Cambodia and Laos.  The Vietnamese were not prepared and they could not resist.  For a long period of time, United States troops were finding people underground hiding from the practice bombings that were going on.  On a regular day in Vietnam, you could hear the sounds of Vietnamese voices in the cool air, everyone was always busy and life seemed so smooth.  If it weren’t for the cheap radios, the workers outside would go nuts, every second you would hear, “boom, boom, boom!”  Bombings began in the morning and  would not stop, sometimes until five o’clock  the next morning.  The cities were distracted and Vietnamese people lived like heathens during the war.  In city doorways, there were already homeless refugees lying around.  Army Panchos were made so they could sleep comfortably on the hard ground.  Most of the time, families had lost complete protection of other family members.  Mothers tried their best to huddle  their children and make sure the shelter was good and safe.  Many children relieved their guardians and went into gutters around the city.  Down inside of the gutter was nothing but wild dogs fighting rats over rotten garbage from the sewage.  Most Vietnamese people survived without food and only a little water.  The South Vietnamese were with the United States military and they made an effort to get food and water from us.  Overall, at the end of this tragedy, over a million troops and innocent people were dead.
First of all, what were we in war for?  The United States of America always goes to another country to either help someone with financial problems or to negotiate something with other governments.  We made a big mistake and I hope they have learned from it back in Washington D.C.  One of the most terrible moments that happened during the war was when the U.S military came out with the technology to sniff out the human smell.  They would put it on the front of helicopters and do sweeps over the jungles.  If they got any human readings, they would call in the attack bombers, which would drop napalm (Jelly Gas), for total destruction.  This shows the tactics used by the US.   The U.S. was just bombing blind.  We are known for taking over land during wars.  In the Vietnam War, we didn’t want any part of it at all.  After our soldiers would take over, we would kill everybody and didn’t care.  It affected our nation mentally and physically.  A big problem at this point was who was the enemy in this picture.  Fact:  “America dropped more bombs in Vietnam than they did in World War II.  In fact, it was three time as much.”  Many say the reason that happened the fact the military did not have any targets in the Vietnam jungles, only guesses.
The U.S.  was involved with the war before many people thought.   The U.S. had taken a stand for the French long before the Vietnam War.  “The United States was deeply and critically involved from the very beginning, commencing in October 1945, and from the outset the war was, to a major extent, American as well as French—even though the U.S. public did not realize this.”  These countries were not the only participants of the United States diplomatic support.  Paris had some word to share also.  Luckily, it was not against the United States.  It seems when you have so many countries involved in one agreement; everything seems to fall off.  As the years progressed, wars went on.  The part that hurts the most is innocent people, not just American soldiers, died without knowing what they where fighting for.  American troop casualties were the most killed ever in a war.  We actually came out pretty good with fifty thousand deaths.  The Vietnamese people lost millions and as far as the French in the earlier years, you can double the million.  “Till this day we celebrate Veterans Day for all of the casualties and the ones that are missing in action.  After Vietnam when the United States retreated they left behind many soldiers.  Now many are dead and some are just a mystery in another world.
Army soldiers were pressured throughout the war for many assignments.  Sometimes a lot of soldiers would get really angry, or even frustrated with their head man in charge.  A funny part is that it makes me wonder if it was all involving a political show down between two Americans.  It was all that mayhem for the United States government.
In conclusion, the Americans left Vietnam with their heads hanging down it was nothing to be happy about.  The deadline for the United States troops may have been the most exciting thing to ever happen in Vietnam.  The last American soldier left in Vietnam were captains and majors and senior sergeant leaders.  Americans were an army of a half a million strong until the end.  One day there was a courtside hearing in Vietnam towards the end of the war.  A military leader explained that Vietnam is inactivated at this date and its mission and functions reassigned.  We had to explain it next to the South Vietnamese.  When Southern Vietnamese found out they were screaming with joy.
It is now 1999 and we still have not learned from our mistakes.  Sometimes I wonder if we were the bad guys in the fight.  We bombed others without really going over the country taking care of business.  Like the war we are in now in Kosovo.  We hit China and many people got hurt.  What are we over there for is my question.  Are we bombing these countries properly?  Why can’t our government make negotiations and solve it there?  Many times we do have to solve our problems by war, but is it going to solve anything?


Who were the Vikings?  The definition of a Viking is “one belonging to the pirate crews from among the Northmen, who plundered the coasts of Europe in the eight, ninth, and tenth centuries.”  Some historical accounts have presented an image of the Vikings as brutal, savage, unfeeling warriors who pillaged and burned with reckless abandon.  This is not the whole story.  While the Vikings were great warriors, they did not kill for sport or burn and pillage without a motive.  They were cunning warriors who sought to make, and ultimately did make, great changes in the lands they conquered.

The period known as the Viking Age started in the 9th century and lasted until the 11th century.  During this time, Viking ships sailed from Scandinavia, at the center of the Viking World, out across the Northern Hemisphere.  They went out on voyages of piracy and invasion, and journeys of exploration, commerce, and settlement.  (The Vikings-Donovan. Pg. 15).  The Vikings expanded their empire over a great distance.  To the east, they traveled as far as the Black Sea and to the west they sailed at least as far as the coast of North America.  No one knows exactly why the Vikings decided to expand.  Some believe their quest for expansion was due to the overpopulation of their homeland, while others believe that climatic conditions and crop failure forced their migration. (From Viking to Crusader. Rizzoli)

Before the year A.D. 1100 the Vikings were polytheistic.  They believed that the leader of the gods was Odin, who was the god of battle, poetry, and death.  He was also the father of all of the other gods.  He presided over Valhalla (“the Hall of the Chosen”), the Viking heaven.  It was believed that when a Viking died in battle, a warrior maiden called a Valkyrie escorted him to Valhalla.  Once the warrior arrived at Valhalla, he began a new life where he fought all-day and feasted all night.  This belief in the conditions of the Viking afterlife shows us that the Vikings held fighting and feasting in very high regard.

The Vikings had several other very important gods as well.  The most popular god was Thor.  He was the ruler of thunder and the sky.  Thor was so popular that many Vikings wore lucky charms shaped like the hammer Thor supposedly swung to make thunder.  Another very important god was Freya, who was the goddess of love and the “provider” of large families. (The Vikings…Living History).

To honor their gods, the Vikings offered sacrifices.  A chieftain-priest called a gothi conducted these sacrifices.  They were held either inside a temple or at sacred location outside.  Vikings could offer anything of value to be sacrificed.  Precious metals, clothes, and other inanimate items were buried or thrown in a bog.  Sacrificial animals were eaten.  The greatest sacrifice of all was to give up a son.  This happened on a number of occasions but one in particular stands out.  When a war between Earl Hakon (ruler of Norway from 965-995) and a neighboring band of Vikings was going badly, Earl promised to sacrifice his son.  The battle changed immediately and Earl’s Vikings defeated the neighboring Vikings with minimal losses.  Earl gave his son to a servant to be put to death.  After the Vikings converted to Christianity sometime between 1050-1100 AD the practice of making sacrifices ended. (The Vikings…Living History)

In Viking society there were three classes of people.  They were the Bondis, Jarls, and Thralls.  The Jarls were military leaders and sometimes priests.  The Bondis were farmers or merchants, and the Thralls were slaves who were either born into slavery or captured in battle.  A Jarl would own a farmstead and around 30 Thralls.  He could also hire poorer freemen to work for pay.  The Thralls had to cut their hair short and wear white coats.  The Thralls did most of the heavy labor on the farm.  Thralls lived very hard lives.  A Jarl was allowed to beat his Thralls to death as long as he publicly announced what he’d done on the same day.   (The Viking World…Campbell)

Although the Vikings shared many customs (way of life, treatment of women, respect for elders), a common religion, and a language called Old Norse, they were not a unified nation.  They did, however, have very definite codes of behavior. Their first loyalty was to their clan (family) and secondly they were loyal to their local community.  Each year, these communities held meetings called “Things”.  The purpose of these meetings was to allow freemen to vote on their leaders and laws.  Before the year 800 A.D. the Vikings were many scattered tribes.  Some time after 800 A.D., Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (three important Viking Kingdoms) began to take shape.  New Viking communities were established in Iceland and Greenland as well.  Even with the emergence of these new kingdoms the Vikings never had one central government.  Each kingdom had its own hierarchy of leadership.

The Vikings were very ferocious warriors.  They were well known for their vicious raids on monasteries and other places.  The Vikings raided monasteries because most of the country’s wealth could be found in their treasure rooms.  The Vikings were not mindless killers.  They had laws against attacking traders, farmers, women, or men already involved in a fight.  Unfortunately, these laws were not always followed.  Raiding was a normal part of a Viking’s life.  In the eyes of a Viking, a Viking’s success could be measured by his raiding proficiency.  (The Vikings…Living History.)

The Vikings were most feared because they used the seas as their highways.  They could show up quickly and were nearly impossible to track.  The Vikings were very skilled shipbuilders and navigators and only sailed between the months of April and early October.  Their ships had a maximum speed of about 7 knots under oars.  They were usually around 76ft.long.  To enemies these ships were known for their incredible swiftness and maneuverability.  This was because the ships were equipped with rudders.  The ships could hold between 40 and 60 people. (From Viking to Crusader…Rizzoli)
The Viking Age ended when many states in Europe developed the feudal system.  This system gave the local lords wealth and property in exchange for their services as cavalry soldiers in the army.  The Viking raiders were no match for these heavily equipped, well trained soldiers.  Consequently, the Viking settlements were crushed by these armies.  During their existence, the Vikings had a definite impact on world history that will never be forgotten.  They have left a legacy in history as having been fearless, cunning, and brutal warriors who had a dramatic impact on the advancement of civilization.   (The Vikings…Living History.)


One of the most interesting and misconceived groups of all time were the Vikings.  The Vikings were the most feared of all the barbaric invaders.  The people who originated from Scandinavia, which in today’s world are the countries of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden were called Norsemen.  The Norsemen who took part in raids along the coast of Europe were called Vikings. These men were some of the great sea traders and warriors of all time.
The word Viking originated from the Norse language. Vik in Norse means “harbor” or “bay”.  These Vikings became powerful at about 740 AD and lasted till about 1050 AD. One major reason they stayed in power was there ability to travel using the Seas and Oceans in Europe.   The Vikings biggest reason for being skillful seamen was their Longships. Long, narrow ships packed with warriors helped a few ships conquer coastal cities.  The Longship was made of wood and was approximately thirty meters long.   The boats could hold at least 120 people because there were about 30 rowing benches on each side of the boat.
Early Viking voyages consisted of raiding Christian churches and monasteries and robing and burning harmless villages. The Vikings usually had superior weapons and were well trained.  Hence, they usually got what they wanted from these powerless villages. After the raid they would return to their ships and sail home.  As time went on, trading with other European countries grew.  Scandinavian countries sent salt, herring, and slaves they acquire from Russia to Constantinople, modern day Istanbul.  In return they received silk and spices. During their time old trade routes between east and west through the Mediterranean were closed or too dangerous to sail. The Vikings kept the trade route between Byzantium and the west open.  They did this by using Kiev and Russia.
Home life in Viking culture was different than other barbaric groups at the time.  Because of their trading, the Vikings incorporated different ideas from the countries they traded with.  The native dress of the Vikings was similar for both sexes. Both men and women wore fur or woolen hats and cloaks.  The Vikings had few meals that are still made today.  Some of these Viking foods are shortbread, porridge, and meat soup.
Education was not a major emphasis on life.  Since, there were no public schools, children were taught at home by their mother or nurse.  Girls learned how to spin, weave, dye clothes, and to cook and clean just to name a few things.  Boys played games such as wrestling and fencing.  Once a boy turned 15 or 16 he was encouraged to join a ship and try their luck at battle.  After two or three successful voyages most Viking males had enough money and a high enough noble rank to retire and give their sons the opportunity to go into battle.
The Vikings had a very advanced government for a barbaric group of people.  They basically had a Medieval democracy, with an assembly that acted as court and legislative body.  There was also a king of each tribal group, which was how the Vikings lived.  In 930 the oldest recorded Assembly occurred in Iceland.  This assembly was called the Althing.
Religion also had a great influence on the Viking culture.  Vikings had a polytheist belief, which consisted of many warrior gods.  One of the major gods in the Viking culture was Odin, the chief god, who proceeded over Valhalwhla, which is the warrior’s heaven.  Only through death in battle could a warrior enter Valhalla.  Thus warriors fought unafraid and with pride. When a Viking died he was buried with many things that he might need in his journey to the Valhalla. Hence, Viking graves often contain Arab silver, Byzantine silks, Frankish weapons, Rhenish glass, and other products of an extensive trade. Just before 1000 AD King Olaf of Norway converted to Christianity and was baptized.  He then made a public law that any Viking that did not convert to Christianity was put to death so most Vikings became Christians.
In conclusion, I have shown that the Vikings were a very interesting culture.  They had an advanced way of attacking enemies and raiding communities using their incredible ships and warrior skills.  They were a group of people who changed the way people did things for many generations after their reign.
 The Vikings. The Viking Network. 16 October 1996
 “Vikings.” Compton’s Encyclopedia Online. Vers. 2.0. 1997.
  America Online. 11 November 1998. Keyword: Compton’s.
  Spoon, Andrew.  Vikings. 12 November 1996

Vietnam War

Vietnam War, military struggle fought in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975. It began as a determined attempt by Communist guerrillas (the so-called Vietcong) in the South, backed by Communist North Vietnam, to overthrow the government of South Vietnam. The struggle widened into a war between South Vietnam and North Vietnam and ultimately into a limited international conflict. The United States and some 40 other countries supported South Vietnam by supplying troops and munitions, and the USSR and the People’s Republic of China furnished munitions to North Vietnam and the Vietcong. On both sides, however, the burden of the war fell mainly on the civilians.

The war also engulfed Laos, where the Communist Pathet Lao fought the government from 1965 to 1973 and succeeded in abolishing the monarchy in 1975; and Cambodia, where the government surrendered in 1973 to the Communist Khmer Rouge.

This article is concerned primarily with the military aspects of the war; for further discussion of the historical and political issues involved, see Vietnam: History.
(1945-54). The war developed as a sequel to the struggle (1946-54) between the French, who were the rulers of Indochina before World War II, and the Communist-led Vietminh, or League for the Independence of Vietnam, founded and headed by the revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh. Having emerged as the strongest of the nationalist groups that fought the Japanese occupation of French Indochina during World War II, the league was determined to resist the reestablishment of French colonial rule and to implement political and social changes.

Following the surrender of Japan to the Allies in August 1945, Vietminh guerrillas seized the capital city of Hanoi and forced the abdication of Emperor Bao Dai. On September 2 they declared Vietnam to be independent and announced the creation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, commonly called North Vietnam, with Ho Chi Minh as president. France officially recognized the new state, but the subsequent inability of the Vietminh and France to reach satisfactory political and economic agreements led to armed conflict beginning in December 1946. With French backing Bao Dai set up the state of Vietnam, commonly called South Vietnam, on July 1, 1949, and established a new capital at Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).

The following year, the U.S. officially recognized the Saigon government, and to assist it, U.S. President Harry S. Truman dispatched a military assistance advisory group to train South Vietnam in the use of U.S. weapons. In the meantime, the two main adversaries in Vietnam-France and the Vietminh-were steadily building up their forces. The decisive battle of the war developed in the spring of 1954 as the Vietminh attacked the French fortress of Dien Bien Phu in northern Vietnam. On May 8, 1954, after a 55-day siege, the French surrendered.

On the same day, both North and South Vietnamese delegates met with those of France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, the United States, Communist China, and the two other Indochinese states, Laos and Cambodia, in Geneva, to discuss the future of all of Indochina. Under accords drawn up at the conference, France and North Vietnam agreed to a truce. It was further agreed to partition the country temporarily along the 17th parallel, with the north going to the Communists and the south placed under the control of the Saigon government. The agreement stipulated that elections for reunification of the country would be held in 1956.

Neither the U.S. nor the Saigon government agreed to the Geneva accords, but the U.S. announced it would do nothing to undermine the agreement. Once the French had withdrawn from Vietnam, the U.S. moved to bolster the Saigon government militarily and, as asserted by some observers, engaged in covert activities against the Hanoi government. On October 24, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower offered South Vietnam direct economic aid, and the following February, U.S. military advisers were dispatched to train South Vietnamese forces. American support for the Saigon government continued even after Bao Dai was deposed, in a referendum on October 23, 1955, and South Vietnam was made a republic, with Ngo Dinh Diem as president. One of Diem’s first acts was to announce that his government would refuse to hold reunification elections, on the grounds that the people of North Vietnam would not be free to express their will and because of the probability of falsified votes (although Diem and other South Vietnamese officials were also accused of fraudulent election practices).


The Treaty of Versailles was intended to be a peace agreement between the Allies and the Germans.  Versailles created political discontent and economic chaos  in Germany.  The Peace Treaty of Versailles represented the results of hostility and revenge and opened the door for a dictator and World War II.

November 11, 1918 marked the end of the first World War.  Germany had surrendered and signed an armistice agreement.  The task of forming a peace agreement was now in the hands of the Allies.  In December of 1918, the Allies met in Versailles to start on the peace settlement.   The main countries and their respective representatives were: The United States, Woodrow Wilson; Great Britain, David Lloyd George; and France, George Clemenceau.  “At first, it had seemed the task of making peace would be easy”.   However, once the process started, the Allies found they had conflicting ideas and motives surrounding the reparations and wording of the Treaty of Versailles.  It seemed the Allies had now found themselves engaged in another battle.


Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924), the twenty-eighth President of the United States (1913 –1921).   In August of 1914, when World War I began, there was no question that the United States would remain neutral.  “Wilson didn’t want to enter the European War or any other war for that matter”.   However, as the war continued, it became increasingly obvious that the United States could no longer ‘sit on the sidelines’.  German submarines had sunk American tankers and the British liner, ‘Lusitania’, in May 1915, killing almost twelve hundred people, including 128 Americans.   This convinced Wilson to enter World War I, on the allied side.  As the war continued, Wilson outlined his peace program, which was centered around fourteen main points.  “They (fourteen points) were direct and simple: a demand that future agreements be open covenants of peace, openly arrived at; an insistence upon absolute freedom of the seas; and, as the fourteenth point, the formation of a general association of nations.”   The fourteen points gave people a hope of peace and lay the groundwork for the armistice that Germany ultimately signed in November 1918.  Although the United States was instrumental in ending the war, Wilson was still more interested in a “peace without victors”  than annexing German colonies or reparations (payment for war damages).  However, as the Allies began discussions of the peace treaty, the European allies rejected Wilson’s idealism and reasoning.  It soon became increasingly obvious that the allies were seeking revenge and Germany was destined to be crippled economically and socially by its enemies.


David Lloyd George (1863 – 1945), who was the Prime Minister of Great Britain (1916 – 1922), governed through the latter part of the war and the early post war years.   Britain and Germany were, historically, always rivals.  Before the war, for instance, Germany challenged Britain’s famous powerful and unstoppable navy by dramatically increasing the amount of money spent on their navy.  In terms of losses, Britain absorbed thirty-six percent of the debt incurred by the allies and seventeen percent of the war’s total casualties.   After the war, Britain faced tough economic problems.  Their exports were at an all time low due to outdated factories, high tariffs, and competition from other countries.  As a direct result, Britain suffered from high unemployment, which of course, affected the well being of the country.  Britain had its pride and nationalism stripped.  The Treaty of Versailles would provide an opportunity to seek revenge for their losses.  They were also seeking annexation of German colonies in Africa.


Georges Clemenceau (1841 – 1929) was the Premier of France (1906-1909) and (1917-1920).   As Britain, France had a rivalry with Germany but the French’s ill feelings were even more intensive.  “Nationalism created tensions between France and Germany.  The French bitterly resented their defeat in the Franco – Prussian War and were eager to seek revenge.  Moreover, they were determined to regain Alsace – Lorraine.”   This gave the French the motivation of increasing their military strength and ultimately, destroying their life-long enemies.  During the war, France’s portion of the war debt amounted to twenty percent.  Their loss, in terms of war casualties, was thirty-three percent.   Most of the battles were fought on French soil.  This resulted in the destruction of “ten million farm acres, twenty thousand factories and six thousand public buildings”.   After the war, France suffered terribly, economically.  Inflation and a deflated French Franc spurned the French to take advantage of the armistice.  “Clemenceau wanted revenge as well as security against any future German attack.”   He also wanted a huge amount of reparations, to annex the coal rich Saar Basin, the return of Alsace – Lorraine and an independent Rhineland for a buffer zone between Germany and France.


All the leaders had different opinions and motives regarding the Treaty of Versailles.  Coming to a consensus was difficult.  The Treaty had to be revised several times before the final copy was signed on January 18, 1919.  “There was scarcely a section of the treaty which was not attacked, just as there was scarcely a section of the treaty which was not attacked.”   The German’s were reluctant to agree to such harsh terms.  “Even the most humble German was appalled by the severity of the treaty.”   France and Britain were both eager to have revenge on Germany but selfishly wanted each other’s benefits.  “Clemenceau pointed out that the British were making no effort to placate the Germans at the expense of British interests.  They offered no proposals to reduce the number of German ships to be handed over, or to return Germany’s colonies, or to restore the German Navy, or to remove the restrictions on Germany’s overseas trade.  Instead, it was always at the expense of French interest that concessions were to be made.”   Wilson thought both France and Britain were being too vindictive and unreasonable.  The allies used Wilson’s Fourteen Points program to convince Germany to sign an armistice.  However, once Germany complied, these points were ignored.  “The French, for example, had no intention of abandoning what Wilson castigated as the “old diplomacy,” with its secret understandings and interlocking alliances.”   Therefore, in the end, the European Allies, including France and Britain, received what they wanted from the treaty.


“The actual costs, for Germany, included: the guilt of the entire war and, paying 132 billion gold marks in reparations.  Germany also lost one eighth of its land, all of its colonies, all of its overseas financial assets and limiting their once powerful military.”   Britain and France would receive large sums of the reparations and German colonies in Africa as mandates.   France also received its wishes with Alsace-Lorraine.  “France would recover Alsace-Lorraine outright.”   However, the main delight for France and Britain was seeing Germany suffer.


The biggest problem Germany had with Versailles was the war guilt, which was stated in article 231 of the Versailles Treaty.  The Allies were astonished to find this particular paragraph was the most violently disputed point in the entire treaty.  Article 231 stated:  “The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.”  It seems weird that they would treat Germany that way after they too had been in the war.  Fighting and killing were done by both sides but only the Germans were punished.  “If our army and our workmen had known that peace would look like this, the army would not have laid down its arms and all would have held out to the end.”   All Germany became very upset about the whole treaty.  “This aroused intense nationalist bitterness in Germany.”   The future looked grim and had no cause for optimism in the near future.


After Versailles was ‘in stone’, Germany became a very weak country, seeking to avenge the vindictiveness and total lack of empathy shown by the allies.  “The German people could not resist, but, in unanimity, they could still hate.”   Germany suffered from great economic problems after the war.  They had already lost many lives and things during the war, but now they were responsible for paying the reparations.  The Germans tried paying their debts by borrowing and printing more money.  They were shocked to find that incredible inflation was the result.  “The hardships caused by the inflation of the 1920′s contributed to the political unrest of Germany after WWI.”   After the war, Germany became a republic (called the Weimar Republic).  The Weimar Republic had many problems from the very beginning.  “Many Germans despised it (the Republic) because its representatives had signed the hated Versailles Treaty.”   There were revolts by both a communism party and a fascism party.  In the end, the fascists party was favoured because “they were extreme nationalists, who denounced the Versailles Treaty and opposed the democratic goals of the Weimar Republic.”   With the rise of fascism came the rise of Hitler and his Nazi Party.


Adolph Hitler, of the Nazi Party, preached a racist brand of fascism.  His party “kept expanding, benefiting from growing unemployment, fear of communism, Hitler’s self-certainty, and the difference of his political rivals.”   When Hitler became chancellor in January 1933, he began rebuilding a promising future for Germany.   He promised jobs and benefits to all classes of people.  Almost all Germans felt compelled to listen and obey Hitler’s extreme ideas of fascism because for some, he was their last hope.  Hitler knew how to win people’s obedience, through their fears and insecurities.  “Hitler successfully appealed to a Germany that was humiliated by defeat in World War I and the Treaty of Versailles of 1919.”   Hitler succeeded and began to regain Germany’s strength.  “Germany was too powerful to be suppressed for long.”   Hitler broke many rules contained in the Treaty of Versailles.  For example, Hitler sent troops into the demilitarized Rhineland and the French did not respond.  This and other scenarios gave Hitler the incentive to invade other countries and ultimately, invade Poland and started World War II.  With WWII came the dreadful horrors of the Holocaust.  Hitler had ordered the deaths of at least five million Jews.   Not only did he orchestrate these mass murders, but he also influenced countless individuals to think and act in the same disgraceful manner.  Hitler may have had sick and shameful ideas but he certainly knew how to be a manipulative leader.  He played on the fears and insecurities of the people and used their weaknesses to win their loyalty.


In conclusion, The Treaty of Versailles was supposed to represent the peaceful ending to World War I, however, it became the prelude to another war.  It was originally an effort to restore order and provide a peaceful conclusion to World War I.  The ill feelings and economic upheaval that resulted provided the perfect climate for Hitler’s dominance, in post-war Germany.  The contributors/participants of Versailles had other motives behind the ‘peace agreement’ other than a peace settlement.  Their selfish actions resulted in, not only the economic hardship of Germany, but inflation and unemployment in all of Europe.  The severity of the reparations contained in this document set the stage for history to repeat itself.  “Therefore, the very way in which the Treaty of Versailles was forced on the German people stored up the material for the next round.”

US Slavery

When slavery was first practiced in the Americas during the early colonial period, it was purely for economic use. The use of slaves in sugar, tabbaco, and cotton plantations brought a great deal of profit and thus slavery was implemented into the whole system where there was harsh agriculture. These regions were located within the equator, where the climate was warm and apt for agriculture. However, as time past industrialization started influenzing the non-agricultural regions of Americas. Hence, two distinct types of economies emerged as well as the consequent friction between the two. Those who remained dependent on agriculture needed slavery as an economic factor; but those who were industrialized did not, thus they had no reason not to oppose slavery as a moral issue. (In the United States there was contrast between North being industrialized and South being based on agriculture). Those who politically opposed slave-owners or slavery-adherents found it practical to use slavery as an excuse to reproach (besmirch) them, not because they felt anything incorrect about slavery itself. (Political leaders favored slaveowners inorder to obtain support such as in Peru, Venezuela, etc). Nonetheless, religion cannot be accounted as reasons for opposition because both sides pursued religion as their justification; even those who supported slavery used Christianity to defend slavery such as the Southern slaveholders in the US. Therefore, opposition to slavery originated from those who regarded it as morally and religiously wrong but was further supported by those who took advantage of it for political (machiavellian) reasons.
The abolition of slavery in the Americas occured upon fits and starts. Slavery was an institution entrenched both in economic life and in the social fabric of essentially hierarchical societies. The commodities produced by slave labor, particularly sugar, cotton, and coffee, were crucial to the exopanding network of transatlantic trade.(1) In Brazil and Cuba slaveholding was also widespread in the cities and in some food-producing regions. Thus while the ideological transformations accompanying the growth of capitalism in Great Britain set the stage for a general critique of chattel slavery and championing of “free labor”, it took more than a changing intellectual climate to dislodge the institution.(2) Abolitionism took on its greatest force when it coincided with economic change and domestic social upheaval, and particularly when it became an element in the defining of new nations or new colonial relationships. (3)
Similarly also in the United Sates, according to thorough study of antebellum Southern industry, the Southern lag in this category of development resulted from any inherent economic disadvantages – not shortage of capital, nor low rates of return, nor nonadaptability of slave labor – but from the choices of Southerners to invest more of their money in agriculture and slaves than in manufacturing.(4) Their attitude was: “We want no manufactures; we desire no trading, no mechanical or manufacturing classes.”(5) The free labor image of North and South did not, of course, go unchallenged during the 1850′s. It was during this period that the activity of the pro-slavery theorists reached its peak, and in fact the Republican defense of the northern social order and their glorification of free labor were in part a response to the attacks of these same writers, especially George Fitzhugh. The pro-slavery writers insistsed that in free society labor and capital were in constant antagonism, and that as a result the laborer was insecure and helpless.(6) They denied that any real social mobility or harmony of interests existed in the North. In his famous “mud-sill” speech, South Carolina’s Senator James Hammond declared that in all social systems “there must be a class to do the mean duties, to perform the drudgeries of life,” and Fitzhugh divided northern society into four classes: the rich, the highly skilled professionals, the poor thieves, and the “poor hardworking people, who support everybody, and starve themselves.”(7) For this last class there was no hope of advancement – not one in a hundred, as South Carolina’s Chancellor Harper said, could hope to improve his condition.(8) For all practical purposes, according to pro-slavery writers, slavery existed in the North as well as in the South. As Hammond put it, “Your whole class of manual laborers and operatives, as you call them, are slaves.”(9) Thus, slavery was too profitable in the economies of agriculture, including the Southern United States, that it could not have been opposed without a significant social or economic change.
The rising tide of nationalism caused some Latin Americans to question dreary racial concepts. To accept the European doctrines, they finally realized, would condemn Latin America perpetually to a secondary position.(10) The nationalists concluded that the doctrines were simply another means devised by the Europeans to humiliate and subjugate Latin America. In due course, the Latin Americans rejected the foriegn racist doctrines, and in doing so they took a major step toward freeing themselves from Europeans cultural domination. At that time attitudes toward the Latin Americans of African descent also underwent change.(11) As the first step, it was necessary to end slavery. The Spanish-speaking republics abolished it between 1821 and 1854.

The Haitian Revolution between 1791 and 1804 firghtened slaveholders throughout the Americas and had an important direct effect on the course of the Spanish American wars of independence.(12) After being thwarted in his initial revolutionary efforts, the “Liberator” Simon Bolivar went in 1815 to Jamaica and then to Haiti to seek assistance. President Alessandre Petion of Haiti insisted on a commitment to emancipation as a condition for support, and Bolivar made such a commitment. Opposition to slavery became an element in a new Spanish American ideal of citizenship, expanding the possibility of recruiting among slaves and other opposed to the power of slaveholders.(13) Material and strategic support from Petion gave Bolivar’s cause new life, but many of the leaders of the independent movement continued to temporize when faced with the choice between forthright abolitionism and the mobilization of slaves abd free people of color on the one hand, and the continued protection of property rights as a means for obtaining or retaining elite support on the other. (14) It was thus not surprising that antislavery commitments were ratified by some of the early republican congresses, such as that of the Republic of Gran Colombia at Cucuta in 1821, but encumbered with conditions and timetables that stalled the actual process of emancipation. The republicans in Peru were even more cautious, putting property rights and social stability first and not declaring emancipation, even as they sought to recruit among slaves and free people of color.(15)

Furthermore, it is important to note that the crucial demographic difference between North and South in the United States resulted from slavery itself. Ninety-five percent of the country’s balck people lived in the slave states, where blacks constituted one-third of the population in contrast to their 1 percent of the Northern population.(16) The implication of this for the economy and social structure of the two section, not to mention their ideologies and politics, are obvious and require little elaboration here. However there is a brief point worth emphasizing: many historians have maintained  that Northerners were as committed to the white supremacy as Southerners. This may have been true, but the scale concern with this matter in the South was so much greater as to constitute a different order of magnitude and to contribute more than any factor to the difference between North and South.(17) And of course slavery was more than an institution of racial control. Its centrality to many aspects of life focused Southern politics almost exclusively on defense of the institution.(18) Thus, the South could not afford to oppose slavery, an institution being such a great part of themselves.
The inhumanity of the “peculiar institution” gradually caused antislavery societies to sprout forth in the United States. The first stirrings of the abolistionist sentiment occured at the time of the Revolution, especially among Quakers.(19) Because of the wide-spread loathing of blacks, some of the earliest abolistionist efforts focused on transporting the blacks bodily back to Africa. The American Colonization Society was founded for this purpose in 1817, and in 1822 the Republic of Liberia was established for former slaves.(20) In the 1830′s the abolitionist movement took on new energy and momentum, mounting to the proportions of a crusade. American abolitonists took heart in 1833 when their British counterparts unchained the slaves in the West Indies.(21) Most important, the religious spirit of the Second Great Awakening now inflamed the hearts of many abolitionists against the sin of slavery. However, antislavery sentiment was not unknown in the South, and in the 1820s antislavery societies were more numerous south of Mason and Dixon’s line than north of it.(22) But after about 1830 the voice of white southern abolitionism was silenced. In the last grasp of southern questiuoning of slavery, the Virginia legislature debated and eventually defeated various emancipation proposals in 1831-1832.(23) That debate marked a turning point. Thereafter all the slave states tightened their slave codes and moved to prohibit emancipation of any kind, voluntary or compensated. Nat Turner’s rebellion in 1831 sent a wave of hysteria sweeping over the snowy cotton fields, and planters in growing numbers slept with pistols by their pillows.(24) Pro-slavery whites responded by launching a massive defense of slavery as a positive good. In doing so, they forgot their own section’s previous doubts about the morality of the “peculiar institution”. Slavery, they claimed, was supported by the authority of the Bible and the wisdom of Aristotle.(25) It was good for the Africans, who were lifted from the barbarism of the jungle and clothed with the blessing of Christian civilization. Slavemasters did indeed encourage blacks contained such passages as: (26)
      Q: Who gave you a master and a mistress?
      A: God gave them to me.
      Q: Who says that you must obey them?
      A: God says that I must.

On many plantations, especially those in the Old South of Virginia and Maryland, this argument had a certain plausibility. Southern whites were quick to contrast the “happy” lot of their “servants” with that of the overworked northern wage slaves, including sweated women and stunted children.(27) Thus, ironically, both the North and the South supported their cause on slavery with religion. This also happened elsewhere in the Americas such as Venezuela and Puerto Rico, where slavery was similarly crucial to the economy.
The difference between who supported slavery and who did not does not come from differences in ideology or religion as shown above. What counts more, as usual, are the political and economic aspect of the issue. Whereever harsh agriculture was needed such as in Southern United States or in Venezuela or Peru, slavery was supported as a necessity. Some people who opposed slavery were people who opposed it becuase it would generate political benefits, even though they did not care about the slavery issue at all. There was no answer to who was right and who was wrong, especially since religion (Christianity) was used by both sides to justify their stands. Although the issue of emancipation was brought up by those who morally opposed it (such as the Quakers in the United States), but was carried on by those who could afford to support it in a political sense. It demonstrates how the world is run by Machiavellianism, not ideology or religion.



U.S. Foreign Policy in Vietnam

In the history of the United States, our foreign policy has caused many disputes over the proper role in international affairs.  Because of the unique beliefs and ideals by which we live in this country, we feel obligated to act as leaders of the world and help other countries in need.  Therefore, the U.S. has attempted to somehow combine this attitude with economic and strategic gain.  After World War II, the Cold War was initiated, and America’s fear of communism led Truman to begin the endeavors of the “containment” of communism.  As a result, the U.S. became involved with Korea and then Vietnam.  The U.S. was determined not to let South Vietnam fall to the communists because President Eisenhower once stated that the fall of Vietnam would have a “domino” effect.  Unfortunately, not everyone viewed Vietnam the same way as Eisenhower.  Opponents of the war believed that the U.S. had no right to intervene in this civil war, while supporters maintain the attitude of moral obligation for the world by defending freedom and democracy from communism.  Three historians in Conflict and Consensus carefully examine our foreign policy and involvement in the Vietnam War.  Each article emphasizes different points and explains how one of the most powerful countries in the world lost the war.

In the first article, “God’s Country and American Know-How,” Loren Baritz argues that the American myth of superiority based on nationalism, technology, and moral ideals brought the U.S. into the war.  The Americans never understood the Vietnamese culture and their true sentiments on the war.  Nevertheless, because of our power and moral prowess, the U.S. was confident that we would prevail.  This was our biggest mistake; we were blind and “ignorant”(473).  Baritz states that “we were frustrated by the incomprehensible behavior of our Vietnamese enemies and bewildered by the inexplicable behavior of our Vietnamese friends”(470).  Because of our isolation on the North American Continent, the U.S. had a difficult time understanding the exotic cultures around the world, especially Vietnam.  Thus, as a direct result, Americans considered foreign courtesies and rituals crude and inferior to the customs of the civilized country of America.  This point is quite sad and embarassing, but Baritz points out that “cultural isolation”(476) occurs all over the world.  It is the Solipsistic philosophy that the universe revolves around the earth, just as all the nations of the world revolve around the U.S.  According to John Winthrop, we are the “Chosen People”(473) because of God’s favor and presence.  So are we obligated to set the standards of culture for the world?  Because of our prominence and success as a prosperous nation, we stand forth as leaders; however, no country can define the culture of another nation.  The U.S. failed to understand that “everyone prefers their own language, diet and funeral customs”(475).  Upon first impression, the American soldiers viewed the Vietnamese people as savages because “they lived like animals”(470).  Thus, the soldiers failed to appreciate “the organic nature of Vietnamese society, the significance of village life, the meaning of ancestors, the relationship of the family to the state, the subordinate role of the individual, and the eternal quest for universal agreement”(470).  Just because the Vietnamese were poor, we presumed that they were begging for our help; we were “attempting to build a nation in our own image”(471).  Furthermore, it is not the “ingratitude or stupidity”(470) which sparked the Vietnamese resistance against U.S. soldiers but rather a cultural misunderstanding.

Baritz believes that this ignorance of culture is one of the primary reasons why we lost the war.  Dr. Henry Kissinger even admitted that “no one in this government understands North Vietnam”(471).  We even thought we understood the Vietnamese to some extent by thinking that “life is cheap in the Orient”(471).  However, this ridiculous comment rose from our “ability to use technology to protect our own troops while the North Vietnamese were forced to rely on people, their only resource”(471).  This meant that the Vietnamese were willing to sacrifice as many men as possible to win the war.  Our ignorance prevented us from overcoming this kind of warfare.

As for the cultural misunderstanding of our allies, the South Vietnamese, Baritz points out one custom which the American soldiers could not tolerate:  soldiers holding hands. Vietnamese soldiers held hands with other accompanying soldiers.  This was a show of friendship for the Vietnamese, but for Americans, holding hands was a sign of homosexuality.  American soldiers measured up to “the military’s definition of manhood”(472) by compeletely condemning homosexuality.  This simple custom caused many problems between the U.S. soldiers and the South Vietnamese.

Baritz now provides the other argument for entering the Vietnam War:  The Cold War.  In this argument, the U.S. is more concerned with showing off our strong military power with strategic planning in the nuclear arms race against the Soviet Union.  “They [Soviets] knew, and we knew, that this threat was not entirely real, and that it freed the Soviets to engage in peripheral adventures because they correctly believed that we would not destroy the world over Korea, Berlin, Hungary or Czechoslovakia”(480).  Thus, we extended the arms race in “limited wars”(480) around the globe.  We demonstrated this in Korea, and the situation is the same in Vietnam; “we had to find a technology to win without broadening the war”(481).  We felt invincible; up to the Vietnam War, we had never lost a war.  “We had already beaten the Indians, French, British, Mexicans, Spaniard, Germans, Italians, Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese”(479).  The U.S. was becoming too confident in relying on our technology to beat the North Vietnamese.  “We thought we could bomb them into their senses with only limited human costs to ourselves”(483).  Technology gave us the ability to organize precise strategic maneuvers and attacks, but unfortunately, the simple guerrilla warfare of the Vietnamese was overpowering.  “Our national myth showed us that we were good, our technology made us strong and our bureaucracy gave us standard operating procedures”(483), but even with this combination, the strategy was not good enough to win the war.

In the second article, “The Legacy of Vietnam,” Guenter Lewy carefully discusses the assumption that Vietnam and all of Southeast Asia are important for strategic and economic gains for the U.S.  For strategic purposes, Lewy believes that by defeating the North Vietnamese, America might contain Communist China because the Chinese threatened to “change the status quo in Asia by force”(485).  As mentioned before, Truman wanted to contain communism and prevent the rapid spread of the evil, and Eisenhower believed that controlling Vietnam was the key to continue the “containment.”  However, Lewy believes that the “containment” of China by defeating Vietnam is not necessary.  “Asia is a very large continent.  It has a diversity of cultures, traditions, states, and so on.  Nations like their independence in Asia just as much as they do in other parts of the world.  To assume that some mystic inevitability has decreed that they are all to be swallowed up in the Chines empire is not convincing”(485).  Lewy thinks that Eisenhower’s prediction of the “domino” effect was wrong.  In fact Lewy believed that American policy makers went into Vietnam because of fear for the grand alliance of communism that would dominate Asia.  The importance of Vietnam is over exaggerated. “By 1969 South Vietnam accounted for less than one percent of American import”(487).  This obviously shows the unimportance of the economic gains in Vietnam  Even if these imports were important to United State’s economy, it seems that the “commodities produced by the area, such as rubber, tin and coconut oil… were not irreplaceable”(486).  The only commodity that South Vietnam had that was important to the U.S. is the potential oil off the shores.  Yet the discovery is not made until 1970, twenty years after the conflict had started.  “Needless to say,” Lewy concluded, “this discovery in 1970 can hardly explain decisions taken in the previous 20 years”(487).

Even as the war dragged on, the validity of American claim in Vietnam diminished.  The valid fear for the spread of Red Asia under the leadership of Russia came to a halt in the mid-1960s.  As Lewy pointed out “Russia and China were no longer close allies but open enemies.”  It is therefore no valid claim to stay in Vietnam for “the world communist movement no longer represented a monolith”(487).  China turned inward and focus more on its cultural revolution.  In terms of foreign policy, China sought new allies to counter-balance the presence of its hostile Northern neighbors.  The admission of China into the United nations in 1971 proved the new direction that Chinese foreign policy head toward.  As Lewy stated, “Communism had ceased to be the wave of the future”(487).

It seems that after series of claims to be in Vietnam fell short, the only reason to go in is the preservation of democracy.  Democracy is the one claim which compelled us to stay in Vietnam.  Yet again Lewy doubted the great moral claim.  He believed that United motives to go into Vietnam was not as altruistic as it seemed; the main motive of the war was to defend the title of United States as the dominant power in the world.  Such challenge is stated when North Vietnamese Defense Minster declared in July 1964 that “South Vietnam is the vanguard fighter of the nation liberation movement in the present era… and the failure of the special war unleashed by the U.S. imperialists in South Vietnam would mean that this war can be defeated anywhere in the world.” (487)  It is not surprising that presidents immediately begin to declare Vietnam as “a vital interest of U.S.”  200,000 U.S military personnel were in Vietnam by early 1966, despite the fact that Vietnam was “not a region of major military of industrial importance.” (488)  United States was ready to defend its world supremacy through the battles of Vietnam.  What was worse for the United States was the arrogant attitude.  United States was not like France, who “could withdraw from Indochina and North Africa without a serious loss of prestige.” (488)  Many people believed this philosophy to be true.  In fact even as the situation became worse during Johnson’s and Nixon’s administration, it was still “important to liquidate the American commitment without a humiliating defeat.” (488)  The defeat however is inevitable and the impact of the war was more devastating than the optimistic Americans had predicted.

The fall of Vietnam marks the most humiliating defeat in American History.  Americans were awaken by the trauma of Vietnam.  A “No more Vietnams” psychology sprung up all over the country.  Lewy commented that American turn to isolationism in hope that such an disaster will never happen again.  Lewy stated that the “United States cannot and should not be the world’s policeman.” (490)  The result for taking up a moral burden such as Vietnam only results in the severe casualties.  Despite what the American ideal for democracy, Lewy concluded, we can not support and change the world.  “The Statesman cannot be a saint” (491) as the Korean Conflict and Vietnam conflict had shown to the American people.  The American idealism changed significantly because of the impact of Vietnam war.

Lewy ended his essay with one of the most frequently asked questions:  could the United States have won in Vietnam?  Lewy suggested that United States started off on the wrong foot in the beginning.  Simple motives like “fighting for democracy in Vietnam” and “halting communist aggression” while having some truth in them are not enough to justify the position of U.S. intervention.  President Johnson also made a mistake in the beginning of the war because of his confidence.  He constantly “spoke of success and light at the end of the tunnel, but continued to dispatch additional troops while casualties mounted steadily.” (492)  The turning of the war from a “limited war” to a full scale occurred as more troops were sent in.  Yet while Johnson was willing to send in more troops, he was unwilling to declare war.  American people did not know what they were fighting for because of the undeclared war.  Further, without industrial mobilization on the home front, the mission was destined to fail.  The nation ended up fighting “a limited with the full employment of its military power restricted through elaborate rules of engagements and limitations… while for its determined opponent the war was total.” (492)

Lewy did not deny that the war was lost militarily.  In fact he believed that U.S. strategy was wrong from the beginning.  He wrote that “the U.S. failed to understand the real stakes in a revolutionary war.” (497)  United States army failed to realize the objective of the war.  Edward G. Landsdale once wrote that “the Vietnamese Communist generals saw their armed forces a instruments primarily to gain political goals. The American generals saw their forces primarily as instruments to defeat enemy military forces.” (497)  As a result Lewy concluded, “the enemy’s endurance and supply of manpower proved stronger than American persistence in keeping up the struggle.” (497)  The resolute Vietnamese opposition simply demoralized our will to fight.  When they suffered major casualties it strengthened them while it weaken United States’ morale when we suffered major casualties.  Finally Lewy believed that The United States had set out on the wrong foot from the beginning.  “The war,” Lewy commented, “not only had to be won in South Vietnam, but it had to be won by the South Vietnamese.” (497)  Yet it seems that from the beginning of the conflict, The Republic of Vietnam did not have the zeal that the U.S. did.  The United States however failed to stress the importance of the role the South Vietnamese should play.  As a result the war could not be won because we were not Vietnamese.  Henry Kissinger inevitably concluded that “outside effort can only supplement, but not create local efforts and local will to resist.” (499)  The United States could neither win a war nor lose one because it is not our war.  The failure of the Vietnamese people to take their active roles in their revolutionary war was the cause for the lost war.  Lewy therefore concluded that with the war lost on the enemy front, home front and the Vietnamese front, the war in Vietnam could not be won.

Finally, in “The Last War, The Next War, and The New Revisionists” Walter LaFeber also attempts to address the Vietnam question.  He first addresses the reason for the losing of the war.  He brings up the Westmoreland Thesis which argued that “the conflict was not lost on the battlefield, but at home where overly sensitive politicians followed a “no-win policy” to accommodate “a misguided minority opposition.” and that “the enemy finally won ‘the war politically in Washington.’” (500)  Other revisionist historians like Gelband Betts proposed that “it was not the ‘system; that failed… the failure was to be blamed on the American people who never understood the war and finally tired of it, and on the President who supinely followed the people.” (501)  Lewy, another historian further, clarified Westmoreland’s argument that antiwar groups wrongly labeled Vietnam illegal and immoral.  But Lewy inevitably destroyed Westmoreland’s thesis when he mentioned the massacre at My Lai and at Cam Ne.  The blame for losing the war, therefore LaFeber concluded, is split among the Revisionists and the other historians.

LaFeber then addresses the impact of the war to build up his thesis of the Revisionists.  He argues that “Vietnam ‘greatly altered’ the world balance of power” and that “American power has dramatically declined, politically as well as militarily.” (501)  The lessons of Vietnam invariably became the basis for American foreign policy for the next decade.  The Afghanistan and Iran crisis during Carter’s administration showed that lessons of Vietnam had finally taken itself in the form of the nations policy.  Furthermore, Ronald Reagan proclaimed in one of speeches that “we must rid ourselves of the ‘Vietnam syndrome.’” (503) Therefore LaFeber concluded that the lesson of Vietnam had changed U.S. foreign policy greatly.

Lastly, LaFeber discusses the arguments of the new revisionists.  He criticizes their explicit claims and the facts that they chose to ignore.  The new revisionists claim that the country has been “misguided by the opinions of the minority” is not correctly stated.  Herbert Schandler’s study had shown that the latest public opinions rallied behind the president. (503)  Even as the antiwar movements increased during late 1970, the public opinions did not turn the president.  LaFeber showed that “it did not stop Nixon from expanding the conflict into Cambodia and Laos.” (504)  Therefore LaFeber concluded that the Antiwar movements had been greatly overrated by the Revisionists.  The Revisionist instead should emphasize the defeat military in Vietnam.  The Revisionists also concentrated too much on the Soviet Union.  Instead they should focus “on the instability of the Third World areas that the Soviets have at times turned to their own advantage.” (505)  The Revisionists therefore did not understand where the problems were in south East Asia.  LaFeber also stressed that the Revisionist had underestimated Unites States military power.  American military will is not lacking; the troops as LaFeber pointed out were “supported by the most powerful naval and air force ever used in Asia.” (505)  Bombs were dropped every minute on Vietnam.  Therefore neither the will nor the power is lacking in the war.  The war was lost not because U.S. declined in power but rather from the “overestimation of American Power.” (505)  The Revisionists, suggested LaFeber, over-exaggerated some of the issues.
 If the power of United States were overestimated, the war then was lost because of the aid of our allies and the cost of the war.  The Revisionists often overlooked this subject, LaFeber argued.  He pointed out that “of the forty nations tied to the United States by treaties only four- Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Thailand- committed any combat troops.” (506)  Even South Korea, a country which owed much to U.S., only send troops after Washington bribed them.  The failure of the aid from the coalition eventually undermined the U.S. effort in Vietnam.  The will of the people which the Revisionists stressed as the downfall of the war is also affected by the cost of the war.  The American people simply did not want to fight a bread and butter war.  Domestically, the Great Society Program must be sacrificed to accommodate the war.  The great cost of the war eventually influenced the public sentiment so much that the will of people favors peace.  By overlooking the two key aspects of the war, LaFeber concluded, the Revisionists attempt to make the war “more acceptable,” and “hoped to make the next war legitimate, even before… where it will be or what it will be fought over.” (508)

These three articles in Conflict and Consensus all showed remarkably similarity not only in their subjects but also in their opinions.  They all attempted to address why the United States lost the war.  In doing so they also addressed the attitude of American people and the military forces.  They analyzed the strength of the U.S. military power and the Vietnamese forces.  They all asked the question of why the war started and what importance was Vietnam.  But despite the similarities of the three articles, they differ in details.

While Baritz addressed the loss of Vietnam, he attributed the loss to the ignorance and haughty attitude of Vietnam.  She stressed the myth of America as the “God’s chosen country” and believed that we lost the war because we were too arrogant and too confident of ourselves.  Baritz argued that Americans put too much faith into technology, Bureaucracy and the myth.  These things she addressed as the downfall of United States.  Lewy shared a different view when he attempted to address the loss of Vietnam.  He attacked the conflict from the beginning, doubting the importance of Vietnam and United States’ motive to interfere.  He also addressed some of the major forces that turned public opinion against the war such as TV, the lack of declaration of war, and the antiwar movements.  On a military scale, Lewy also addressed the ineptitude of the American army to fight a revolutionary war and the failure to draw the Vietnamese into their own war.  Lewy proposed a more comprehensive theory from the beginning to the end of how the United States could lose the war.  LaFeber’s interest in his article however is not addressing how America lost the war.  But nevertheless by rejecting some of the Revisionists’ points of view, he revealed a different scope of the war.  He rejected Westmoreland’s theory and pointed out that the public sentiment was favoring the president and the war.  He rejected the focus of the war on Communism and Russia to show that the South East Asia problem is a question of stability not communism.  LaFeber also pointed out the common misunderstanding of the conflict’s central political and military features.  He believed that United States overestimated its own power.  Furthermore he revealed the reluctance of American allies to commit its troops, and he revealed that the public is unwilling to sacrifice butter for guns.  LaFeber’s view therefore is extremely different from the two historians mentioned before yet he still attempted to address the same questions.

American Involvement In Vietnam, 1968.

Many people wonder how the Americans managed to become involved in a war 10,000 miles away from their native continent, but the initial reasons for U.S. involvement in Vietnam seemed logical and compelling to American leaders. Following its success in World War II, the United States faced the future with confidence. From George Washington’s perspective, the threat to U.S. security and world peace was communism emanating from the Soviet Union. Any communist anywhere, at home or abroad was, by definition, and enemy of the United States. With the unsuccessful appeasement of fascist dictators before World War II, the Truman administration believed that the United States and its allies must meet any sign of communist aggression quickly and forcefully. This was known as containment. In Vietnam the target of containment was Ho Chi Minh and the Vietminh front he had created in 1941. Ho Chi Minh was a communist with long-standing connections to the Soviet Union. He was also a Vietnamese nationalist who fought first to rid their country of the Japanese and then, after 1945, to stop France from establishing its former leadership of Vietnam and the rest of Indochina. Truman and other American leaders, having no sympathy for colonialism, favoured Vietnamese independence. But expanding communist control of Eastern Europe and the triumph of the communists in China made France’s war against Ho Chi Minh seem anticommunist. When France agreed to an independent Vietnam under Bao Dai as an alternative to Ho’s DRV, the United States decided to support the French position.

In 1949, China became a communist state, and the stability of Japan became prime importance to Washington. The outbreak of war in Korea in 1950 served primarily to confirm Washington’s belief that communist aggression posed a great danger to Asia. Truman having “lost” China and settling for a stalemate in Korea caused succeeding presidents to fear the domestic political consequences if they “lost” Vietnam. This apprehension (an overestimation of American power, and also an underestimation of Vietnamese communist strength) locked America into a firm anticommunist stand in Vietnam.

Because America failed to appreciate the effort that would be required to exert influence on Vietnam’s structure, the course of American policy led to an escalation of U.S. involvement. President Eisenhower increased the level of aid to the French but continued to avoid military conflict, even when the French experienced defeat at Dien Bien Phu in early 1954. Afterwards, an international conference at Geneva arranged a cease-fire and a North-South partition of Vietnam to be made at the 17th parallel until elections could be held. The United States was not happy with the Geneva Agreements and began to side with South Vietnam’s president Ngo Dinh Diem, who resisted holding an election on the reunification of Vietnam in October 1955. Over $1 billion of U.S. aid was given between 1955 and 1961, but the South Vietnamese economy deteriorated. Nation building was failing, and in 1960 communists in North Vietnam created the National Liberation Front (NLG) or Vietcong as its enemies called it, to challenge the Diem regime. America introduced the ‘Strategic hamlet programme, moving South Vietnamese peasants from their homes to build guarded camps to be protected from the NLF. This strategy failed, as the South Vietnamese found themselves being forced to build camps against the NLF who did not threaten them.

President John F. Kennedy, along with his predecessor’s, believed in the domino theory and also that the U.S. anticommunist commitment around the world was (in 1961) in danger. To counter this he had tripled American aid to South Vietnam by 1963, giving money to recruit 20,000 more troops in S. Vietnam and expanding the number of military advisers to over 12,000. Diem government still failed to show any progress (economic or political). Buddhists, spiritual leaders of the majority of Vietnamese, staged dramatic protests, including self-immolation (to sacrifice ones self) against the dictatorship of Diem. Finally, after receiving an assurance of non-interference from the U.S. officials, South Vietnamese military officers conducted an operation that murdered Diem and his brother also. Whether these developments would have led Kennedy to alter U.S. involvement in Vietnam is unknown, since Kennedy himself was assassinated three weeks later.

Diem’s death left a hole in South Vietnams leadership. With a presidential election approaching, President Johnson did not want to be saddled with the charge of having lost Vietnam. On the other hand, an increase in the U.S. responsibility for the war against the Vietcong and North Vietnam would slow resources from Johnson’s ambitious and domestic program. A larger presence in Vietnam would increase risk of a military conflict with China. Soon, America alleged that North Vietnamese boats had conducted attacks on U.S. Navy vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin in mid 1964. This prompted Johnson to authorise small scale bombing raids on North Vietnamese targets. He also got support from Congress allowing him to use military force in Vietnam. These actions helped Johnson win the presidential election, but they did not stop the Vietcong from its pressure against the government in South Vietnam.

By July 1965, Johnson chose a course that vastly escalated U.S. involvement in Vietnams affairs but stopped short of an all-out application of American power. By 1968 the number of American troops in Vietnam exceeded 500,000. Also a tremendous air campaign against North Vietnam was started.

Suddenly, the American forces had found themselves in “a bottomless military and political swamp” as President de Gaulle of France had warned years earlier.

Ukrainian Culture

The best way to begin to understand Ukrainian culture is to review early Ukrainian history. This will give us a good step from which to look at traditional Ukrainian culture. Unlike the Russian people, who descended from northern tribes descending from Scandinavia and the far north, Ukrainian history was influenced by southern civilizations such as Scythians and Greeks. Invasions by the Huns and the Khazars between the 3rd and 9th centuries mixed Ukrainian bloodlines with those from all over Asia. During the 10th century, Kievan Rus was established and the golden age of Ukrainian kings was born. During this period, many important events took place, notably; King Volodymyr the Great introduced Christianity to the Ukrainian State.

The region fell to the Mongols Golden Horde in the 13th century, and was eventually ruled by Poland and Lithuania. This was known as the Age of the Kozaks, Ukrainian horseman that formed one of the largest armies of the time to fight against the invading armies of more powerful nations. These Kozaks were active in their fight for independence well into the Russian occupation, before eventually coming under the control of Russia in the late 18th century. In 1918, Ukraine declared its independence, only to be reclaimed in 1922 by Communists during the Bolshevik Revolution. Ravaged by war and Nazi occupation during WWII, Ukraine remained under Soviet rule until declaring its freedom in 1991.
Ukrainian culture has been defined in many creative styles. Literature is arguably the most prominent expression of Ukrainian culture. Ukrainian literature had been developing since the early 11th century, when people of the early Kievan Rus drafted some of Ukraine’s first works in early Church Slavonic, such as the Hypathian Chronicles. The first historical epic of Ukraine, Slovo o polku Ihorevi, was written during this period. The major authors of this period were two monks known as Ilarion of Kiev, Cyril of Turov, and Prince Volodymyr Monomah II. The 16th century brought such innovations as the printing press that allowed the church to spread information during a period of Polish occupation. Works such as Perestoroha and Apocrisis bound together the religious community in these tough times.

Ukraine experienced the Baroque period in the 17th and 18th centuries, with the rest of Europe. The best known poet of the 18th century was Hryhory Skovoroda, often referred to as the “Ukrainian Socrates”. The Ukrainian dialect was greatly strengthened during, and after, the 18th century when Ukrainian began to overcome Russian as the language of literary choice. The 19th century brought about the Golden Age of Ukrainian literature with authors such as Ivan Kotlyarevski (Eneida), and Hryhory Kvitka Osnovyanenko. The romanticism was centered in Kharkiv during the 1830’s producing more ‘enjoyable’ works that were read by both the affluent and the poor alike. The trio of Shashkevich, Holovatsky, and vahylevich wrote the most notable works.

Taras Shevchenko, the greatest recognized poet of Ukrainian history, was the first to write of the Russian oppression of the Ukrainian serfs in poems such as Haidamaky, which eventually became national treasures.

Authors such as Marko Vovchok, and Ivan Nechuy-Levitski supported Ukrainian realism. Their works took a more somber role of looking at the aspects of their country around them, from the suffering of the serfdom to the Ukrainian intelligencia. Lesya Ukraina, who worked in prose, best defined Modernism of the 19th and 20th centuries. Authors such as Pavlo Tychyna, Mykhylo Symenko, and Mykola Bazhan produced the greatest works of their time during this period known as the ‘realism’. After this period, Ukrainian works became more and more oppressed by Soviet occupation, and would eventually end the trail of great Ukrainian works. Ukrainian art took shape in two very notable forms. In music, the bandura; and in visual arts, the pysanka, or, Ukrainian Easter egg. The bandura is an old instrument from the old days of the kozak armies. Banduristiv, as they were called, would roam from the different villages singing songs about the kozak battles, and sharing the rich history of the country at a time when travel was long and dangerous. The pysanka is a decorated egg that descended from pagan times as an offering of good will and religious gift between family and friends. The pysanky were found to be very superstitious, and played an active role in a persons life, be it as a blessing for good crops, or as an icon of protection over a families home. The pysanky are an art form that is unique to Ukraine because of their heritage, applications, and meanings in Ukrainian life. The most interesting aspect of pysanky is perhaps the method in which they are created. The method, known as ‘dye transfer’, involves applying thin layers of wax in intricate patterns by hand, and dipping the egg in a different color varnish between each layer of wax. The wax is laid down between layers of varnish to protect the colors in between. The wax on the finished egg is carefully removed showing upwards of a dozen or more layers of color that to this day remain as one of the most difficult art forms for an artist to master. In modern day America, the Ukrainian community is alive and well. With youth groups such as CYM (pronounced Sum), and Plast, traditions are being passed on through Ukrainian families in order to keep Ukrainian cultural traditions alive. Every Saturday many teenagers attend Ukrainian School in order to learn about the finer details and traditions that make the Ukrainian culture such a unique and varied culture.

U.S. Involvement in Nicaragua

Not very many Americans know the truth that lies beneath the U.S.’ involvement in Nicaragua.  Most would be surprised to find out that U.S. armed forces and politicians violated U.S. laws and deliberately sabotaged Nicaragua’s stable government by paying the dictator’s henchmen to kill Nicaraguan citizens.  The United States is considered one of the major superpower nations in this world.  It is highly influential to other countries and often takes responsibility to intervene with other another country’s problems—especially when it deals with the spreading of communism.  When Nicaragua’s dictatorship was overthrown by the popular Sandinistas, a communist regime was successfully put in place.  The U.S. immediately feared that Nicaragua’s surrounding countries would eventually become communist due to the Domino Theory.  The negative impact of becoming further engaged in the Nicaraguan politics was destructive to both the U.S. and Nicaragua.  These actions destabilized the Nicaraguan economy, encouraged civil violence, and motivated members of the American government to violate certain laws to continue their aid to the guerillas.

To fully comprehend the negative impacts of U.S. intervention in Nicaragua, one must be somewhat familiar with Nicaragua’s history.  The period in which the Somoza family ruled Nicaragua started on New Year’s Day in 1937, when Anastasio Somoza Garcia had himself elected president.  The Somozas ran Nicaragua as their own private estate; “…all three Somozas were dictators who ran the affairs of their country to their personal benefit and against the interests of the vast majority of their countrymen” (Walker 16).  Under their dominion, life for the Nicaraguan citizens was harsh, because they suffered from abject poverty.  They lived in inadequate housing, ate and dressed poorly, and were overall extremely oppressed by their leaders’ corruption.  When the people finally realized that life wasn’t going to get any better, they decided to turn to their only other option, the communist Sandinista government.  The U.S. were so anti-Communist that they began to send large sums of money to Somoza’s Guardsmen (who the leaders of the Contras) in order to sabotage the Sandinista government.

One of the goals the U.S. would like to achieve when dealing with Third World nations is to help them become more industrialized and economically stable.  Unfortunately, the opposite of this occurred in Nicaragua.  Before U.S. involvement, Nicaragua’s economy was reasonably sturdy in the sense that there was a consistent flow of money in and out of the country.  “With increasing investment in Nicaragua, as a result of the Alliance for Progress, and the Central American Common Market, this was a period of unprecedented progress” (Pastor, 35).  It is obvious that stronger nations would not invest their time and money into a country that was economically declining, thus displaying that at this time, Nicaragua was doing quite well for a Third World nation.  With the correct equipment and help from richer nations, Nicaragua could have benefited from the high quality of its land and resources, which would raise the citizen’s yearly income and help with overcoming destitution.  U.S. money for the reconstruction of Managua after the incredibly huge “Christmas Earthquake” in 1972 never reached where it was most needed.  Instead, Anastasio Somoza Debayle (the president of Nicaragua at the time) “transformed a tragic national loss into a personal financial gain”  (Pastor, 36).  Somoza’s greediness enticed him to pocket the money instead of directing the funds where they were intended to go.  Thus very little was done to help the disaster victims and this is just another example of how his dictatorship was oppressive to the people.  This quandary could have been simply avoided if the U.S. had sent an official to manage the money and secure its proper usage.

Through the 1960’s, Nicaragua received from the U.S. $92.5 million in economic aid, and $11 million in military aid.  From 1971 to 1976, Nicaragua received three times that amount in economic aid but less in military.  (Pastor, 43)  From these statistics, it seems that Nicaragua’s economy is being supported by U.S. funding more each year.  It is fair to say Nicaragua’s economy was dependent on U.S. aid.  When Somoza issued terror raids on his people, the U.S. chose to impose sanctions withdrawing all funding to Nicaragua.  By advertising Somoza’s acts of human brutality, the U.S. was able to persuade other countries to consider terminating their current aid to Nicaragua.  Not only did Nicaraguan slip further into debt, but also the situation worsened for the poverty-stricken people.  “Nicaragua’s economy had failed to attain its prerevolution level in 1983.  Investment had stagnated or declined, depending on the sector.  The external debt, which was high at $1.5 billion in 1979, reached $3.8 billion in 1983.  Agriculture—the dynamic center of the economy before the revolution—declined markedly…. As the war intensified, the economy sank even further”  (Pastor, 245).  Nicaraguans were so focused on fighting that they didn’t realize that their land was being destroyed and that there weren’t enough people to farm the existing crops.  Although the U.S. had intended on using the sanctions as a way to promote human rights and to pressure Somoza to stop the killing, they exacerbated the failing economy.
When the U.S. entered Nicaragua, it sent the people mixed messages.  They hoped that the violence would eventually end with the U.S.’ help, but the U.S. did not take an active part in resolving that violence.  They did not walk away either.  They carried out their own agenda, which consisted of having a non-communist regime.  They withdrew military aid from Somoza, because the American citizens disapproved of Somoza’s brutal and tyrannical actions, but they would not support the Sandinistas (the communist group trying to overthrow the Somoza dictatorship) either.  Instead, the U.S. financed Somoza’s Guardsmen, the only institution capable of restraining the Sandinistas if they came into power.  The constant fighting and bickering among the different groups in Nicaragua had caused the people to become impatient with the U.S.  “You Americans have the strength, the opportunity, but not the will.  We want to struggle, but it is dangerous to have friends like you…  Either help us or leave us alone”  (Pastor, 259).  The Nicaraguans were very committed to ending the civil war that has haunted their lives for so long.  If the U.S. wasn’t going to help them achieve this goal, they should stop watching them over their shoulders.  Around 50,00 lives, or approximately two percent of the population had been lost, but the Nicaraguans claimed that “freedom, justice, and national dignity were sometimes worth such a price”  (Walker, 20).  When people feel strongly about changing something, they are willing to lose their valuables, pride, and sometimes their lives to achieve it.  By not letting the people know which side the U.S. opposed or supported, tension mounted between the groups, which indubitably lead to a bloody massacre.  “The U.S. is not very knowledgeable.  [It] does not know how much blood, how many sacrifices, how much frustration that generations of Latin Americans have gone through” (Pastor, 281).  The U.S. worried so much about Nicaragua having a communist government that they overlooked how many lives were lost in their effort to change the government.  If the U.S. had made it clear where they stood in the situation, it would have resulted with in a lower death toll.

When the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza regime in 1979, they became the government of Nicaragua.  The “rebels” then were the ex-Guardsmen (men from Somoza’s military), who were now running the contra-rebellion.  “Aid to the Contra’s had been prohibited by [U.S.] Congress”  (History).  However, members of the Reagan Administration and the CIA devised a scheme providing illegal funding “under the table.”  The plan was to sell shipments of arms to Iran via Israel.  The money paid was diverted to the Contra’s resistance force and was overseen by Lt. Colonel Oliver North.  The transaction first took place in 1985.  (Jewish)  The men indicted were: Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger; Head of the Sate Department’s Latin American Bureau, Elliot Abrams; Reagan’s National Security Advisor, Robert C. McFarlane, among many others.  (Men)  The U.S.’ obsession with anti-Communist groups brought a handful of its leaders to break congressional laws to provide financial assistance to a group that had previously been engaged in a series of war crimes.  They ignored the fact that the group of men they supported were ones that killed and abused Nicaraguan citizens during the Somoza dictatorship.  The only excuse that they were able to use to uphold their actions  in assisting the Contras was that they were in the process of destroying  the Communist-backed Sandinista government.

The U.S. participation during Nicaragua’s time of crisis caused its economy to become unstable, bolstered the civil war, and inspired criminal activities by high level politicians and officials in the U.S.  Nicaragua’s economy was at an all time high before the U.S. became immersed in it.  As more aid was provided to the people, Nicaragua became more dependent upon the U.S. for financial support.  This caused further problems when the U.S. decided to sanction Nicaragua.  The people had expected the U.S. to stop the brutality when they entered the situation.  Unfortunately, the U.S. chose not to do anything and merely observed the circumstances.  If the U.S. had let the Nicaraguans deal with their problems their own way, more lives would’ve been saved.  The U.S. feared that if communism were successful in Nicaragua, it would soon diffuse to the surrounding nations.  When Congress halted the aid to the Contras, many government officials illegally earned money to send to them.  “The Nicaraguans are fully aware of the role the United States has played in Nicaragua and that the resentment against the American government is very deep.”  Although U.S. politicians were capable of covering up the truth to the American public, the people most effected by these traumatizing experiences will remember the U.S.’ involvement for years to come.  A more productive action on the part of the U.S. would have been to pick a side and support if or walk away and let the Sandinista government rebuild Nicaragua on its own.  Despite the U.S.’ efforts to help the dilemmas in Nicaragua, they were only able to worsen it.

US Civil Rights

The struggle for equality for Americans of African descent continues despite significant advances made during the 1950′s and 1960′s.  Since then, African Americans have acquired equality and desegregation.  But these rights have not come easily as there was much hatred and mistreatment by many whites.

With the success of the Montgomery boycott, Black leaders charted a new path for the struggle for Civil Rights. In January of 1957, southern Black ministers met and established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Rev. Martin Luther King became the first president of the organization.  After conferring with the NAACP, a decision was made to follow-up on the suggestion made by A. Philip Randolph sixteen years earlier; a march on Washington to highlight the struggle for Blacks. Some twenty-five thousand people gathered during the first march seeking more Civil Rights legislation for all.
Many of the protests initiated during the 1950′s and 1960′s were spontaneous reactions to White mistreatment. One such incident occurred in Greensboro, North Carolina when a black student was refused service at a bus terminal lunch counter.  After the incident, Joseph McNeil and three other students decided to go to the local Woolworth store and remain there until they were served. The waitress refused to serve them, so the four young men just sat there until they were arrested. Each day, the protesters would return and grow in numbers and as such many were arrested.  This was one of the first examples of non-violent civil disobedience.

Black adults soon joined in, and a boycott of downtown area stores began. When many of the stores were near financial ruin, the decision was made to break the tradition and desegregate the lunch counters. When the success of the boycott spread around the country, other Black students spontaneously formed organizations to initiate similar non-violent protests around the country. In October of 1960, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed. Future Washington DC mayor Marion Barry was the first chairperson of the organization.  Students led protests that were showing up in virtually every city in the South. As the protesters grew in numbers, so did the violence that was perpetrated against them.
Throughout the South, Blacks were still in the majority, but had absolutely no political power. Black leaders knew that the key to passage towards any effective civil rights legislation would rely on the ability to vote. To date, White politicians and White supremacist groups had been fairly successful in keeping the Black voter rolls to a minimum. The numerous non-violent protests throughout the South were, however, beginning to show positive results. In 1957, the U.S. Congress passed the 1957 Civil Rights Act which made it a federal crime to interfere with a citizen’s right to vote. It also established the Civil Rights Commission to investigate violations of the law.  With the passing of this legislation, most of the Southern White politicians became even more enraged.

In 1960, another bill was past to ensure everyone’s right to vote. The 1960 Civil Rights Act called for supervision of voter registration. Blacks were routinely denied permission to register. They were often made to wait for hours for an application to vote.  Most of the applications were lost or discarded for various reasons. It was hoped that this legislation would stop these practices, however, it did not.  Individual States had every right under the law to establish whatever rules they deemed necessary. The rules, however, were different for Blacks and Whites.
For the next few years, tens of thousands of protesters were beaten and jailed.  Some lost homes, jobs, and even their lives. In 1962, two journalists were killed in Oxford, Mississippi. They were there covering the riots that erupted after a young black man named James Meredith’s admittance into the University of Mississippi.  Mississippi State officials did everything possible to deny Meredith admittance, but in the end they allowed him in.  On Sunday, September 30, 1962, 123 federal marshals, 316 U.S. border patrolmen, and 97 federal prison guards escorted Meredith onto the college campus. Within hours, they were under assault by a White mob of over 2,000 men and women. President Kennedy had to send in sixteen thousand troops to protect Meredith and restore order at the university. Twenty-eight of the marshals were shot and another 160 police officers were injured. Federal troops remained at the university for over a year to protect one, James Meredith.
After waiting years for meaningful Civil Rights legislation to come forth, A. Philip Randolph and other Black leaders felt that it was time for a march on Washington.  As Black leaders organized the march, White politicians in Washington were afraid that there would be violence. U.S. Congress tried to convince President Kennedy to call up the troops; however, Kennedy saw it as opportunity to gain political mileage with his support.
One of the primary reasons for the march was to bring attention to pending Civil Rights legislation. Several Black leaders argued about the tone of the speeches that would be delivered, and aimed at lending support to Kennedy. John Lewis, Chairman of SNCC, was forced to tone down his speech. He reluctantly did so, but still delivered the most controversial speech of the day. Lewis wanted to discuss his opposition to Kennedy’s proposals, because they did not include the right to vote.  On August 28, 1963, 250,000 men, women, and children gathered on the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial. It was a defining moment in history. Some felt that nothing was gained by the march. However, the world was introduced to Rev. Martin Luther King’s famous speech, “I Have a Dream”. It was a great speech that defined America, or what America should be.  Many believe that it was one of the most inspirational speeches ever heard.
The year 1963 was a horrible year.  There were many bombings, assassinations, and violent opposition to civil rights protesters. With each violent action perpetrated against them, the nation became more receptive to their demands.  King and others knew that they had a friend in President Kennedy.  Although he was initially one who felt the movement should accept incremental changes, by 1963, he was behind the movement almost 100%.  Unfortunately while he was driving down a Dallas area street, he was assassinated.  The president was dead and the United States mourned his lost.
Unknown to the Civil Rights leaders was the support they would receive from his successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson. By this time, the Civil Rights movement had captured the nation. The vast majority of Whites supported legislation presented by Kennedy, and congress was more then willing to pass them.
Years of sacrifice ended in the passing of legislation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  When the bill was introduced, there was lengthy debate of its contents. Southern congressmen fought against it with every breath. However, the public was ready for change, and change is what was received with the passing of this bill.
 The act included 11 titles that covered a variety of issues:
             I. Outlaws arbitrary discrimination in voter registration and
                expedites voting rights suits;
            II. Bars discrimination in public accommodations such as hotels
                and restaurants;
           III. & IV. Authorized the national government to bring suits to
                desegregate public facilities and schools;
             V. Extends the life and expands the power of the Civil Rights
            VI. Provides for federal financial assistance to be terminated
                or withheld from educational institutions and programs that
                practice racial discrimination;
           VII. Prohibits private employers from refusing to hire or from
                firing or discriminating against any person because of race,
                color, sex, religion, or nation origin.
Title VII was the most significant of all the sections. However, when originally introduced by Kennedy prior to his death, it was only to apply to government employment. After much debate and revision before congress, it was changed to private sector employment only. Federal, state, and local government employment were excluded from the law. Southern congressmen tried to sabotage the bill by adding “sex – gender” to the original bill. They thought that this would surely kill the bill. To their dismay, the bill was passed with the gender specification intact.  This was the most significant piece of legislation to date, and it has had a lasting effect in the elimination of discrimination and segregation.
On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray assassinated Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  Following the assassination, riots erupted in over 150 U.S. cities.
African-Americans have had a hard time gaining the same rights whites have always had.  Not until recently in the 1950′s and 1960′s had any advances towards equal rights and desegregation.  With the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there has been much hatred towards the African-Americans from many whites.  This has been shown through the mistreatment of African-Americans.
 Dye, Thomas R.  Politics in America.  New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1994.
 Hampton, Henry and Fayer, Steve.  Voices of Freedom.  New York: Bantam Books, 1990.
 Lindsey, Howard O.  A History of Black America.  Connecticut: Brompton Books Corp., 1994.
 Long, Richard A.  Black Americana.  New Jersey: Chartwell Books Inc., 1985.
 McKissack, Patricia and Fredrick.  The Civil Rights Movement in America: from 1865 to the Present.  Chicago: Children’s Press, 1991.

The Black Death

The Black Death was one of the most severe plagues in its time.  I am going to talk about the Black Death, which is also known as The Black Plague and The Bubonic Plague.  The main area I will cover is What the affects of the Black Plague was and how is spread.

The presenting symptoms of the Black Death are shivering, vomiting, headaches, giddiness, an intolerance to light, pain in the back and limbs, and a white coating on the tongue.  A fever of between 103 and 106 occurs immediately.  Within 24 hours coughing starts, then becomes spitting up blood. The plague is an acute disease, meaning it normally doesn’t last a long time.  Also, if you recover from having it you will be immune to it for the rest of your life.

The Black Death is caused by the infectious agent Yersinia Pestis, also known as Pasteurella Pestis. Yersinia Pestis is a bacteria.  There are two types of bacteria cells, gram-negative and gram-positive. Yersinia Pestis is gram-negative.  This makes antibiotics less effective on the plague because gram-negative bacteria have a lipopolysaccharide layer over their walls that add extra protection.

The lymphatic system is the system most greatly affected by the Black Death.  Plague victims are notorious for having large bumps on their body called “buboes”. These are in fact swollen lymph nodes filled with puss.  When healthy, the lymph nodes are soft and can’t be easily seen, but the spread of infection causes them to harden and become painful.  They are large and obtrusive, and they sometimes turn black.  This is due to breaking blood vessels, which then dry on the surface of the body, causing black bumps on the body.

The largest concentrations of lymph nodes are in the neck, armpits, and groin.  These epicenters swell when a person is ill because the body makes a large number of white blood cells to fight off whatever pathogen has entered the body. Lymph contains many white blood cells that help fight cancer causing and disease organisms.

The “electron transport chain” function in the body is necessary to make basically all things happen in the body.  Yersinia pestis releases a toxin into the body that inhibits this function from happening. So the bacteria stop the body in its tracks.  This doesn’t involve the lymphatic system, but is another way the plague affects the body.

In the Middle Ages, people weren’t sure how the plague was being spread so quickly.  Now we know that fleas spread the plague.  The bacterium, called Yersinia Pestis, makes its way to the upper digestive tract of the flea where it breeds and multiplies.  When the flea finds a new host and drinks the blood, it regurgitates the bacteria into the host, thus infecting the host.

Many people think that rats spread the Plague.  This is partly true.  Rats are not the direct infectors of the Plague; they are merely hosts for the fleas carrying the bacteria.  The Plague can be spread through any rodent or animal that could get fleas.  So the rat, cat, or prairie dog that has fleas could be considered a vector for the disease.  Rodents can carry the plague, but it does not affect them, they can then pass it on to humans who will most likely die.

Once the bacterium is regurgitated into the new host, it begins to multiply in the blood stream and the lymphatic system.  The Bacterium travels to the liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs, and brain, basically attacking the whole body at once.  The system that the plague has the largest effect on is the lymphatic system, because that is where the most bacteria multiplies.  As the lymph nodes swell with puss, the disease circulates through the blood stream and creates the possibility of hemorrhaging and lots of other things.

The history of the bubonic plague is a sad one.  Three major pandemics have occurred during the 6th, 14th, and 17th centuries.  The first outbreak was known as the Plague of Justinian, named after the Byzantine emperor Justinian.  70,000 people died from the plague in Constantinople over two years.  From there, the plague was transmitted to France and Italy over trade routes, causing small outbreaks for many years.  The effects of this outbreak were on a large scale.

In the 14th century, the worst plague of all time occurred, starting in China. This outbreak became known as the Black Death.  From China, the plague spread to Europe by two routes.  Because China was a major trading center, the plague easily spread on ships.  Also, the Tartars carried the plague closer to Europe and into other trading ports after sieges in Asia.  This outbreak devastated not only Asia and Europe, but also Russia.  The Black Death killed more than 1/3 of the European population, or 25 million people.  Everything in Europe came to a halt during this plague outbreak, but public health institutions were created to deal with stopping the spread of the plague.

The third major outbreak started in Manchuria in 1890.  This plague made its way to San Francisco in 1900.  Many Asian-American citizens were blamed for the plague in the U.S. and were discriminated against because of it.  Houses were burned down if plague victims were thought to live there.  Actions such as this were reminders of the Great Plague of London in 1665.  Less than 20 percent of the population was killed by the Bubonic Plague, but the whole city was burned to the ground in order to stop the outbreak.  This was an extreme measure, but it worked. During the 1980′s, plague cases in the U.S. averaged 18 per year.

Procopius of Caesarea is credited as the first scientist to give a detailed description of the bubonic plague in 541 AD.  Unfortunately, ideas about the causes were filled with false beliefs and superstitions until the late 1800′s.  Both Alexandre Yersin and Kitasato Shibasabaroo discovered the bacillus Pasteurella pestis in their work in 1894.  Pasteurella pestis is the larger group of bacteria that Yersinia pestis, the infectious agent, is part of.  A. W. Bacot then thought of the idea that fleas from infected rats were the carriers of the plague and infected people while trying to draw blood from a bite.  Small grayish spots along with tiny bites helped P. L. Simond prove that fleas were the carriers in 1897.

The Roman Identity

The Roman people were a overly proud and highly religious people, whose sense of identity as romans came primarily from their accomplishments in war and their respect of their ancestors.  By examining Livy’s The Early History of Rome, we can identify these traits through roman patterns of behavior and the foundation myths that their nation is built upon.
The romans repeatedly display not only an overdeveloped personal sense of pride, but an exceptional pride in their nation – taking precedence over even family loyalty.  The first example of this Roman pride is seen in the very first foundation myth of Rome, the tale of Romulus and Remus.  The second of the two versions of this story tells how after the auspices have indicated Romulus as the rightful leader of this new nation, “Remus, by way of jeering at his brother, jumped over the half-built walls of the new settlement, whereupon Romulus killed him in a fit of rage, adding the threat, ‘So perish whoever else shall overleap my battlements( P.40 Livy) .’”  Not only do we see a foreshadowing of Rome’s violent nature in this tale, but it seems to indicate a strong belief in the superiority of this ( barely existant ) nation, one that necessitates a national pride of greater magnitude than the even the strength of the loyalty between brothers.
This kind of loyalty to country, as displayed by the Rome’s founder, certainly sets a precendent for later roman citizens.  Not surprisingly then, we see this same kind of pride with similar consequences later on following a  battle between Rome and the Albans.  The victory had been decided, not by a full scale war, but by a contest between three men from each country ( two sets of three brothers ).  This contest left Rome victorious and five people dead – only one roman brother stood living.  The victor returned to rome carrying the ‘triple spoils’ and,”slung across [ his ] shoulders was a cloak, and [ his sister ] recognized it as the cloak she had made with her own hand for her lover.  The sight overcame her : she loosened her hair and, in a voice choked with tears, called her dead lovers name.  That his sister should dare to grieve at the very moment of his own triumph and in the midst of national rejoicing filled horatius with such uncontrollable rage that he drew his sword and stabbed her to the heart( Livy 62).”  Again we see the word “rage” used to describe this similarly extreme exhibition of extreme national pride.
Back in the foundation myth of Romulus and Remus, we see another aspect of Roman pride.  There is some indication that, In Livy’s time, there was some suspicion that Greek infulence in Rome was detrimental to Roman society.  Livy seems to emphasize the absence of any kind of formal schooling ( which would have been greek ) in the adolescence of both Romulus and Remus ( P.38 Livy ) The idea that Romulus in particular, was a self-made man, shows that Rome owes nothing to previous and other nations like Greece and so the pride of such a great nation is all theirs.
There is plenty of evidence that Rome was always a highly religious nation.  From even as early as the founding of the nation we see their dependance on auguries of the gods to make important decisions – namely the choice between Romulus and Remus as their leader.  “ As the brothers were twins and all question of seniority was thereby precluded, they determined to ask the tutelary gods of the countryside to declare by augury which of them should govern the new town once it was founded, and give his name to it ( p.40 Livy ).”
More than any one other aspect of Roman behavior, I feel that recognition and respect of the ways of their ancestors as the ways of ‘True’ Romans was the most primary source from which Romans defined there identity.  This respect stemmed from oral tradition and early historians works that have not survived to us, but which Livy owes his knowledge.  From the respect of great deeds that made their cultural history so worth of pride, came their habits of dedicating particular places and edifices in the name of honorable contemporaries and ancestors.  Take for instance the story of Caius Mucius Scaevola, a man who was willing to risk anything to save rome from a Etruscan attack.  It cost him his hand, hence the name Scaevola- translating as the Left-Handed Man, but his efforts brought peace to the struggle.   Livy tells of the recognition of this Roman hero:  “Cauis Muscius was rewarded by the Senate with a grant of land west of the river; it was known subsequently as the Muscian Meadows ( P.120 Livy ).”    Not only was this naming of places indicative of the honor, but the name they chose showed something – the congnomen Musius was chosen, not his prinomen or Scaevola, the name he won for himself.  It was recognized that the honor was for the family and for the family, though Caius would be remembered, the gaine  family pride of the Mucius family only contributed to their own pride in their country.
Roman society encouraged being proud and respectful of the honors of the city and its citizens.  Roman tradition and respect for the mos maiorum ( ways of the ancestors ) was not only a trait that defined everyday roman life, but the way with which romans defined their own personal identity as Romans.

The Chinese Communist Revolution

During the mid 19th century  many upheavals and rebellions launched China into a new course of modernization. These also lead to the creation of the Chinese Communist party (CCP) which in 1949 over through the government to take all government control.

Mao Zedong

Mao was born on December 26 in 1893, in a peasent family in Shao-shan in the Hunan province. As a child he worked in the fields and attended a local primary school. He was frequetly in conflict with his strict father.


Beginning in 1911, the year that the republican forces of Sun Yat-Sen launched the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty, Mao spent allmost ten years in Chang-sha, the province capital. He was exposed to the tides of rapid political change and the new cultural movement that was sweeping the country. He served for a brief period in the republican army and then spent half a year studying alone in the provincial library.


By 1918, Mao had graduated from the Hunan First Normal School and had left for Peking, the national capital. In Peking he briefly worked as a library assistant at Peking University. Mao lacked the funds to support a regular student status and therefore mastered no foreign language, which would have enabled him to go abroad to study. Some historians arguee that it may be partly due to this relative poverty during his student years that he never identified compltely with the cosmopolitan intellectuals who dominated Chinese university life. He did, instead, establish contact with intellectual radicals who later figured in the Chinese Communist party. In 1919, Mao returned to Hunan, where he engaged in radical political activity, organizing groups and publishing a political review.


Mao and The CCP

When the Chinese Communist party was founded in Shanghai in 1921, Mao was a founding member and the leader of the Hunan branch. At this stage the party formed a united front with the Koumintang, the party of republican followers of Sun Yat-sen. Mao worked with the united front in Shanghai, Hunan and Canton, concentrating on labour organization, party organization, propagande and the Peasant Movement Training Institute. His 1927 “Report on the Peasant Muvement in Hunan” expressed his view of the revolutionary potential of the peasantry although this view was not yet phrased in a proper Marxian form.


Chiang Kai Shek

Chiang was born in Fenghua, Zhejiang Province, on October 31, 1887. After some training at the National Military Academy in Baoding , he went to Tokyo in 1907. There he attended the Military Staff College and met Sun Yat-sen, a revolutionary leader opposing the reigning Qing Manchu dynasty. Chiang joined Sun’s T’ung-meng Hui (Chinese for Revolutionary Alliance), a secret organization and the forerunner of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party, or KMT). When the 1911 uprising broke out in China, Chiang returned to Shanghai, where he took part in the overthrow of the imperial government and the establishment of the Republic of China . He also participated in the subsequent Second Revolution and the campaign against the warlord Yüan Shih-k’ai, in office from 1915 to 1916. In 1923, when seeking assistance from the Soviet government, Sun sent Chiang to the USSR to study the Soviet military and social systems. In 1924 he became superintendent of Whampoa Military Academy, the training center for the KMT army.  Then he was confronted with the CCP


KMT meets the CCP

In 1927, Chiang, who had gained control of the Kuomintang after the death of Sun Yat-sen, reversed the party´s policy of cooperation with the Communists. By the next year, when he had control of the Nationalist armies as well as the Nationalist government, Chiang purged all the Communists from the movement. As a result, Mao was forced to flee to the countryside. In the mountains of south China he established with Chu Teh a rural base defended by a guerrilla army. It was this almost accidental inoovation that was to make Mao the leader of the CCP. Because of their growing military power, Mao and Chu were able by 1930 to defy orders of the Soviet-controlled CCP leadership that directed them to capture cities. In the following year, despite the fact that his position in the party was weak and his policies were criticized, A Chinese soviet was founded in Juichin in the Kiangsi province, with Mao as chairman. A series of extermination campaigns by Chiang Kai-shek´s Nationalist government forced the CCP to abandon Juichin in october 1934 and to commence the Long March. At Tsun-i in Kweichow, Mao for the first time gained effective control over the CCP, ending the era of Soviet direction of party leadership. Remnants of the Communist forces reached Shensi in October 1935, after a march of 10,000 km. They then established a new party headquarters at Yen-an.
Mao’s Triumph
When the Japanese invasion of 1937 forced the CCP and the Kuomintang once again to form a united front, the Communists gained legitimacy as defenders of the Chinese homeland, and Mao rose in stature as a national leader. The soundness of Mao´s self-reliance and rural guerilla strategies was proved by the CCP`s rapid growth during the Yen-an period from 40,000 members in 1937 to 1,200,000 members in 1945.Shortly after Japan surrendered, fighting broke out between Communist and Kuomintang troops over the reoccupation of Manchuria. A temporary truce was reached in 1946 through the mediation of the U.S. General George C. Marshall. Although fighting was soon resumed, Marshall continued his efforts to bring the two sides together. In August 1946 the United States tried to strengthen Marshall’s hand as an impartial mediator by suspending its military aid to the Nationalist government. Nevertheless, hostilities continued, and in January 1947, convinced of the futility of further mediation, Marshall left China. The conflict quickly blossomed into full-scale civil war, and all hope of political rapprochement disappeared. In May 1947, U.S. aid to the Kuomintang was resumed. However, the government forces were wearied by two decades of nearly continuous warfare, the leadership was rent by internal disunity, and the economy was paralyzed by spiraling inflation. In 1948 military initiative passed to the Communists, and in the summer of 1949, Nationalist resistance collapsed. The government, with the forces it could salvage, sought refuge on the island of Taiwan.

In September 1949 the Communists convened the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an ad hoc quasi-constituent body of 662 members, which adopted a set of guiding principles and an organic law for governing the country. The conference elected the Central People’s Government Council, which was to serve as the supreme policymaking organ of the state while the conference was not in session. Mao Zedong, who served as chairman of this body, was, in fact, head of state. In accordance with the powers delegated to it by the conference, the Central People’s Government Council set up the various organs of the central and local governments. At the national level, the Government Administrative Council headed by Zhou Enlai performed both the legislative and executive functions of government. Subordinate to the council were more than 30 ministries and commissions charged with the conduct of various aspects of state affairs. The new regime, called the People’s Republic of China, was officially proclaimed on October 1, 1949.

The Louvre

The Louvre, for hundreds of years, it has been a part of French culture. As a medieval fortress in the beginning, the palace for the King of France, and a museum for the last two centuries, this place has been a milestone for the FreNch. The Louvre has been a piece of history for over 800 years. Its architecture was very advanced for its time, and is still considered advanced for the 21st century. In the beginning, The Louvre was used as a royal palace. It was built by King Phillippe Augustine in the late 12th century. The library of Charles V – installed in one of the towers of the original fortress of Philippe August – was eventually taken away, and to this day, no one knows how.. François I began a new collection of art with 12 paintings from Italy. These included works by Titian, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci, the most famous being the Joconde – or Mona Lisa. The royal collection grew and by the reign of Louis XIII, numbered roughly 200 pieces. Henri II, and Catherine de Médicis continued to enlarge the collection, as did others. When Louis XIV died in 1715, there were 2,500 pieces of art and objects. Until the Revolution, this collection was strictly for the private pleasure of the Court. Finally, the idea of a museum (originating with Louis XVI) was realized on 10 August 1793, when the Musée de la République opened to the public. Napoléon greatly increased the collections by exacting tribute from the countries he conquored, but most of these were returned in 1815 after his defeat at Waterloo. Under Louis XVIII the Venus de Milo was aquired (for 6000F) shortly after it was rediscovered on the Island of Melos in 1820. In 1848 the museum became the property of the State. With an annual budget devoted to aquiring new art, the collections continued to grow. Private donations also augmented the Museum’s holdings. In 1947 the impressionist paintings were moved to the Jeu de Paume and l’Orangerie. (In 1986 these were transfered to the Musée d’Orsay.) Today, the catalogue lists about 300,000 works, only a fraction of which are on display at any one time. Le Grand Louvre – begun in 1981 is transforming the museum once again enlarging it substantially. The Richelieu Wing – which had “temporarily” housed part of the Ministry of Finance since the 18th century – was opened in 1993. The Louvre was not in any way originally intended to become a museum. The “salle des antiques” which Henri VI set up on the ground floor of the Grande Galerie was not accessible to the general public, nor was the king’s cabinet of drawings, created in 1671, or the king’s cabinet of paintings, to which access was reserved for a privileged few. From the date when, under Louis XIV, most of its occupants left the Louvre, its vocation as a “palace of the arts” appeared a quite natural progression in the eyes of the resident artists and the academies. The idea of a Palace of the Muses or “Muséum”, where one could view the royal collections, was born in 1747. The museum concept, which was quite new at the time, ran along the same lines as the Encyclopedia and the philosophy of the Enlightenment. From 1779, purchases and museographical projects demonstrate the imminence of its realisation. The “Grand Louvre” is a part of the “Grand Travaux” or Major Works defined by the President of the Republic François Mitterrand, which also includes the new Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Opéra Bastille and the Grande Arche de la Défense. In fact it constituted the realisation of an earlier project, which involved devoting the entire Palace to the function of a museum, whilst modernising and improving the presentation of the collections.Covering an area of  40 hectares right in the heart of Paris, on the right bank of the Seine, the Louvre offers almost 60,000 m² of exhibition rooms dedicated to preserving items representing 11 millennia of civilisation and culture. The “Grand Louvre” is also a cultural unit which has a didactic role towards the public, a role which it fulfils through lectures, audiovisual and interactive productions and very many printed publications which are available in the exhibition rooms or at the bookshop under the pyramid.   The Grand Louvre Project represents over fifteen years of work (1981-1999). Its ambition is at once museological, architectural and urban, since it involves enlarging and modernising the Louvre Museum and the Decorative Arts Museum, setting off the palace to advantage and opening up the whole towards the city. The Etablissement Public du Grand Louvre (E.P.G.L.) was created in 1983 to be in charge of the project as a whole. It will be required to oversee all the work right up to its completion in 1998, when the renovation work on the historical areas of the museum will be concluded. The budget of 6.9 billion FRF, which is financed by the Government, provided the means to realise a project which will enable the exhibition areas of the museum to be doubled in size, to 60,000 m², to increase the scientific, technical and administrative working areas fivefold, and the reception and service areas intended for the public (documentation points, rest areas, cafés) thirteenfold.

The Plague

Camus wrestles with his questions of Existentialism in The Plague through another character as well: Father Paneloux. With Paneloux, Camus attempts to reconcile Existentialism and Christianity. Toward the beginning of the novel, Paneloux is a steadfast Christian. He proclaims in his first great sermon during the epidemic that the plague is God-sent, brought upon the evildoers of society to punish them for their sins. He later involves himself in the struggle against the plague, helping men such as Rieux and Tarrou, and putting his faith to the test. The test reaches its utmost when the characters are forced to watch the slow, tortured death of an innocent child. How could something sent to punish sin afflict a child? The child had done no wrong, yet the group cannot do more than to sit and wait helpless as the child dies before them. Shortly after this event, Paneloux begins to write another sermon. This one differs from the first. He reflects in his sermon on what he has witnessed. “And, truth to tell, nothing was more important on earth than a child suffering, the horror it inspires in us, and the reasons we must find to account for it” (Beginning of Part 4). Paneloux goes on to explain his reason. “The second sermon affirms that the plague is not sent by God; it is part of an evil which is present in the universe and which the Christian must confront” (Woelfel 109). Although Paneloux attempts to reconcile Christianity with Existentialism, he nonetheless fails. Paneloux dies. He, as well as symbolically, his attempt, receive the label which the doctor Rieux records on a card: “Doubtful case.” Rieux becomes himself one of the first people in the town to recognize the plague for what it is, and he helps to lead the fight against it. “Rieux is an authentic rebel in ‘fighting against creation as he found it,’ in actively struggling against the injustices of the human condition” (Woelfel 98-99). Rieux is no ordinary rebel; he is also a doctor. As a doctor, Rieux’s exposure to not only the dangers of the plague but also to its horrors is more than most must endure. Rieux faces this in his job before him each day. “In order to make his rounds and to isolate the people who are infected he has to repress the pity and sympathy he feels for them” (Cruickshank 110). It may seem then that Rieux goes against Camus’ beliefs on indifference. Rieux’s actions can indeed be seen as self-enforced indifference. For “indifference, properly cultivated, can be a stoic value” (Parker 5). Rieux cannot afford to show compassion for each of his patients. He must detach himself in order to perfrom his duties. “No resource was left him but to tighten the stranglehold on his feelings and harden his heart protectively” (Camus 172). Yet Rieux does not keep his feelings locked up within a fortress. After he talks with Tarrou, he lets himself become more open, more vulnerable. Nothing he could have done would have made it any easier to bear witness to the death of an innocent child.

Rieux does not stake a claim to the same peace that Tarrou seeks. Rieux knows that the fight he fights can never end. “Rieux knows that the plague bacillus never dies and that the day would come when ‘it would raise up its rats again and send them to die in a happy city’ ” (Erickson 84). Riuex, like the plague bacillus, lives on as the disease slows and the epidemic ends, for the time being, anyhow.
If in The Plague, there is one person who most represents most people, it is Rambert. Rambert is a journalist. Rambert finds himself trapped in the city of Oran, trapped with all the other people. He believes, though, that this is truly not his concern. He does not belong. He is an outsider. The woman he loves lives beyond the city walls, and he believes this is where he should be. He spends much time talking  Rieux. And as they talk, he begins to think. He considers his motivation for leaving the city: personal happiness. “‘There’s nothing shameful in preferring happiness.’ ‘ Certainly, but it may be shameful to be happy by oneself’ ” (Camus 188). Rambert awakens to the truth which he had been facing all along . Rambert decides to drop his attempts to escape: he is part of this people, he is no longer an outsider. They must all stay together to fight the plague. Rambert gives the fight his best efforts as well. Grand is also a character who fights against the plague. He is faced with all the same facts as everyone else. Nonetheless, Grand joins in the fight. Grand, like the rest, is not viewed as a hero. “That, too, is why it was natural that Grand, who had nothing of the hero about him, should now be acting as a sort of general secretary to the sanitary squads” (Camus 122). In his own ways, Grand does what he can to contribute to the fight against indifference.

Albert Camus saw Existentialism as a key to eliminating the problem of indifference toward human suffering from society. His novel The Plague is his written attempt to show this. The Plague can be understood on multiple levels of meaning. “This work of simple realism presents, on different levels, a symbolical transparency, where each reader has been able to find something to satisfy his preoccupation of the moment, whether metaphysical, ethical, or historical” (Maquet 75). The novel can be viewed as an allegory to the Nazi occupation of France during W.W. II. The novel can be symbolic in general, with the objects of the symbols not specific events or items but general, dealing with humanity. But most importantly, the novel deals with the fight against indifference. “It is quite true that in a way The Plague presents a perfect situation in which all human beings can unite to fight the inhuman” (Doubrovsky 161). This perfect situation is not limited to the storybooks. Every man can give meaning to his life by doing good. Existentialist or not, Camus philosophies carry important values that surpass any amount of explanation, and with these values in mind, Camus wrote The Plague.

The JMSDF (Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force)

Japan is an island country surrounded by water. This means that the threat to Japan always comes from the sea. Japan also relies heavily on other countries for the supply of natural resources that are indispensable to national existence.  Over 90 percent of imports are transported through sea routes. Taking into account the factors of geographical and economic features, the main mission of Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) is to defend the island country from a maritime invasion and to secure the safety of maritime traffic around Japan.

In order to defend Japan from the maritime invasion and to secure the safety of maritime traffic around Japan, the JMSDF conducts various kinds of operations. Operations include: patrol, escort, and defense of key ports and straits, with its 130 ships and 200 aircraft. The self-defense Fleet takes charge of overall maritime operations around Japan, and each Regional District force conducts maritime operations and logistic support, in each assigned area in close cooperation with the self-defense Fleet. Amphibious assault, missile attack by submarines or aircraft, laying mines and attack by surface ships can be considered a direct attack against Japan and the interference of its maritime traffic, the JMSDF executes Anti Submarine, Anti Air, Anti Surface, Mine Laying and other operations depending on the threat.

A series of operations that range from searching to sinking submarines is called Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW).  The modern submarines’ improved capabilities in performances, quietness, offensiveness, as well as detecting nuclear submarines, which are semi-permanently submergible, bring further threat to the security of maritime traffic to Japan. To cope with these circumstances, the JMSDF has steadily focused on modernizing its weaponry and improving the skills of crew involved in ASW, engaging in its mission with full morale.

The object of Anti Air Warfare (AAW) is defending surface groups and ships against an attack from the air. Flight performances and offensive capability of aircraft have remarkably improved in recent years, and most of the surface ships and submarines of the Japanese defense force mount Anti Surface missiles. In today’s world, a threat from the air against surface ships has become extremely dangerous and complicated.

Accordingly, in terms of AAW, it is necessary to form the multi-layered air defense system composed of the guns and missiles as well as to avoid missile attack through electronic counter measures. To improve these AAW capabilities, the JMSDF has embarked on introduction of the new Aegis (guided missile frigates) type escort ships since 1988.

Recently, surface ships have tended to mount long range SSMs (Surface to Surface Missile), and ship’s tacticsare shifting from exchanging fire by guns to launching SSMs from a distance. Offensive capabilities against the surface forces are vital to attack hostile ships that intend to assault Japan, to defend our vessels from the attack of enemy ships mounting SSM, and to secure the safety of maritime traffic around Japan.

Mine Warfare is divided into Mine Countermeasure Operation; which aims at removing mines laid by enemies, and Mining Operation; which aims at laying mines to protect Japan from an enemy’s landing invasion and coastal defense. The JMSDF’s capability of Mine Countermeasure Operation is highly ranked among the leading countries as a result of its actual disposing mines at the end of the Pacific War, and still more making efforts to improve its capability coping with the highly advanced mines. The Overseas Minesweeper Force, dispatched to the Persian Gulf in 1991, achieved brilliant success under the harsh natural environment, and was highly evaluated at home and abroad. In order to deter landing inroad and passing through the channel by enemy forces, the mining operation is also conducted on the occasion of making minefields on the shore or key channel where enemy landing invasions will be expected.

The JMSDF has removed numerous mines laid in Japanese waters and ports during the World War II and is still engaged in minesweeping operations which are active to this very day.

Electronic Warfare is defined as operations to detect and make reverse use of the enemy’s magnetic waves while detecting the enemy and securing Japan’s effective use of magnetic waves for itself. In Electronic Warfare, there are three measures. First is electronic support measure (ESM), which are ships equipped with the ability of electronic detection and missile alarm systems. The second measure is that of electronic counter measure (ECM), which are ships equipped with electronic jamming and chaff rocket launcher systems. The third measure is electronic counter-counter measure (ECCM), which are surface ships equipped with various radar equipment capable of avoiding the enemy’s own electronic countermeasure.

For Japan, based on its exclusively defense-oriented policy, it is extremely important to carry out constant surveillance over Japanese territory and its surrounding airspace and waters. The JMSDF carries out constant warning and surveillance operations over vessels moving in the waters surrounding Japan, through patrol aircraft and vessels, and engages in collecting information on movements and the types of equipment carried by foreign vessels.

In case of emergency, transporting the SDF personnel, equipment, and materials to the shore in the operational area and outlying islands is one of the most important missions of the JMSDF. The JMSDF Landing Ships broadly contribute to the stability of the national life through rescuing refugees resided in outlying islands and ferrying goods to the site on the occasion of a disaster. Landing ships were dispatched to Cambodia to support the Engineer Battalion of Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) participating in U.N. peacekeeping operations.

In case of emergency, it is important to search and rescue the crew of aircraft or submarines in distress from the viewpoint of respecting for their lives and maintaining their morale. The JMSDF possesses a rescue amphibian ship, US-1A, for the maritime rescue operations, rescue helos for the aerial rescue in the vicinity of the air base and submarine rescue vessel for rescuing submarines.

In order to complete the JMSDF’s mission through handling modern equipment, superb knowledge and skills on the basis of strong physical strength and strong teamwork on the basis of mutual trust are necessary. The JMSDF’s educational system aims at acquiring knowledge and skills willingly, training mind and body, and mastering seamanship. Additionally it shoulders a broad part of responsibility to foster the well-balanced persons to be talented with ranging from basic mental attitude as servicemen and servicewomen of the JMSDF, the ability to operate languages to obtaining various qualifications.

The skills for navigation, flight, and operating weapons to execute its missions are called “Service” in the JMSDF Service education and training are implemented at the 1st to 4th Service Schools. Furthermore, JMSDF training is conducted in the cycle of training periods. A training period, involving rotation of crew, overhaul, and repair of vessels, is divided into a few phases to upgrade operational proficiency stage by stage. The JMSDF conducts an Annual Exercise every autumn with the participation of most of its vessels and aircraft.
Cooperation with U.S. Forces
Under the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, Japan’s Self Defense Force is to conduct a number of cooperative operations with the U.S. Forces in case of an emergency. The JMSDF usually conducts the Japan-U.S. combined exercise not only to promote closer communication and to keep harmonious relations between the U.S. Navy and the JMSDF, but also to improve the level of tactical skill. In addition, every year, the JMSDF dispatches its escort ships, submarines, and ASW aircraft to the United States to brush up its proficiency through making use of the US Navy’s training installations.
Contribution to Society
The JMSDF dispatches its personnel to relief work in close contact with the authorities concerned to protect human life and individual property when there are natural disasters  such as typhoons, torrential rain, earthquakes, rescue of people, ships and aircraft in distress, emergency transportation of patients, and relief supplies. Especially, with respect to rescuing ships and aircraft in distress, a certain number of rescue ships and aircraft are constantly standing by ready to go immediately from the naval and air base. Therefore, the JMSDF can quickly respond to carry out its air transportation of emergency patients from outlying islands, isolated areas, or the ships on the ocean.

The JMSDF has cooperated in Japan’s Antarctic region observation since 1965. Today, the JDS (Japanese Defense Ship) icebreaker SHIRASE has embarked helicopters in service transporting observation personnel, materials and provisions between Japan and Japan’s Showa base in the Antarctic.

The JMSDF has conducted an aerial observation of the ice floes by its aircraft every year since 1957. The observation covers the sea area off the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, the Straits of Nemuro and the southeastern sea area of Kushiro through P-3C (Reconnaissance aircraft) for five months from the end of December to the middle of May every year. The outcomes of observations are reported speedily to each section involved in meteorological authorities and therefore, it greatly contributes to preventing human life from disaster.

The JMSDF has cooperated in aerial surveys for drawing maps at the request of the Geography Survey Institute of the Ministry of Construction since 1960. The surveyors get on the JMSDF’s aircraft, UC-90 (Reconnaissance aircraft) to make a survey from the aircraft.

The JMSDF conducts a variety of public relations activities to inform the people of the JMSDF’s present status. These activities are aimed at increasing the people’s understanding of and interest in the JMSDF through conducting musical concerts performed by the SDF bands, experience of voyage and flights, and participation in public events.

Japan is a country that is surrounded by the vast expanse of the sea. It is imperative that the JMSDF keeps a sharp eye out on it’s neighbors. Today, Japan is receiving a great deal of attention not only form the United States, who wish goodwill to Japan, but also China, which in the past few years has shot a few missiles very close to Japan’s coast. The U.S. Navy quickly responded to China’s threats. However, questions were raised. Will the world’s next hot spot be in Japan due to an act of Chinese aggression?  Maybe.  Know this, because of the high proficiency of the JMSDF, the threat to Japan, and her territories, is significantly reduced.

Trench Warfare

World War I was a military conflict that lasted from 1914 to 1918.  It was a modern war with airplanes, machine guns, and tanks.  However, the commanders often fought World War I as if it were a 19th Century war.  They would march their troops across open land into the face of machine guns and often slaughter.  As a result of this action, a tactic known as trench warfare was implemented.

The most recent use of use of trench warfare, before World War I, took place during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905).  This war attracted worldwide attention among military authorities that were interested in studying the latest technology used in war.  Many viewed trench warfare to be an effective tactic against enemy advancement.  Because of this view, trench warfare proved to be, in World War I, an ineffective and traumatizing experience for all.

In September 1914, the German commander, General Erich von Falkenhayn ordered his troops to dig trenched that would provide protection from the allied troops.  When the allies reached the trench, they soon realized that they could not break through the line that the trench provided.  They also realized that the trench provided the Germans with shelter from their fire.  Soon after, the allies began to dig their own trenches and, therefore, trench warfare began.

Not very long, after the first trenches of the war were dug, a network of trenches arose.  This network spread across France and Belgium for many miles.  Within the network, there were three different types of trenches: front line trenches, support trenches, and reserve trenches.

The first line of trenches was called front line trenches.  These were usually two meters deep and had a zigzag pattern to prevent enemy fire from sweeping the entire length of the trench.  In order to prevent the trench form caving in, sandbags were stacked against the trench walls.  Between the trenches of opposing forces laid no man’s land.  This area between the opposing front line trenches was filled with barbwire and mines to prevent enemy crossing.  If a soldier was ever injured in no man’s land, he usually was killed because of his vulnerability to enemy fire.

The second and third types of trenches were the support and reserve trenches, respectively.  These trenches were constructed to easily move supplies and troops to the front trenches.  All of the trenches were linked to each other by other trenches, underground tunnels, or telephone communications networks.  Barbwire was also stretched across the line to protect from enemy attack.

While the design of the trenches and the network of trenches seemed like a great tactic, the reality of the life in the trenches was a different story.  Life in the trenches took its toll on the soldiers involved in the war.  The soldiers in the front line trenches often stayed there for at least 10 days at a time, usually with very little sleep.  “Katczinsky is right when he says it would not be such a bad war if only one could get more sleep.  In the line we have next to none, and fourteen days is a long time at one stretch”(p.2).  The main reason that soldiers on the front line could not sleep was to be on guard against enemy sneak attacks.

Another reason that the soldiers were very tired is that night was used as a time for preparation and maintenance of the trenches.  The trenches were constantly being destroyed, either by enemy shellfire, or water damage.  Many times, soldiers would be buried alive by the collapsing trench walls.  Paul, in All Quiet on the Western Front, states “Our trench is almost gone.  At many places, it is only eighteen inches high, it is broken by holes, and craters, and mountains of earth.”(p.107).

Along with very little sleep and the destruction of trenches, soldiers also had to worry about contracting trench foot.  Trench foot is an infection of the feet caused by wet and insanitary conditions.  Soldiers stood for hours on end in waterlogged trenches without being able to remove wet socks or boots.  This caused their feet to gradually go numb and their skin to turn red or blue.  If these conditions went untreated, they would turn gangrenous and result in amputation.

Another major concern for soldiers in the trenches was dysentery.  Dysentery is a disease involving the inflammation of the lining of the large intestine.  The inflammation caused stomach pains, diarrhea, and usually vomiting or fever.  The main causes of dysentery were bacteria entering the body through the mouth, contact with human feces, and contact with infected people.  Dysentery mainly struck the soldiers because of improper sanitation from latrine use in the trenches.

Another major concern for soldiers in the trenches was the rats.  Many times, in the trenches, the bodies of soldiers were buried in the walls of the trenches.  If a wall fell, a large number of decomposing bodies would become exposed.  These corpuses, as well as food scraps, attracted large numbers of rats.  As Paul states in All Quiet on the Western Front, “The rats here are particularly repulsive, they are so fat – the kind we call corpse rats.  They have shocking, evil, naked faces, and it is nauseating to see their long, nude tails.”(p.102).  The rats would feast on the eyes of the dead soldiers first and then hollow out the remainder of the corpse.  Since one pair of rats can produce 880 offspring per year, one can only imagine the number of rats that swarmed the trenches.

Trench warfare lasted for about four years.  At the end of World War I, the network of trenches extended for more than 600 miles across the countryside.  Through the course of the war, many soldiers lost their lives not only to the fighting that was involved, but also to the extreme conditions that they had to endure in the trenches.  Many years after the war, authorities realized the actual cost of trench warfare.  World War I was the last time that the tactic of trench warfare was ever used.

  Remarque, Erich Maria (1958). All Quiet on the Western Front. New York: Ballantine Books.
  Strout, J. (1997). Life in the Trenches. [On-line].  Available: (July 1999).
  Thomas, R. (1999). On the Fire Step. [On line].  Available: (July 1999).
  Wright, J.R. (1998). World War One. [On Line].  Available: (July 1999).

The Berlin Airlift

With the Nazis defeated after World War II, the Western powers finally thought the string of wars was over.  On the contrary, the USSR had other plans for the newly conquered Germany.  Berlin, Germany’s capital, was divided among Great Britain, the United States, France, and Russia.  While this division was intended to keep peace, the Russians were formulating plans to take over the other three sections of Berlin. The Berlin Airlift was the first major test of the Free World’s will to resist Soviet aggression.  It all began in June 1948, when Soviet authorities claimed that “technical difficulties” would halt all traffic by land and water in and out of the western-controlled sections of Berlin.  The only passages left into this territory that wouldn’t upset the Soviets were three 20-mile wide air corridors.  The Western powers (United States, Great Britain, and France) were then faced with two options: abandoning the city, or supplying the 2.5 million people with enough supplies to live by air for the next 11 months.  By choosing the latter, the Western powers embarked on one of the greatest aviation feats in history.

Operation Vittles, as the airlift was unofficially dubbed, began on June 26th with the USAF’s C-47s carrying in 80 of the 4,500 tons of food, coal, and various other materials needed daily to maintain a minimum level of existence.  Soon the U.S. Navy and British Royal Airforce cargo planes joined in to augment this force.  To increase safety and cooperation between allied countries, a unified command was established called the Combined Airlift Task Force and was under the supervision of Major General William H. Tunner of the USAF.  Once again, a common threat has brought together the Western Powers of Great Britain, and the United States of America.  The difference in this conflict was that it remained, for the most part, peaceful.

The airlift in Berlin was not only aimed at saving the city’s occupants.  It was also a fight to keep Communism from spreading even further by passive means.  To underscore the allied force’s determination, three bomb groups were placed in Europe, putting Soviet targets well within B-29 range.  In response, the Soviets harassed the allied planes in the form of jamming radio channels, directing searchlights at aircraft taking off at night, the “buzzing” of cargo planes by Russian fighters, and barrage balloons allowed to drift into the air corridors.  Throughout the entire operation, tensions rose.  While this was intended to be a peaceful mission, more than 65 lives were lost comprising of British, German, and American personnel.

At midnight on May 12, 1949, so many months after closing them down, the Soviets reopened land and water routes into Berlin.  However, the airlift continued until September 30 to build a backlog of supplies.  Although the allies kept the airlift going long enough to keep the city alive, it didn’t resolve all the issues.  Feelings of resentment were only increased between the United States and the Soviet Union.  The leaders of the U.S. military did manage to keep peace, but soon the arms race would begin between these two major world powers.  The events of the airlift only escalated the tension of the Cold War, although there wasn’t any alternative.

The only thing that could possibly have been done differently would be that instead of starting the airlift, Western countries could have tried to negotiate with the Russians resulting in a peaceful outcome.  I find this a very unlikely outcome, however, because the Russians were planning for the expansion of communism, while that is the essence of what the allies were fighting against, thus their interests were dramatically opposed.  The Western Powers chose the best possible route to solving the issue at hand; they saved the city without creating yet another blood-filled war.

Although this defused the crisis temporarily, the issue of a divided Berlin and Germany was not resolved.  In the years after the airlift, the Soviet Union and the United States engaged in a multi-decade arms race.  West Berlin, being under Western control, enjoyed more liberties than Eastern, communist, Berlin.  The Berlin Wall was constructed to keep eastern citizens from escaping to the West, becoming a perfect symbol for the Cold War.  Finally, in 1989, the Berlin Wall was destroyed, and East and West Berlin were united.

 1. “The Berlin Airlift.” Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia. Compton’s NewMedia, Inc.  Simon & Schuster. 1996.
 2. “The Cold War.” Microsoft Bookshelf Reference Library.  Microsoft Corporation. 1998.
 3. “Berlin Airlift.” United States Air Force Museum Webpage. Online. 6 May 1998.

The Roswell Incident

The Roswell Incident, which enlightened our minds to the capacity of excepting all, has remained one of the most controversial issues today. In Roswell, New Mexico, 1947, a strange occurrence arises. An alien craft from outer space crashed in an open field. The issue lay still for almost thirty years, until the thought of a government cover-up arose. SocietyÆs opinions have changed over the years. Previous to the 1990Æs, people have despised the thought of sharing the universe with other intelligent life forms. Now people are interested in this mysterious phenomenon. People think it is the blame of the movies and television. By watching this, people are at a level at which they understand. Not only do these movies entertain, they inform people about the little information we obtained from the government.

The thought of government cover-ups have been long discussed. The government has always, in the past, tried to keep any sign of aliens, whether it be pictures from space, to crashes on earth, to a low or nonexistent level. Just recently has the government been harassed to the point where they actually gave us clues to alien existence. It has in some ways been believed that the government has worked in partnership with popular movie directors, to produce alien movies to ease the thought that we may not be alone. Such movies as ôThe Arrivalö and the ever popular ôIndependence Dayö are very good examples of well convincing alien movies. If this is true, they did a good job, because statistics state that 75% of people today believe that there is some kind of intelligent life forms besides ourselves in the universe. That is very convincing compared to the 20% whom believed 25 years ago. ô New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.ö (MacGowan 261)

A local New Mexico rancher, MacBrazel, while riding out in the morning to check his sheep after a long night of thunderstorms, discovered a considerable amount of debris. It created a gouge several hundred feet long and was scattered over a large area. Some of the debris had strange physical properties. He took some debris to show his neighbors then his son. Soon after that he notified the sheriff. The sheriff then contacted the authorities at Roswell Army Air Field Base. The are was closed off and the debris was eventually flown by B-29 and C-54 aircraft to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. A New York Daily News article says ô…either conclusive proof extraterrestrials have indeed visited earth, or one of the most elaborate hoaxes ever perpetuated on the public…..ö (Dominquez). Besides the wreckage that was found, there were three objects which were highly debated about. Three bodies, two found dead, the other to die in a couple of weeks. Whether or not the bodies were actually found, is only determined by the few witnesses who claim to have seen the bodies. A few of these people turned out to be very highly respected military officers. Some people say that the bodies were human which have been exposed to the radiation. This radiation could have been caused, due to nuclear weapons that Roswell Army Air Base had been testing, since they were at the time the only squadron which had authorization to nuclear weapons. This theory was discounted by most, saying that this kind of deformation would have caused a human being to die before such damage could occur. Albert Einstein once said: ô….I am convinced that, there is an absolute truth. If there canÆt be absolute truth, there cannot be a relative truth.ö (MacGowan 289) The government has been blamed with covering up this whole event. They have been claimed to have shipped off the wreckage to Dayton, Ohio, to avoid publicity. Which is normal, to prevent a worldwide panic. The bodies however, were not as lucky to have not become public, yet.

The government has, and will always say that the wreckage found was a secret spy balloon. The people who have seen the wreckage, and believe that’s what it was, describe it as a bundle of tinfoil, broken wood, beams , and rubber remnants of a balloon. Most discount this because, why would the government be messing around with balloons, if they were exploring the characteristics of jet fighters. Yes, the wreckage did seem like tin foil, at first, until you held the material, which if you bent, twisted, and did anything you dreamed up of, would still return to its original shape. They have tried to burn and shoot through it and had unsuccessfully destroyed it. It is thought that the government has used this to theyÆre benefit, and discovered its properties to use on future planes, but this has not yet been yet proven, since no planes known are this indestructible.

Glenn Davis, a respected business man in Roswell, was called by a friend, General Exon, asked how to seal and preserve bodies that have been exposed to the alien materials. Davis did not know the answer to this question, since he did not know much of the incident. Later that night he made a trip to the base hospital, outside the back entrance he spotted two military vans with the rear doors open, from which large pieces of wreckage protruded. Once inside he encountered a young nurse whom which he knew, at the same instance, he was noticed by military police which escorted him from the building.

The next day he met up with the nurse at a coffee shop. She explained that she had been called upon to help two doctors disect to small bodies, which she thought to be alien. She drew a diagram on a napkin showing an outline of thier features. That meeting was to be thier last; as she was transferred to England a few days later. Today the nurse would be sixty-nine years old. Investigators are trying to locate her. Five nurses are pictured in the 1947 Roswell Air Field yearbook. The files of all five are strangely missing from military records.

A couple of years ago a report on Fox television network broadcasted a show called ôAlien Autopsyö. This show was mainly about what happened to the bodies which were recovered from the Roswell crash site. Bodies were showed being dissected on video tape.

The whole process of the dissection is like this: One of the two people first examined the body. He then with a surgical knife, cut open the neck down to the belly, and took out the organs. As for the head, he found that the eyes of this body were covered with two black membranes, which were easily removed with tweezers. Lastly, he cut open the scull and took out the brain. The other person seemed to be responsible for recording the whole process.

People at first thought this whole movie was a joke until they opened the bodies up. Steven Speilberg even stated : ô There is no way these bodies could be fake , due to the high complexity of the inner organs, not only would it have been impossible then, it also practically impossible to replicate them now, and if it were possible it would cost us millions of dollars to replicate, or even try to replicate them.ö Kodak film company has done their own testing on the actual film on which the footage had been filmed. They had verified that the film was made in the 1940Æs. In the film, when it zoomed up on the bodies, blurred. This was thought to purposely done to hide detail, but in fact cameras in the 1940Æs had no focus on objects that were to close to it. There were even people who are claimed to be eyewitnesses of the crash of the UFO in Roswell, and strongly believed that the body appeared in this film, was one of the three found in this incident.

Even though there is a lot of information which points to the program being real, there is a lot which point to its falsehood. The government wanted to keep this at a very low-key. They still insisted that the crash in Roswell was still a military balloon. However, a congressman wanted the government to open all the document related to the Roswell Incident, the reply was that all of documents were destroyed! What did the government want to cover? If they wanted to cover the fact that aliens came to earth, why did they let the show air to the public? Of course, if the film is false, it doesn’t matter.

There also some differences in the body in the broadcast, and the descriptions from the witnesses. The most obvious is of which the fingers in the movie have six fingers and toes, while the witnesses from Roswell said they had only four. It is said that the UFO had exploded in the air, if that were the case, then the bodies would have been severely burned. In ô Alien Autopsyö, the only injury on the body, was the cut on the right leg. The dissection room in which it was taken was much too simple. The people in the movie are wearing normal dissection clothes, if it were a true alien, then why not try to prevent yourselves from catching some out of this world disease. Lastly , people say that the bodies are to similar to human bodies, and that the bodies just might be abnormal humans. Like many people do, we think aliens may look similar to us. By chance there may be aliens that resemble us, or we may resemble them.

For obvious reasons, it is necessary that the military services and the intelligence agencies impose a certain amount of secrecy. In recent decades, however, many observers say: ôthat the use of government secrecy has become excessive. Secrecy tantamount to power and, like power, lends itself to abuse. Behind the shield of secrecy, it is possible for an agency or service to avoid scrutiny and essentially operate outside the law. Accountability to the taxpayers, and to the Congress, can be conveniently avoided.ö Perhaps this is a major reason the U.S. annual ôblack budgetö has climbed to a staggering $25 billion a year. ô Secrecy, like power, is not readily relinquished.

As we all know we will never know the true story of which happened in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, but it is up to us to decide for ourselves.

The Spanish Armada

The Spanish Armada was a great Spanish fleet sent by King Philip II of Spain in 1588 to invade England.  It was ironically called “Invincible.”  During the late 1500’s, Spain was the major international power over much of the known world (Goldman 1).  Spain’s leader, King Philip II, wanted to conquer the Protestants from England and convert them to the Church of Rome.  King Philip II also had hatred against Queen Elizabeth I, and wanted revenge because she had executed Mary Queen of Scotland in 1587 (Goldman 1).

King Philip II of Spain began the assembling and formation on the Spanish Armada.  The Armada left Libson on the 20th of May 1588.  The Armada consisted of about 130 ships.  Mediterranean and Atlantic fleets had up to 8,000 sailors and around 19,000 soldiers (Collier’s Encyclopedia 559).  They joined another 30,000 soldiers from Spain totaling 50,000 men.  The commanders of the fleet were Duke of Madina Sidonia, Francis Drake, Duck of Parma, an admiral named Don Alvaro de Bazon, and Marquis of Santa Cruz, who had organized the Armada (Collier’s Encyclopedia 559).  The English and Dutch knew that King Philip would attack, and sent small squadrons under Sir William Wynter and Lord Henry Seymour to patrol the Netherlands Coast (Goldman 1).  The English sent 54 of the Queen’s best ships to Plymouth on the English Channel to Blockade and destroy the Armada before it left the Spanish Coast.  On July 29, 1588, after the bad weather had passed, the Armada was spotted off the Sicily Isles near southwestern England (Goldman 1).

The battle between Spain and the English had begun when they first spotted each other.  The two opposite sides first met off of Plymouth, near Eddystone Rocks on July 31, when three of the Spanish ships were lost (Collier’s Encyclopedia 660).  The larger part of the English fleet was at Plymouth.  The English fleet harassed the Spanish fleet but were unable seriously damage the Spanish formation.  Thanks to new tactics, the English fleet pounded the Spaniards form beyond the range of Spanish guns (The Encyclopedia American 327).  The Armada reached the Strait of Dover on August 6, and secured in an unprotected position off Calais.  The English also secured in a position but were forced to retreat to guard the narrow seas (Collier’s Encyclopedia 660).   As the Armada began their invasion, they no longer had a safe port.  The Dutch and English warships cruised to intercept the Armada fleet.  This defect in Spanish strategy was to prove disastrous (The Encyclopedia Britannica).  Around midnight on August 7, Lord Howard sent three merchantmen to burn the Spanish fleet.  The merchantmen only had time to burn the cables.  The Spanish ships drifted away in panic and the Armada’s formation was completely broken.  The Spanish regrouped but ran out of ammunition (Academic American Encyclopedia 151).  One ship was severely damaged while the others were barely harmed.  The English attacked again on August 8 before the Spanish ship could regroup.  The battle went on for 8 hours straight, and three Spanish ships were sunk while the others were badly battered.  During all the battles, the wind speed and waves had a great effect on the movement of the ships (Martin & Parker 200).  On August 12, a storm separated the opposing fleet near the Firth of Forth, a bay on the east shore of Scotland, where Lord Howard gave up his pursuit (Collier’s Encyclopedia 660).  Recognizing the power of the English fleet, the Spaniards headed back to Spain.  The bruised Armada fought off storms and shipwrecks and finally returned to the Spanish Port of Santander, on the Bay of Biscay, five months later (Collier’s Encyclopedia 660).  Only about 60 ships reached Spain, most of them too damaged to be repaired.  The English lost thousands of men due to disease and casualties in battle.

The outcome of the battle made Spain less powerful then before.  The defeat of the Spanish Armada saved England form invasion, and the Dutch Republic form extinction (The Encyclopedia Britannica).  It marked the turning point between the era of Spanish world domination, and the risk of Britain to the position of international power (Goldman 1).  The Armada’s action has had historical significance as the first major gun battle under sail, and as the moment from which the gun-armed sailing warship dominated the seas (The Encyclopedia Britannica).  The fate of the Armada gave the English more power to someday takeover (Collier’s Encyclopedia 660).  The once powerful Spain was now recognized as being defeated.  England remained victorious and powerful, gaining the wealth that they once dreamed of (Goldman 1).

The Spanish Armada was a fleet organized to take over England.  The fleet was thought of being “Invincible,” because the Spaniards thought that it could never be defeated.  The English proved the Spaniards and the whole world wrong by defeating the Armada using smart tactics.  Spain still was powerful, but now the other countries didn’t  fear it.  The fate of the Armada was said to have marked Spain’s decline (Academic American Encyclopedia 151).

The Trial of Socrates

Socrates is certainly not guilty of the crimes he is accused of.  He is not corrupting the youth of Athens and he does indeed believe in gods.  His manner is uncommon and because of that he is feared by his accusers (Meletus, Anytus, Lycon, et al.).  Justice will be miscarried if he is put to death. Meletus has brought before the court the accusation that Socrates does not believe in the gods of Greece, but at the same time claims that he is a believer of other divinities.  This is a contradiction, for to believe in one god alone, or even that divinity exists means that Socrates must believe in the gods to which divinity is attributed.  In “Apology” Socrates says: “Does any man, Meletus, believe in human affairs who does not believe in human beings?…No, my good sir, no man could… Does any man believe in divine activities who does not believe in divinities?”  To this Meletus answers “No one”.

Socrates has, in fact, dedicated his life as a sort of service to the gods as prescribed to him by the Oracle at Delphi.  The Oracle said that Socrates was the wisest man.  He was trying to refute this claim as a bestowal to the gods, for he communicated with them after each encounter he had with the supposed wise men of Athens.

The other accusation brought against Socrates is that he is corrupting the youth of Athens by charging them money for his teachings.  This cannot be true if Socrates does not consider himself a teacher, but a mere seeker of truth, and challenges his accusers to find evidence that he received any money in his quest for truth.

He indeed has followers and they are present at the trial.  What Does he teach them that might be so harsh as to deserve to be put to death?  He tells them that they should place the importance of the soul above that of wealth.  They are not corrupted by him, they just enjoy watching him prove others wrong.  The real crime that he is being charged with is the embarrassing of ‘wise’ men.  Nothing more.
Was Socrates being inconsistant with his views of which laws he should be most loyal to (his conscience or the laws of the state)?

The Asain Finacial Crisis

The beginning of the Asian financial crisis can be traced back to 2 July 1997. That was the day the Thai Government announced a managed float of the Baht and called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for ‘technical assistance’. That day the Baht fell around 20 per cent against the $US. This became the trigger for the Asian currency crisis. Within the week the Philippines and Malaysian Governments were heavily intervening to defend their currencies. While Indonesia intervened and also allowed the currency to move in a widened trading range a sort of a float but with a floor below which the monetary authority acts to defend the currency against further falls. By the end of the month there was a ‘currency meltdown’ during which the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir attacked ‘rogue speculators’ and named the notorious speculator and hedge fund manager, George Soros, as being personally responsible for the fall in value of the ringgit. Soon other East Asian economies became involved, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and others to varying degrees. Stock and property markets were also feeling the pressure though the declines in stock prices tended to show a less volatile but nevertheless downward trend over most of 1997. By 27 October the crisis had had a world wide impact, on that day provoking a massive response on Wall Street with the Dow Jones industrial average falling by 554.26 or 7.18 per cent, its biggest point fall in history, causing stock exchange officials to suspend trading.
Countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have embraced an unusual policy combination of liberalisation of controls on flows of financial capital on the one hand, and quasi-fixed/ heavily managed exchange rate systems on the other. These exchange rate systems have been operated largely through linkages with the United States (US) dollar as their anchor. (1) Such external policy mixes are only sustainable in the longer term if there is close harmonisation of economic/ financial policies and conditions with those of the anchor country (in this case, the United States). Otherwise, establishing capital flows will inevitably undermine the exchange rate.
Rather than harmonisation, there seems to have actually been increased economic and financial divergence with the US, especially in terms of current account deficits, inflation and interest rates. These increasing disparities have prompted global (and local) financial interests to speculate against the administered exchange rate linkages, i.e. speculative pressure mounted that the monetary authorities in these countries would not be able to hold their exchange rate links. In most cases, such financial speculation has been of sufficient magnitude to actually provoke the collapse of the administered exchange rate links, in the manner of ‘self fulfilling’ prophecies. Defence of the exchange rate through the use of foreign exchange reserves and higher interest rates proved to be insufficient. (2)
The result has been large devaluation’s of the exchange rates of these countries, especially against the US dollar. Large interest rate increases to support the exchange rates at their new lower levels (to prevent wholesale over reaction and collapse in foreign exchange markets and to help contain the strong inflationary forces set in motion); and extra restrictions in fiscal policy. Designed to rise national saving, contain domestic spending and reassure foreign investors and international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Figure 1 shows the magnitude of this devaluation’s.
The IMF had arranged conditional financial support packages for Thailand and Indonesia. (3) Financial support is provided in exchange for (on condition of) economic policy reforms which, it is argued, will encourage economic recovery and help prevent a recurrence of the turmoil these countries are now experiencing. In the case of Australia, help to Thailand has taken the form of a ‘currency swap’ where Australia’s US dollar assets of up to $1 billion were exchanged for Thai Baht, with an agreement that the reverse exchange would occur at a future point in time.
These financial crises have also provoked substantial falls in the stock markets of these countries and in other parts of Asia. (They also contributed to stock market falls around the world). Foreign investor funds would have been initially withdrawn as exchange rate speculation mounted, and this would have partly taken the form of a sell off of foreign-owned stock. As well, much higher interest rates (both before and after the currency devaluation’s) encourage flows of funds out of shares and into loan/ debt-type assets. In turn, higher interest rates and lower exchange rates have substantially increased the rate of collapse/ bankruptcy of businesses operating in highly leveraged sectors (especially where loan contracts were written in foreign currency), and this would have further undermined confidence in the stock markets throughout Asia. Figure 2 shows the recent stock market price falls in these countries.
Overall, reductions in the growth of spending, production and employment in the region are likely to be prominent consequences of these financial crises. Both as the direct result of the financial disruptions and also as the result of consequent contraction in economic policy changes that have been, and will be, implemented. Loss of general economic and financial confidence will reduce the growth in spending and output and the related tightening of fiscal and monetary policy will reinforce these effects. (5) Economic growth in these countries in the next couple of years will probably be substantially lower, and countries such as Thailand may actually tip over into recession, i.e. its absolute level of output may fall.
This downturn is likely to continue until the inflationary forces unleashed by the large exchange rate devaluation’s have been tamed. Foreign exchange markets stabilise at their new lower prices, and the enhanced international trade competitiveness of these countries (arising largely from the currency devaluation’s) allows them to better implement export led growth strategies. Such strategies have traditionally been the most successful and effective means of encouraging growth in Asia.
Thailand and Indonesia seem to have been the worst affected by the economic and financial crisis of the last several months; Malaysia and the Philippines seem to be in somewhat better economic and financial shape, at least compared with Thailand and Indonesia. Singapore appears in turn to be much better placed than the rest of the region and is likely to have the least economic and financial problems. This is because of the latter’s more advanced economic structure, more sophisticated financial system, more flexible exchange rate system and substantial current account surpluses (in contrast to the deficits elsewhere in the region). (6)
 Further Economic and Financial Problems
Enhanced trade competitiveness will also help these countries better deal with their longer-term problems of repositioning their economies in a region where trade competition has intensified and where domestic policy directions have often been counter-productive. Competition from China and other developing countries in standardised products that make intensive use of low-skilled/ semiskilled labour have reduced export growth in Southeast Asia at the same time as imports of capital goods in the region have continued to grow strongly. (China has also been much assisted by earlier large exchange rate devaluation’s). These trends have contributed to large and increasing trade and current account deficits in the region, and this seems to have been one of the fundamental reasons why speculators and other financial interests began to move against many of the currencies of Southeast Asia.
While much of the high rates of investment in these countries have been directed towards efficient and productive uses, a substantial part has gone into industries unsuited to the economic conditions of these countries. (Such as ‘national car’ projects), or into sectors (such as commercial property) where asset price inflation has distorted investment priorities and taken capital away from more efficient uses. Thus, the productivity of such investment has been lower than expected and has not contributed much to the ability of these countries to fund their capital imports.
The bursting of asset price inflation bubbles, fuelled and then undermined by speculative activity, has also contributed to the economic and financial crisis (especially in countries such as Thailand). This in turn has rapidly increased the amount of bad/non-performing loans in the banking systems of these countries (and for foreign lenders such as the Japanese banks) and has forced the closure or consolidation/ merger of a number of lending institutions. Thus, the crisis has enveloped the financial systems in the region, and has been accentuated by high rates of borrowing. Its resolution will also require structural reform of financial institutions. (7) The prudential regulation of financial institutions will probably also have to be drastically upgraded in these financial systems.
Asset price deflation, rising bad debts and failing banks provide a very dangerous mixture for national economic performance and may require several years of adjustment before they can be fully overcome. The case of Japan is both instructive and rather frightening. After rapid Japanese asset price inflation in the 1980s (especially in property and shares), the early 1990s there saw asset price crashes, escalating bad debts (since these were often secured against the now vastly devalued assets) and banks teetering on collapse. Japan has seen very low economic growth in the last six years as it has attempted (ineffectively) to cope with such deep-seated financial problems.
It is now clear that the Japanese financial sector has not been rationalised in the thorough way needed for strong economic recovery. Insolvent institutions beyond hope of trading their way out of trouble have not been closed but have been allowed to linger on. Bad loans beyond any genuine hope of payment have not been written off against shareholder capital and/or government funds but have remained hidden in the ‘nether regions’ of institutions’ balance sheets. (8) However, more resolute action by Japanese financial regulators may now be forthcoming.
It can only be hoped that the countries of Southeast Asia fare better but this will require rapid, concerted responses to the problems confronting them. The policy responses so far announced have been reasonably encouraging but much more needs to be done. (9)
 Affect to New Zealand
New Zealand’s rapidly growing export markets in Southeast Asia will probably be cut back substantially in the next couple of years. This is both because slower growth in the region will reduce the growth in demand for New Zealand exports, and also because the much lower real (inflation-adjusted) exchange rates of Southeast Asian countries will further reduce their imports by favouring domestic production the latter effect will also favour their exports. Further ‘second round’ adverse effects on our major trading partners such as Japan and South Korea will be important to New Zealand.
Similarly, New Zealand exports to Asia can be expected to eventually recover when exports from these Southeast Asian countries themselves accelerate under the influence of their devalued exchange rates. The latter export expansion will then help to generate broader recoveries in economic growth in the region.
The strong ‘economic fundamentals’ of high rates of investment, saving, technological transfer, and expansion in education and training throughout Asia all point to the region recovering to robust economic growth once the current set of problems have been dealt with. (The crucial proviso is probably that financial sector problems in the region be effectively resolved). Thus, the medium to longer term prospects for New Zealand exports to Asia remain strong so long as our producers continue to be competitive in terms of price and quality.
Estimates of reductions in New Zealand economic growth resulting from this negative external shock currently range from 0.2 to 1.0 percentage point falls in the next year or two. (13) Initial estimates were at the low end of the range, but more recent forecasts have generally been higher, as more adverse information has been received. (Falling growth in New Zealand exports is likely to be reinforced by cuts to investment and consumption plans).
These estimates pose serious problems for the New Zealand economy and New Zealand economic policymakers. Most importantly, they imply that New Zealand economic recovery in the growth of output and employment, which according to many forecasters already looks to be only quite moderate and gradual, could be substantially nullified by the external economic shock emanating from Southeast Asia, and its flow-on effects on Northeast Asia. (14)
Difficult dilemmas for the current setting of New Zealand monetary and fiscal policy are thus created. For example, disturbances to New Zealand financial markets caused by the crisis alleviate against any current relaxation of monetary policy arising from consideration of the need to counter the external economic shock proactively.
This is especially so in the case of the recent fall in the New Zealand dollar; this acts to encourage net exports and helps to counter the external shock (but also adds to domestic inflationary pressures, mainly through higher import prices). However, this devaluation could prove to be substantially the result of financial market over-reaction and thus could be quite temporary in nature. Unfortunately, this may not become clear until end of 1999, by which time a further reduction in official interest rates might be rather late in terms of dampening the external shock. The enduring currency devaluation may be insufficient in itself to dampen the external shock substantially.
On the other hand, even if monetary policy is relaxed now this will do little to nullify the shock’s effect on New Zealand spending and growth. This is because of the substantial time lags involved in the impact of such monetary policy changes on the economy. However, such a policy relaxation could help to bolster growth after next calendar year, if the effects of the crisis on New Zealand are expected to last that long.
Monetary policymakers also seem to be restrained at the present time by uncertainty about the magnitude and duration of the economic effects of the Asian crisis on New Zealand, and its effects upon the future course of New Zealand inflation in particular. (15) This also comes at a time when official forecasts already see inflation rising back into its target range, in 2000, of 2-3% underlying inflation. (16)
Fiscal/ budgetary policy might also help to dampen the shock by temporarily moving to a more expansionary/less restrictive stance. It is an attractive policy tool since it has shorter lags of impact on the economy than monetary policy and is less likely to generate exchange rate devaluation (and consequent intensified inflation pressures) than monetary policy. This might allow stronger growth while also allowing the inflation target to continue to be met.
However, fiscal policy is currently in a contraction stance at the national level, being preoccupied with budget deficit reduction to boost levels of national saving and help contain current account deficits. Indeed, New Zealand’s current account deficit is highly likely to increase as a result of the negative external shock arising from Asia, and this mitigates against any move to fiscal policy expansion.
 1.International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook, October 1997, Table 16.
 2.The Asian Financial Review July 1998, pp. 37-39.
 3.’The IMF and Indonesia: Baleful Bonanza’, The Economist, 8 November 1997, p. 95.
 4.Commonwealth of Australia, JOURNAL No. 90, 11 August 1997, and No. 116, 1 November 1997.
 5.For a critical perspective on such policy changes, see: Greg Earl, ‘IMF Solution Follows Wrong Track: Economists’, Australian Financial Review, 19 November 1997, p. 13.
 6.Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Report: Singapore, London, 3rd quarter, 1997, pp. 23-26.
 7.Simon Davies and John Ridding, ‘Crisis into Catastrophe?’ Financial Times (London), 31 October 1997, p. 15.
 8.Max Walsh, ‘Aid Parcels to Japanese Banks’, The New Zealand Herald, 18 November 1998, pp. 25-26; Max Walsh, ‘Time for Japan to Save the World’, The New Zealand Herald, 21 November 1998, pp. 29-30.
 9.John McBeth, ‘Big is Best: Indonesia’s Rescue Package Draws on the Thai Experience’, Far Eastern Economic Review, 13 November 1997, pp. 68-69; Greg Sheridan, ‘The Asian Malaise is Curable’, 28 November 1997, p. 13. National Business Review
 10.Charles Lee, ‘The Next Domino?’ Far Eastern Economic Review, 20 November 1997, pp. 14-16.
 11.Eric Ellis, ‘Kim Inspects Mouth of IMF Gift Horse’, Australian Financial Review, 24 November 1997, p. 12.
 12.Teresa Wyszomierski and Christopher Lingle, “Fortress Japan Under Siege’, Australian Financial Review, 19 November 1997, p. 20.
 13.Ian MacFarlane, Forbes Magazine Business 1998, pp24-27.
 14. Forecasts Lowered’, The New Zealand Herald, 20 November 1998, pp. 29-30.
 15.Reserve Bank of New Zealand, semi-annual Statement on Monetary Policy, November 1997, pp. 2-13.
 16 A New Revolution by Peter Smith As published in NZBUSINESS, August 1998, PP 5-12.

Totalitarian Rule

The concept of totalitarian rule cannot be determined by purely logical means. It was explained and clarified only by those who went through the bitter experience of this form of government. As late as the end of the 1920′s the word “totalitarian” was used to designate any state which was governed in an authoritarian rather than a parliamentarian manner. The London Times, for example, on November 2, 1929, spoke of a reaction against parliamentarism “in favor of a totalitarian, or unitary state whether Fascist or Communist;” the quotation marks and the explanatory phrase “or unitary state” prove that at the time the concept was still fairly unusual.

In the 1930s and 1940s the experiences of the Third Reich and Stalinist Russia added to the definition the criteria of the synchronization and conformation of life, political police and concentration camps, and aIl the other horrors disseminated by these regimes. But admitting that in our century open terror has assumed particularly inhuman forms, such terror is nevertheless not confined to totalitarian rule and therefor is not sufficient to define it.


From time immemorial despots have imprisoned their opponents under particularly cruel conditions; they have tortured them, dishonored them, debased and executed them. The suppression of freedom has always assumed the same forms. what Tacitus wrote in his biography of Agricola concerning the despotism of the Emperor Domitian was experienced as reality by the high school students of Hitler’s Germany:


“Not only the writers but their very books were objects of rage, and . . .the triumvirs were commissioned to burn in the forum those works of splendid genius. They fancied, forsooth, that in that fire the voice of the Roman people, the freedom of the Senate, and the conscience of the human race were perishing, while at the same time they banished the teachers of philosophy, and exiled every noble pursuit, that nothing good might anywhere confront them. Certainly we showed a magnificent example of patience; as a former age had witnessed the extreme of liberty, so we witnessed the extreme of servitude, when the informer robbed us of the interchange of speech and hearing. We should have lost memory as well as voice, had it been as easy to forget as to keep silence.”


The unique particularity of the unfolding of totalitarian power was at first experienced only by those who were under its immediate subjection, and even they understood it only gradually because it was an entirely new experience– at least in our century. Totalitarian power grows beyond all standards of normal politics, it gains incalculable and sinister dimensions; under its dominion life falls into confusion and insecurity of all kind not known heretofore. Human beings find themselves not only oppressed and confined in their freedom but also delivered up to the regime, mercilessly exploited by it, and finally, as it were inadvertently, criminally involved in the regime,s activity. Characteristically, it was precisely the politically sophisticated observers who predicted all quick collapse of totalitarian rule, and from their point of view they were justified; for according to the traditional views and standards all such regimes destroy the preconditions that can give permanence to all government.


Everywhere it goes against the most basic Law of international diplomatic relations and economic life, destroys the ordered domestic government, openly goes back on its promises, at every step violates all loyalty and faith, is mendacious, unbalanced, repressed, unprofessional–nevertheless, totalitarian rule flourished, secured its position, manages to win over large sections of the population though they resist at first’ and can even place its opponents in its service.


Persons under totalitarian rule are always in the ranks, always under all strain. They may no longer show themselves as they really are but are constrained constantly to play prescribed roles in an atmosphere of false emotionality, joylessness, mistrust; and they must take care to put their loyalty “to the test… Not only does the regime forbid them to develop, but it seeks also to make of them other personalities than they are by nature; it not only restricts their freedom but tries as well to overpower them. This situation holds true for the declared adherents of the regime even more than for its opponents; for the adherents must always be anxiously concerned to move along whatever general line is currently in favor.


No corner of public life or private life offers refuge from control; one can inadvertently lay oneself open to suspicion anywhere. Applause, indignation, enthusiasm, willingness to serve are produced artificially. In general, artificiality is an outstanding characteristic of totalitarian activity, standing in grotesque contrast to the regime,s favorite appeal to the authentic forces of life (“die elementaren Krafte des Lebens”). But what is worse is that concepts, words, and values are robbed of their traditional meanings, and moral standards become disordered. As regards open terror, there is no doubt that it is to be abhorred; but when evil appears in the guise of historical necessity, the common good, the welfare of all people or all class, man becomes prey to nearly insoluble moral conflicts. Thus, though dictatorial procedures, open force, and the deprivation of freedom are also part of totalitarian rule, its true characteristic is the creeping assault on men through the perversion of thought and social life.


This assault follows from the fact that the totalitarian claim to power is not kept within the bounds of possible governmental competence but –as the name makes clear–is in tended to dispose unreservedly over the totality of human life. The claim is not confined to the areas for which the state is responsible but is allowed to encompass all areas, aha to have an exclusive voice even where the political regime can at best play an ancillary role–as, for instance, in family life, in scientific research, and in art.


Totalitarian rule attempts to encompass the whole person, the substance and spontaneity of his existence, including his conscience, It does not acknowledge the primacy of society over the state as an area of freedom which, in principle, lies beyond governmental control, but rather interferes in it deliberately, to change it from the ground up according to its own plan; for the regime wishes to create–in accordance with its own ideological scheme and with social engineering techniques–all wholly new society, all “new type of man,” as Lenin put it–even all new world. It undertakes the production of an artificial, synthetic society.


Under these circumstances, men can have validity only as building blocks or structural elements, raw material, “human material”; totalitarian rule cannot as a matter of principle acknowledge the citizen’s personal autonomy, on which political liberty is based, but must render him available for whatever service seems desirable. While it is of the essence of the human personality in the last analysis not to be the available object but the partner of another human being, totalitarian rule attempts to make the unavailable accessible to itself. It destroys the old social elements and social processes and sets new, artificial ones in motion. Groups that are considered harmful are expunged; and attempt is made to form new elites, and there is no hesitation in modifying the personality of the individual by means of drugs and surgery. In this spirit the National Socialists were eager to create all new society by means of biological breeding and selection.


The totalitarian demand to create all new society was not restricted to bringing to power a new social stratum–the proletariat, for example, instead of nobility or the bourgeoisie–or to imposing new legal standards and institutional forms; such is the aim of any revolution and not all peculiarity of totalitarianism. Totalitarian interventions are directed to the basic forms of social life that arise directly from man,s personal nature and political activity. Society is now no longer intended to emerge from the spontaneous unfolding of the individual; it may no longer be all network of relationships of freely reciprocal, cooperative, and oppositional activity. It must now consist of all planned, mechanical continuity of functions; the place of free play to be taken by a precalculated meshing of forces.


A typical example of the fundamental character of totalitarian intervention is the circumstance that the Russian bolsheviks were not content with the creation of a new marital law but believed themselves capable of abolishing altogether this basic institution of human life. It is no less characteristic, however, that this attempt failed because it amounted to an assault on the very nature of man.


Another example of how basic is the totalitarian demand to create all new society is offered by what is called indoctrination. In contrast to education, which presupposes all spontaneous and free unfolding of the human person and which first of all furthers and regulates such development, indoctrination is training toward specific modes of thought and con duct that are predetermined and can therefore be calculated to fit all particular function. In other words, indoctrination is all socio-technical tool.


The successfully indoctrinated per son is prepared with prefabricated answers to all questions directed at him, and he reacts to certain stimuli (such as “capitalists” or Jews) in clearly foreseeable ways. He sees the world exclusively from the point of view and in the light of the ideology and is therefore able in each situation to act on his own initiative in whatever way is required by the consequences of the system. Thus he is–as it were–intellectually and morally synchronized with the practical course of the totalitarian exercise of power. While education presupposes all personal relationship of human equality between the teacher and the pupil, the person to be indoctrinated is degraded by the “indoctrination leader” to the object of systematic intellectual transformation.


The demand of totalitarian movements to dominate completely over men and societies without any controls and to re-create social life radically rests on their claim to know the intention of world history and therefore to be in the position of completing its course. Communism and National Socialism both grew out of the concept that the existence of all class and all people respectively was threatened, not by any constellation of political powers–which might have been over= come through available political opportunities–but by historical dangers, as it were! the suppression of the proletariat by capitalism, the dilution of the ..blood strength of the Nordic race through Judaism. It was believed in both movements that they stood at the pivot of world history, and they considered themselves chosen to bring about, by means of political measures, the turning point that they felt to be due.


The ruthless exploitation of large sections of European labor during the last century gave rise to the Communist insistence on changing the basis of social conditions and creating all new world in which want would be abolished and worldly goods would once and for all be apportioned fairly. Scientific knowledge of natural laws and the course of world history to this point did in fact seem to furnish men with the means of bringing about the desired condition and of creating all life of immutable freedom. The National Socialists explained Germany’s defeat in the First World War and its consequences by the theory of the racial-biological decay of Nordic man, who was taken to be the creator and carrier of all culture. The ..nordification.. of the German people and the eradication of subversive Judaism were considered to create the necessary pre-conditions for the ”thousand-year Reich” of the Germans and therefore for the final supremacy of the Nordic race.


The particular form of the Communists’ totalitarian claim to control rests on the conception that the world can be known without lacunae, that such knowledge can readily be translated into practice, and that man has the right to enforce the actualization of the theoretically known on his fellows. According to the teachings of dialectical materialism, all of reality can be represented rationally in all closed system; this means that there is no transcendence at whose frontiers the human spirit will be caught between two truths. It is even believed possible to explore the entire world with such scientific exactitude that the relationships among things can not only be grasped and understood but can also be proved, and that in this way men can gain guidance for changing the world rationally. Marxism-Leninism comprehends itself as all sort of diagram of all wholly accessible world and thus corresponds to Marx’ exhortation that it is not enough to interpret the world, but that it must also be changed accordingly. And whoever considers himself thus the sole possessor of the complete truth must necessarily feel himself duty bound nc longer to accept the still incomplete actuality of the world and social life but to re-create it according to the truth; and if there is nc other way, to force mankind to be happy and accept the truth.


Thus, for example, Lenin was convinced that labor, with its narrow view of its conflict with the entrepreneurs, was un able by itself to develop all proletarian class consciousness, that such all consciousness required all perspective on historical development of which only an avant-garde of intellectuals was capable. These men, then, had the duty, in Lenin,s own words, implant from the outside in the worker” the correct class consciousness. In contrast to Marxism-Leninism, National Socialism was anti-intellectual. It glorified the life force, basic drives, blood; it considered intellect as the opponent of the soul.”


The National Socialist claim to control the world did not appeal to reason, which perceives all and orders it anew according to objective truth, but to will, which heroically defies the powers that be, subjugates them, and shapes them after its own subjective image. The “new German” wished to rule over fate, not in order to lead mankind into all condition of immutable happiness, but to take in hand his fate or that of his people in all struggle against the others, who were considered evil or too weak and who must therefore be justly destroyed. Hitler held that to see the weak protected from the strong was enough to make one lose faith in divine justice. “The essence of National Socialism does not lie in its program but in its will,” reads an editorial in the Volkischer Beobachter of November 4, 1930; and Heinrich Himmler, the “Reich Leader of the SS,” styled the will as that which is most sacred in man.


Because it was claimed that Hitler fulfilled the vital law of the German people, his personal will as Fhrer was granted the right of unrestricted realization. Totalitarian subjectivism, the unlimited claim of a single person to dominate an entire people, found its undisguised expression in the sentence, “Hitler is Germany–Germany is Hitler.” Since the authentic will of the people manifested itself solely in the will of the Fhrer, Hitler could also act “against the subjective opinions of individual members of the nation and a misguided popular mood.” On this point, then, the National Socialist concepts led to the same practical ends as did the Communist ones: the totalitarian regime imposes on the people what is allegedly the people’s real will.

The Aztec Indians

Tonatiuh has yet to rise from the East and shine upon us all, but already I hear stirs and murmurs coming from the street and even from the apprentice quarters of my own home.  It has been an exhausting month for me and I would like nothing better than to sleep all day.  However, here in Texcoco, the market only meets once a week and I must sell my goods as soon as possible.(Smith,119). My wife, heavy with child, slowly begins to wake beside me, so I rise to the new day.
My name is Tochtli, born to that day some 33 years ago.  I am of the Mexica tribe, born and raised in the  sacred capitol city of Tenochtitlan.  I am of the pochteca and am proud to serve my gods and lords faithfully in war and sacrifice, as my father did before me.  I have been very successful and have been able to provide my wife and two (soon to be three) children a comfortable life.  It is wise to say that the god Yacatecuhtli, looks generously upon me and I owe all to him (Smith, 213).
Before I am even dressed I can smell my wife and daughter preparing tortillas from the patio.  Being from the highest order of pochteca, my home is larger than most in my calpolli.  It is built in a half-moon fashion around a central patio.  The structure is made up of four rooms, or quarters: The sleeping quarters of my wife and I, the room my children share, a room for my apprentice and any tlamama I may have under my service at the time, and a small shrine room where my family and I can worship.
In the patio, the tlamama, my apprentice and my son eat a breakfast of tortillas before we head to the market.  I had just returned the night before from a most successful, but long trade expedition.  I had set out a little over a month ago, along with two other pochteca from my guild, two of our apprentices, and four tlamama who are professional porters.  I was worried to leave on such a long expedition when my wife was so close to bearing our third child, but after consulting with the calendar and the priests of my patron god, Yacatecuhtli, it was determined that the day we left on was surely the luckiest (Smith,256).  Besides that, my son, Ocelotl, is now nine and almost old enough to guard the household.
We left loaded with cloth, jewels and spinning tools and set out for Acolman, where we traded the bulk of our goods for slaves.  In these other cities, markets meet weekly or only periodically, so it was important to time our route well.  From Acolman we set out for Pachuca where we planned to trade the remainder of our goods for some of the obsidian tools that the region is renowned for (Smith, 87).  That was the most dangerous part of our journey because of its length, the size of our payload and how close our path came toward enemy territory outside of the triple alliance.  Pochteca are generally allowed free travel throughout the world, enemy or friendly without harm (Smith, 122).  In my time I have traveled throughout the far reaches of this land, but I am still wary of enemy territory, and always travel well armed and ready for battle.  After a rest in Pachuca, where we bartered for the obsidian, we began our long journey home.
We finally reached Texcoco early yesterday morning, but camped outside the city until nightfall.  Upon returning from any expedition, pochteca always enter the city under the cloak of darkness.  We then quickly unload our goods from the canoes, so that it is all hidden in our homes by daybreak (Smith, 121).  This has been a practice as old as the guild itself.  It is very useful since it is wise to keep the success of ones expedition a secret.  Pochteca, no matter how successful, are not nobles and not allowed to display such wealth openly (Smith,121).  To do so might offend our lords, and hence our gods.  I agreed to keep the obsidian and two of the tlamama at my home for the night, while my partner kept the slaves at his home.
My wife, Calli, calls for me to eat before I must leave for the market.  She hands me warm tortillas and smiles at me lovingly.  I admire the roundness of her belly, and only then do I realize how much I have missed her.  Teteoinnan, the mother of gods, has truly blessed me with a wife both fertile and beautiful.  As the tlamama, my apprentice and my son load up for the market, I kiss my wife and daughter good-bye before setting out.  They will spend most of the day purifying the home in anticipation of the coming baby.  As I left, my wife was already sweeping  our house clean of evil spirits.  She also tells me that she is going to make tamales and sauce to take to the temples as an offering for my successful and safe trip.  My daughter, the beautiful Xochitl, will no doubt continue the weaving she has been working on, she has become quite talented and will make a fine wife (Smith, 141)!
The sun breaks as we start out for the market in the center of the city.  My son and I walk ahead of the tlamama, with my apprentice in the rear.  We dress in the modest clothing of the pochteca.  My son begs for stories of my most recent expedition, his eyes wide and thirsty as I recall foreign cities and rugged country.  He squeezes every detail out of me.  I cant help but smile at his exuberance, after all I was no different when my father would return from his journeys.  It shocks me how much the boy has grown in just the last month.  Soon he will be ten years old and of school age.  You can imagine the pride I felt when I learned that he will be attending the calmecac of Texcoco.  When I was a boy back in Tenochtitlan, I attended one of the cities many telpochcalli.  It was there, living under spartan conditions, that I was trained in the song and dance of rituals.  We also aided on construction of temples and were trained in the art of war (Smith,137).  I can still remember my first time in battle as a novice warrior.  Many a god was appeased with the sacrifice of the captives we returned with on that day!
Yet, there will be an even brighter future for my son.  His intelligence and strength has not gone unnoticed in the city.  The calmecac is a school for nobles and only the most exceptional commoners.  There he will train in the temples, under the tutelage of only the wisest priests (Smith,138).  He will be trained for a future in government, or priesthood, or military!  Working under priests will no doubt teach him the self-discipline, obedience and control that the gods look most favorably upon.
As we enter the market, I once again admire the grandeur of it all.  I think only those who have traveled can truly appreciate the spectacle of  the Texcoco market, the second largest in the empire.  Thousands upon thousands gather to barter or sell their goods.  In the vast plaza, vendors set-up countless stalls in streets according to their goods.  One vast street holds any type of game or dog a person could eat ( and more stench than a person should bear).  Another consists of herbs and medicines, while yet another sells food and drink (Smith, 116).  This is all done under the watchful eyes of the gods whose images can be seen everywhere, inspecting and guarding.  Almost every artisan and merchant has a patron god.
I meet with my partners where we agree to split-up with my partners handling the slaves and me the obsidian and other goods.  We agree to meet later and divide the profits.  Along with my son and my apprentice I go about my business, already knowing which nobles or wealthy merchants were interested in my expensive goods.  Although I am always open to barter, today I look to sell much of the goods for money in the form of cacao beans or quachtli (Smith,124). Some of the obsidian tools I have are easily worth five quachtli each.
The market place swirls with conversation of all sorts.  Haggling here, gossip there, old friends meet as do new ones.  I can think of few places more exciting and pleasurable than the Texcoco market.  As I buy my son a fish pie, two tlanecuilo approach me for help.  As pochteca of the highest order it is our duty to oversee and pass judgment on market affairs (Smith,117).  These two common merchants tell me of another commoner who has been passing off counterfeit cacao beans filled with sawdust.  Though busy, it is my duty to investigate the matter.  The merchant in question swears that he has never counterfeited beans and was unaware that they were filled with sawdust.  I see that the old man is not lying and is a victim of some other culprit.  I order him to reimburse the two other merchants along with a small fine and warn him to be wary of the people he does business with in the future.  The man gratefully heeds the advice and I once again assume my business.
As it approaches noon, I see an old friend and partner of mine, Ozomatli.  We have known each other since I first moved to Texcoco after my marriage.  Our fathers who were pochteca before us became good friends after one of my fathers frequent expeditions to Texcoco from my native Tenochtitlan.  They remained close throughout the years and when I came to settle in Texcoco he looked out for me like I was his own son.  Since then Ozomatli and I have become like brothers in life and work.
Although we have not spoken in a month, I remember our last conversation and realize we may soon become true relatives.  His son, now eighteen and out of school, is ready for marriage and his teachers and relatives have all suggested my daughter as a fine bride.  A matchmaker had already approached my wife while I was gone and little is left but my approval.  My daughter, now 13 years old, is has been ready for marriage for sometime now, yet I have been reluctant to let her go to just any commoner.  But Ozomatli’s son is a good, strong young man perfect for my daughter.  I tell Ozomatli that nothing would make me happier than to see them married and us family.  Ozomatli shares my happiness and excitement.  He tells me that tomorrow he and his wife will consult a soothsayer and determine a lucky day for the marriage, because a marriage on an unlucky day will surely not succeed (Smith, 138).  We part, both eager for our upcoming plans.
As I finish up my business, we pass the great temples in the center of town.  It has been a while, so I stop to pay homage and respect to our gods.  It is for and through them that I have governed my life the way I have.  I remind my son of this and he listens intently and thoughtfully as I speak, knowing the seriousness of what I speak.  As I speak to him, I begin to remember when my father told me the same things at the great temples in Tenochtitlan.  I remember how he told explained to me our creation and how we all are indebted to the gods through a cycle of blood: the blood they gave to create us and the sacred blood we sacrifice to appease and thank them.  The year before, I took my son to Tenochtitlan to witness the great Toxcatl ceremonies.  The Toxcatl ceremonies come at the height of the dry season and are dedicated to the god, Tezcatlipoca, in supplication for the start of the coming rainy season (Smith,236).  My son marveled at the immense city and elaborate, beautiful ceremonies the same way I did so many years before.  The priests stoked roaring fires of incense as the sacrifices were conducted.  The temple was stained red that day and the air filled with the smell of blood.  Once again the gods were fed and in time the rains came again.
Dusk approaches and the market begins to die down.  I remember I still have an important errand to run and we head back toward our capolli.  As we walk back my son asks when he will be allowed to join me on expeditions and I tell him he will soon be on expeditions of his own.  In my heart I feel he will succeed in his life to degrees I dare not dream.  My apprentice, who is my faithful shadow, and I discuss and analyze the days events.  He is a fast learner and I am glad to see him and my son becoming friends.

 We come to the home of Molotecatl, the Tecuhtli lord of our capolli and one of the most favored nobles of our tlatoni, the Imperial Ruler of Texcoco.  At the gates of his huge, two-story home, I tell my son and apprentice to wait outside as I go in to conduct business.  Molotecatl has been a wise and good lord to our family and I know he looks upon me with great respect and admiration.  I have a suspicion that he had a major influence in having Ocelotl invited to the calmecac.  I have served him faithfully since I’ve been his subject and have helped him prosper.
He greets me graciously and I bow with respect.  He offers me food and drink that I dare not refuse and asks me of my most recent expedition.  Often time I have traded goods directly for him, but this time I had not.  This time he was more interested in information I had gathered from my trip.  The pochteca have long and respected tradition of spy work and information gathering ( Smith,123).  He is curious of the conditions in the northeastern realm of the empire from which I had just returned.  I tell him that I saw little to cause alarm and assure him the enemies to the east have not grown too bold.  I can tell he is happy to hear this and assures me that when he conveys this information he will attribute the source.  It fills me with pride that my voice will reach the tlatoani’s ear.
Molotecatl then presents a most serious and interesting proposition to me.  He asks me to head an expedition to the southeastern parts of the Triple-Alliance empire in an effort to gather information on strange rumors of floating cities off the western coast.  Although it is greatly interesting, I remind him that I am older now and not of the same spirit and strength that I once was, when I made yearly expeditions to the most dangerous corners of the world.  But, now I tell him I fear I’m too old.  He offers to send me with armed guard and promises handsome rewards hard to turn down.  I tell him that my wife will be with child soon and will need me to stay close to home with my daughter getting married, but that I shall consider it in a few months time.  He seems hopeful of this and assures me I’m the only man he is considering to send.  I thank him for his regard and pay my respects to his family before leaving.
It is dark by the time I emerge from his home to find my son and apprentice throwing stones at large stump in the field next to the house.  We hurry home where my wife has had food prepared for sometime and is busy keeping it warm.  Though full from the food I had just eaten at my lords home, I eat my share of my wife’s cooking, not wanting to upset her.  As we eat, we discuss the upcoming marriage of our daughter and I see that both my wife and daughter are excited.
After dinner we all head to our quarters for sleep and I tell my wife of my lord’s proposition.  I can tell she doesn’t want me leaving on any more expeditions and with my success I really don’t need too.  She says she will still support any decision I make and suggests I consult a soothsayer on the matter.  I agree, and pull her close to me as I rub her belly.
Three children!  Nothing could make a man happier, and truly I was looked favorably upon by the gods.  In the path they had set for me in life, I had not failed and in the role they had chose for me, I served dutifully.  I pray that my own children will be as lucky and favored.  Ocelotl shall truly make a fine warrior, and Xochitl the most fertile of mothers.  And my unborn child?  Who knows what extraordinary life the gods had planned for it!  And dreaming of his still unwritten life, I fell into a peaceful sleep.

The Confederate States Of America

Confederate States of America, the name adopted by the federation of 11 slave holding Southern states of the United States that seceded from the Union and were arrayed against the national government during the American Civil War.

Immediately after confirmation of the election of Abraham Lincoln as president, the legislature of South Carolina convened.  In a unanimous vote on December 20, 1860, the state seceded from the Union.  During the next two months ordinances of secession were adopted by the states of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.  President James Buchanan, in the last days of his administration, declared that the federal government would not forcibly prevent the secessions.  In February 1861, the seceding states sent representatives to a convention in Montgomery, Alabama.  The convention, presided over by Howell Cobb of Georgia, adopted a provisional constitution and chose Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as provisional president and Alexander Hamilton Stephens of Georgia as provisional vice president.  The convention, on March 11, 1861, unanimously ratified a permanent constitution.  The constitution, which closely resembled the federal Constitution, prohibited the African slave trade but allowed interstate commerce in slaves.

Jefferson Davis (1808-89), first and only president of the Confederate States of America (1861-65).  Davis was born onJune 3, 1808, in Christian (now Todd) County, Kentucky, and educated at Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, and at the U.S. Military Academy.  After his graduation in 1828, he saw frontier service until ill health forced his resignation from the army in 1835.  He was a planter in Mississippi from 1835 to 1845, when he was elected to the U.S. Congress.  In 1846 he resigned his seat in order to serve in the Mexican War and fought at Monterrey and Buena Vista, where he was wounded.  He was U.S. senator from Mississippi from 1847 to 1851, secretary of war in the cabinet of President Franklin Pierce from 1853 to 1857, and again U.S. senator from 1857 to 1861.  As a senator he often stated his support of slavery and of states’ rights, and as a cabinet member he influenced Pierce to sign the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which favored the South and increased the bitterness of the struggle over slavery.  In his second term as senator he became the acknowledged spokesman for the Southern point of view.

He opposed the idea of secession from the Union, however, as a means of maintaining the principles of the South.  Even after the first steps toward secession had been taken, he tried to keep the Southern states in the Union, although not at the expense of their principles.  When the state of Mississippi seceded, he withdrew from the Senate. On February 18, 1861, the provisional Congress of the Confederate States made him provisional president.  He was elected to the office by popular vote the same year for a 6-year term and was inaugurated in Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy, on February 22, 1862.  Davis failed to raise sufficient money to fight the American Civil War and could not obtain recognition and help for the Confederacy from foreign governments.  He was in constant conflict with extreme exponents of the doctrine of states’ rights, and his attempts to have high military officers appointed by the president were opposed by the governors of the states.  The judges of state courts constantly interfered in military matters through judicial decisions.  Davis was nevertheless responsible for the raising of the formidable Confederate armies, the notable appointment of General Robert E. Lee as commander of the Army of Virginia, and the encouragement of industrial enterprise throughout the South.  His zeal, energy, and faith in the cause of the South were a source of much of the tenacity with which the Confederacy fought the Civil War.  Even in 1865 Davis still hoped the South would be able to achieve its independence, but at last he realized defeat was imminent and fled from Richmond.  On May 10, 1865, federal troops captured him at Irwinville, Georgia. From 1865 to 1867 he was imprisoned at Fortress Monroe, Virginia.  Davis was indicted for treason in 1866 but the next year was released on a bond of $100,000 signed by the American newspaper publisher Horace Greeley and other influential Northerners.  In 1868 the federal government dropped the case against him.  From 1870 to 1878 he engaged in a number of unsuccessful business enterprises; and from 1878 until his death in New Orleans, on December 6, 1889, he lived near Biloxi, Mississippi.  His grave is in Richmond, Virginia. He wrote The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (1881).

Soon after his inauguration as provisional president on February 18, 1861, Davis appointed his first cabinet; each of the six members represented a different state.  The first task of the administration was to prepare for the impending conflict.  Between December 30, 1860, and February 18, 1861, the Confederates had seized 11 federal forts and arsenals from South Carolina to Texas and harassed Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina.  Lincoln, in his inaugural address on March 4, 1861, rejected the right of secession but attempted to conciliate the South.  Negotiations for the relief of Fort Sumter failed, and on April 12 the bombardment of the fort began.  Three days later Lincoln announced that an insurrection had occurred, and he called for volunteers.The number of states in the Confederacy was increased to 11 by the secession of Virginia in April and of Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina in May.  The provisional Confederate Congress, which had met for four sessions between February 4, 1861 and February 17, 1862, was replaced by a permanent legislature on February 18, 1862.  The Confederate capital was moved on May 24, 1861 from Montgomery to Richmond, Virginia.  At the first general elections held under the permanent constitution on November 6, 1861, Davis was elected president and Stephens vice president.  In February 1862, Davis was inaugurated president for a term of 6 years.  The last years of his service were marked by the conflict between the civil and military forces and gave rise to the assertion that the government of the Confederacy had become a military dictatorship.  The tendency toward dictatorship was increased by the custom of holding secret sessions of the Congress, by the practice of cabinet officers exercising their rights to sit in Congress, and by the gradual lowering of the political morale and independence of Congress.  This condition was further complicated by personal controversies among officials.  The first permanent Congress held four sessions; the second Congress, two sessions, with the final adjournment of the body taking place on March 18, 1865.

Although the political organization of the Confederacy was almost identical with that of the Union, the outbreak of the war served to accentuate the marked difference between the two sections.  The population of the Confederacy at the start of the war was nearly 9 million including more than 3.8 million slaves.  The population of the territory loyal to the Union was about 22 million, including about 500,000 slaves.  The value of the improved lands of the seceding states was estimated at less than $2 billion; the value of those in the Union states was nearly $5 billion.  The South had 150 textile factories, with a product valued at $8 million; the North had 900 such factories, with a product valued at $115 million.  In the South 2000 persons were employed in the manufacture of clothing; in the North 100,000 were so engaged. During 1860 the imports of the South were valued at $331 million; those of the North at $331 million.  It was thus obvious that the South was dependent on Europe and on the North for material goods.  The lack of resources forced the Confederacy to levy war taxes and borrow heavily on future cotton crops.  An inflationary period in 1863 and later government actions almost destroyed the Confederate credit.In addition the South was hampered by the lack of powder mills and of suitable iron works; only one plant, the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, was equipped to turn out large field guns.  The railroad system was inadequately developed and equipped, and although the South made desperate attempts to maintain itself in a battle against overwhelming odds, the struggles left it financially and industrially ruined at the close of the Civil War.  The process of restoring the Confederacy to the Union was called Reconstruction .  The U.S. Supreme Court, in 1869, in the case of Texas v. White, declared secession unconstitutional.

The British in India

Initially, when the British attempted to assume control over India, they were met with the outrage of a people wronged. The citizens of India saw the British for what they were, white men with a superiority complex. Every attempt the British made to expand territorial control was met with enthusiastic rebellion. The British succeeded in taking over the Indian government, but the people of India made sure they didn’t have an easy time doing it. When Vasco da Gamma landed in Calicut in 1498 it was with the sole intention to establish trading within India. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth 1 chartered the East India Company for the purpose of trading with India and east Asia. By the 1700’s the company had expanded its trade and political power throughout India. In addition, it began collection taxes in some areas; Indian rulers were not complacent, so the company used force on them. The political takeover that swept through India began in Bengal with the Battle of the Plassey. Within the next hundred years, the gradual inundation of the subcontinent was completed. As power was established by the British, so did the resentment. Until the British interfered with their lives, the people of India were almost entirely self-sufficient. People who were once independent were forced into bondage. Britain exploited the citizens of India by means of cotton. The Indians raised the cotton and shipped it to Britain. In Britain, the aforementioned cotton was turned into textiles and shipped back to India to be sold at an inflated price. The previously self-sufficient people were forced to buy expensive clothes because they no longer had the time to make their own. In addition to this injustice, upon arriving in India the British saw the need for indigo farms. When they hired locals they forced them to sign  exclusive contracts. They were not allowed to quit, and they paid rent with the indigo sold. As the British monopoly on cotton continued, the majority of the people bought their clothing from Britain; this prevented the indigo farmers from having any kind of product market. There was no demand, but they were forced to continue supplying. People were starving, and it was all Britain’s fault. The largest obstruction of Indian culture made by the British was the abolishment of the caste system. By discontinuing their social structure, the (the British) were able to view all citizens as equal (slaves). When observing the British takeover of India analytically, the method executed was strategically brilliant. India as a colony was incredibly successful for Britain, they made money, while the resources that were drained never affected them. However, looked at with the American assumption of fairness and morals,  the seize of India was fairly barbaric. With that in mind, the 246 years in which India was under the political stronghold of Britain may be interpreted in a variety of ways, many of which are endorsements of Britain’s ability to dominate and control while a minority. The other opinion, the ethical opinion, exposes Britain as a country so hungry for power, they were willing to compromise the freedom of choice for 350 million people in exchange for money that they really didn’t need.

The Corruption of Power in Rome

Julius Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March in 44 B.C. by the people he trusted and thought were his friends.  The justification for his death was that he was too ambitious and wanted too much power.  The very concept of government in Rome was against dictatorship, to which Caesar posed a great threat.

Although Rome recognized the need for a distinct leader, the power given to the leader was not absolute.  The Romans devised a system to avoid dictatorship and retain freedom, but at the same time maintain control of the affairs of the Empire.  These leaders, originally given the title of praetor, meaning “to lead the way” (Asimov 24), were elected.  Their terms of office were for one year and they could not succeed themselves.  Two praetors were elected each year and they both had to agree on issues before action was taken.  Later, the title was changed to consul, which is another way to say partners.  Praetors’ and consul’s main responsibility was to manage the armed forces of Rome and to lead the armies in warfare.  Quaestors were also selected two at a time for one year terms.  Their main role was to serve as judges and to supervise all criminal trials.

The Senate was designed to advise the Praetors or Consuls.  It originally consisted of one hundred representatives of clans that made up the city.  The men were chosen based on their age, experience and wisdom;  the word senate is Latin for “old men”.  The Senators, or Patricians, were expected to be obeyed.  In fact, the praetors had to “bow to the will of the senate” (Asimov 24).  This system of governing worked well for several centuries.

The government of Rome gradually evolved, as did the citizen’s opinion on dictatorship.  The Senate became corrupt with many Patricians being easily bribed.  Almost all of the power belonged to a distinct few. The idea of a dictator no longer caused fear, it was no longer unacceptable.  By the time Julius Caesar was a consul, the number had increased to three.  Pompey, Crassus and Caesar all had grudges against the Senate for one reason or another.  Caesar was upset because the Senate had tried to undercut his campaign for consulship.  The three consuls formed a private coalition, known as the First Triumvirate.  Together Pompey, Crassus and Caesar succeed in getting Caesar elected consul and in passing legislation that mainly benefited them.

Caesar became the governor of Cisalpine Gaul and part of Transalpine Gaul, where Rome had considerable power.  Right after he took on the new position the territory was threatened by Switzerland.  Immediately he crushed them and kept going.  These wars, which began in 58 B.C. and helped Caesar to establish his reputation as a great military leader, were known as the Gallic Wars.  Nine years later in 49 B.C., after constant warfare, he had stormed over eight hundred towns and conquered the area that is now France.

Both Pompey and the Senate were envious of Caesar’s success and they were also fearful of his ambitions.  They ordered Caesar to give up command and return to Rome.

He defied this order, therefore committing treason, and ended up fighting Pompey’s army.  Caesar followed Pompey’s army all the way to Egypt, where he killed Pompey and met Cleopatra.  He lived in Egypt with Cleopatra for a few years but eventually he went off to fight other wars, leaving Cleopatra pregnant with his child, Caesarion.

In 44 B.C. Julius Caesar returned home to Rome.  He was welcomed with a massive feast including twenty-two thousand tables.  Caesar was declared dictator of Rome by the now submissive Senate.

Caesar’s actions, such as defying the Senate’s order to return home, defeating the other consuls and his continuous warfare went against the concept of democracy in the Roman government.  He was ignoring the Senate, whom he was supposed to submit to, and had defeated his partners who were there to avoid dictatorship and encourage accountability.  He placed himself above all other Roman citizens, destroying the equality between himself, the Senate and the citizens.  And finally, he accepted the title of dictator, destroying the democracy in Rome.  The citizens did not even fear the loss of their beloved democracy.  They now looked upon Caesar as a god.

A group of Senators led by Cassius, Casca, Cinna and Brutus, who loved freedom and democracy concluded that they had to stop Caesar.  No one else seemed to understand the severity of what was occurring.  On March 15, 44 B.C., also known as the Ides of March, a total of sixty senators carried out their well-planned conspiracy to kill Julius Caesar right in the Senate in broad daylight.  The felt that this was the only solution to rid themselves of the threat that Caesar posed.
“Rome had begun, Romans liked to think, as a republic guided by a senate, but at the height of it’s power, the senators and their colleagues answered not to elected leaders but to emperors” (Time Frame 50).  Julius Caesar was a great threat to many of Rome’s strongest values.  By placing himself above everyone else, he demolished the democracy in the Roman Empire and the equality of all Romans.  There was no way to reason with him, and the only possible way to return to the method of democracy which had worked well for centuries was to kill Julius Caesar.
 Works Cited
 Asimov, Isaac.  The Roman Republic.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1966.
  Time Frame 400 BC – AD 200 Empires Ascendant. Alexandria: Time – Life Books Ltd., 1987.
 “Gaius Julius Caesar”  (29 May 99)
 “The Government”  (May 29 99)
 Infonautics Corporation. “ – Results for Caesar Julius”
  1999  (9 June 99)

The War of 1812

To many, the War of 1812 is considered the second war for independence.  To me, it is the one of the most unusual wars of all time.

During a time period between 1803-1812 British sailors had been tormenting American ships on the high seas.  British captains would eventually take over and capture over 10,000 American citizens to man British ships.  In June of 1807, three miles off the coast of Virginia, an American ship named the Chesapeake was commanded by a British ship named the Leopard to be boarded.  When the Chesapeake refused to cooperate, the Leopard fired, killing three and wounding eighteen.  This humiliated the United States and its people.  The anti-British frame of mind was in full swing on the eve of the upcoming election.
In 1812, James Madison was elected President of the United States.  Aggressive southern frontiersman known as the Warhawks dominated Congress.  The group included Kentuckian Henry Clay as Speaker of the house and South Carolinian John C. Calhoun.  These men and others rejected Thomas Jefferson’s strategy of peaceful coercion.  These speakers could ignite a crowd and stir up aggressiveness towards the British.  They would talk of the humiliation and how America shouldn’t have to put up with it.  They were pressuring Madison to do something.  Congress wanted Madison to invade Canada and attack the Indians who had been tormenting homes on the frontier.  Madison finally succumbed to their wishes and declared war on the British June 1, 1812.  The timing of his actions seemed odd as over the last few months actions against each country seemed to have been at ease.  There had been no new attacks on the high seas and at the time Madison called for war, British Government was suspending the Orders in Council.  This was an appeasing gesture that in all likelihood would have preserved the peace.

Madison never really wanted the annexation of Canada; he was merely pushed into the decision.  There were three attempts to invade Canada and they all failed. Toronto, the capital of Canada was assaulted and burned to the ground in the Battle of York April 27, 1813.  Two more attempts were made and the struggling United States Army was pushed back.  British naval ships blockaded all major ports and no ships were allowed to leave or enter.

As successful as the British troops were on land, the high seas belonged to the Americans.  Captain Isaac Hull’s ship, the Constitution won a major battle against the HMS Guerriere and American privateers crushed or captured a number of British merchant ships. On September 13,1813, Oliver Hazard Perry commanded a decisive American naval victory at the Battle of Lake Erie.  In October of that same year, Indian Chief Tecumseh was killed at the Battle of Thames, a United States victory.  In March of 1814, Andrew Jackson scored a victory at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend over the Creek Indians.  By this time the British were already tired of the war and it was costing them too much money.

As the threat of Napoleon decreased in Europe, the British navy increased in size and power in North America.  The naval blockades in American ports became much stronger than they were ever before.  Sir George Prevost, commander of the British forces hastily entered upper New York State; an American fleet headed by Captain Thomas Macdonough was waiting to turn him back.  The Battle of Plattsburgh was an American victory and it secured a northern border between the two countries.

Before the Battle of Plattsburgh, British forces had already planned a three-part invasion into the United States.  They were amazed to see that the Chesapeake region, which they had tormented throughout the war, was totally defenseless.  The British invaded and burned down the Capital and other Government buildings.  In no way were these actions essential to a British victory.  They were simply retaliation for Americans burning down the Canadian capital of Ontario.  The British were not impressed with the defenseless capital and wanted more.  On September 13,1814, British Naval ships began bombarding Baltimore and Fort McHenry.  For twenty-four hours Fort McHenry became a theater of war.  When the British finally gave up the maneuver, Francis Scott Key wrote a song devoted to the perseverance of Fort McHenry called The Star Spangled Banner.  Today it is our National Anthem.

While a Peace treaty was being put together in Europe, British troops were about to invade New Orleans in one of the most bitter endings to one of the strangest wars of all time.  The War of 1812 was over and British troops were going into Battle one last time.  Andrew Jackson was the leader of the American forces in New Orleans and his troops were well defended.  Seven hundred British troops were killed and over thirteen hundred were wounded. The entire British force was routed.  The Americans only suffered light casualties.  Andrew Jackson became a national hero and gave the United States a much-needed sense of pride.

I think the War of 1812 was the turning point in American independence.  It marked the end of the United States dependence on Great Britain and the Americans totally accepted it.  The War also contributed to the strengthening of Canada.  In the end the United States finally became its own nation.

The Austro-Prussian War (1866)

One nation.  A single, unified nation powerful enough to plunge Europe and the world into two of the most devastating wars in history.  That is the legacy of Germany.  Two world wars are all we remember of a unified Germany.  But, we never remember the struggle that took place to create such an entity.  As Geoffry Wawro covers well in this book, the Austro-Prussian War was the turning point in German history that allowed Prussia to become the major figure in German affairs and start to unify the German confederation under one power, ending years of Austrian interference.  Although wading through the tactical and strategic events of this war in detail, Wawro does not lose sight of the very important political aspects of this war, which began Germany’s unification in earnest.  This unification of Germany would prove to be one of the most influential events in Europe, with its effects being felt well into the next century.  A unified Germany, and others’ fear of it, would be one of the stumbling blocks that would lead to the first “Great War” and quickly after it, another one.  But without Prussia’s ascendance to the top of the German states, both World Wars might not have happened.  So it is about time to lavish some of the attention given those two wars on one of its major causes, which Wawro does a great job of.
Geoffry Wawro himself is a rather young writer.  A recent graduate of Yale, Wawro’s book is an expansion on his doctoral dissertation, which won him a fellowship from the Austrian Cultural Institute in 1994 for Best Dissertation on Austrian Culture.  This fellowship allowed him to spend two years converting his dissertation into this book.  Although young and relatively new to book writing, Wawro shows a good grasp of the tools necessary to be a successful writer.  He has another book, on the Franco-Prussian of 1870, in planning.
Wawro builds his book chronologically, beginning with the Congress of Vienna in 1815.  He describes the problems associated with the German people’s attempts to unify after the allied defeat of Napoleon. He then goes on to detail how Austria and Prussia both vied for supremacy in the confederation of German states.  He focuses mainly on the direct confrontations between the two nations and the abilities of their leaders.  Wawro appears almost to be a Germanophile as he fawns over the ingenious political strategies of Prussian Chancellor Bismarck, while constantly berating the sub-par performance of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph.  He also uses the beginning of the book to describe past Austrian domination in Italian affairs, and the animosity that was building between these two states.  He reviews the history of Austrian interference in Italy that drove the Italians into a military alliance with Prussia, and eventually into the war.  Although he is less enamored of Italy’s leaders, he still holds them above the Austrian leaders whom he portrays as foreign interlopers trying to prevent Italian unity as much as German.  He moves through the months and years quickly, going from one crisis to the next until the three nations were on the brink of war, with Austria facing a double-edged sword, Italy in the south and Prussia in the north.
The main force of the book is Wawro’s retelling of the war; planning, mobilization, and engagements.  He uses a whole chapter to detail all three nation’s problems in organization and preparedness.  He repeatedly praises the Prussians for their efficiency in mobilization of troops and superior strategy.  Wawro humbles both the Austrians and Italians as he berates both nations’ military state in supplies, manpower, technology, and strategy.  He takes special interest in pointing out the ineptitude of Italian and Austrian generals and the political intrigue and maneuvering that got them their commands.  As the war begins he first covers the Prussian advance from the north and their quick defeat of the Austrian allies, before their new envelopment tactics on a poorly placed and poorly led Austrian army.  He showers praise on this new Prussian tactic that proved unbeatable against an Austrian army that ignored its natural defenses, limited its own mobility, and whose generals ignorance and laziness allowed it to be swallowed up by a superior Prussian force.  He then focuses on the belated Italian attack, which was a case study in ineptitude, as both Italian and Austrian commanders bungled from one battle to another.  Eventually, he covers the main battle of Custoza which the Austrians barley winning, mostly due to their superior firepower and weapons.  After repulsing Italy, the Austrians then sent reinforcements to the north, which is where Wawro then takes his book.  He finishes be explaining how the Prussian army moved further and further south by enveloping, breaking, and then chasing down the Austrian army at every instance.  Eventually, the immobile and demoralized Austrians retreated and the Prussians marched on Vienna where the Austrians were forced to sue for peace.

After discussing the devastating terms laid on the Austrians and their allies by Prussia, Wawro goes on to discuss their political aftermath.  He shows how once Prussian dominance was established in the German confederation and Bismarck had absorbed the opponents to Prussian rule, Prussia tossed Italy aside and forced them to sign a separate peace.  After Austria was defeated, Prussia turned its back on the lesser powers of Europe and focused on unifying the rest of Germany in the west.  Wawro discusses Prussian policy after the war with a heavy focus on their turn towards the west, foreshadowing their war with France in 1870.  Prussia had defeated its biggest foe to this point and as was recognized by the Austrian minister of state in 1866, and quoted by Wawro in this book, ‘Prussia will not neglect the opportunity to show the world –and especially France- the immense power of its new position” (p. 296).

Not only does Wawro provide a “blow-by-blow” account of how the Prussian-Italian alliance eventually defeated the Austrian army, but he also goes to great lengths to explain why.  Throughout the book Wawro reiterates several times how superior Prussian technology, tactics, and leadership carried the war.  He gives an in-depth look at how Hapsburg complacency and inefficiency, especially by the Austrian generals, blundered away the war.  Even before his discussion of the war, he derides Austrian preparedness and pales them in comparison with the Prussians.  As for the war, he does not get so deep into the tactics of every battle without explaining the strategic problems and poor judgments that led to it.  He gives a biting, almost vindictive, criticism of the inept Austrian army.  Their lack of supplies and training, horrible morale, ignorance of technology and tactics, and need for innovative leadership is all scrutinized.  He explains how the Austrian General Staff foolishly placed themselves away form their natural defenses, cutting their mobility and offensive capabilities to nothing.  Their laziness and reluctance to engage the Prussian enemy, hoping to draw them into one decisive battle, is particularly scathed by Wawro.  He places the Prussians and their innovative tactics on a pedestal, showing again and again how their strategy of envelopment, along with their superior weapons, overwhelmed the Austrians, first in Bavaria and Saxony and then against the Austrian North Army at Koniggratz.  He does not treat the Italians much better, and does not focus much of the book on the southern front, except for the major battle at Custoza where he chides both sides repeatedly.  Wawro finishes the book sounding almost germanophilic, but his thesis holds true without.  Prussia defeated Austria through the overwhelming force of superior Prussian weapons and tactics, coupled with the inexcusable complacency and ineffectiveness of the Austrian Army and General Staff.

Wawro’s selected audience for this book is most likely that portion of history students known as “armchair historians”.  This is a perfect book for those who are fully into the field of history but consume their free time with it.  However, the general public would shy away from a book with so much detailed tactical information.  Although Wawro provides good maps of troop placements and battles, which he uses to back up his points about Austrian and Italian mistakes, he clearly still assumes a lot of knowledge on the part of the reader as to Austrian, Italian, and German geography.  Also, Wawro’s bibliography is a long list from Austrian archives and the few published works are almost all in German or Austrian.  Thus, Wawro would overwhelm the common readers while historians of this time would likely not discover anything new in this book.  More scholarly than popular, Wawro’s book is perfect for the “at-home” historian.

Wawro’s book serves it purpose well.  A former dissertation, the book is converted nicely into a format perfect for those with an interest in the subject.  Although a bit of pro-Prussian bias lurks throughout, Wawro accomplishes what the title promises, a thorough recollection of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866.  Again, I would not recommend it to just anyone on the street because the author is writing to a more scholarly audience than that.  However, the book is enjoyable and enlightening as to the tactics of mid-nineteenth century warfare, and is a good read for anyone with a real interest in the field.

The Fall of Constantinople

On Tuesday, May 29 1453 the last bastion on Christianity in the East, Constantinople, fell to the Ottoman Turks led by Sultan Mehmet ( also called Mahomet ). This ended the 1100 year reign of the Byzantium Empire and gave the Ottomans a new capital. One of the most famous churches in history, the Church of Holy Wisdom ( also known as the Hagia Sophia ) was converted into a Mosque. The Turks used a revolutionary weapon in the siege – the cannon. Though the cannon had been in Europe for over a century, this was one of the first times they were used effectively.

The Turkish  army would not have been able to capture Constantinople had they not had the great cannon with them, had the Byzantinians not been so isolated from the West and had the Turkish soldiers not been so devoted.


The cannon was essential in the capture of Constantinople. The walls of the city were massive, and had repulsed invaders since 330 A.D. It would have taken the Turks a lot longer to breech the walls if they did not have the great cannon, and aid from the West would have arrived. The cannon had a long range, and it was used to block access to Constantinople by sea. The very presence of the cannon was very demoralizing for the defenders of the city, “Once more the bells of the churches rang to sound the alarm, but the noise was drowned out by the roar from the great cannon,” ” the reverberations could be heard for a hundred stadia after it fired.”Imagine standing on a wall having cannon balls weighing 12 hundredweight booming towards you.


The isolation from the West, the preoccupation of the Western powers with other issues and the clash of the Eastern and Western variations of Christianity helped lead to the fall of Constantinople. The people of Byzantine Empire had some disdain for Western Christianity, and did not want to form a union of churches with the West. The pope (Pius II) was not anxious to send reinforcements until he felt that a true union of the churches had been achieved. Most of the other European powers had their own problems to deal with, and while they wanted to help the citizens of Constantinople they were either to far away (Russia, which became a major Christian center after the fall of Constantinople) or had their own problems to deal with.(there was a revolt in Rome in January 1453)


The absolute devotion of the Turkish soldiers to their Sultan and to their God helped Mehmet capture the city. The troops of the sultan were fiercely loyal, especially the fearsome Janissaries,( Christian youths taken from captured villages, and trained for seven years. They were fanatical Muslims and fiercely loyal to the Sultan.) The soldiers believed that God would have a special place in Paradise for those who died attacking the city. “They shall conquer Qostantiniya.” “Glory be to the Prince and to the army that achieve it.”The sultan offered a fantastic prize to the first man inside the city, this, added to the belief that the soldiers had, that those to fall in battle would rise to Paradise, and the men they killed would be their servants there, had each man whipped into a fanatical fervor, willing to rush the walls, ignoring the Christian missiles. This allowed the Turks to capture the city very quickly, before the West would decided to send aid.


As you can see, the three main factors that led the Turks to capture Constantinople were, the devotion of their troops, the isolation of the City ( both physically and spiritually ) and their innovative use of the cannon, a new weapon. This shows us that new weapons have a great power to change the world ( Airplanes, Tanks and Nuclear Missiles all have ) and that fanaticism is a grave danger that society as a whole must try to stop. If men are willing to die to establish fundamentalist states and theocracies how are we to stop them?

The JFK Conspiracy

Is the government really truthful to us – the people?  Government is a really big “organization” with a huge amount of members, and it’s obvious somebody is not telling the truth.  Most of these dishonest events take place in an attempt to cover up any information that the government thinks is not for public eyes, but which we are supposed to know as citizens of this country. This is called a government conspiracy or cover up.

Many people believe in conspiracies; some even believe too much, but it’s very rare that a person believes the government is not hiding at least something from them.  There have been hundreds if not thousands of books published on this subject and also numerous TV shows based on conspiracies and cover-ups like the “X-Files”.  There are even people who research these events for their enjoyment.

There are many internationally known conspiracies, some examples are: the John F. Kennedy assassination, and the Roswell, New Mexico cover-up.  Many other conspiracies are not that well known, the TWA flight 800 explosion which was supposedly an accident is one example.  Probably the most famous government conspiracy of all is the John F. Kennedy assassination on November 22, 1963.  Most people think that the Kennedy family was an all around perfect American family.  Well they were not.  I’m going to talk about the JFK assassination and why the government did not reveal some very important information about the incident to the public.

Like I already said — the Kennedies were not a perfect family.  John’s father, Joe Kennedy was a bootlegger during the prohibition and was also tied up with Mafia.  He made a huge fortune dealing with Mafia and bootlegging, Joe was also the one who provided his son with a $250 million fortune when John was just in his 20’s.  Otherwise, how else could a 20 something year old guy acquire a 250 million dollar capital in the 1950’s.

John F. Kennedy was not always honest himself, he did not win the presidential election honestly, his father asked the Mafia – Gambino crime family to help his son beat Nixon.  Gambino faked and stuffed ballots.  During his term John received money from Gambino and two other important crime families.

But this tribute did not last long, John’s brother, whom he had appointed to a very high government position launched a very serious campaign to eliminate Mafia controlled hotels and casinos which were numerous around the country.  The campaign turned out to be very successful which put Gambino into a very bad situation – his profits were dropping by millions each week and his men were arrested one by one.

The Mafia world was furious and JFK was announced a “double crosser” which meant he was relying on help from the mafia, but at the same time trying to eliminate them.  And in the Mafia world there is only one answer to a double crosser – a “hit”.  Oswald was hired to do the job, although it is still a mystery by which crime family.  John Fitzgerald. Kennedy was shot at three times with two bullets making it to the head on November 22, 1963.

John died in a hospital bed, his body was taken for an autopsy and the FBI conducted a long investigation on the murder.  Oswald was arrested and imprisoned for life, but none of the Mafia was touched.  The government covered this incident up because they were aware of JFK’s connections to the Mafia and that the CIA was involved with the same people in a campaign to assassinate Fidel Castro of Cuba.  So if the public knew this information it would present great danger to the stability of the government.

The FBI’s report said Oswald killed John Kennedy but it had nothing in it about the Mafia.  Also when the autopsy was conducted on John – the brain that doctors supposedly took out of his head was a full size, unharmed, adult brain.  But Kennedy was shot in the head twice and it was very vivid how a good part of his brain splattered out on the street.

Now many theories exist in the world about the assassination in general and certain parts of JFK’s life.  Almost all of them are false and completely out of the blue with no particular evidence to prove them, but some could be true.  This conspiracy has been researched for 32 years and will be researched even more just like all the other government conspiracies and cover-ups.

The Victorian Era

The Victorian era produced many eminent figures. Lytton Strachey was one of them. Born in 1880, Strachey was a British biographer and a critic who is credited of having revolutionized the art of writing biography. He opened a new era of biographical writing by adopting an irreverent attitude to the past, especially to the volumes of the Victorian biography. His book, Eminent Victorians, a wartime book composed of four miniature biographies, won him widespread recognition as a literary critic and a biographer. In this work, instead of using the conventional method of detailed chronological narration, he has carefully selected his facts to present highly personal portraits of his subjects. The four biographies of Victorian figures that Strachey has described in Eminent Victorians are of Henry Cardinal Manning – a Roman Catholic prelate, Florence Nightingale – a sentimentally idolized female humanitarian, Thomas Arnold of Rugby – an educational reformer with a pronounced moralistic bent and General Charles (“Chinese”) Gordon – a military adventurer. All this figures had earlier been the subject of admiring biographies, but Strachey treated them instead in the form of caricatural case histories: Manning as an obsessive ecclesiastical opportunist, Florence Nightingale as a workaholic driven by ruthless devotion to duty, Arnold as a zealous pompous public-school head master who tended to confuse himself with God, and Gordon as a religious fanatic and dipsomaniac, alternating between Bible and brandy bottle. The four demonstrated the goals of the Victorian age but Strachey’s presentation gave rise to a new form of biography and caused people to express their opposition to the Victorian period. In short, Strachey had four – victim agenda for misrepresenting the whole culture. He did not just use his subjects: he abused them.

I feel that Strachey has used his witty and impressionistic style in writing this book Eminent Victorians, not only to disclose the hidden facts of the Victorian society, but also by writing this biographies, he has targeted on hypocrisy, imperialism, and religion of the Victorian era. It seems that each of the four figures was chosen with malice aforethought. For example, there are some things about Nightingale that Strachey has genuinely admired – her determination to cut herself free from family ties and make her own way in the world; her reforming zeal and her crusading ardor. But in general he found the matron very unpalatable. According to Strachey, she was a self-righteous, domineering amazon, who was ruthless in her compassion, merciless in her philanthropy, destructive in her friendship, obsessional in her lust for power, and demonic in her saintliness. Above all, Strachey disliked her because in her frigid indifference to intimate relationships, in her determined suppression of her own erotic impulses, she denied her own womanhood, and thus rejected in her self the very humanity she claimed to be serving.

Overall, the book has great brilliance of style and is probably the most successful application of the comic spirit to literary biography in English literature. It is a period piece, a vivid point in the long transaction of the twentieth century with its immediate past. Although the book offers very few dates and not many footnotes or charts or graphs, Strachey’s biographies are short anecdotal, witty and entertaining. His aim, as he has declared in the preface, was to cast ” a sudden revealing searchlight into obscure recesses hitherto undivined”. In the process he occasionally sacrificed truth, but the result – polished, malicious, and lively – made him the hero of the Victorian era. Even today, when people use “Victorian” as a synonym for “smug,” “prudish” or “flowery,” they are showing the impact of Strachey’s satiric perspective.

The Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall, built in August of 1961, was a physical symbol of the political and emotional divisions of Germany.
The Wall was built because of a long lasting suspicion among the Soviet Union on one side and Western Europe and the United States on the other. Once World War II was over, these Allies no longer had a common purpose to hold them together. Their differences became less hidden and more irreconcilable. The Western Allies quickly realized they couldn’t “kick a dog when its already down”, and that Germany was in desperate need of help.” Therefore, the Allies’ aim was to rebuild Germany’s economy. The Soviet Union disagreed with this plan immensely, and instead they became busy with setting up Communist dictatorships in their conquered areas, such as the zone of East Germany. This major difference among these powers marked the beginning of the Cold War. The war was not of physical battle, but of international diplomacy. Germany now became the prize struggle between enemies.

In response to the numbers of people who fled the communist world to the free world, East Germany built a wall that cut across the heart of Berlin. It was an improvised structure, thrown up overnight. In the months and years to follow, it would harden into a massive barrier of concrete blocks, barbed wire, machine gun towers, and minefields. The Wall became 103 miles long, and it was approximately ten to thirteen feet high. It cut across 193 roads, and it sealed West Berlin not only from the rest of the city to the east, but from all of East Germany. “A second wall was eventually built 100 miles to the east of the original wall. 293 watchtowers, 66 miles of antivechicle trenches, hundreds of killer guard dogs, countless searchlights, alarms, and self-firing guns were all used to keep East Germans form leaving.” (Mirabile 7)

In the night of August 12, Walter Ulbricht of East Germany, had his troops unroll their barbed wire “to protect the frontier…from American spies and the criminal slave traders of West Germany.” (Galante 1) On the morning of the 13th, Berliners awoke to discover telephones line dead between West and East Berlin and train services at a standstill. Families were separated, for the Wall had run through parks, public areas, and even buildings.

The Wall did not hold them back from freedom. According to reports, official figures show that more than 400 people died trying to flee. Human-rights activists say that the true figure could be closer to 800. Many of these escape attempts were dramatic. People leapt form windows, tunneled and crept through sewers, rammed through the gates in steel-plated trucks, crawled through mud, and swam the icy waters of the city’s rivers and canals. Even though the Wall created international crises, divided families, and spawned villains and gangsters, it also produced its heroes. Brave men and women who lived in the shadow of the Wall found ways to elude Communism.

Escape soon became harder. The barbed wire was replaced with concrete slabs. Waterways were blocked by underground fences. Windows along the borders had bricks instead of glass. Getting across became increasingly difficult, and it required ingenuity as well as determination.

In the first year alone, 14 attempts were made to breach the wall through driving into it. Many drove through legal checkpoints. Twice, East Germans escaped in a car so low that it could be driven right under the horizontal bars at the crossing points. Vertical bars were added to make it even more impossible. Many escaped in cleverly designed hiding places in cars driven by West Germans who could cross the border legally. Three escaped using Soviet Union military uniforms that a friend had sewn for them. Peter Fechter, an eighteen year old boy, was one of the first who tried to scale the wall outright. The East Germans shot him down while West Berliners heard Fechter’s cries for help for nearly an hour.

Escapees tried to get under the Wall using sewer systems. (It soon became blocked by watchful East German police) In 1962, NBC, the American Public television network, provided funds to dig a tunnel from Bernauer St., in East Berlin, to Schoenholzer St., in West Berlin. “That September, the TV network filmed the escape of fifty-six refugees before flooding shut down the tunnel.” (Mirabile 10) Probably the longest and the most famous tunnel was the one built in 1964 by Wolfgang Fuchs. This tunnel was Fuchs’s seventh, and it was 140 ft. long, almost 40 ft. below the city, and about 28 inches high inside. It took six months to build, and 57 people were able to use it before it was discovered.

Man’s intelligence and ingenuity was constantly being tested to cross the Wall. “One man threw a hammer and a line from the roof of a building, pulled a cable, and with his wife and son, slid down it in a homemade chair lift to safety on the other side.” (Mirabile 11) Another man built his own submarine to drag him across the Baltic Sea to Denmark. Two families flew from East Germany to West in a homemade hot-air balloon. All these people wouldn’t let a Wall ruin their lives. They wouldn’t let a Wall keep them from a life of freedom. They wouldn’t let a Wall crush their hope.

For 28 years the Berlin Wall stood as a grim symbol of the gulf between the Communist East and the Non-Communist West. When Hungary opened its borders with Austria, over 12,000 people escaped in a period of three days. It was reported that about 5,000 people made it safely, and about 5,000 people were captured.

A wave of democratization swept throughout Europe, and at the same time East Germany’s communist leadership was slowly but surely becoming ousted from power. Finally on November 9, 1989, at 10:00 at night, the German leader Egon Krenz ordered the Wall to be opened. After twenty-eight years, two months, and twenty-seven days, Berlin once again became a city.

The old Berlin Wall, was a stark symbol of the human cost of the Cold War, a stark reminder of the political division of Europe, and a monument to the political failure of East Germany.
” Freedom is indivisible, and when man is enslaved, all are not free…All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner- I am a Berliner.”
 John F. Kennedy- Remarks upon signing of the Golden Book in Rudolph-Wilde-Platz, West Berlin, Germany, June 26, 1963.    (Galante 277)

 Editors of Time-Life Books. The Nuclear Age. Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1990.
 Galante, Pierre. The Berlin Wall. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1965.
 Long, Robert Emmet. The Reunification of Germany.  New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1992.
 Mirabile, Lisa. The Berlin Wall. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Silver Burdett Press, Inc., 1991.
 Spada, Dorothy. Die Stuttgarter Zeitung. The New Book of Knowledge. Grolier Incorporated, 1986.
 ” Berlin Wall”
 ” Kennedy at the Berlin Wall”
 ” The Berlin Wall”
 ” The Fall of the Wall”
 ” The Fall of The Berlin Wall”

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel tower is the trademark of Paris, France.  With the tower being 984ft, it’s kind of hard not to notice it.  The tower has a restaurant, radio and television transmitter and more.  Gustave A. Eiffel created the tower to enter it in the worlds fair.  It was made with wrought iron and had medium wind resistance.  Gustave started in 1889 and completed in 1910. Gustave A. Eiffel created the Eiffel Tower.  Eiffel oversaw the construction with such success that in 1866 he founded his own company and soon became known for his wrought iron structures. Starting in 1872 he attracted foreign contracts, and in 1877 he created over the Douro River in Porto, Portugal, a steel arch bridge 525 ft in height.

The Eiffel Tower is a landmark and an early example of wrought-iron construction on a gigantic scale.  It was designed and built by the French civil engineer Gustave Alexandre Eiffel for the Paris World’s Fair of 1889.  The tower, without its modern broadcasting antennae, is 984 ft high.  The lower section consists of four immense arched legs set on masonry piers.  The legs curve inward until they unite in a single tapered tower.  Platforms, each with an observation deck, are at three levels; on the first is also a restaurant.  The tower, constructed of about 7000 tons of iron, has stairs and elevators.  A meteorological station, a radio communications station, and a television transmission antenna, as well as a suite of rooms that were used by Eiffel are located near the top of the tower.

Eiffel’s work combined expert craftsmanship and graceful design.  Completed in 1884, it was for a time the highest bridge in the world, winning Eiffel’s factory a worldwide reputation for excellence.  Eiffel cast Frederic Auguste Bartholdi’s colossal statue Liberty Enlightening the World, which was dedicated in New York in 1886.  Soon after, he began work on his greatest project, the building of the Eiffel Tower.  It was completed in 1889 for the celebration of the centennial of the French Revolution (1789-1799).  Eiffel was not a popular man when he started building the huge steel-frame tower that would overlook Paris. The structure was just too different and the critics didn’t like it at all. In 1887, the leading artists of Paris signed a petition to have what they regarded as a monstrosity torn down immediately.   Fortunately for Paris, their call was ignored. And though Parisians didn’t like it at first, they began to grow fond of the structure they initially called a Cyclops and a skeleton.  The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889, just in time to show off for the World’s Fair, being held that year in Paris.  The tower was also a sign of things to come. Eiffel was taking full advantage of a new building material, structural steel. With it he took the first step in creating what would become the modern skyscraper.

The imposing tower-constructed of 7,000 tons of iron in 18,000 parts held together by 2,500,000 rivets rises to a height of 984 ft and continues to dominate the Paris skyline.  In the early 1890’s Eiffel gave up the daily management of his business and became absorbed in the new science of aerodynamics.

Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin, the two chief engineers in Eiffel’s company, had the idea for a very tall tower in June 1884. It was to be designed like a large pylon with four columns of lattice work girders, separated at the base and coming together at the top, and joined to each other by more metal girders at regular intervals. The company had by this time mastered perfectly the principle of building bridge supports. The tower project was a bold extension of this principle up to a height of 300 meters, equivalent to the symbolic figure of 1000 ft. On September 18 1884 Eiffel registered a patent “for a new figuration allowing the construction of metal supports and pylons capable of exceeding a height of 300 meters”.

Eiffel’s clockwork precision had enabled him not only to meet his deadline, but to build the structure with the loss of only one life, that of a worker who fell from the first platform while apparently showing off for his girlfriend after the bell had sounded ending the working day.

The Eiffel tower is the trademark for Paris.  Even though The people of Paris didn’t like the tower, they got to like it, so did the tourist.  Then they found out about the good transmitting with the radio and the television.  Now the Eiffel tower is a major tourist attraction, and one of the best standing structures in the world.

The Rise of the USA as a Superpower

The development and use of nuclear power has led to the United States assuming a position as the true World Military Superpower.  The Unites States was the leader in planning, building, testing and actually using the most powerful nuclear weapon known to man.  This country also led the world in relatively safe production of nuclear power.  The only other competitor to the United States, the Soviet Union, had poor leaders, induced a poor economy, and eventually led the country to lose the race for superpower.

During World War II, the United States began the research and development of the atomic bomb.  Code-named the Manhattan Project, it took place in a government built city in New Mexico called Los Alamos.  General Leslie Groves and physicist Robert Oppenheimer led the research to create this atomic bomb.  The mission was to build, test and, if necessary, unleash an atomic bomb.  With the many people working on creating and building this bomb, they completed it within the short amount of time given.  In July of 1945, they tested the nuclear bomb in New Mexico.  It was a success.  The very next month, an atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima.  Only a few days later, the atomic bomb “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki.  It was around this time that the United States found out that nobody, not even Germany or the Soviet Union, was anywhere close to competing with the U.S. in atomic weaponry.  The atomic bomb was dropped not only to end the war with the Japanese, but to show the world, especially the Soviet Union, how powerful the United States was in its government, its military, its technology, and its people.  The fact that it was a new bomb and being the first type of its kind ever created also caused an eagerness to use the bomb and see how it would work.  These three factors are the reasons behind the United States dropping the atomic bomb on Japan, as they unknowingly and unintentionally began the nuclear age and the Cold War.

The Cold War began as World War II was ending.  The United States and the Soviet Union came out of the previous war nearly equal in strength, with the United States having the upper hand, being the first to create and use such intense nuclear power.  It was during this time that these countries were competing to become the World Superpower.  Nuclear power, for the purposes of electricity as well as weaponry, was going to be the determining factor as to who would be the greater Superpower.  The United States leadership was strong and organized.  The economy was good and growing stronger.  The Soviet Union was not doing as well.  Formerly being under the rule of Stalin, with strict centralization where it was only the highest party levels that made any and all decisions who ruled by decree and enforced with terror, the Soviet people and economy was stagnating.  Strict centralization continued and eventually led to economic decline, inefficiency, and apathy during the 1970s and 1980s, and contributed to the Chernobyl’ nuclear disaster.

The great disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 was the final string cut that led not only to the Soviet Union losing its war to become the greatest World Superpower, but furthermore, the collapse of the Soviet system.  The Chernobyl Nuclear Powerplant was being run by people who made mistakes maintaining the power supply, who were tired of their own country, and who simply didn’t care.  This careless conduct led to poor maintenance and low output of nuclear power.  To correct for this, some steps were taken to increase the power output.  During the effort to correct the low power output, one final error occurred, and the consequences were tremendous.  One of the reactors exploded and released huge doses of radiation.  The ambitious nuclear power program of the Soviet Union was now over.

The Unites States led the world in nuclear technology by producing the atomic bomb, and had the courage to use it – twice.  This proved to the world that the United States was a Superpower they should fear. The United States also had good leaders whom kept the economy strong, and kept the people in order.  The Soviet Union however, trailed behing the United States.  They did not have the technology to produce the amount of nuclear power that the United States had, nor the economy to support the research.  Their economy was not only poor, but also continually declining.  With these governing factors, and finally the accident at Chernobyl, the Soviet Union collapsed.  The Unites States endured through this time, stayed strong, and came out to be the World Military Superpower.

The Descendent of Homo Sapiens

Since the beginning of human existence, humans have thrived through millions of years on earth, taking advantage of its great resources that were available freely for their personal use and survival.  Toward the end of the 20th centry, these humans realized that they were utilizing large amounts of resources  once thought to be an endless supply.  With these uses come consequences, and these consequences have created problems and hinder survival of humans.  To solve these problems humans have tried to develop a new species, a decendant of humans and other animals for thei mere survival during these times.
Using eugenics, these scientists and the intellectual people of the world come together to create a superior species.  They decided to change the DNA structure of the species to improve its ability to survive.  The new species was made to what was thought was perfect.  The species anatomical structure remained similar.  The bones were created to develop with less calcium through good supply by developing a gene in which calcium was obtained by the body to the bones in many ways.  The species’ bone was clearly stronget and more solid than any other creature.  The lungs where genetically alreed to increase capability of filtering out dangerious chemicals caused by pollution, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and many others.  The lungs’ ability to consume oxygen was enhaced, but was not fully capable of filtering all chemicals.  The muscles and the body frame were much larger than those of humans.  They believed that in order to survive this new era, a species capable of defending and hunting for itself was needed.  Their skins were think, hard but flexible, and dark.  The skin’s ability to relect the ultra violet light given off from the sun kept its body from great harm.  The thick coat game it more protection from air pollution and water pollution and many other harmful substances.  Developed on its back were wings to soar through the air as a means of transportation.  The creature remained bipedal but it’s efficiency in using its hind legs could not be increased.  Their eyesight was perfected to prevent any visually challenged individuals.  Their sense of smell was increase by about 10%.  Other specific organs and appendages were insighficantly changed.

The scientist created hundreds of males and females of this species and observed their behavior.  They seemed to have the ablitty court the opposite sex by sense of touch and smell but little on physical apperance.  These speicies mated with one anther through sexual intercourse.  Their mates that they chose interacted with tehm for several months before any close intimacy or physical behavior ere apparent.  These adults were of the ages ranging from 20-30 years of age.  The animals are placental mammals and their long term pregnancies last about 4-10 months.  They are K-selective species.  After birth the male and female parents take extrmeme care and comfort of the infant for the following two years.  The infants are wel fed and held closely to the parents for long periods of time.  The parents communicate with their infants as soon as they are born.  As time passes they learn to allow the infant to do things on it’s own and teach the infant what to do.  They are taught to craw ans walk and talk.   The infants seem to have a touch attachment to their parents until the age of 3 where they are able to leave their parents for hours to socialize with others.

To educated these species, they had to test their ability to speack the human language.  Many of these species were capable of making sounds and stllables that  humans make.   The speicies were intellectual as humans were although they seem to begin to talk at an early age and walk and craw at early ages compared to humans approximately 4-5 months earlier.  At first they appeared to to somewhat more aggressice than thought to be, but after months of ovserving humans, they decided that humans were not a threat to them and interacted with them.  As years passed they became more intellectual and interacted well with the humans.  Their way of living was different in that they didn not like the use of high tech equipment.  They were kept in an envronment artigfically made for them.. Thie was a place with small amought of diverse plands and animals.  There species abilities were not yet tested because such harsh environments were not yet introduced.

In the year 2250, an asteroid hit earth directly destroying the DNA, genetic and mutagenic research center in South Africa, and resulted in the release of mutagenic and radioactive substances into the environment. Animals and all life forms within thousands of miles mutated, while others died of radiation and direct impact. Huge earthquakes shattered every building on earth, causing extinction of Homo sapiens. But Homo superiors, who were equipped with a tough, thick layer of skin and an incredible physical body, survived this catastrophe. The radiation surrounded them as they noticed the flames and smoke in the air and the shaking of the earth. Their bodies soon fought the radiation and they became prone to the radiation. The radiation also caused the temperatures in Africa (where they resided) to change significantly. During one half the year, from November to April, the temperature would be freezing cold and during the other half, from May to October the temperature would be scorching hot. Many members of the Homo superiors died because they cannot adapt to such drastic change in temperature and many others died of starvation. Those who did survive was due to their strength of slaying other beasts for their hides, which kept the Homo superiors warm in the freezing cold. For sources of food during the winter, Homo superiors the meat and food they preserved during the summer time.

They learned to hunt and no sooner can they walk did they learn how to survive from each other.  Their species used their altered English language to sommunicate to one another.  Large quadrapedal animals a result of the accident hunted were sufficient for food.  They also learned that certain plants growing from the ground were edible, although there were little plants growing.  TO look for food they used their wings to soar through the air.  Althought they couldn’t run fast enough, they jumped from high areas to soar through the air.  Water was a main resource vital to their living.  Their liver that was genetically built to take in impure water did not work at first.  During the hundreds of year, the liver changed dramatically, amking it possible for the species to separate the dangerious substandce in the water.  The water was stored in their bodies and used slowly and efficiently as need although the sun did dehydrate these species quickly.  They were also able to obtain water from the moist air when it was available.  As a result of being chased by their predator, swift huge animals, theirs legs grew stronger and became so efficient that they were able to run fast enough to take flight from ground level or to outrun many animals.  Using their flying abilities, many soared through the air for scouting and huniting.  Their muscles increased in size and their height and body weight increased to about 6’1 average height and 250-280 pounds average weight for adult males and 5’8 average height and 230-265 pounds average weight for females.

These diurnal creatures slept as soon as the bring sunrays were dimmed and awakened as soon as the first way of light hits their eyes.  Their routine sleeping range biologically developed into an auto matic time in which they would wake and sleep.  Nest were built where suitable and far from danger.  Tools were used for many reasons such as hunting and preparing food.  They cooked food with fire and learned about it from past generations.  As a side effect to everything that has happened to these species they were able to adjust their eyes to see during the day and during the night, although the vision at night was not as advanced as most nocturnal animals.

Evolutionary forces such as earhquarkes and colcano eruptions are seldom occurnces, but when they do strike, the homo superior can protect themselves by flying to the mouthan for refuge.  The species at this time has existed for about 1000 years .  They were a descendat from the homo sapiens, but wer genetically altered.  The original species were less capable of flying , running, hunniting procession contaminated water and physically doing things.  They evolve over hundreds of years and improved their hunting skills, physical abilities such as flying and running and were more keen and intellectual.

Roman Military

The Roman army was one of the greatest forces of all times. The Roman army ,at its finest point, was nearly inconquerable. This was due to the discipline of the soldiers, the hard and effective training of the soldiers, the speed at wich new tactics were learned, and to theorganization of the soldiers.

From early times right down to the 3rd century A.D, the Roman army was based on its legions. A legion varied in strength from four-thousand to six-thousand men, and was subdivided onto ten cohorts. Its leader used the title of legatus. His staff officers were called tribuni. Senior non-commissioned officers were called centurions, who varied greatly in rank. The soldiers of the legion were picked men: They were all Roman citizens and received a higher pay than the auxillary troops ,that is, foreigners who serve with the Roman army.


A legion consisited of heavily armoured infantry foot soldiers. The Roman infantry became a feared force, well disciplined and well trained. Their weapons were two javelins each and a short thrustingsword. Cavalry was supplied by the auxilaries ,second line troops, and was organised mainly in units of 500 men.


When it was on campaigns the army was accompanied by a number of 7 specialists. One was the camp commandant, who was responsible for the organisation of the camp. The Romans were very careful about their camps. No Roman army halted for a single night without digging a trenches and fortifying its camp. Each soldier took his share in establishing the camp and striking the camp the next day. Another specialist was the quaestor, whose duty was to look after all the money matter. then there were the engineers and all kinds of craftsmen and artisans. They were responsible for siege operations and for the rather primative Roman “artillery”, which consisted of big catapults and complicated machines a little like crossbows. These were mainly used for hurling big rocks and stones at the walls of a defence place. The engineers also had to build the moveable towers that were used in sieges. The Roman soldiers went up inside these towers so that they could see over the walls of a fortified place and shoot their stones and arrows into it. The engineers also made the scaling ladders that were used for getting over walls.

The Treaty of Versaille

“It was neither a vindictive, harsh peace nor a lenient one, desdigned to reconcile.” How far does this description of the Treaty of Versailles explain why it contained the seeds of the Second World War?
In 1919, the major world powers met at the Paris peace conference to determine the fate of Europe at the end of World War 1. Europe was in turmoil. Five empires had disappeared, millions of people were dead, both military and civilians, and revolution fuelled by the forces of nationalism and socialism seemed ready to destroy the hopes of a future and lasting peace. The major world leaders were hoping to accomplish a miracle at Versailles, peace. Nevertheless, the conditions that they were faced with made that hope only more difficult not only in the writing of the treaty but also in reaching its objectives. The dream of a Settlement to satisfy both winners and losers was both impossible and contradictory. For Germany the outcome in years to come was the exact objective that the Treaty had tried all along to impede – domination of Europe.
What went wrong? Why? These questions have plagued historians for years. If only the players had acted in a different fashion would the future outcomes have been different. Or was the situation of Europe such at the time that the future was fated no matter what.
What did the leaders want to do? The Council of Five (Britain, the U.S., Italy, Japan and France) wanted to destroy Germany’s power in Europe and to make her pay for the costs of war. They wanted peace but Germany was to pay for that peace, not only by reducing its army, reducing its fishing fleet and relinquishing part of its heavy shipping fleet, but also by ceding land, sending coal, livestock, machinery and money to those countries who had suffered by the war. Germany was pronounced to be the sole aggressor of the war and therefore it was Germany who had to ‘pay the bill’.

Supposedly, Germany was to be treated as an equal in Europe but at the same time, Germany was not invited to participate in the writing up of the Treaty. Rather, they were literally given the ultimatum to sign the treaty with no option whatsoever. Germany was to have an Allied Army in its land and they were to pay for that Army. How can these terms be considered to being treated as an equal? Furthermore the coal of the Saar region had to be sent to France for a period of fifteen years at the end of that time it would be decided under whose area of jurisdiction the Saar was to be under.

Obviously the Treaty was written up in a way so as to diminish the power of Germany, at home and abroad. At the end, there was no abroad, since Germany lost all its colonies.
What was the treaty like? The potential of Germany military and economic superiority in Germany was a strong threat to the writers of the Treaty. This had to be stopped at all costs. The easiest way for the writers of the Treaty to achieve this goal was to require financial retribution for the war. If Germany was stripped of its economy then industrial growth would not be possible. Furthermore if the fruit of that industry had to be sent to the countries who had suffered during the war, then Germany would produce for the victors and not for themselves. In this way, enough would be left for Germany to get by, but not enough for it to become a power again.

Alsace-Lorraine was ceded to France. France was thrilled, if they had had their way; perhaps another area of Germany would have been ceded to them, the Saar, a major coal producing area.
German rivers were internationalized. This is important in the feeling of humiliation of Germany because until that time, Germany was very closed and did not like foreign presence on their land, particularly in this way.
The map of Western Europe was redrawn. Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Estonia, and  Latvia were created. Many of these new countries had to accommodate substantial minorities within their borders. Families, who were once citizens of one nation, suddenly found themselves citizens of two different nations because of the new map. More importantly, large groups of German-speaking people suddenly found themselves as citizens of Poland and Czechoslovakia.
It was very difficult for the writers of the Treaty to accomplish what they had set out to do because of many factors. To begin with, 27 nations were invited to write the Treaty with 70 representatives, excluding Germany. However only The Supreme Council or The Big Ten were the actual writers of the Treaty. They were the President of the United States and both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of France, Great Britain, Italy and Japan. Each country went to write the Treaty with their own interests at heart. President Wilson of the United States had just drafted his Fourteen Points that were to become the League of Nations and his main interest was a moderate peace. Great Britain had just had general elections and were committed to bring the war criminals to justice and to make Germany pay for the war. France was vindictive. France had suffered terribly during the war and they were motivated by revenge. France was interested in itself and in its future security. Italy had previous agreements with France and England and had commitments in the Near East. Italy played a secondary role. Japan on the other hand championed Italian claims against Austria and the new Yugoslavia. This led to disagreements among France, the U.S and Britain. Yet, they finally agreed on a settlement.

In order to persuade the French to agree to these terms, the United States and Britain promised to agree to these terms, the United States and Britain promised to protect France. However Britain would not aid France unless the United States did, and the U.S senate refused to ratify the military guarantee and treaty; therefore Britain was not under obligation and France felt tricked.
A few weeks after the writing of the Treaty and before its completion President Wilson had to return to the United States for a time and Prime Minister Lloyd George had to return to London. The original Supreme Council composed of five countries became the Council of Four. Many disagreements went on internally before and after President Wilson’s departure. France and England wanted Germany to pay for the cost of war, but President Wilson felt that these terms were too harsh. France wanted to annex the Saar region but the Americans and the British opposed this move. The Polish claims, the Japanese pretensions in Shantung and the Italian claims in Dalmatia also caused friction to the point that Italy left the conference for a period of two weeks. Finally, the Treaty was presented to the Germans for signature. The German’s felt that the Treaty was not in keeping of the conditions by which they had laid down their arms and that many of the clauses were almost impossible to fulfill. But they were given no option but to sign.
In making the Germans sign the Treaty with the clauses that were in it, a stronger sense of nationalism was formed in Germany. The German people had always been a very proud people of themselves, their country and their achievements. The small military corps that was left felt vindictiveness towards the countries that had reduced their military strength. The factory workers and leaders were also filled with hatred at having to manufacture for the victors and not for themselves. It was a harsh blow to lose colonies and land – an empire was destroyed. Some of the German people were all of a sudden no longer Germans but Czechs or Poles. The settlement also left France feeling that it was not strong enough. The defection of the United States destroyed one of the main props of French security and was in part responsible for the next war. Along with the fact that Germany was left was humiliated yet left with some strength and wishing for revenge.

The Battle of Antietam

The Battle of Antietam was fought on September 17, 1862. The United States Army of the Potomac led by General George B. McClellan fought against the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia led by General Robert E. Lee. The battle was fought along the Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland. Both of the armies were densely concentrated in the Sharpsburg area, and it was a very bloody battle. The Union Army lost over twelve thousand men, while the Confederate Army lost around ten thousand men. General Robert E. Lee narrowly escaped defeat this battle and the lack of men cause him and his army to retreat back in to Virginia. Lee had good reason for wanting to bring Maryland into the Confederacy. With having Maryland, he would have good location to attack the major cities like Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. It would also give him a chance to get to the rich farmland of the North that would give his army supplies of food. Lee split up his army of fifty thousand men, sending “Stonewall” Jackson to capture the Union arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. He told James Longstreet to move north towards Hagerstown, Maryland. Smaller groups were left with the task of guarding against McClellan’s troops. Even with all the planning, his adventure seemed to be doomed from the very beginning. The people of Maryland did not give Lee and his Confederate troops a happy welcome. Instead of being treated like heroes as Lee thought, they were treated like invaders. Even the secessionist from Maryland did not like the idea of the Confederacy invading their state. Lee was setback once again when a letter containing his plan of attacks and the locations of all Confederate troops were found by a Union private near Frederick, Maryland. If McClellan had moved quickly, he could have easily crushed Lee’s army and ended the whole war altogether. But McClellan did not move quickly enough and within twenty-four hours, Lee learned of his danger and pulled his troops to Sharpsburg. On September 15, “Stonewall” Jackson captured Harper’s Ferry and was moving to join up with Lee at Sharpsburg. When Lee arrived at Sharpsburg, he met Longstreet and, with their troops, they occupied a ridge overlooking the Antietam Creek. Later on during that very same day, McClellan’s troops, under the command of Major General Ambrose Burnside came up and occupied the other side of the creek. Longstreet was horribly outnumbered, almost five to one, but McClellan did not order the attack. Instead, he took an entire and studied the situation. During the time McClellan took to study the situation, Jackson’s forces rejoined Lee, and another Confederate division under the command of General A.P. Hill, was moving to join Lee.

On September 17, 1862, the Battle of Antietam, or Sharpsburg, began. There was a massive attack of cannon and rifle fire. General Joseph Hooker’s men crushed the Rebel troops. Only a counterattack by a Texan force kept the Yankees from breaking the Confederate line. Hooker threw his troops up against the Rebels, causing heavy losses. Several hours later, General Mansfield’s Union Corps struck at Hood’s men in the second Union attack. Mansfield was killed almost instantly, but that did no stop the fighting that just raged on and for hours the pattern attack and retreat was just repeated. Neither side seemed to get the clear advantage. In the third attack of the day, General Sumner’s Corps found themselves caught in a pocket and in a matter of minutes, over 2,000 men fell to the ground. The fourth Union attack of the day, two other divisions of Sumner’s Corps were met by Daniel Harvey Hill’s troops at a suknen road in the middle of the Confederate position. Since this was the site of some of the most bitter and desperate fighting of the day, that area was called The Bloody Lane. The Union troops just kept on pushing forward and finally reached a position that overlooked the entire battlefield. At this point, McClellan had another chance to end the battle just by sending a large-scale attack from their high ground, but the call never came. After trying to cross the creek over the bridge, which is now named after him, General Ambrose Burnside rushed the Burnside Bridge and captured it, only to find that most of the Rebels had withdrawn and gone to the hills above. He then gathered his troops and began to march on Sharpsburg. It seemed that his victory was inevitable because Lee had no more reserve units to stop him. But suddenly, A.P. Hill arrived with his men from Harper’s Ferry and drove the Yankees back to Antietam Creek. Because of Hill’s arrival, Lee narrowly escaped defeat. Because of the many men that were killed or wounded, the Battle of Antietam is called “the bloodiest single day of the war”.

The Fall of Rome

The Roman Empire was without a doubt the most powerful governing body in the Mediterranean ever. Why did Rome fall? There was not any single cause to the fall of Rome. It was many things occurring in succession to each other.
After the Punic wars with Carthage, Rome acquired many new lands that it did not have before. During peace times it was easy to govern these areas but during war times it proved difficult. The government had to pay soldiers to patrol the frontiers of the empire; it could no longer rely on the loot to serve as the pay for the soldiers. This took a significant amount of money out of the Roman treasury. Some emperors wanted to save money and made the army too small to have control over such a large empire.
The economy of Rome was also suffering. Rome was importing goods from its colonies but wasn’t exporting nearly as much. This created an imbalance of trade. The colonies were creating their own finished goods and no longer relied on Rome for them. New coins were then made out of lead and gold to devalue the currency. Merchants now charged more money because these new coins were not worth as much as the old ones. This created inflation, this problem plagued the empire until its fall.
The problem of succession also contributed to the fall of Rome. There was never a set system of succession. After the death of an emperor, generals competed with each other for power. Once someone gained power they didn’t rule for long; someone often assassinated them. This weakened the authority of Rome; corruption was common and law was almost non-existent.
Diocletian tried to make reforms to make the empire as strong as it was before. He realized that the empire was too large for one person to govern, he split the empire in half and took control of eastern part himself. He then appointed a co-emperor to rule in the west. He also reorganized the problems in the civil service and made them responsible directly to the emperor. He increased the size of the army and trained them better. To improve the economic health of the empire, Diocletian set limits on prices and wages to slow down inflation. To give some stability in agriculture and manufacturing, he ordered people to stay in their jobs. There was no room for promotion. Diocletian died in 305 A.D.
In 324 A.D. Constantine took over as emperor. He reunited the east and west under his own rule. He also built a new capital at Byzantium, on the Bosporus. He named this city Constantinople. Constantine wanted a new capital that would be a Christian city, not a pagan one. He continued the policies of Diocletian. People saw no need to work hard with no chance of getting ahead. These reforms only slowed down the process of collapse. After Constantine’s death in 337 A.D., the empire was again divided.
To the north of the Rhine and Danube rivers, lived a group of people known as the German tribes. They were herders and farmers who had migrated from Scandinavia. As their population grew, they began to look for new land. They decided that moving into the Roman Empire was a good idea. The Roman army was spread thin and could barely cope with the Germans. In the fourth century, the Huns, a nomadic people from central Asia, began attacking the German tribes. Thus the tribes looked for protection from the Huns in the Empire. They received permission from the Emperor to live in the Empire. A couple of years later the Romans sent an army to defeat the Germans and failed to defeat them. This proved that Rome was not invincible. The Germans continued to sack the west; they invaded Italy and sacked Rome. Rome bought peace by giving the Germans most of Gaul and Spain. The Huns then marched into Rome and they were soundly defeated by Rome and its German allies. The west of the Empire became a mess with no one in any real control.
In the east, Constantinople continued to be the capitol city. Its rulers called themselves Roman emperors and its people were Roman citizens subject to Roman law. True, the western portion of the Empire was crumbling, but all through the fifth and sixth centuries the people of the east could say without a doubt that the Roman Empire had not fallen.
There was no certain official date when Rome was considered to fall. Many historians though, believe it was in 476 A.D. A small German chief, Odoacer captured Rome and proclaimed himself king. The city of Rome was finally overthrown. Despite this, the people who lived throughout the Empire considered themselves Roman citizens and followed Roman laws. In the East Rome was still strong. Even today we have adopted many of the Roman ways of life. Rome influenced every civilization after and in a sense we are all Roman citizens.
The great Empire of Rome, the greatest power to ever rule the Mediterranean had fallen. It was unthinkable. Their faults in politics, economics and other things contributed to their fall. There was no one single cause; it was many things happening at once, which caused the fall of Rome. The leaders of today should look at Rome’s mistakes and be sure not to make the same ones again.

Roman Legionaires

The life of a typical Roman Legionaire was a hard one. The combination of brutal training, discipline and organization, and long forced marches with many pounds of equipment all contributed to this, but because of these, the Roman Legions were a force to be reckoned with in the ancient world. The purpose of this website is to demonstrate that though the life of a Legionaire was a tough one, it is because of this that the Roman Empire was so succesful. This website will describe the hardships of training, discipline and organization, and the marches that contributed to the hard life of a legionaire.

The brutal training of the Roman Legionaire was tough, but very neccesary in order to make the lethal war machine of the Empire function properly. First of all, to even become eligible for the army, you had to be a 5’8″ Roman citizen, you could be another nationality but you would be classified as an auxilliary, and you had to be in good health. You would then be rigorously trained by the Centurions whom you would fear worse than the enemy, for they would be swift and brutal with punishments. Forced marches while in precise formation and carrying all your equipment and armour would all be part of a normal day. You would be expected to be able to swim with and without your armour on, and be able to march for 20 miles with 60-80 lbs of equipment without breaking formation. The soldiers were trained relentlessly in fighting in formation with different types of weapons, and also single combat. The standard drill involved using a sword against a post embedded in the ground, or against a real opponent, over and over again so a soldier could learn where to hit, and to hit that point accurately. The Armatura, or Gladiatorial drill, was also used to allow to equally, or otherwise, matched opponents to spar against each other. All this training lead to the final orginization of the legion.



The training, coupled with the orginization and discipline of the legionaires made them the premiere fighting force of the ancient world. The Roman army was divided up into ranks, much like a modern military is today, which allowed a great amount of control to be used in a tough battle situation. A new soldier accepted into the army was given the rank of hastati and was assigned to a contubernium, the smallest unit in the Roman army, which was comprised of 8 men, a tent and an ass. The hastati were the front lines in battle, so high death rates were to be expected, but these were much less than that of the other armies the legions fought, due to the training the hastati got before battle. The next rank, principe, was given to the soldier who had survived 2 or more battles, and was deemed worthy by his Centurion, and these soldiers comprised the second rank. The job of the principe was to make sure that the formation stayed together, and to deal swift punishment by means of death if any hastati broke ranks and began to run away. The final rank given to a mile (ordinary soldiers) was that of triarii, or the most vetran soldier of the unit. This rank was obtained through sheer determination and skill displayed on the battlefield, and was often the highest rank awarded to a soldier not of noble blood. The job of the triarii was the same as the principe, but was also to keep the principes from running and to help fend off flanking and rear attacks. Because they were the most battle hardened troops, triarii could enforce punishments given by the centurion of the unit, and to punish anyone who did not follow orders. The rank given to soldiers of noble blood, or to triarii who had proven themselves, was the rank of Centurion. The Centurion was the commander of a unit, similar to a Battalion Commander in modern day militaries. They had the job of not only fighting alongside his men, but also dealing punishments, such as decimation, where one soldier out of ten was selected for the wrongdoings of another, and the other nine soldiers would stone the luckless soldier to death. If a Centurion was found worthy, he might even be promoted to general, but the common Centurion had no hope of this. The Centurion was also in charge of making sure that all his mens’ equipment and armour was ready to go for the next march out of camp.



The men of a Roman Legion were the best equipped soldiers in the world – being well protected but still possessing considerable freedom of movement. Their equipment was heavy, but lighter than the rest of the armies at the time. This allowed the Romans to march up to 20 miles a day in full armour, and still set up a large fortification at night when they stopped to make camp. Overall about 70% of a legionnaire’s naked flesh was covered by armour, mostly being a type of banded armour called lorica segmentata, but mobility was seen as the best defense, so the armour was kept quite light, allowing a large amout of movement in quite rigid armour. The legionaires also carried a heavy body shield, called a suctus, which tended to weigh about 20 lbs, but offered a large amount of defense. The legionaires also had a helmet, usually in the Etrusco-Corinthian style made popular by Hollywood, which despite its’ looks, kept the heads of the legionaires quite cool. Finally, the legionaires carried 2 types of swords and a spear. The swords were the pugio, which is a short dagger that allows small thrusts into the abdomen of an enemy, or was used as an utility knife. The Gladius Hispaniensis, or Spanish Sword, was the legionaires main weapon of destruction. It was used mainly as a jabbing and piercing weapon that could be used behind the relative safety of a shield. The legionaires were also issued a spear, called a pila. This spear, or javelin if it was thrown, was used to keep enemies at bay, and also as a missile weapon to wreak havoc among the ranks of their enemies. When thrown or jabbed into a shield, the pila would bend near the tip of the spear, and make it useless to throw back, and also would weigh down the shield of the enemy, who would most likely discard the now usless sheild. The legionaires would also carry a turf cutter and a stake, which would be used to set up camp after a march. All of these items, when combined with the armour weigh in at about 70 lbs, which is quite a load to carry. All this equipment was required to be carried by the legionaire for long marches, which could range from 10 miles up to 20 miles in a day, and then the legionaires would set up camp, which included making a fort that would offer some protection if the Romans were attacked at night. Thus, it is easy to see that the marches weren’t ment for the lazy or the faint of heart.


In conclusion, it is easy to see that the life of the legionaire was a tough one, it was needed to gain territory and glory for the Empire. The training of the legionaire was essential for orginization and discipline, to allow the Legions to be formidible in combat. The orginization and disipline was essential for the long marches with heavy equipment, and the setting up of camp, to run smoothly. Moreover, had the Romans not been so strict about their military, they would never have come out of the obscurity that shrouded them before their rise to power, and thus would not be the potent symbol of military strength that we recognize them to be today.

The Tomb of Tutankhamen

What does the tomb of tutankhamen and its contents show about the Egyptian concern for the afterlife?
Tutakhamen’s tomb, and the artifacts inside are an indication of the concern the Ancient Egyptians held for the after-life of their king. In 26th Nov. 1922, the English archaeologist Howard Carter opened the virtually intact tomb of a largely unknown pharaoh: Tutankhamen. This was the first, and to date the finest royal tomb found virtually intact in the history of Egyptology. It took almost a decade of meticulous and painstaking work to empty the tomb of Tutankhamen. Around 3500 individual items were recovered. When the Burial Chamber of Tutankhamen was officially opened, on 17 February 1923, the Antechamber had been emptied.  It had taken near fifty days to empty the Antechamber; the time required to dismantle and restore the contents of the Burial Chamber including the gilded wooden and the sarcophagus was to be greater, and the work was not completed until November 1930, eight years after the original discovery. One must examine both the tomb itself, and its contents, to see the connection between the tombs and burial rituals and the doctrine of eternal life. The royal tombs were not merely homes in the hereafter for the kings, as are the private tombs of commoners and nobility. Instead the tombs are cosmological vehicles of rebirth and deification as much as “houses of eternity.” As the king is supposed to become Osiris in a far more intimate way than commoners, he is equipped with his very own Underworld. And as the king is supposed to become Rê in a way entirely unavailable to commoners, he is equipped with his very own passage of the sun, whether this is thought of as the way through the underworld or through the heavens.
Tutankhamon’s tomb, hurriedly prepared for the premature death of the king at the age of only about 18, is, as Romer says, a “hole in the ground,” compared to a proper royal tomb. The theme of fours is conspicuous in Egyptian religious practice. Tutankhamon’s tomb contains four chambers. The burial chamber, with a ritual if not an actual orientation towards the West, is the chamber of departure towards the funeral destinies. The internment of the body certainly is the beginning of the sojourn of the dead, and the Egyptians saw the dead as departing “into the West.” The room called the “Treasury” is then interpreted to have a ritual orientation towards the North as the “chamber of reconstitution of the body.” Since the most conspicuous object in the Treasury was a great gilt sledge holding the shrine containing the canopic chest, which holds the king’s viscera, this could well suggest the problem of reassembling the king’s living body.
That task, indeed, has a very important place in Egyptian mythology. After the goddess Isis had retrieved her husband Osiris’s murdered body from Byblos, their common brother, Seth, the original murderer, stole the body, cut it into pieces, and tossed them in the Nile. Isis then had to retrieve the parts of the body before Osiris could be restored to life. Her search through the Delta, which is in the North of Egypt, seems to parallel the “sacred pilgrimage” to cities of the Delta that Desroches-Noblecourt relates as one of ritual acts of the funeral, as many of the other objects in the Treasury seem to be accessories for that pilgrimage.
For the sovereign to be reborn it was necessary that a symbolic pilgrimage be made to the holy cities of the delta. The principal halts of the journey corresponded almost exactly to the four cardinal points of the delta where these cities were situated. Sais, to the west, represented the necropolis where the body was buried; Buto to the north, with its famous canal, was an essential stage of the transformations within the aquatic world of the primordial abyss, evoking the water surrounding the unborn child; and Mendes to the east whose name could be written with the two pillars of Osiris, the djed pillars, evoking the concept of air. There, said the old texts, the gods Shu and Tefenet were reunited, or again, according to the 17th chapter of The Book of the Dead, that was where the souls of Osiris and Re had joined. Finally, the southern-most city which completed the cycle of Heliopolis, the city of the sun, symbolizing the fourth [sic] element, fire, where the heavenly body arose in youth glory between the two hills on the horizon. [Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, 1963, p. 238-9]
As these four cities parallel the four rooms of the tomb itself, we seem to have a nice series of parallel symbols. If Sais, in the West, was significant for its necropolis, then Sais, like the burial chamber, can represent the departure into the West. Buto itself, the northernmost city, then represents the site of the actual “reconstitution of the body.” What followed Isis’s reassembly of Osiris’s body was its revivification. Mendes, in the East, where the sun rises, would then seem to be the locus for that, with the associations, especially with Osiris. In the tomb, the small “Annex” is then associated with this ritual stage, the “chamber of rebirth.” The ritual pilgrimage then ends at Heliopolis in the South, where the king, having been reborn, reassumes his throne, as Desroches-Noblecourt views the “Antechamber” of the tomb as the “chamber of eternal royalty.”
Overall, the tomb may be divided into three parts: The Inner Tomb, which means the burial chamber and its side rooms, however elaborate; the Middle Tomb; and the Outer Tomb. In the Outer Tomb, six parts may be distinguished: four passages, the “Well,” and the optional “well room.” The four passages originally consisted of two deep stairs and two sloping corridors. The outer stair might not now be considered part of the tomb proper, since it merely led up to the sealed entrance of the tomb; but the Egyptians saw it as already part of the tomb and named it the “god’s first passage,” or the “god’s first passage of the sun’s path.” All the corridors, indeed, were thought to represent the passage of the sun god Rê through the twelve caverns of the underworld in the hours of the night, prior to his rebirth at dawn–the precedent for the rebirth of the king. Consequently, when decorated, they at first held excerpts from the Amduat, the book of “That Which is in the Underworld,” or the later “Book of Gates.” As the emphasis slowly shifted with time from the association with the underworld to an association with Rê himself, another work, the “Litany of Rê” made its appearance.
The stair of the “god’s third passage” was thus originally a room with the stair in its floor. As the stairs later became ramps, and as the descent of the passages leveled out by the XX Dynasty, the “god’s third passage” was revealed as having a ritual as well as a practical meaning; for the flat spaces of the original room were preserved, even when they had been reduced to no more than long niches in part of the walls of the third passage. These were called the “sanctuaries in which the gods of East and West repose”. “East and West” refer to the ritual orientation of the passage, East on the Left when facing out of the tomb (as the Egyptians saw it), West on the Right.
The fourth passage eventually acquired two niches at the end, called the “doorkeepers’” niches.
 The “Well” itself is a feature that has excited considerable interest. The Egyptians called the Well the hall of “waiting” or “hindering. The function of such a room, as symbolic of the whole tomb, provides a ritual locus for rebirth. The “Ba” soul in earlier representations flies up the shaft of the tomb and out into the world. All that is added in the royal tomb is the king’s trip through the underworld, the four entering or, as the Egyptians also saw them, exiting passages. The “Hall of Waiting,” with or without the well itself or the lower well room, typically shows scenes of the king meeting the gods–one of the motifs of the burial chamber in Tutankhamon’s tomb–and this is often shown when decoration has not been completed elsewhere in the tomb, as in that of Thutmose IV. This would indicate some importance to the function of such a part of the tomb.
This brings us, through the sealed door, to the Middle Tomb. As the “Chariot Hall” or “Hall of Repelling Rebels,” it contains the equipment needed for the king to live an ordinary life and perform his kingly duties once reborn, i.e. actual chariots, beds, clothing, etc. Some have labeled it the “chamber of eternal royalty.” One might call it the “living room” of the tomb, the opposite of the burial chamber with its uniquely funereal equipment. It then may be significant that the rest of the tomb is accessed through the stair or ramp dropped from the floor. If the spirit of the king comes up from the crypt, entering the Chariot Hall is like rising into the upper world. It is at that point that we might divide the whole tomb into the Upper Tomb and the Lower Tomb. The Lower Tomb is about death and rebirth; the Upper Tomb is about the new life and access to the world (the Chariot Hall and the Outer Tomb, both the shaft of the Well and the outer passages). Significantly, the wall of the Chariot Hall above the passage down (the “another god’s first passage”), often displays an “Osiris shrine,” which signal an emphasis on Osiris.
Once freed of its contents, it became possible to examine the wall paintings in the only decorated room in the entire tomb, the burial chamber. The walls had a yellow background, almost the colour of gold, as if underline the name that ancient Egyptians gave to the burial chamber – the ‘Golden Room’. The surface of the paintings was in an excellent state of preservation though it was speckled with innumerable tiny circular stains due to the development of colonies of micro-organisms. The decoration quite simple and ordinary in style: the northern wall, seen on entering the room, features Tutankhamen in the centre, wearing the dress of living, holding the sceptre and the ritual mace, before the goddess Nut, depicted in the act of performing the nyny ritual. This central scene is flanked by two others: on the Tutankhamen’s is shown dressed Osiris in the presence of Pharaoh Ay, his successor. Ay, wearing the costume of the sem-priest and the distinctive skin of a panther, officiates at the rite of the ‘Opening of the Mouth’, through which the deceased is revived. Tutankhamen is shown with his head draped in the nemes, and, followed by his ka, standing before Osiris. On the adjacent western wall, are illustrations of passages taken from the Book of Amduat, showing the voyage of the sun barque through the 12 hours of the night, represented by 12 deities with the faces of baboons.
The eastern wall illustrates the transport of the royal sarcophagus, set inside a shrine mounted on a sledge, drawn by 12 characters, of whom two are dressed differently from the others, indicating a superior social standing. The south wall was painted last, and is a scene of Tutankhamen, accompanied by Anubis, in the presence of the goddess Hathor. The centre of the room is now occupied by the quartzite sarcophagus containing the outermost coffin. The last part of the tomb, the Annex, appears not to serve any ritual function.
The contents of tomb are also an indication of the importance the Egyptians placed on the afterlife.
 It is not necessary to examine all the contents of the tomb, as this would be a painstakingly long and arduous task. To see the significance the Egyptian’s placed on the after-life, one need only examine a few of the articles found.
One of the two life-sized statues which stood guard at the sealed door of the Burial Chamber, on the north side of the Antechamber. The two statues, almost identical except for their headgear, are made of wood, painted with black resin and overlaid with gold in parts. They depict the pharaoh, or rather the pharaoh’s ka, in a striding pose and holding a mace in one hand and a long staff in the other. On the gilded triangular skirt, is written that this is the ‘royal ka of Harakhty’, the Osiris Nebkheprure, the Lord of the Two Lands, made just. Two life-sized wooden statues intended to protect the eternal rest of the Pharaoh.
Tutankhamen’s mask, made of solid gold, was placed directly upon the pharaoh’s mummy, and had the function of magically protecting him. This beautiful object weighs 10 kg and is decorated with semiprecious stones (turquoise, cornelian and lapis lazuli) and coloured glass paste. The pharaoh is portrayed in a classical manner, with a ceremonial beard, a broad collar formed of twelve concentric row consisting of inlays of turquoise, lapis lazuli, cornelian and amazonite. The traditional nemes headdress has yellow sripes of solid gold broken by bands of glass paste, coloured dark blue. On the forehead of the mask are a royal uraeus and a vulture’s head, symbols of the two tutelary deities of Lower and Upper Egypt: Wadjet and Nekhbet.
A very fine shabti of Tutankhamen, portrayed holding the heqa-sceptre and the nekhakha-flail, and inscribed with a text from Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead. This passage specifies the functions of these mummiform statuettes, made of wood, terracotta, faience or metal, and in some cases left in the tomb in their hundreds. The shabtis (a name that means ‘answerers’) were intended to work in the Afterlife in place of the deceased, who could command them by reciting a special spell. In the New Kingdom especially the shabtis were considered as chattels, not unlike slaves. In Tutankhamen’s tomb, a staggering total of 413 shabtis was found, arranged in 26 coffers placed in the Annex and in the Treasury, but only 29 of them were inscribed with the text of the formula from the Book of the Dead.
With the canopic chest, as seen in fig 1, the theme of fours in Egyptian thought and ritual is the most conspicuously manifest. While the embalmed heart was returned to the chest of the deceased, the liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines were separately packaged, coffined, and stored. Each of these was then under the protection of one of the Sons of Horus, Imset (or Amset) for the liver, Hapi for the lungs, Duamutef for the stomach, and Kebekhsenuf for the intestines. Stone canopic chests typically have four chambers for the four coffins, closed with four stoppers, which themselves are either in the form of four human or of one human and three animal heads. With Tutankhamon we are fortunate to have the further equipment of the gilt shrine and sledge for the canopic chest, and the four guardian goddesses who watch over the whole, each identified by a symbolic device on her head: Isis watching over the liver from the southwest, her sister Nephthys watching over the lungs from the northwest, Neith, the ancient goddess of Sais, watching over the stomach from the southeast, and finally Serket, a scorpion goddess, watching over the intestines from the northeast. The figures of these goddesses are masterpieces of art, now available in endless reproductions.
Tutankhamen’s royal Golden Throne was found in the Antechamber. The throne was made of wood covered with sheet gold, and adorned with semiprecious stones and coloured glass paste. His wife, Queen Ankhesenamun, whose head is adorned with two tall plumes and a sun disk, stands before the pharaoh, languidly seated on a throne; the queen places one hand on his shoulder while in her other she proffers a vase of scented unguents. The rays of the sun god Aten shine upon the royal couple and endow them with vital energy. The influence of Amarna art and religious conceptions can be clearly seen in the sensitivity and naturalism of this scene. There was also a wooden shrine covered with thick gold foil, set on a wooden sledge encased with silver leaf, found in the Antechamber of the tomb. Originally it must have contained a gold statuette of the pharaoh, stolen during one of the two episodes of tomb-robbery which took place in antiquity. The walls of the shrine are covered with scenes executed with exquisite craftsmanship depicting scenes of hunting and everyday life, featuring the pharaoh and his wife, Ankhesenamun.
A ivory headrest, depicting the god Shu, the god of air and breath, was found in the annex. It was there to ensure a supply of air for the sleeper (dead or alive). It was a symbol of resurrection, because it enabled the head to breath, by lifting it up from the prostrate position of death. There was also a pair of wooden sandals, overlaid with marquetry veneer of bark, green leather and gold foil stucco. The sole was decorated with figures of Asiatics and Negroes where the king could trample on them. These shoes, however are very uncomfortable to wear and it seems they were constructed for the king to wear in his next life.
A number of lamps were found in the burial chamber, placed there for the King to use as he made his journey to the underworld. They were amazing works of art, decorated with detailed paintings of the king and queen. This was also the resting place of the three coffins, and of course, the mummy. The mummy itself is an excellent example of the Egyptians belief in the after-life. The concept of mummification was practiced because of the belief that after death the soul would return to the body and give it life and breath. Household equipment and food were placed in the tomb to provide for a person’s needs in the afterworld. The ceremony “opening of the mouth” was carried out by priests on both the mummy and the mummy case in order to prepare the deceased for the journey to the afterworld. This was an elaborate ritual which involved purification, censing (burning incense), anointing and incantations, as well as touching the mummy with ritual objects to restore the senses. Inside the bandages that wrapped the mummy, lay a number of different objects the King was supplied with for use in his after-life. He was supplied with a gold dagger and sheath to protect him during his journey to the after-life, and 143 amulets and pieces of jewelry were scattered through the several layers of bandages that wrapped his corpse.
In conclusion it is possible to say that Tutankhamen’s tomb gave the modern world an excellent insight into the Egyptian’s belief in the after-life. Both the tomb itself, and its contents, show how much importance the Egyptians placed on the doctrine of Eternal life, and how strong their belief was that their King would be resurrected as a god. Thus, the tomb of Tutankhamen and its contents show that the Egyptian concern for the after-life, was very strong, and that they went to great lengths to ensure that the eternal life of their kings.
 Gardiner, Sir Alan
 1966 Eygpt of the Pharoahs. Great Britain: Oxford University Press.
 Lehner, Mark
 1977 The Complete Pyramids, Solving the Ancient Mysteries. Great Britain: Thames and Hudson
 “The Internet”
 Chronology of the New Kingdom
 Tombs of the Valley of the Kings
 Model tomb in the American Museum of Natural History
 Manchester Metropolitan University’s site on the Tomb of Menna
 Philosophy of History
 Philosophy of Religion (Copyright (c) 1997 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved)

The Evolution of Television

How has television changed over the last 25-50 years? This question can be answered in a variety of different ways ranging from the technological changes and advances it has gone through to the question of whether it has any type of affects on the way people perceive it, or if society is manipulated by what they see on television. This report will hopefully uncover and discover television then and now.

The first aspect that will be uncovered are the technological advances that television has made over the years. Naturally to see into this, we must look to how television originated. Television broadcasting was first introduced in 1936 when it was available in London. It was not until 1954 when the FCC authorized the NTSC standard for color television broadcast in the United States.  The question raised at this point is what was the television actually like? How many channels were available? Naturally the availability of what we have today was unthought of and in most cases seemed impossible, but most television sets were capable of providing atleast up to four basic channels. However, these channels were only received clearly in larger cities. It was very difficult for television signals to pass through the mountains and rural areas. In order to resolve the problem what is known as cable television was introduced in 1948. The purpose of cable television was to be able to bring existing broadcast signals to rural areas with community antennas placed at high elevations, usually on mountains or on top of tall poles. Since the invention of cable television, it has grown rapidly. By 1960, there were nearly 700 cable systems. In 1971, 2,750 systems were serving almost 6 million homes. Now in the year 1999, the number has risen to more than 65 million. Of course, the invention of cable television was by far if not the only major technological development for television in the early days of television. Today, cable still continues to advance with new developments with satellites. There are over 80 different channels available to cable subscribers ranging from 24 hour music channels, 24 hour movie channels, and 24 hour news channels, and 24 news channels. In addition to being able to have these types of channels, pay television services or better known as premium channels are also associated with the advancement of cable television. These services offer a variety of popular movies, original programming and sports without commercial interruption. Soon after this, interactive television evolved. Interactive TV describes a range in two-way communication services between service providers and end users. Finally, direct broadcast satellites were introduced to further expand cable television. Direct TV and Primestar are just a few companies associated with direct broadcast satellites.


It is clearly easy to figure out that television has and will continue to advance. Now that a few various technological advances and developments have been described, they must be tied into what is most important, and that is how viewer perception and societal influence has been changed from television changing over the past 25-50 years.


The main change in television has become the command center of our culture. Because television is quite different from other media such as film, theater, or music, it must be examined carefully and more in depth. People go to movies to watch movies, they go to the theaters to watch plays, and they buy music to listen to it, etc. However, we go to television for almost everything. Politics, literature, music, religion, news, commerce, you name it and television has it. Therefore, this makes us known as “television people”, because for anything to be legitimate, it has to come through television. Has American society become so dependent on television that in order to be an “American”, you have to watch television in order to make contact with whatever is happening in the culture to be familiar with what is on the television? In other words, if we didn’t have television, do you think that people wouldn’t know what was going on or people wouldn’t be able to follow events that we see on television? If this is the case, then how did people get by before television’s invention?


Television also presents us with experience in symbolic form. Is this preferable to what we used to call reality? For example, take when Mark McGuire broke the record for the most home runs, the people who were at the game to actually witness go down in the history books probably wanted to see it on television because if they didn’t, they probably would feel a sense of loss and disappointment with the reality of it because this actually did happen to them before it was on television.


The next issue of concern is whether or not there is a consequence of image taking over from the word in television? What essentially is the danger in images being more important than words? The images or language of television is changing the world, because it is changing our minds, our thinking, our feelings, and even our way of relating to other people and to the world. When there is an image culture, politics per say, we see this in debates, as well as in elections. People are so far concerned with what these candidates do in their spare time rather than whether or not they will do well for our country?  However, is it the people to blame, or should what media decides to air be blamed? Without the media, how would people really now what the candidates or president does in his or her spare time? We would never know, and it really isn’t important. Therefore, the media manipulates the way we view political leaders. They make us form our opinions by what they tell us and what we hear through the television medium. Society in the same sense has relied too heavily on the media for depicting images. We are more concerned about the way a politician looks and dresses, their personal life, rather than how they will lead the country. Also, we are more concerned with watching our presidents eat jelly beans in press conferences, watching our president play football on the beach, or watching our president lie to America about his sexual affairs, instead of wondering what type of things they have done or what they will do as president. Wars, I believe are much more important than the personal lives of our leaders. I also believe that people are so into television that they tend to forget that a war will affect their life, more than a jar of jelly beans.


The next question is has television changed in a sense that news broadcasts are strictly to make money? When we look back 25 years ago, most news departments were not expected to make money. It was not expected to make money if anything it was expected to lose money, but to them that was never a problem or an issue. However, that today has changed. News is one of the biggest money making divisions in any television network.
It really does sound like television advancement has created a lot of problems rather than made our lives easier. And as we look in to the future, what will television be like both through a technological sense and perception wise, as it pertains to society? Will there be a consequence of our news being delivered in a theatrical way? It could just possibly be that Americans would simply become the most ill informed people in the world. There is sadly some evidence that this may already be the case.

Has technological developments in television such as cable; etc, affected the way society operates. Did these types of problems exist before all the technology developed? Can we blame it on technology or can we blame it on society and media?  Media indeed takes a huge role in the way society is affected by television. However, media is not going anywhere and they do not plan on going anywhere, so how can the problem be solved?

Finally in concluding, as time advances, so does technology, however it is up to us as a society to make a positive use of it. Much of this talk on technology is full of negativity, but it is only because we let it get that way. Why? Surely television has changed in the past 25-50 years and it will change in another 25-50 years, as will all forms of media. All and all, society in general needs to stop relying on television and forming opinions by what they see and hear as a way of day to day living, because that is what is seems like we are letting happen. People are relying too much on these technological advances that they can no longer do for themselves. If we took away all the advances and developments and went back to the way it was when it was first invented what would it be like? We would probably have opinions based on values and not on perception.

The Titanic

Since 1912, when the Titanic sank on her inaugural voyage, there have been many theories behind the mystery of how this unsinkable ship ended up on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Up until now, the theory has been that an iceberg tore open a 300-foot gash in the side of the 900 foot-long luxury liner. Even after 1985, when Robert D. Ballard founded the Titanic, the expeditions mainly focused on the beauty of the ship and not the damage it had sustained from the iceberg. Of course the Titanic is submerged in many feet of mud so searching for the damage has been impossible.
Just Recently researchers were able to determine the damage to the ship by imaging the sunken liner with an acoustic device known as a sub-bottom profiler.  They examined the ship’s starboard side, finding a series of six thin openings along the hull. This implied that the iron rivets along the plate seams probably popped open creating small gaps for the water to come in. Two wrought-iron rivets from the Titanic’s hull were recently hauled up for scientific analysis and were found to be riddled with unusually high concentrations of slag, making them brittle and prone to fracture. From the observation, researchers concluded that since these seams were roughly 20 feet below the waterline, there was an enormous amount of pressure from the seawater, which made it’s way into the compartments very quickly.

Navel Architects and marine engineers claim the Titanic was moving at an estimated speed of 22 knots before it collided with the iceberg. They believe if the Titanic was moving half as fast, the force of the iceberg’s impact and the damage done to the plate seams would have been much less. Since the pressure would have been less, fewer compartments would have flooded and the possibility of survival would have been greater.

There are still many debates over whether the Titanic was intact while it submerged under the ocean or it had broken into two pieces before descending to the bottom of the ocean floor. Some passengers testified to watching it breaking apart above the surface, while the ship’s officer’s testified that the vessel went down intact. The fact those eyewitnesses aboard the Titanic have different stories lead me to believe that the mystery of the unsinkable ship may never be solved. Every year expeditions will come up with evidence of another theory. Some theories will be justifiable, others will still be a mystery.

The Fight for Equal Rights Black Soldiers in the Civil War

Black soldiers were among the bravest of those fighting in the Civil War. Both free Blacks in the Union army and escaped slaves from the South rushed to fight for their freedom and they fought with distinction in many major Civil War battles. Many whites thought Blacks could not be soldiers. They were slaves. They were inferior. Many thought that if Blacks could fight in the war it would make them equal to whites and prove the theory of slavery was wrong. Even though Black soldiers had to face much discrimination during the Civil War, they were willing to fight to the death for their freedom.

Both free Blacks and slaves wanted to fight in the Civil War and volunteered from the start. The free Blacks wanted to prove their equality and help the slaves win their freedom. There was much opposition from whites, because many thought that the Blacks were biologically inferior and could not be trusted with weapons. They thought arming them would cause the slaves to rebel, and because the war was supposed to be very short it would not be necessary. Also, a federal law dating back to 1792 stated Blacks could not fight in the United States Army. Abolitionists, those in the north who fought for Black rights, argued that Blacks had fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. They had greatly strengthened those armies, so they should be able to fight in the Civil War as well. Abolitionists also thought it would teach the Blacks responsibility and self-reliance which they would need after the war.

On July 17, 1862 Congress passed two acts allowing enlistment of Blacks in the Army, but they were ignored. The War Department still turned Blacks away when they tried to sign up to fight. Then in September of 1862, Abraham Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation which declared, “slaves within any State, or designated part of a State … then … in rebellion … shall be then, thenceforth and free forever” (Knight, Carson, 1997, 1). This law liberated about 3,120,000 Blacks. After this law Blacks were finally able to enlist in Union armies.

When Blacks began to fight many whites realized that it was for the better. Recruitment of whites had become difficult and after Blacks were allowed to enlist not as many white men would have to enlist. Soon, private agents, the federal government, and northern states had to compete for Black recruits. The government sent General Lorenzo Thomas to the Mississippi Valley to organize Black troops and in less than three months he raised more than twenty regiments of Black soldiers.

Blacks took part in 499 military engagements, thirty-nine of which were major battles. In each one of those battles they served with great distinction and proved they could serve their country well. Seventeen Blacks were awarded the Medal of Honor, a prestigious award. One of the most well known battles fought by Black soldiers was at Fort Wagner in South Carolina on July 18, 1863. The Massachusetts 54th Regiment, commanded by abolitionist Robert Gould Shaw, was ambushed by Confederate forces while trying to attack the strong Confederate fortress on Morris Island. The Massachusetts 54th fought gallantly but the Union forces fell back with heavy casualties, and 1,515 men were killed, wounded, or missing.

The Battle of Port Hudson, the last remaining Confederate fort on the lower part of the Mississippi River was another such battle. On May 27, 1863 Confederate forces had twenty siege guns and thirty pieces of artillery, a major threat to the Union warships. Five Black Louisiana regiments assaulted Port Hudson and were met with a rain of bullets. The Black troops kept fighting until almost all of them were dead. The losses were severe. The Union lost the battle but no one questioned the bravery of the Black troops. Because of this, Union Army Blacks fought with a greater sense of purpose and a better morale.

Though Black soldiers in the Army fought as bravely as the white soldiers, they were often discriminated against. Their enlistment period was longer, they were given old weapons, their pay was lower, and they had little chance of promotion. Many didn’t survive because of the poor medical care they were given. If Blacks were wounded they were carried off the battlefield as an afterthought, and if they did arrive at a hospital alive they would receive slow and inadequate care. Also, if captured by Confederate troops, a Black soldier would be immediately executed or sold into slavery.

While the Army did not allow Blacks to enlist before the Emancipation Proclamation, the Navy was always open to free Blacks. In September 1861 the Navy started to enlist former slaves because they had a constant shortage of men. These former slaves were used in very effective blockades of southern ports. Unlike the Army, the Navy treated the Blacks well, housing and feeding them with whites and offering them opportunities for promotion. Four Black soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor. By the end of the war, Blacks made up one-fourth of the men in the Union fleet.

Only towards the end of the war was there serious talk of enlisting Blacks in the south, but the war ended before it could happen. People in the South still insisted Blacks were too inferior to fight. One man said:
I think that the proposition to make soldiers of our slaves is the most pernicious idea that has been suggested since the war began … You cannot make soldiers of slaves or slaves of soldiers … The day you make soldiers of them is the beginning of the end of the revolution. If slaves make good soldiers, our whole theory of slavery is very wrong. (Piggins, 1994, 48)
Even so, slaves supported the Confederate troops whether they liked it or not. They built forts, cooked, tended to animals, carried supplies, and performed hundreds of jobs that freed southerners to fight. But the slaves were encouraged when they saw the brave Black Union soldiers marching into battle and often would try to escape and join up with the Union army.

Black soldiers were willing to fight bravely for their freedom during the Civil War even though they were thought to be inferior and were discriminated against. A total of 180,000 Blacks fought in the Civil War; 37,000 were killed in action and seventeen were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. But no matter how hard they fought and no matter how many lives they saved, there were always people in both the north and south who doubted them and did not give them the respect they deserved. But, they fought bravely and with dignity until the end, and along the way gained the respect and admiration of many people. Black soldiers proved that they were equal to whites.

The Meiji Restoration

The Meiji restoration refers to the re-emergence of an emperor in Japan. This change in power came after the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which was caused by the uprising of a group of Samurai who were pro-modernization in Japan. This group, known as the ‘oligarchy’, had seen the modern ‘black ships’ of Commander Perry, who came from America seeking trade relations with Japan. The oligarchy became convinced that they would have to let the West infiltrate their society in order to avoid the fate China had seen under the hands of imperialism. The oligarchy saw the need for Japan to learn from the West and gain enough knowledge to be able to remain independent. They overthrew the Shogun and elected a new emperor, an emperor for all of Japan. ‘Meiji’, meaning “enlightened ruler”, was the sixteen-year-old boy they chose for this position. He was small, young and naïve, the perfect puppet for the oligarchy to exercise their power through. He ruled for forty-four years but Meiji was merely a symbol of power for a new, united Japan, rather than an actual head of state.

The Meiji restoration effected Japan profoundly. Every facet of Japanese life was altered in some way, from economics to education. Japan was now united under one rule, the population, however, was divided. The majority of the people understood Japan’s need to modernize but there were also groups of nationalists, working underground, against the Westerners. The Samurai too, were disgruntled with the breaking down of the class system. They had been in a position of power for so long that they were not prepared to become a working part of society. Samurai’s had been given everything all their lives on a silver platter, now, they were forced to work for their own food, money etc. Many Samurai committed suicide because they could not cope with these new pressures that they faced. This abolition of feudalism resulted in a controlled taxation system. Farmers were taxed three per cent of theirs lands value, regardless of the income earned from it, which ensured a steady income for the government even whilst the price of rice was fluctuating.

This new taxation system and control over Japan’s income was essential for Japan to achieve one of its main goals – modern armed forces. In 1878 General Yamagata returned from Europe, where he had been sent to study their armies, and reorganized Japan’s army in the image of the Germans.  Otto Von Bismarck, the German Chancellor became Japan’s mentor because of his brutal yet powerful leadership skills. The sons of the village people were forced to join the army when the Samurais lost their exclusive right to bear arms, anyone could now use a weapon. The boys were trained as officers, infantry, artillery and engineers. Japan began to export silk and made a large profit doing so. This money was spent buying and building warships and factories. A saying emerged from Japan, “Rich nation, strong military.” This showed Japan’s determination to be a powerful country, both economically and militarily.

Japan’s society was also changed because of its advances in industry and technology. Japan realized that to be any sort of formidable power they needed to have western firepower. Guns and other similar items went into production. In the late nineteenth century Japan began to develop other manufacturing industries. Wool and cotton mills were opened by the government and were run by Westernized model factories. Soon many more industries began to develop as the raw materials needed were imported into Japan. The government, which had setup and financed these factories, sold them off the private companies, which developed into financial empires known as Zaibatsu. The most famous of these Zaibatsu was Mitsubishi. The Zaibatsu formed an alliance with the government and were often quite influential on government policies.

Japan was given a model train by some Westerners, fifty years later (1872) Japan a locomotive system of it’s own. This is definitive of the rate at which Japan modernized. It took Japan just forty years to develop into an independent, self sufficient, part of world-wide economic trade, whilst it had taken the USA over one hundred and fifty years. Along with this new railway line Japan setup other forms of communication systems. A modern postal system came into operation in 1868 and was followed by a telegraph system in 1871.

Education in Japan also changed drastically. The first and foremost difference was that schools became compulsory for children- through to University students. The government had realized that for Japan to be a powerful country in the future it’s children needed to be educated in the ways of the Western world. Education became highly centralized and aimed to give every Japanese the skills they would need to operate efficient services in the army, navy and in the factories. More teachers were trained and more schools were opened. They taught of three basic ideas – the Shinto religion, reverence for the Emperor and respect for elders.

The social life of the Japanese aristocrats also changed. Japan had fallen in love with the West and everything new or in the latest fashion was of Western influence. Western clothing, hairstyles, even dancing were all seen as supremely wonderful and they were adopted rapidly throughout society. New inventions from the West were also brought over, the most life changing of these for the Japanese was the clock. Until then the Japanese had been using the sun to tell the time of day with. This invention was therefore welcomed with great haste into their lives.

Japan’s society was forever changed because of the Meiji restoration. Every aspect of the Japanese way of life was altered, usually for the best. Japan’s economic, political, military and educational systems were all turned upside down. The social life of the Japanese was changed with all the new Western fashions and inventions. Modernization had cost Japan a lot of money and very hard work. It had however cost China more not to modernize. Japan had made the right decision.

The First Battle of Manassas

On a hot summer day in July of 1861 there stood about 30,000 Union troops lead by General Irvin McDowell ready to march out and capture Richmond and end the war.  For the troops were young volunteers and thought that the battle would only last one day.  But they were wrong for the battle of Manassas or otherwise known as Bull Run lasted more then one day the battle lasted six days instead.  The Confederates had 22,000 men who were headed by Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, Col. Nathan Evans, Barnard Bee, Col. Francis Bartow, and Gen. Thomas J. Jackson.
As the Union army marched towards Richmond they had little knowledge of what the war would mean.  For all they knew was that the war would only last one day and they would go home.  General McDowell had a plan to seize the railroad junction at Manassas, so he would have a better approach to the Confederate’s Capital.  As the Union was trying to devise a plan to seize the railroad junction the Confederate troops were guarding the fords of Bull Run.  McDowell’s army marched his men from Washington against the Confederate army, and ended up behind Bull Run Beyond Centreville on July 18.
On July 18th Gen. McDowell moved toward the unions right flank, but he was stopped at Blackburn’s Ford and he spent the next two days scouting the southerns left flank.  While Gen. McDowell was scouting the flanks at Blackburn’s ford, Gen. Beauregard asked the Confederate Government at Richmond for assists, and they ordered Gen. Joseph E. Johnston stationed in the Shenandoah Valley with his 10,000 troops to go and support Beauregard.  Now Gen. Johnston gathered his men a headed toward the Manassas Junction, most of the troops arrived on July 20 and 21.
The battle begins on the morning of July 21; McDowell sent his troops to march north toward Sudley Springs.  McDowell created a decoy attack at the stone bridge where Warrenton Turnpike crossed Bull Run, to distract southerners.  At Approximately 5:30 AM a loud single shot was fired which signaled the battle.  As McDowell’s men headed towards Matthews Hill, Col. Nathan Evans realized that the attack at Stone Bridge was only a diversion, so he sent his command rushing towards Matthews Hill to head off McDowell’s army. But Evans Army was too weak and couldn’t hold back the Union for long.  Brigadier General Barnard Bee and Colonel Francis Bartow went to go assist Evans men but their reinforcements were weak as well and the Union destroyed the Southerners lines and headed toward Henry Hill.

Gen. Bee called on the assistance of Gen. Thomas J. Jackson’s brigade to control the lines and hold back the Union from going any further.  This spot is where Gen, Thomas J. Jackson got his nickname “Stonewall” because  Gen. Bee shouted, “There stands Jackson like a stone wall!”
The Union stopped the confederate’s attacks, but the battle lasted long enough for the confederates to reenforce their lines.  Both sides where battling back and forth trying to force one or the other off Henry Hill.  The confederates took out the Unions right flank on the Chinn Ridge, which caused McDowell’s unit to retreat back across Bull Run, where the roads were crowed with people trying to see the battle.  In all the confusion of the battle Gen. Bee and Col. Bartow die in action, and Gen. Stonewall takes command and attacks.
The Union retreated all the way back to Washington and the Confederates on the Battle of Bull Run.  Even though it was a battle that people wouldn’t think that would last long it was very costly.  Which made Lincoln’s administration have to replace McDowell with a new Maj. General George B. McClellan, who had a different approach on the battles then that of McDowell.  Gen. McClellan needs to train his troops and reorganize his tactics.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world, and some Western historians have noted that it’s architectural beauty has never been surpassed.  The Taj Mahal is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India.  Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble.  Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset.  The Taj seems to glow in the light of the full moon.  On a foggy morning, the visitors experience the Taj Mahal as if suspended when viewed from across the Jamuna River.

A Muslim, Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his dear wife and queen built the Taj Mahal at Agra, India.  The society at the time was very productive and created a lot of success and hope for the Indians there.  When Mumtaz Mahal was still alive, she extracted four promises from the emperor:  first, that he build the Taj Mahal; second, that he should marry again; third, that he should be kind to their children; and fourth, that he visit the tomb on her death anniversary.  He kept the 1st and 2nd promises.  The construction began in 1631.  The expert craftsman from Delhi, Qannauj, Lahore, and Multan were employed. They constructed the monument over a period of twenty-two years, with employment of 20,000 workers.  The total amount spent on the beautiful and sacred monument was 32 million rupees.

The problems and issues of the Taj Mahal was very difficult back then.  Actually, it was two main issues, but they were very burdensome.  The only issue was the death of his wife and getting the beautiful monument done.  The lengthy wait and the overcoming of her death was too much for Shah Jahan, but he had promised to his loving wife that he would eventually complete the sacred monument in her name.

Everyone has their own favorite time to see the Taj Mahal.  Crowds will distract you from the cool, serene presence of this flawless monument.  The best way is to try arriving just as it opens or as it is about to close.  A few minutes alone in the perpetually echoing inner sanctum will reward you far more than several hours spent on a guided tour.  The sensuously curving lines of the temple of love demand to be savored without interruption, then the presence of the building itself will impart its own message.

The event has triggered being part of the wonders of the world.  It started to attract many people from other cultures because of its beauty and the mystery behind it.  It intrigues people on how one person designs a monument for his wife and tries to accomplish the promises she gave before she had died.  People wonder how that much love from one man to his wife can show that there is always hope in a relationship even after the significant other dies.

Negative events were not really triggered in this situation.  In this case, Mumtaz Mahal was in love with her husband, Shah Jahan.  She wanted to have the love continue and that is why she had given those four promises to help realize that the love can still grow strong.  The monument symbolizes the love that Shah Jahan had for his deceased wife, Mumtaz.  Mumtaz wanted this monument more than anything.  She wanted to be remembered with a monument, which symbolizes “eternal love.”

As a tribute to a beautiful woman and as a monument for enduring love, the Taj Mahal reveals its subtleties when one visits it without being in a hurry.  The rectangular base of the Taj Mahal is in itself symbolic of the different sides from which to view a beautiful woman.  The main gate is like a veil to a woman’s face that should be lifted delicately, gently, and without haste on the wedding night.  In my tradition, the veil is lifted gently to reveal the beauty of the bride.  As one stands inside the main gate of the Taj Mahal, his eyes are directed to an arch that frames the Taj Mahal.  The dome is made of white marble and the background works its magic colors.  The colors change at different hours of the day.  It sparkles in the moonlight when the light hits the white marble and catches the glow of the moon.  The reflections of light seem to depict the different moods of the woman.

The tombs of Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal are actually located in a shadowy burial crypt.  At ground level, in the very center of the building is the cenotaph dedicated to Mumtaz.  If you sing in the inner shrine of the monument, the notes will float upwards in a flow of music of the spheres.  This event was very influential in the time of its occurrence because looking at this building, you will see how much love there is and how strong this love stood.  It represents so much to many of the visitors on different levels.

It has really affected my life because I feel very proud of my Indian heritage and how I can go to my homeland and have the chance to see a monument I can be very proud of.  I’m so happy that India has one of the great wonders that I can admire and tell about to others.  I hope to gain a lot of knowledge about the Taj Mahal whenever I go there.  Just to experience it in person and to admire the beauty and artistic views would be amazing.

I think what inspired me the most was the strong love between Shah and Mumtaz.  To have such a love would make such a relationship grow and blossom solidly.  I just hope in my life that I can find the right person and experience the love and solid trust that Shah and Mumtaz had between them.

This event will be important to me in an hundred years because this is a part of my Indian background.  I’m going to teach this story to my children and I hope it will be passed on down throughout the coming generations.  It is just so interesting on how it all came together and how unique it is today.

Under the full moon, the pearly white exterior is shrouded in mystery.  That would be love, the greatest mystery of all.  In India, take the time you will be spending there to learn and gain new perspectives.  Someday you can use the stuff that you have learned and apply it to your daily relationship and acquire the “eternal love” that Shah and Mumtaz created.

The Ethics of World Domination

Throughout the past 70 years the U.S. has been involved in hundreds of conflicts all around the globe.  Every time the United States troops are deployed to a foreign country, citizens of the U.S. want to know why. People begin to ask questions like, “what is the purpose of this?” or “what is the nature of our involvement?” Nobody wants to see the strong youth of our nation shipped of to a foreign country to get slaughtered without good cause.  Millions of American men and women have devoted their lives to the service and protection of the freedoms that we as citizens of the United States hold dear.  These people deserve the utmost respect from all citizens of the United States.  When the government of our country see fit, our troops are sent to fight often in places that they have never even heard of.  When they return they are heroes to be revered, or are they?  All to often things go wrong in these foreign countries and the soldiers often end up taking the brunt of the nation’s frustration.  When the government makes mistakes and things do go wrong it causes the citizen of the U.S. to closer analyze the situation.  The citizens of the United States want some answers and the government often fails in its attempts to satisfy the publics’ need to know.  Ever since the beginning of the U.S. the government have come up with one reason or another to start or get involved in conflicts that should have otherwise been left alone.  One of the first and most prominent examples of this is the almost total enialation of the Native American population in this country.  Is the destruction of a culture and a society as vast as that of the Native Americans really morally and ethically permissable?  The United States government thought that it was.  According to them it was God’s own destiny for them to conquer the entire continent to bring it under the U.S. control.  This just shows that difference in ethical value strongly affects what a country will accept as good cause for fighting.  More recent conflicts like the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Grenada, and the Gulf war have made people analyze the ethicality behind the fighting.  They look for the true reason behind the involvement of the U.S., in an attempt to find justification for the use of U.S. troops in foreign affairs.  This paper is an attempt to look at the ethicality of some of the major conflict that the U.S. has been involved since the end of WW II.  It will also attempt to analyze what has come to be known as the “World Police” mentality and the actions that the United States has taken to display this.
During the period of 1946-1950 a forty-year period began called the Cold War.  The Cold War was a period of aggression in the name of democracy.  During this time the United States did some questionable activities under the guise that they were protecting against the spread of communism.

On June 25, 1950 North Korea, using Chinese training and Soviet military equipment, attacked South Korea.  The United States believed that Stalin and the USSR were ultimately behind the invasion.  The South Korean defenses crumbled and the United States sent ground troops on June 30.  The United Nations endorsed the deployment of troops because the USSR was boycotting the United Nations.  It would seem a bit unfair that the United States would receive UN endorsement based solely on the premises that the USSR had chosen not to be a part of the UN.  This become even more apparent when you take into account that the United States was not even certain that the USSR was even involved in the dispute.

On September 15, 1950, after a daring amphibious attack 150 miles behind enemy line the US was able to push the North Koreans back into North Korea.  This is where the war should have stopped.  The North Koreans were in North Korea and the South Koreans had control over South Korea.  Furthermore, China was threatening that if the US tried to unite Korea by force then they would enter the war on the side of the North Koreans.  Despite both of these facts, the United States pushed further into North Korea.  Knowing that it would cost thousands of American lives and thousands more Korean lives to unite a country that wanted to be separated, General Mc arthur and President Truman, with United Nation’s support, pushed on.  A two-year war ensued that would ultimately cost the lives of 140,000 American service men and women.  In the end the country ended up just as it was before. Nothing lost, nothing gained.

The United States’ attack of Korea is considered to be one of the worst failures of intelligence and strategic leadership in the history of the United States military.  In Washington, the excitement of victory on the battlefield on September 15, 1950 obscured the real objective of the war, which was to protect the freedom of the South Korean people and reinstall a South Korean government.  In a shallow attempt to win seats in congress for the democrats, Truman pushed General Mc Arthur to continue the attack and try to roll back communism.  A willing Mc Arthur was glad to oblige as he let his wish for military success and a heroic reputation get in the way of his competent operation of the United States military troops in Korea.  The Korean War was a very political war with both the president and chief general directing the US forces looking for large victories to help bolster their careers.  Truman was looking for democratic votes and Mc Arthur was looking for glory, but unfortunately there was no one looking out for the US troops or the desires of the South Korean people.

The Korean War was a good example of ethical egoism.  It was a war in which all the involved parties were looking out for their themselves and ignoring the effects that they had on everyone else involved.  The utility on a more global scale was not considered because politicians were blinded by the attractiveness of glory and an opportunity to push their own political agendas.
At 2am on February 7, the Viet Cong attacked the United States base at Pleiku, two hundred and forty miles north of Saigon, killing 8 Americans and Injuring 100 as well as destroying ten US aircraft.  A reltaliatory strike was immediately recommended and operation Flaming Dart went into action.  Flaming Dart was an air strike were bombers took off from United States aircraft carriers in the area and bombed “supposed” strategic military sights in North Vietnam.  The “supposed” strategic military sights included a number of intentional bombings of civilian installments.  A month later operation Rolling Thunder began which was a full-scale offensive air attack.  By doing this the United States crossed the line from being a supporter of the South Vietnamese to becoming the main leader of the entire offensive in South Vietnam.  Shortly after, the American people began to become divided over the war and antiwar protests fostered violence all over the country.   The government that was supposed to be of the people and for the people was ignoring the concerns of the people and often responding to there protests with extreme violence.  Protests continued and became ever more intense.  The selective service system that was intended to strengthen the military, was often a focal point for the protests.  In 1967 Martin Luther King Jr called the war a moral disaster pointing to the fact that black people made up only eleven percent of the population of the US but they made up 23 percents of the people killed in the war.  He also pointed out that the war costs weighed more on the poor and the working class because deferments were granted to students in college and the poor and the working class could not afford to attend college.  Because of presidential promises in early 1970, citizens of the US were under the impression that the war was coming to a close and that the US involvement was declining.  On April 30, 1970, in a breach of the American people’s trust the US military forces invaded Cambodia.  When this hit the news in the US the people were furious and students closed down colleges across the country.  These strikes in Cambodia weakened the Cambodian government and opened it up to a working class revolution that cost the lives of over a million Cambodians.  The gulf of Tonkin resolution was repealed and the US military troops were limited in their actions to only South Vietnam.  The official cease-fire began on January 27, 1973 and the United States promised not to increase its aid to South Vietnam.  Nixon suspended the draft in favor of an all-volunteer military.

This is another example of egoism displayed by the United States.  When the US decided to invade Cambodia, they did not take into account what might happen to the inhabitants of the area.  They were thinking solely of what benefit it might have for the United States of America and not what the actual utility of the action might be on a global scale.  They had not considered that millions of people might die as a result and the unfortunate reality of the situation is that over a million people did die as a result.
In the early morning hours of October 25, 1983 the United States invaded the small Carribean Island of Grenada with 1200 troops.  They met heavy resistance from Cuban and Grenadan installments.  The US force was enlarged to 7000 and within days the island fell under US control.  Shortly after, the US installed a government that was not communist and Pro-US.  Just weeks earlier the Grenadan Army under the leadership of the deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard seized control of Grenada in a bloody coup.  Coard was a hard line Marxist and this raised concern among the population of the US because of its proximity to the US coast.  Also there were some 1000 students at a medical school in Grenada.  Under the guise of a rescue for the students, the government went in and seized total control of the island in an attempt to stomp out communism in the Carribean and confront what Reagan considered to be a threat from the Soviet Union.

The attack was apposed by the Organization of American States of which the US was a part.  The action was also “deeply deplored” by the United Nations based on its 1970 injunction that stated that no state or group of states has the right to intervene indirectly or directly for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of another state.  The United Nations Security Council voted 11-1 against the attack with the only positive vote coming from the United States.  Grenada was seen by many as a make-up war to appease the US citizens that were outraged by a truck bomb attack that killed 241 US marines in Beirut, Lebanon.  The United States chose to ignore the recommendations of the organizations that it belonged to, in order to relieve its aggression on a country that was for all intents and purposes, innocent of any crime against the United States.  The underlying political agenda of extracting revenge from Grenada clouded the president’s judgement in the invasion.
The end of the cold war marked the end of this nation’s fear of communism.  There was no more need for the United States to intervene in the affairs of other countries on behalf of democracy.
On August 2nd 1992 Iraq invaded Kuwait and seized the entire country.  Immediately the president of the United States George Bush ordered an unconditional withdrawal.   Why did President George Bush feel that he had the authority or the right to make such demands?  It was not because Iraq had become a threat to the security of the United States, or because he feared that Iraq would grow to a point where Saddam Hussien’s regime was to powerful for the United States or the world to handle.  No it wasn’t that at all.  The reason behind the US involvement is that president bush thought that he might have to pay a few cents extra for gas to fuel his Cadillacs.  Because the seizure of Kuwait put Iraq in control of 20% of the oil production and reserves for the world, President Bush feared that it might have economic reprocutions for the United States.  Operation Desert Storm was put into action and tens of thousands of US troops were moved into Saudi Arabia along with hundreds of aircraft.  George Bush took this as a golden opportunity to assert the world influence of the United States.  He was able to gain allies quickly and get most of the developed nations of the world to boycott Iraqi oil.  After a quick but fierce bombing attack the war was over within 100 hours.  That wasn’t the last we were to see of Saddam Hussien though.  The US still has troops in the Persian Gulf area.  It is amazing to think that countries will bond together against an enemy and go to war and give their lives and the lives of their nations youth of money.  Is it worth the lives of thousands of people just to keep oil costs down?  It doesn’t seem to be to me.
Does the world need a world police?  John Locke says yes.  According to Locke in the state of nature it is natural for groups of people to come together in their own self-interest, to form a society.  In these societies the surrender some of the personal rights that they had in the state of nature and delegate them to a single government.  If these people were in the state of nature the might make social compacts with others.  They would feel no obligation to uphold them if they no longer were of any benefit to them because there would be no consequences for breaking these social compacts.  Without punitive consequences these people will only honor contracts when it is convenient for them.  Locke also says that social groups will act the same way in their interactions with other social groups.  The only way to get these groups to honor social compacts is to create laws, consequences, and a body with the means and authority to enforce them.  The same goes for countries on a much larger scale, because for all intents and purposes a country is just a large social group.  These countries would act as individuals in the state of nature because there is no world police or authority to keep countries in line.  Locke says that to get countries to work together and follow laws and honor compacts, there needs to be a single power or law-enforcing agency that acted as a worldwide administrator of discipline and law, a world police.

The problem arises when one country or organization tries to assert power or force on a country when they don’t have the right to.  Locke says that in the state of nature no person or group of people is bound to any social compact that they did not enter in to knowingly and voluntarily.  This means, according to Locke, that if there were to be an almighty world police then every country in the world would have to agree to wave their personal rights in the state of nature and delegate the authority to enforce laws and consequences to one individual or organization.  It would be virtually impossible to get every country in the world to enter into such a social compact.  Despite that the world still needs to have some sort of order among countries or some of Locke’s inconveniences will begin to arise.


When people hear the name Titanic many vivid and emotional images come to mind.  Visions of the very last yet frantic final moments titanic spent afloat before sinking to its watery grave miles below the surface.  No one however pictures everything that had happened before and after the great liner sank, or the passengers and crew who were doomed to be aboard the massive ship. Many factors made what was titanic, her crew the passengers and the inevitable crash.

The story of titanic started in Belfast, Ireland where hundreds of hard working men spent countless hours building what was at 46,328 gross tonnage the largest moving object at the time. The R.M.S. Titanic was owned by American tycoon J.P. Morgan, but was being operated on the British owned White Star line.  The ship was reported to have cost some where between $7,500,000 – $10,000,000.  It was to be Bruce Ismay’s crowning achievement and at 882 ½ feet long and 100 feet high it truly was.  Mr. Thomas Andrews the ship designer gave her a revolutionary layout, and it appears that titanic was built to accommodate up to 64 lifeboats yet had only 16 aboard and 4 collapsible lifeboats were added last minute giving a life boat capacity of only 1,176.

Now we come to the passengers and crew who were aboard the ill-fated liner.  The captain was Edward James Smith a very reputable and respected captain.  The maiden voyage was to be Captain Smith’s last and he has even been quoted as saying “nothing exciting ever happens on my trips”. As Titanic was the ship of al ships her passengers were the whose who of the world.  Aboard were American millionaire John Jacob Astor and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Isador Strauss, Mr. Benjamin Guggenheim and his mistress, the “unsinkable” Molly Brown and the Countess of Rothes.

As it seems the massive liner was doomed to infamy from the very beginning.  At on Wednesday April 10, 1912 the R.M.S. Titanic started to depart from Southampton on its way to New York City. Just as titanic left port a dangerous suction started and pulled another ship the New York into a crash course with the immense ship and it wasn’t until the last possible minute that a huge surge of water pushed the New York out of harms way.  Yet just as it seemed that disaster was averted another major problem started.  In coal bunker # 5 spontaneous combustion caused a very destructive fire that took 3 days to extinguish.  Mr. Andrews was sent to examine the damages and reported that the fire compromised the steel and could have possible damaged the airtight compartments.  The next topic needed to cover is the controversial events leading up to and including the crash on April 14, 1912.  The day started out with clear weather and with the boat at a full 22 ½ knots what seemed to be smooth sailing, but nothing could have prepared them for what would happen later that night.  That night the temperature suddenly dropped down t a chilling 31 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of only 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the crow’s nest. Titanic was travelling too fast in condition so dangerous that other ships had stopped for the night.  At 10:00 p.m. Frederick Fleet took his place as look out in the crow’s nest, with only one problem his binoculars had been missing since leaving Southampton 4 days earlier.  At 11:40 p.m. that night everything was calm including the usually turbulent ocean, but the calm was suddenly shattered by what is now one of the most famous quotes ever “Iceberg right ahead”.  Almost immediately Officer Murdoch ordered the ship to full reverse and hard to port which basically means to turn left.  One major design flaw came into play here, the rudders were too small so the ship did not turn in time and so the ship hit the iceberg on her starboard side leaving a tiny trail of small punctures in the hull.  These small breaks were all that was needed to seal the fate of titanic and her passengers for now over 400 tons of water was pouring in every minute.  As soon as the reality of everything set in Mr. Andrews was sent to inspect that damage caused by the iceberg, the results were almost unbelievable.  The iceberg caused 5 of the 16 airtight compartments to fill with water, one more that ever imagined in any accident.  Mr. Andrews conclusion was that the ship everyone said, “G-D himself could not sink” was going to be at the bottom of the ocean in a matter of hours.  With this tragic news the crew was instructed to start evacuating the boat women and children first and so a little past mid-night the 1st class was being awaken to head towards the lifeboats.  At 12:10 a.m. Captain Smith ordered the Marconi operators to send out a distress call that the ship was sinking by the head.  One of the first ships to respond was the German Ship the Frankfort, but because it was operated by a competitor the operators ignored all of the Frankfort’s messages. A nearby ship the Californian was with in eyesight but the operators were off duty and asleep. Finally at 12:45 a.m. the Carpathia responded but they were over 4 hours away.  By now everyone was aware of their impending doom and chaos was starting to break out, but through it all many people came to terms with their fate and accepted it.  Mr. Guggenheim and his valet dressed in their best an were prepared to go down as gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. Strauss laid in their suite in what was to be a final embrace. Though some found peace many were frantic and beginning to become desperate, but the ship’s musicians played non-stop in order to calm the passengers. What made all matters worse was that the life boat capacity was only that of ½ the passengers and crew on board.  Their was 318 1st class, 262 2nd class, 740 3rd class passengers and 860 officers and crew on board a total of 2180 souls, 2180 and only 1,176 were to be saved if all seats were filled.  This was a very scary and confusing time so one cannot put blame on the crew but they were sending lifeboats able t fit 65 heavy men filled with only 12 people in some out to sea.  At 2:15 the ship’ stern was submerged at an 80 degree angle in the water and at 2:17 all power to titanic had failed. Just as the horrid sight of the once grand ship adhering straight up sunk in the minds of all watching the sturdy hull began to give way and the immense body off titanic split in two and the stern came crashing back down to the surface. Slowly the stern began an eerie decent into the ocean which some described as similar to an elevator ride. The once load roaring of the ship’s destruction now turned into the painful cries of 1,500 men, women and children who were now battling to stay alive in the freezing ocean water. As most survivors testified to the most haunting noise was not the breaking or even the shrieking of all those waiting to die in the ocean but the unearthly silence once everyone eventually froze to death. It wasn’t for hours that the Titanic’s sister ship the Carpathia finally arrived and pulled aboard only a little over 700 survivors.

News headlines around the world soon read of how the Unsinkable titanic perished in the night and how over 1,500 souls came to an untimely end in the middle of the North Atlantic. Most of the blame was placed on Bruce Ismay who was reportedly the man who ordered to ignore the ice warning and for the ship to gain speed.  Reports however of how the ship sank widely varied, some said the boilers exploded some said the ship was in one piece and some said that crew men were so panicked that they were shooting men who got unruly. No one knew what had happened or even the exact location of the wreckage until a joint U.S. – French expedition discovered titanic 1,600 miles NE of New York, 95 miles south Grandbanks Newfoundland @ 41.16 degrees N. latitude and 50.14 degrees W. longitude.  The expedition surveyed and photographed the wreckage and reported that the ship had indeed broke in two and laid about ½ a mile apart. In July 1986 a 3-man U.S. exploration team in Alvin submersibles once again surveyed and photographed the wreckage. It wasn’t until a controversial French salvage team in 1987 began collecting artifacts from the ocean floor. They collected glasses, dishes, jewelry, suitcases, currency, and a bunch of little insignificant objects. This caused a major uproar what the scientist called preserving many people considered grave desecration, yet through all the protests the artifacts were displayed in Paris in September 1987.  Till this day scientist flock to titanic in order to determine what happened and why, there are even countless movies which depict almost every theory of what happened out today.

With all the pain and suffering that surrounded titanic no one stops and looks at what good came out of the tragedy.  Due to all the faults aboard the Titanic there are now laws which state that there must be lifeboat seats for all passengers on board. There must be full time maintenance and operating crews on radio watch while at sea.  There must be lifeboat evacuation drills and there has been an international ice patrol set up. So now when people hear the name Titanic they can vision not only the crash and the anguish it caused but they also can envision the what went into titanic, the people who lost their lives that unfortunate night, and the great achievements that came about because of it.

The Beginning of the End for the Postal Monopoly

The Postal Service has been a government agency since 1775, and since 1872 it has been illegal for anyone but government employees to deliver a letter. Because of this and many other reasons, the USPS is a prevalent example of a government-controlled monopoly. The United States Postal Service is the largest postal service in the world. With over 800,000 employees (778,171 being part-time lobbyists), it is the US’s largest employer. In the past few years, the Postal Service’s profits have risen and productivity has declined. This essay will discuss why this is happening, and look deeper into the government-controlled monster that is the Postal Service.

In the 1980’s, few scholars focused on the Postal Service, and today there are many. This is because of all of the controversial issues that have been discovered regarding it. The USPS handles over 43% of the world’s mail volume, and Japan is in second with 6%. The USPS is also the largest airline shipper in the United States. The USPS delivers about 102 billion pieces of first class mail every year, and 20% of these letters arrive late. The average household gets 24 pieces of first-class mail every week, so almost 5 of these every week arrive late. In New York City in 1998, only 52% of the mail were delivered on time. Swimming champion Mary Meager had her parents send her the 2 gold medals that she won in the Olympics; the medals vanished when her parents sent them via USPS Express Mail. Why are these facts so appalling? Most of it can be blamed on the unproductive postal workers.

Postal workers, who are considered unskilled, make over $35,000 a year, and that number keeps increasing. These are very high wages for an unskilled worker. The workers also waste a considerable amount of time. A survey by the Postal Inspection service discovered that the average letter carrier wasted 1½ hours every day. Basically, 23% of all postal workers time is unproductive. A GAO study found that the average worker takes 50 days of paid leave every year.  And sometimes, mail sent with the USPS doesn’t even get delivered.

There are numerous stories of Postal employees stealing mail. For instance, in Chicago, 2,300 lbs. of undelivered mail were discovered at a postal worker’s home. Once in Rhode Island, 94,000 letters were found buried at a letter carrier’s home. A Colorado carrier was arrested after 3 tons of undelivered mail was found at his home. These are just a few of the stories of the workers keeping mail as their own. And some undelivered mail isn’t even because of employees stealing mail.

During the 1970’s, the CIA opened mail routinely. The reason behind this is because of the spying going on at this time between the U.S. and Russia, but this is still unnecessary. A Postal Inspection Service audit found properly addressed mail dumped in the trash at 76% of the Post Offices visited. This number is completely unnecessary and uncalled-for. At USPS headquarters, there are 11 members of the board and 50 economists, accountants, and lawyers on the commission. With all of these workers, you would think that the service wouldn’t be having problems like this. The Postmaster General is the head of the service. The current Postmaster General is Marvin T. Runyon. Former Postmaster General William Henderson had this to say about the Postal monopoly: “…I believe that the Postal monopoly will not last forever.” Hopefully, he is right.

According to Henderson, one in every 200 letters is delayed or missorted. In 1970, the USPS created the Postal Reorganization Act, trying to be redeemed.  This was when the service officially became the United States Postal Service. Before that, it was just the Post Office. This Act had limited accomplishments. When the service was losing vast amounts of money in 1979, there was talk of privatizing it, but nothing pulled through. Many people hope that the service would once again consider privatization. If the Postal Service did privatize, it would be the tenth largest company in the U.S. The USPS attempted reorganization again in 1983, and once more in 1993. Both attempted reorganizations failed miserably.

The Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) codes were introduced 1990’s; this code added 4 non-required digits, for 9 in all. Since 1958, the price of a postage stamp has increased in 1963. In the early by 825%, and in the last 20 years, that price has increased by 18 cents. On January 10, 1999, postage rates for non-profit organizations increased by an average of 9.6%, while business rates only increased by 1.79%. Is there some particular reasoning for the USPS to pick on non-profit organizations? So far, there is no proof of this.

There are over 39,000 post offices in the U.S., and about 130 million delivery points. The USPS processes about 38 million address changes annually. In some rural areas, mailboxes are placed as far as 40 miles away from the home, for the convenience of the deliverer and the inconvenience of the homeowner. This seems strange because UPS and FedEx both target rural areas. In fact, 40% of UPS’ delivery spots are in rural areas. The Postal Service receives close to 50 times the amount of mail of FedEx and UPS combined.

There are also some unfortunate laws that the Postal Service has helped Congress pass. By law, the mailbox that you buy and install on your property belongs to the government. The Postal Service reserves the right to cut across people’s lawns when delivering mail and postal vehicles are immune from parking tickets. The USPS reserves the right to search the mail for “contraband” – something that looks funny or out of place. UPS and FedEx are both strongly against these so-called contraband searches. Federal Express and the United Parcel Service are the two main competitors the Postal Service, but there are also 300 other alternative delivery firms. By law, private companies must charge at least double the amount that the USPS would charge for the same letter. Furthermore, the USPS has its own police force that can search packages sent through competitors if it believes that the sender is violating the service’s monopoly laws. Of course, the USPS doesn’t do this as much anymore after a lot of bad press and over $0.5 million in fines. Private companies, unlike the USPS, can’t just raise their prices because of increasing costs.

How do these companies stay in business? Here’s how the employees compare: The average UPS employee moves three-times as fast as the average Postal deliverer, and the average FedEx employee moves twice as fast. There is one manager per 10 workers at the USPS, compared with one for every 15 at FedEx. Other ways to send letters without using the Postal Service include fax and e-mail. It is estimated that 43% of faxes represent a diversion of communications of the mail, and in the 1990’s, e-mail has also taken a chunk out of the Postal Service.

The Postal Service is entirely exempt from complete compliance with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Basically, the OSHA may not fine the Postal Service for unsafe working conditions.  This should not be, because their employees do a lot of stressful, repetitive tasks. In fact, in 1994, Postal Employees counted for 29% of federal agencies working compensation claims. Also that year, the service paid over $521 million in workers compensation claims, death benefits, medical expenses, and other expenses.

The Postal Service tried changing its public image in 1997, spending millions of dollars on “What’s Your Priority?” ads for Priority Mail. In one month, they spent $275,000 on ads in the New York Times, telling the public how hard they will “deliver for you”. The ads seemed to pay off though; they have generated more than a $500 million increase for Priority Mail. But unlike its competitors, Priority Mail 2-day delivery is not in any way guaranteed.

In the Postal Services latest cry for attention, they have introduced a new “Postal Notes” advertising campaign. These ads tell little known facts about the service. For example, one ad says that the Postal Service uses donkeys to deliver mail to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, bush pilots to deliver to the Arctic Circle, and mail-boats for along the bayous of Louisiana – all for the price of a 33 cent stamp. These ads have cost about $12 million.

The USPS also spent about $7 million to change their long outdated logo to the “Sonic Eagle” in 1997, and almost $4 billion to put together over 5,000 pieces of automation equipment. The service spent $232.4 million of its $143 million budget on advertising, nearly $90 million over budget. Looks like the USPS thinks the only way to get more business is through numerous advertisements.  In 1995, the USPS owed the U.S. Treasury about $9 billion for borrowed money. It is rare for the Postal Service to have more profit then debt. Surely not because they don’t make enough, but because they borrow money in immoderation. In fact, when the service turned a profit, like in 1995, it was only the eighth time during 24 years. Currently, the United States Postal Service owes the U.S. Treasury somewhere around $7.3 billion, not much difference since 1995.
In one USPS ad, it says the following: “If it surprises you that the U.S. Postal Service is not funded by tax dollars, join the crowd.” This is terribly misleading though; contrary to popular belief, the government does fund the USPS. In fact, in 1996, the government gave the USPS almost $770.9 million. What do they do with this money? They spend most of it, 84%, on its employees. The USPS’ net income has gone down considerably every year. It has gone from $1.8 billion in ’95, to $1.8 billion in ’96, to $1.2 billion in ’97.

Many people are urging the USPS to consider privatization. Because of the vast amounts of money that it is losing, it may do just that. But until then, if the service continues at this pace, we can expect to see higher prices, longer zip codes, more unproductive workers, and the USPS even farther in debt.

The Spanish Armada

On May 30, 1588, they left the Port of Lisbon confident and assured of victory. If they would succeed in victory and conquer the enemy, then they would be the sole world power. If they win they will be victors of the biggest battle the world has ever seen. The Spanish Armada, the biggest invading fleet Spain had ever launched, left Lisbon toward England and headed for the unknown.

During the 16th century Spain and England were colonizing the world and gaining power. In the 1560′s England was jealous of Spain, because the Spaniards were taking gold and silver from the Americas and the English wanted some of that wealth. Queen Elizabeth I encouraged some of her commanders to raid Spanish towns and ships, even though the two countries were still at peace. Some religious differences were also causing conflict between the two countries. England was a protestant country, who had just broke away from the Roman Catholic church, and Spain followed the Roman Catholic church. The English government also supported the Dutch Protestants, who were rebelling against Spanish rule. Spain and England also competed over trade routes and control of trade throughout Europe and the world.

In the early 1580′s King Philip II of Spain started to assemble his fleet. His plan was to have a two pronged attack. His fleet would meet with the Duke of Parma, in the Spanish Netherlands at Calais. The Armada would then ferry the Duke’s troops across the English Channel allowing them to march on London, capturing the city and the Queen. Soon after the entire country would fall to Spanish rule.

Once the fleet of 125 ships had been assembled, King Philip II ordered the Duke of Medina Sedonia, the Spanish commander of the fleet, to sail to Calias. In May 1588, the armada left Lisbon traveled up the coast toward England. The English were informed of the Spanish movements and quickly assembled a fleet of mostly merchant ships. They left England to intercept the advancing armada. Once the Spaniards had reached the South West coast of England on July 19, 1588, the 197 vessels of the English navy attacked the flanks of the great armada. The English avoided close-in combat, much to the Spanish dismay. The Spaniards continued attacking, yet the English fleet harassed the Spaniards doing much damage. The Spanish fleet continued on their path to Calais, with the English in tow. Once the Spanish fleet reached the port of Calais they found out that the Duke of Parma failed to show up with his men. This was devastating to the Kings plan. At this time the English saw an opportunity to attack and did. They sent fire ships into the Spanish formations, thus scattering them. The next day the English attacked the confused armada. The Battle of Gravelines, an eight hour struggle, left many Spanish ships damaged or lost.

The Spanish realized that their invincible armada was in danger of total annihilation, so the Spanish commander, the Duke of Media Sedonia ordered a retreat. The Spanish fleet was to forgo the invasion and head back home. He chose the route that went north of Scotland and Ireland. For three days the English ships followed the Spaniards, before they ran out of ammunitions, then they returned to England to restock. The Spanish fleet was battered by North Sea storms and finally the weakly defeated armada limped back to Spain. After the defeat of the Armada, Spain dropped from world domination. After that the British rose to international supremacy.

The defeat of the Spanish Armada brought change to the world scene in which England became the dominate leader in world trade and colonization. Spain lost most of it’s world control because of the loss of it’s navy. With out the navy they couldn’t control their colonies, thus lossing them to other world powers. England thrived and spread it’s power all over the world, becoming an influential and dominate world power.

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal was one of the greatest accomplishments by mankind, in my opinion.  Among the great peaceful endeavors of mankind that have contributed significantly to progress in the world, the construction of the Canal stands as an awe-inspiring achievement.  The idea of a path between North and South America is older than their names.

In 1534, Charles I of Spain, ordered the first survey of a proposed canal route through the Isthmus of Panama. More than three centuries passed before the first construction was started. The French labored 20 years, beginning in 1880, but disease and financial problems defeated them (


In 1903, Panama and the United States signed a treaty by which the United States undertook to construct an interoceanic ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama. The following year, the United States purchased from the French Canal Company its rights and properties for $40 million and began construction. The monumental project was completed in ten years at a cost of about $387 million. Since 1903 the United States has invested about $3 billion in the Canal enterprise, approximately two-thirds of which has been recovered.


The building of the Panama Canal involved three main problems: engineering, sanitation, and organization. Its successful completion was due principally to the engineering and administrative skills of such men as John F. Stevens and Col. George W. Goethals, and to the solution of extensive health problems by Col. William C. Gorgas (


The engineering problems involved digging through the Continental Divide. Also constructing the largest earth dam ever built up to that time; designing and building the most massive canal locks ever envisioned; constructing the largest gates ever swung; and solving environmental problems of enormous proportions.


Disease, in the forms of yellow fever and malaria, put much of the work force in the hospitals or six feet underground.  Before any work could begin, the most deadly of the problems on the isthmus had to be overcome – disease.  The government wasn’t going to allow mortality rates like had been seen during the French reign – somewhere between ten and twenty thousand were estimated to have died at the canal zone between 1882 and 1888.  For this purpose, American doctor William Gorgas was called to examine the area.  The most troublesome diseases were the mosquito-carried malaria and yellow fever, but almost all diseases known to man were endemic.  Tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, smallpox, bubonic plague – all were cases on file at Panama hospitals in 1904.


The rocky ground of the formerly volcanic area proved to be too much for the French steam shovels and dredges, and headway was made only when a plan for dynamiting the rocks underwater and dredging up the pieces was put forth by Philippe Bunau-Varilla (who was later to become one of the most influential individuals in the United States’ interest in the canal). Of no help was Lesseps’ insistence on a sea-level canal, like he had done at Suez, as opposed to a lock canal, while the latter proved to be cheaper and more feasible even by reports of the time.


In 1908, changes in the design of the canal had to be made because of unforeseen problems. The width of the canal was increased to 300 feet (from 200 feet), and the size of the locks to be used was increased by 15 feet (95 to 110 feet). Because of the threat of a silt blockage at the Pacific end, a breakwater – the Naos Island breakwater – was built using excavated dirt from the canal. Also created with the extra soil was a military reservation on the Pacific side, but most was dumped in the jungle wherever railroad tracks could be laid. The Pacific locks were moved inland, both for military strategy – harder to hit from the water – and necessity – the supports had begun to sink at the first location.


The canal was completed in August of 1914, under budget by twenty-three million dollars.  The first ship to cross the isthmus was the concrete ship Cristobal, the official and publicized ship to make the voyage was the Ancon. Unfortunately, the opening came just as World War I started in Europe, and so the fact that the greatest human endeavor had been completed was last on most everyone’s mind. Initial traffic on the canal was around two-thousand ships annually until the war was over, when it jumped to five-thousand ships a year, then to seven-thousand, and more in recent times. The toll was initially 90 cents a ton, but was raised in 1974 due to increasing costs of operation (the canal is only allowed to break even) to $1.08 a ton. The canal is used by almost all interoceanic travel, either commercial or private. The only exception being today’s oil supertankers, which were not designed to travel through the canal (and are nearly 50 feet too wide to fit inside the locks). Surprisingly, the problem over the Culebra Cut has not yet been solved – even today slides put rock and debris at the bottom of the canal, and dredges must be called in to clear the path. Even in this day of man controlling nature, we are not the masters, nor ever shall be.


The Panama Canal was, is, and shall remain the best engineering marvel of the 20th century. Never before nor since has any project accomplished the feats of mastering the elements, of engineering and construction, or of future planning as has been done at Panama. After 87 years of continuous service, it continues to be as useful as the day it became operational. An operation that was impossible only 30 years earlier.  Killer diseases, high costs, seemingly impossible excavations, all faced the engineers at the Canal Zone, but one by one they were overcome until the Panama Canal alone stood out from among the rubble and invited people of the world to come and cruise her waters – a new pathway for the ever-expanding, ever-changing human race.

The Magnificence of Ramses II

The history of Ancient Egypt consisted of a number of very powerful rulers known as pharaohs.  These pharaohs were regarded as gods by the Egyptian people.  Every aspect of daily Egyptian life including the weather, and the success of the crops, was supposedly controlled by the pharaohs’ attitude.  Many Egyptians would devote their entire lives to the construction of the tomb for their pharaoh.  Egyptians believed that by helping the pharaoh, they were securing their own place in the afterlife.  All of the information that is known about each pharaoh was obtained from what is depicted on the walls of the various structures and tombs.  The reign of Ramses II was one of the longest and most prolific reigns in Egyptian history.  Trends set by him in architecture and relations with religious leaders paved the way for future pharaohs. Ramses II was the third king of the nineteenth dynasty and the son of Seti I.  Seti took great care in the education of Ramses.  He educated him both as a sportsman, and a warrior, but also included lessons in history, politics, and religious practices.  Seti made sure Ramses was constantly surrounded by beautiful ladies in waiting, and possibly had a wife chosen for him very early in life.  Ramses eventually had five or six wives, the foremost being Neferatri, and possibly over one hundred children (Montet 164).  Ramses reigned for sixty-seven years and outlived  twelve of his sons.  He died at the age of ninety, and his thirteenth son, Merenptah, who was in his sixties, became a pharaoh (Time-Life).

Immediately following the death of Seti I, Ramses began a massive restoration project on his father’s building projects which had been abandoned.  The first of these projects was the expansion of Seti’s summer palace and ancestral home, at Avaris in the Nile Delta, into an entirely new capital city (Time-Life 51).  Pi-Ramses, as it was later called, included a precinct which encompassed six square miles (half the size of the city), and contained a battle staging area complete with workshops, drilling fields, and stables for chariots.  All of this to promote the army of Ramses.  The location of Pi-Ramses was an attempt to move the center of Egyptian power closer to the center of commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean (Time-Life 32).

The reign of Ramses II consisted of numerous building projects, including the temple at Abu Simbel, Hypostyle Hall, the Ramesseum, and the temple at Luxor.  All of these projects displayed in their enormous size, the power of Ramses.  Abu Simbel is located about 762 miles south of Cairo, on the west bank of the Nile River.  It consists of two temples commissioned about 1250 B.C. which were built into the sandstone cliffs over looking the water.  The smaller of the two temples was dedicated to the god Hathor, and Ramses’ deified queen, Nefertari.  The larger templemostly contained statues of Re-Harakhti, god of the rising son, but it also contained statues of Ptah, Amon-Re, and King Ramses II himself (Peck).

Ramses finished Hypostyle Hall, which was begun by Seti, and is the largest of its kind in the world.  It encompasses 54,000 square feet, and includes 134 columns with a roof eighty feet high.  The interior walls of Hypostyle Hall tell of Ramses’ divine coronation and other sacred scenes which partially covered the reliefs of his father.  The outside walls depict Ramses’ military campaigns in Canaan and Syria, including the famous battle of Kadesh, and a copy of the peace treaty which was signed with the Hittites (Time-Life 51).

Both the Ramesseum, and the Temple at Luxor, display enormous statues of Ramses himself.  The Ramesseum, a mortuary temple, contains a sixty-six foot tall seated statue of the pharaoh.  This statue weighs one thousand tons, making it the largest known statue ever carved from a single piece of granite (Time-Life 54).

San Francisco 1906 Earthquake

One of the greatest earthquakes happened in 20th century is in San Francisco in year 1906. It measured 7.8 degrees.  Many building were destructed and several hundred of people got killed.  The earthquake also started a fire, which destroyed the central business district.
The earthquake happened on the San Andreas Fault, which is the major fracture of the Earth’s crust.  It is trending northwestward through southern and northern California, U.S., for 650 miles (1,050 km) and passing seaward in the vicinity of San Francisco.  Movement along this transform fault is of the strike-slip type and is characterized by occasional large earthquakes originating near the surface along the path of the fault. The disastrous San Francisco quake of 1906 and the less serious earthquake of 1989 were both caused by movement along the fault.  According to the theory of plate tectonics, the San Andreas results from the abutment of two major plates of the Earth’s crust, the Northern Pacific and the North American.  Along the fault, the Northern Pacific plate is sliding past the North American plate in a northerly direction, at a relative movement of about 1 cm (0.4 inch) per year over geologic time, though the rate of movement has been 4 to 6 cm (1.6 to 2.4 inches) per year over the past century. Parts of the fault line moved as much as 6.4 m (21 feet) during the 1906 earthquake.  The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) bored a tunnel right through the fault zone, and various cities, towns, and housing developments lie on or near it.
At almost precisely 5:12 a.m., local time, a foreshock occurred with sufficient force to be felt widely throughout the San Francisco Bay area. The great earthquake broke loose some 20 to 25 seconds later, with an epicenter near San Francisco. Violent shocks punctuated the strong shaking which lasted some 45 to 60 seconds. The earthquake was felt from southern Oregon to south of Los Angeles and inland as far as central Nevada. The highest Modified Mercalli Intensities (MMI’s) of VII to IX paralleled the length of the rupture, extending as far as 80 kilometers inland from the fault trace. The earthquake was rupturing the northernmost 430 kilometers of the San Andreas Fault from northwest of San Juan Bautista to the triple junction at Cape Mendocino.  It formed a 290 miles long crack on the ground.  For comparison, the 1989 earthquake only had a rupture length of about 25 miles.  There is also about 20 feet offset along the crack.  The ground was moving at 2.7 km/s.
The result of the earthquake was tremendous.  More than 800 people died, 225,000 from population of 400,000 became homeless.  28,000 buildings were destroyed.  More than 400 million monetary losses.
The 1906 earthquake marked the dawn of modern scientific study of the San Andreas Fault system in California.  Before 1906, earthquake research in the U.S. had advanced slowly compared to efforts in Japan and Europe.  After the quake, nearly all scientists in California began to assemble observations of the earthquake and its effects.  The report (published in 1908) was an exhaustive compilation of detailed reports from more than twenty contributing scientists on the earthquake’s damage, the movement on the San Andreas Fault, the seismograph records of the earthquake from around the world, and the underlying geology in northern California.
The 1906 earthquake essentially turned off earthquakes of magnitude about 6 and larger for the next 73 years (with one exception in 1911). In the 70 years before, there had been at least 16 earthquakes of this magnitude, as shown in the diagram.  The likely explanation for this period of seismic quiet is that slip on the 1906 fault plane redistributed stress on other San Francisco Bay area faults.  The important lesson here is that for most of this century, central California has been experiencing a seismically quiet period caused by stress relaxation after 1906. The region may slowly be recovering from this “stress shadow” to a more normal state of seismicity as the tectonic plates continue to move, and the stresses on the major faults recover to the values that they had in 1905.
The “Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake” is one of the strongest ever recorded on the North American continent. If a similar earthquake occurred in Northern California today, after many decades of rapid urban growth, thousands of people would likely be killed and economic losses might be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Such an event would easily be the worst natural disaster in the Nation’s history.  How soon is such an event likely to happen? Recent research offers some answers by providing new insights into the 1906 quake and the San Andreas Fault system.  The scientists predict that another shock as powerful as the 1906 earthquake is not likely to strike Northern California soon, probably not for at least 100 years.
By studying quakes like the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, scientists and engineers gain the knowledge and understanding necessary to assess the risk from future shocks and to reduce the vulnerability of buildings and other structures to damage in these inevitable and terrifying events. In this way they help to protect the lives and property of the people.


Stonehenge is one of the worlds best known monuments of the ancient times.  Stonehenge stood for over five thousand years, and still we do not know the full use of this mysterious arrangement of stones.  Stonehenge remains asan ancient monument that still propose mysteries to it origin and purpose.
At first, scientists had no clue as to who built Stonehenge.  The Romans, Egyptians, and the Phoenicians were all suggested to have been a possible creator of Stonehenge.  Later study proved that none of these cultured built Stonehenge.  The truth of Stonehenge is that three different cultures contributed to this megalithic monument.  The first group began construction around 3100 B.C..  Neolithic herdsmen began the first step in the construction of Stonehenge.
The first part of this monument began as a modest circular ditch.  Within this circle 56 holes were dug.  These hole, later named Aubrey Holes after their discoverer, presented mysteries to scientists for years.
These strange holes served two purposes.  The first, and more important reason, is that these holes acted as a lunar calender.  The moon has a cycle for it’s eclipses.  Once a lunar eclipse occurs, another will not happen for nineteen years.  After those nineteen years, the moon will, once again, eclipse.  The next, and final, eclipse of this cycle occurs eighteen years after the previous eclipse.  These years add up to be fifty-six.  Scientists believe that a stone was placed in one hole in the circle.  Each year, the stone would be moved to the next hole.  This way the ancient people could keep track of the moon.
The other reason has a morbid side to it.  In some of the Aubrey holes, remains of humans were discovered.  These remains were first cremated, then put into the holes.  This suggests that Stonehenge could have acted as a burial site, and possibly a temple in which human sacrifices were made.  None of these theories have been proven, but these reasons are the only feasible explanation to these holes.
The second period is that which the most data can be found on.  The second period began at about 2100B.C..  The Beaker people, a group which worshiped the sun, added to the monument it’s first large stones.  The first thing done is that any of the stones that were already there were removed.  Next, thirty large stones were brought to the site.  The stones, each weighing well over five tons, were to act as the pillars of the new monument.  These stones were called the Sarsen Stones, stemming from what they are made of.  These stones, however, are only two-thirds above ground.  The other third is buried to keep the huge pillar from toppling over.  The Beaker people created two concentric circles, the inner circle measuring seventy four meters in diameter, and the outer circle eighty six meters.  The outer circle was later named the Sarsen Circle.  The inner circle was never completed, and no one has any evidence as to why.  It appears that they just stopped, without cleaning up or removing any of the old stones.  Some speculate that the project was to large that it seemed insurmountable the Beaker people.
The third period began at about 1550 B.C..  The Wesset culture was going to add their touch to the growing monument.  The Wesset culture decided to dismantle the work of the Beaker people, but decided on a similar design.  They decided to construct a circle around the same point the Beaker people used for their circle.  On top of each pillar, however, a large rectangular stone was placed, with each side resting on neighboring pillars.  This created a continuous circle all around the monument.  Instead of a smaller circle within the larger circle, the Wesset culture placed a simple horse-shoe.  The horse-shoe, just as the large circle, was capped with large rectangular stones.
“Given the distance they had to travel, this presented quite a transportation problem.”(Lacy,  The problem of getting the stones to the building site was large enough to stop most people from even attempting such a project.  There were to ways used to deliver the massive stones to the building site.  The first was by land.  Giant carts were constructed to carry the smaller stones.  The stones were loaded on the cart and pulled eighty-five miles to Stonehenge.  This method would not work for the larger stones as a large enough cart could not be made.  For these stones, a wooden raft was made, and they were sent down a nearby river.  From the banks of the river it was a short distance to Stonehenge.
Placing the stones took some thinking.  First, a five foot deep pit was dug.  One side of the pit was slanted to act as a sliding board for the stone when it was ready.  A ramp was then built leading up to the pit.  Large ropes were fastened to the stone and then heaved up the ramp and into the pit.  Ropes, in conjunction with manpower, were used to upright the stones into their
 current position.
The most perplexing mystery lies in the caps of the Sarsen Stones.  How could one lift a twenty ton stone ten feet into the air?  Two methods have been suggested as the answer to this question.  The first approach uses a similar method as to the rasing of the Sarsen Stones.  A ramp would have been built.  Then the huge stone would have been pulled up the ramp and onto the pillar.  This is not the most efficient way because much more manpower would be needed as the ramp would have a much greater angle than that of the ramp used for the Sarsen Stones.  The more practical reason is that a scaffold was built.  The stone was placed on this scaffold.  One end of the rock was lifted, and a timber placed underneath.  The timber would prevent the stone from falling.  The other end was lifted, and a timber inserted under it.  This process was repeated until the stone has reached to proper height.  The stone was then move two feet to it’s final resting place.
The Wesset culture had gone as far as to eliminate the optical illusions created by the largestones.  As an object gets taller, the top seems to get narrower.  To eliminate this problem the shape of the pillar were distorted.  The tops of the pillars were wider and thicker than at the bottom.  So now when viewed from below, the stone appeared to be the symmetrical.  Another problem the Wesset culture found was the look of the surface of the stone.  The surface looked like it caved in a little.  To fix this illusion, the sculptors made the surfaces convex.  To make it easier to chisel, fire and water were applied to the stone to make the stones expand and contract.  This made the stone brittle, and much easier to shape.  As a final touch, axe heads and daggers were chiseled into the side of the Sarsen Stones.
A lunar calender, a temple, a burial ground; all of these .were proposed as uses for Stonehenge.  Stonehenge has one more use beyond what was previously mentioned.  Stonehenge could accurately predict the seasons.  This was a useful bit of knowledge during the New Stone Age as no calenders were in use.  The ancient people needed a way to know when to plant and harvest their crops, and Stonehenge was what they used.  If one were to stand in the center of Stonehenge on June twenty-fourth and look out the opening of the horse-shoe, one would see the sun rising over a stone in the distance.  This stone was named the heelstone.  On December 21, the winter solstice, one could stand at the same point, turn one hundred eighty degrees, and watch the sun rise between the opening of the stones making the bottom of the horse-shoe. Other such relationships within Stonehenge indicate important days in the year.
Gerald Hawkins was a scientist that was intrigued with Stonehenge.  He knew about the relation between Stonehenge and the seasonal solstices, but he wondered if any other relationships existed within Stonehenge.  Hawkins took over two hundred measurements between rocks, openings, and any other distinguishing markings within Stonehenge.  Of his measurements, twenty-four had some relevance to the position of the sun, moon, or stars.  Hawkins also was the man to explain the bizarre Aubrey Holes as a lunar calender.
Through all of this research, mysterious still remain about Stonehenge.  The large stone in the middle of the structure is one of these mysteries.  This stone is called the Altar Stone.  Scientists have no idea as to the original location of the stone.  Scientists don’t even know what the stone’s uses were.  All scientists have figured ut about this stone is that somewhere in history it was moved.  This just proves that no matter how much you research something, there will always be an element of mystery that will never go away.
Evan Hadingham once remarked,
“An air of mystery broods over Stonehenge.  Learned men from all fields of science, as well as spiritualists, clairvoyants and cranks, Have studied the remains to try uncover the secrets of the past.  Was it a temple of the sun?  A royal palace?  A magic shrine??  An observatory for studying the heavens?  Was it even a gigantic computer built centuries before the Greeks mastered mathematics? One day, perhaps, the answers to all the questions will be known.Or will these colossal stones guard their secret for eternity?”  (83).
For the past one hundred years we have been studying Stonehenge.  There have been countless digs for relics of the past.  Over these past one hundred years much had been learned about Stonehenge.  For all the research, we must realize that all of these reasons are not solutions, but merely speculations.  We may dig, study, and scrutinize every part of Stonehenge, but we will never know all of the secrets of the ancient megalith known as Stonehenge.

Salt and Iron debate during the Han dynasty

Emperor Wu-ti began his reign in 140 BC. During its early years he was under the moderating influence of relatives and court officials; however, by the late 130s he had decided that the essentially defensive foreign policy of his predecessors was not going to solve his foreign problems. In 133 he launched attacks on the nomadic Hsiung-nu people, who constituted China’s principal threat on the northern frontier, and thereafter he committed his realm to the expansion of the empire. By 101 Wu-ti’s troops, spurred by an emperor heedless of their hardships and intolerant of defeat, had extended Chinese control in all directions. His wars and other undertakings exhausted the state’s reserves and forced him to look for other sources of income. New taxes were decreed and state monopolies on salt, iron, and wine were instituted.

Following Wu-ti’s death, a public debate on the state monopolies was held in 81 BC, an account of which was published as the dialog Discourses on Salt and Iron. Officers were appointed to equalize distribution by purchasing cheap commodities and selling when prices were high, thus preventing prices from being too low or too high and maximizing profit for the government. Although treasury deficits were eliminated and adequate stores supplied the armies on the frontiers, the people forced to eat without salt because of its high cost or use inferior iron tools to farm became discontent. Thus sixty scholars were summoned from around the empire to debate the issues.

In the dialog proponents of the government’s current policies argued that they successfully provided iron tools to the peasants and increased trade and wealth. Criticizing this profiteering, Confucian reformers emphasizing agriculture wanted the use of money reduced. They found government harsh and oppressive, complaining of the disparities between the rich and poor. Critics also felt that expansion and foreign adventures had weakened China without maintaining safety. They argued the ancients had honored virtue and discredited the use of arms. Government realists disagreed and relying on laws and punishments pointed to the success of Shang Yang; but critics countered that it was short-lived and that Qin policies were unscrupulous. The reformers emphasized moral principles and complained that government officials were using their positions to increase their incomes to incalculable levels, a practice Confucius disapproved.

Wu-ti came to power from the popular support of his apparent Confucian beliefs.  He, however, drew from the legalistic system under the Qin dynasty and found the wealth need to fund his expansion through practices such as the monopolies. The debate revealed the clear divisions between the realistic legalists in power and the principled scholars who wanted reforms. The government retained the monopolies on salt and iron, but it became clear that many of the Confucian literates saw his actions for what they truly were.  Wu-ti bridged the division between state and society and created a system where non-Confucian ideals filled the government pockets by oppressing the commoner.  An important quote from the debate is that “Government should not compete with people for profit.”

South Africa-Segregation

Discrimination against nonwhites was inherent in South African society from the earliest days.  Since the British settled in South Africa in 1795 there has been social, economic, and political exclusion, being ruled by whites despite the fact that whites held about 10% of the population. (Msft. Encarta)  Segregation and inequality between whites and other races had existed as a matter of custom and practice, but after 1948 these practices were made into laws that would not be changed easily.  These new laws marked the start of apartheid as the country’s official policy as well as the start of the National Party’s reign of power.  The National Party stressed white supremacy and promoted separated development.  This separated development entitled that the races be segregated, moving nonwhites out of urban areas into the outskirts of city into so-called “home lands” or bantustans with people of their own race.  They also implemented more laws; that determined what jobs nonwhites could get, what type of education they could receive, who they could come into contact with, the facilities they could use, what race they could marry, and the positions they could hold in politics; none.  The National Party, under the control of Hendrik Verwoerd, further alienated nonwhite citizens by passing a law that made them citizens of their own bantustans, not citizens of South Africa.  The National Party rationalized, saying that this law gave blacks an opportunity to participate in a political process within the bantustans.  However, their real motives were get out of paying welfare to millions of nonwhites without losing the benefits of an endless supply of cheap labor.  The entire ethnic population was in total disagreement with the South African government’s attempt to eliminate their rights.  While the start of apartheid was not a memorable moment in South Africa’s history, it was a major factor in shaping the nation.  Many political parties and organizations today, were formed through the protest of apartheid from 1948 to 1990.  These groups played a key role in spreading disapproval of apartheid policies to the citizens and officials of South Africa and ultimately lead to its removal.

From the induction of apartheid, there has been much resistance to the policy.  One group that adamantly opposed the introduction of apartheid was the South African Native Congress, which was formed by a group of black citizens in 1912.  They protested the land appropriation laws of that time and were opposed to the British. Later renamed as the African National Congress, the organization increased their following under the leadership of Nelson Mandela during the 1950’s when the apartheid laws were being implemented. After decades of receiving no response to their pleas for justice and equality, the group launched a non-violent campaign in 1952 in which apartheid laws were deliberately broken.  The African National Congress’ goal was not to start a revolution, but to try to change the existing system.  In an attempt to do just that, the ANC brought together 3000 delegates and signed the Freedom Charter.  This document stated that South Africa belongs to all its citizens and that “every man and woman shall have the right to vote for and stand as candidates for all bodies which make law.”  However, this document was not recognized by the national government of that time.  In 1960, with the increase in the ANC’s involvement in protests and a new group called the Pan-Africanist Congress’ protests, the South African government feared more deaths so they banned all black African political organizations.  Mandela’s arrest sparked anger amongst all ethnic citizens and organizations and produced a volatile environment.  In an effort to ease tensions, a constitution was drafted in 1984, which allowed Asians and Coloreds (milado) to be in parliament but it still excluded black Africans who made up 70% of the population.  This, along with all the other race inequalities and segregation brought the movement against apartheid to a raging climax.  Finally, with apartheid being criticized internationally, with nations putting economic sanctions on them, and more riots by African organizations, the government’s apartheid policies began to unravel. In a historic and memorable day in 1992, the new president, F. W. de Klerk, announced an official end to apartheid and released Nelson Mandela from prison.  This day had been long awaited and much earned.  The South African organizations had played a key role in protesting, and eventually the downfall of the apartheid policies.  These groups still exist today and are influential in South Africa’s politics. With the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994, South Africa had experienced a complete turnaround from racial inequality.  The end of apartheid was a major, if not the most important, event in this country’s troubled history.  This event symbolizes South Africa’s freedom from oppression and the beginning of new life for ethnic citizens.


South Africa’s history is incased with events that shaped the way the nation is today.  Four of the most important events in their history are the Boer war, South Africa’s independence, the induction of apartheid policies, and the end of apartheid.  These four incidents, but not just these four, molded South Africa into the country it is today.  The fight for independence as well as the fight to end apartheid was fought for the purpose of gaining and keeping the rights that the ethnic citizens, and South African people as a whole, deserved.

Submarine Warfare in World War 1

The First “World War,” also known as the Great War, took place after the turn of the century from 1914 to 1918, and was named this because it was the first conflict of global proportions. The war resulted in the loss of military lives and the near destruction of Europe.    The massive destruction of the war was largely a result of the use of technology in warfare.  The use of technology in warfare was a result  of the industrial revolution at the end of the nineteenth century which brought mechanization and mass production to society.  This brought the use of things never used or heard of into the war and included airplanes, submarines, and tanks, as well as radio communications, machine guns, and poison gas.  The use of submarines played a major part in getting the U.S. to join the war.

With the launching of the Dreadnought, the first battle ship to concentrate all artillery power to massive twelve inch guns and break the twenty knot speed barrier, the worlds navies became obsolete overnight.  The world powers were rushing to build a new class of war ships to replace the older out dated ones.  Germany and England soon became entrapped  in a naval arms race, with each trying keep pace with the other’s building program.   When the War arrived in 1914, both Germany and England had navies made up of heavily armed capital ships, which were large heavily armed and thickly armored battle ships such as Destroyers.  The world waited for the clash of Germany’s high seas fleet and England’s Grand fleet.   The Great War ships only had a few encounters such as in the battle at Jutland and Dogger while the underestimated and largely overlooked submarine would play a revolutionary part.
In the War’s second month Germany’s tiny U-boat fleet made up of only twenty six submarines and ranking fifth in size among the war’s combatants demonstrated the tremendous offensive potential of the “Underseeboot”.   On September 5th, 1914 commanding officer on the U-21 Korvettenkapitan Otto Hersing found the British light cruiser Pathfinder moving toward his position, submerging the U-boat had only to wait till the Pathfinder was within his range.  He fired a single torpedo and hit the Pathfinder accurately and the ship went down in under four minutes with heavy loss of life.   The true eye opener came merely seventeen days later when  the U-9, under the command of Kapitanleutnant otto Weddigen, sank three 10,000 ton British armored cruisers, Aboukir, Houge, and Cressy in the course of only one hour using five torpedoes. Approximately one thousand four hundred British sailors lost their lives in the attack and the loss of three capital ships was embarrassing to the British Navy.  Naval establishments around the world sat up and took notice at that point.   The sinking of the British cruisers had proven the submarine’s worth to the military as an offensive weapon but its use against merchant shipping brought the weapon its own place in the military world.  On February 4, 1915 angered by the British blockade of the North Sea, Germany declared the water around the British Isles a war zone.   Germany now would sink all merchant vessels found in those waters without warning.  This was the first time the world had seen a form of unrestricted submarine warfare on merchant shipping.   As result England was receiving no goods from the outside world  which was very nearly starving out England because of the unmerciful nature of the German attacks.
The United States, long a neutral spectator to the war, found herself slowly being drawn into the conflict.  Before her entry in 1917 a warning was sent by Germany that American waters would not be immune to the U-boat threat.  Germans sent two voyages to the town of Newport, Rhode Island in that same year.  After the United states entered the war on April 6, 1917 they waited for a reappearance of the submarines for months before seeing another U-boat.  When they finally did it was for the sinking of the American ship S.S. Carolina.
The S.S. Carolina  was a five thousand ton passenger liner transporting over 217 passengers from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to New York City.  When a message was intercepted by a wireless operator that the Isabel B. Wiley  was sunk by a German U-boat, no more that fifteen miles away, the message was instantly sent to the S.S. Carolina.  Captain Barbour then put his ship in a defensive zig zag pattern to make the ship a less easy target but it was too late. The U-boat had already fired shells in to the ship’s wake disabling it.   The captain fearing for the safety of his passengers then loaded the life boats and as soon as they were clear of the ship witnessed the U-boat fire shell upon shell till the S.S. Carolina rolled over and sank.  No lives were lost in the sinking but later life boat number five was overturned and 13 people were drowned.    By doing this the Germans not only insured American involvement in the war but they were also taking their own losses.
In 1915 Germany was also losing heavily to British submarines and the most successful of these attacks was the Submarine Massacre of 1915.   October 10-11, 1915  the British submarine E19, in the command of Lieutenant-Commander Francis Cromie was patrolling south of the Swedish island Oland when they spotted a German cargo steamer and the crew was made to abandon the steamer so the British crew could sink it, but they were unable to sink it due to rough weather.   The following morning E19 hailed the 75m long German steamer S/S Walther Leonhardt loaded with iron ore from Sweden.   The crew was ordered to  enter the life boat  and the ship was detonated with explosive in the hull.  Later that morning another ship loaded with ore from Sweden, that had witnessed the previous sinking was spotted but refused to stop being chased by the submarine at  surface speed with deck guns firing till it ran aground near the coast.  The sub crew then placed dynamite in the hold but failed to sink her.   About 1 pm another ship, this time a 100m German ship called the S/S Gutrune, was stopped and after the crew was safely in the life boat  was sunk using valves and pumps on the hold.
Submarine warfare played a major part in World War 1 and was just as important as all the trench battles on the Eastern Front.  In most  cases gained much more victories and losses in a much quicker fashion than the trenches.  The battles in the trenches were long and resulted in much more loss of life while the naval battles in most cases helped bring about the end of the war.   They played the part of starving out Germany  and bringing a halt to the war just by barricading trade.  If not for the use of submarines in the war it would have been a much longer war and would probably have resulted in complete destruction of Europe.  Also if Germans had not used the submarine when it did America’s  entering in the war would have been prolonged and the allies would probably have lost.

The Stock Market Crashes of 1929 and 1987

The stock market crash of 1929 occurred over a period of time that was the beginning of what is called the Great Depression. Everyone wanted to invest their money in the stock market. People thought that the stock market was the perfect place to make money. The Stock Market Crash began on Oct. 24,1929 as stock prices were already dropping. On this day approximately  $15 billion dollars was lost and many lost their life savings. Companies stocks prices dropped and banks also lost all their money because it was loaned to buy stocks and the people were unable to repay the banks. The Stock Market Crash was a disaster.

The stock market was not always this unstable as it was in 1929. In 1928, the prices of the stock market rose 40%. This was the raise in stocks that got the attention of millions of people across the nation. Everybody started investing in the stock market through banks, companies or directly. It was not just that people invested too much money, the stock market was manipulated. The prices were sometimes set according to the wanting of bigger investor, which would hurt the smaller investors a lot.

Borrowing money became very popular during this time. People needed money to invest in the stock market. Many borrowed money, either from banks in order to buy stocks. The investor lost all their money and could not repay the banks. The lender could never be repaid because the investor lost all their money, because there was no place where they could get it back. In 1929, the stock prices kept going up and up and were so high that people started to sell all their stocks and the prices dropped sharply on October 21. People were losing money rapidly. There were a few people who did not lose their money because they were smart and sold all their stocks before the prices dropped. Many people eventually lost all their money in banks stocks that were invested in the stock market.

The Stock Market Crash of 1929 marked the end of an era, and the beginning of the Great Depression. People lost lots of money, their jobs and homes.
On October 19, 1987, the largest stock-market drop in Wall Street history occurred. It was called  “Black Monday” when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508.32 points, losing 22.6% of its total value. That fall far surpassed the one-day loss of 12.9% that began the great stock market crash of 1929 and foreshadowed the Great Depression. The Dow’s 1987 fall also triggered panic selling and similar drops in stock markets worldwide. Unlike in 1929, the market soon rebounded after the crash, posting record one-day high gains of 102.27 the next day and 186.64 points two days later. By September 1989, the Dow had regained all the value it had lost in the crash.


Archeologists found 3 shipwrecks that show the different stages of shipwreck building and how they tried to improve in cost and in labor. Archeologists describe the different cargos, and possible explanations on how it was sunk. The archeologist also built scale models of the ship and also tries to build the original ships back and in a sense “enters” the ship maker’s life and discovers some problems he might have had, and how he built the ship.

The Greek shipwreck of Kyrenea occurred near 500 B.C. in the Mediterranean Sea. On this voyage its cargo was large wine containers called amphorae. The amphorae were found all stacked up neatly on one side, and all clustered on the other side. This proves that when the vessel hit the ocean floor it was leaning on one side and eventually the other side collapsed and all the amphorae got scattered. They found 403 intact amphorae and compared them to the previously collected amphorae and then determined the date of the shipwreck. The archeologists also determined that it was sunk sometime in September by all the fig leaves that were found on board. How the ship sank remained a mystery until they found eight iron spears in the ship but no gold, but there is a lack of bones. They determined that pirates sank it because pirating was not an uncommon thing at that age in time. The Kyrenea was built “Hull First” this is the beginning of the ship building evolution.


The shipwreck of Yassi Ada is the next shipwreck to happen in chronological order. It was build sometime near 625 A.D. and was dated by the coins found on board. It was build half hull first then the rest frame first proving an evolution of shipbuilding. Found inscribed is the ship were Greek words translated “This ship belongs to George, Sr. Sea Captain.”


The Arabian shipwreck of Serge Liman took place in about 1025 A.D. and was dated by a Arabian glass bottle found on board. The bottle was round in shape and had a long arabian neck. This is one of a few left that were found intact. The ship was carying glass that was to be recycled from an old glass factory because the millions of shattered glass peices could not be assembled together and they also found peices that were molten. This ship was built frame first, the cheapest and easiest way to build ships. This is the last ship building evolution step to occur.


The ship building evolution occurred because people always needed cheaper ways to build ships and ways that would reduce labor costs. Ships where first built hull first and as time progressed they started building ships half hull first half frame first, and finally only frame first. Frame first is the most advanced because the hull can be bent to size and held together by iron nails.

Seven Causes For Industrialism

There are several causes of industrialism. Furthermore, there are different interpretations for each causes¹ apparent worth. Below, I will attempt to describe my opinions about the importance for each cause for the seven causes of industrialism.
The United States of America is a very large, and lucky country.  We have fertile farm lands on one end, mountains on the other, and desert somewhere in between. Our size and location gives us a great amount of natural resources. That is why I chose Vast Natural Resources as the number one cause for industrialism. Also, Railroad building is a result of having vast natural resources.
The vast natural resources that this country has has given many inventors the opportunity to make great inventions. This is my reason for having Inventions as the second most important cause for industrialism. A prime example of my opinion is the fact that you could not build a railroad, if you did not have land to lay the track, wood to make the ties, and coal to run the engine. Since the railroad car is an invention, then Inventions are a cause of railroad building.
Everyone knows that the railroad was an invention. However, the railroad made money by selling goods to other parts of the country. Also, the railroad saved money by transporting more goods for a cheaper price. This is why I chose Abundant Capitol for the third most important cause of industrialism. Also, having an abundant amount of capitol meant that you could build more railroads. Another result from having an abundant amount of capitol was that a person would have more money, which meant they would be  able to have a mobile labor supply. That is why I chose Mobile Labor Supply as the fourth most important cause for industrialism.
With a mobile labor supply, it is easy to get more accomplished and at a faster pace. That is why I chose my fifth most important reason for industrialism as Rail Road Building.  The government had to protect the rights of the companies that were in the railroad building business. That is why I chose Government Policies as the sixth most important cause for industrialism.
Government policies kept everyone who was involved with railroad building happy. This led to what I chose for the seventh most important cause for industrialism: Positive Attitudes. Also, positive attitudes led to more railroad building because of the fact that people get more accomplished when they have a positive attitude.

Survival in Auschwitz

In the History of the world there have been few incidences of atrocities that equal the treatment of the Jews in Europe during World War II.   It is difficult to accept the levels of systematic cruelty and terror experienced during this period. In the book Survival in Auschwitz, Primo Levi paints a picture with disturbing detail that is meant to serve as a reminder of the unimaginable horrors millions of men, women and children were forcefully subjected to as a result of hate.

As a Jew, Levi knew he was in danger while living in fascist Northern Italy.  By 1943, the Nazis had moved south and set up holding camps around Italy to detain political prisoners and those of the Jewish nationality until they could be transported to established concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Dachau. This book depicts what happened to Levi after his arrest in 1944.  Along with 650 others, he was loaded into a freight train for a four day journey without food or water and without the liberty to leave the train at anytime.  Upon their arrival at the camp of Auschwitz, Poland, the first of a precession of selections took place.  The German SS Soldiers separated those they deemed capable of work from those they deemed incapable, such as women, children and elderly. Only 135 of the 650 from Levi’s train were admitted into Auschwitz, the other 515 went immediately to the gas chambers. These methods of selection were to a degree, a logical means as compared to other random selections. “Later, a simpler method was adopted that involved merely opening both doors on the train.   Without warning or instruction to the new arrivals, those who by chance climbed down on one side of the convoy entered the camp; the others went to the gas chamber.”(20)

He was herded with the others into the camp and after being striped naked and having his head shaved, he was given an old striped uniform and the identification numbers 174517 tattooed on his arm. Levi recalled with remarkable accuracy the humiliation and confusion felt as he was forced to assimilate into his new surroundings.  The food rations were too insufficient to stave off the hunger.  Thousands of others around him were suffering and unavoidably dying as a result of this insufficient food supply.  Although he was new to the camp, his experiences with others and his own observations told him that the Germans militant nature was at its worst.  In order to outlive the war and survive, he found ways to maintain the illusion of usefulness with the least possible exertion. Any protest or disobedience from prisoners ended swiftly with beatings and death.

An iron sign above the front gates proclaimed the camp slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei”.  This translated to; “work gives you freedom. ” Prisoners of Auschwitz were forced to work seven days a week with two Sundays off a month which were filled with tedious, exhausting tasks and were often the only opportunity available was to attend to personal hygiene needs. The bulk of their time was spent working 16-hour days in factories and around the camp, making supplies for the war and other items for the Germans. With little food and inadequate clothing, it was easy to fall ill or die from exhaustion while working in the snow and rain.  Levi was lucky enough to be sent to (and return from) the Ka-be or the infirmary to recover from an injury to his Achilles tendon.  The Ka-be was overcrowded, and was populated by individuals with deadly, communicable diseases such as typhus and dysentery.  There were no medicines available to relieve the symptoms and the pain and suffering was widespread. Despite this he was able to rest and build up some strength before returning back to work.  Much of the work assigned to them was needless.  It was given for the purpose of wearing down the prisoner and making him weaker. A weak prisoner was less likely to protest or attempt to escape.

Levi described how many of the prisoners, after long hours of manual labor, would gather in a corner of the camp for a market.  They would trade rations and stolen goods.  Such goods as a spoon or buttons were as valuable as gold. The market followed all the classical economic laws. This seemed to show the ability of people to live and think and work in the most adverse of conditions.  Inside the barbed wire, the prisoners had created their own social and economical world in order to endure.

Primo Levi seems to write as a means in which he could express the physical trauma that he experienced as a survivor of Auschwitz and it’s emotional consequences.  He recalls for the reader the challenges that he faced on a daily and hourly basis to meet the basic needs necessary to remain alive.  Levi depicts his time as a prisoner with a straight forward and narrative approach and with an almost unemotional tone that often disguises the horror of what he is describing.  It would be easy to bluntly horrify the reader with a book about life in a death camp, but this is not his intention, instead he produces a realistic account of events with an insight into his own feelings and emotions. Although most were only mentioned briefly, other prisoners are introduced to show empathy to the many nationalities that were persecuted.  He tells the story of the oppressed and nameless rather then that of the adversary.  He does not concern himself with trying to justify the motives behind the Nazis actions. “They behaved with the calm assurance of people doing their normal duty of everyday.”(19)
If not for his degree in chemistry, which earned him a place in the Chemistry Command working indoors during the last winter, Primo would have probably suffered the same fate as the eleven million people, six million of them Jews, who died during the war.  It is hard to imagine the reasons why a man who had survived such incomprehensible horrors would commit suicide, but that is how Levi ended his life 42 years after being liberated by the Russians.  For every one person whom survived and told his story like Primo Levi, There are thousands of others with equally shocking and disturbing stories who were gassed and murdered at the hands of the Nazis.


Stonehenge, one of the great Seven Wonders of the World, but what do we really know about it.  What was its purpose, how was it built and by whom.  Many different answers come up when asking the question “What was the purpose of Stonehenge”, some say that it was a horrid place, which the Druids used for religious sacrifice, but most others have a more positive idea.  A temple of the sun, a Pagan Cathedral, or a holy sanctuary in the midst of blessed ground, or maybe a clock or even a place to Predict Eclipses.  No one really knows what it was used for; this is due to a great number of facts surrounding all of these ideas.  Many ideas come up when talking about why this great structure was built along with an equal amount on who built it.  The Druids is the most common response because the Druids inhabited most of the area in which Stonehenge is built.  The Pagans are another common answer to this age old question because of the building structure of Stonehenge how it resembles a Pagan Cathedral. Whoever built Stonehenge, they were an extremely advanced society either on purpose or by complete fluke.  Many say that because of Stonehenge’s exact solar and lunar alignment.  That is was the most common thought is that it was built to predict eclipses for worshiping.  The following essay is going to state the facts and myths about the great Stonehenge.  By the end of this essay, hopefully a solid conclusion will be found to be the most plausible answer for Stonehenges construction.

The moon, it has been a sight for all over time.  Back long ago little was none of the reasons for an eclipses, it was thought to be a sing from the gods.  In a society which worshiped gods for all the mysteries of the world, the eclipse must have been very special.  The builders of Stonehenge must have been marveled at the sight of this holy event, which happened every four years.  Most likely the great Stonehenge was built to be a prediction device for the eclipse.  Many people have studied Stonehenge and many have found that the stones are mathematically placed to show when and eclipse might occur.  “In favor of this solution – that the Aubrey holes were used as a computer – are these facts: the number 56 is the smallest number that measures the swing of the moon with an over-all accuracy of better than 3 days, and lunar cycles provide the only method of long-range eclipse prediction related to the seasons of the year.”
So taking in to account that Stonehenge could predict eclipses another thought is that it was just used for predicting the full moon.  The full moon meant new life, so perhaps they used Stonehenge for ceremonies to worship new life.  Seasons changed, and the people of British Isles had no idea why all of a sudden the weather would begin to change and the day’s length increase or decrease.  That is why experts say that it was used to predict the winter and summer solstice and the spring and fall equinox.  “ The earth moves around the sun in an orbit that is nearly a circle, and the axis of rotation of the earth maintains an effectively fixed direction.  The orientation of the sun to the two hemispheres of the Earth changes during the year, and this change causes the seasons.”

Stonehenge was not only, many other sites of similar age or older are linked to Stonehenge.  There was the Cursus, and Woodhenge.  Cursus “meaning Course in Latin” has similar features, which shows that Stonehenge was not by accident.  “Archaeologists think that the inner Woodhenge structure erected after the outlying ditch and bank were placed, probably by the same Secondary Neolithic people who started Stonehenge.”  Woodhenge, some say it was like a rough draft of the monument, built to exact proportions from which builders could use while constructing the stone version. Another reason for Woodhenge is that it was used for housing for the men who built Stonehenge.  With that in mind, you can draw the conclusion that the constructors cared for the people building their structure.  To support that theory, objects like pottery and household odds and ends have been found showing us that a few people did live there at one point in time.

Back when Stonehenge was built people had no way of telling the time.  Perhaps the Druids wished to keep records of events.  Stonehenge is said by some to be one widespread sundial, a clock used in ancient times.  When the sun rises it casts a shadow though an opening in the one side of Stonehenge, the day passes and the shadow move across the middle showing the druids the time of day.

Of course when researching anything you come across facts and fiction.  Stories say that Stonehenge was associated with Merlin and King Arthur.

“In the realm of purer myth, there may be more than engineering connection between Merlin and Stonehenge.  Some mythographers have thought that the name “Merlin” is a corruption of the name of the ancient Celtic sky god “Myrddin,” who might have been worshiped at stone monuments.”  There is a story, which credits Merlin for creating Stonehenge by transporting the stones from Ireland by magic, and that he and King Arthur are both buried under the great stones.  Although many stories say this to be true, that is all they are…. Stories.  Merlin was a character made up in a time when the British needed a reason to believe in their importance, Stonehenge has nothing to do with the make believe wizard.

And finally, the idea that it was used for ancient sacrifice by the druids to there gods.  This is a logical idea, do to the facts presented by the construction of Stonehenge.  The Alter Stone is the stone in the middle of the circle of stones this would have been ideal for a sacrifice of any kind, and the alignment of the stones look like pillars in a temple which means this could just as well been a temple.

Stonehenge really boggles the mind when you look at all the possibilities it holds.  Where the people back then so intelligent that they knew how to predict seasons and eclipses, or were they religious cult members using it as a horrid sacrificial temple.  For all we know Merlin did just make it appear out of nowhere, this is all very vague.  But this essay was to give an educated guess about “What was the purpose of Stonehenge?” From the information I found there are many ways I could go.  The two most realistic were the temple and eclipse prediction theories.  I’m going to go with the eclipse theory, there are two many coincidences for it to have just been an accident, they must have been an advanced civilization which understood the most complicated mathematics and building techniques.  It is not so unrealistic to assume this, we know so little about the culture back then who says that they couldn’t have figured it out.  So in conclusion, I believe the purpose of Stonehenge was to predict the appearance of eclipses, do to their beliefs an eclipse was a sign from the gods that perhaps they had done something wrong and by worshiping it they could make it right.  Stonehenge is truly the greatest mystery in the world, I hope they find out what it was truly for someday.

South Africa’s Struggles

Throughout Earth’s history imperialism has done more harm that good, to the smaller overpowered territories.   The greater more dominant nation would use and exploit the people and the land for their own use without much concern to the devastation it is causing to the land and the society of these territories.  The native people of the land most often loose their  traditional ways of life and are thrown into the ways and ideals of the dominating nation.  However these people are usually taken advantage of and do not share the same equality in pay, jobs, and living standards as the people of the dominant nation.  Such an example can be seen in Cry, The Beloved Country written by Alan Paton in 1946.  This novel is talks about the deteriorating state the South African people and their land is in, caused by modernization from the British society.  Stephen Kumalo, a priest, is brought to the city of Johannesburg from his simple country life, to seek the fates of his lost family members.  IN the great city he sees for the first time how imperialism has affect his people, their land, and their society as a whole for the worst.  Imperialism has caused much devastation in South Africa and the only way to salvation is for the people of South Africa to regain control over their own land, society, and lives.

The deteriorating situation that Imperialism has caused on South Africa can be seen throughout the land.  South Africa use to be a land of beauty where even “the ground is holy”  (3) and the people of the land use to be part of it, treating it with respect.  After the Imperial nations began to settle in South Africa, the abuse and rape of the land and its people began.  The land is “not kept,.. or cared for”  anymore and a “sickness of the land” (22) is poisoning everything from and of the land.  They build and alter the land as many times as they can to create roads, pollution, waste, and great cities. However these great cities that the great imperial Empires built is any nothing but great cities of chaos where “you can see liquor running in the streets” (23) and “there was much prostitution” (45)..  Sin and evilness flood the streets and allies.  The land is becoming more desecrated  as more and more people flee from their traditional lives and become another victim of this great imperial illness that is spreading throughout the land.

Yet this imperial illness is allowed to continue throughout the land because the people are afraid to stand up and find a cure to this illness.   Much or Africa’s population is in a state of  “sleep” (184) caused by the fear of the man.  This fear that is cast upon them prevents them to awaken and “rise… with thoughts of rebellion and dominion” (184).  Kumalo believes that in order to remove this fear they must take action and show the people they are not afraid anymore.  They must arise and strike (185) by not continuing to work in the mines.  For their pride and honor is better than the “wages” (185)  that they receive from working for the people who oppress them.  By closing down the mines they will create fear back to their oppressors. Once the mine owners see the “thoughts of rebellion” (184) of the mine works and discover they can no longer cause fear among the workers, their power to control them will fade away.  Without this power of control they will become uncertain as to what will happen to them and it will “spread to every kind of industry”(189).  However unity among all of the workers must first be established.   The people must be able to unite and stand together without fear and declare for themselves that they will no longer surrender to this illness that has sicken them for so long.

The cure to South Africa’s illness is unity of both black and whites to retake what right fully belong to them, their land and society.   As Kumalo is praying for the restoration of  Ndorsheni, he realizes that for Ndorsheni and South Africa as whole to become free “men must come together” (229) and unite.  They must “do something”  (229) to regain what they have lost since they fell for Imperialism, and their lives were taken away. Both the chief and the white man must “hold the pieces together” (230) in order to begin the process of unity.  Once they united they can work together to preserve what they have left and to grow from there.   By reaching to the children they reach to the future, so they must start at the schools and provide the necessary tools to the children to learn and use what they gained for the future.

In the end the Africa’s situation will continue.  For changes do not occur over night.  The Kumalo brothers may have planted the seeds of change in Africa, but as to whether they my see the fruits of the seeds is another story.  They have done all they could do and now all they can do is wait and let the next generation of children and leaders fight the Imperialistic rule and declare in one voice that they want to be free.  They want to work, and have more money.  They want to control the destinies’ of their own lives and the fate of South Africa.

The Salem Witchcraft Trials

The Salem Witchcraft trials in Massachusetts during 1692 resulted in nineteen innocent men and women being hanged, one man pressed to death, and in the deaths of more than seventeen who died in jail. It all began at the end of 1691 when a few girls in the town began to experiment with magic by gathering around a crystal ball to try to find the answer to questions such as “what trade their sweet harts should be of “.  This conjuring took place in the Parris household where a woman named Tituba, an Indian slave, headed the rituals. Soon after they had begun to practice these rituals, girls who had been involved, including the Master Parris’ daughter and niece, became sick. They had constant fits, twitched, cried, made odd noises, and huddled in corners.  The family called in doctors, and they were treated for many illnesses.  Nothing helped.  Many weeks later after running out of reasons for their strange behavior, all of their symptoms seemed to lead to one belief, “The evil hand is upon them.” They were possessed by the Devil.

At first the families of the children could not find anyone  to accuse for being the witch responsible for possessing the children.  Then, late in February of 1692, Parris’ neighbor, Mary Sibley recommended that Parris’ slaves, Tituba and John Indian,  should work a spell to try to find the culprits.  Even after trying this solution the girls’ condition worsened, and the people responsible still had not been found.  The girls began to see hazy shadows and believed that these shadows were of the people who had done this to them. After more and more children became victims of this, the hunting for the witches who were to blame for the girls’ sickness began to get more serious. By the end of February 1692, not one, but three witches had been named.  These women were Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, all residents of Salem Village.

Sarah Good was a poor “socially undesirable”   member of the village of Salem which made her susceptible to accusations of being a witch and of practicing black magic.  She was well known in the village for her eccentric behavior, and in the past people had suspected her of being a witch. Her husband, William Good, was a simple laborer and his inadequate income forced the Goods to accept charity and to beg for goods from their neighbors. Sometimes they even had to live with their neighbors, but this never lasted long. Sarah Good’s actions and behaviors would often cause unrest in the hosts and their families, and then the Good family would be asked to leave. A few of the villagers they stayed with reported that their livestock would begin to sicken and die after the Goods were forced to leave.  More than fifteen families claimed that Sarah Good bewitched their livestock while others reported that she could make objects disappear into thin air.  When Good was questioned about these accusations, her answers were always tight-lipped and aggressive, further leading the people to believe that she was in fact a witch.

Sarah Osborne was also one of the first three women accused of putting spells on the girls and possessing them. Unlike Tituba and Sarah Good, however, she was from a very wealthy household.  Although it is believed sometimes that only poor people were accused of being witches, in the Salem Witchcraft Trials, this was not true, as in the case of Osborne. Women and men accused of being witches were either looked down upon in the community or envied for their land and wealth,  as Sarah Osborne was in Salem.

Tituba, like Good, was very poor.  She worked as a servant in the Parris home and was a Carib Indian born in Barbados in the West Indies. Reverend Parris brought Tituba to New England when he was still a merchant, and after this she married John Indian who also worked as slave for Reverend Parris. Tituba was the person asked to aid with the girls’ illnesses by making a witch’s cake to find their culprit and after this did not work, she was arrested four days later for being a witch herself.

Each of these three women was examined by local Salem officials before they were sent off to await trial in a Boston jail.  The girls, who these witches had supposedly inflicted sickness upon, were also present during these trials to show the court how much pain the three women had caused.  During the trial Sarah Good kept insisting that she was not guilty but rather that she had been wrongly accused.  When asked why she hurts the innocent children she responded, “I do not hurt them. I scorn it.”    Then, she attempted to shift all blame onto Sarah Osborne who in turn responded with disbelief. She said that she “was more like to be bewitched than she was a witch.”

While Good and Osborne were trying to defend themselves, Tituba confessed, most likely in fear of her Master, Reverend Parris. When asked who was to blame for all the possessed girls she responded, “The devil for aught I know.”   Tituba told the whole court about her pact with the Devil and the type of wonderful things he gave her in return for her service and loyalty to him.  Then, after she was done telling her story, when the magistrate asked her who she had seen doing the witchcraft, Tituba says, “Goody Osborn and Sarah Good and I do not know who the other were. Sarah Good and Osborn would have me hurt the children but I would not . . .  ”   So according to Tituba there were still witches out there bewitching innocent children.

After Tituba’s confession, the entire community of Salem increased their efforts to find the witches who were bringing such horrible events to their village. The children still were not able to come up with names for their perpetrators until a little thirteen-year-old girl, Ann Putnam, cried out the name of Martha Corey. Corey, like Osborne, was not poor at all.

While she was being tried, Martha Corey had the audacity to laugh at questions presented to her. She acted naive and said she did not even know if there were any witches in New England She also labeled herself as a “Gospel-woman.”   Her presence and attitude during the trial led many to believe that she was in fact guilty of practicing witchcraft.

From this point on, after Ann Putnam’s accusation, the females of Salem showed no hesitation in naming the witches who had brought this upon them.  The number of women accused was monumental, and the court had very little time to examine each accusation thoroughly. Soon, anyone who was called a witch was jailed, whether it was a man, woman, child, or adult. Even Dorcas Good, the four-year-old daughter of Sarah Good was accused and thrown into jail; a four-year-old child who was barely old enough to make coherent sentences, was convicted of being a witch and “taking supernatural revenge on the possessed for taking away her parents.”   This is how paranoid the people of Salem had become. Everyone jumped at the mention of a witch, afraid that they would be the next person to become a possessed victim of their mysterious black magic. The villagers went from the four-year-old girl to seventy-one-year-old Rebecca Nurse followed by forty-seven-year-old Elizabeth Proctor.  Both of these women who were from very wealthy, prosperous homes, were imprisoned because people thought Rebecca Nurse’s mother and Proctor’s grandmother practiced black magic when they were alive. At this point, anyone who was a family member of an accused witch was most likely to wind up in jail also.

Next, John Proctor became the first male to be charged for being a witch because he stood by his belief that his wife was innocent and spoke out against the court.  The Salem Witchcraft Trials were completely outrageous, convicting women with no solid evidence other than a villager saying that they themselves had seen the person practicing black magic.  No one in the court bothered to think that the witnesses could be lying and presenting false testimonies.

After John Proctor a long list of alleged witches followed. Mary Easty and Sarah Cloyce, sisters of Rebecca Nurse who had expressed their negative feelings about the trials were locked up in jail.  Dorcas Hoar of Beverly, Susanna Martin of Amesbury, and Bridget Bishop of Salem Town were all taken to jail to be put on trial because they had been convicted of committing witchcraft crimes in the 1660′s, 16670′s, or 1680′s.  Afterwards, many of Elizabeth Proctor’s children were named along with her sister and sister-in-law.  Likewise, Martha Corey’s husband was put in jail to be brought to trial. The most shocking was the arrest of George Burroughs, the onetime pastor of Salem Village church.  Many villagers thought that he would have become the “Ring Leader of them all,”   and so he was locked up.

While accusations were occurring as routine events for the people of Salem, some came to think that perhaps this outbreak was not related to witchcraft after all. A few in the village had doubted the validity of the trials from the beginning, and as time went on they felt more confident and sure that their beliefs were true. The protests from the people against the trials were not heard at first, and the members of the court insisted on treating people accused of being witches as the Devil’s servants. Most ministers of Salem warned the government against accepting these testimonies from the very start of the trials.  They said the spirits the girls saw could be just hallucinations resulting from their sickness, or they could be the Devil in disguise, but the government officials simply ignored them.

Justice Nathanial Saltonstall also apparently disagreed with the ways of the court because he resigned from his position after the first witchcraft trial.  Chief Justice Stoughton, however, thought that the evil spirits would not disguise themselves to people who were willing to cooperate with them.  The trials now became even more complicated because people would confess out of fear of the magistrates’ accusations and the girls’ convulsions.

Now that the accusations were flying back and forth in full swing, anybody and everybody came to the court to put their two cents in. Hundreds of these local residents came into the court to help testify against crimes alleged witches had committed years, even decades, before. Although many people volunteered to come forward and speak out against these witches, they were very concerned about maleficium, the ability of a witch to do harm to another person through supernatural means.   They were afraid that after testifying against the witch that she may put an evil spell on them.  Another concern was that the possessed would be forced to sign a Satanic pact, and if they did not do so then the witches would inflict pain upon them until they did.

The number of accusations is what made the Salem case different from any other case of witchcraft. After the executions began in 1692, officials began to deal with the problem of credibility by ignoring any accusations made against the wealthy, well-to-do members of the Salem society.  At this point, close to two hundred people had been accused of witchcraft, and more than twenty-five people had died because of the trials.

The trials in themselves were a big contradiction.  People who pleaded innocent were tortured until they “confessed” that they were guilty.  One form of torture was the accused would be pressed by a heavy weight until they confessed.  Giles Corey, husband of Martha Corey, was pressed to death when he refused say that he was involved with the Devil, and that he was, in fact, guilty. One form of torture, though, was even more absurd. The witch’s head would be forced underwater and kept there for a certain period of time.  If she came up alive everyone said she had magical powers which kept her from drowning, and then she would be executed.  If when they lifted her up she was dead then she was presumed innocent, but that was completely pointless. Either way the accused were killed. These were a few examples of preposterous tortures against the people.

The credibility of these trials was challenged multiple times by many people.  These people protesting against the trials varied.  Some were villagers and some were authoritative figures in the community. One of these people was Increase Mather, who wrote Cases of Conscience.  He stopped short of calling the possessed girls liars but instead called them “Deamoniacks”   as “mouthpieces for the Father of Lyes.”   He also argued that “no juror can with a safe Conscience look on the Testimony of such, as sufficient to take away the Life of any Man even if the possessed normally knew their real tormentors.”    He said the supposed psychic abilities these girls came to have after being possessed should be ignored because God “has taught us not to receive the Devil’s Testimony in any thing.”   Mather also claimed that confessing witches were also “not such credibly witnesses.”   He told the people that witches sometimes lied outright with no shame about their rituals and about the names of their various “Associates in that Trade.”   Other times Satan filled their heads to make them “dream strange things of themselves and others which are not so.”    This work is what eventually led to the end of the witchcraft trials in Salem, Massachusetts.

Mather’s son, Cotton Mather, also agreed with his father on the matter of the witchcraft trials but he then reported in the Wonders of the Invisible World that the court had listened carefully to the different eyewitnesses and defendants along with the spectral evidence.

Finally, in October of 1693, so many people were doubting the guiltiness of the witches that Governor Phips, governor of Massachusetts, decided to stop the trials and the executions.  They realized that the trials should not continue due to lack of evidence and credibility of the witnesses.  Many people accused others of being witches if they disliked them or if they were outsiders in society.  Witches on trial were encouraged to give names of their fellow witches and/or to confess to their evil deeds, and in exchange they would be granted a less severe punishment. Because of this, the witches on trial would confess even if they were innocent, and they would also accuse other innocent people of being witches.  The government saw that there was no real way to make sure the person was a witch before executing them and that there was a great chance that they may be killing innocent people.  People were still being accused of being witches even after the trials were suspended, but the charges were not taken seriously.

Now the question was how to handle the rest of the cases of the people still locked up in the jails awaiting their doom filled trials.  Because the possessed could not testify and the magistrates were reluctant to accept any more false statements, by the month of May 1694, the few men and women left in the jails were sent back to their homes.  Even the witches who had been tried already and convicted were let free to return to their normal lifestyles.  Although there were still some being accused of witchcraft in other towns the cases went unheeded. This chaotic time was for the most part over.

Mostly all confessing witches during this period were females ranging in age from less than ten to more than seventy.  Out of the forty-eight possessed, mostly were females.  Forty-four percent of the possessed were females between the ages of sixteen to twenty who were “single-women” or “maids” in seventeenth century terms. Another 38 percent were over twenty while 18 percent were under sixteen. Three-fourths of the non-possessed accusers whose main concern was maleficium were men.
  In 1711, the legislature passed the Reversal of Attainder, which was an act to clear the names of everyone jailed during the trials. Massachusetts also repaid the survivors and the heirs for jail and court fees and for some property that the government had taken away from them. The government also wrote up a sincere apology for their mistake in proceeding with the trials when there was no solid evidence and for possibly executing innocent people.(See Appendix 1A)

As time passed many people wondered what was the purpose of the Salem Witchcraft Trials? Why were so many innocent people jailed or even killed? How could anyone have hanged their neighbor for being a witch? People pondered on what kind of an illness could have been mistaken for the symptoms of possession, but some thought that the possessed were simply liars and fools.

Many times, the Puritans were blamed for the trials, encouraging witchcraft fears, and the number of people affected by them.  Some people believe that the Puritans blamed anyone who was different as being a witch. This was because the Puritans had always suspected, as one of their main beliefs, that the Devil envied their way of life and was constantly trying his best to make their lives miserable. Their goal in life was to “purify the organization of their church” and to rid it of any sign of the Devil.  By accusing so many people of being witches, they thought they were just purifying the church and their community.

Most of the time, credibility of an accusation was not checked thoroughly, instead the person accused was simply locked up in jail until their trial time came. Even then, if they did not confess to being guilty, they were punished sometimes even killed. Although the law is innocent until proven guilty, and had been practiced before the trials, in the case of the witchcraft trials, the accused witches were guilty until proven innocent. Not many were given the chance to prove themselves to be innocent.

 1.  Karlsen Carol, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman (New York: Vintage Books,
 1987), 36.
 2. Guilley Ellen, Witches and Witchcraft (New York: Facts on File, 1989), 152.
 3. Trask Richard, Salem Village and the Witch Hysteria (New York: Golden Owl
 Publishing Company, 1991), 185.
 4. Wilson, Lori Lee, The Salem Witch Trials (Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Company, 1997)
 5. Hoffer Peter, The Salem Witchcraft Trials: A Legal History (Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1997), 212.
 6. Rosenthal Bernard, Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692 (Cambridge
 England: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 132.
 7. Concle Maryse, I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1992), 178.
 8. Concle, 178.
 9. Roach, Marilynne, In the Days of the Salem Witchcraft Trials (Boston: Houghton
 Mifflin Company, 1996), 94.
 10.  Hill, Frances, A Delusion of Satan: the Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials (New York: Doubleday, 1995), 76.
 11. Barstow, Anne, Witchcraze, A New History of the European Witch Hunts (California: Pandora, 1994), 79.
 12. Guilley, 17.
 13. Karlsen, 41
 14. Karlsen, 41
 15. Karlsen, 41
 16. Karlsen, 41
 17. Karlsen, 41
 18. Karlsen, 42
 19. Karlsen, 42
 20. Karlsen, 179
 21. Zeinert, Karen. The Salem Witchcraft Trials, (New York: F. Watts, 1989),
 22. Trask, 201.

Science in the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century probably did more to shape life in the modern industrialized world than any event in history.  There were many events that led to the industrial revolution in Europe.  For starters, people in general were becoming more and more disenchanted with corruption in the Church.  Due to advances in printing more people were learning to read.  This allowed them to read the Bible for themselves and begin to question the Church.  Protestant religions began to develop in which it was permissible to make money rather than donate it all to charity.  This change in thought gave people the opportunity to question nature and retain their spirituality and place with God.  The focus of this discussion is not the role of the decline in the Church in the Industrial Revolution but the importance of science.  However it is important to realize that this change in belief systems played a role in allowing people to study science.

Science provided a way for intellectual people to study nature and the interactions of the different forces, such as magnetism and gravity, that affect the world in which we live.  Discoveries made through science can later be used to help man in his everyday life.  Even today scientists study natural phenomena in the hope of discovering something new that will prove useful to man.  In the early days of science many of the studies were done to prove or disprove the teachings of the Church which included having the Earth as the center of the universe and the idea of creationism.  An excellent example of how science helped lead to the Industrial Revolution can be seen in development of the steam engine.

For our purposes here we will assume the development of the steam engine started with Galileo in the 17th century.  Galileo introduced a theory of atoms.  Although he never actually said the word “atom” he described it in great detail.  The Church did not support the atom theory, as they believed it went against the teaching of the Bible.  The Church preferred the idea that “empty” space was just that, empty, not filled with tiny particles called atoms.  The reason Galileo never uttered the word “atom” was to avoid the wrath of the Church.  He ended up being placed on house arrest during the Inquisition, but that is another story.

Galileo’s theory created a lot of excitement and led to many experiments.  The excitement was not so much because of Galileo’s theory, but because of the implications of this theory.  If Galileo was proved correct, the teachings of the Church were wrong.  In today’s world this may not seem like a big deal, but remember that in Galileo’s time the Church ran society in many ways.

The first major development influenced by Galileo’s theory was the barometer developed by Torricelli.  Torricelli was a pupil of Galileo before he was home jailed.  The barometer was not developed to measure atmospheric pressure as it is used for today.  It was merely an attempt to prove Galileo’s atomic theory.  The barometer worked by demonstrating a partial vacuum caused by a pressure differential between a closed end and on open end of a tube containing mercury.  The details will not be discussed here.  The end result was that the barometer worked, thus proving Galileo right and the Church wrong.

The success of the barometer led to the development of primitive air pumps.  A type of “reverse bellows” was the first air pump.  Inspired by these developments Denis Papin, a Protestant physician, developed the first practical steam engine.  His steam engine was developed in 1690.  This primitive engine heated water in a cylinder, which turned to steam.  The pressure from this steam forced the piston upward once it was high enough to counteract the weight and atmospheric pressure on the cylinder.  The engine was then removed from the heat source and atmospheric pressure forced the piston back down as the steam condensed and the pressure within dropped.

In 1698 Thomas Savery improved on the same basic idea.  He used the steam engine to pump water out of mines.  This was one of the first applications of technology to industry.  Thomas’s engine did not contain a piston but used the partial vacuum created by the engine to suck the water up and out of the mine.

Newcomen took the steam engine a step further in 1712.  His engine did include a piston but he used a counterweight to extract it.  The cylinder was then injected with steam.  This was followed by injecting water into the cylinder, which cooled the steam, and caused it to condense which lowered the pressure, hence lowering the piston.  The cylinder was then reheated and the process repeated.  Newcomen’s engine drove a beam, which was attached to a pump or bellows.  The problem with this engine was the cylinder would eventually collect too much water and the engine quit working.

In the late 1760’s James Watt perfected his separate condenser.  His design allowed the cylinder to be kept at a constant temperature.  A separate condenser solved the problem of having water collect in the cylinder because the water was heated and cooled in the separate vessel.  Watt had been working on an old Newcomen engine and trying to improve its performance.  He was discussing his problems with the engine with a chemist by the name of Black.  Black was working on a theory of latent heat, which he explained to Watt.  Watt applied this theory and came up with the separate condenser.  Watt teamed up with a man named Boulton and they began to market the separate condenser.  They had a unique payment plan in which they collected a fraction of the annual fuel savings generated by the separate condenser over the Newcomen engine as payment.  The separate condenser was more efficient and reliable than the Newcomen engine and became more widely accepted.

Steam engines became some of the first widely accepted machines.  With the invention of the separate condenser the seeds of the Industrial Revolution were sown.  Now we can ask how science played a role in all of this.  The first steam engines can be traced back to the air pumps developed shortly after the invention of the barometer.  As discussed before the barometer was developed by Torricelli to prove Galileo’s atomic theory.  Galileo’s theories were classic science.  He developed an idea, or hypothesis, which was later proven by conducting test.  The theory of latent heat was used by Watt to successfully develop the separate condenser.  Without the theory Black developed Watt may very well have floundered around with the Newcomen Engine for years and never had the insight to develop the separate condenser.  Without the help of the discoveries made through science these inventions may never have become realities.

A more recent example of how science effects technology can be seen in the development of nuclear power.  Without the use of Einstein’s theories the mysteries of atomic power may still be evading man today.  However due to the theories developed by Einstein man has harnessed nuclear power.  The theories of men such as Galileo, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, and Joseph Black helped shape the technologies being developed in the 18th and 19th centuries.

It is also important to realize that the theories presented by Galileo and others helped change the mentality of the people.  During Galileo’s time many people were questioning their faith in the Church.  However it was probably difficult to abandon they and their families had held for years.  By disproving the teachings of the Church, science helped people feel that they had good reason to question the Church.  Without proving Galileo right, most people would probably have been scared to break away from the Church.  Once it was shown that the Church was wrong, it became easier to start questioning other teachings of the Church.  Science became the catalyst needed to allow people to break away from the teachings of the Church and start questioning nature and the world around them.

Today it is easy to argue that science does not play as much of a role in the development of technology.  In the modern cynical world it is easy to claim that everything is motivated by money.  However it is incredibly difficult for someone who grew up in the modern United States, where free thought is seen as a right and a virtue, to understand what the early scientists must have gone through in the early days of science as we know it today.  In those days a man could be executed or jailed, as Galileo, for presenting his opinions to the public.  Without the efforts made by these pioneers of science, the Industrial Revolution might never have occurred and the world as we know it would be a much different place.

The Stirling Engine

Robert Stirling invented the Stirling engine in 1816. At the time he was a Scottish minister. Stirling engines were the safest engines made during that time period that would not explode like a steam engine could. The Stirling engine would not explode because the pressures could not be elevated to that to such a high level. The machine simply stopped when the heater section failed from thermal stress or imperfections in the material or manufacturing process. So from that day on there was a better, safer way to produce power, far superior than that of a steam engine. A Stirling Engine is a mechanical device, which operates on a closed looping thermodynamic cycle. Different temperature levels cause compression and expansion of the air or steam, which causes the piston arms to move back and forth keeping up with the changes in the internal pressure. The flow of the steam is controlled by changes in the volume of the hot and cold spaces, without the use of valves.

The Stirling cycle can be is still applied to day in common appliances such as a refrigerator. The heat cycle when applied to a heat cycle can produce cool air. This will occur when work is done on the Stirling device, and the heat energy is discarded into the room. The heat energy that came from the Stirling cycle would be take from the inside of the refrigerator therefore making it cooler on the inside.

In 1876 Rev. Stirling wrote in a letter about his brother James, who had just died, “…These imperfections have been in great measure removed by time and especially by the genius of the distinguished Bessemer. If Bessemer iron or steel had been known thirty five or forty years ago there is scarce a doubt that the air engine would have been a great success…It remains for some skilled and ambitious mechanist in a future age to repeat it under favorable circumstances and with complete success….” Rev. Dr. Robert Stirling (1790-1878) from “Stirling Engines” by G. Walker.

Robert Stirling applied for his first patents for this engine and the economizer in 1816, only after a few months of getting nominated as a minister at the Church of Scotland. Sir George Caley had devised air engines previous to this time and other devices called air engines were known as early as 1699. Steam engines began to carry a bad name along with it because they were so dangerous. Air engines were so safe and they operated on completely different principles.  The “economizer” or regenerator has come to be recognized as a most important part of the patent that Robert Stirling received. This patent was so outstanding because of the fact that it predated much of the study of thermodynamics. Some historians believe that the reason for Robert Stirling’s efforts at such a device were driven by his concern for the working people of his parishes as steam engines were being used extensively in that area and time period. Because of the lack of strength in the materials available to construct, they would frequently explode sending shrapnel, boiling water, and steam at the people working nearby.
After the years the gasoline internal combustion engine has taken over. The reason this occurred was because of the time it takes for a Stirling engine to heat up enough to get moving. Lately with all of the problems with the environment a need for automobile engines with low emission of toxic gases has revived interest in the Stirling engine. Some Stirling engines have been built with up to 500 horsepower and with efficiencies of 30 to 45 percent. The common internal-combustion engine would have efficiency in the range of 20 to 25 percent.

One of the fastest moving technologies is that of composites. These materials have a type of plastic make up along with other properties. The strength of this type of material is superior in nature and for the purposes of a Sterling engine, I feel that it would be perfectly suited. They have already begun to experimentally replace certain motor parts in the internal combustion engine, such as the pistons. The advantages of this would be that the weight of internal parts would be significantly lighter and therefore able to run at higher speeds. Another advantage would be that the heat developed inside the engine would have less affect on the components because composites react, (shrink and expand) less that a metal would.

Lubrication also plays a huge part in engine performance. If all parts slide together easy than the total force put into overcoming friction would be reduced. Bearings and other parts would also play a large part in reducing friction.
The design technology of sterling engines over the years has changed very slowly. Over the years the materials have slowly began to change, what was once a wood wheel is now machined out of steal. The main theory of the Sterling cycle has remained the same, but because of its incapability to be convenient when placed into a car, the Sterling engine has never become a huge success. This probably explains why the manufacturing process has never moved into a mass production or and assembly line operation of larger sized engines. The model industry that produces them, as toy is probable the only type of company that does mass-produce them. Because the parts for the Stirling engine are fairly easy to machine, the materials are common, and fairly inexpensive, an assembly line type of production would be fairly easy and inexpensive to set up.

These are the 2 basic design types; the two-piston type Stirling engine is shown to the left. A space above a hot piston is always heated and the space above a cold piston is always cooled. The displacer type Stirling engine (the one to the right) has a space above a displacer piston, and it is always heated by a heat source. A space below the displacer piston is cooled always. The displacer piston displaces hot air and cold air.

The 1900’s brought on a time of industrialization and few things were still made by hand. In this age Stirling engines could be built bye assembly lines but Henry Ford had already began production of his model T Ford, which used an internal combustion engine. This pretty much killed the need for the Stirling engine. During this these old times prototypes were almost non-existent except for that of a seldom made model. The reason this occurred is if a “prototype” was made it was probably put into use not just set aside whit the actual models were getting manufactured. Before this time if somebody wanted something they had to build it for him or her self, or they would have to find someone to build it for them. This explains why there were very few Sterling engines that were similar back then. Most parts were built by hand which explains the wooden flywheel.  Because the cost of the part presently used to make it are so cheep and the parts are adequate to the demands of this engine.
If I was the designer of the Stirling engine and I had the technology of today to help me in my work I would have to make it out of composite products or at least a good portion of it. The Sterling engine in itself if very safe and the simple facts that a cleaner fuel that is being burned will also reduce emissions making it a better engine for the environment. To increase power and make it run faster I would add piston rings to the piston to give it a tighter seal.  To reduce friction in the flywheel I would make sure bearings were placer on the axle and make sure they were oiled properly. Another was to make the engine move faster would be to add some wings or flattened metal sheets to the cool piston case in order to increase surface area allowing it to cool even faster.

Space History

Exploration; to travel in a little-known region for discovery, as defined by Webster. Since the age of the Greeks, Anglo-Saxons have been interested in space exploration.  From Copernicus to Gaileo to Newton, space has been looked upon with adoring eyes.  Space has been regarded time after time as the final frontier.  That was until 1957, with the launch of the Sputnik-1, when the Soviet built satellite became the first man-made satellite successfully launched out into outer space.  In 1958, the United States matched the Soviets with their own satellite, Explorer III.   After that, it became a free-for-all out into the darkest regions of the final frontier. The ascension into space for the United States started off with rockets, satellites, and probes then later moved on to shuttles and larger spacecrafts.  In 1946, the United States started their climb towards the heavens with the NRL V-2.  The rocket gave the first observations of the Sun’s UV spectrum.  In 1949, the NRL V-2 gave the first observations of solar X-rays.  In 1958, the Explorer III became the US’s first satellite and it also discovered Earth’s radiation belt.
 On August 17th, 1958, the US set its sights upon the moon with the Pioneer 0 but it exploded in its first stages of ascension.  It was followed later in the year by Pioneer 1 and Pioneer 3 both lunar orbiters, but again failure because both separately failed to reach atmospheric escape velocity. The following years Pioneer 4 and 5  were launched as space probes and are presently still in solar orbit.  In 1962, the Aerobee Rocket was launched and observed the first x-ray star.   In the 1960′s, NASA began the Ranger space  probe program.  They were NASA’s earliest Moon exploration program probes.  These spacecrafts were designed to perform a crash landing upon the Moon’s surface.  They were intended to take pictures and return scientific data up until the impact of the probe with the lunar surface.  On April 23rd, 1962, the Ranger 4 became the first US lunar impact on the Moon’s surface. The Soviets had done it first with Luna 2 on September 14th, 1959.  The Ranger’s provided scientists with more than 17,000 close up pictures of the lunar surface and specifically the areas of Mare Tranquillitatis and Ocean Procellarum.  (Johnson)  These pictures gave us more information about the Moon and its surface in just a few years than all the previous attempts put together, though Pioneer 3 and 5 missed the Moon and are in solar orbit. The Mariner space program probes were designed to fly past and/or orbit planets, specifically Mercury, Venus and Mars.  On August 27th, 1962, the US achieved the world’s first successful interplanetary spacecraft when the Mariner 2 was launched.  It arrived at Venus at a distance of 34,800 kilometers and scanned its surface with infrared and microwave radiometers.  It also captured data that showed Venus’ surface to be about 425 C.  (Hamilton) On November 28th, 1964 the Mariner 4 was launched.  It gave the first glimpse of Mars at close range, traveling within 9,920 kilometers of Mar’s surface.  It also confirmed Mar’s thin atmosphere of carbon dioxide.
 (Cook)  On November 3rd, 1973, Mariner 10 was launched.  It was the first dual planet mission.  It recorded Venus’ temperature to be -23 C and produced 10,000 pictures of Mercury covering 57% of the planet’s surface.  It also recorded the surface temperatures ranging from 187 C on the day side and -183 C on the night side. (Hamilton)  Furthermore, it was also the first probe to use one planet’s gravity to propel itself towards another planet.  On April 30th, 1966, the Surveyor 1 achieved the US’s first soft landing on the lunar surface.  The Soviets beat the US with the Luna 9 soft landing on January 31st. The Surveyor series were unmanned spacecrafts designed to land on the Moon’s surface. Their objective was to provide information about the lunar surface to see if the terrain was safe, in preparation for manned landings.  Their legs were “instrumented to return data on the surface hardness of the Moon.” Additionally, “Surveyor dispelled the fear that Apollo spacecraft might sink several feet or more into the lunar dust.”  (Johnson) Between August 10th, 1966 and August 2nd, 1967, the US launched  5 spacecrafts from the Lunar Orbiter series.  The series was designed to orbit the Moon and take pictures and collect data of the Moon’s surface in support of the ensuing manned Apollo landings.
 On May 5th, 1961, Alan B. Shepard, Jr. Became the first American in space aboard the Freedom 7.  In April the Soviets had the first man, Yuri A. Gagarin.   On June 3rd, 1965 Edward H. White performed the first American ‘space walk’ from the GT IV, a tester of the Gemini spacecraft.  With Alexei A. Leonov in March, the Soviets had the first ‘space walk’ beating the US. In a large degree, the success of the Apollo landing missions was due to the lessons, information and data collected from all of these missions.  The Ranger and  Lunar Orbiter series ‘robot’ spacecrafts provided close-up, map-like images of the lunar surface.  The Surveyor determined “the chemical, mechanical and bearing properties of the surface layers” and provided ground level pictures of the terrain. (Hamilton)   The Gemini tester and Gemini flights were used to develop most of the basic operational knowledge needed for the manned Apollo flights.
 On December 21st, 1968, Apollo 8 was launched  and became the first spacecraft to go in “circumlunar orbit.” (Johnson)  Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders, the Astronauts aboard Apollo 8, were the first men to view the ‘Earth whole’.   The Apollo series was designed to land a man on the Moon and return him safely home to Earth.  It was accomplished on July 20th, 1969, when Apollo 11 landed on Mare Tranquillitatis.  Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to set first on the Moon’s surface.  The Apollo series ended in December of 1972, and the docking of an Apollo spacecraft with a Soviet Soyuz on July 18th, 1975 which closed out the program altogether.
 On December 3rd, 1972, Pioneer 10 passed by Jupiter, giving the first close-up of the great planet. Later in 1986 in became the first man-made object to leave our solar system. On May 26th, 1973, Skylab SL-2 became the US’s first space station.  It orbited the Earth at a distance of approximately 300 miles.  It was designed and proved that man can survive in space for periods of
 During 1975, Viking 1 and 2 were launched heading for Mars.  They were designed to conduct detailed scientific research on Mars.  Viking 1 landed on Mars on July 20th, 1976 and Viking 2 landed on September 3rd, 1976.  The two Viking crafts learned more about Mars in a couple of months, than all previous missions did combined.  During the summer of 1977 NASA launched Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 towards Jupiter and the outer regions of the solar system.  In 1979 they passed Jupiter and sent back color TV images of Jupiter and its moons.  Voyager 1 passed Saturn in November of 1980 and Voyager 2 passed Saturn in August of 1981 then passed Uranus in January of 1986.  Voyager 2 came onto Neptune in August of 1989 and made the following discoveries:  it found four rings around it, found six new moons, a Giant Spot on Neptune itself, and evidence of volcanic type activity on the moon Triton. They are both now heading for the end of the solar system.
 In April of 1981 the US launched the Space Shuttle Columbia.  This was the first spacecraft designed specifically for re-use of up to 100 times.  During the next ten years, four more space shuttles were built; Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour.  On January 28th, 1986, the shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after takeoff, killing the 7 person crew.  It was the worst space flight disaster to date and was viewed by millions of people.  The Endeavor missions set a record with three members of the crew remaining free of the shuttle for a total of 8 hours and 20 minutes.  The Columbia mission in July of 1994,  studied the effects of limited gravity of orbital flight on materials and living things like; goldfish, killifish, sea urchins, frogs, and Japanese red-bellied newts.(Johnson)  In the summer of 1996 the mission studied the effects of weightlessness on people, plants and animals.  It also studied the effects of manufacturing materials in zero gravity.  The Atlantis mission in the summer 1996 marked the 100th United States human mission into space.  Dr. Bonnie Dunbar set the US space record of 112 days in space aboard the shuttle and Russian space station Mir.  This was later broken by Dr. Shannon W. Lucid.  On September 25th, 1992, NASA launched the Mars Observer.  It lost communication once outside the Earth and is presumed to have exploded.  In December of 1996, the Mars Pathfinder was launched.  It landed on the surface of Mars on July 4th, 1997.  It contains a revolutionary light weight robot explorer named Sojourner.  It weighs 23 pounds and is designed to photo interesting rocks, patches of soil and asses the chemical composition of anything it finds.  Scientists believe that they have found evidence that their is or was once life on Mars.
 Overall, in my opinion, space exploration has not produced much in useful, everyday information in relation to its tremendous budget and bills.  It has produced lots of scientific information, but for all the money being spent on these explorations, I believe something more useful for all of society should be found or done.  Though I do find it interesting to know the temperatures of Venus and Mercury, and that Neptune has more moons than once thought, I do not see how it is going to help us here on Earth.  The most interesting fact that I found in my research was that frogs can throw up, though they rarely do it on Earth.  First they throw up the stomach, so it dangles from the its mouth. Then it cleans out the stomach with its forearms and finally sucks it back down.  Billions of dollars were spent to learn this, although not directly.  But is this type of knowledge worth more than trying to find a cure for AIDS here at home?

Space Exploration

Since the beginning of time, man has been fascinated with the stars and sky.  From the time the first man took his first step on the moon, space exploration has been growing and expanding.  More and more people are coming up with new ways on how to study the universe.  Hence, the more time spent on studying the sky, the more that we will obviously know.  So, it would be safe to say that now is a great time to continue the exploration of space.  The 1990’s contributed to the study of space with new technology, intelligent astronauts, and future ideas.
During the 1990’s new technology and space crafts were introduced.  There have been numerous space launches throughout this decade that made great impacts on the exploration of space.  For example, “On June 26, 1995, the Space Shuttle Atlantis embarked on a rendezvous with Russian space station Mir during a ten day mission on STS-71” (Shipman  65).  Cosmonauts were transferred to and from Atlantis, and Astronaut Norman Thagard was returned from Mir, having arrived on Soyuz-TM 21, and made a new American space endurance record of 115 days.  This was huge for the astronomical community because of the increase in the length of space voyages.  Also, “On December 7, 1995, the Galileo spacecraft arrived at Jupiter, performing an orbit while dropping a probe into the atmosphere, and put a satellite into orbit, which will spent the next two years orbiting the planet” (Shipman  72).  This was important because it spent a significant amount of time researching the atmosphere and celestial bodies.  It was able to make numerous observations during this time.  Lastly, “NASA launched the first in the Discovery series of spacecraft, the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft, aboard a Delta II-7925-8 rocket on February 17, 1996” (Shipman  85).  This rocket explored the asteroids nearest the earth and discovered many interesting facts regarding them.  However, this couldn’t all be accomplished without the help of many talented people.
Many astronauts contributed to space exploration.  Since there are numerous people that offered their talents to the program, it would be arduous to mention them all.  Thus, only four important examples will be given of people that work for the space program.  The first is James P. Bagian.  James is a member of the Aerospace Medicine Association, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Society of NASA Flight Surgeons.  He worked as a flight surgeon and medical officer at Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, a NASA astronaut, and an Astronaut Office Coordinator.  Under this title, he planned emergency medical and rescue support for the first six shuttle flights.  He has spent a total of 337 hours in space and served on the Crew of STS-40 Spacelab Life Sciences, which is the first dedicated life sciences mission.  (Jasani  113).  Another famous astronaut is Tamara E. Jenigan.  She participated in the American Astronomical Association.  Even though her experience isn’t as vast as James, she still contributed in her own way.  She served as a research scientist in the Theoretical Studies Branch and performed software verification and spacecraft communication.  She was the Deputy Chief of Astronaut Office and Assistant for the Station to the Chief of the Astronaut Office.  She also embarked on many space flights on the Space Shuttle Colombia and the S.S. Endeavour.  (Jasani  234).  Phillippe Perin, another NASA astronaut of the 1990’s, did many exciting things as well.  He participated in 26 combat missions, and completed more than 2500 flying hours in space.  He had technical duties in the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems/Operations Branch.  And, on top of all of this, he was a mission specialist.  (Jasani  265).  The last astronaut mentioned is Jeffrey N. Williams.  He participated in many organization, however his most recognized is the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.  He also partook in many army assignments including being an aeroscout platoon leader.  He was involved in the shuttle launch and landing operations and was an engineer pilot in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Lab.  Also, he was named the Chief of the Operations Development Office.  This led to his involvement in the technical duties in the Astronaut Office Spacecraft System/Operations Branch.  And, it was these people that came up with ideas for the future.  (Jasani  288).

The 1990’s brought about many future ideas.  While there are many different organizations that contribute to the future technology of space, NASA probably does the most.   Under this organization, the Advanced Space Transportation Program supports the long-range basic research.  This consists of airframe propulsion and long-term space transportation research.  They have put forth many ideas.  One example of this is the rocket engine.  This would consume oxygen in the air and store liquid oxygen when it leaves the atmosphere (Glenn and Robinson  72).  Hence, there would be significant savings because not as much propellant would be required to make it run.  Another idea would be to launch rockets into space using laser beams.  Laser Propulsion testing indicates a viable way to reduce money of sending men into space.  Lastly, the Solar Thermal Propulsion is another idea for the future of space exploration.  This would propel vehicles through space and significantly reduces weight, complexity, and money (Glenn and Robinson  104).

In conclusion, space exploration in the 1990’s has contributed a lot to the space age.  With many new intelligent astronauts exploring the atmosphere and planets, the planetary sciences keep growing and growing.  In fact, they keep continuing to add new ideas and inventions to the field.  Also, more and more future ideas are being offered to make great improvements in the study.  Hence, the 1990’s were a great year for the planetary scientists.  However, more new inventions and ideas are still to come.

Slavery: Then and Now

When we think about slavery many things come to our mind.  There are many different ways one can describe slavery. If you were to look it up in a dictionary it would say that a slave is “one who is owned and forced into service by another,” this was the definition given in the Webster’s Dictionary. But then again if you were to look it up in the Oxford Dictionary the definition given here is of one who is an “obsessive devotee.” On the whole slavery can have different meanings to different people. The meaning of slavery has a different meaning today than it did years ago. As Alex Haley wrote, slavery was difficult to explain years ago because it was going on at the time. Today when someone says the word slavery more than half of the people would think of plantations and people being forced to work the land and being mistreated. But what do you say to a little child who comes up to you and asks you want slavery is? In today’s society we can take the word slavery and put it to the modern days. Would one say that slavery only existed years ago when plantation owners would buy people to force them to do hard labor and mistreat them, or would one mention about the slavery that goes on in today’s society? What about the people who are forced to do hard labor like many years ago?

Many people do not realize it but indeed we do have modern-day slavery. What is today’s modern day slavery? There are several things that can be put into today’s slavery. This is one problem that is often over looked in today’s society. It may not have as much impact as it did years ago, but if we stop and think about it, this problem is still as harsh and crude as it was years ago. I would think that up to some extent the problem has grown now because it is in fact often overlooked.

For example in Sudan, as a result of an Islamic vs. Christian civil war, women and children that are mostly black and Christian are captured in raids. They are later sold as chattel slaves in “modern day slave markets”. Now the question that I have is, “ Does a human life have a price?” Well according to these people it does, and the price that they decided to put on a human life has been as low as fifteen dollars. Slaves who attempt to run away are castrated or branded like animals. Have we learned nothing from our history? It is said that history repeats itself and thus we should learned from it. Obviously some people have not and are repeating the same harsh mistakes that we have supply worked so hard to fix.

Another example of modern-day slavery occurs in Brazil. In Brazil, poverty-stricken young men are promised good work by harvesting crops. Impressed by the opportunity to better their lives they agree to for the work. Instead of going to work they are trucked hundreds of miles to isolated jungles and forced at gunpoint to clear rainforest. I don’t know about you, but harvesting and clearing up the rainforest are totally different things.

In Haiti men are also trucked but these men are trucked across the island of Hispaniola to the Dominican Republic and forced to cut sugar cane. The men in Haiti do not have it as bad though; sure they get paid for working twelve hours a day, seven days a week. How much? Well their wages, if they could be called that, is below the cost of food. Some people would say that they are getting paid for their work so they are not really considered slaves, but according to the Webster’s Dictionary they are because these men remain captives for many years, some even for life.

Modern-day slavery does not discriminate. In Pakistan and India hundreds of thousands of little children, some as young as seven, work in slavery to make beautiful oriental carpets. Where do the parents come in? Well the parents are tricked into allowing their children to be taken from their home, they are promised that their children will be well taken cared of and that they will learn a trade. What parent would not want this for his child, especially when they can’t offer anything better to them.

Now according to the Oxford Dictionary, there is still another form of slavery. In some way we can still call it modern-day slavery. If we think back at the definition of  “obsessive devotee” what comes to mind? Some people could be said to be a slave to their work. But would that qualify as slavery as it is described? The answer pretty much depends on who you are. In some instances you can say “ Yes you can be a slave to work, and it be considered slavery.” Someone can be so into his or her work that they sleep, think, and walk work. These are the people who often place work first and then their family. Another common term for this is workaholic. Occasionally this is caused because when they were young they lacked things that they wanted. This caused them to grow up thinking that they must be rich and successful in order to get and give the things that they did not have when they were young. Often a person who is a slave to their work think that weekends and holidays is a fine time to work. They tend to put too much emphases on their work that they forget about the needs of their family, this need is not financial need, but the need of love and personal warmth.

Many people think that slavery is a thing of the past. However, incidents have shown that it is not. If we were supposed to have learned anything from our history, some people have missed it. Nobody has the right to own somebody else; people are human and thus carry a soul. This is something that is priceless. And to those who enslave themselves to work, fashion, or otherwise should stop and think how good they have it. It is not by choice that some people are taken from their homes and made to work what is called a “twenty-four seven”. People who are enslaved to work do have a choice, and if they were as smart as they like to think they are, they should spend more time at home.


Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili was an unkown man in the small town of Gori, Georgia.  After years of revoulutionary activity and many times exiled to Siberia, he changed his name.  A name that would threaten the Germans, ally with the Americans, and help the North Koreans.  A name that came from the Russian word for steel, Joseph Stalin (Nash 2836).

Joseph Stalin was born on 21 December 1877 to Ekaterina Georgievna and Vissarion Ivanovitch Dzhugashvili (Block 790).  Vissarion, Stalin’s father, was a drunkered and very cruel to his young son.  Ekaterina, Stalin’s mother, was a washer women to support the family.  The first three of Vissarion and Ekaterina’s kids had died shortly after their birth, so Stalin grew up as an only child.  When Stalin was still a young boy he got small pox, which left his face scared forever.  His first school was a litlle church school in Gori (Marrin 825).

Gori was full of socialist movements and the Czarist goverment wanted to educate priests to fight the revoulutionary ideas.  Stalin’s mother, therefore, a dedicated member of the Orthodox Church, entered her son into the Seminary at Tifilis (Block 790).  He entered the school in 1894 for the study of priesthood in the Georgian Orthodox Church (Marrin 825) and on the birthday of Czar Alexander III, Stalin sung a solo in an Orthodox Church (Block 790).  Soon Marixist ideas reached him.  He knew little about Marx’s theroies and the revoulution, but never the less it amazed him.  He soon started to get involved (Marrin 825).

He joined the forbidden revolutionary moment when he was fifteen and three years later he was secretly leading a Marxist circle (Block 790).  In May of 1899, he was expelled from the school for missing an examination (Marrin 825) but Offcial Communist literature says that he was expelled for “political balance”.  He soon joined the Tiflis branch of the Russian
 Social-Democratic Wrokers’ Party and it was not long before he was a professional agitator.  In 1900 and 1901 he led strikes and demostrations in Tifilis and Batum (Block 791).  In 1901 the Czar’s secret police searched Stalin’s room but he had gone and joined the underground movement that was springing up throughout Russia.  He worked for a number of newspapers and on September of 1901 he offically became accepted into the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Marrin 825).

Stalin was arrested and exiled to Eastern Siberia, seven times between April 1902 and March 1913, for revoulutionary activity.  He escaped numerous times to come back and wreak havack upon the Czarist goverment (Nash 2836).  In late 1905, he traveled as a Caucasian delegate to the secret Boleshevik conference in Finland.  It was there that he first met Lenin, later on he started to carry out orders for Lenin.  Stalin soon became Lenins most trusted lieutenants, he also became good at raising money for the Party.  He supposedly helped with the seccessful attack on the Tifilis bank convoy (Block 791).  He wrote articles for newspapers such as the Zvesda (The Star) and Pravada (The Truth).  Some say it was about this time when he started calling himself Joseph Stalin (Block 791).

In 1914 Germany declared war on Russia and France.  World War I had erupted.  Stalin was in exile were he stayed until 1917.  Russia was suffering badly and many people were starving.  Riots and demonstrations broke out through the cities and on March 15, 1917 Czar Nicholas III gave up his throne to a provisional goverment mostly lead by Mensheviks (Marrin 826).  The provisional goverment freed all political prisoners (Block 791).

Stalin returned to Petrograd to help direct the Bolsheviks before Lenin’s return from Switzerland.  When Lenin returned he opoosed the new goverment and again began to lead a revoulution with Stalin supporting him the whole way.  While Lenin and other revoulutionaries were forced to live underground, Stalin stayed in Petrograd.  Where he helped oraganize a coup which would take place on October 25, 1917 (Block 791).  Lenin then launched a radical progam to overthrow the Provisional Goverment.  Then on the month of October, on the old Russian calender, the Bolsheviks siezed power and took over the provisional goverment.  This take over is often called the October Revoulution (Marrin 826).

The new goverment, headed by Lenin, expirenced some small uprisings which grew into a civil war (Marrin 826).   After a small dispute with Trotsky, Stalin was given an independent command, of some troops, and drove Kenikin’s troops back to the Black Sea.  He was given the Order of the Soviet Banner, which is the highest military distinction in all of Russia.  He also led his troops to many other victories (Block 792).

During the civil war the Russian Social Democratic Party changed their names to the Russian Communist Party.  Stalin becaome one of the five members of the newly formed Politburo (Political Bureau), the leaders of the Central Committee.  In 1922, the Central Committee elected Stalin as its Secretary General (Marrin 826).  At the end of May 1922, Lenin suffered a major stroke.  So without Lenin in Moscow the Politburo had its hands full and didn’t pay attention to what Stalin did with his new post.  He was making decisions that affected the whole Party.  Stalin started to slowly move up in the ranks of the Politburo and the succession of Lenin.  They placed Lenin under the control of Stalin, so that Lenin couldn’t stress himself into another stroke.  Stalin reported to the Politburo on a regular bases (Beach 3-6).

Lenin was slowly getting better and he was allowed to have a few visotors.  One day Kamenev let slip that Stalin and Nadezhda Krupskaya (Lenin’s wife) had an argument.  Lenin was furious and had his secretary write a letter to Stalin demanding an apology.  Stalin apologized but Lenin had another stroke before he could receive it (Beach 6-9).  In late 1922, Zinoviev proposed that Stalin be made secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and was re-elected until he died (Block 792).

In early May of 1923 Stalin claimed his first victim, Sultan-Galiyev.  Stalin had sent Sultan-Gaiyev to the Tatar Republic of the Crimea as an observer.  He started to attract a following, one that was so big he imagned himself as the leader of the Tatar Republic free from Soviet Rule.  Stalin had his secret police forge documents that proved that Sultan-Galiyev had connections to various resistance groups, even to the leader of Turkey.  After the arrest even more false evidence was found.  Stalin wanted him shot but the Politburo would not allow it, he had to settle with him from being expelled from the party (Beach 16-17).

After years of re-organizing the party to his favor and destroying the Old Bolsheviks, Stalin became a dictator.  Trotsky had been expelled from the Soviet Union in 1929 and the other members of the Politburo had been executed.  Nobody had enough power to stop Stalin now.  He started what he called the five year plan (Nash 2837).  Stalin eliminated private buissness, the production of machinery and farm equipment became more important.  He put farming under goverment control.  The farmers resisted by destroying their stock and produce.  He exiled millions of families and many others died of starvation (Marrin 826).  When his plan did not work he staged trials of factory managers and buearucrats, who were made to read false confessions.  The great purges were beginning (Nash 2837).

Stalin set up a police force that was worst than the czars.  Millions of people were executed or sent to labor camps.  The secret police forced the slaves to work in goverment owned industries.  Neighbors were ordered to spy on each other, families were torn apart, and children were ordered to tell on parents.  People were forced to read confessions moments before they were shot.  Stalin ordered the death of anyone who threatned his power including Party members and army officers (Marrin 826-827).

War looked unevitable for the world and Stalin was not prepared.  He tried to forge a treaty with the western alliance in August 1939, the plan failed (Nash 2837).  So Stalin was forced to sign an non-aggression pact and a trade treaty with Nazi Germany (Block 793).  On September 1, 1939 Germany marched into western Poland and Russia marched into eastern Poland.  The signed a treaty which divided Poland in half.  Soon Hitler made a sneak attack on Russia, which Stalin and his army were not prepared for.  The German army marched on Moscow with in months, but the Russians finally started to push the German army back.  It was at this time that Stalin reached the hieght of his popularity.  The allies and Russia then worked together until Germany was defeated (Marrin 827).

After the defeat of Germany in 1945, Stalin slowly cut communication with the western world.  He converted goverments in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania over to communism.  These countries later became known as the iron curtain, a group of countries that served as barriers from the west.  Many non-communist nations joined against Stalin and The Soviet Union, to halt the spread of communism.  The tension filled the air as the Cold War began (Marrin 827).

Stalin’s policies lead the western nations to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), to protect each other or any nation being threatned by communism.  This lead to the Korean war, for Stalin supported North Korea and the USA supported South Korea.  The US felt that the communist nation of North Korea was threatning South Korea.  So to stop the spread of communism America placed troops in South Korea.  Later on Russia and the USA withdrew their troops from the two countries.  The North Korean troops later on attacked South Korea to join the country by force.  The war ended soon after Stalin’s death (Marrin 827-828).

Early in 1953, Stalin was planning another great purge.  Then on March 4, 1953 the Central Committee announced that Stalin had suffered a brain hemorrhage on March 1.  On March 5, 1953 Stalin died in Moscow (Marrin 828).

Joseph Stalin lived through the hard times and some good times.  He did some bad things for his country and some good things.  He industrialized Russia and made them a world power.  He went through one World War and led his country into another.  The number of people that died in his purges is unkown but some estimate around 70 million (Nash 2837).  Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili was truly a man of steel.

Works Cited

Beach, John B.;  Stalin:The Rise of the Beast;; 1997

Block, Mazine;  Current Biography 1942;  The H.W. Wilson Company;  1987

Marrin, Albert;  The World Book Encyclopedia; Field Interprises, Inc. 1995; ed 18

Nash, Jay Robert;  Encyclopedia of World Crime;  Crime Books Inc.; 1990

Roman Entertainment

“Bathing, wine, and Venus wear out the soul but are the real stuff of life.” (Proverb in Sparta, A History of Private Life from Pagan Rome to Byzantium, 183)  Civilizations of Ancient Rome and modern day are similar because entertainment is an important part of life.  In Ancient Rome, the rich and the poor could enjoy entertainment and relaxation.  Men and women spent many hours of their day participating in entertainment activities.  Ancient Romans enjoyed many types of entertainment, but the most popular were bathing, bloody spectacles, and banquets.

A gong sounded every morning to open the public baths to the lines of people waiting.  Public baths were not only used to get clean but as a place to gossip, meet people, and show off.  They could be compared to modern day beaches.  The sexes were separated into two different areas; the men had the larger rooms.  The society levels at the baths were nonexistent, and gladiators, slaves, men, and women were treated equal.  Every town was expected to have at least one public bath, which each person was visited two to three times per week by a person.

The procedure followed at the baths seemed very relaxing. Citizens would first go to the unctuarium where oil was rubbed onto the skin, and they would exercise.  Then they would enter the tepidarium or the “warm” room, with heated floors and walls.  Here, they would lie around chatting and gossiping.  The last step was the caldarium, which was similar to a Turkish bath, hot and steamy.  Romans would sit and perspire, and their skin was scraped with a curved metal tool called a strigil.  They were served drinks and snacks in the hot bath, or calidarium.   Finally they would take a quick dip in the cold bath, the frigidarium.  After this lengthy process, men and women would enjoy massages where oils and perfumes were rubbed into their skin.

Many Roman citizens attended bloody spectacles at the famous colosseum.  The colosseum opened in A.D.80 and hosted 100 spectacles a year.  50,000 available seats were divided into social classes.  Women and poor people were seated on the fourth tier.  The most popular show featured at the colosseum was the gladiators.  They would show in the late afternoon and were often attended after the public baths.

The gladiators easily entertained and won over the crowd.  The gladiators were slaves, condemned criminals, prisoners of war, and often they were idols of young girls.  They would fight battles with animals or other opponents until death.  These bloody shows would entertain the citizens for hours.  Despite laws setting limits on earnings, many gladiators earned large sums and could buy freedom.

Banquets were attended for an exciting night of entertainment.  Banquets were a ceremony of civility, occasions for private men to savor their accomplishments and show off to peers.  Many people were invited; even the lower class was invited and treated equal.  The food was spicy and served medieval style, people sat around lounging couches on pedestal tables.

Many different types of entertainment went on at banquets.  The guests were expected to express views on general topics and noble subjects.  The host would hire professionals to provide music, dancing, and singing.  The longest time of the night was set aside for drinking.  It was tradition for them to never drink when they ate.  Men were expected to consume large amounts of alcohol.

Ancient Romans believed that entertainment was a very important part of civilization.  They would spend mornings socializing at baths, afternoons at the colosseum, and drink and eat all night at banquets.  Romans enjoyed being entertained similar to today society.  “To everything there was a season, and pleasure was no less legitimate than virtue.” (Paul Veyne, A History of Private Life from Pagan Rome to Byzantium, 183)

Roman Law

Romans did not have very complicated laws but when they were broken there was very heavy punishment.  Roman laws influenced most of the laws we have now and most of the laws of other countries. America’s court system was modeled around the Roman court system.  They had upper courts and lower courts and that was what built our strong court system now.  One thing that we did not take from the Romans is the right to be a Citizen.

In Rome there were very strict class systems and they were classified greatly by clothes, shelter, and seating at the games.  The word citizen for them meant that you had to be free and lived in Rome.  The class system was always followed no matter what.  You could move up from your rank in society but then you would have to work really hard and it was not easy because people would still look at you as a low class.  The class systems from highest to lowest were the senators, councilmen and their families.  Then came the regular middle class citizens, next were the Plebeians who were very poor but not slaves and last was the slaves who owned nothing at all not even the clothes on their back because it all belonged to their master.

Therefore, if slaves were caught running away they were brought upon charges of theft for stealing themselves and their masters clothing.  Stealing held a very heavy punishment and that punishment was always upheld.  The punishment was capital punishment and all of this was done to teach them a lesson.  Some say the Romans had a very strange way of doing things but, the way their country was setup most of their laws were necessary for them.

All of this got started with the Twelve Tables of Rome.  Which were much like the Ten Commandments except man made them up.  They were engraved into Bronze tablets and made up by ten Roman Magistrates around early 450 BC.  The laws were really made to please the Plebeians because they complained that they didn’t get any rights because the laws were never written down and were often changed.  After this the Plebeians could no longer be fooled because the Twelve Tables covered all aspects of the law briefly stating the crime and then the punishment.

This was where the court system came in because the courts were the ones that had to follow by the Twelve Tables and there was no way to cheat the Plebeians because the laws were in the main Forum hanging up for those purposes.  Since our court system was modeled around theirs then it was basically like it is now.  They had upper courts and lower courts and the right to an appeal was very well granted but only with good reasoning.  The only thing about their court system that we did not take on in a big way is capital punishment.  I say this because the Romans loved to kill any one who broke any of their laws but we do not kill unless you have killed first.

Another aspect of Roman law is crucifixion, which was what was done to Jesus Christ.  The Romans show very little mercy on anyone who comes across them.  They show even less mercy to strangers that try to change them because nobody likes change but the Roman officials despised it because it would no longer make them rich and powerful to the people.  Family laws were less harsh than state laws.

Family law was much different especially for higher classed people.  The children of that time were beat on occasion when they did something wrong but it was never on a regular basis.  They had hearts when it came to family.  The girls still had very little freedom to choose husbands and to plan their own life and they were married off very early.  To parents it was a relief to finally marry off their girl child but to marry of a boy child meant more wealth to their family.

In Conclusion the Romans had a very uncomplicated legal system and since everything was so easy to comprehend if you broke one of their laws sixty percent of the time you were sentenced to death with out thinking  but other times you were just banished.  Our laws came straight from out of Rome because the law system worked very well for them.  Only certain aspects of their laws were not adopted by us because they were thought to be too cruel.  But, what could you say except for “when your in the Romans house do as they do” or you could get capital punishment for doing what you thing is right.

Roman History

Roman Republican politicians were drawn largely from an ancient elite of wealthy families.  These families, known as the nobility, dominated access to the consulships; between them they held over 80% of the consulships in the last century of the Republic.  Active politics took place within this framework, and was characterised largely by personal and political feuds between individual members of the elite.  Because this elite was defined by office holding (the nobility consisted of those descended from consuls), political activity took place within a context of magistracies and public events.  Individual members of the nobility had to pursue careers in politics, not just from their own ambition, but to preserve the standing of their families: the Sergii in the middle years of the republic, and the Fabii towards the end are two examples of famous families shrunken in power.  The ideal political career was set out in the Lex Villia of 180 BC: military service in one’s twenties, quaestor at thirty (conferring membership in the Senate), aedile or tribune in one’s mid-thirties, praetor at 39 and consul at 42.  But the question arises: how were Roman politicians able to gain election to these offices and thus be politically successful?
The essential ingredient for an aspirant politician, whatever his family background, was wealth: the Roman elite was a moneyed elite.  Constant outlay was important in public life: a politician had to spend freely on his clients, on his household, on slaves (particularly gladiators, for personal protection) and on investment.  The expenses for elections were also astronomical.  Candidates had to provide themselves with a magnificent retinue and had to provide spectacles and gifts for the populace: chariot races, theatrical shows, wild beast hunts and particularly gladiators.  Direct bribery was also common, and represented a massive outlay – in the late 60s, Caesar had accumulated debts of several thousand talents due to his aedileship, his praetorian campaign, and his pontifical campaign.  In cases of prosecution, wealth was also necessary to bribe jurors, and all this wealth had to come from somewhere -normally the hapless provincials.  Indeed, by the late Republic it was a standard joke that a governor had to amass three fortunes: one to pay for his election expenses, one to bribe the jury for his extortion trial, and the third to keep.
In most cases, a candidate’s pedigree was also important.  As many statistical studies have shown (particularly those of Broughton, Badian and Gruen), the nobility dominated access to the consulship.  Most of the other consuls came from long established praetorian or senatorial families: the actual New Man (one without any senatorial antecedents who gained the consulship) was a very rare creature: the most famous cases were Marius and Cicero.  The importance of good breeding was such that Cicero could describe Ahenobarbus as consul-designate from the cradle.  However, the important question is why nobility meant so much.  The matter was partly one of actual influence – the amount of clientage and money one could bring to bear.  But there were other factors, such as the friendliness of powerful politicians (Ti. Gracchus being the most important example), previous military success (Sulla in the 90s) or the public reputation of one’s family (Scipio Aemilianus in 148).

One necessity for ensuring election to important posts or for securing legislation was the support of other members of the nobility.  In many cases, the factor that secured the election of a candidate was the support of powerful politicians, who the candidate would be expected to help while in office.  The most obvious examples are Pompey’s pet consuls in 61-58, who were able to secure his land legislation, but probable others include Catulus in 102 (for Marius), and L. Scipio in 190 (for his brother).  In other cases, a broader familial or factional support base can be guessed at, such as with Hortensius in 69, Sulla in 88 or Bibulus in 59.  These were all cases in which sharp political issues informed campaigns.  However, there were also cases in which obligations and friendships (referring to political friendship or amicitia) had been built up over time.  The classic example is Cicero, who despite being a New Man, was elected senior consul in suo anno in 63, simply by having a large group of grateful defendants whose support he could call on, and by having very few enemies.
These horizontal connections within the elite also had to be supplemented by vertical connections with the lower orders of Roman society.  The most enduring and stable of these connections was that of clientage.  Roman politicians could call on their clients to campaign for them, solicit for them and even fight for them, as well as voting for them (although this could not be enforced, with the introduction of the secret ballot).  However, as Brunt’s and Badian’s studies have shown, clientage was a most complicated institution.  Its stability was relative, since people and groups could have more than one patron and they could change over time.  Still, the more clients a politician had, particularly those of influence or urban residence, the more support in the lower orders he could gain.
Particularly important to the nobility and their ethos, and also to political success and popularity in as militaristic a state as Rome, was success and bravery in battle.  Rome was a society founded upon war, and her history was one of strife and conquest.  One of the greatest attractions of the praetorship and consulship was that they conferred imperium, which gave the bearer the right to command armies.  This was the main purpose of Rome’s magistrates for most of her history, and even when they had become mostly civilian magistrates, as propraetors and proconsuls they still went out to govern provinces and wage wars.  War provided an opportunity for reputations to be made, for prizes to be awarded to young nobles: we need only think of Scipio Africanus92 role at Cannae or Caesar’s civic crown at Mytilene.  For those commanding the army, war provided many more opportunities.  They could establish their names in history and achieve personal glory (one thinks particularly of Caesar in Gaul).  They could make massive fortunes (for in the ancient world war normally brought home a handsome profit to the victors) from the amassing of booty or the sale of large numbers of slaves (Aemilius Paullus in 167, Marius and Catulus in 101, Caesar in 58 and 57).  All of these gave successful commanders an important position in politics, resting on the twin bastions of their wealth and fame.  A few commanders could also hope for future support from their soldiers, although the circumstances seems unclear.  It seems, however, that only those commanders who had made their soldiers rich (Sulla in the East 88-83, Pompey in the East 66-62, Caesar in Gaul 58-50) realistically hoped for political support from their veterans.
However, with a few unfortunate exceptions, all of this military activity after the beginning of the third century took place a long way from Rome, the centre of public life.  For a politician to advance his career, he had to do so in full view of the populus Romanus, in the Senate-house and in the Forum.  From the mid third century, the concept of largesse (largitio) takes hold in public life.  This meant that the approval of the people had to be sought by a candidate through showing magnificence: expending wealth and other private resources in the service and the interests of the people.  Through the expansion and enrichment of the Roman empire, and the intense competition of the Roman elite, the sums necessary became very large.  Indeed it became such a problem that at some stage a law was passed forbidding games given by candidates for public office.  This largesse could take many forms.  The normal mode was the giving of games.  Normally games were the property of aediles, who spent enormous sums on their games to make sure they would be remembered when they campaigned for the consulship.  Aediles could also stage games for their friends who were candidates: these were normally funeral games in honour of a deceased ancestor, and consisted of pairs of gladiators (the most spectacular were, predictably, Caesar’s in honour of his father, during his aedileship).  The other type of games were votive games, celebrated by victorious generals (Sulla in 80 and Pompey in 70).  Another popular form was a public feast (possibly Sulla during his dictatorship, and Crassus in 70), or the provision of grain at private expense (Crassus in 70 again, or Spurius Maelius in 439).  A more permanent benefaction was the erection of structures near the Forum, such as the many basilicas erected during the middle and late Republic (by the Porcii, Sempronii, Aemilii and Opimii), or the astonishingly expensive Forum of Caesar, begun during the late 50s.
Roman politicians lived in a competitive atmosphere where they vied with other members of the senatorial elite for advancement.  This advancement was expressed through the holding of magistracies which had to be sought from the People.  There were many factors which contributed to the outcome of this competition.  Which politicians were able to advance depended on those with the best resources in wealth, birth, alliances, clients, military success and public repute.  It was all of these factors, in varying degrees of importance with different personalities, circumstances, and eras, which were the secrets of political success under the Republic.

Russian Communism: Leninism and Stalinizm is what?

The specter is haunting Europe—the specter of communism… So what is this specter called communism and how haunting is it really? The Webster’s Dictionary says that communism is a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party. Karl Marx says that communism is abolition of private property. Others say it is equal division of unequal earnings or it is an opiate of the intellectuals. Even some go so far as to proclaim that communism is a state form of Christianity. The bottom line is—communism is “one-third practice and two-thirds explanation of a failed experiment,” as the authors of Twelve Chairs, E. Ilf and I. Petrov, define it. The underlying theme of Twelve Chairs is to define the Russian communism. The authors, though their two protagonists, Ostap Bender and Ippolit Vorobyaninov, use satire and slight exaggeration to ridicule the idiocy and flaws of Soviet social structure in a funny yet touching, melancholy way.

The search for bejeweled chairs takes Bender and Vorobyaninov from the provinces of Moscow to the wilds of Soviet Georgia and the Trans-Caucasus Mountanins. Ostap Bender is an unemployed con artist living by his wits in post revolutionary Soviet Russia. He joins forces with Ippolit Vorobyaninov, a former nobleman who has returned to his hometown to find a cache of missing jewels, which were hidden by his mother in one of the twelve chairs. The Soviet authorities had confiscated these chairs, as well as all of Vorobyaninov’s possessions including his mansion. Not only does the search for bejeweled chairs serves as a plot device for the novel, it also contributes to ridiculing the Soviet system.

On their long and thrilling expedition, Bender and Vorobyaninov satirically inspect progress and success of the Soviet Communism; they come to conclusion, not surprisingly, that there is no success (success of the Soviet Communism) because there was not progress to begin with. Communism, as the novel points out, is inequality, but not as property is. Property is exploitation of the weak by the strong, communism is exploitation of the strong by the weak. How can the weak abuse the strong?  Sounds absurd doesn’t it? Yet it is the actuality of the Soviet Communism.

One of the main points of Soviet propaganda was to get rid of all the wealthy, that is educated upper-middle class, and let the illiterate lower-middle class rule in a classless society. How could such thing be possible? How could people who do not know how to rule be in charge? How could the last be first and the first be last? That is the absurdity of Soviet apparatus, for it goes against the human nature. Because “the light at the end of the tunnel” was to achieve classless society, everyone must be of one class, that is class of the proletariat. Consequently, everyone must be equal. Everyone must live in the same communal apartments, everyone must wear the same type of clothing, everyone must have the same political idea (idea of communism), and everyone must receive the same amount of money for his/her services to the country.  And that is, as Bender points out in a dialogue with a Moscow worker, the absurdity of the communist program. “They [communists] went from bad to worse,” Bender concludes (78). The implication of that sentence is that Lenin got rid off all the wealthy (those who were in charge in Czarist Russia) and filled the vacuum with the proletariat. Thus all workers became, theoretically and practically, in charge of their factories or mills. And what happens when everyone is in charge thus forming a “classless” society? The answer is simple. Communism or its synonym— nonsense.” Furthermore, how can everyone receive the same amount of money for different types of services; how can everyone get paid the same? It’s the senselessness of Soviet Communism, as the book points out. In turn, the “equality of wages” created pandemic laziness and slackness in Soviet Union. For instance, imagine yourself an engineer in a factory and imagine your friend, Joe Smith, a simple worker in that same factory. Although you worked considerably harder and longer to get you Ph.D. in engineering and Joe Smith didn’t, for he is a simple worker, both of your salaries are about the same. Soon, you will start asking yourself one plain question: how come I work three times harder, both mentally and physically, then Joe Smith yet our paychecks are alike? And little by little you will conclude that the most fair and “equal” way to solve this inextricable question, is for you to slow down and not work as hard as you used to. That’s how, as the book alludes, inactivity and laziness begin to burgeon in Soviet social Communism.

The authors do an exceptionally good job in mocking the social Communism of major industrial cities of Russia. Because any of Russia’s big cities are identical to one another, the book doesn’t even bother giving real names to the cities. Instead, the book names them all by one name—urban city N.  The authors’ uneasy task of mockery starts with railroad depots, for the “depots are the gates of the city.”In urban city N, the depots are alike in size and architecture. However, there is one major difference—its clock towers. Western Depot clock’s shows 10:05 a.m.; Eastern Depot’s, 10:00 a.m.; and Southern Depot’s, 9:45 a.m. “Such modernization is only good if you’re late for a date,” as Vorobyaninov remarks, “you always have ten minutes in reserve.”  As Bender and Vorobyaninov perambulate through the urban city N, they notice that there are a lot of barber shops, public baths and funeral homes, as if the inhabitants of this city are born only to wash their body, cut their hair, and die. The absurdity of it all is that after the Revolution all private business were outlawed with the exception of barber shops, public baths, and funeral homes.

Towards the end of the book, Vorobyaninov, being a former nobleman and amateur mathematician, proposes to “solve the greatest puzzle of the century”(144). He asks Bender about the difference between mathematics and communism? In mathematics, as Vorobyaninov explains, something is given and something needs to be proved; in communism everything is proven and nothing is given. The Soviet communist party, through its effective use of propaganda, proved or guaranteed everything yet gave nothing. The Party proved that soon, Soviet Union will step into the last and final stage of communism—the  “classless” society of proletariat; the Party proved that soon everyone in Russia will be “equal” and happy; the Party proved that soon it will eliminate poverty, crime, and unemployment; the Party proved that soon there would be no need for law enforcement because everyone will soon be “equal” and happy there would be no need and desire to steel or disobey.

In truth, this is the existence of Soviet Communism and it’s aftermath.  In Communism, everybody is employed. Although everybody is employed, nobody does anything. Although nobody does anything, the Plan (meaning Stalin’s five-year production plans) is always fulfilled to 100%, sometimes even to 120%. Although the Plan is always fulfilled to 100%, nothing is ever available in the stores. Although nothing is ever available for purchase, everyone eventually finds everything he/she needs. Although everyone eventually finds what he/she needs, everybody ends up stealing. Although everybody ends up being a thief, nothing is ever found missing. That’s the reality of the Soviet communism. The main theme of the book is the defining of communism in a way that anyone could understand. Communism, as the book defines it, is “laughter through tears.” It is gloom and heartbreaking, yet it is so irrational and absurd that it makes you laugh.

Russian Revolutions of 1917

The abdication of Emperor Nicholas II in March 1917, in conjunction with the establishment of a provisional government based on Western principles of constitutional liberalism, and the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in November, are the political focal points of the Russian Revolutions of 1917. The events of that momentous year must also be viewed more broadly, however: as an explosion of social tensions associated with rapid industrialization; as a crisis of political modernization, in terms of the strains placed on traditional institutions by the demands of Westernization and of World War I; and as a social upheaval in the broadest sense, involving a massive, spontaneous expropriation of gentry land by angry peasants, the destruction of traditional social patterns and values, and the struggle for a new, egalitarian society.  Looking at the revolutionary process broadly, one must also include the Bolsheviks’ fight to keep the world’s first “proletarian dictatorship” in power after November, first against the Germans, and then in the civil war against dissident socialists, anti-Bolshevik “White Guards,” foreign intervention, and anarchist peasant bands. Finally, one must see the psychological aspects of revolutionary change: elation and hope, fear and discouragement, and ultimately the prolonged agony of bloodshed and privation, both from war and repression, and the “bony hand of Tsar Hunger,” who strangled tens of thousands and, in the end, brought the revolutionary period to a close after the civil war by forcing the Bolsheviks to abandon the radical measures of War Communism in favor of a New Economic Policy (NEP).

Throughout, the events in Russia were of worldwide importance. Western nations saw “immutable” values and institutions successfully challenged, COMMUNISM emerged as a viable social and political system, and Third World peoples saw the power of organized workers’ and peasants’ movements as a means of “liberating” themselves from “bourgeois” exploitation. As such, the Revolutions of 1917 ushered in the great social, political, and ideological divisions of the contemporary world.


Historical Background


Historians differ over whether the Revolutions of 1917 were inevitable, but all agree on the importance of three related causal factors: massive discontent, the revolutionary movement, and World War I, each operating in the context of the ineptitude of a rigid, absolutist state.  The emancipation of the serfs in 1861 left the countryside in deep poverty. The newly freed peasants received inadequate land allotments, particularly in areas of fertile soil, and even these had to be purchased with “redemption payments.” Class antagonisms sharpened, particularly since government-promoted industrialization sent impoverished peasants flocking to jobs in urban areas for low wages under oppressive conditions. Government efforts to industrialize also required huge tax revenues, which intensified pressures on workers and peasants alike. Meanwhile, the rising  business and professional classes expressed unhappiness with tsarist rule and yearned for a Western-style parliamentary system.  By 1905 discontent among the bourgeoisie, peasantry, and proletariat had spurred Russian intellectuals to create the major political organizations of 1917. Populist groups, organized in the countryside by the 1890s, joined radical socialist workers’ groups in the founding of the Socialist Revolutionary party in 1901. The Marxist SocialDemocratic Labor party was established in 1898. Five years later it divided into two factions: the Mensheviks, who favored a decentralized, mass party; and the Bolsheviks of Vladimir Ilich LENIN, who wanted a tightly organized, hierarchical party (see BOLSHEVIKS AND MENSHEVIKS). Middle-class liberals formed the Constitutional Democratic party (Cadets) in 1905.  Russian losses in the RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR precipitated the RUSSIAN REVOLUTION OF 1905. The massive urban strikes, rural rioting, and almost total liberal disaffection from the tsarist regime in 1905 have been called a “dress rehearsal” for 1917. Reluctantly, Nicholas II granted a range of civil liberties, established limited parliamentary government through a DUMA, abolished peasant redemption payments, and under Pyotr STOLYPIN began an agrarian reform program to promote the growth of a rural middle class. These measures momentarily quieted the populace, but they also raised new expectations; many concessions were later withdrawn, thus exacerbating tensions. Furthermore, the social stability that some thought the tsar’s promises offered required time to develop, and this Russia did not have.


The March Revolution


In 1914, Russia was again at war. Land reform was suspended, and new political restrictions were imposed. Disastrous military defeats sapped public morale, and ineffective organization on the home front made the government’s incompetence obvious to all. The emperor, assuming command of the army in 1915, became identified with its weakness. The sinister influence of Empress ALEXANDRA’s favorite, Grigory RASPUTIN, increased. By the winter of 1916-17, disaffection again rent all sectors of society, including liberals, peasants, and industrial workers.  When food shortages provoked street demonstrations in Petrograd on March 8 (N.S.; Feb. 23, O.S.), 1917, and garrison soldiers refused to suppress them, Duma leaders demanded that Nicholas transfer power to a parliamentary government. With the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, a special Duma committee on March 15 (N.S.; March 2, O.S.) established a provisional government headed by Prince Georgi Lvov, a liberal. On the same day, the emperor abdicated. He attempted to give the crown to his brother Michael, but Michael refused to accept it. The 300-year-old Romanov dynasty came to an end.

 The new provisional government was almost universally welcomed. Civil liberties were proclaimed, new wage agreements and an 8-hour day were negotiated in Petrograd, discipline was relaxed in the army, and elections were promised for a Constituent Assembly that would organize a permanent democratic order. The existence of two seats of power, however–the provisional  government and the Petrograd Soviet–not only represented a  potential political rivalry but alsoreflected the different aspirations of different sectors of Russian society.


For most Russians of privilege–members of the bourgeoisie, the gentry, and many professionals–the March Revolution meant clearing the decks for victory over Germany and for the establishment of Russia as a leading European liberal democracy. They regarded the provisional government as the sole legitimate authority. For most workers and peasants, however, revolution meant an end to an imperialist war, major economic reforms, and the development of an egalitarian social order. They looked to the Petrograd Soviet and other soviets springing up around the country to represent their interests, and they supported the government only insofar as it met their needs.


Political Polarization


Differing conceptions of the revolution quickly led to a series of crises. Widespread popular opposition to the war caused the Petrograd Soviet on April 9 (N.S.; March 27, O.S.) to repudiate annexationist ambitions and to establish in May a coalition government including several moderate socialists in addition to Aleksandr KERENSKY, who had been in the cabinet from the beginning. The participation of such socialists in a government that continued to prosecute the war and that failed to implement basic reforms, however, only served to identify their parties–the Socialist Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, and others–with government failures. On July 16-17 (N.S.; July 3-4, O.S.), following a disastrous military offensive, Petrograd soldiers, instigated by local Bolshevik agitators, demonstrated against the government in what became known as the “July Days.”  The demonstrations soon subsided, and on July 20 (N.S.; July 7, O.S.), Kerensky replaced Lvov as premier. Soon, however, the provisional government was threatened by the right, which had lost confidence in the regime’s ability to maintain order. In early September (N.S.; late August, O.S.), General Lavr KORNILOV was thwarted in an apparent effort to establish a right-wing military dictatorship. Ominously, his effort was backed by the Cadets, traditionally the party of liberal constitutionalism. The crises faced by the provisional government reflected a growing polarization of Russian politics toward the extreme left and extreme right.


Meanwhile, another revolution was taking place that, in the view of many, was more profound and ultimately more consequential than were the political events in Petrograd. All over Russia, peasants were expropriating land from the gentry. Peasant-soldiers fled the trenches so as not to  be left out, and the government could not stem the tide. New shortages consequently appeared in urban areas, causing scores of factories to close. Angry workers formed their own factory committees, sequestering plants to keep them running and to gain new material benefits. By the summer of 1917 a social upheaval of vast proportions was sweeping over Russia.


The November Revolution


Sensing that the time was ripe, Lenin and the Bolsheviks rapidly mobilized for power. From the moment he returned from exile on Apr. 16 (N.S.; Apr. 3, O.S.), 1917, Lenin, pressing for a Bolshevik-led  seizure of power by the soviets, categorically disassociated his party from both the government and the “accommodationist” socialists. “Liberals support the war and the interests of the bourgeoisie!” he insisted, adding that “socialist lackeys” aided the liberals by agreeing to postpone reforms and continue fighting. With appealing slogans such as “Peace, Land, and Bread!” the Bolsheviks identified themselves with Russia’s broad social revolution rather than with political liberty or the political revolution of March. Better organized than their rivals, the Bolsheviks worked tirelessly in local election campaigns. In factories they quickly came to dominate major committees; they also secured growing support in local soviets. A Bolshevik-inspired military uprising was suppressed in July. The next month, however, after Kornilov’s attempted coup, Bolshevik popularity soared, and Lenin’s supporters secured majorities in both the Petrograd and Moscow soviets, winning 51 percent of the vote in Moscow city government elections. Reacting to the momentum of events, Lenin, from hiding, ordered preparations for an armed insurrection. Fully aware of what was about to transpire, the provisional regime proved helpless.


On the night of November 6-7 (N.S.; October 24-25, O.S.) the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd in the name of the soviets, meeting little armed resistance. An All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, meeting in Petrograd at the time, ratified the Bolsheviks’ actions on November 8. The congress also declared the establishment of a soviet government headed by a Council of People’s Commissars chaired by Lenin, with Leon TROTSKY in charge of foreign affairs.



The Civil War and Its Aftermath


Few, however, expected Lenin’s “proletarian dictatorship” to survive. Bolsheviks now faced thesame range of economic, social, and political problems as did the governments they had replaced. In addition, anti-Bolsheviks began almost at once to organize armed resistance. Some placed hope in the Constituent Assembly, elected November 25 (N.S.; November 12, O.S.); others hoped for foreign intervention. Few appreciated Lenin’s political boldness, his audacity, and his commitment to shaping a Communist Russia.


These traits soon became apparent. The November Constituent Assembly elections returned an  absolute majority for the Socialist Revolutionaries, but Lenin simply dispersed the Assembly when it met in January 1918. He also issued a decree on land in November 1917, sanctifying the peasants’ land seizures, proclaiming the Bolsheviks to be a party of poor peasants as well as workers and broadening his own base of support. He sued the Germans for peace, but under terms of the Treaty of BREST-LITOVSK (March 1918) he was forced to surrender huge portions of traditionally Russian territory. Shortly afterward, implementing policies called War Communism, Lenin ordered the requisition of grain from the countryside to feed the cities and pressed a program to nationalize virtually all Russian industry. Centralized planning began, and private trade was strictly forbidden. These measures, together with class-oriented rationing policies, prompted tens of thousands to flee abroad.


Not surprisingly, Lenin’s policies provoked anti-Bolshevik resistance, and civil war erupted in 1918. Constituent Assembly delegates fled to western Siberia and formed their own “All-Russian” government, which was soon suppressed by a reactionary “White” dictatorship under Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak. Army officers in southern Russia organized a “Volunteer Army” under Generals Lavr Kornilov and Anton Denikin and gained support from Britain and France; both in the Volga region and the eastern Ukraine, peasants began to organize against Bolshevik requisitioning and mobilization. Soon anarchist “Greens” were fighting the “Reds” (Bolsheviks) and Whites alike in guerrilla-type warfare. Even in Moscow and Petrograd, leftist Socialist Revolutionaries took up arms against the Bolsheviks, whom they accused of betraying revolutionary ideals.  In response, the Bolsheviks unleashed their own Red Terror under the Cheka (political police force) and mobilized a Red Army commanded by Trotsky. The Bolsheviks defeated Admiral Kolchak’s troops in late 1919, and in 1920 they suppressed the armies of Baron Pyotr N. WRANGEL and General Denikin in the south. Foreign troops withdrew, and after briefly marching into Poland the Red Army concentrated on subduing peasant uprisings.  Some Western historians attribute ultimate Bolshevik victory in this war to White disorganization, half-hearted support from war-weary Allies, Cheka ruthlessness, and the inability of Greens to establish a viable alternative government. Most important, however, was the fact that even while Bolshevik popularity declined, Lenin and his followers were still identified with what the majority of workers and peasants wanted most: radical social change rather than political freedom, which had never been deeply rooted in Russian tradition. In contrast, the Whites represented the old, oppressive order.
Nevertheless, with the counterrevolution defeated, leftist anti-Bolshevik sentiment erupted. The naval garrison at Kronshtadt, long a Bolshevik stronghold, rebelled in March 1921 along with Petrograd workers in favor of “Soviet Communism without the Bolsheviks!” This protest was brutally suppressed. The Menshevik and Socialist Revolutionary parties, harassed but not abolished during the civil war, gained support as the conflict ended. The Bolsheviks outlawed these parties, signaling their intention to rule alone. Lenin, however, was astute enough to realize that a strategic retreat was required. At the Tenth Party Congress, in 1921, the NEW ECONOMIC POLICY was introduced, restoring some private property, ending restrictions on private trade, and terminating forced grain requisitions. The foundations had been laid for building Bolshevik socialism, but the revolutionary period proper had come to an end.

Rise of American Empire

The American Empire started taking shape when the U.S. started enforcing the Monroe Doctrine in 1895, to assert its control over Latin America. America was just starting to build a navy that could compete with other world powers.

It wouldn’t have the chance to show off these powers until the Spanish-American War. America was outraged  with the inhumain way, Spain was treating the Cubans. Civilians were being locked up in  prison camps and dying by the thousands, as punishment for a Cuban guerrilla revolt. The Sinking of the U.S. Battleship The Maine further infuriated the American pubic and Spain declared war on April 24, 1898. The fist battle was fought across the world in the Philippines. On May 1st 1898 Commordore Dewey’s fleet cornered the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay and destroyed it. With this decisive victory America saw its chance to gain a valuable foothold in the Asian market by controlling the Philippines. Hawaii was annexed within months due to it being the halfway point to the Philippines, Americas empire was growing faster than anyone predicted. Spain eventually surrendered in Cuba, giving it up, and ceded Puerto Rico and Guam  to the United States.

Before the war America wanted Europe to know it had no intention of fighting this war to gain territory.  On the other hand, when war came McKinley saw it as a opportunity. During the war he wrote privately “While we are conducting war and until its conclusion, we must keep all we get; when the war is over we must keep what we want” (McKinley 593).

At home the public didn’t advocate colonial rule over large populations, such as the Philippines, it was European-style imperialism. Spain ceded The Philippines to the U.S. for 20 million dollars in the Treaty of Paris. The treaty was barley ratified in February 1899, by the Senate in a two-thirds vote with one to spare. The Senates indecisiveness indicates the anti-expansionist, anti-empirical feelings of the American public.  Andrew Carnigie offered to buy Filipino freedom with a check for 20 million dollars. Constitutionalists believe that the constitution doesn’t support empire building.

The government didn’t want to give up control of Philippines because they had the Progressive idea of  “Manifest Destiny” for the island. They thought the Filipinos were unfit for self rule and white Anglo-Saxon ways were better. Also that the Filipino government would collapse and that the Progressive idea of capitalism and democracy could save them.

I would argue that U.S. involvement in W.W.I was more Progressive than Imperialistic, but not in a purely Progressive sense. Considering Progressives were highly opposed to the war, Republicans, Democrats and the Populist Party all opposed our involvement. The American Union against Militarism, and the Women’s Peace Party both denounced the war and supported American neutrality at all costs.  However, in President Wilson’s declaration of war speech he attempts to sell Progressives on the war by saying, our involvement will make the world “safe for democracy” (Wilson 618).  He also says by helping win the war, “we would earn a place at the peace table, where it would spread the country’s democratic ideas to the rest of the world” (Wilson 618). This is of course refers to the underlying point in the Progressive idea of “Manifest Destiny”–our moral duty to spread democracy and capitalism to the rest of the world. Now these are just words that Wilson uses to gain support for the war, but one could argue that they are both Progressive and empirical in nature. The “Manifest Destiny” connection of the U.S.’s intentions in W.W.I  supports this. Progressive because Wilson says we are standing up for democracy and helping people, by spreading democracy and capitalism around the world.

Imperialism because we are trying to force our ideas of what’s right, on other nations. In the end however, I don’t think American involvement in The Great War was clearly Imperialistic or Progressive, more a mixture of both. If the Progressive’s had their way we would have never entered the war, but necessity arose. Imperialists and expansionists in this country, would likely oppose the war due to there being no chance in acquiring new territories.  Finally it came down to us standing up to Germany, and showing the world that the U.S. is a new world power, and major player in world affairs. That is what we did by joining the war and setting the stage, for future global power structures.


Grigory (or Gregory) Rasputin is without question one of the most sensational figures in Russian history. This mystic from Siberia arrived in St. Petersburg in 1911 and within a few years had become one of the most influential men in government. His ability to remain in such a high position despite widely publicized periods of drinking and womanizing is no doubt, the source of great envy among political figures around the world today.

Rasputin’s rise to power was due to his close relationship with the czar Nicholas II’s wife, Alexandra.  Her son, Alexis, suffered from hemophaelia, and only Rasputin could do what the top best doctor were unable to do, stop the boy’s bleeding. Because of this, Alexandra believed he was a holy man sent to protect Alexis and she always kept him near.
Rasputin is as famous for his death as he is for his life. At the end of 1916, a group of aristocrats working with the Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich (a cousin of Nicholas II) decided that Rasputin’s influence had grown too great and that he had to be killed in order to save Russia. They lured him to the Yusupovsky Palace on the telling him that Prince Felix Yusupovsky would introduce Rasputin to his beautiful wife.

Rasputin was led to the cellar and fed poisoned cakes and wine, but he was unaffected. Yusupovsky then shot the monk at point blank range and Rasputin collapsed on the floor. When Yusupov went to tell his fellow conspirators the good news, they sent him back to make sure he was dead. On returning to inspect the body, Rasputin suddenly regained consciousness and started to choke  Yusupov, who in seeing Rasputin alive was completely shocked. The Prince fled the cellar, screaming for help; when they all returned Rasputin was gone. They later found him in the yard crawling towards the front gate and began to shoot and bludgeon him. They then bound him in carpet and tossed him into the river. When Rasputin’s body was found, he was untied and his lungs were found to be filled with water, showing that he didn’t actually die until he was thrown into the river.