Friday, June 12, 2015

Buffalo Soldiers

In the late 1800's the United States federal government took actions to initiate westward expansion. and colored regiments were organized. When gold was discovered in the west, colored regiments were organized to aid in moving Native Americans off of their land. The colored soldiers who were part of the regiments established went on to be called Buffalo Soldiers. These men fought many Native tribes. After viewing videos and analyzing primary sources we learned that the native troops and the colored men impacted by the new regiments were affected by the federal government's inititives for westward expansion.

Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th calvary riding horseback.
The Federal government had good intentions when they enacted policies to begin the westward expansion, but they did not think about the consequences. Their policies greatly affected the natives and buffalo soldiers. The discovery of gold in the west was predicted to greatly benefit the United States, but because there were so many tribes in the west the states had limited access to their treasure. To resolve this issue the Buffalo Soldiers moved west and moved the tribes off of their land. This way white settlers could move west and dig for gold. Helen Hunt Jackson describes how the native tribes were affected when she wrote, "There is not among these three hundred bands of Indians one which has not suffered cruelly at the hands of either the government or of white settlers. The poorer, the more insignificant, the more helpless the band, the more certain the cruelty and outrage to which they have been subjected." Natives were forced to move off of their land. They started to rebel and fought battles against the Buffalo soldiers. The buffalo soldiers worked hard to protect the white settlers, were often beaten and sometimes even shot due to the prejudice from those who they tried to protect. It was also common for these soldiers to ride 90 miles on horseback. The native americans were forced off of their land and the buffalo soldiers had to face harsh prejudice, both fought in brutal battles all because the federal government did not think of the consequences behind their good intentions.

The federal government acted selfishly. The westward expansion would benefit the United States because of the wealth that would be brought in by gold and the population increase that would come as a result of more land. What about the Native Americans who already occupied the south? Who was going to fight the native americans off of their land? The federal government acted with good intentions for themselves, but in turn affected the lives of Buffalo Soldiers and innocent western tribes.


"Helen Hunt Jackson: A Century of Dishonor (1881)." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 5 June 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Good vs Evil

      The steel industry exploded in the early 1900s. During this times the United States produced the largest amount of the world's steel and oil. John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie are two of America's richest people who arose from this industrial innovation period. They are still admired today for their work, but in the 1900s should they be considered robber barons or captains of industry?
     Both robber barons and captains of industry were popping up more and more during this time. Captains of industry are leaders who believe in competiton and are liked by others. On the contrary robber barons were not liked by others and rather than natural competition they wanted to destroy their rivals. By these definitions I would classify John D Rockefeller as a robber baron and Andrew Carnegie as a captain of industry.
  John D Rockefeller was a leader in the oil industry, who was said to be "mad for oil." He used his position as a major personnel in oil production to bring in a lot of wealth. One of his main goals was to make money. He said, "Someday I will be the richest man in the world." With his money he did not compete with other oil businesses, he rather bought out the companies that were not doing well. In addition to this he bribed politicians and used horizontal integration. Horizontal integration is the practice of meeting with other companies' directors to make sure their prices stay high. Because Rockefeller followed these tactics and was not liked by others, he should be classified as a robber baron.
     Andrew Carnegie was very different than Rockefeller. Although, they both were top businessmen in their class Carnegie is a captain of industry. Carnegie excelled in the steel business and became very wealthy. He believed in the "gospel of wealth," the idea that every rich man was made rich by god and he has the duty to use his wealth for the good of the people. Carnegie most definitely used his wealth for the good of others. He founded Carnegie Mellon University and spent excess money on public needs such as education and libraries. In addition to this Andrew Carnegie was a believer in rewarding his workers and recognizing their talent. Carnegie proved to be a "people person" and should be classified as a captain of industry.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Power from Above

In class we have been learning about the events leading up to the abolition of slavery. A major point of this lesson was to determine if the acts of freedom were granted by powers from above or below. Power from above is change made by someone in authority, often a reaction to the slaves. Power from below is just the opposite. It is when a group of people without power create change.

In terms of the civil war and abolition of slavery, this change was granted by power from above. When Union troops moved through Southern cities the slaves would flock in. The slaves crowded the city streets enough to make the troops complain to higher powers. These complaints made their way to the president and from there he spoke the emancipation proclamation. This stated that slaves in rebelling states were free. Later on the 13th amendment was declared by congress. From this slavery was abolished.

Although power from above was used in the civil war, I do not believe that it is the only way to achieve things. People when they come together have the power to accomplish great things.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Civil War Scavenger Hunt

This previous week in history class, we participated in a civil war battle scavenger hunt. We were given a list with short summaries of the civil war battles, from there we chose one of the descriptions and had to research the information we were given to name to battle. Next, we made a google document with the name of the battle, it's theater (east,west, or naval), the victor and the reasons for their success. We made a QR code to direct our classmates to the document. These QR codes were hidden around the school, each with a clue to where the next code was located. While hunting around our school we took notes on the documents and answered the questions, Who was the ultimate victor in each of the theaters of war: East, West, naval? And What are some commonalities identifying the reasons for the results of the battles?

I found that in the Eastern theater the confederate states were the primary victors. A majority of the battles were won by them including the battles of  the bull run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Cold Harbor. In the Eastern battles the union proved to have a lack of reinforcement where the confederacy had strong initial counter attacks. Although the Confederacy was able to dominate in the East the union was champion in the western theater. The union won the battles of Fort Henry, Shiloh, Fort Donelson, Vicksburg and many more. In the eastern theater the union was able to outnumber the confederacy and they proven to have a superior strategy. In accordance with the naval theater, the union was again the victor. The confederate armies had outdated weaponry compared to the union armies. The union had previously developed naval army and therefore their naval forces were stronger than the confederate's. The union's superior navy aided them into victory of the battles of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Hampton Roads, and Baton Rouge,

This activity, though tiring, was very fun! It was a good break from what we usually do in class, and it helped wake me up in the morning. I enjoyed being able to work together with my classmates to create the scavenger hunt and still being able to enjoy it myself.

Here is a padlet my class made today in class to show who the victor was in each of the civil war theaters.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Civil War in Art

The essential question asked to us this week was, How were the results of the Election of 1860 representative of the deep divisions over slavery? This answer has many aspects one being that when Lincoln became president the southern states who were not in favor of his presidency felt the urge to leave the union. We looked at many pieces of art from the civil war which also helped show the election of 1860 and secession. Check out the art in my group's Educreations video!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Union vs Confederacy

      We have been learning about the events leading up to the civil war in class recently.After viewing many documents and statistics it became evident that the North would win the war. Though the south had many advantages such as trained military personnel, a large slave population for fighting, and a good income due to trade, the advantages the North had out weighed those of the South. For this reason I set up my info graphic based on Northern advantages. My project displays a variety of interesting important data to prove that the North was truly on top during the Civil War.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Elephant in the Room

Slavery, an uneasy topic for many, has proven to be the elephant in the room for 19th century politics. By creating a timeline of events that led up to the civil war in class this week we learned a lot about how slavery was the elephant in the room. This means that slavery was a major issue that people avoided having discussions about. Though Politicians in the 19th century did have meetings like the one at which the Compromise of 1850 was declared, people tried to avoid talking about slavery. They took action for whichever side they supported, either anti or pro slavery. Events such as Bleeding Kanas, The Canning of Charles Sumner, and John Brown's Raid all ended in violence simply because slavery was the elephant in the room and no one wanted to talk about it.

Henry Clay
In 1850 California requested to join the union as free state. Henry Clay anticipated the anticipated the controversy that would be caused by having an uneven number of slave and free states so he proposed the compromise of 1850. This compromise was made up of 5 agreements that would temporarily keep peace between both parties. Part one declared that in exchange for $10 million Texas had to give up Santa Fe. In part two it was decided that New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada were to be organized without mention of slavery. Whether the territories would be free or not was to be determined by the majority in the population when those areas applied for state hood. People supporting pro slavery were especially happy with this because all they had to do was move pro slavery families on to this new land.  Part three wasn't as appealing to them though. The third part stated that slave trade was abolished in Washington D.C. Slavery was still permitted. Pro slavery groups had nothing to worry about. Parts four and five were in their favor. Part four made it so that California was a free state and part five tells us that the fugitive slave act was passed. This act made it so that slaves were brought in front of magistrates instead of having a fair trial. It also stated that is you saw a runaway slave, in accordance with the law, you had to turn them in. The compromise of 1850 is seen as a catalyst to many events following that all lead up to the civil war.

Slavery, being the elephant in the room, caused the violent actions were refer to as Bleeding Kansas. This is a few events grouped together in a broader unit. Some of these events include the burning of Lawrence and the massacre at Pottawatomie Creek. Lawrence Kansas, home to a popular newspaper, was burned on May 21, 1856 by a pro slavery mob. There goal was to prohibit the spread of anti slavery by word. Three days later, John Brown massacred many men at Pottawatomie Creek. All this violence was a result of people not wanting to sit down and discuss the obvious issue at hand.

The Canning of Charles Sumner is the next violent outbreak that occurred. Charles Sumner was the senator of Massachusetts and a leading republican with a powerful voice for anti slavery. In his fiery speech, "The Crime Against Kansas" he made direct remarks towards about South Carolina's senator, Andrew Butler. Butler's nephew, Preston Brooks was upset that Sumner bashed his uncle so he brutally beat Sumner with his cane. Cane never fully recovered, and Brooks received praise from the south for his actions.

John Brown's raid was another extremely violent event that happened during the 19th century.  October 16, 1859 Brown and 21 other men, a mixed of whites and blacks, raided the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry. John Brown was quickly injured and captures. He was later hanged on December 2.

Bleeding Kansas, The canning of Charles Sumner, and John Brown's raid are all evidence that slavery was the elephant in the room for American politics in the early 19th century. If people had been more willing to discuss the evident issue of slavery, many violent acts could've been avoided.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dignity Destroyed

     Slavery became economically entrenched in American society by the early 19th century. Entrenched is a word used to describe something that is firmly established or unlikely to change. Slavery was important to the harvest of crops which were used to produce goods. These goods were traded and the revenue brought in by trade boosted the economy. The economy of the United States depended on the labor of slaves, therefore it was very unlikely to abolish slavery. The cotton industry is a great example of this. As the need for cotton grew the slave population increased, because the economy depended on slave labor. In class we looked at maps that showed the corrolation between cotton production and slavery. They helped us to see how slavery became entrenched in the 19th century.

     Human dignity is destroyed by systems of slavery based on race. Everyone is worthy of respect. By putting someone in slavery because of their skin color the respect is taken. In the United States those with dark skin were put into slavery. This system destroyed their dignity. It made people believe that black people were of less value than white people. It made people think it was okay to take away the rights and respect that everyone is worthy of having. Slavery based on race made people ignore valuable human characteristics. Body limits and feelings of the slaves were completely ignored. Slave owners forced slaves to work throughout the day in the hot sun. There is only so much a human body can handle but that didn't matter. If work wasn't getting done, the slaves were beaten. Abdul Raman, and African prince who was sold into slavery, refused to work and was violently beaten. Another, characteristic ignored is emotion. Slave owners ignored the feelings of their slaves. Slaves were taken from their families, and forced into doing things they didn't want to do. Abdul Raman was torn away from his royal life and thrown into a life where he was disrespected and abused. When Raman arrived at the Foster plantation, Mr. Foster shaved off his long hair which was a sign of his royalty back home. His feelings and emotional connection to his hair were ignored. Slaves in the early 19th century were deprived of dignity and their human characteristics were ignored all because their work was economically entrenched in American society.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Women are Warriors

In the mid 19th century people had many tough and some unrealistic expectations for women. Luckily, today in the society of the 21st century the expectations for women aren't not as intense. Though, there is still inequality between men and women, the work women did in the 19th century to gain equality has greatly impacted the rights women do have today.

“The Sphere of Woman” illustration from Godey's 
Lady's Book, March 1850 Found at: http:// whw/workshop/ 
Women had one main job in the 1800's and that was to stay at home to raise children and maintain the house. As many people know, this is not an easy task for one woman to handle all by herself. It was expected that the mother kept a quiet and relaxed home environment while she made and cleaned clothes, bared children, fixed things, cooked and cleaned. All of that had to be done in a private manner. And on top of it all, in the 19th century, as described in The Rights of Women: Laws and Practices, from the Seneca Falls Convention women could not own property, sign contracts, vote, or even claim custody over their children in the event that her spouse died. It was considered improper for women to speak in public, both verbally and in written word, therefore when women joined together at events such as the Seneca Falls convention is was rather outrageous. Women had never had a say in anything before, and all these women came together to share their opinions about equality. With hard work and dedication these women made a difference for themselves and all generations of women to come.

Today, women have many more rights than they did in the 19th century. Women can vote and speak publicly. Women can own property, sign contracts, and hold custody of their children. Women we call feminists, are still fighting for more equality. It is common for women to be degraded when in comparison to a man, and men are often praised while women are being put down for doing the same task. This video is a great representation of this in today's society. In comparison to conditions and expectations for women in the 1800's, women today have it easy!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Self Reliant Sourcing

“There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a transcendentalist in the mid 19th century. He wrote "Self-Reliance" to teach people about the transcendental idea of self-reliance. Emerson wrote the essay about his beliefs during the mid 19th century. We know this is a trustworthy source because it was written during the early transcendentalism movement by a transcendentalist himself. Ideas of the Mexican and Indian War and the end of slavery were brewing at the time this essay was written. Emerson, being against slavery and war, wanted people to think for themselves, and stand up for moral decisions. This document teaches us that Transcendentalists wanted to instill trust in oneself, and personal belief. We are limited to seeing the whole of Transcendentalism by this excerpt because there were other main ideas of Transcendentalism that can be found in writings by Henry David Thoreau. Transcendentalists also believed in simple living and living deliberately. Ralph Waldo Emerson believed that everyone should accept themselves for who they are, not copy or be jealous of the lives of others. In this excerpt he states, "... envy is ignorance... imitation is suicide... he must take himself  for better, for worse, as his portion." Emerson uses powerful metaphors to persuade the readers to believe his ideas. 
  • Waldo Emerson, Ralph. "Self-Reliance Quotes." By Ralph Waldo Emerson. Accessed January 9, 2015.