Wednesday, May 20, 2009
We each need $10 plus lunch money.
I'll treat those of you without funds to lunch and/or trip money. Let me know.
Please don't choose not to come due to lack of funds.
Bus leaves at 9 am. I need you guys to be outside the Main office by 8:45.
Our tour starts at 10:30am.
We come back by 2:15pm (I had it moved up from 1:30pm due to the overwhelming academic demands of the museum tour...)
What else? Leftovers are in my classroom. Stop by anytime and I'll pack the rest for the trip.
If I'm missing anything else, e-mail me at email@example.com
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I think it's pretty funny to look at the Soviet, Italian, and German dictatorships without checking myself for pro-democracy indoctrination and go "wow, they had tons in common, they were all so evil! I wonder why they didn't get along!?" But, with that aside, while the Soviet, German, and Italian regimes all had their similarities (attempt at total control), they were greatly different. In Soviet Russia, totalitarian dictatorship was a means to an end, an unhappy stepping stone on the way to proletariat (or peasant, whatever it was in Russia) self-governance and popular control of national industry. In both Germany and Italy totalitarianism was the end. Both regimes accepted (in their minds) that, in order to live to the fullest, the popular "sheep" had to be dominated by a few wolves, and thus decided on totalitarianism till the bitter end. Even there, however, the German and Italian regimes had inherent differences because, as Fascist governments, they were based intensely on nationalism. And since the manifestation of nationalism is radically different from country to country, the regimes themselves stood for different things.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Requiem was a banned cycle of poems written at the time of Stalin's Great Terror, during the endless months she spent waiting outside the St. Petersburg prison for news of her son's fate.
I threw myself at the hangman's feet,
You are my son, my horror.
Everything's mixed up for me forever,
And who is a man and who a beast
Will never now be clear ...
That was when the ones who smiled
Were the dead, glad to be at rest.
And like a useless appendage, Leningrad
Swung from its prisons.
The late Dante would have
created a tenth circle of hell
—Anna Akhmatova, Requiem, 1937
More information: http://www.uvm.edu/~sgutman/Akhmatova.htm
Friday, March 13, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Why did political and territorial domination of colonial areas become necessary for the European powers?
Monday, March 2, 2009
Why did political and territorial domination of colonial areas become necessary for the European powers?
The 19th and early 20th century world was a garden of growing flowers. For a while there had just been two or three flowers getting all the sunlight, Britain, France and the Dutch. Now the flower of Germany had grown and it's stem was big and strong; it wanted the sunlight just like all the other flowers. As I said before, the leaves on these flowers were hungrier and more numerous, and only the flowers that got the most light from the colonial sun got to grow tall enough to become one of the Great Flowers, a title of significant honor and repute throughout the garden. Aside from Germany, Japan's Flower was growing taller, ever since the American Rain Storm, which had once been in the sky shining on Britain, had fell down on it and helped it bloom. The garden was growing higher and wider than it had ever grown before, because every plant needed cheap and ethnically inferior sunlight to quench the maw of its leaves.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
What kinds of comparisons can you draw between secessionists in North America and nationalists in Europe?
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I would say that the 1848 revolution in France was definitely a proletarian revolution, but it was not the global proletarian coup de etat or the working classes easy take-over of centralized management. The 1848 revolution was, after all, a class war to an extent, and when the working men and women take up arms against their bourgeoisie oppressors, I would certainly say that there is a proletarian uprising. As to a working class movement, there were definitely elements within the rebellious factions that were fighting/rioting with a pro-working class agenda, but I think that in the end, any working class movement was mainly in the minds of the rank and file of the revolution. As always, it was primarily the laborers that did the fighting but the professionals and intellectuals that did most of the deliberating afterwards. The initial radicalism of the revolution got watered down after the overly-romantic period wore off, and once again the business of actually writing a constitution that provides liberty, justice, and happiness proved to be a little difficult.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Towards the end of the article on the trade war we apparently declared on the French cheese that I love but can't really afford anymore.
: “ …However Roquefort got its start, the people of ROQUEFORT-SUR-SOULZON( a village of 600 souls in a remote part of southern France) have been making it for a long time. They were granted a monopoly on producing the cheese by King Charles VI in 1411. In 1666, the parliament in Toulouse granted Roquefort a "controlled designation of origin," which made it illegal for other communities to claim they were producing it… A decree from the prime minister in 2001 reviewed in excruciating detail how Roquefort must be produced to retain its distinction, including boundaries for the ewes' grazing grounds…”
Apparently even Napoleon let them be probably because “... A piece of Parmesan or Roquefort cheese closed his meals. ...” (Napoleon from the Tuileries to St. Helena: Personal Recollections by Louis Étienne Saint Denis, 1922
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
One thing I noticed, as did the book: England always looked for Perliamentary reform to adjust the government, whereas France looked toward revolution each time it wanted change. This must be because there were two different govs. Imagine what this must've meant for success as a country; a fluid, changable government is a vital necessity if you want to get ahead as a nation.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
I would like to make it clear that in my opinion, nationalism, used in a strictly national and military sense, has NOT been around for that long. It was only Louis XIV who created a national army for France. He was around in the 17th century, just two hundred years before Napoleon. It was a new thing that had not been going on until then. Before that people fought out of duty, fear, anger, pride, or to protect themselves, and of course to make money. When it comes to the spread of patriotism, there was no printing press before 1439. There were no salons, no reading cultures, no ideas spreading like wild fire, other than perhaps religious ones since the church was so well established and interconnected. It was a very isolated and personal existence as the majority of lives were agriculturally based.
As to nationalism as a whole, if there was any nationalism it was probably not national, but, manor-, town-, city-, state- or city-state-wide. You see Europe, had only come along as an Entity around the 13 or 1400s and the individual nations of Europe began forming as united political bodies from about then on. It seemed that as these nations grew stronger and more populated so too did the wars they fought; growing larger and more complex as nations ganged up on one another. People were much more concerned about heaven than they were about their nation during the middle ages. The New Monarchies that made these rough political boundaries into a Spain, a Britain, and a France. You can't really get fired up about nationalism until you have a nation to get fired up about.
Granted, Germany, around the time of Napoleon was not really a "nation" per se, but it wanted to be one, and it talked about being one, and it did so in the hopes that it would be it's own nation, and it fought for that image.
The city of Concord today has as much population as some of the major cities in the 16th and 17th centuries. The city of New York had as many people as some nations. People and their ideas have been spread out for a while.
I think that living in a small world today we forget how big the world used to be and how young we really are as a civilized race or even as a species.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I think the key difference between the earlier bids for European supremacy and Napoleon's empire are in the fact that much of Napoleon's empire consisted of allied states that were not completely under the French heel. Granted, Napoleon could force all the countries within the empire (not counting Russia as a part of the empire) to act/not act, but much of the states that Napoleon had conquered were still allowed some semblance of self-government. I think a large reason that Napoleon was so able to control such a portion of Europe (i.e. most of it) was because he left this illusion of some self-government. It may have been the state of politics in his age, but for whatever the reason, strong political figures in many countries (tied, in essence, to whatever bit of Volksgeist the country had) were left with some power. I believe that this "delegation" of power, versus the earlier attempts at total control/domination, made Napoleon's empire more stable. The way I see it, the larger the area controlled, the greater the diversity of the population. With population diversity comes a differentiation of desires, and it is desires the deviate from the intentions of authority that cause problems. Napoleon was able to spread his control out across leaders who identified with their countries, where the earlier French and Habsburg reaches did not.
Page 434: "Industrialism vs. capitalism" Do you agree with Palmer's analysis? What does his analysis imply about the "Cold War"
With capitaism if people want money (even with small wages) they work, but they do not have to work so there is less restriction; although they are probably not going to quit their jobs they still can, for as we all know there is not much of a life without any money in society. In communism you have to work and you don't get anywhere and you can't control whether what your working for (which is in this case your nation) is getting anywhere. In communism if you decide to work (and you always decide whether at gun point or not) you see no results because you can only control yourself while working to improve an entire nation. In capitalism if you decide to work you make money and you have the opportunity to use it (however little it may be) in whichever way you choose; you improve yourself but you also improve your nation. In capitalism if you don't work you live on the street or out in the woods; you'll probably die but it's not definite. In communism if you don't work you get executed, not probably, you're dead. Not to mention in communism you have no religion and you see (or hear about) tens of innocent people killed everyday. This provides for some extreme depression because everything is beyond your control, and humans were not meant to live beyond there own control! It was a lack of opportunity in communism, plus terror, and atheism that made its members not work as hard as the workers in capitalism. Yet perhaps more important was the fact that Russia was in tatters and had to start from scratch after the revolution whereas the west had a relatively strong head start and had not much loss of security since it didn't have to change its whole system of government. The fact that Russians had nothing to lose caused them to agree to anything that would get them fed. This did not mean that they were any less unhappy about there dismal conditions, its obvious they were unhappy, that's why they fled to the west, that's why they didn't produce as much (although the American head start and money proved more decisive than happiness), and that's why when they fought they were more afraid of their home than the enemy, they were happy to live under enemy capture if they got fed. It is the same reason why free trade works better than mercantilism, it is natural, and communism is not natural, in the wild an animal's number one goal in life is to keep on living and bettering themselves, number two is others, and many times they act on the behalf of others to feel good about themselves. But when you are acting on the behalf of a government that is killing your friends and family, you do not feel very good about yourself. At least God is perfect, Stalin was as far from God as any idol could be and wouldn;t allow people to worship God. A life under communist Russia proved quite meaningless except for endless slave devotion to the painting of some evil old man. But my main point is opportunity, communists lacked the opportunity of a better life, they lost the fundamental pursuit of happiness. That is why they had to cover themselves up so much, people do not want to work in a factory to better an already extremely wealthy government in one store when they can work across the street for cash they can keep and get something for their efforts. People only volunteer for a reward other than cash, like knowledge or experience and unhappy people are less enthusiastic to help others. Communism is based on helping others and Russian communism made people unhappy. On top of that it put unhappy people in an unhappy place and expected great results. Looks like their expectations were a bit high.
First of all, England's parliamentary gov. was in the hand of merchants and land owners. Therefore, these profit-chasing people were able to back their object with laws such as the enclosure act. Also, the social structure of England, which had a large middle class that had enough purchsing power, was more apt to the industrializing than that of France. England's naval dominance, as well as its ever-expanding colonies and markets further encouraged merchants to take more experimental measures... oh no fire drill
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Think back to Spain’s and France’s earlier efforts to establish a universal monarchy. Compare them to Napoleon’s Grand Empire.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
If we define a enlightened despot as a ruler who has absolute power, but also rules with the ideas of the Enlightenment, then Napoleon was enlightened. He applied many of the Enlightenment's ideas while he ruled France. As Elise has already pointed out, he ended feudalism in France, going a step beyond enlightened despots such as Catherine and Frederick the Great. Napoleon supported scientific research and thought it was "the essential, rational foundation of modern knowledge" (pg. 410). Religious toleration was also a part of Napoleon's empire. Perhaps the greatest indicator of Napoleon's enlightenment is his belief that all men are created equal and want the same things. This is exhibited in his "careers open to talent" policy. If I remember correctly, we decided as a class that Joseph II of Austria was our most enlightened despot. He and Napoleon seem to have reformed the same things in their respective countries i.e. abolishing feudalism and religious toleration. To me, it seems that Napoleon's greatest mistake was the fact that he overreached himself. His ideas were good ones, but as Sam has already said, he tried to apply them everywhere using his military. Had he limited himself to France, he would have stayed in power much longer. Our book states that Napoleon: "carried over the rationalist and universalist outlook of the Age of Enlightenment" (pg. 406), "spoke endlessly of the enlightenment of the age" (pg. 410), and "may be thought of as the last and most eminent of the enlightened despots" (pg. 389).
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
From the start, the Napoleonic Empire had a potential to be fragile for its dominance was mostly due to its military power alone. Coalitions, however, kept failing because each state had conflicts among them and was willing to make peace with France for short-term benefits.
The grievances, however, remained and the enforced Continental System mounted the already increasing hostility to the French Empire. Also, ironically, the enlightened ideas that Napoleon had spread boosted the development of nationalism and romanticism.
Therefore, the states were readier than ever to work together by the time Napoleon invaded Russia. Once Napoleon's Grand Army was gone, they finally merged together to defeat the French.