Saturday, October 3, 2009

Theodore Roosevelt

The life of Theodore Roosevelt is a very interesting life to talk about. I love his story because it shows a man who knows he has health problems that are hindering his life and still fights to prosper. The purpose of this entry is to show how Theodore Roosevelt came to be President of the United States.

Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858 in New York City to a wealthy family. He grew up surrounded by the love of his family. Theodore had asthma throughout his life and was always a very sick child. He however did not let this illness affect his mindset. He was determined to be a strong individual. He took up gymnastics and weight lifting which helped him become strong. From then on he always found time for exercise and for Theodore exercise became a daily occurrence, from hiking and riding horses to swimming.

In 1884 Theodore experienced an extremely rough day. His wife, Alice Lee Roosevelt gave birth to a baby girl. Two days later, Theodore’s mother passed away due to kidney failure and within a couple hours Alice passed away also. Both died on the same day, in the same house. He knew he had to get out so he left his daughter with his sister and left for the Dakota Badlands, where he bought a couple ranches and lived on the frontier, taking a break from politics.

In 1886 Roosevelt heads back to New York and remarries, diving back into politics. Roosevelt was appointed as a member of the Civil Service Commission of which he later became president. In 1897 he joined the administration of President McKinley as the secretary of the Navy. He saw that the Cuban War was approaching, so while he was in office he began preparing for it. When this was broke out in 1898 he went to Cuba as lieutenant colonel of a regiment of volunteer cavalry. Also in this year Theodore was elected governor of New York.

He would have sought to be reelected for another term but the Republicans choose him as their candidate for the second office of the Union. He served as vice president for less than a year and became president after the assassination of President McKinley on September 14, 1901. This is how he became president.

His life leading up to his presidency was hard but he fought through it. His health didn’t stop him from becoming what he wanted to become. This is the reason I love his story so much, he fought through his problems and the outcome was fantastic.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Trans-Continental Railroad

The Trans-Continental Railroad was a great and infamous milestone in our country’s history when it comes to transportation. Congress thought long and hard to find a transcontinental plan that would work for the country. Congress finally passed an effective trans-continental plan known as the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, right after the south seceded and the Civil War began, and happily signed by President Abraham Lincoln. In this essay we will look into detail of what the Trans-Continental railroad was and its construction, along with why it was so important and such a big issue.

The four men that really brought this idea to life, known as the “Big Four”, were Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins. These men were the driving force behind the railroad, also placing there own money into the construction. These four men came together, all being merchants, and formed the Central Pacific Railroad Company.

The plans for construction are as follows. The law stated that two railroads, coming form opposite sides, would work their way towards each other until they met. Both of these railroad lines were given a lot of financial support, not only monetary but, they were given areas of land as well. For instance, for every mile of track laid, each company was given 6,400 acres of land. Two years later these figures were changed, each railroad was now granted twice as much land as before. Also, America’s railroad tracks would now have a standard setting of 4 feet 8.5 inches in width.

“The greatest historical event in transportation on the continent occurred at Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1869, as the Union Pacific tracks joined those of the Central Pacific Railroad” This quotes shows how really important the railroad really was to our country linking the California to the rest of the country. It formed the basis of the huge Southern Pacific system. This was the foundation of transportation that we have used for centuries and in some form still use today.

In conclusion, the Trans-Continental Railroad was extremely important to the development of our country. It linked our country together for the first real effective time in history. Without the great men and ideas behind it, it would have taken our country a lot longer to see the railroad track come together. This time in history we really see a great development in transportation and a great development in the making of America’s history.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The World's Fair of 1863

The 1893 Worlds Fair was such a grand example of the Gilded Age because the Gilded Age was an era of reform. This took place only a decade or so after the end of the civil war and the country was just beginning to enter a state of reform. By far I think that the most important thing debuted at the fair was the Ferris wheel because it brought and still brings much joy to many people and I think that with all the hardship the country endured it was good for citizens to relax.

“The World's Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893, was a landmark event in American history and culture. Named in honor of Christopher Columbus, the Fair was a means of celebrating the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the New World and promoting the progress of man in science, industry, and culture since that historic event.” After the dedication ceremony in 1892, construction continued on until 1893, but due to the harsh winter found in Illinois it made progress very slow. Surprising everyone and against many odds, the World’s Fair opened up to the public on May 1, 1893. Two years and 19 million dollars were put into the amazing exposition.

Opening day was a sight to see. Never in American history do we see that many people travel anywhere to attend an event. The exposition was opened by President Grover Cleveland. Within only that first day nearly 129,000 people paid to enter into the fair. Although somewhat pricey for the time, people paid the fifty cents for adults and twenty five cents for children to gladly enter.

In my opinion the most important thing debuted at the World’s Fair in 1893 is the Ferris wheel. It was the most visited attraction there and was invented by George W. Ferris. He spent roughly 275,000 dollars constructing the enormous attraction. “The Ferris Wheel offered unparalleled views of the Exposition and surrounding city. The electric lights of the Fair made the Wheel one of the most popular after-dark activities. Over 1.5 million people boarded the Ferris Wheel during its five months of operation.” I think that it was the most important thing debuted at the fair because it was put to great use and brought so much joy to those who needed to be reminded of our great country.

In conclusion the 1893 Worlds Fair was such a grand example of the Gilded Age because the Gilded Age was an era of reform. It reminded the American people of what America is. By far the Ferris wheel was the most important thing debuted there at the fair and was another great example of how far country has come and will go.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

With the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, our country fell into the hands of Andrew Johnson. With his presidency continuing on until William McKinley, we will view their choices and historical facts during each of their terms. We will see how many made choices that led to multiple oppositions, while others did little to make an impact on our country.

Beginning with Johnson, we see that the Radical Republicans had no shame walking all over his ideas and passing legislation over his veto. He was impeached in 1867 due to him breaking one of the restricting laws placed over him by the Radicals. U.S. Grant was one of the presidents that did little to make an impact on our country, in my opinion. Yes, he was a key general in the war, but did little serving his terms, other than the couple of scandals. Now we mover onto Rutherford B. Hayes,
“Beneficiary of the most fiercely disputed election in American history, Rutherford B. Hayes brought to the Executive Mansion dignity, honesty, and moderate reform.”

“As the last of the log cabin Presidents, James A. Garfield attacked political corruption and won back for the Presidency a measure of prestige it had lost during the Reconstruction period.”
Garfield was not able to make an incredible legacy during his presidency, he was shot and killed the year he became president. He was succeeded by Chester A. Arthur. Under Arthur’s presidency two major acts were passed, the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Pendleton Civil Service Act. The Pendleton Civil Service Act led to a permanent federal civil service system. Grover Cleveland was the president following Arthur. Cleveland vetoed many bills and many acts. When he was elected again he faced a small depression.
“The First Democrat elected after the Civil War, Grover Cleveland was the only President to leave the White House and return for a second term four years later.”

Under Benjamin Harrison many acts were passed, allowing higher duties to be paid on most imports. By looking at the research I have, it seems that many presidents did not pass very many acts or bills at all but Harrison was not one of them. He passed three substantial acts all during one year. Many historians consider his term to be productive. Following Benjamin Harrison was Cleveland who was the first and only president elected in nonconsecutive terms. To end the era known to Mr. Lockwood as “poor politicking” we conclude with the term of William McKinley.
“When McKinley became President, the depression of 1893 had almost run its course and with it the extreme agitation over silver. Deferring action on the money question, he called Congress into special session to enact the highest tariff in history.”
This tariff is known as the McKinley Tariff. McKinley became the third president to be assassinated.

In conclusion I have seen that during this era I could see why Mr. Lockwood calls this era the era of “poor politicking”. It seems to me that this era of presidencies did not really make an impact on our country, some presidents were faced with many opponents while others either didn’t get a chance to make change or did little to make a change.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Radical Reconstruction

The Radical Reconstruction was met by a lot of resistance. Many disagreed with the policy because it was more of a punishment to get back at the south, rather than mend the country. Many against the policy being pushed by the Radical Republicans argued against it. The purpose of this essay is to look at what the Radical Reconstruction was, who the Radical Republicans were, why people were opposed to them and their policy, and whether or not they were the reason for the failure of their policy.

"Radical Reconstruction, also known as Congressional Reconstruction, was the time when congressional Republicans, moderates and Radicals, controlled Reconstruction in the South."

The Radical Republicans were motivated by three main factors as to why they issued their reconstruction plan. For one they had revenge. They desperately wanted to get back at the South for causing the war. Two, they were concerned for the freedmen. Third,they were politically concerned. They wanted to make sure that their political party stayed in power in both the north and the south.

This is why so many disagreed with the Radical Reconstruction. The Radical Republicans were political terrors and would stop at nothing to get to what they wanted. They went over the presidents wishes and passed laws that they created. Yes the Radical Republicans had a good reason to fight, in my opinion, for black and white integration, but they went about it the entirely wrong way.

President Johnson was in complete disagreement with the Radical Republicans when it came to their Freedmen’s Bureau Bill. He vetoed it along with the Civil Rights Bill as well. This angered moderate Republicans and Radical Republicans as well. They together undid his veto of the two bills. This was the first time that this has ever occurred in history. The Republicans hoped that the Civil Rights Act would lead to a branch with right enforcing courts.

Amending the Constitution was the focus of Congress in Congress then focused on 1867. The Fourteenth Amendment was approved, which prohibited "states from abridging equality before the law." The second part of the Amendment basically gave the South a choice, they were either to accept black men and women as freed people or they would loose representation in congress.

The Radical Republicans faced so much opposition for a couple issues. For one, they stepped on many people’s toes and crossed too many lines to try to achieve their goals. The other reason that they were opposed was because this issue was rather controversial during this time, being that it was just after the war had ended. I think that the Radical Republicans were only part of the failure of this policy not sure if I think they were the whole reason for this failure but I think they were at least partially responsible because they were the ones who went way too far in pushing they’re beliefs.

American people creating a nation and a society. New York: Harper & Row, 1990. Print.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Abraham Lincoln Part Two

In this entry based on Abraham Lincolns life we will see, in more depth, how his childhood, education, and upbringing influenced the way he handled his presidency and the prosecution of the Civil War. In the previous entry we saw how he had only a combined total of one year of formal education and the rest of his younger years were filled by the dedication of his spirit to teaching himself. This driveness and determination, I believe, carried him through his presidency and the Civil War.

"President Abraham Lincoln had quite a bit to deal with: within the first four months of him becoming President seven states had already seceded from the Union, letting him know that he was not wanted as President. But Lincoln had a job to do: his main interest at this point was keeping the Union together, and he did not have any real concerns about abolishing slavery."

Abraham Lincoln entered into a very tough position. He knew that he was not particularly wanted by the south as President but he was not going to let that stop him, his determination shining through. It was guaranteed that they would try their best to pull away from the Union once he had been elected, the main reason being that they new his position of slavery.

"Lincoln's parents belonged to a faction of the Baptist church that disapproved of slavery, and this affiliation may account for Abraham's later statement that he was "naturally anti-slavery" and could not remember when he "did not so think, and feel."

This however was not President Lincoln's goal for the Civil War. Lincoln new that as the President his job was to keep the Union whole. He was not elected to lead half the country and not lead the rest of it. He would do anything he needed to in order to keep the Union whole and cohesive. As it says in the above quote, Lincoln did not originally plan on abolishing slavery, he did not want any states that were behind him in the war to pull away from him. He however did feel that slavery was wrong, so knowing that it was the right thing to do, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

The proclamation declared, "all persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free."

"As early as 1849, Abraham Lincoln believed that slaves should be emancipated, advocating a program in which they would be freed gradually. Early in his presidency, still convinced that gradual emancipation was the best course, he tried to win over legislators. To gain support, he proposed that slave owners be compensated for giving up their "property." Support was not forthcoming."

Basically, President Lincoln new deep down that slavery was wrong. He knew it from his childhood on until he died. He new that the best way to enforce emancipation was to gradually force the country to abide to it. Slowly but surely his plans worked and the Emancipation Proclamation was put into motion.

In this entry based on Abraham Lincolns life, we have seen how his upbringing and childhood really shaped his view on slavery. He developed a view that really put him in a tough position with the country but he followed his gut and new what was truly right. I completely admire Abraham Lincoln for his courage and above all his determination.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincolns backround, education, and upringing shaped who he was and how he led our nation as the 16th president. His education was restricted to one year of formal teaching because he was brought up in poverty, but that did not stop him from learning. The purpose of this blog is to view how Lincoln's upbringing, childhood, and education shaped who he was, what he believed, and how he led.

Abraham Lincoln was born on Febuary 12, 1809. He was born in a log cabin in Kentucky to his father, Thomas Lincoln and his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Thomas was brought up in poverty as well but taught himself to be a carpenter and had owned three farms in Kentucky prior to the Lincolns moving out of the state. This must be where Abraham got his drivenness and dedication from. Little is known about his mother.

The letters written by Abraham Lincoln show how impacted he was by his early life. They show how his childhood and upbringing molded the man he grew up to be. "Lincoln seemed to be painly impressed with the extreme poverty of is early surroundings, and the utter absence of all romantic and heroic elements." (Herndon, 2)

Abraham Lincolns inability to go to school and recieve a full multiple year education did not stop him from trying to learn with all his heart. He would walk miles to borrow a book from a neighbor or friend, and would walk that many miles to return it. He did not have an arithmetic book available to him so he scrounged up a couple pieces of paper, which were not easy at all to come by, tyed them together with some string, and made his own. "Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington", "Robinson Crusoe", "Pilgrim's Progress", and "Aesop's Fables", were all some of Lincolns favorite books to get his hands on.

Lincoln basically taught himself all the knowledge he had. The one year of formal teaching somewhat layed the groundwork for his thinking, but his driveness and determination did not let him wallow in his poverty. He went out and made a great man of himself and his legacy is forever remembered. In a following blog we will continue on in seeing how President Lincoln became the man he was.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Most Important Thing We Learned All Year

Its hard to say what I think the most important thing was that we learned about this year. If I have to choose I think it would have to be the importance of the Crusades and their failures. This is very important to what is going on in our world today along with very important to our faith.

The only crusade to really accomplish anything at all was the Ist crusade. The First Crusade was first launched by Pope Urban in 1096 when Alexius called on him for help. The Crusade was created in order to regain Jerusalem from the infidels, or the Muslims, who had captured it from the Eastern Christians. The idea was to free the Eastern Christians from Islamic rule, but it turned into much more.

The Second Crusade began to recapture the city of Edessa in 1147. It was called for by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and led by two kings. Louis VII, King of France, and Conrad III, the German Emperor, led this crusade. They so poorly managed this crusade that nothing at all was accomplished.

During the Third Crusade Saladin, the Muslim leader, recaptured Jerusalem. This led to the German Emperor Frederick I, called "Barbarossa" {Red Beard}; Philip Augustus, King of France; and King Richard the Lion-Hearted of England to become leaders of the Third Crusade. This Crusade also ended in failure.

So I guess one could say another event that showed the failures was the fact that more than one crusade was needed. The First Crusade was the only Crusade that actually succeeded. After that there were only failures and this led to even more failures and many more deaths.In conclusion, one of the biggest events, that led to failures, was the fact that they had recapture city's so many times. After the First Crusade failures were unstoppable. Nothing truly was accomplished after this and many lives were lost.

This is important in my opinion because it just shows how absolutely no one can say that the Christians were persecuting the Muslims. The crusades were a failure, something I would have never found out unless we had studied it in class. I guess the reason I think this is so important is that it just shows how without really looking into something we can just believe it, I believed for the longest time that the Crusades were grand and glorious and much was accomplished...little did I know.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The English Bill of Rights and Its Impact

The English Bill of Rights came to being in 1688 during the Revolution. The Bill was written up by Parliament after the fleeing of King James II. His successors were presented the Bill in 1689. The English Bill of Rights was a very important step for England and it has impacted many Declaration of Rights today, including the very important American Constitution. The purpose of this blog is the view how the English Bill of Rights came into being and how it has affected so many civilizations.

"William of Orange led an invasion of England that is sometimes called the Glorious Revolution. William and Mary served as joint monarchs."(Blashfield, 53) William and Mary were asked to invade England to remove James II from the monarchy. This led King James to flee from England which in turn led to the Bill of Rights.

Due to the fleeing of King James II, and his abuse of power that led to his desertion, the Bill of Rights was drawn up between Parliament and William of Orange for him to agree to when he would accept the crown. When William and Mary, his wife, were crowned in 1689 they swore an oath to reign based on "statutes in Parliament agreed upon, and the laws and customs of the same." John Locke was a major contributor to the Bill of Rights. (Mc Nall 467)

The English Bill of Rights played a huge role in the making of the Constitution of the United States of America. Most of our rights found in the Constitution have some from the English Bill of Rights. We need to keep in mind all the people who fought so hard for our rights in our country and in England.

In conclusion, the English Bill of Rights was drawn up in 1688 after the fleeing of James II from England. It is easy to see how the Bill impacted many others, including the grand Constitution of America. The purpose of this blog was achieved and we viewed how the English Bill of Rights came into being and how it has affected so many civilizations.

Blashfield, Jean F. England. New York: Children's P, 2006.

Mc Nall. Civilization Past and Present. Scott Foresman and Company, 1969.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How Music was Changed During the Renaissance

The Renaissance is known for being a time for rebirth of knowledge, art, and music. The printing press allowed most of the renewing to occur along with some well known characters. Music during the Renaissance was used for dancing and mainly pure enjoyment. During the 1400's through the 1600's we see the most changes "in styles of composing, methods of disseminating music, new musical genres, and the development of musical instruments" The purpose of this blog is to look at how music was changed during the Renaissance and how it affects us in our world today.

A major change during the Renaissance within the area of music was the amount of support. music during the Renaissance was extremely supported, more so than it had been in almost any other era. One of the reasons for this was the amount of wealth within many dynasties and families.

A huge advancement in music during the Renaissance was the Printing Press. Along with this, came many well known composers. Josquin Desprez was one of the most important composers during this period. Giovanni Perlugi de Palestrina was another well known composer who wrote simpler melodies for the church so the music didn't over power the text.

Many instruments came to familiarity during the Renaissance. The instrumental music brought about many changes. The instruments included the lute, viol, crumhorn, rackett, sackbut (early trombone) and the trumpet. Up until the 16Th century the voices were considered much more important than the instruments, the Renaissance changed that. Composers were more eager to write music for the instruments rather than the voices.

In conclusion the Renaissance brought about many changes to the arts, many in music. The changes made during that era affects us in our era now. Many familiar and not so familiar names are still known today along with many improvements.