Unit 7: The Bursting Mediocracy

unit 7 cover page

This period begins with the quenching of a fire that consumed the whole world, and ends with inner quarreling and loss. The joy was bursting from victory in the second world war, but was suppressed by Stalin’s insistence upon satellite states and by his development of the atomic bomb. The long telegram summarizes the tension of the Cold War, each side trying to stop the other or advance upon the other without directly fighting and trying to win mostly by waiting their rival out. The US policy of containment overflowed at the points of the Korean War and Vietnam War, which were both despised in their times. The US was domestically in a state of hysteria regarding various threats throughout this era with McCarthyism, the Watergate Scandal, and “Stagflation”.

I felt that I clearly understood the performance of each president and the policies that each one performed in order to lead the country. I also feel that i understand the general attitude or feeling of each part of this era.

I feel that i would like to study more the prevalence of attitudes throughout this era such as it appears to be divided between conformity and the counterculture almost rigidly in the book yet must be more dynamic in reality.

I feel that I enjoyed the journal entries the most in the note taking for chapter 19 as it required me taking a date and a side, and trying to describe the chapter in detail in what was often a rant.

 

Unit 6: Time of Angels and Demons

The Great war has come, decades of anger and preparation in the “great game” and through imperialist beliefs now unite with militarism, alliances, and nationalism. The war can be summarized in one word: pointless. It causes death on a massive scale that would only add to the destructive second war. Anxiety engulfed the return from war. Surrounded by rebellion and laissez-faire policies, society was running from the fact of the war toward the pursuit of the American Dream (The Great Gatsby). While economics appear to be at a high as attitude has arisen, deep within, the economic practices (borrowing money) are leading up to a large scale collapse from which there will be no equal. Laissez-faire died along with the hope of many early in the great depression. Pure capitalism cannot save the nation, some socialistic practices to turn the nation around and unify the people need to be implemented, at least for a time, by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (New Deal). While the world is limping in Isolationism however, hatred is rising. The reparations imposed on Germany (Treaty of Versailles) were too much and economic plans failed. While capitalism and socialism saved America, Germany will fall to true capitalism (fascism). For most of the world the War has begun, for the US it has not started just yet. As Germany and Japan nearly conquer continents, FDR responds with the Lend-Lease program to support Britain and Democracy in Europe. The result is the US having undeclared engagements with Germany while FDR looks for a way to get further into the war. At Pearl Harbor that way comes as the nation is unified against what turned out to be pure evil. The storm has passed, but the clouds are still out as the burning fires of war freeze over for decades.

I believe that I understand well from this unit how the New Deal was so revolutionary and worked so well to turn the nation around and I also know the political agenda of this unit.

I would like to study more the extent of the warfare that went on prior to Pearl Harbor and study what each individual bill of the New Deal did. I would also like to become more familiar with the motives of the nation during WWI as well as its affect on the public. To overcome these areas I will read over my notes and try checking out these facts on History.com or maybe the Crash Course videos.

I enjoyed the presentations the most during class as some of them were kind of fun to watch and create, but I feel that I have difficulty remembering the presentations, I think that this may be because of the note-taking we had to make while consciously trying to fit the notes into rather small boxes. Perhaps it would have been better if we just summarized each slide into 1-3 words and focus more on the presentation.

Unit 5: The American Need for Speed

Unit 5

The war is over, reconstruction is dead, and industry is very much alive. Industry now lies in the hands of the “captains of industry” and their monopolies, to the benefit of the economy and to the detriment of just about everything else. Unions attempt to fight the drastically over powered factories to help the workers. As a result the government defaults to the factories and crushes the movements. The modern city is created with its intended purpose to be create three things: money, efficiency, and pleasure.

Politics, aside from the law, is stagnant, but very involved. Almost nothing happens in the laissez-faire style of government until a challenge arises. The Populist party threatened the two party political system until it died in the election of 1892, but that threat got politics moving again and began an actual change in the US.

McKinley broke the isolationist policy in the Spanish American war, and broke the Gilded Age with his death that lead to our first Progressive president, Theodore Roosevelt. He continued to break the isolationist policy in the Roosevelt Corollary. He busted some trusts and broke the US stagnancy. The country itself was also moving due to tragedies and middle class energy. Taft failed, but Wilson ironically continued where he left off.

The battle for society is turning, but the battle for the world is about to begin.

A factory boss writes a letter to a labor union leader regarding working conditions:

Dear /-\ |\| 0 |\| ‘/ /\/\ 0 (_) $,

I find it very interesting how you spell your name, perhaps it will catch on later. I would like to thank you for comparing me to JAY GOULD, that Captain of Engineers. I however do not take too kindly to how you have referred to my part in this VERTICAL INTEGRATION of the business of steel making and the accidents that have resulted from it as injurious crimes committed by our CEO ANDREW CARNEGIE. How dare you? You member of the NATIONAL LABOR UNION or KNIGHTS OF LABOR, declaring each day at our factory as being the BATTLE OF WOUNDED KNEE all over again. The mistakes that are made at our plant are the results of the incompetence of our employees. Of course having red-hot metal exposed is dangerous so why do you they touch it? Our shortcuts reduce the cost to the company and therefore increase pay. Would you rather have another PANIC OF 1877 murdering countless children by starvation? And do please stop quoting the GILDED AGE, MARK TWAIN clearly does not see the larger perspective, but only sees the pain of the idiots who throw caution into the wind. Our nation is growing in power at a rate never seen before. If we stop now  the deaths of your brethren will be in vain and our nation will collapse into economic decline.

Ely Parker: Seneca Soldier

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Sgëno, my name is Ely Samuel Parker, I come from a Native American tribe that you may know as the Seneca Indians. Before the great war that tore our country apart I studied to become a lawyer and support my people, but I was not allowed to take the bar exam due to my heritage. I chose to support the Union when war came, and I sought to raise an army of volunteers from my people and the rest of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois, but my idea was turned down. I offered to be an engineer officer, yet I was turned down once again for being a Native American. Yet the third time I tried I was accepted with an endorsement from an old friend, Ulysses S. Grant in 1863. I served as a Captain of Engineers under him and was promoted to a Brigadier General. I found myself chasing the General Robert E. Lee alongside my friend. At the siege of Petersburg I was his secretary and did much of his correspondence. I remember writing the terms for the surrender at Appomattox courthouse; my law school training certainly came in handy there. When Robert E. Lee saw me, he first mistook me for an African- American. When he realized his mistake, he stated, “I am glad to see one real American here“, and I responded “We are all Americans here.” When the war ended I was joyous of the slave’s emancipation and wanted Reconstruction to be done by accepting the south back with forgiveness and economic aid and ensuring that segregation would be stamped out for those that now were freed from oppression. And just maybe to provide more for my people in this post-war nation; I didn’t want others to go through the injustice I did.

http://www.pbs.org/warrior/content/bio/ely.html -Page focusing on his life in general

http://www.civilwarbummer.com/ely-s-parker-union-general-seneca-chief/

-Page on him focusing on his civil war involvement

http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/petersburg.html?tab=facts -Battle of Petersburg

Union troops in trenches during the Siege of Petersburg; Ely Parker was Ulysses S. Grant’s secretary and in charge of much of his correspondence.

Unit 3: The Time of Conflict and Change

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The cauldron has been lit and the water is heating up. The Market has been revolutionized yet alienates both its workers and the South. The need for reform and the right of it became very apparent to the public as the abolition movement, the women’s rights movement, the educational reform movement, and the temperance movement grew furiously against their respective opponents. The Era of Good Feeling has ended with the inauguration of President Andrew Jackson as the two new parties, Democratic and Whig, battle for prominence.

As Indian Tribes are pushed back, US territory expands. The South has taken advantage of this to increase its holdings. Slaveholders and their state governments have dug a ditch to fight against those who would challenge slavery. Only a few slaves have risen above the din to become wealthy freemen. The stage is set, the conflict is defined and unresolved, and two very distinct economies now stand against each other. The only thing that can follow is war.

The Rise and First Steps of the First Republic

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From Grenville’s position as prime minister onwards, the colonies were taxed until the revolution began. The colonists won after the significant battles of Saratoga and Yorktown. The Colonies united themselves with the Articles of Confederation at first but that failed miserably. After that the Constitution was created, amended and the American Republic was created. The nation went through conflicts between party members, the populace, and the nations of France and Britain. The party changes were so radical that they were dubbed revolutions. American culture developed from the Great Awakening, Republican Motherhood, and the Missouri Compromise. The nation was building itself up to the tension that would cause a civil war.

I feel that I have a good idea of what exactly happened in the early years of our country. I understand the trepidation about the party system and the economics. However I am not completely certain of what drove the colonies over the edge. Why did the Townshead act push them over the edge when similar ones had not? Were the reasons exclusively cumulative? How was Washington an awesome general?