Monday, September 30, 2013

Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations (Excerpts). Modified from the Modern History Internet Sourcebook. 1776.  Fordham University. 

Adam Smith was a brilliant man that came up with ideal that we follow to this day. Smith's journey began when he attended the University of Glasgow. At Glasgow he distinguished himself as a inquisitive scholar, in turn he won a scholarship to Oxford University one of the worlds most prestigious school. He studied at Oxford for 6 years, from 1740 to 1746. Once he left Oxford he began giving public lectures that made him somewhat famous, which led to him being appointed as professor of moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow. It is clear that Adam Smith was not only a well educated man, but an exceptional scholar and philosopher from an early age. He was quickly recognized for his brilliance through his lectures and his first book, The Theory of Moral Sentiment. Adam Smith is known as the father of Capitalism, after he published The Wealth of Nations. He believed in many things that were already in place, and introduced many new original ideas that were never though of before. Smith wrote the Wealth of Nations, in order to give full explanations of his ideas. His book discusses many of the essential parts of capitalism today.

Smith begins with talking about his idea of division of labor. He says that it is more efficient if the production of one item is broken down into different branches, where one person specializes in one branch of production. He uses an example with the production of pins, stating that alone you might be able to make one pin a day, but with 8 other people each who specialize in one part of production, you can make hundreds of pins in one day. Smith demonstrates and explains each part of his division of labor idea in this excerpt. In the second part, he discusses the principle that gives occasion to the division of labor. He states that people do things in their own self interest, and that working together (division of labor) is in peoples best interests. He demonstrates this through saying " it is not through the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." Meaning that each person who takes part in the production of your "dinner" (product), is acting in their own self interest which in turn is helping everyone else. Adam Smith uses examples that show progression and positive impacts on all parties involved in the example.            

*I would have indented every line except the first line on the annotation and citation.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Luddites were a group of people located in and around London, England who believed that technology was being misused. This group protested in many memorable way, once they dressed up as women, in order to gain attention. Luddites were particularly violent, although they never really killed people, but they would break into factories and destroy machineries. The group wanted higher wages, better working conditions, and most of all equality. People part of the Luddites were living in filthy conditions, full of pollution and poverty. Throughout England the Luddites were a very controversial topic. The upperclass and artisans were in favor of the Luddites, while factory managers and business owners opposed them. Upper Class people came from money and had government jobs, so they didn't lose anything or gain anything. But the artisans made money by working at home and providing a service, which is now done in factories. These people lost their jobs and livelihood. The factory managers made more money than ever before, and business owners bought factory made goods at a lower price than ever before. This letter to the Luddites from a weaver will give a clearer view of one of these perspectives (Note this is a mock primary source).

To, The Luddite Commision
       I am a long time, skilled weaver outside of London. These factories within the city has affected my business considerably. I would join them but their wages are not high enough for me to even provide for myself, much less my family. I plead to you in this letter, to force these factories into paying a higher, decent wage. A year or two ago I was prosperous and could provide for my family graciously. Now I am struggling just to put food on the table every night. I've been a weaver for many years and I am skilled with my hands, but that not longer matters to the world. You are my last and only hope to end the suffering of my family and I. My sons want to go off and work in the factories to help, but the way they treat the children there is inhumane. The conditions in the factory is terrible, if starvation doesn't kill my children or I, those factories will. I am willing to help in anyway possible if that is what it takes. I have read in the paper of your most recent activities and would like to be a part of this movement. My family and I celebrate your victories in London, and the Luddites are what give us hope for a better future.

From, Weaver John       

Friday, September 20, 2013

Industrial Revolution Museum

Living Conditions in England During the Industrial Revolution

When we were given our 5 sources we carefully examined each one together. Then we handed one source out to each person in our group to become experts on each one. Once we individually became experts on our sources we shared with our group, to get a fuller understanding of all the sources. This process is important because we need to figure out what the major idea of our sources are. In order to do that we must know how all the information we are given work together. In this case we learned a lot about the living conditions during this time period. We noticed that all our sources had to do with the living conditions in England. We noticed that the sources were showing that the conditions were bad and declining. Once we figured this information out, we discussed how to organize our exhibit. We decided to put our title in big letters and in the middle, because all the sources are based around our title. Then we used a back ground to color code our sources, to categorize them. Our picture sources have a dark blue background, our chart and map have a light blue background, and the two writing articles have a black background. Each member of our group wrote summaries about our sources so we can get an even better understanding, and our viewers can easily extract important information from our exhibit. Both our pictures are of Manchester, one shows many people on the street and the other shows smokestacks and lots of pollution. The map of England shows when and where inventions were made in england, and the population of each city. The chart shows the living cost and earning during the time period. We see that the living cost goes up faster than the earnings. One of the writing passages shows us two different perspectives of the Industrial Revolution. And the other writing passage is a letter that describes the living conditions in a part of England. It describes the disgusting state the water in the river was, and the smell of the air. When people look at our exhibit they will learn about the life in England during the Industrial Revolution. They should easily realize how bad the condition was and how much pollution was in the air and water. People should learn what inventions where made during this time and how that effected the economy and peoples lives in England. That is why we titles our exhibit The Living Conditions in England During the Industrial Revolution.

Work Destroys Children's Lives
This whole exhibit was based around child labor during the Industrial Revolution. It shows us the dangerous jobs they were required to do, and the terrible conditions they were required to work and live in. Children in this time period were doing work that could kill them in the long run.

Cotton Creating Connections

One of the inventions during the Industrial Revolution effected the Cotton industry immensely. Cotton demands were booming and this exhibit shows the effect it had on slavery. From this graph and the rest of the exhibit it becomes clear that the industrial revolution had a increased the rate of slavery tremendously.

Change is Looming

   The invention of the mechanic loom changed many peoples lives all around England. This exhibit shows that this invention took away many jobs away from people's home and brought them to the city. It shows that people made less money then before and that the population of London rapidly increased.

All aboard the steam engine rail road and canals
 This exhibit was all about the steam engine and it really showed us how important it was to the Industrial Revolution. The steam engine was used in so many different things but some of the big things it was used for was trains and boats. This made transportation much faster making the world a little smaller.  


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Engles, Friedrich. The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844. London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co, 1892,  pp. 45, 48-53.

Friedrich Engles wrote many books and traveled around Europe very much. He worked with well know people in history throughout his life, like Karl Marx. Engles wrote this book on his firsthand accounts while living in England. He took notes in great detail and traveled to different parts of England to see what life was like. Engles wrote this book to show the world how the working conditions in England were at that time. We can believe his detail because he saw them in person, and he is supposedly atheist so religion would not play a role in his writings. Not to mention he would send his work periodically to Karl Marx to be published in newspapers. Then after writing many articles over time he collected them all and made them into one book. So he was writing it all down as he was seeing it all happen. But he was known to be quite radical and even had a relation with a radical women named Mary. Even with a long standing relationship they did not marry because of their views, he believed marriage was class oppression. These passages from the book give a very detailed and dark depiction of what life was like for the working class in England. The passages are particularly based on the life and condition of the people in the Old Town Manchester. He strongly believes that these are the worst living condition on earth calling it the “Hell upon Earth”. It was written in 1842-1844 near the end of the industrial revolution in England. The limits of this are that it is only one man’s opinion and he is a bit radical so these details could have been exaggerated. Also it only gives of the point of view of one place in England of the working class. It could have been the worst place in England, and the rest of the working class district might have been better. The author claims that the way the working class in England was treated was unfair, and that they tried to basically hide the working class houses. He says in the beginning of the passage that you would not encounter any of the working class if you went out for a walk and didn't stray from your path. He is trying to convince the readers that the working class in England was poor and lived in unimaginable conditions. He uses strong words to get his point across and is very descriptive. Engles paints a picture in your mind of the most horrid images.

*I would have indented every line except the first line on the annotation and citation.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Advice: United Nations Advisory Council

   At the moment Syria is unstable and in the midst of a civil war. It all started a little over two years ago when a group of high school students wrote anti-government words on the walls at school. Ever since then the protests have gotten more and more violent, which has now turned into an all out civil war. A few days ago the current Syrian regime al-Assad used chemical weapons on a civilian suburb outside of Damascus. This has gotten the international community in an uproar, and contemplating on whether or not to intervene. Some but not all participants at the United Nations Advisory Council seemed to have a good grasp about the  ongoing situation. The members were split almost 50/50 between getting involved or not getting involved.

    The first resolution that they discussed was intervening with UN Peacekeeping troops with the goal of putting a stop to the current civil war and holding democratic elections. Some of the cons that were mentioned was that Russia and Iran are allied with the al-Assad regime and will attack Israel if something was to happen. Most of the comments made on this topic was aligned with that statement. The issue I must raise with their discussion is that Russia is a superpower, meaning they have the ability to veto a UN resolution. So UN Peacekeepers would never be able to be deployed and go to Syria unless Russia had approved of it. If Russia for some reason did approve of this action then there wouldn't be a problem with Israel. But Russia is allied with Syria so it will most likely veto all resolutions put forth by the United Nations. The veto will prevent the intervention of UN Peacekeepers in Syria, so this event would take place. Since no participant brought this point up it makes me question their preparation on the UN discussion.

  Another resolution discussed amongst the group was, threaten the current regime with a drone strike and if they do not allow a UN Inspectors into Syria to inspect all weapons stores and seize and destroy chemical weapons. A pro of this resolution that was agreed upon by everyone is that it will be a lot safer than sending in troops and that overall it is a good idea. But the issue still stand that Russia and Iran are supporting Syria and that stops the UN from sanctioning this, meaning the US would have to do it by themselves. If the US acts alone then Russia might attack Israel because they are a close ally to the US in the Middle East.

  The next resolution discussed, is the use of economic sanctions against Syria for the regime's use of chemical weapons, and provide humanitarian aid and UN volunteer to the countries receiving refugees from Syria and establish no-conflict zones inside Syria. The participates agreed upon the fact that "no-conflict zones" would be great for everyone but no one knows if the zones will be respected by the government. Al-Assad's regime might attack the zones anyways, we know that its a possibility because they used chemical weapons on civilians. So what is there to stop them from attacking and killing people in the no-conflict zones. Also if there are economic sanctions against Syria then the government might lash out more against their citizens and begin to raid houses and take what they want. Not to mention economic sanctions not only effect the Syrian government but also it people and economy. The participants came to that conclusion and it was clear this is not a viable option.

The last resolution discussed was issuing a diplomatic statement condemning the use of chemical weapons and stating that the UN will take no action against individual countries who take military or diplomatic action against Syria. The grouped discusses the results of military involvement, which included that there will be more violence and more people with die. They also stated that Vladimir Putin is open to military involvement but is not confident in Obama after the events that occurred in Libya. I am surprised to see that against no one brought up the point that Russia would never allow this statement to pass because they are allied with Syria. Of course if Russia does decide to pass then that would mean Putin has come to the conclusion that foreign involvement is necessary. If that was the case, then instead of passing a statement that allowed other countries to act alone with out repercussions, it would make more sense to pass a resolution involving the UN. One of the participant said that if one country gets involved then it alone will have to face the challenges that come along with it and the burden falls upon them. Plus, it will take more time to end the civil war. So it would make more sense to pass a resolution for the United Nations to get involved together and end the civil war faster.

Overall I think the discussion went well, but people did miss some facts that I would have liked to seen be brought up. When they discussed they focused on one issue at a time, where as for this kind of international issue one thing leads to another, so they had to think a few step ahead. But I believe that by the end they all had a new and more detailed view and opinion on what is taking place in Syria.          



Monday, September 2, 2013

Practice Post

The purpose of this blog is to do assignments for my Honors History class. This is a practice post to ensure that my teacher and others can read and view my assignments. I am excited for this new school year and for this course. I hope that I can succeed and do well in this class. I have only done one DBQ (Document Based Questions) before, and I have heard that we will do many more this year. Hopefully class will be exciting and interesting this year as it was last year.