Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Republic of Haiti

The Haitian people were once citizens of the French colony, Saint Domingue. After many conflicts and revolts the Haitian people had enough of the French aristocracy and declared their independence. But the colony that was once France's most vital economic settlement was not going to become free that easily. Napoleon Bonaparte and his American allies came down upon the Haitian people, after one failed attempt to recapture Saint Domingue, he made them a proposition that will leave a mark on Haiti for years to come.

Napoleon forced the new Haitian people to pay him 100 million francs for official recognition. But to make matters worse for this young nation is that they had to borrow the money from a single French bank. This enabled the bank to charge extravagant interest rates; making Haiti unable to pay off it's debt for almost a century. This debt put a severe damper on Haiti's economy, and to add on to their failing economy they were suffering from post-independence isolation from rest of the world. Different countries may have isolated themselves from Haiti for various reasons, but there was one major common reason. The Haitian leader Toussaint L'Ouverture was a well respected man black man among the Haitian people. He helped in the success of the slave revolt that took place in Haiti, which made many other nations scared. L'Ouverture abolished slavery within Haiti which made their economy suffer even more on top of everything else. 

Outside of the French and Haitian relationship laid America, the first nation to be born in the new world. Although America had gone through similar circumstances with the British during their revolution, they did not support Haiti. In fact, America did not recognize Haiti as an independent nation until six decades later when it was in midst of the American Civil War. During the time when Haiti became independent Thomas Jefferson was Vice President of the United States and later became President. He tried to block off trade with Haiti, joined forces with France to conquer Haiti, and kept the American people as far as possible from Haiti. Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers of American, and a major player in the American Revolution was trying to stop a revolution. He was scared that the ideas and ideals in Haiti will spread to the American South. Thomas Jefferson didn't want black slaves in America to revolt as they did in Haiti. He didn't want them to be inspired by Toussaint L'Ouverture as a black leader of his own nation.

Haiti suffered from all aspects and all corners of the globe when they became independent. They themselves hurt their economy in a extravagant manner by abolishing slavery. They suffered even more as they owed France 100 million france; and could only take a loan from one French bank. The Haitians were isolated from the world without any allies to help them in their state of despair. America tried everything possible to hold Haiti down because they were scared of what it would do in their own nation. From the very start of Haiti's independence they suffered a great deal which had an impact that lasted years after. As they were a suffering nation to begin with, in 2010 they felt the impact of a devastating earthquake that destroyed a large portion of their country. A tragedy that would cost them 14 billion dollars to rebuild, after rebuilding for the last 200 years Haiti will once again have to suffer.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Napoleon Bonaparte's Everlasting Impact
Napoleon was viewed in many different ways; some saw him as a hero and other saw him as a tyrant. Nevertheless Napoleon Bonaparte was a conqueror of many lands. Under his rule he influenced the lives of many; some for the better and some for the worse. Napoleon impacted the social, economic, and political systems of many European countries. He abolished serfdom in the countries he took over. He created new trade agreements with different countries, improving the economy for every country under his command. Lastly, even though he was a dictator he gave the people more power and say in their local government. He made the day to day lives of his people better in a way they never imagined. The new lives Napoleon created for his people will have an everlasting effect on their countries.

Not everyone was a fan of Napoleon, such as Madame de Stael, the daughter of one of King Louis XVI's advisers. She viewed Napoleon as a tyrant who is war crazed and has no appreciation for elegance and intellectual riches. de Stael grew up as nobility which was not treated as well under Napoleon's rule as they were under King Louis's. For that reason is against Napoleon and everything he stands for. On the other hand the soldiers that serve him, as in the case of Marshal Michel Ney were great supporters of Napoleon. Ney viewed Napoleon as a brave and courageous leader who is the rightful emperor of France. He calls Napoleon the "immortal legion" and "august emperor". This shows that the people who knew him respected him and the nobility hated him. Napoleon did many things to help the lower class, which in turn gave him the largest army of his time. All his soldiers were volunteer, he never had a draft for his wars. His people rallied behind him in support for his conquests.
Under Napoleon's great reign the people of Italy, Austria, Belgium, Venice, Egypt, Holland, Prussia, Russia, Spain, and for a little while Portugal were able to experience power and prosperity they never felt before. Once Napoleon gave these people better lives they didn't want to go back to the way things were before. As a result when Napoleon fell and the old government and nobles came back to reclaim what they had lost, the people naturally resisted. They didn't want their old government and system back, which led to the many revolution that occurred in Europe. Because they wanted what Napoleon gave them they resisted going backwards. Napoleon impacted every aspect of their lives he made them richer, he gave them more of a voice, and most of all he minimized class distinction. With serfdom abolished and nobles with less power, Napoleon created a society where the majority of people prospered and benefited. This effect lead them to having revolution in the near future after the fall of Napoleon.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mary Paul Letters
At first Mary Paul is excited and eager to go to the mills. She sends a letter to her father asking permission to go to the mills, she is supported by her aunt and her friend who is also going to the mills. Mary wants to make money, buy her own clothes and live on her own. She feels the same way most teenagers even now feel, she want to get out of the house and live around girls her age. Her father gives her permission to go, and after a few months her next letter is full of frustration and sadness. It seems like she misses everyone from back home, she tells her father to write back; right when he reads the letter. She also tells him to come visit and have other people write to her and visit. She is quite frustrated with the fact that she has barely saved any money. She complains about how the ride to the mills was more expensive than she thought it would be. Mary is also frustrated will all her other expenses upon her arrival. Her third letter has a positive tone but negative content. It begins by saying all the bad thing that have happened to the people around her; trying to demonstrate the dangers in Lowell. It mentions people breaking their ribs and dieing. Then it describes her daily life and schedule which she expresses with positivity. Mary talks about how she is pretty good at work and how much money she has made and the things she has bought. She states that the mills are the best place for her, and she recommended it to other girls. As the letters go on and on, her attitude and tone towards the mills becomes more negative. In the last letter she expresses a miserable tone, she was sick and can barely work; and believes that she won't get paid very well for the last few days even though he has worked very hard.

I think that the Lowell Experiment was a success and a failure; it was meant for young girls to work for a few years as a temporary job. Then quit to go back home to get married and start a family. The way Mary
y feels in the beginning is the way most girls probably felt. The mills was only a good place for a short amount of time, and the longer you stay the worse it gets. So i believe that it is a success as long as the girls follow the "experiment". In Mary's case I believe that she stayed there for too many years and she become more and more sick of it and it got to the point where she became miserable. The Lowell Experiment was partly a success and partly a failure, it gave young girls an opportunity to make money and live on their own in fairly good condition. But it had a limit to it and didn't give any room for improvement or advancement. Working at the mills after a certain amount of time becomes unproductive, but as we saw in Mary's case it was productive in the beginning. She made her own money, made many new friends, and was put in a good and kind environment. Until she got sick and had to go home for 6 months before returning back to the mill. This is where I believe it the experiment becomes a failure, she came back and got a worse position and made less money. Her position was taken up by some other girl and Mary could not do what she did before. This is the turning point in the "Lowell Experiment".     

Friday, October 4, 2013

Where do the opportunities lay?

Where do you want to be during the industrial revolution if you were a mere peasant? Where do you want to be if you were a wealthy industrialist? After all the documents and videos we have observed in class, it has become clear that if you are an industrialist, you would want to be in Great Britain. Whereas, if you are a worker you would want to be in the United States.
Great Britain has more workers, and less opportunities; meaning that everyone would want to work for you and whoever had a problem can be easily replaced. Less opportunities for people force them to work for you; and take whatever pay and conditions you offer them. If you were a factory owner then you could make bigger profits in Great Britain because you can pay your workers a low wage, and they would have no choice but to take it. Whereas in the United States there is plenty of land and less workers; so you would have to treat the workers better and pay them better because they could easily leave, and do something else. In Great Britain, as an industrialist you have many raw materials at your disposal because of all the British colonies. This allowed for you to produce and invest in different goods. Also it allowed for more inventions to be built in Britain. Also in Britain they had invented steam powered ships that would make transportation of goods internationally faster and easier. On top of that they had made roads that last longer and railroads so transportation of goods nationally also become faster and easier. Industrialists in Britain were more likely to succeed than in the United States; the industrialist had more advantages in Britain that made it a better place to make money.
In the United States there was endless opportunity; the land was open as far as the eye could see. This enabled workers in the US to have a more positive experience. Factory owners had to pay them well, and treat them well, because if the workers had other opportunities. A factory job wasn't a workers only option; which made the factories pay them better than factories in GB. When we compare the schedules between mill workers in GB and the US we can clearly see that the workers in the US had more breaks, more sleep, and more pay. The US was not fantastic but compared to GB it was considerably better. If you compare Emily Nutter's schedule at the Mill in Lowell and William Coopers schedule at the Mill in GB, it is clear that Emily's life is easier. She has time to eat breakfast, dinner, and supper, and have free time to do whatever she wants. On the other hand William Cooper only has a 40 minute break for lunch for the whole day. He has to eat breakfast on the run and eat dinner on the run. He had to work till 9 p.m for a total of 16 hours; whereas Emily worked till 7 p.m, for a total of 12 hours. In the US only one member of the family had to go, unlike GB where the whole family had to move to the city to work. The girls lived in boarding houses which taught them independence but also they were with other girls their age. These boarding houses were compared to academies where they kept the girls disciplined and moral. Overall the workers had more advantages in the US than in GB, they lived better lives and had more opportunities.