Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Marie Antoinette Scandal

Marie Antoinette’s fondness for clothing and material things gave her the reputation for being an insensitive queen, as so many of the French people were poor and starving. One key event captured the feelings of the French toward their queen. “The Affair of the Diamond Necklace,” as it became known, was a famous misunderstanding which confirmed her reputation in the eyes of many French citizens. At the library or using the Internet, research this event and discover what happened. Then, pretend that you are a member of the Third Estate. Write a letter to the editor of a French paper describing your opinion of Marie Antoinette based on what you have discovered from learning about this scandal. 
Dear French editor,
     This is an outrage! Have your heard what our crazy Queen has been doing? She is living up her life while we die in vain! Wasting all the money we could be getting, on some piece of jewelry. She is more concerned with her goods and looks than the well being of the French people. We should be spending money for necessity rather than want. 
     Just this week I lost another one of my family members. They died of starvation because we good not afford any food. This injustice must stop! 
She doesn't deserve the position of the queen. The queen should care about the country and take care of us people rather than letting us fend for ourselves. It's the monarchy like The Queen that leave us in this position. 
      If you haven't heard the story, I heard from many people that The Queen was behind all the letters and the thievery involving Cardinal de Rohan. She and the Cardinal were corresponding to secretly gain money for the necklace. It was not even meant for Marie in the first place. She gave the Cardinal false hopes by  " romantically" being with him. This is not acceptable, he is a leader of the church and she is married. Just because she can't get pregnant doesn't mean she can sleep with everybody she wants to. If she thinks that she can cheat on her husband and purchase lavish goods under the nose of the French people, then she has got another thing coming
     The fact that she would do it in secret just to make sure that we couldn't find out is horrid. She already lives lavishly with big feasts and fancy clothing. Why does she need more? The necklace wasn't even made for her. It was ordered by Louis XV for his mistress. Why does she think that she can own it and sell it off for more money? 
     We deserve every dollar she gets from her selling the diamonds from the necklace. She has been taking the many diamonds off the necklace to trade with other places. It is so rude that she would take someone's hard work and give it all away. I hope she realizes how many people she is letting down, the whole country. The people of France deserve better than that scum from Austria. 
                                                                                       Anonymous Third Estate Member 

If interested in learning the real story visit these links:

Monday, June 1, 2015

Rebellious Reasons

In this lesson we were trying to answer the essential question which asked: is rebellion acceptable? How should the Government respond?  In order to answer this question we watched two videos and read a couple different articles. Our answers are based off of studying Shay's Rebellion and the Whiskey rebellion. These were two of the major rebellious events that shaped America. We looked at how the people that rebelled were affected by the Government and their response to the situation. Then we learned about how the government reacted to stop the rebellion. This is how we were able to form an opinion to this question. After each part of the lesson we discussed our opinions and thoughts of what truly happened. This made it easier to fully understand what we needed to and hear others opinions along with forming our own. 
The Whiskey Rebellion

I believe that in the case of Shay's rebellion and the Whiskey rebellion that it is acceptable. I find that rebellion was acceptable because the things that the government were taking away from the people wasn't fair. In Shay's rebellion the farmers were fighting back because the government took their land away. The was OK to do because the farmers had fought in the Revolutionary War and they had not received money from the government for their service. So they all started their farms with little money and all the resources they were getting from their farm they used themselves or traded with other farmers. They were not making money and they deserved the money they earned from fighting.The government was being unfair by taxing them because they didn't have any money to give and they took away their land because they couldn't pay the taxes. What the farmers did next was justified because they found out that America needed to adjust the constitution. The Constitution was not allowing the government to collect taxes from the states to pay the war veterans and the government couldn't really form an army to stop the farmers. In this case the government should have fought back to make it end and then solve the problem by adjusting the Constitution and their abilities. However they were not able to fight back until they changed the Constitution which allowed them to do what they needed to. The whiskey rebellion was also acceptable because they government was taxing the wrong people. They added tax to the people that were making the whiskey rather than the ones drinking it. This was not justified because the people making the whiskey were poor and needed the money to survive. The government was just taking away their money rather than letting them get their money for all their work. Their fight back was acceptable because it was not right for the government to be taking away the farmers money just because they could. The government only wanted it because they treated whiskey like money at the time and so it was very valued and the government was getting a lot for it. The government then allowed their to be political parties in response to the the whiskey rebellion. In these the rebellion was because there was something wrong with the government which was able to be fixed. 

In my opinion I think that rebellion is acceptable if what the government is doing is wrong. If they are just doing things to get more money I don't think it is right of them. If the government is doing something in order to make America a better place or have a specific reason that most people agree with I don't think that a rebellion is acceptable. In the case of these to rebellions it was acceptable because they were in response to something wrong with how the government is run. If we used the essential question in the U.S.A today I would have to think that rebellion is not acceptable. I think this because we have been able to live by the government and laws pretty much peacefully for a while. So their would be no justified reason to fight back. I also think that the government has enough handle over America that they would just make harsh punishments like jail for whoever acts out. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Feelings or Actions of War

The lesson we currently finished in class was called Saratoga through Yorktown which is the second half of the Revolutionary War. Every lesson that we do in class we set a question. The essential question of this lesson was: Did the Americans win the war because they had high morale or because of a few big military victories? The goal of the lesson is to try and fully understand this question and be able to answer it when we have finished. There were many events and battles that made up the second half of the war. This means at sometimes they won and it boosted their morale and at other times they lost and the morale became very low. I think it's important to focus on the highlights and low lights when trying to answer this question because you can't just base opinions on one side of the argument. You need to understand how each piece of the war affected them and how they reacted in order to continue. Only focusing on the positive for the Americans may make the victory from our point seem easy for them. If we only focused on the Americans failing it would make us seem like they didn't deserve the victory and maybe that the British were terrible people. It is important to look at both sides because then the information is not biased and a real opinion can be formed on the whole second half of the revolutionary war.

The high morale was boosted at Saratoga. At Saratoga the British surrendered to the Americans. This was very important for the Americans because at the time they had to surrender a specific way. Each soldier from the British had to go over to the Americans and hand them their gun. The Americans were shocked and speechless as the British surrendered to them. This gave the Americans hope that they could defeat the British and they learned that the British weren't as strong as they once thought. Another event that occurred was Valley Forge. This helped the American's morale because they were able to get through the winter together. In order to survive the winter all the Americans had to work together. Although they lost some of their men due to the conditions they came out of winter stronger then they went in. They were able to train together everyday. This gave them an advantage over the British after winter because the British had been relaxing and partying all winter. One more place where the morale was lifted was at Trenton & Princeton. The Americans had kept the British from winning. Every time the British came to attack the Americans they were able to repel them. This boosted their hope because they were finally seeing that they could beat the British and weaken their forces. They were also able to outsmart the British by setting fires. This made them believe that they were actually better and more intelligent than the British. Once they won they were able to see that the British weren't as strong as they thought. The morale was also affected negatively at Charleston and Philadelphia. In Charleston the Americans had to surrender to the British. This made them feel weak and lowered their hope of defeating the British. They were also taken as prisoners and shoved on prison ships where half of them died. This made the hurt the Americans knowing that more of their men were dying prisoners rather than out on the battle field destroying the British. The Americans became very upset about losing Philadelphia. Philadelphia was the symbol of the cause of the revolution. It was where they put the philosophy of the revolution in the Declaration of Independence. This was not a good thing for the American's morale because they had just lost their main symbol of the revolution. It convinced some of the Americans that it was over and it was not worth fighting the British any longer. The morale was affected by many things however at the end of the war it began to increase maybe giving the Americans more strength to defeat the British. 

Battle of Saratoga

The Americans also had big military victories and it may have lead them to win the war. One big victory was at Saratoga. This was important to win because it proved to the French the Americans were able to win against the British. The Americans needed the French for all sort of things like supplies, arms and ammunition, uniforms, and the most important thing troops. The French were able to bring in reinforcements and help Washington and his troops in Virginia. It was also very important because they defeated most of the British so the British army was not as powerful and big as they used to be. There was also the big victory at Trenton & Princeton. After a very long battle with many different confrontations the Americans had finally won. They had worked really hard in order to finally beat the British. This helped them a lot because they were able to stop the British from taking anymore control of their land. Yorktown was the biggest victory for the Americans because it was the ending of the war. The Americans were only able to win at Yorktown because of the help of the French soldiers. If they had not won at Saratoga they would not have had the help of the French and may have lost the war. The French were able to take out some of the British and act as a distraction for the Americans to move around. There was one big loss though at Charleston that hurt the Americans. At Charleston there was a siege. The British had surrounded the Americans cutting off their supplies like food. They were also bombarded with cannon fire. What was so upsetting was the sheer number of Americans taken as prisoners. Well over 5 thousand Americans became prisoners this weakened the army. They became smaller making them weaker then the British at the time. The American victories may have lead to the Americans ending the war as winners.

Yorktown Timeline

The big military victories were the main reason that the Americans were able to win the war. The most important event in the war was the Americans winning at Saratoga. This is pretty important because they were able to prove to the French that they were worth defending. If they had not gained the French they would have not been able to take down the British at Yorktown. The British had come after the Americans at Yorktown and the French were able to take them down. If they French had not been there to cause a distraction the Americans would not have been able to move secretly. They would have already been under attack. They were also able to storm the British at the same time. This is a huge advantage because they could come from different places and they had the numbers then to defeat the British. The Americans alone were not a big enough army to defeat the British. With the French they became bigger and the more men the stronger the army became. If the Americans would have lost at Saratoga they would have never gained the help of the French probably leading to the British winning the war. High morale may have affected the soldiers as a whole working together, but there were many more things that affected morale and it was easy to make the morale become high again. It was not easy to take back a loss and try to make it into a victory. The Americans won the war because they were able to win so many big battles. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Washington's Leadership

A good leader is someone who can in force rules but be nice about it, trustworthy, and intelligent.

Washington was a good leader when he came up with a strategic retreat at the Battle of Long Island. After they had been defeated by the British at the Battle, General Howe gave the Americans time so that he could figure out what to do next. Washington secured all the boats overnight and personally got all of his soldiers on the boats to take them elsewhere. This was an example of good leadership because he was thinking about what could possible happen and how to get everybody out of there instead of just thinking about himself. He also made sure that they all got away by getting them on the boats himself. This is important because he could have just gotten one boat for himself to leave but instead he decided that as the leader he was responsible for the rest of his army. It must have taken a lot of work to get all the boats overnight showing that Washington is intelligent and had was eager to to do work for what he though was right.

Washington was not a good leader when he punished his men because he suspected they were thinking of a mutiny. Washington was so concerned for his well being that he was willing to kill some of his men to keep himself safe. As an example he was about to give lashes to a man named macaroni Jack and when Jack asked the army "brothers will you help me." Washington decided that he was planning a mutiny and had his officers shoot him. This is bad leadership because he is the one responsible for his men and if he is killing them then he is not thinking of them rather he is thinking of himself. If he was actually concerned with a mutiny he would have worried about how it would affect the army and plan on stopping it. It was not a trustworthy thing of Washington to do because his soldiers had faith in him that Washington would keep them safe. It wasn't a good way to treat his soldiers because they were willing to help him in defeating the British with the risk of their life, but in a way that they are actually helping in the conquering of the British instead of just because of Washington's concern.

I think Washington was a good leader in the first half of the war because he was able to get his men to do things quickly and without mistakes. It takes a good leader to be able to get all his men to abbey him and have trust in him. Washington although he was harsh was concerned with not allowing the a British to take what was rightfully thier's and was willing to risk his life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Heart Breaking Declaration

The Declaration of Independence can also be described as a brake-up letter because the Americans are telling Britain that they are done with being under their control. The Americans say that they want to become self governed and don't want to be associated with Britain anymore. The British are making decisions and laws that the Americans are against. They believe that Britain doesn't care about them and treat them as one of their own. King George felt like the Americans were trying to break up with him because he thought he was doing a good job. He saw them as a far away part of England and he was thrown off when they presented to him the declaration. King George was offended because the Americans were complaining about taxes and saying that he didn't think about them, but he thought he was helping America succeed. In return for the break up he says he will get back at them by sending soldiers, making it impossible for them to trade and form alliances with other places. America and Britain both are upset about the break up because although it will do them good it will also cause conflicts.

Reading of the Declaration
The preamble states opinions of Enlightenment and relate them to the American colonists' situation. There are three certain phrases that relate to the enlightened ideas. In the preamble it states "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit to Happiness." This would agree with the idea of natural rights. Natural rights say that everybody, no matter who they are should have certain rights. They are rights they are born with and can not be taken away from them. The preamble also declares that there should be consent of the governed. This is Enlightened because it means that who ever has power only has a little more than everybody else. They should be making decisions based off of everybody opinion and not just their own. In the preamble the Americans suggest "Safety and Happiness." This would agree with protecting against the State of Nature. So their is a government set up so that everybody will stay safe. It is not saying that the government has to have complete power, but that the government is protecting everybody rather than hurting them. This means that Britain may have been hurting the Americans with their laws instead of making it better for them. The American believed the British government should have been following the enlightenment philosophy.
The Declaration of Independence is made up of grievances. A grievances is a complaint or resentment, as unjust or unfair act. The Americans included these in the Declaration because they wanted to state all the reasons why they didn't want to be part of England. If they had just written a letter to King George that they were "breaking up with him" it wouldn't have been convincing. They needed to include the grievances because they wanted King George to understand all the bad things that he did that made them want independence. It was also important for the Americans to understand why they were breaking their ties with Britain. If they didn't have good reasons or didn't have any at all they may have realized that they actually needed King George. However, they knew exactly what he had done wrong and they were able to convince everybody by using the grievances. It was the evidence that King George should not rule because he had done wrong. In order to want to go against Britain they needed reasons and the grievances were their reasons. The grievances allowed the Americans to voice their opinions. There are many grievances in the Declaration of Independence, each one stating different facts about an action of King George. Grievance set 7 in our packet states "For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:" In this grievance the Americans are upset because King George has not allowed them to trade with other people and made them pay taxes without their permission. This made the Americans angry because the British are taking away their natural rights. This means that Britain is not allowing them the right to gain property from other places by trading. It is also taking away associating with other places which should be their right. In Grievance set 6 it argues "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us." In this grievance the Americans complain about how the King has sent over many soldiers to take control of their land. This agrees with the Enlightenment idea of the consent of the governed. King George is depriving the Americans of their right to have an opinion. He is not allowing them to have a say on what happens and what laws are being enforced. The Americans were growing more upset with everything that King George took away from them. They had finally agreed that they needed their independence.

Grievance 7

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Paine's Struggle for Recognition

Enlightenment fueled the American Revolution. The ideas that were presented during Enlightenment were appealing to the people.They wanted to have it for themselves. The people of American wanted to gain independence and break free from Great Britain's rule. Thomas Paine was a writer at the time that helped to spread the principles of the American Revolution to Europe. Paine was born in Thetford, England however after many failed jobs he decided to move to Philadelphia because of a letter from Benjamin Franklin. When he first arrived he became an editor of the Pennsylvanian Magazine. In Thomas Paine's Biography Part 1 he expresses many opinions that support those of Enlightenment. He supports the idea of the consent of the governed through this quote "At first, he believed the colonies should avoid armed rebellion, but once actual fighting had begun, he became convinced that only complete independence would work." In this he is saying that he really didn't want there to be fighting but since he couldn't stop it he thought it would be best if everybody had independence and were free from the British rule. Also later on in the biography we can see the idea of the consent of the governed come up again because Paine says "America could establish a central democratic republican form of government that could serve as a model and beacon to the rest of the world." He believes that America should have power over themselves allowing them to become a model for the rest of the world to support Enlightenment. Paine also brings up the idea of having a social contract to establish a set of rules that the people have to follow. "Paine advocated a declaration of independence to secure European aid and to unite the colonies." Paine agreed with the idea of having some rule and not just a State Of Nature however he also wants a limit on how much power the government could have compared to the people. Paine helped spread the ideas of an Enlightened rule and encouraged the American Revolution so they could achieve it.

When Paine first began expressing his ideas some American colonists were ready to support him and join the rebellion. However there were other colonists that were still loyal to the British and didn't want to go against them. People were scared to abandon what they had learned and been taught to do. They hadn't really been thinking about independence and Paine was presenting them with a new idea. Also many people didn't agree with Paine's ideas.They were skeptical of him and didn't know if they could trust what he was telling them. People like John Adams convinced themselves that Paine was not in favor of the same war as himself. He thought that Paine hated government and rule over all and not just the British rule. This means that Paine was an outcast and hated by everybody even for his successful efforts. They were willing to join the rebellion but Thomas Paine was never really seen as a heroic person because no one was willing to admit they were in favor of him.

In class we were given an excerpt form Thomas Paine's writing called Common Sense. I was assigned excerpt number nine and I worked alone. The goal was to find the main idea of the article and connect it to Enlightenment. We did this by forming poems from the excerpt. It is called black out poetry and the idea is to only keep the words that make up your poem and then black out the rest of the article. I first analyzed the text to understand what Paine was trying to portray and then I was able to form a poem from the words he used to get the idea of Enlightenment in America across. The purpose of the black out poetry was so that we could understand and analyze Paine's ideas. Black out poetry helped us because we weren't just taking notes on the excerpts but we were using creativity and knowledge to help other people understand Paine's point of view.
Original Excerpt
Blacked out Poem

Circled Poem

Thursday, March 12, 2015

War or Safety

A Social Contract is a agreement that citizens make in order to have their life and rights protected, but they have to be willing to give up their freedom. Thomas Hobbes believed that social contracts were necessary because he though that without them there would be a constant State of War. Hobbes was against a State of Nature because he believed that no one would be able to get along and would always be fighting. This is shown through is writings when he says the state of war is "solitary, poor, nasty,brutish and short" John Locke also believed that social contracts were necessary but for different reasons. Locke believed that they should have a social contract so that people's life, liberty and property were protected. Hobbes and Locke also have a different view on government. Hobbes thinks that government exists to protect people's lives and that it is absolute so that the government have unlimited power. However, Locke thinks that government exists to protect people's rights and that it should have a limited amount of power so that people don't rebel. Hobbes and Locke have unique outlooks on human nature that lead them to their views. 

In class we created a social contract with five rules that people had to follow. The easiest part about making the social contract was coming up with five different categories that had to be covered. However, the hard part was getting the rules to be specific enough so that people understand how to follow them and that they cover all the different situations that could happen. In contracts it is hard because there could be many different and unique circumstances that have to be covered so that the people know what they have to do when it happens. Also you have to be concerned with whether the rules are to specific that the people won't be willing to sign them and that no one will be able to find loopholes in the contract so that they can do whatever they want. It is hard to make the rules make sense while trying to please every bodies opinions. 

We had feedback by eleven of our classmates and we were able to make our rules better based on their ideas. We adjusted rule number one so that it now states "People must elect and follow the laws of a council that is made up of two boys and two girls every year. However, if the council can not perform its job new people can be added and council members can be voted out." We changed this rule because Chris suggested that there be an odd number of council member, but if there was an odd number then there would probably be an argument whether there should be more girls or more boys. Also we used Gina's question and changed it so that you can kick people off the council if you do not like them. Rule number two was also changed so now it is "Arguments that affect the well being of others should be brought outside. Any arguments between the community are always decided by the council and they should have the final say in it." We used Olivia's question of what would happen with arguments between the community and added that situation into the rules. Rule number three was just changed a little based on Kristine's advise, so that it is "Everybody needs to have a job that the community benefits from and the resources, such as food, water, clothing and tools are shared evenly." We did not change number four based on Liam's question because it is just a rule based on kindness and if you don't agree then you shouldn't be let into the community. Our rule number five was changed so that it is now "People that become sick are allowed to skip work, however if they are sick for more than a year they will be kicked out of the community." We changed five completely because when singing the contract you know that you will be kicked out of the community if you don'y follow it. Our rules now would probably satisfy most of our class and we would be able to make a community.