Taking the Wheel #4

The past two days our class presented our final projects on people, places and power. Each presentation included an introduction power point, a photo essay, and a survey monkey. Each group had a different topic and after listening to the presentations I understood how each topic related to the theme of people, places, and power.

The Labor vs. Big Business presentation clearly showed the impact of people, places and power. Their were powerful people, Rockefeller, Carnegie and J.P. Morgan, who had complete power over their workers and treated them poorly. The workers tried to gain power by going on strike at Homestead. The government also had a lot of power and they took the side of the big business people rather than the workers on strike tor prevent upsetting any big business men.

In immigration Europe people were trying to escape overbearing power and go to a place where they had power. They wanted religious freedom. Immigrants came to America looking for freedom and power and it impacted the American economy. The immigrants were given bad jobs like sweatshop workers and ended up working for cheap and helping the growth of the economy.

During imperialism between Europe and Africa, powerful European countries took over and colonized small African countries. This reflects the theme of people, places and power because countries with a lot of power took over other countries and made them live a certain way which was unfair.

The immigration Asia presentation showed that America used their power in a negative way. They tried to prevent Asians from entering the country and once Asians were in the country they were discriminated against and could not own land. Asians cheated the system to get into the country with picture brides and fake ids all so they could have more power in America then they did in Asia. Americans thought they had power over Asians based on race.

American Imperialism was when America kept wanting more power, they were not satisfied with the power they had. They kept trying to conquer other territories and thought they were superior to all. Their superior attitude led to wars like the Spanish-American War.

After seeing all these presentations I can relate them all to the theme of people, places, and power.

 

Taking the Wheel #3

After getting into our groups and discussing our findings on the topic of Native Americans and the West I had a better understanding on the topic and how it relates to the theme of people, places, and power. The other people who had this topic were Lily, Morgan, and Nicole. I began to understand more about Kit Carson after talking to my group members. Kit Carson was and Indian agent in Taos, New Mexico and he had three Native American wives. He did not support complete rights for Native Americans but he supported certain rights for them. Also I began to understand more about John Collier, an Indian affairs commissioner. He believed that Native American culture should be preserved but he contradicted himself by destroying Native American resources and telling them how to live. He ended up passing the Indian Reorganization Act which ended up not granting Native Americans the rights they needed. Learning about these two people helped me understand that people with power during this time period used it in a negative way. Working with my other group members helped clarify parts of the topic I was confused on and

To make the photo essay we used the app Videolicious. We got to pick up to ten pictures and record a caption describing each picture. There was a one minute limit so we made two videos and that way  it was easy to understand what we were saying. The script had to be short to fit the time requirement. The final product came out nicely. We also had to make an intro power point including background, key terms, and important dates. It was not supposed to be text heavy so we used a lot of pictures. Also at the end of the photo essay there was a survey for everyone to complete. Overall everything went well and everyone contributed to the project an equal amount.

Taking the Wheel #2

The next phase of research for my topic, Native Americans and the West, was an online interactive activity. The interactive activity focused on “The Long Walk” which was in 1864 when thousands of the Navajo Indians were forced to leave their land and walk 450 miles to a reservation called Bosque Redondo. Other parts of the activity were some historical documents, an image gallery, and a map of the route the Navajo’s took on “The Long Walk”. This activity helped to increase my understandings of what it was like for Native Americans to be forced out of their land. It also provided more information on Western settlers taking over and expanding into Native American land. Here is a link to the interactive activity: http://reta.nmsu.edu/modules/longwalk/default.htm

Key Terms and Definitions(added and edited):

Push-pull factors– events and conditions that either force people to move elsewhere or strongly attract them to do so
Homestead Act– signed by President Lincoln in 1862, for a small fee settlers could have 160 acres of land, a quarter mile square. Requirements were the person had to be at least 21 or the head of their family, American citizens or immigrants filing for citizenship, built a house of certain minimum size and lived in it at least 6 months a year, had to farm the land for 5 years in a row before claiming it
Great Plains– vast grassland between the Mississippi River and Rocky Mountains
Nomads– people who travel form place to place, following available food sources instead of living in one location
Reservation– federal lands set aside for native Americans
Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs– supposed to manage the delivery of critical supplies to reservations but widespread corruption within the BIA resulted in supplies being stolen or mishandled
Assimilation– the process where one society becomes a part of another more dominant society by adopting its culture
Dawes Act– divided reservation land into individual plots, each Native American family headed by a man received a plot of 160 acres
Wovoka– Indian prophet from the Paiutes tribe whocalled for all Indians to do the ghost dance because Christ returned as an Indian. Wovoka promised the restoration of Indian ways and land
General George Armstrong Custer- personified the advance of civilization against savagery, attacked the Cheyennes with his troopsd captured women and children
Indian Reservation Act-Made it required that the government secured certain civil rights to Native Americans in 1934.
Navajos– Navajos are the largest Native American group in the United States. The Navajo lands are located in northwestern New Mexico, Arizona, and southeastern Utah.
Territory– In this case, a part of the U.S. that has its own legislature but does not have all the rights of statehood. In a more general context, the word can refer to any large area of land.
Kit Carson- American trailblazer and Indian fighter
The Long Walk-In 1864 thousands of Navajos were forced to leave their land and walk to a reservation in Bosque Redondo. Many people died from disease, starvation or murder
Emigrants– People who have left or are in the process of leaving one country or geographic area in order to live someplace fairly far away.
Enduring Understandings:
The American government believed they had the power to control Native Americans and wipe out their culture.
  • eventual assimilation of Indians was the goal (The Indian Question, 220)
  • they would be required to learn industrial skills until one generation had been self improved (The Indian Question, 220)
  • government planned their educations and trained and reformed them on the plantations (The Indian Question, 220)
  • wanted to destroy tribal system because it was barbaric and savage like (The Indian Question, 221)

 

Multiple battles took place between Native Americans and new settlers because of push and pull factors.

  • Custer supported the extension of the west but he also recognized that Native Americans would rather be dead than be confined in a reservation (The Indian Question, 218)
  • Walker believed the government should pursue a Peace Policy to buy off and feed Indians and avoid any violent conflicts (The Indian Question, 219)
  • Walker explained the ultimate goal as the eventual assimilation of Indians (The Indian Question, 220)

 

The government had most of the power during this period and used it in a negative way that was unfair to Native Americans.

  • “We have marked off a reservation for you, including the Canon de Chelly and part of the valley of the San Juan, it is about (100) one hundred miles square.” (“The Long Walk” Council Proceedings, May 30, 1868)
  • The Navajo were forced out of their homeland by the government and crammed into a small reservation, Bosque Redondo. (“The Long Walk”)
  • Escorted by the military on a 450 mile long walk to the reservation. During the walk some people suffered with starvation or disease,  some were killed, and some were captured and held captive. (“The Long Walk”)

After doing the interactive activity, it is easy to picture what it would be like to actually experience what the Navajos went through. It would be miserable being forced to walk 45o miles to a place that they did not even want to go to. They had to leave behind their homes and land to go to a small reservation. On the walk it would also be horrible because people were starving and thirsty and their were diseases going around.They were constantly treated negatively by the military who were also violent at times. Everyone would be upset too because they had to leave land that was rightfully theirs and that they grew up on.

Taking the Wheel #1

The last assignment of the year has to do with the category of people, places, and power. There are six different topics and everyone is focusing on one. The topics are Native Americans and the West, Immigration: Asia, Immigration: Europe, Imperialism: America, Imperialism: Europe and Africa, and  The Rise of Corporate America. The assignment is to research your assigned topic and connect it with the them of people, places, and power. My assigned topic is Native Americans and the West.
Key Terms and Definitions:
Push-pull factors– events and conditions that either force people to move elsewhere or strongly attract them to do so
Pacific Railway Acts– 1862 and 1864, government gave large land grants to the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads. 1862 act granted every alternate section of public land to the amount of five alternate sections per mile on each side of the railroad
Morrill Land-Grant Act– 1862, gave state governments millions of acres of western lands, which the states could then sell to raise money formate creation of “land Grant” colleges specializing in agriculture and mechanical arts
Land speculators– people who bought up large areas of land in the hope of selling it later for profit
Homestead Act– signed by President Lincoln in 1862, for a small fee settlers could have 160 acres of land, a quarter mile square. Requirements were the person had to be at least 21 or the head of their family, American citizens or immigrants filing for citizenship, built a house of certain minimum size and lived in it at least 6 months a year, had to farm the land for 5 years in a row before claiming it
Benjamin “Pap” Singleton– in 1879 he led groups of southern blacks on a mass exodus, trek inspired by biblical account of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt to a prophesied homeland
Exodusters– settlers of Benjamin Singletons exodus
Great Plains– vast grassland between the Mississippi River and Rocky Mountains
Nomads– people who travel form place to place, following available food sources instead of living in one location
Reservationfederal lands set aside for native Americans
Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs– supposed to manage the delivery of critical supplies to reservations but widespread corruption within the BIA resulted in supplies being stolen or mishandled
Captain Richard H. Pratt– opened the United States Indian Training and Industrial School in Carlisle Pennsylvania in 1879. Children taken from reservations and trained to be educated as Americans
Assimilation– the process where one society becomes a part of another more dominant society by adopting its culture
Dawes Act– divided reservation land into individual plots, each Native American family headed by a man received a plot of 160 acres
Boomers– settlers who wanted the native Americans land because it wasn’t being farmed
Sooners– people who had sneaked past the government officials earlier to make claims on Native American land
Wovoka– Indian prophet from the Paiutes tribe whocalled for all Indians to do the ghost dance because Christ returned as an Indian. Wovoka promised the restoration of Indian ways and land
General George Armstrong Custer– personified the advance of civilization against savagery, attacked the Cheyennes with his troopsd captured women and children
Enduring Understandings:
The American government believed they had the power to control Native Americans and wipe out their culture.
  • eventual assimilation of Indians was the goal (The Indian Question, 220)
  • they would be required to learn industrial skills until one generation had been self improved (The Indian Question, 220)
  • government planned their educations and trained and reformed them on the plantations (The Indian Question, 220)
  • wanted to destroy tribal system because it was barbaric and savage like (The Indian Question, 221)

 

Multiple battles took place between Native Americans and new settlers because of push and pull factors.

  • Custer supported the extension of the west but he also recognized that Native Americans would rather be dead than be confined in a reservation (The Indian Question, 218)
  • Walker believed the government should pursue a Peace Policy to buy off and feed Indians and avoid any violent conflicts (The Indian Question, 219)
  • Walker explained the ultimate goal as the eventual assimilation of Indians (The Indian Question, 220)

 

So far the topic of Native Americans in the West has reflected the theme of people, places, and power. The people are the Native Americans, the government, and the Western settlers. They were fighting over land which is part of the places category. The Western settlers were trying to takeover the Native American’s land and force the Native Americans into small reservations. Clearly the Western settlers had power if they were able to gain the Native American’s land. The push-pull factors were also powerful because they influenced events that forced the Native Americans to leave their land. Lastly the government had a lot of power at the time and they used it to try and get rid of Native American culture and “westernize” them. The Western settlers grabbed the wheel and took control over the Native Americans.

 

 

Murder of the Reconstruction

During the reconstruction America was divided into two parts, north and south, and often times people wonder which part of the country is the reason the reconstruction was crushed. The reconstruction was the  time period between 1865-77 when radical republicans were working to establish equality to freedmen in the south and help then establish state governments and rebuild their economy. A radical republican was someone with the views of a republican but they also supported rights for black people. The year 1876 was  a big one for America, it was the 100th anniversary of the country’s symbol of freedom, the Declaration of Independence. A major election took place in 1876 that ironically resulted in no freedmen celebrating the freedom of the Declaration of Independence. Rutherford Hayes,  a republican was running against Samuel Tilden, a democrat. Tilden won the popular vote but not the electoral vote. Freedmen dreams of becoming equal were crushed when Rutherford Hayes was elected president. Hayes was granted president in the Compromise of 1877, all he had to do was promise to remove federal soldiers in the south. This left freedmen with no help in stopping the Ku Klux Klan and no help in being given a fair opportunity to vote. Although the north and south both contributed in their own ways to the end of the reconstruction era, the south put an end to new opportunities for freedmen after the Civil War.

To end the reconstruction the south used acts of violence and intimidation. The KKK targeted carpetbaggers, or northerners who went south after the war to help the freedmen, and scalawags who were southerners that supported the  carpetbaggers. The KKK attacked, threatened and killed anyone who supported the reconstruction. They feared freedmen becoming superior over the white population. Document A is a letter written by Albion Tourgee who was a scared, white northerner and carpetbagger. He explains the murder of radical republican Senator John Stephens who was violently murdered in a courthouse by the KKK. Also, there is an image of two people being hung and a donkey labeled, “KKK”. The two people in the picture are supposed to represent a scalawag and a carpetbagger that were just hung by the KKK or the donkey. The Ku Klux Klan was extremely violent to both black and white people. The south used this violence to try and end the Reconstruction.

 

Document A Image

 

Another way the south tried to end the reconstruction was to try and prevent freedmen from voting. When the KKK could not change the law that allowed freedmen to vote, they resorted to other ways to stop them. Before they could vote, freedmen were given literacy tests that were challenging because they could not learn when they were enslaved. They also used fear tactics to scare freedmen and reduce the republican vote. Document B is a testimony written by Abram Colby, a black freedman, who was beaten and attacked to change his vote. Freedmen like Colby were scared to express their political views after being threatened because they did not want to risk their lives. The image in Document B shows white men holding a gun up to a freedman’s head before he voted. This shows that white supremacy groups used violence and intimidation to create fear in the freedmen and change their vote. So even if a freedman passed the literacy test, he was most likely bribed and beaten into changing his vote.

Document B Image

The south was primarily responsible for the killing of the Reconstruction era. They used violence and threats to unfairly win the Election of 1877 which caused any hope of equality for a freedman to be crushed. White supremacist groups played a big role by killing and attacking freedmen until they were to scared to show up and vote. And when freedmen showed up to vote they scared and threatened them, causing a sway in votes. By the time the Reconstruction ended the north was focused on other issues, so it was the south who killed the reconstruction.

 

Citations:

Document A:

Letter- Albion Tourgee, Letter on Ku Klux Klan Activities. New York Tribune, May 1870.

Image- Independent Monitor, September 1, 1868. Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama.

Document B:

Testimony- Abram Colby, testimony to a joint House and Committee in 1872

Image- Harper’s Weekly, October 21, 1876.

The Grand Finale to the Civil War

The Battle of Gettysburg

A major turning point in the Civil War was the Battle of Gettysburg. The Confederate’s leader, General Lee, decided to head North into Gettysburg to attack the Union and kill the Northern morale. His army was also running low on food and supplies so they needed to get some from the North. His plan backfired when the Confederacy lost and their morale became low. The Confederate army lost 8.27% of their total army at this one battle compared to the Union who lost about 2.5% of their total army. The Confederacy was massacred and the union had about 6 million men that they could fall back on to recruit compared to the Confederacy who only had 1.2 million. General Lee became worried about the Confederacy’s future and told President Jefferson Davis that the morale of the Confederacy dropped a lot and he could no longer continue being General. This battle really affected the Confederacy and advanced the Union. It also made President Lincoln create the Gettysburg Address. The goal of the Gettysburg Address was to change the purpose of the War so it was to fight for the freedom of all Americans. There were other battles around the same time as Gettysburg that contributed to the turning point.

Generals Grant, Sheridan, and Sherman of the Union conducted total war campaigns in the Confederacy. They made civilian property targets of warfare. This was acceptable for them to do because it was a big help to end the Civil War. Grant was told by President Lincoln to destroy the Souths capacity to wage war, eliminate the things they needed to conduct war and destroy people’s homes, food, and crops.Vicksburg was a town that stood in the way of the Unions complete control of the Mississippi River so they decided to siege it. Every day citizens had to avoid being killed by shells, their homes got destroyed so they dug hills in cave sides as homes with furniture and they ate horses mules and dogs. The Confederates ended up surrendering because of scarce food. One time General Sherman said, “War is cruelty… the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over” which shows us that he thought if people were suffering because of the war they would want it to end. Sherman’s march to sea was a march across Georgia where the Union destroyed bridges, factories, railroads, and homes. Even though the total war campaign was dangerous and destructive it helped end the war because it left the confederacy outnumbered, surrounded, and running out of supplies. 

The war finally ended when General Lee surrendered for the Confederacy at Appomattox Court. Their were different reactions to the end of the war from all over the country. The Confederate soldiers were upset under the circumstances but Lee told them if they were as good citizens as they are soldiers they will be fine. The North was surprised, relieved and excited over the war ending. People surrounded the White House and their were fireworks. The South on the other hand was sad that they lost but they honored Lee. John Wilkes Booth reacted to the war ending by killing Lincoln. People made posters targeting anyone who was willing to help find the killers. Some people created poems to express their sadness and honor Lincoln and everyone really tried to memorialize him and provide a symbol of what he contributed.

A reward poster for the murderer of Lincoln

 

Image URLs

Citations

African Americans during the Civil War

A valuable picture of a white man and his slave during the Civil War.

During the Civil War African Americans were discriminated against and not allowed to fight for the Confederate army. They served the confederacy as servants and they cooked, cleaned, and maintained the camp. One reason they were not allowed into the army was, “This is a government of white men, made by white men for white men, to be administered, protected and maintained by white men.” (Democratic Congressman 1863) It was believed that only white men should fight because they had all the rights and they were the dominant race. Also, Frederick Douglass said, “Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, US; let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his soldier and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship.”He was saying that if the Confederacy allowed African Americans to fight they are allowing them to be citizens and have equal rights. In order to gain advancement African Americans had to submit to some discrimination and that is ok. An example of this is how after losing the war the south needed a way to justify their actions so they told the story that their slaves were loyal and loved them so much that they fought in the war for the confederates. Slaves allowed them tell this story so whites would let them gain their freedom. If African Americans did not allow the white people to discriminate and tell the story they would not have been able to advance or gain their freedom. It was not better for African Americans to reject discrimination because it could end up furthering their rights.

 Image URl: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/09/24/opinion/24disunion-img/24disunion-img-blog427.jpg

Sources:

MacPherson, James. Ordeal by Fire. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000.

Brave Women of the Civil War

Harriet Jacobs

During the Civil War women had limited rights and were expected to act inside “the sphere of domesticity” and anything outside the sphere was frowned upon. Acts that fit inside the sphere were cooking, taking care of and teaching children, cleaning, and making clothing. Acts outside the sphere were holding a paid job, voting, going to war, going to bars, wearing pants, reading and writing about politics, and public speech. Some women chose to act outside of the sphere and some chose to act inside the sphere during the Civil War.

One woman who chose to act outside of the sphere was Dorothea Dix. Dix was a superintendent of women nurses during the war and she took control and ordered people around. Dix was put in charge to the point of controlling male doctors and they did not like a woman making their decisions. Her controlling men was an act considered outside the sphere. Another woman who acted outside the sphere was Belle Boyd, a spy for the confederate army. To get information Boyd dressed as a man or flirted with other soldiers. A female spy was frowned upon and considered outside the sphere. Harriet Jacobs was another woman that acted outside the sphere during the Civil War. She was an escaped slave that wrote for the Liberator about slave abolition. Public speech was outside the sphere so Harriet Jacobs was too. Women acted outside the sphere because they felt that staying at home was not helping the men at war. They wanted to contribute to the war in some way that would actually help and the only way to do that was to act outside the sphere.

Image URL: http://ofa.fas.harvard.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/jacobs.jpg

A Hunt for New Information

 

photo (24)

Me scanning a QR code during the Scavenger Hunt

To learn about all of the different Civil War battles everyone received a specific battle to research and make a google doc for. Then we put all of our research together to make a scavenger hunt around the school and learn about each specific battle.  Everyone made a QR code for their google doc so we traveled around the school scanning each code with a QR reader app. Each document contained directions on where the next battle is in the school. After everyone finished the scavenger hunt we used a website called Padlet to post answers to specific questions we were asked. Padlet was an easy way to see everyone’s ideas and it was helpful to answer the essential question of the lesson.

The first essential question was who was the ultimate victor in the following theaters East, West, and Naval. In the Easter theater the Confederates dominated in most of the battles. They won battles such as the Battle of Fredericksburg, Bull Run,  Chancellorsville, Second Manassas, Cold Harbor and Fort Sumner. However in the Western theater the Union dominated. Some battles they won were the Battle of Baton Rouge, the Battle of Shiloh, the Battle of Fort Donelson, and the Siege of Vicksburg. The Union also won more battles in the Naval theater such as the Battle of Hampton Roads. Having strength in numbers and being more advanced in technology helped the Union beat the Confederates in many battles.

The second essential question asked for common factors in the reason for the results.  The Union won more battles for multiple reasons.  They had a larger population which meant more people to fight and more troops. The amount of troops overwhelmed the confederates in battles such as the Appomattox campaign and the Battle of Fort Henry. The union also had a greater supply of resources and weapons because many industrialists lived in the north. The confederates weapons and ships did not match up to the Unions like in the Battle of Baton Rouge and the Battle of Gettysburg. They had a larger amount of railroads allowing transportation of supplies and soldiers to be easy.  In general the Union was more technologically advanced than the Confederates.

 

Links to Padlets: 

Link to my Google Doc:

What would you choose?

Weapons from the Civil War

Should I stay home with my family where it is safe or go fight in the war to serve my country? This question was asked frequently during the 1860’s in the U.S.A. because the Civil War was going on. For some people it was a simple question that they did not have to think about but for others it was a difficult decision. As an eighteen-year-old male member of Reading, MA  in 1861 during the Civil War serving my own country would be more important than personal preservation. I would be at the perfect age where I do not have a wife or children yet and the Union was well prepared for the War with new technology and good tactics.

The Union had a great amount of technology such as monitors, railroad artillery, military telegraphs, machine guns, cannons, rifled muskets, lead minié balls, naval ships, and warships. Their warships had a revolving territ that contained two guns and helped benefit them in battles. They also had more industrialism than the South so it was easy for weapons and other products to be manufactured for them. The weapons and products could be transported easily and quickly because of the large abundance of railroads in the North. The weapons were dangerous but everyone knew that going into the war and there were doctors for injured people.

A popular resolution for bad injuries was amputation. This was the most common surgical procedure in the South for the Union. By the end  of the war Union surgeons had performed about 30,000 amputations. It was common to see amputees in any town or farming community throughout the South. Two out of every three Civil War wounds were treated by surgeons because some soldiers had  other fatal injuries, leaving them with no chance of survival. There was a higher mortality rate if the amputation had to be made higher.

Having good tactics was also important in the war. The South was trying to prolong the war until it became too overbearing for the North. They protected their borders and then launched offenses. The North’s tactics were to invade the South , destroy its capacity to wage war, and crush the will of the Southerners to resist. Since the North was at advantage by numbers they knew they would be able to out fight the South. Fighting as a soldier for the Union would not be bad because even though they did not have as many surgeons they had good tactics and technology and at the end of the day that is what will help the most.

Image link: http://www.corbisimages.com/images/Corbis-OV001193.jpg?size=67&uid=269e48a3-4633-4b07-bdca-ae52522f6bdf