Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Magic School Bus

Recently in my Honors 10 History we class, we discussed Andrew Jackson's title of the "people's president" and whether or not it was deserved. My group studied the Bank War in Particular. The other two topics that we studied were the Spoils System and the Indian Re!oval. The Spoils System was a system the Jackson used to gain support and keep supporters in government offices. He promised people who would vote for him that he would give them a government job. The Indian Removal was when Jackson forced Native Indians to move west because he felt as though they did not get along with white landowners. Overall, we decided that Andrew Jackson was the people's president when it came to average Americans, but he was willing to do things that would have a negative impact on the rich and people of other nationalities.
My group's skit was based off of The Magic School Bus. The class traveled back in time to when Andrew Jackson vetoed the Bank's proposal. The class also saw Daniel Webster's reaction and the people's reactions to go the sides of the argument. Here is a link to the skit for anyone who is interested in reading it:   

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Rise of an Empire...

So Recently in my Honors History 20 class, we studied the rise of democracy in the U.S. during the early 1800s. We started by analyzing some primary source documents and defining democracy. Our final definition was: democracy is a system of government in which the whole population participates. Looking at the primary sources and defining democracy were both ways to help prepare us to answer the essential question: how democratic was the U.s. during the early 1800s? To answer the question and demonstrate what we learned, my group created a glogster( and digital poster):
This is just a portion of our Glogster poster, click the link above to see the rest! 

Friday, November 21, 2014


Jackie Lermond                                                                                                             11/17/14  
Toussaint Louverture         
Toussaint Louverture was a man born in Saint Domingue. He grew up a slave, managed a plantation, and ended up owning some slaves of his own before becoming an important person in the history of Saint Domingue. During his lifetime, Toussaint Louverture was a great military commander and ruler of Saint Domingue, but most importantly Toussaint Louverture was a liberator of slaves.
            One of Toussaint’s many accomplishments was being a fantastic military commander. He made smart decisions that would benefit his people. He even put his personal life behind the safety of his people, like when “...Toussaint ordered Moyse’s [his nephew’s] arrest and had him confined in the fort of Port de Paix.” (Doc E) Along with making decisions with his head, not his heart, Toussaint was also a very clever commander. When the French ships were approaching the harbor to come and reinforce slavery, he came up with a plan so that when the French landed all they saw was “...nothing but smouldering ruins, where once stood splendid cities.” (Doc F) Although he was a smart and clever commander, it is not how we should remember him.
Along with being a diligent commander of the Military of saint Domingue, Toussaint was also named the leader of Saint Domingue in its Constitution. According to Article 16 of the Saint Domingue Constitution, “...Toussaint Louverture, Chief General of the army of Saint-Domingue and… he is entrusted the direction thereof for the remainder of his glorious life.” (Doc C) Toussaint ruling of Saint Domingue was to last for as long as he lived. There were pros and cons to this idea. The people already trust him as the General of the Army, so it would be easy for him to become their ruler, but if he starts to make bad decisions, then they are stuck and can’t get rid of him. A short 3 months after the Constitution was made and Toussaint was put into power, he made a proclamation to ensure the smooth running of the country. In this proclamation he stated that “Any individual… tending to incite sedition [actions against the authority of the nation] shall be brought before a court martial [military court] and be punished in conformity with the law.” (Doc D) He was trying to make sure that there was fair punishments and prevent people from forming any kind of rebellion against him. He sets up these boundaries because he cares about his people and wants to keep them out of trouble.
All of Toussaint’s actions as a military commander and ruler all had one thing in common: freeing the people of his country from slavery. In 1794 Toussaint and his troops stop their revolt and ally with the revolutionary government of France (Doc A). Toussaint sometimes fought against the French and was allied with them at other times depending on what their goals were. If the French were against slavery then he would join forces, but when the government wanted to enslave Toussaint’s people he would fight for them. All of his allies depended on what their goals were. For example, when the French Directory was trying to reestablish slavery in Saint Domingue, Toussaint wrote them saying that “...if they [people of Saint Domingue] had a thousand lives, they would sacrifice them all rather than to be subjected to slavery….” Toussaint wrote this very strongly worded letter to the French Directory on behalf of his people. He threatened the Directory saying that the people would fight them if they continued with their plans. His army would fight against the French instead of with them because the French were for slavery at this time. Toussaint’s allies depended on how their goals worked for his people, not him.
While Toussaint Louverture may have made many mistakes throughout his life he was definitely a good leader and commander for Saint Domingue. Even though he was great at those occupations, he was even better at liberating slaves and fighting for their freedom. He stood up for their freedom even though it eventually led to his death. People can say all they want about the choices he made, but nobody can argue that he did everything in his power to free the slaves of his country. Sadly, Toussaint didn’t live to see the day when Saint Domingue became the independent country of Haiti.  

Doc A: Created from Various Sources
Doc B: Toussaint Louverture, “Letter to the French Directory, November 1797.”  
Doc C: The Saint Domingue Constitution of 1801. Signed by Toussaint Louverture in July 1801.
Doc D: Toussaint Louverture, “Proclamation, 25 November 1801.”
Doc E: Madison Smartt Bell, Toussaint Louverture: A Biography, 2007.

Doc F: William Wells Brown, “A Description of Toussaint Louverture,” fro The Black Man, His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements, 2nd edition, 1863, Engraving of Toussaint Louverture, 1802.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Would You Like to Take a Survey? You'll get $10 Off of Your Next Purchase...

Over the past few days in my History class we have been taking surveys. Not like the on from a coffee shop were you get a free doughnut or something, but ones that were about the Atlantic Revolutions from 1830 & 1848. The prize we won for completing them was knowledge. Yay! In order to make the surveys the class was divided into 5 groups and each group was assigned a revolution. They had to read the background information and the primary sources.  Then each group had to make a survey that the rest of the class could answer if they had all of the documents in front of them. My group's survey was about the Hungarian Revolution.
In Austria, during 1848, there was a revolt. The goals of this revolution were to form an independent government, end serfdom, and make a constitution that protected basic rights. The Austrian government, or specifically Metternich, was the cause of their problem. They created many proclamations about how they wanted to be free and eventually Austria conceded and gave them what they wanted. This victory was short lived because soon Austria came back with Russia as allies and destroyed the rebels. They also got rid of any of the laws that had been put in place and set up new ones that would prevent anything like this from happening again. Our group decided that on the scale of success and failure, this revolution fell somewhere between success and neutral. We agreed on this because in the beginning it was a success, but Austria came back and took over again.
While our revolution was a success, some were not as successful. Many historians considered all of the revolutions during this time period to be a failure.  however think that they were wrong. sure, there was the Decembrist revolution where many people were shot and killed, but there was also the French revolution of 1848 where the people got what they wanted: their ruler abdicated. There was also the Frankfurt Assembly, where the people wanted a democratic constitution. They may not have gotten exactly what they had set out to get, but they changed the way they lived for the better. Overall, the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 were not ass big of failures as historians say that they were. Sure there were some bumps along the way, but most of them accomplished something.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Communism and Chocolate....

Recently in history class, we did a fun activity. The teacher handed out two pieces of candy to everyone in the classroom. Except for two people: they got eight pieces. We were then told to play rock, paper, scissors for the candy. If you lost you had to give the piece to the winner. I played, and was out of candy within my first three games. Once I was out of candy had to sit down and watch the rest of the class play. While I was watching I noticed a couple of things: it was easier for the 'rich' people to keep their candy, only one person who started out with two candies had more than that, and people were teaming up. They were 'investing' in each other. This game was very frustrating because there was a lot of luck involved. Or in my case, there was just a tendency to guess what the other person was thinking wrong. It was also really frustrating because the rich people always had candy! They couldn't have gotten rid of it if they tried (which they didn't), but still. It was pretty ridiculous. After a while, the teacher intervened and collected everyone's candy. Then she redistributed them all back evenly so that no one had more than anyone else.
The whole point of this activity was not so that was could have a couple of friendly games or rock, paper, scissors, but so that we could learn about communism, capitalism, socialism, and Karl Marx. We were just recreating it with candy. We started with capitalism: there were varying amounts of candy for everyone in the class and there was the freedom of competition. Then the teacher collected all of the candy and handed them back out equally to everyone. This represented socialism, where the government controlled everything. Communism is where no one had more than anyone else and everyone contributed to the overall wealth.  The rich people were not happy about this because it meant that they would have less money. There was a classless society created and everyone agreed to share.
The idea of capitalism, socialism, and communism was Karl Marx's he wanted to help the poor by giving them the same amount of money as rich people.Sadly, this idea does not work as well in practice as it sounds. Governments have to force their people to share the wealth. However, Karl Marx was not the only person with an idea on how to make poor people richer. Adam Smith came up with the idea of the Invisible Hand: a system in which the government didn't control the trade. This idea meant that people would look for high quality goods for the lowest prices. It would make it so that poor people would be more likely to afford them and businesses that mistreated their workers would not prosper.
Personally, I think that the Invisible Hand is a better theory because no one has to give up their money, and the businesses become better quality. Also, the poor people would be able to more easily afford the businesses' items. This would make everyone happy: the rich people get to keep their money and the poor people can afford more things. The only problem is that the poor people don't have more money and the rich people are till rich; goods are just made affordable. This system is better then communism because there would be less revolting and more cooperation.

Congresses Tend to Make Bad Decisions

Recently in History, we learned about the Congress of Vienna.  The essential question for this activity was: what should people in power do when their power is threatened? In class, we read different scenarios and read the three options that were given as to how the people in power could have solved the problem. We posted our choice along with a brief explanation. Then we found out what the people in power actually did, and how we overestimated how much they would be thinking of their people.

The Congress of Vienna was the gathering of all of the influential powers in Europe following the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was hosted by Klemens von Metternich in Austria (Vienna to be exact). A lot of things changed, such as the reconstruction of the European map, after the Congress met, but one major thing they did was establish the Principle of Intervention. This principle made it so that if there were any rebellions, foreign powers could step in to quell them. England was the only one to not be a part of this. This principle kept many rebellions from happening and made it easier to stop or put an end to the ones that did happen. For instance, in the 1820's Austria crushed an Italian rebellion.

I think that the people at the Congress should have considered their people more. If they could have sacrificed some of their power, then they wouldn't have had to establish a lot of the principles they did. They also would have had fewer rebellions on their hands.  I know that they didn't want to give up their power and that was the whole point of the principles, but they could have given up just some of it and saved themselves a lot of trouble in the long run.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's Just an Idea...

Recently in my history class we had a smack down. Groups went head to head and competed for candy. Each group was assigned a topic and required to make a creative video that was no longer than a minute. The possible topics for the videos were liberalism,conservatism,and nationalism. We made the videos in order to answer our essential question: what were major political ideologies of the 19th century and how did they influence social and political action?

Our video topic was liberalism. We decided to make a common craft video because they are creative, but still get info across to the viewers. We started our video by giving definitions that our audience would need in order to understand the rest of the video. Then we got creative and added the bulldozer to show that liberals wanted to get rid of aristocracy, monarchy, traditions, and the church in order to have freedom, rights, and meritocracy. Finally, we showed what the end result of doing this would be. People would be able to climb the social and economic ladders, but there would still be clear societal divisions.

From other groups' presentations I learned about conservatism and nationalism. Conservatism is an ideology based on keeping traditions in place. These beliefs would keep monarchs in power and prevent revolutionaries from acting up. Poor people would not benefit because they would have no chance of climbing the social ladder.Nationalism is the ideology based off of people of the same nationality, cultural practices, beliefs and language should unite as one to fight a common enemy such as a foreign ruler. This would unify more countries and possibly lead to fewer wars if they are all fighting against one common enemy. Liberalism, conservatism, and nationalism all had major influence in 19th century political and social actions.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Not Dynamite

During History class, we have recently discussed/learned about Napoleon Bonaparte. Sure we learned about how many different places he conquered, how big, bad rules were scared of him and how he changed the economies of the places where he ruled, but the overall massage was clear: don't underestimate the little guy.
A not so short guy who was smart and cunning. 
Napoleon Bonaparte. Digital image. Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <>.

Napoleon really did change a lot through his overtake of Europe and America. He changed economic, political, ad social systems. In one of the primary sources we read, Madame de Stael Felt as though Napoleon didn't have plan for what he was doing and it would ruin Europe. She was proven wrong when Napoleon started to increase trade by taking on public works projects such as building roads and railroad tracks. Napoleon also balanced the budget, removed other trade barriers, and established the Bank of France. While Madame de Stael had her doubts about Napoleon, Marshal Michel Nay did not. He believed that Napoleon was the only person capable of taking over Europe and doing it right.

Marshal Michel Nay supported Napoleon mostly because he would gain more power if Napoleon had more. Marshal Michel Nay's social standing was not the only one to change during Napoleon's time. Napoleon changed social systems by getting rid of serfdom and nobility, limited the use of title, and gave citizens more rights/property and access to a proper education. Before this, there was a lot of power held by the monarchies and Napoleon worked to  give some of it back to the people in lower classes.

He also helped poorer people by forcing he Directory to resign and  establishing meritocracy. These political changes caused the church to lose some of their power and forced monarchs to obey the Napoleonic code. Due to Napoleon's success many people feared him and were willing to follow the code.. The only country in Europe that Napoleon couldn't defeat was Britain. Britain ended up being his downfall.

Links to sources:
Madame de Stael and Marshal Michel Nay Primary Sources:
Other opinions of Napleon:

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Different Type of Advertisement

Recently, in history, we have been studying the Lowell Experiment. This was an industrial project that tried to avoid the negative aspects of Industrialization in England. In order to do this, owners and industrialists had to come up with a way to get girls to want to leave their homes and families in order to work in the mills. Their solution was to install a 'paternal system' that emphasized the protection of the women. There was a father figure that set rules and a code for behavior. There was also a mother figure, the boarding house keeper, who regulated behavior outside of the mill, maintained a 'homey' environment and made sure girls had a good reputation.
This is the cover of a work of articles written by the girls in the mills. This showed how educated they were while they worked.
Lowell Offering. Digital image. Berwick Academy, Apr.-May 2001. Web. 3 Oct. 2014. <>.

The benefits of having to maintain a safe and moral environment was that the girls could earn their own money and  have a sense of independence. Their families got help paying the mortgage, had one less mouth to feed, and were sure that their daughter's morals would be upheld.  The family's needs may have influenced a girl's decision to work in the mills. Along with the benefits, there were also some costs. Girls were separated from their families for long periods of time, worked in dangerous conditions, wages were cut, had long hours, and there was a greater risk of catching a disease, just to name a few.
The owner's and overseer's were happy to have women working for them because they could treat them worse than they would men. Women had fewer rights back then, there were less objections, and they weren't as greatly needed as men on a farm. This led to negative outlook on women during this time period. they were meant to do the jobs no one particularly wanted or that men couldn't do. they were considered fragile and easily manipulated. Owner's were proved wrong once their workers started revolting against wage cuts they tried to instill.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Virtual Hangout

Prior to the chat, with our new friends in Britain, we did some in class preparation. We started by checking out the website of the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). Then we by watching a video that they sent over to us as a preview for the video chat. We defined all of the terms Jamie used when describing the process of spinning the wool. Once we had the new vocab defined we created some possible questions that we could ask during the video chat. We tried to use as much of our new vocab as possible in the questions. 
I got a lot of information from the chat. For instance, I learned that cleaning under the threads was the most dangerous job. Often owners took in orphans and had them do that job. They fed them and gave them a place to sleep in exchange for their work. Due to poor conditions and lots of cotton dust, many women got sick. Unsanitary practices also helped to spread disease around the mills faster. These were the downsides to an increase in speed and production of spun cotton. Originally men had to manually push the loom in order to get weaving done, but now it is mechanized. The mechanization made it so that women could now do this job instead of men. This was advantageous to owners because they could pay women less. These poor conditions led to shorter life expectancies. Also, women could have trouble giving birth to children because their pelvis was pushed in from standing at the mill all day. One thing I learned about being a curator was that people ask you a lot of weird things if you wear a shirt that says "Ask me a question". I hadn't realized how much the explainers had to know in order to get their job. 
Overall, I think having an outside source who knew what they were talking about definitely helped me to learn more. It was nice to talk with someone who specialized in this era/topic. The one thing I didn't like was that he was hard to understand. I personally felt like he had a Scottish or Irish accent rather than a British one... Other than that, I thought everything went really well. I think it would be a good idea to do this again at another point in the school year. It can be very beneficial to hear someone who specializes on a topic's opinion.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Spinning a Blog Post

The analysis of our document was very important to the overall success of the project. It helped us to reach a deeper understanding of the documents that we had been given. the analysis made it easier for us to the the connection between the documents and create a good presentation. In the end, our exhibit consisted of a graph, quotes from our excerpt, a picture of John Almond's handloom, a picture of the spinning jenny, a picture of a woman spinning at home and a picture of the textile mills. There was also some yarn connecting the pictures and their summaries to a point n the graph. Our group came up with the title of our exhibit by thinking about puns we could make about cities and spinning wool. Through our presentation and creative title we hope that a visitor will learn about the evolution of the spinning wheel and how it affected the amount of people in the city.

I learned a lot from the other exhibits as well. From group B's poster I learned that the steam powered engine was invented during the Industrial Revolution. The Great increase in speed allowed for more efficient trading and faster transportation. From Group C's poster I learned That a lot of waste from the factories and mills were being dumped into rivers and streams. I knew that there was some that had been dumped, but this poster really helped me to see the extant of what had been going on. Group D's poster was about child labor. I learned that a lot of children were being forced to work. The conditions that they were working in were not pleasant and should not have been allowed, but it was. I also learned about the increase in the number of slaves in the U.S. during the Industrial Revolution form Group E's poster. I was surprised to see that there was an increase during this time. The increase was caused by the need for more cotton for the new mills. Overall, I learned a lot of new information from each of the groups' posters. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Piece of Cake

In History we are learning about the Industrial Revolution. Our essential question is: What was 'revolutionary' about industrialization? This post will answer this question.

For people, industrialization was very revolutionary. Before the Industrial Revolution, crops were scattered around the land and were not creating a lot of usable crops. During the Industrial Revolution, people started to farm domestic animals, created more efficient ways to plant seeds, started to rotate crops, and use their land to its full potential. Now they are able to produce more crops that are larger than before and could feed more people. Along with having better crops, they needed to protect their land. In order to do this they enclosed their land. This means that they fenced off their land. However, all of the land was previously shared between peasant farmers so this caused some problems. These peasants were kicked off of the land, and had to move to the city to find work. They were the labor force of the Industrial Revolution. If the Industrial Revolution hadn't come around, then the output of crops would have been lower and fewer people would have been working in the city.
Farm Fence. Digital image. Fenceworks. Fenceworks Co., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. <>.
Along with the people, the technology was also revolutionary. John Kay invented the flying shuttle which increased the speed of weavers. After that, the Spinning Jenny was invented in order to spin many threads at the same time. The water frame was the next big step in the textile and used water to further increase the speed of spinning. In the cities, there were large power mills that were used to spin threads. These sheds led to factories that ran on the steam engine. These factories needed workers and increased the amount of available jobs. With their new work team, and increase of goods, the factories were making a lot of money and the workers had enough. With enough money the workers were able to survive and live a more comfortable life.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A New Type of Literacy

Recently in my high school history class, we have been learning about media literacy. We learned how to search for information on Google and use online resources through an activity called A Google A Day. It is a fun activity in which you are asked a question that you can't just Google to find the answer. You have to try many different searches and try many different answers until you find the right one. At times it was frustrating because no matter how many different answers we found none of them were correct. Google would only accept one answer so it was hard to figure out which one it wanted when there were many. Through this experience I learned that there is not always going to be a straightforward answer and sometimes it may take multiple searches in order to find the right one. The questions also got harder to answer as the activity went on.

Reading, Mike. Google Chrome. Digital image. Google Apps for Education Tips & Tricks. Google, 21 Jan. 2013. Web. 6 Sept. 2014. 
Authenticity, reliability and accuracy are key components in deciding whether or not a website can be used for school. Authenticity is how genuine the information and the source is. If the information matches up with what you already have and the source is a well known or dependable then the website can be deemed authentic. Reliability is how trustworthy a website is. If you can not trust the source then it should not be used in school. Accuracy is how correct the information you are receiving is. In order to test these, we used the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus website. After analyzing the website, I deemed that it was not an appropriate source to use in school. It is not appropriate because the author is not a reliable source and the information given is not accurate or real. At first glance, the website looks like an authentic website, because of the web address, layout, fonts, phrasing, images and links. As it turns out, this website is just another internet hoax. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Opposites Attract Me

I am a high school student who created this blog for History class.

What makes a teacher great is their attitude towards the curriculum and the students. A great teacher has so much enthusiasm that the students can't help but to get excited. A great teacher is strict when the time comes, but is also someone I would be willing to come to if I had any type of problem.  All of my favorite teachers have had qualities like these. One was very strict, but I got a lot out of the class and still enjoyed my time while the other was happy and friendly while still managing to get information across. They both were great, but in different ways. One way that a teacher could support me would be to encourage me, but not let me become a control freak (which I sometimes do become).

After watching John Green's video(to the right), I feel like as a society we need to work on getting more people educated. There are people out there who could cure cancer, but can't because they could not get the proper education. It makes me feel lucky that I live in a town with such a nice school system.
One of my goals this year is to be more organized, whether it be with my binders// notebooks or my locker, I need to conquer the problem that is disorganization. This is going to be a real challenge for me because I find that if I become crunched for time and start putting papers wherever, it all goes downhill from there. I guess then that this is also a sort of time management goal, but mainly its just taking the time I need to make sure everything is nice and neat. :)