Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Social Reforms

From: Fenton, Samuel. The National Temperance Offering, and Sons and Daughters of Temperance Gift. New York: R. VanDien, 1850. 

     The Sons of Temperance was a brotherhood of men who supported the temperance movement during the early 19th century. The three main goals of the brotherhood were to protect its men from the evils of intemperance, help provide care for the men when they get sick, and improve their characters. Most of the member did not want to be known so their lists were kept hidden and in most places even the meetings themselves were a secret. The artist behind this image would have wanted to show people how bad alcohol as and the affect it had on families. Due to the author's bias, there may be some exaggeration on the actions of the father while he is drunk, but it is still a reliable source. 
     Overall, the massage the engraving is trying to end is clear: the excessive drinking of alcohol is effecting the family life in a negative way. The father comes home and beats his children or wife for no reason. This led to high tension and lots of fear during this time period. While this image does an excellent job of depicting the effect of alcohol on families, it does not show how it effected life outside of the home. I.E. people's jobs and the economy.  
     If you look closely at the picture, you will notice that the family is cowering in fear of the father. It appears as though the mother is trying to protect one of the children while the eldest daughter takes the largest beating. Her clothes are torn and the rest of the house is destroyed. One thing I thought was interesting was that the artist made it so that the father was beating the girl with the alcohol bottle. I think that this symbolizes that it isn't really the father's fault, but the alcohol's. This would really help to get the message about temperance out to the public. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Another Brick in the Wall

Recently in History, we discussed Latin American revolutions during the early 19th century and how they were impacted by race. The essential question for this lesson was: Why is it essential to acknowledge human values regardless of race? How are the events in the Latin American Revolutions evidence of this social imperative? These questions were important to think about a we studied the revolutions because at a first glance, the revolution had nothing to do with race, but with the government ruling people. After learning the background information, it is easy to recognize that government was ruling people and assigning them lifestyles based on the race of their parents. This wasn't a very fair way to tell people how they could live so the revolutionaries did something about it.

Some similarities between the three revolutions that my group noticed was that they were all against the colonizing European countries. The Mexican and Grand Columbian were both against Spain. Not only where they all against similar governments, they all happened in the same time period: between 1810 and 1830. The final and most important similarity between these was that in terms of class it was often the lower classes fighting against the upper classes for more equal rights. While they were similar, there were also some differences. For one, the Mexican and Gran Columbian revolutions were against Spain while the Brazilian revolution was against Portugal. Also, there was a lot more violence in the Mexico and Gran Columbian revolutions than in the Brazilian.  

As mentioned in the previous paragraph one of the major common threads through each of these revolutions was that the lower classes were fighting the upper classes. Back in the time of these colonies, your social class was determined by the race of your parents. Even today there are still some decisions that seem to be based on race. I feel as though we still use people's race to judge them and sometimes we use it as a reason to spark change. For example, with the Treyvon Martin case everyone was upset in the court's ruling because they felt it was unfair because he was black. They used it as an excuse to have rallies and say the case wasn't handled correctly when it really was. If it had been a white kid who got shot that night the court's ruling wouldn't have changed, but there wouldn't have been as many protests or controversy about it. Especially these days, race is a touchy subject. It is one not addressed as much as it should be in a classroom because it can be seen as offensive or biased in some people's eyes. This avoidance definitely affects our society today in a negative way. There are a lot of controversies and debated about the effect race has on our society and when all of the examples are explained this proves very true all over the world.

Here is the timeline my group made about the revolution in Gran Columbia:
1810: Young Simon Bolivar is a an officer in Caracas 
April 19, 1810: Bolivar is a part of a conspiracy that expelled the governor of Venezuela and took control 
July 1811: National Assembly declares Venezuela's independence 
July 1812: the Spanish authorities rally, recover military initiative and regain control of the entire providence. Bolivar fled and wrote the Manifestos de Cartagena, a powerful political pamphlet addressed to the people of New Granada. 
1813: Bolivar is the head if an army of liberation and he returns to to Venezuela where he wins six successive engagements against Spanish forces. On August 6, 1813 he entered Caracas where he took political control with dictatorial powers 
July 1814: he lost Caracas, so he marches to Bogota which he succeeds in recapturing from the Spanish; makes it the new capital city, but soon the Spanish recover it again 
End of 1817: he is back in Venezuela building an army in the region of Orinoco river 
1819: Bolivars small force of 2500 men, crosses the Orinoco and crossed the mountains during which many of the rebel band died 
August 7, 1819: the Spanish army surrenders during an engagement at Boyaca, three days late her enters Bogota 
December 17, 1819: the Republican de Columbia is proclaimed covers the entire region of modern day Colombia Ecuador and Venezeula. 
24 July 1821: in Venezeula won a battle that yields him to his native city of Caracas 
May 24 1822: bolivars favorite general, Antonio Jose de sucre, won a victory at pic hunch as d prongs the patriots into Quito 
1830: Bolivar ruled until May of 1830 when he resigns and intends to retire in Europe, but dies along his journey. Before he died he found out that Ecuador and Venezuela seceded formally from Gran Columbia