Tenement Museum

When stepping foot into the Tenement Museum, one feels as if he was going back to his roots. He first realizes the condition of living that many new immigrants faced, and he learns the struggles that people fought through, just to live in America. During the 1800’s and early 1900’s many immigrants came to America to seek prosperity or refuge. These immigrants were usually Eastern European Jews, Italians, or Greeks. Each ethnicity tended to live near themselves, and they formed their own neighborhoods. In these neighborhoods people of common ethnicities would help support each other, give each other jobs, and give each other advice on the new country.

While walking into the museum I realized the horrible conditions that many of these new immigrants had faced while coming to America. They usually came with no money, and were forced to squeeze up to 10 people in rooms, which barely fit 2 people. These immigrants fought hard to stay in this land, something we take for granted. I specifically went to one room owned by a Jewish family, and one owned by an Italian family. We learnt how each family learned to survive. Usually the women had to take care of the house and make money, because the families were too poor to survive any other way. In addition, many children had to work as well, because the extra money was desperately needed.

While walking through the museum it is clear that these immigrants worked really hard. They helped start a new life for their families, and in turn sacrificed their lives to working extremely hard. It is highly recommended that everybody visit this museum. It helps show the roots of many of us, and will help put our lives in perspective. It will show us how lucky we truly are, and just how much we should appreciate the lives that we have.



HIS 1005: Modern American History Final Exam Study Guide (exam is May 23, 2011)


Section I – Identifications

All identifications on the exam will be drawn from the list below. For each term, in 2-3 sentences identify the historical importance of the person, place, or event. Include at least mention of when and where he/she/it took place.


1) Iwo Jima – Iwo Jima refers to the Battle of Iwo Jima. In this battle the United States captured the island of Iwo Jima from Japan. It was part of the Pacific Campaign during WWII and took place in 1945.


2) NATO – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance that combined for mutual defense. It is still around today, but was created in 1949. It began with 10 countries, among them the United States. NATO was created because the Berlin blockade provided evidence that in order to stop the Soviets an alliance was needed.


3) Arms Race – The Arms Race describes a competition between two or more parties for the best armed forces. Each party competes to produce larger numbers of weapons, greater armies, or superior military technology in a technological escalation. A nuclear arms race developed during the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union. On both sides, perceived advantages of the adversary led to large spending on armaments and the stockpiling of vast nuclear arsenals. This took place during the 1940’s even up until the 1990’s.


4) Containment – Containment was a United States policy using military, economic, and diplomatic strategies to stall the spread of communism, enhance America’s security and influence abroad, and prevent a “domino effect”. A component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to a series of moves by the Soviet Union to expand communist influence in Eastern Europe, China, Korea, and Vietnam. This policy was created in 1946.


5) Marshall Plan – The Marshall Plan was the large-scale American program to Europe where the United States sent them monetary support to help rebuild European economies in order to combat the spread of communism. The goals of the United States were to rebuild a war-devastated region, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, and make Europe prosperous again. This plan was created in 1948.


6) Age of Affluence – The Age of Affluence was a nickname to the 1950’s in America. It was named so because of the prosperity from the wartime economy, the rise of suburbia, mass consumerism, the TV, credit cards, and the expansion of the car industry. Advertising was also a major contribution to this age.


7) McCarthyism – McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by heightened fears of communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents. Originally coined to criticize the anti-communist pursuits of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, “McCarthyism” soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts.


8) Domino theory – The domino theory was a theory during the 1950s to 1980s, promoted at times by the government of the United States, which speculated that if one state in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect. The domino theory was used by successive United States administrations during the Cold War to clarify the need for American intervention around the world.


9) Rosa Parks – Rosa Parks was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress called “the first lady of civil rights”, and “the mother of the freedom movement.” On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks, refused to obey bus driver’s order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. While her action was not the first of its kind to impact the civil rights issue, Parks’ individual action of civil disobedience created further impact by sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott.


10) Little Rock Nine – The Little Rock Nine were a group of African-American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The ensuing Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by the Arkansas governor, and then attended after the intervention of President Eisenhower, is considered to be one of the most important events in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. On their first day of school, troops from the Arkansas National Guard would not let them enter the school and they were followed by mobs making threats to lynch them.


11) Greensboro Sit-in – The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of nonviolent protests which led to the Woolworth’s department store chain reversing its policy of racial segregation in the Southern United States. They occurred in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1960. A group of black students began sitting in on the store’s lunch counter, and as many more students joined the movement, the store changed its policy.


12) Silent majority – The silent majority is an unspecified large majority of people in a country or group who do not express their opinions publicly. President Richard Nixon popularized the term in a 1969 speech. He appealed to the American people, calling on the “great silent majority” for their support as he worked for “peace with honor” in Vietnam.


13) Gulf of Tonkin incident – The Gulf of Tonkin Incident is the name given to two incidents, one disputed, involving North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964. The outcome of these two incidents was the passage by Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted President Lyndon B. Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by “communist aggression,” and served as Johnson’s legal justification for opening warfare against North Vietnam.


14) Tet Offensive – The Tet Offensive was a military campaign during the Vietnam War that began in 1968. Regular and irregular forces of the North Vietnamese Army fought against the forces of South Vietnam, the United States, and their allies. The purpose of the offensive was to spark a general uprising among the population that would then topple the Saigon government, thus ending the war in a single blow.


15) Watergate – The Watergate scandal was a political scandal during the 1970s in the United States resulting from the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. Effects of the scandal eventually led to the resignation of the President of the United States, Richard Nixon, on August 9, 1974, the first and only resignation of any U.S. President. It also resulted in the indictment, trial, conviction and incarceration of several Nixon administration officials.


16) Jimmy Carter – Jimmy Carter served as the 39th President of the United States (1977–1981). As president, Carter created two new cabinet-level departments: the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. In foreign affairs, Carter pursued the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties, the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II), and returned the Panama Canal Zone to Panama.


17) Ronald Reagan – Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989). As president, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives such as his supply-side economic policies, dubbed “Reaganomics.” His second term was primarily marked by foreign matters, such as the ending of the Cold War, the 1986 bombing of Libya, and the revelation of the Iran-Contra affair.


18) Berlin Wall – It was a wall to separate East Berlin from West Berlin, erected in 1961 and dismantled in 1989. It was the embodiment of what Churchill called The Iron Curtain, separating the Free Western sector of Berlin from the Communist sector. In 1948 the Soviets cut all road and rail links from West Berlin and all supplies had to be flown in around the clock for more than a year.


19) September 11 – The September 11 attacks were a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States on September 11, 2001. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing everyone on board and many others working in the buildings. The hijackers crashed a third airliner into The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane, which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington, D.C., to target either the Capitol Building or the White House. There were no survivors from any of the flights.


Digit-all Archive

From the first second that I went on the 9/11 website, I found it very simple to use. When you land on the homepage, you can see different bookmarks lined up horizontally on the top of the page. These bookmarks truly break down the different sections of the website. As one can see anybody is able to browse, research, or contribute to this site. This is definitely one of the strengths of this site. For example if I want to browse through hundreds of thousands of documents, I can simply click on the browse button. From there one is able to filter out what they want to see based on either images, email, stories, etc. The research portion of the website helps people research archives and other documents about 9/11. It makes everything very simple. Contributing is even easier than anything else! All you have to do is type up, or upload whatever you need to, and you submit it. It can literally take under a minute. Which other website runs like this! The simplicity and ease of the website are definitely its forte.

The simplicity only acts as a negative to people who require aesthetic pleasure from this website. It is very bland and boring, but that  might be the desired theme, since this website is about an extremely tragic event. The biggest negative about the website in my opinion is the validity of what it posted. I am not sure that everything that is posted is true. People are able to submit whatever they like, and I’m sure that if the website gets a complaint they will take something down. However, many stories may be factually incorrect. The search process is also subpar. When you search for certain thing such as ’23rd floor’ you must be very specific. If you write 23 then any result for ’23rd’ would not show up. This is a massive downside to this website, because it is nearly impossible to search through all of its documents. So, for example if one wanted to look for things on a specific floor, it would not be as easy as it seems. Lastly there has been minimal marketing in terms of getting this website to the public. Barely anybody has heard of this website, and that limits the amount of entries submitted to the blog.

In the future historians will know exactly what people thought about the event. They can learn about 9/11 from this website, as well as the public’s reaction. They might be able to view images, videos, audio recordings, email, stories, etc. This website truly makes it easy for anybody to learn about 9/11. Of course this story is told from the American point of view, but it does include numerous facts. Overall, the websites pros outweigh its cons, and this website should be considered a great accomplishment.



Regulation for Regulations

On January 18, 2011, President Barack Obama signed an executive order, which allowed the government to review all federal regulations.  The regulation was put in place mostly for the businessmen in America, who weren’t so sure Obama was the right person to help fix the economy. Obama agrees that too much regulation in America is not beneficial, but he also admitted that lack of regulation is bad as well. He attributed the recent financial crisis to lack of regulation. This new order will also help the government focus more on small businesses, and can hopefully result in a more efficient economy. (Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/18/us-obama-regulations-idUSTRE70H13W20110118)


During the 1980’s President Ronald Reagan also tried to stimulate the economy. He did this by passing what was known as The Tax Reform Act of 1986. This act was created in order to simply the income tax code, expand the tax base, and get rid of tax shelters. Individual tax cuts were decreased, but corporate taxes were raised. This in turn kept the tax level about the same as it was before. However, this shifted the burden of the tax to corporate companies. Both Reagan and Obama have been seen to help the individuals more than the big businesses. While Obama is trying to help the Americans by attempting to find ways where they can succeed, Reagan is simply handing them help. He is giving them a tax cut, which requires no effort on their part. Whether this is the right thing or not lies in the mind of each and every person.



Boom and Bust

From around the year 1996 to the year 1999 there was a huge rise is stock market prices. The S&P 500 rose about 20% each of these years, and NASDAQ rose a whopping 500%. These ludicrous rises in prices were due to “dot coms,” or companies that conducted business through the Internet. Americans were getting very excited over the hype of these companies and poured billions into the stock market. However, to everybody’s dismay, the stock market crashed in 2000. The bubble burst on April 14, and stocks plummeted. The market had the greatest one day drop in history! NASDAQ alone fell 80% from its 2000 prices. It wouldn’t be until 2006 that the stock market retuned to its 2000 levels. By 2001 the American economy fell into a recession, not too different from the one we recently had.

What also helped fuel this recession was the greed of corporate America. Many companies lied, cheated, and stole, from their shareholders in order to make huge profits. When these companies were proven to be a scam the companies crashed, pulling down their stockholders with them. The most famous example of this was a Houston based energy company named Enron. Enron was supposed to be showing billions of dollars in profit. It was the hottest company, and took up many magazine covers. Everybody was talking about Enron. However, one day somebody discovered Enron had been lying, and that it had really been operating at a loss. The insiders knew this, and sold the stocks high. Once the company fell most shareholders lost their shirts. Enron wasn’t the only companies pulling scams. Tyco International and GE were also among companies found to be crooked in one way or another. Even respectable companies such as Chase and Citigroup had to pay back investors for selling them worthless stocks.


Protest With Music


I selected two very moving protest songs of the past 100 years. The first song I chose was “Only a Pawn in Their Game,” by Bob Dylan (1964). The version that I posted is a cover, as I was not able to find the original version on YouTube. The second song I selected was “The General,” by The Dispatch (2000). “Only a Pawn in Their Game” is a song about the racist nature of the world during the 20th century. It specifically mentions the assassination of the civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Dylan goes on to mention how although many people preformed terrible deeds, usually due to racism, it was not solely their fault. It was the fault of society, and he says that each person in only “a pawn in their game.” “The General” is an anti-war song about a general who claims that it “is not worth fighting.” The entire song the general is telling his soldiers to go home, and enjoy their lives. The message is that we should avoid war, because we are taking away people’s lives.

In general, protest songs have not really changed over the years. The bottom line is that they are supposed to convey a message to the public and create a change. However, today I think these songs are more direct and crude, as opposed to being more subtle 50 years ago. Today there are also new genres, such as hip-hop, which have produced certain protest songs as well. Besides those few changed there are not many distinct differences in protest songs over the years. The two songs I chose could have been written anytime over the past 50 years, and they would fit in to any time period. Social protests did not change much, as a whole. Like protest songs, they simply just became more outright and uncut. People are not afraid to say or do anything these days.


Who Has the Bigger Gun?

One major political change that occurred during the 1960’s was Kennedy’s quarantining of Cuba. In 1962 American spy planes figured out that the Soviets were installing missiles in cuba, which could reach the United States. Kennedy determined that the missiles were intolerable and had to act upon this threat immediately. Kennedy decided to blockade Cuba, and demanded that the missiles be removed. Khrushchev, of the Soviet Union, agreed to withdraw the missiles, and America said that they would not invade Cuba. This was known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

This series of events stems from the “massive retaliation” of the 1950’s. In 1952 the US exploded the first hydrogen bomb. This was the most deadly bomb yet. The Soviets retaliated and created their own bomb. What resulted was that both sides now had weapons of mass destruction that could potentially harm a big chunk of the world. This began “massive retaliation,” or the idea that the US would attack the Soviets if the Soviets were ever to attack them. While none of this actually occurred, it did create an even bigger competition between the US and Soviet Union, and it make both sides very paranoid of the other’s weapons. This is why the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during the 1960’s.

Below is a video showing Kennedy’s reaction to the discovery of Soviet missiles. These missiles were only created because of US hydrogen bomb, the Cold War, and massive retaliation, which all took place in the 1950’s.


The 1950’s saw the television’s rise in popularity. “By the end of the 1950’s, nearly nine of ten American families owned a TV set.” This drastically changed American life. People started using the TV as a source of information. The job that once belonged to strictly the newspapers was moving on to other formats. America also began using TV as their number one leisure activity. They would watch shows like The Goldbergs, The Honeymooners, and Leave It To Beaver. However, the biggest impact that television had was through its advertisements.

Advertisements were now being seen on a mass scale, due to the amount of TV that was being watched across the country. Without Tivo most people would actually sit through the commercials, and some even found them entertaining. Jack Straus, the chairman of the board of Macy’s said, “The luxuries of today are the necessities of tomorrow.” What this means is that people are starting to think they need goods that were once considered luxuries. America started shifting into a consumer country. People were being “brainwashed” to buy all sorts of things. Items such as Levi’s or Coca-Cola were once items of the rich. Now, the entire population was buying everything they could. They were taking out loans, and buying on credit, both things that were not done before. The TV and advertisements really shifted the way Americans behaved. Above is a clip of a handful of television commercials from the 1950’s and 1960’s. I found them quite interesting. I hope you do as well.


Oh McCarthy!

Senator Joseph R. McCarthy was barely known outside of Wisconsin, the state he was elected for. In order to make up for that he claimed that he had a list of 205 communists working for the State Department. He did this in February 1950, during a speech at Wheeling, West Virginia. Although this was totally fabricated, he convinced the Senate subcommittee that he chaired to hold hearing against many people, as well as the Defense Department, The Voice of America, and many other government agencies. This was only happening because people believed what McCarthy was saying. However, this would not last for much longer.

In 1954 the Senate looked into something that McCarthy claimed was true. He said that the army had coddled communists. The army decided to hold publicly televised hearing with McCarthy, and those ultimately led America to finally see that McCarthy made all his accusations without any basis. McCarthy died only three years later.

Senator McCarthy changed the near and distant future in many ways. This most important thing he did was that he created this extreme fear of communism, for no reason. He made America believe that the communists were not only in our country, but within our own government. Many people were wary of the government during this time period, and it was only due to the fictitious accusations of McCarthy. I do not think that the anticommunist movement would have been so strong if McCarthy was not a part of it. His words were gobbled up by the public because he was working in Congress. He used his power to try and gain fame.

McCarthy also had an impact on today’s times. He affected the way we accept information as true. Nowadays we don’t just accept what anybody says. We investigate every detail, we ask for sources, and we challenge everything we can. Back in the 50’s McCarthy was able to get away with saying what he wanted, and not many people questioned him. However, we learned from our mistakes, and we saw the importance of challenging out superiors, and finding out if what they are saying is actually true.


March Madness


Above is a video of The Ku Klux Klan marching in Washington D.C. in the year 1928. Unfortunately there is no audio for this clip, but the video is all we need. We see thousands of Klan members, sporting their white robes. Notice how they are marching in the center of the capital of our country. This is almost like a message that the Klan is sending; The Klan is here, and they will take over the country. There does not seem to be much opposition, probably because it would lead to death. During the 1920’s the Klan had a huge revival, and became even worse than the Klan of the 1800’s. They targeted many other groups of people besides black people, and their influence in the government made them nearly impossible to stop.

The funniest part about this video is how calm and nice it seems. It almost makes you want to join the Klan, if you did not know what they were about. The day is beautiful, and the white robes give off a symbol of purity. It does give us a great picture of how big the Klan became, and seeing that March on TV would be a scary sight to any person not considered “American.”


Deal Me In

I am not sure when this cartoon was published, but it looks pretty old. It was published in the Pittsburgh Press. This cartoon took a play on the word ‘Deal.’ In this cartoon we see a poker hand of 4 Aces and a King. In poker that is 4 of a kind, a great hand. I think the author is praising the New Deal. He is saying that it is really great, just like the poker hand. The title says “It IS a New Deal,” probably referring to a “new hand” after the Great Depression. This hand is a winner, showing how the author praises the New Deal.

As we see the hand comprises of Protection of Gold, Bank Holiday, Budget Message, Inaugural Address, and Bank Legislation. In Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address he mentioned how he was going to dethrone all the bad bankers, and how he was going to help fix the mess we were in. In 1933 Roosevelt closed all the banks for 3 days. He did this in order to allow certified reviewers to check them. He wanted to make sure banks were running smoothly, and also wanted all his laws to pass. He also did not want everybody rushing to take out their money, and so he closed the banks. He also go rid of the gold standard, a change that still exists today. There were many more components to the New Deal, but this author focuses on the first few. He is in favor of the New Deal, but not all of America was aboard the same ship.


The Not-so-great Depression

This is a "town" of shacks in Central Park, called a Hooverville. (From http://ephemeralnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/centralparkhooverv.jpg)

This is a “town” of shacks in Central Park, called a Hooverville. (From http://ephemeralnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/centralparkhooverv.jpg)

During The Great Depression conditions in America were horrible. Now, I know we think we had it bad the past few years, but that does not even compare to how bad it was in the early 20th century. Most people had no work. Now, I am not strictly talking about unskilled workers, but rather many professionals did not have work as well. Everyone was looking for jobs and nobody was able to support their family. In order to even attain some food people would wait on these breadlines. The lines were hundreds, or thousands, of people lined up waiting to get a small portion of food given out for free. This is what a majority of America had to resort too. People couldn’t afford housing either. Some lived in cardboard boxes. and others lived in houses that were not much better. Shown in the picture is a village of tiny, dinky shacks that was set up in New York’s Central Park. While nearly impossible, I hope the two pictures that I posted give you an idea of the poverty present in The Great Depression.

This is a breadline where people can come and get free food. (From http://dailycapitalist.com/2009/06/24/the-great-depression-a-short-history/)

This is a breadline where people can come and get free food. (From http://dailycapitalist.com/2009/06/24/the-great-depression-a-short-history/)


The Brainwashing Committee

In 1917, President Wilson’s administration came up with the CPI, or Committee on Public Information. What this committee did was it tried to manipulate the opinions of the public. They wanted to convince Americans to agree with America’s stance to go into World War 1. They did this by using “posters, newspaper advertisements, and motion pictures” to help spread the governments ideas. They also had Four-Minute Men who would go around trying to help sway the public’s opinions. These men targeted every audience, including most immigrant groups. In the end this committee proved very successful.

Foner covers this topic in less than a page, however he covers it very well. He tellsthe story like it is, and does not praise or admonish the CPI. He rather explains how this was the first time that America had dealt with this sort of mass advertising, and it influenced many people of the future, including advertisers of today. Although they did not know it at the time, this committee shifted the way America ran, and its impacts are still felt today.


Regulating Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt changed the way Americans lived during the Progressive Era. He created more government regulation, and looked out for the good of the common person. Under him, Congress passes the Hepburn Act, which allowed the ICC to inspect railroad rates and regulate prices. In addition the Pure Food and Drug Act, as well as the Meat Inspection Act, were both passed that year. These laws helped check the quality and labeling of food and drugs. The Meat Inspection Act was passed because of unsanitary slaughterhouses, and the selling of spoiled meat. The idea of such government regulation was a new idea in America. Roosevelt helped the average citizen by making sure there was some level of fairness in business, but he did charge a high tax, which did not sit well with most Americans.


Coming to America

This is a picture of the RMS Titanic. It was supposed to bring hundreds of immigrants to America, but sunk right off the American coast in 1912.
Emigrants coming up the board-walk from the barge, which has taken them off the steamship company's docks, and transported them to Ellis Island. The big building in the background is the new hospital just opened. The ferry-boat seen in the middle of the picture, runs from New York to Ellis Island. Taken in 1902.

The biggest differences about the two photographs depicted above is the classes shown. In the first picture, of the RMS Titanic, we see a massive ship that was intended for the upper class. Only the highest class were aboard this ship, and they have a wonderful journey, up until they hit an iceberg. However, if they had not hit an iceberg there travel would have been summed up as luxurious. In the second picture we see middle and lower class people arriving in America. Odds are their journey was much more difficult than the people aboard the Titanic. They look like they just had a hard journey, and they will probably have a hard life here in America as well.

When immigrants came to America it wasn’t easy. Most of them were discriminated against. A few of them came over with a lot of money, but for most it was a hard journey. Many people were even deported back to their home country if America didn’t want to accept them in. This happened if they had diseases, if they were prostitutes, or if they were seen as anarchists.


On the Origin of Species (1859)

In 1859, Charles Darwin published a book titled On the Origin of Species. Darwin’s work was one of the most influential books in history, and we still use many terms coined by him today. The main idea of the book is that plants and animals that are more suited to survive in their environments will survive, and that they will replace those that cannot adapt. This view was very similar to the pre-Civil War view, which justified slavery. During the Gilded Age many people were fighting for social equality, and Darwin’s book posed a serious threat to their efforts.

Darwin believed that evolution is a natural process that occurs in nature, and that no forces should try and limit this. When the government or other organizations try and limit people, and try and make everything equal, they are bringing us back to a more primitive state. According to nature, some things are superior to others, and we shouldn’t have to take certain freedoms away to make sure that everybody is equal. Darwin truly believed that people are responsible for their own fate. He said that people should work on educating their children and doing other things that would help prevent seeking government aid.

The theory of Social Darwinism was pretty popular during the Gilded Age. Many professors wrote works on the theory, most notably William Graham Sumner. Sumner, a Yale professor, said that nobody was entitled to help others. He believed that there were social arrangement made by nature and that we shouldn’t interfere with them. The definition of freedom would be debated throughout this period, and Social Darwinists would constantly battle with people who believed in equality for all.



Foner, Eric. “America’s Gilded Age.” Give Me Liberty!: an American History. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2009. 586-87. Print.



This image represents a turning point in American history. Before September 11, 2001, America was a more lax nation, and discriminated against race much less. After September 11, “middle-east” people continue to be discriminated against, and every move made by Americans is scrutinized like never before.



David Blight’s book, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, sounds extremely intriguing. He offers another view to the Civil War, and brings in the impact of African Americans. When we learn about the Civil War in school we are told a certain story, a story that usually omits certain truths. By reading this book one would gain a whole new prospective of our history. This book helps bring to light the power of written history, and the fact that history is just one person’s perspective about what happened at a certain time. No matter who is telling the event there will always be some bias. Everybody would benefit from reading such a book, because it shows us that what we learnt in the past might not be true. We all know that every person has his side of the story, and that when you put both sides together you usually get a story close to the real one. By bringing in the importance of African American’s in the Civil War we begin to learn about our history from a different lens.

An even that has many different viewpoints around the world is the United States’ bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. America and Japan each have a different memory of this event. In America’s mind they were just retaliating to the horrible attack at Pearl Harbor. America was minding their own business, and out of nowhere Japan decided to bomb our naval base. In the Japanese minds America is evil. They went too far, and it was uncalled for. They unleashed the first nuclear weapon, and they responded much harsher than they should have. These different viewpoints over the same event are obviously politically motivated. America wants to show that they are right, and that they were defending their homeland. On the other hand, Japan wants to show that America is a malevolent country, and that what they did has no justification.


Post At Your Own Risk!

Today almost everything we do is noticed. What we say, what we do, where we go, are all being watched somehow. This provides historians with much fodder to analyze. Historians of the future will be able to look back on the past and have access to piles of information about every citizen. The scientists will be able to gather all this information through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, MySpace, blogs, and any other web based social network. The scariest part about this is that we give all the information away, without even realizing it. In the past such extensive records were only kept on a few famous people, if even that. Today, almost everybody engages in social networking, allowing any stranger to access more information then they should be permitted to.

The fact that Twitter is being archived is not a surprise to me. Whether Congress announced it or not, everything that is done on the web can be traced back to its user. If one doesn’t want the world to know about something, then do not post it on Twitter. When you post a tweet you are putting your information into cyberspace, and once something is created you can never completely destroy it. It is easier now to spread information then it has ever been. If one wants to invite everybody to a party they can quickly send out an email, post a status, or put up a picture, and soon their entire group of friends would know about that party. The information travels so quickly that we get aggravated if our Internet page takes more than 2 seconds to load. This is what we are dealing with! Due to the ease of spreading electronic data, I was also not shocked when “confidential” data was leaked on WikiLeaks. There is always one person in every office that is willing to give up information for a small price. We see this in many industries. Today we download music CDs weeks before they even comes out, and that is only possible because somebody leaked it out. Leaking private information is nothing new, but due to today’s technology it spreads much quicker.