African Burial Ground

For the extra credit i visited the African Burial Ground located on 290 Broadway. The African Burial Ground was a cemetery where over 15,000 African’s were burried by their loved ones during the 6th and 17th century. Buildings were built in place of the cemetery and it was not until 1989 when the burial ground was discovered. Today the African Burial ground is a museum where the lives of northern African Slaves are displayed to the public. In the museum you are allowed to freely explore and look around at the exhibits or take a formal tour. I decided to look around by myself and discovered many contributions that were made to the American colonies by the Africans such as traditional African medical practices that helped prevent the spread of small pox.


Crisis in the Balkan

A Map detailing the mix of ethnic groups before the Balkan Crisis

The Balkan Peninsula is a region located in southeast Europe that has been an area of ethnic tention since the beginning of the 20th century. In 1989, the  cold war came to an end with the result being the fall of communism in the soviet union as well as many eastern European countries as well including yugoslavia. After the fall of communism in Yugoslavia, the nation broke into five different states and the Christian Serbs in Bosnia initiated a ethnic cleansing that was aim to drive out Muslims and Croats. Their exreme methods of rape and murder to drive out other ethnic group caught the attention of UN forces. NATO launched air strikes towards the Serbian forces that eventually led to a cease fire but the casualties of this ethnic cleansing were dramatically high.

Six year’s after the ethnic cleansing that claimed a large percentage of Bosnian civilians lives, another enthnic cleansing arose in the Balkan Peninsula. The Yugoslavian troops and Serbs aimed to drive away the Albanian residents in Kosovo. In order to halt the violation of human rights, NATO engaged in a war with Yugoslavia that lasted two years.


The Urge For Civil Rights Continues

High pressure hose used against protesters in Birmingham, AlabamaDuring the 1960’s, there was a firm desire for  gaining equal rights for African Americans. This desire was sparked by the movements made in the 1950’s where many civil rights activist were able to abolish many forms of segregation such as in public schools in the case of Brown V. The Board of Education and public transportationin the case of the The Montgomery bus boycott. Although progress was made on equal rights during the 1950s, not much has changed in society seeing as segregation still existed in bussiness and there were still only a handfull of Colored students enrolled in previously all-white schools.

 The forms of protest performed by activists were mainly passive. Even while facing the harsh riots of Birmingham, Alabama, Colored students marched in the streets while being assulted by the local athorities. The atrosities commited in the Birmingham incident were broadcasted and raised awareness of the brutal actions taken towards protesters. After the Birmingham incident became publicaly known, actions were taken to quell the riots and established desegregation in the local bussiness.


Montegomery Boycott

The bus where Rosa Park stood up to the injustices of the Jim Crow laws


Rosa Parks defies the Jim Crow laws by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger

During the 1950’s, the United States had in effect a series of injust laws the oppressed African Americans called the Jim Crow law’s. These law’s encouraged segregation by forcing African Americans to use separate facilities then the whites such as segregated public bathrooms or specific seating arrangements on public bus’s as well as bussiness’s that excludes African American patrons. Some of these unjust laws were deemed unconstitutional after the actions that were taken by Rosa Parks, a African American civil rights activist.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks defied one of the bias Jim Crow laws that were in effect. She refused to give up her seat to a white passenger and was arrested for her actions. Her arrest inspired a boycott of the montegomery bus company that lasted about a year and ended when the supreme court renounced that segregation in public transportation was constitutional.


Containing Communism

After WWII concluded, peace did not last very long. Tension began to grow between the two superpowers as the Soviet Union began to establish communist governments in eastern European countries. The Soviets began to spread their communist beliefs around the world. The United States reacted to this situation by implementing the “Containment Policy” to prevent the spread of Communism.

I believe if the Containment policy was not put into affect, the world would be a very different place. The United States might not have interviened in Vietnam and communism may had spread throughout south east Asia. If there was no Containment policy, the United States may not have assisted South Korea during the Korean war and the entire peninsula may have been taken over by the Communist party.


New Deal:Reviving the Economy

Cartoon by C.K. Berryman on 1933

During the election of 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was able to easily win the presidency because the incumbent, Herbert hoover was heavily disliked mainly for the occurrence of the Great Depression during his term as president. Once elected into office, FDR carried out a sequence of economic reforms and programs in order to resolve the issues that were caused by the depression. These chains of reforms were known as the “New Deal”

            During the first hundred days of Roosevelt’s administration, he launched numerous reforms in an effort to fix the economy such as creating new jobs for unemployed civilians and to improve the nation’s banking system by assuring the people that their saving’s will not be lost if the banks were to fail again. Those programs are what are being represented by the stockings hanging on the fire place in the political cartoon and the message being conveyed through this cartoon is that FDR is expecting these programs to turn the economy around even though the programs is having little effect on curing the depression.


Poverty on Top of Depression


A photograph of one of the many shacks built by and for the victims of the failed economy. These shacks were built in parks nationwide during the depression and were called “Homerville’s”


These two photographs illustrate the struggles that the average American people had to endure during the great depression. After the economic bubble burst, many Americans had lost their jobs as well as their savings that were kept in the bank. When the smoke cleared, about 25% of American’s were left unemployed and impoverished. Some unlucky Americans even lost their houses and were left homeless. The homeless went to parks and built shacks out of scrap metal and any other materials that they could find. These shantytowns were called Hooverville’s, named after president Hoover because many Americans blamed Hoover for the occurrence of the depression. In order to aid many of the poverty stricken people who could not afford food, soup kitchens opened up nationwide to supply the poor with food. People would wait on line all day in order to get a piece of bread and a bowl of soup.



Foner’s explanation of  how prohibition came in to effect was informative. He gave reason’s for why the public supported the ban of alcoholic beverages such as the adverse changes to family life and the fact that many breweries were german-american run and by purchasing liquor during war time with Germany, it bring’s upon a sense of treason. The political cartoon accompanied support’s the prohibition of alcohol by reinforcing the explanations given by foner. Although Foner’s coverage on how prohibition came into effect, he could have went into detail about the ramifications that followed after alcohol became contraband such as the bootlegger’s who would secretly sell their home made liquor from speakeasies and the criminal gangs that deveoped as a result of this ban



Yellowstone national park, the first national park

During the progressive era, economic development and special interest groups would deplete the resources of the environmentand cause irreversible damages to the landscape. In reponse to this, Roosevelt began to turn federal lands into national parks in order to conserve national resoures and to protect the environment. Although land was set aside to preserve nature, activities suchs as logging, mining, and construction were not come to a complete halt but was  limited.


Land of Hopes and Dreams

Photograph taken by Jacob Riis, depicting the cramped living condition's of the Irish immigrant's in 1889, New York

This photograph, take in 1910, depicts the arrival of russian-Jew’s in Ellis Island

Towards the end of the 18th century, the Russian Czar, Alexander ii was assassinated in the midst of implementing his reforms for the jewish community. After the assassination, riots began to form that mainly targeted the Jew’s and the jew’s were blamed for starting the riot’s. Due to the hate crimes that ravaged russia at that time, many Jew’s began to immigrate to different part’s of the world but mainly to the United States because of overly exaggerated rumor’s of hope and oppurtunities that can be achieved. By 1924, about two millon Jew’s immigrated to the United States to escape from persecution from their homeland.

Many Immigrants from Italy immigrated to the United State’s in search for a better life filled with economic oppurtunities. Many italian immigrants settled in different regions of America but most Italians settled in New York. By 1910 about 500,000 italian’s had settled in New York. Upon arriving, Italians occupied jobs that did not require much skill’s or education such as construction worker or janitorial services. As for their living conditions, their living conditions were horribly crowded and very unsanitary.


Civil Rights Act of 1871

During the reconstruction period after the civil war was resolved, there was still turmoil in the south. Many white southerners were unwilling to accept the new government for reasons such as rise in taxes to improve the construction of railroads and schools but the chief reason of discontent in the south is that the southerners could not tolerate the civil rights act of 1866 which allowed males to vote despite their previous background. In response to the civil rights act of 1866, white southerners who opposed the ideas of the new government formed a secret organization known as the Ku Klux Klan. The main goal of the Ku Klux Klan was to prevent blacks from voting by harassing the blacks in their community and often time’s murdering them in order to cause a scare.

            In order to counter the actions of the Ku Klux Klan, the Civil Rights act of 1871 was enacted by President Ulysses Grant. With this act in power, federal troops were sent to the south to protect blacks from being harassed or assaulted by secret organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan. During this time many members of the Ku Klux Klan were arrested and were put on trial for the atrocities they have committed.


Fall of Berlin Wall

Erected in 1961, the Berlin wall seperated eastern and western Berlin. The main purpose of the wall was to prevent any radical idea’s from entering and corrupting the socialist society that dominated the easern side of Berlin. After the Soviet Union fell in 1991, the Berlin fell as well, marking the end of the cold war.


History Put Into Perspective!!!

History is a very ambiguous subject. Sometimes our knowledge of history isn’t as precise as it could be because often times we only take into account the story from one viewpoint. History is seen through the eyes of not only one person but billions; one thing perceived by one person can be examined differently by another person. In David W. Blight’s book, “Race and Reunion” Blight recounts the importance and historical impacts of the American civil war by comprising his book from the perspective of numerous people in history. This book would be an interesting read for anybody who is fascinated by our nation’s history and would like a broader range of knowledge about the civil war from multiple angles. This book reveals that there are many sides in history to look, not just one story from one side.

Another instance in history where there were multiple sides of the story was in the 19th century, during the Europeans scramble for Africa. Once Africa was an isolated Continent with rigid cliffs on the edge of the continent which created a natural barricade to prevent foreign ships from docking. Even though some parts of Africa were able to become European ports, the thick forest and river currents made it impossible to explore the uncharted continent. It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century when Europeans were able to map out the majority of Africa. Once navigating into Africa became possible there was a rush from most European countries to take control of parts of Africa. The Europeans justified their actions by calling it a mission from god that it was their duty to civilize the savage people (The white man’s burden) while the native Africans were repressed by the Europeans because the Europeans rewrote the map of Africa splitting and mixing up the tribes that have once lived on their land for centuries.


Technological Advantages

Observing past cultures based on what has been left behind by civilizations of past generations has been the bread and butter of modern day historians. By examining hieroglyphics, clothing, jewelry, and many more artifacts that have been uncovered, historians are able to learn more about these extinct societies and show how their traditions and culture has influenced ours.

The article “Archiving Tweets” By Lauren explained how the tweets of millions of people are being recorded and archived in the library of congress. This article raise’s the provocative questions of whether the idea of storing people’s tweets a good idea or not and what would be the purpose of it. In the article Luke defended the idea of recording tweets in order for our future historians to learn about our present day culture through our daily posts. I agree with Luke’s stand point that tweets should be recorded because even though the information recorded now about a man’s “failed attempt to make a toasted tomato sandwich” does not seem like much to us, that post connected with many other post may help historians a century down the line learn more about society in the early 21’st century.