October 15-21, 1941 :: The German Kraljevo and Kragujevac massacre

In a reprisal for Nazi resistance activities against German troops, approximately 2800 innocent civilians in the Serbian towns of Kraljevo and Kragujevac are murdered by troops from the German 704th Infantry Division. Four villages were also burned down by the 717th Infantry Division after hostage roundups.

The partisan resistance had resulted in the deaths of 10 and the wounding of 26 German soldiers. The number of hostages to be murdered was calculated from a policy previously issued by Hitler as 100 hostages killed for every German soldier killed and 50 hostages killed for every German soldier wounded, however the number of hostages killed usually exceeded this formula. This policy was issued by Hitler and the top leadership of the Nazi Party and Wehrmacht with the dual intention of suppressing anti-Nazi resistance and involving the German generals in war crimes to make them less likely to surrender or reveal information about the Holocaust. Several senior German military officials were tried and convicted for their involvement in these reprisal murders at the Nuremberg trials.

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From “The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi JewishPolicy, September 1939-March 1942” by Christopher R. Browning

“The 717th division of Major General Hoffmann was responsible for this region, and the reprisal order of October 10th was to him a veritable hunting license. When units of his division suffered casualties in an attack on Kraljevo on October 15 and 16, they went on a house-to-house search through the city, and by the evening of the 17th had shot 1,736 men and 19 “communist” women.”’

The Kraljevo massacre was shortly followed by an even larger one in Kragujevac, When a German punitive expedition returning to the town suffered casualties and Hoffmann ordered immediate retaliation. The number of communist suspects, prison inmates, Jews, and even men rounded up from the surrounding villages considered “communist infested” left the Germans far short of their quota of 2,300. The German commander, Major Konig, an ardent critic of “soft” measures, had his troops seize 3,200 inhabitants from the city itself, including the students of the local high school, and they fired away on October 21 until the quota had been met.'”

The Gilded Age, Populist and Progressive Era Reading Group

Chapter 20: Imperial Dreams (Part 1) :: American Colossus by H.W. Brands

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The republic is something more than a local policy. It is a general principle, not to be forgotten at any time, especially when the opportunity is presented of bringing an immense region within its influence.”
  • “They see wealth and poverty side by side. They note great inequality of social position and social chances. They eagerly set about the attempt to account for what they see, and to devise schemes for remedying what they do not like. In their eagerness to recommend the less fortunate classes to pity and consideration, they forget all about the rights of other classes, they gloss over the faults of the classes in question, and they exaggerate their misfortunes and their virtues. They invent new theories of property, distorting rights and perpetuating injustice, as anyone is sure to do who sets about the readjustment of social relations with the interests of one group distinctly before his mind, and the interests of all other groups thrown into the background. When I have read certain of these discussions, I have thought that it must be quite disreputable to be respectable, quite dishonest to own property, quite unjust to go one’s own way and earn one’s own living, and that the only really admirable person was the good-for-nothing.”
  • “The work which the English race began when it colonized North America is destined to go on until every land on the earth’s surface that is not already the seat of an old civilization shall become English in its language, in its religion, in its political habits and traditions, and to a predominant extent in the blood of its people. The day is at hand when four-fifths of the human race will trace its pedigree to English forefathers, as four-fifths of the white people in the United States trace their pedigree today.”

Thought Questions

  • What is Turner’s “Frontier Thesis”
  • What factors (Russian and American) led into the transfer of Alaska to the United States
  • Who were William Sumner and Herbert Spencer and what is “social Darwinism”
  • Describe the fallacies associated with the concept of “social Darwinism”
  • Explain and Expand: “Most significantly, the war confirmed the redemptive power of American democracy.”
  • Compare and Contrast: John Fiske and Charles Sumner
  • Describe the relationship between war and social Darwinism
  • Describe the relationship between American religion and social Darwinism
  • Who was Alfred Thayer Mahan and how did he influence American imperialism
  • Describe the American conquest of Hawaii

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

 

Economic Development, Slavery and Labor in American History The History of American Transportation and Communication Reading and Study Group

Chapter 3: The Growth of the Market and Labor’s Response :: Labor in America: A History by Melvyn Dubofsky

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Slave labor, then, underwrote economic expansion, the rise of capitalist markets, and embryonic industrial growth while creating a wealthy and powerful class of plantation lords, bankers, merchants, and industrialists.”
  • “What distinguishes the present from every other struggle in which the human race has been engaged is, that the present is, evidently, openly and acknowledgedly, a war of class.…It is the ridden people of the earth who are struggling to throw from their backs the ‘booted and spurred’ riders whose legitimate title to starve as well as work them ​to death will no longer pass current; it is labour rising up against idleness, industry against money; justice against law and against privilege.”

Thought Questions

  • Define: “King Cotton”
  • Describe the connection between the recovery from the depression of 1819 and “King Cotton”
  • How did the recovery impact the demographics of the North and South
  • Describe the forms of collection action workers took in reaction to changing labor conditions in the early nineteenth century
  • Describe the goals and attributes of “Workingman’s Parties”
  • In what ways did the economic changes after the depression 1819 impact the development of Jacksonian era political parties
  • What “internal divisions” and “external pressures” impacted the different workingman’s parties?
  • Who were Thomas Skidmore, Robert Dale Owen, Fanny Wright and George Henry Evans
  • Explain and Expand: “As popular support for the original aims of the workingmen’s parties gathered increasing force, the major parties responded.”
  • What role did education reform play in workingman’s parties
  • What role did mechanics’ lien laws and imprisonment for debt play in workingman’s parties
  • Affirm or Refute: “The rise of workingmen’s parties did not presage Marxian socialism, but it did signify a realization by many workers that capitalism bore down on them unfairly, and it did place in question society’s dominant property relations.”

Primary Sources

Further Reading

 

 

The Jazz Age Great Depression New Deal Era and World War 2 America

Chapter 2: The Cannery Culture :: Cannery Women, Cannery Lives: Mexican Women, Unionization, and the California Food Processing Industry, 1930-1950 by Vicki L. Ruiz

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Mexicans realize you are dependent upon them, they nearly strike for more money.”
  • “Very frequently, women, and in some instances, children carry the large boxes of fruit, weighing 40 pounds and over. . . . This is important not only because of the number of immature girls in the canneries but because of the presence of married women. Frequently these women are at work while pregnant, often working dangerously near to the day of confinement.”
  • “Each woman is apt to check up upon the earnings of her neighbor … if she is behind, she is certain that the checker has forgotten to record some of her work.”
  • “After work, my hands were red, swollen, and I was on fire! On the streetcar going home, I could hardly hold on, my hands hurt so much. The minute I got home, I soaked my hands in a pan of cold water. My father saw how I was suffering and he said, ‘Mi hija, you don’t have to go back there tomorrow.’ And I didn’t.”
  • “UCAPAWA consciously strove to recruit women for leadership positions at every level”

Thought Questions

  • Compare and Contrast: the roles work, family and social networks filled in the lives of cannery women
  • Describe the This “piece rate” pay scale and how it was used in the cannery industry
  • How did corporate concentration impact the workers in the cannery industry in California and how is Del Monte representative
  • Describe the seasonal structure of the industry and how this particularly impacted female workers
  • Compare and Contrast: The garment and textile industries on the East Coast with the food processing industry in California
  • Explain and Expand: “Often employer attitudes became translated into wage differentials”
  • Describe the impact of gender segregation in the cannery industry on female workers
  • What role did Mexican children fill in the cannery industry
  • What factors diminished cooperation and unity among cannery employees
  • Explain and Expand: “cross-cultural friendships usually ended at the cannery gates.”
  • How did child care impact female cannery workers

 

Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Chapter 4: Recruitment, Expansion, and Transformation :: The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675 by Bernard Bailyn

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “the governor’s place here may be as profittable as the lord deputies in Irland.”
  • “walk the streets…[and] apprehend all such vagrant children, both boys and girls, as they shall find on the streets and in the markets or wandering in the night”
  • “deny or refuse such order … they [will] receive no further relief from the parish wherein they inhabit.”
  • “young, handsome and honestlie educated maides … to be disposed in marriage to the most honest and industrious planters”
  • “had not your zealous desires over hasted you and the passage at sea bin soe unfortunate … whereby I had no warning at all given to provide for these people, I should have bine able to have done much better than now I can.”

Thought Questions

  • In what ways did propaganda provide settlers for the colony
  • Who were Sir Edwin Sandys and George Yeardley
  • Explain and Expand: A Declaration of the State of the Colonie
  • In what ways did population recruitment evolve under Sir Edwin Sandys
  • Compare and Contrast: The typical English recruit and the average continental European recruit
  • What role did forced child migrants play in the Jamestown settlement
  • How did the colony economically diversify under Sir Edwin Sandys
  • In what ways did gender impact the development of the colony and what steps did the company take to address the gender imbalance
  • Explain and Expand: “seeking, in the crude, stump-filled tobacco farms of this subtropical lowland, to re-create a world they had known.”
  • Describe the typical physical condition of new migrants to Virginia
  • What impact did Puritanism have on Jamestown and Virginia
  • Explain and Expand: “Among the arrivals in August of that year was the Dutch man-of-war that sold to the colony “20 and odd Negroes” (Angolan natives, they were not the first Africans to appear in the colony’s records: thirty-two—fifteen men and seventeen women—were listed in a muster of March 1619 as “in ye service of severall planters”).”
  • What role did communal farms play in the Virginia settlement

Articles and Resources

World War I The Russian Revolution and Stalinism

Chapter 3: Tsarism’s Most Dangerous Enemy (Part 1) :: Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 by Stephen Kotkin

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “It is better that this come from above than from below”
  • “a form of conspicuous consumption on a national scale”

Thought Questions

  • What was Tsarism’s Most Dangerous Enemy?
  • In the opening quote why does the writer equate the granting of a Constitution with inspiring Revolution and why does he assume it is a situation unique to Russia
  • In what ways did the administrative example of Peter the Great allow the Russia Empire to continue
  • Describe the characteristics of Peter the Great’s reign
  • Compare and Contrast: the Russian and English nobility
  • Affirm or Refute: “modern Russia is but a metamorphosis of Muscovy.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Russian state was top heavy and spread thin.”
  • Describe the European concept of “Autocratic Principle” and how it was applied in Russia
  • What were the long term impacts of the Crimean War on the Russian tsar and his power
  • Explain and Expand: “Tsarism suffered a debilitation it could not overcome: the imperatives of autocracy undermined the state.”
  • Who was Alexander Ulyanov
  • Describe the genesis of a modern “political police” security service in Russia
  • Explain and Expand: “Russia’s autocracy was deliberately archaic. Tsarism choked on the very modernity that it desperately needed and, to an extent, pursued in order to compete as a great power.”
  • Explain and Expand: the connections between “modernity” and colonialism and how Tsarist Russia fit into this mold
  • In what ways did(does) Russia’s landmass and geography impact its position in the great power world
  • What was the impact of Russian Far East relationships

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Chapter 9: Republicans, By Choice :: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Mailer

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “so much partiality to the soldiers and customhouse officers by the present Judges, that while things remained as they were, they would, on all such occasions, take satisfaction their own way,”
  • “put themselves in a state of war with us … and being the aggressors, if they perish, the fault is their own.”
  • “These tarrings and featherings,” John Adams complained in 1774, “this breaking open Houses by rude and insolent Rabbles, in Resentment for private Wrongs or in pursuance of private Prejudices and Passions, must be discountenanced.”
  • “should ever be as judicious, deliberate, and cautious in making full enquiry whether the party suspected be a real traitor, or criminal to a degree worthy of their notice, as any court of justice ought to do, and should give the accused as full and fair an opportunity to vindicate themselves if they are able.”
  • “This is the grandest Event which has ever yet happened Since the Controversy with Britain opened!” he wrote. “The Sublimity of it, charms me!”
  • “deprived of their liberty, abused in their persons, and suffered such barbarous cruelties, insults, and indignities, besides the loss of their property by the hands of lawless mobs and riots, as would have been disgraceful even for savages to have committed.”
  • “Nothing can ruin us but our Violence,” Samuel Adams warned from Philadelphia in May 1774. He urged Joseph Warren “to implore every Friend in Boston by every thing dear and sacred to Men of Sense and Virtue to avoid Blood and Tumult.” It was necessary to “give the other Provinces opportunity to think and resolve,” or Massachuetts would be left to perish alone, and the American cause with her.”
  • “and, while struggling for the noblest objects,—the liberties of your country, the happiness of posterity, and the rights of human nature,—the eyes, not only of North America and the whole British Empire, but of all Europe, are upon you.” How necessary, then, “that no disorderly behavior, nothing unbecoming our characters as Americans, as citizens, as Christians, be justly chargeable to us.”

Thought Questions

  • Why is there a comma present in the chapter title
  • It what sense was the American Revolution prior to independence “Revolutionary”
  • It what sense was the American Revolution prior to independence “Conservative”
  • It what sense was the American Revolution prior to independence “Reactionary”
  • In what ways did the blending of revolutionary, conservative and reactionary elements impact the American transition from resistance to revolution
  • In what ways was the period of 1765 to 1776 an ideological age in American history
  • In what ways was the period of 1765 to 1776 a pragmatic age in American history
  • What was the Continental Association of 1774?
  • Who said “Nothing can ruin us but our Violence” and why did he state it
  • Affirm or Refute: The author overstates the impact of the common man and underestimates the impact of leaders on the path from Resistance to Revolution
  • Simply outline the major phases on the path from Resistance to Revolution and the primary characteristics that moved the phase along to the next
  • Explain and Expand: “To John’s oppressions, and Henry the Third’s weakness, we owe the two great charters. To Henry the Eighth we are indebted for our freedom from the power of the Court of Rome, and the Pope’s supremacy. To James and Charles the First we are beholden for the petition of right; And lastly to James the Second’s bigotry we must place the settlement of the revolution.”

Further Reading

 

The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Chapter 5: Diverse Economies Moving toward Commercial Ends  :: Trans-Appalachian Frontier, Third Edition: People, Societies, and Institutions, 1775-1850 by Malcom J. Rohrbough

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Between 1795 and 1815 the dominant feature in the economic development of the trans-Appalachian frontier was the Ohio-Missouri-Mississippi river trade axis. This broad continental water highway, connecting Pittsburgh—by way of Louisville and Cincinnati—and St. Louis with Natchez and New Orleans, was the main channel of trade and the route of immigrants.”
  • “Stretches of treeless prairie, cleared bottomland, or open woods that had supported people for centuries before Euro-Americans came to know them.”
  • “They followed the well-beaten Southern path to wealth and upward mobility: they acquired more land and more slaves farther west.”
  • “The first field of corn I planted for myself was about 10 acres I kind of scratched it over with the plow. I then fixed a little crib on the plow so that we placed our first child I furrowed out and my wife dropped the corn. Then when near noon she would take the Child and go to the home and get dinner.—While she would be getting dinner—I took the hoe and would cover the corn. We continued this way—with the child riding on the plow alternately until we finished our ten acres.”
  • “It was of no importance to the farmer, that his fields, with careful cultivation, would yield from 50 to 100 bushels of corn per acre, when a fourth part of the quantity would answer his purpose, there being no market for a surplus.”
  • “The important ingredients associated with the development of cotton cultivation on a large scale included the invention of a new machine called the cotton gin, which rapidly separated the seed from the fiber, and, over the next ten years, development of new strains of cotton better suited to the climate and more resistant to diseases.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the role the Ohio River played in the economic development of the frontier
  • In what ways did the frontier reflect a “maturing and increasingly complex economy”
  • What was the “pioneer cycle”
  • Describe the geographic evolution of the Territory of Mississippi and the Territory of Orleans and how this was related to economic circumstances
  • Describe how slave labor (or the absence of) impacted the economic development and the nature of that development in the northern and southern frontiers
  • What were the results of the Treaty of San Lorenzo (Spanish American Treaty of 1795)
  • Describe the southern cycle of substance farming to commercial agricultural enterprise
  • Compare and Contrast: the northern and southern cycles of substance farming to commercial agricultural enterprise
  • What and how did federal policies promote rapid frontier settlement
  • What political role did William Henry Harrison play in the settlement of the frontier
  • Explain and Expand: “Those who moved onto the land did so generally without regard to political boundaries.”
  • Explain and Expand: The ecological impact of the hogs brought to the southeast by Hernando De Soto
  • Explain the connection between the development of the Ohio River Valley and the port of New Orleans
  • Describe the essential and auxiliary industries that developed on the frontier
  • Describe the rise of cotton and sugar as export crops in the southeast
  • Compare and Contrast: sugar production in the southeastern frontier and sugar production in the Caribbean and old South

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

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