World War 2 National Socialism and the Holocaust

Chapter 2: Absolute And Total War :: Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War by Chris Bellamy

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “‘A world war, and a war of an extension and violence hitherto undreamt of.’ Just over half a century before the outbreak of the Second World War, Friedrich Engels said that no other kind of war was possible for Germany.”
  • “the maximum use of force is in no way incompatible with the simultaneous use of the intellect”
  • “The conditions for absolute and total war had been developed during the 1920s and 1930s, and reached a climax of intensity in early 1941.”
  • “And unfortunately for others, the greatest civilizations of the time are usually also the most efficient killers. We may admire the Romans’ literature, law, logic, logistics and engineering, but their dominance ultimately rested on being a military superpower. Their army operated like a chainsaw and if they did not enslave any surviving prisoners, they often crucified them. In the twentieth century, which should have been a more civilized age, warfare, to borrow Churchill’s phrase about a new dark age, was made even ‘more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science’.”
  • “War is an act of force and there is no logical limit to the application of that force. Each side therefore, compels the opponent to follow suit; a reciprocal action is started which must lead, in theory, to extremes.”
  • “the proportion of the means of resistance that cannot immediately be brought to bear is much higher than might at first be thought. Even when great strength has been expended on the first decision and the balance has been upset, equilibrium can be restored.”
  • “German policy toward Soviet prisoners and civilians in the occupied territories had been formulated even before fighting started in the East. There were three key orders, each of which was the result of complex evolution: the ‘Führer decree’ of 13 May 1941, which limited military jurisdiction in occupied areas, passing responsibility for dealing with criminals and insurgents to the tender mercies of the SS; Guidelines for the Behaviour of the Fighting Forces in Russia, issued on 19 May 1941; and the most notorious document, which grew out of the others and was very much a clarification of one key area, the famous ‘Commissar Order’ (Kommissarbefehl) of 6 June 1941.”
  • “The impending campaign is more than a clash of arms; it also entails a struggle between two ideologies. To conclude this war is not enough, given the vastness of the space, to defeat the enemy forces. The entire territory must be dissolved into states with their own governments … The Jewish-Bolshevik intelligentsia, as the oppressor in the past, must be liquidated.”
  • “prevent arbitrary excess by individual members of the army, so as to be in good time to prevent the degeneration of the troops”
  • “sense of justice must, in certain circumstances, yield to the requirements of war”
  • “Bolshevism is the mortal enemy of the National Socialist German people. Germany’s struggle is aimed against that disruptive ideology and its exponents. The struggle demands ruthless and energetic action against Bolshevik agitators, guerrillas, saboteurs, Jews and the complete liquidation of any active or passive resistance. Extreme reserve and most alert vigilance are called for towards all members of the Red Army — even prisoners — as treacherous methods of fighting are to be expected. The Asiatic soldiers of the Red Army in particular are inscrutable, unpredictable, insidious and unfeeling. After the capture of units the leaders are to be instantly separated from the other ranks.”
  • “… war captivity is neither revenge nor punishment but solely protective custody, the only purpose of which is to prevent the prisoners of war from further participation in the war. This principle was developed in accordance with the view held by all armies that it is contrary to military tradition to kill or injure helpless”
  • “Crushing denunciation of Bolshevism, identified with asocial criminality. Bolshevism is an enormous danger for our future. We must forget the concept of comradeship between soldiers. A Communist is no comrade before or after the battle. This is a war of extermination. If we do not grasp this, we shall still beat the enemy, but 30 years later we shall again have to fight the Communist foe. We do not wage war to preserve the enemy … This need not mean that the troops should get out of hand. Rather, the commanders must give orders which express the common feeling of their men … Commanders must make the sacrifice of overcoming their personal scruples.”
  • “Just as the Soviets were ‘subhuman’ to the Germans, Ehrenburg wrote, ‘we do not regard them as human beings’.46The Germans were ‘wild beasts’, ‘worse than wild beasts’, ‘Aryan beasts’ and ‘starving rats’. A colonel ‘shows his old rat’s yellow fangs’.47 Given the conduct of the Germans, such propaganda obviously worked.”
  • “or killed by the simple Russian winter expedient of pouring cold water over them or throwing them in the sea to freeze to death.”
  • “Red Army commanders were already realizing that such barbarism was counterproductive. Atrocities against prisoners usually increased the enemy’s determination to fight to the death, and prisoners were useful sources of intelligence.”
  • “Horrific brutality by one side was met by horrific brutality on the other. That applied to civilians in occupied territory, as well as to regular troops … The Soviet troops who moved into Germany in 1944 and 1945 were deliberately spurred on to exact revenge.”
  • “‘Have you seen the German reports on what the Soviet troops did when they invaded Germany?’ my German friend asked the guide. ‘I put it to you’, my friend said, ‘that every one of those pictures could be matched with one from eastern Germany later in the war.’‘That may be,’ our guide said. ‘But war is war.’58 If you want to understand war, study this one.”
  • “The Department of Internal Affairs [NKVD] must have its own mobilisation plan, which must take into account the steps necessary to maintain firm order in the national territory during the period when huge masses are torn away from their work in the country and proceed to collection points to flesh out the armies, and the population of the towns doubles to meet the requirements of war industry. The crisis … will be compounded by enemy propaganda, sharpened by the activities of enemies of the existing system, by the hopes which individual national and class groups will have as the ruling class grows weary under the impositions of war. It is essential to think through the measures necessary to maintain order along lines of communications most thoroughly, to take into account all dubious [politically unreliable or disaffected] elements, desertion, enemy intelligence and propaganda, measures for censorship, and so on. And also, if necessary, to substitute special formations made up of reliable elements for military units leaving for the front, or to strengthen the police. Aviation, the radio, the need for an unbroken flow of huge masses of troops to the front, supplying them with munitions, home leave from the active army which was previously unknown [it still was, largely, in the Red Army in 1941–5]. All these factors now merge the front and the rear”
  • “The scale of a future war will be grandiose … in a future war the mobilisation of industry will, first of all, take place in a much shorter time than before and, secondly, in this short time industry will produce much more military hardware than in the past war … The future (gryadushaya) world imperialist war will not only be a mechanised war, during which huge material resources will be used up, but, together with this, it will be a war which will embrace multi-million-strong masses and the majority of the population of the combatant nations. The frontiers between the front and the rear will be erased more and more.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “His vision would apply to Soviet Russia, as well as to Germany, and the 1941–5 war on the eastern front was its extreme fulfilment.”
  • What does the author intend by the phrase “absolute war”
  • Who was Carl von Clausewitz and how were his doctrines illustrated on the Eastern Front?
  • Explain and Expand: “Conflict dynamics are therefore a reciprocal process”
  • Explain and Expand: “And, finally, effort in war comprises two interrelated and inseparable factors: the means at your disposal and the strength of your will.”
  • What was Article IV of the Hague Convention of 1907 and how did the various combatants relate to it
  • What moral and materials obligations does a nation agree to under Article IV
  • What were the pragmatic reasons for Stalin and Hitler to disregard the laws of war relating to prisoners
  • Why did Stalin and Hitler have little interest in the welfare of the soldiers being held prisoner by the other
  • What factors impacted the treatment of prisoners on the Eastern Front
  • Compare and Contrast: Prisoner treatment on the Eastern Front and the Western / North African Front (including black colonial troops).
  • Explain and Expand: “The scale, extent and awesome logistical problems of the war on the eastern front compounded this indifference.”
  • Describe how the political nature of the war became an “Absolute War”
  • What is Clausewitz’s ‘Trinity’ and how is it reflected in the Eastern Front
  • How does Clausewitz’s ‘Trinity’ reflect on the Western Front
  • React and Respond: “the best-known Jewish intellectual, Leon Trotsky (who was not a Bolshevik)”
  • Side question: If Trotsky was not a Bolshevik (a supporter, but not a believer), how would the substitution of Menshevik leadership he (supposedly) sought have impacted the Soviet ability to conduct an “Absolute War” – in other words, how would a theoretical Trotskyite Soviet Government compare of the actual Stalinist government in the conduct of “Absolute War” (for the purpose of this question, assume Trotsky himself actually believed in “Trotskyism”)
  • What is distinct about Bolshevism and how does it relate to other forms / branches of European Communism
  • Affirm or Refute: Bolshevism is Leninism
  • Why did Hitler and Nazi Germany use the term “Bolshevism” consistently as opposed to other possible labels?
  • What connections did Nazi Germany seek to attach to “Bolshevism”?
  • Explain and Expand: “The Führer decree of 13 May 1941 was passed on to the army by its commander-in-chief, Walther von Brauchitsch”
  • Explain and Expand: “The idea that depriving Soviet people of their leaders would render them incapable of organized action and the emphasis on eliminating the Soviet ‘boss class’ recur throughout German instructions.”
  • Explain and Expand: Guidelines for the Behaviour of the Fighting Forces in Russia
  • Explain and Expand: Guidelines on the Treatment of Political Commissars
  • What role did Brauchitsch fill in the Third Reich and what were his responsibilities during Operation Barbarossa
  • In what ways did Brauchitsch implement the “Commissar” order
  • What were the Einsatzgruppen?
  • Explain and Expand: “However, when the German advance slowed, the Army High Command (OKH) supported initiatives to get the Commissar Order cancelled, because, they said, it was counterproductive.”
  • Who was Fedor von Bock? Who was Wilhelm Canaris and how did they react to the Commissar Order?
  • Who was Wilhelm Keitel and how did he relate to the Commissar Order
  • Who was Franz Halder and how did he relate to the Commissar Order
  • What was “OKW” and “OKH” and how did they relate?
  • Explain and Expand: “The Germans captured a number of documents which showed that the Red Army command was trying to stop the killing of prisoners, which, of course, confirms that it was happening.”
  • What was the NKVD
  • Compare and Contrast: NKVD and the SS
  • Compare and Contrast: NKVD and the SD
  • Compare and Contrast: The Checka, The O/GPU and the NKVD
  • Briefly describe the GULag Concentration Camp System and the role it filled in Soviet Industrialization
  • Compare and Contrast: the goals and purpose of the KL and GULag concentration camp systems
  • Compare and Contrast: the goals and purpose of the GULag system and the Nazi Death Camp system.
  • What is the significance of “My hand didn’t tremble. It was a joy for me … The Germans didn’t ask us to spare them and I was angry … I fulfilled my task. And I went back into the office and had a drink.”
  • Explain and Expand: ” Soviet preparations to avoid a repeat of Russia’s fate in the First World War — preparations for total, modern, industrialized war — began in 1924–5”
  • React and Respond: “In a conflict of first-class opponents, the decision cannot be won by one blow. War will take the character of a long and fierce conflict… Expressed in the language of strategy, this means a change from the strategy of lightning blows to a strategy of exhaustion. Thus the bond between the front and rear in our days must become much more close, direct and decisive. The life and work of the front at any given moment are determined by the work and condition of the rear.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Just as Engels had predicted a war of unprecedented scope and violence”
  • Explain and Expand: “With no immediate threat of war — apart from a brief scare in 1927 — they could afford to play it long. … But in the vast spaces of the Soviet Union, German forces could exercise unobserved by the signatories of Versailles.”
  • Briefly describe the process of forced industrialization in the Soviet Union and how the overall European situation after World War I impacted its development?
  • Explain and Expand: Chemical Warfare and Absolute War in the context of the Eastern Front (no one has ever really answered this, but an attempt is needed)

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

The American Civil War and Reconstruction Era Mid Nineteenth Century American History Reading and Study Group

Chapter 3: Birth of the Cattle Town  :: Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West by Christopher Knowlton

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “the Southern drover and the Northern buyer would meet upon an equal footing, and both be undisturbed by mobs or swindling thieves.”
  • “It occurs to me that you haven’t any cattle to ship, and never did have any, and I, sir, have no evidence that you ever will have any, and I think you are talking about rates of freight for speculative purposes, therefore, you get out of this office, and let me not be troubled with any more of your style!”
  • “regard the opening of that cattle trail into and across western Kansas of as much value to the state as is the Missouri River,””
  • “In 1871, the year McCoy became mayor, he moved these houses to the edge of town, creating an area that came to be known as McCoy’s Addition or, more colorfully, the Devil’s Half-Acre.”
  • “The pay usually came in the form of five- or twenty-dollar gold pieces. His salary: $25 to $40 a month, but double that if the cowboy owned and used his own horses. Still, the pay was not impressive. A foreman, by contrast, might earn $125 per month. With money jangling in his pocket, the cowboy then rode into a newborn town built largely as a playground with him in mind, designed to deftly and swiftly separate him from those hard-earned wages. Given his age, his limited education, and his pent-up appetite for alcohol, pleasure, and recreation, that is precisely what would happen.”
  • “Several cattle trails leading to different cattle towns were soon established. The one running from Red River Station in Texas to the cattle yards of Abilene would be named after a man of Scottish- Cherokee heritage, Jesse Chisholm, who only a few years earlier had used a portion of the route to profitably trade with the Plains Indians. The Western Trail reached up to notorious Dodge City, and the Goodnight- Loving Trail stretched up to Cheyenne. The Shawnee Trail, the only great cattle trail that predated the Civil War, led to Kansas City and St. Louis.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the evolution of the “open-range cattle era, from its earliest days to its violent end”
  • Compare and Contrast: The life of the farmer in the west and the life of those in the Cattle Kingdom
  • Explain and Expand: “Fortunately, the railroads were by now reaching farther into the Great Plains, adding as many as two to five miles of track each day. The cattlemen realized they could avoid conflict with the Jayhawkers by targeting railheads much farther west.”
  • What was the significance of “It occurs to me that you haven’t any cattle to ship, and never did have any, and I, sir, have no evidence that you ever will have any, and I think you are talking about rates of freight for speculative purposes, therefore, you get out of this office, and let me not be troubled with any more of your style!”
  • Describe a rise of Chicago as the cattle hub of the West
  • Explain and Expand: “The spot that McCoy picked for his depot, a Kansas hamlet and stage station named Abilene”
  • React and Respond: “regard the opening of that cattle trail into and across western Kansas of as much value to the state as is the Missouri River”
  • Explain and Expand: “Joseph G. McCoy had just created the first cattle town. Much like the iconic American cowboy, the cattle town, almost as soon it emerged, became a myth-spinner.”
  • Explain and Expand: “In 1871, the year McCoy became mayor, he moved these houses to the edge of town, creating an area that came to be known as McCoy’s Addition or, more colorfully, the Devil’s Half-Acre.”
  • Who was Samuel J. Crawford

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

 

The Cold War and Post War European History

Chapter 3: (Part 1) The “Big Game” and the Bombing of Cambodia, December 1968–March 1969 :: Nixon’s Nuclear Specter: The Secret Alert of 1969, Madman Diplomacy, and the Vietnam War Jeffrey P. Kimball

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “negotiations alone, Kissinger observed, were “also a very time-consuming strategy, and time is not on our side””
  • “Proposals for an actual or feigned nuclear escalation in Vietnam appeared in some of the very first planning papers of the administration in February 1969, but the road to the secret nuclear alert of October would nonetheless be long and tortuous, passing through Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, Subic Bay, Moscow, and Haiphong.”
  • “the destruction or withdrawal of all NVA units in South Vietnam, the destruction, withdrawal, or dissolution of all (or most) VC [Viet Cong] forces and apparatus, the permanent cessation of infiltration, and the virtually unchallenged sovereignty of a stable, non-Communist regime …, with no significant Communist political role except on an individual, ‘reconciled’ basis.”
  • “the credible threat, explicit or tacit, of unrestricted bombing or limited invasion of the DRV might well cause the Politburo in Hanoi to accept our conditions for victory immediately.”
  • “a coalition government> … [and] mutual withdrawal [of US and NVA forces] or cease-fire … as part of an agreed overall settlement.”10 A formal settlement was preferable to a tacit one, for “there would be a clear expression, politically useful both for the Republic of Vietnam (RVN, also known as South Vietnam) and the United States, that the main purpose of the US involvement had been accomplished—hence US withdrawal was appropriate.”
  • “We might end up with a [diplomatic] settlement of some type without a formal agreement, a sort of mutual accommodation in which either side is not deprived of the hope of ultimate success.… The mix of actions should be something like this. We talk hard [with the Communist Vietnamese side] in private but with an obvious peaceful public stance, seeking to gain time, initially giving the South Vietnamese a chance to strengthen the regime and add to the pacification effort while punishing the Viet Cong. Within three or four months, bring home a few troops unilaterally as a separate and distinct action from the Paris negotiations and as a ploy for more time domestically, while we continue to press at the negotiating table for a military settlement.”
  • “I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no way to win the war. But we can’t say that, of course. In fact, we have to seem to say the opposite, just to keep some degree of bargaining leverage.”
  • “The situation in South Vietnam which we inherited on 20 January is well described in Secretary Laird’s memorandum to you: “General Abrams has made remarkable progress in achieving a measure of military superiority throughout South.… But none of our officials, either military or civilian, is under any illusion that the battle in South Vietnam can be brought to a military conclusion within six months, a year or even several years. Options, over which we have little or no control, are available to the enemy for continuing the war almost indefinitely, although perhaps at a reduced intensity.””
  • “In 1969, the long-term goal of Nixon and Kissinger was to provide Thieu’s government with a “decent chance” of surviving for a “decent interval” of two to five years after a US and NVA exit from South Vietnam.”
  • “Priority objectives for the next several months would be mutual withdrawal, the reestablishment of the demilitarized zone and the restoration of the seventeenth parallel as a provisional boundary line, the release of US and allied prisoners of war, and an eventual cease-fire with international guaranties and supervision.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe what the author intends by using the phrase the “Big Game”
  • Describe the public domestic events in the United States from December 1968 – March 1969
  • Describe the “Carrots” of Diplomacy in the Southeast Asian negotiations in during this period
  • Describe the “Sticks” of Military action in Southeast Asian negotiations during this period
  • In what ways did Hanoi react to and understand the political change in the United States between Johnson and Nixon
  • How did Hanoi come to its understanding of political changes occurring in the United States during this period
  • Explain and Expand: “negotiations alone, Kissinger observed, were “also a very time-consuming strategy, and time is not on our side””
  • Explain and Expand: “Negotiations with Hanoi would have to be facilitated, they believed, by other methods.”
  • Describe “The RAND Options Paper” and the positions of “Group A” and “Group B”
  • How did the “The RAND Options Paper” and the positions of “Group A” and “Group B” impact the course of negotiations in Southeast Asia
  • Who are Daniel Ellsberg and Fred Iklé
  • Explain and Expand: “Rather unrealistically, they maintained that the American public would accept the costs”
  • Compare and Contrast: Diplomatic Solutions and Political Solutions in the early Nixon administration in Southeast Asia
  • Explain and Expand: “look threatening … but actually may not occur”
  • Explain and Expand: “I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no way to win the war. But we can’t say that, of course. In fact, we have to seem to say the opposite, just to keep some degree of bargaining leverage.”
  • Explain and Expand: “leave the political side to the Vietnamese”
  • Explain and Expand: “recognition of what was pragmatically possible if the goal was to preserve US honor and credibility, which Nixon and Kissinger believed it was.”
  • Explain and Expand: “We had to give the South Vietnamese time to replace American forces without catastrophe.”
  • Describe the 1967 Operations Pennsylvania
  • What was the significance of “Nixon and Kissinger tenaciously concealed their true motives, goals, and strategies from the public, Congress, cabinet heads, and even their staffers—with the occasional exception of such trusted, like-minded aides as Alexander Haig and H. R. Haldeman.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The public format immediately proved unworkable.”
  • Explain and Expand: Détente, Linkage, Triangular Diplomacy, and the China Card

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

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

Chapter 2: Death on a Coastal Fringe (Parts 3-5) :: The Barbarous Years by Bernard Baylin

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The three years that followed was a period of violent dissension within the tiny palisaded settlement, confusion of purpose, physical devastation, and the emergence of a permanent pattern of race conflict. Death was everywhere.”
  • “Smith, in his Elizabethan love of drama and pageantry, may have relished the feasts and ceremonies, but most of his contacts with the natives were ruthless raids on their villages to extract corn and other supplies for the starving settlers. When his demands were not met, he threatened murder, took hostages at gunpoint, “negotiated” by intimidation, and without hesitation seized from the natives precious supplies that were necessary for their tribes’ survival. Believing the Indians to be inherently barbarous, he attributed to them deceits and plots they did not have and provoked them in ways they did not understand.”
  • “Then the ultimate catastrophes began. A few of the “gastely and pale” inhabitants of the fort—we do not know how many—did “those things w[hi]ch seame incredible, as to digge upp deade corp[s]es outt of graves and to eate them … and some have Licked upp the Bloode w[hi]ch hathe fallen from their weake fellowes.” And even beyond that, Percy wrote, one man murdered his wife, “Ripped the Childe outt of her woambe … Chopped the Mother in pieces and sallted her for his foode.” Forced to confess “by torture haveinge hunge by the Thumbes w[i]th weightes att his feete a quarter of an howere,” the murderer was executed. Many of those who “To eate … did Runn away unto the Salvages” fared no better: “we never heard of [them] after”
  • “The Indians were not even bothering to attack the protected blockhouse since they assumed the people within it would shortly perish.”

Thought Questions

  • Summarize the founders of the Jamestown colony
  • How were the instructions from the corporation given to the Jamestown settlers?
  • What were the instructions given to the Jamestown settlers?
  • In what ways did the Jamestown founders react to and comply with the instructions they received?
  • Summarize what the Jamestown settlers found when they entered the James River
  • Describe the geography of the Jamestown location from human and military points of view
  • Describe the process of initial settlement at Jamestown
  • Specifically what were the instructions to the colonists about Native Americans and what does this reflect?
  • Specifically what was the attitude and intention of the colonists towards Native Americans
  • In what pragmatic ways did the Jamestown colony grow
  • What impact did Newport’s second mission have on Jamestown
  • In what ways did a détente develop between the Jamestown colonies and Native Americans? Why did this occur?
  • Describe Captain John Smith and the role he filled in Jamestown
  • Describe the interaction between Jamestown as a colony and the Powhatan confederacy during early settlement
  • Describe the interaction between John Smith and the Powhatans?
  • In what ways did John Smith set or illustrate a pattern of Euro-native conflict / cooperations
  • Why didn’t Powhatan destroy Jamestown once they became a security threat?
  • Compare and Contrast: the motives and intentions of the Jamestown “Settlers” and the Jamestown “Colonizers”
  • Describe the grey middle area between “Settler” and “Colonizer”
  • Describe the Jamestown settlers early attempts at horticulture and agriculture
  • Describe the Jamestown settlers early attempts at industry
  • Compare and Contrast: the quality of life in London and the quality of life in Jamestown
  • Compare and Contrast: the quality of life in Jamestown and the Powhatan villages
  • In what ways did the disparity in quality of life between Jamestown and Powhatan impact these societies and how did they react to this impact
  • Explain and Expand: “By such means a marginal survival was preserved”
  • Describe the events of Jamestown the winter John Smith was recalled to England
  • Who was Thomas Gates and what immediate impact did he have on Jamestown (to be continued…)
  • Compare and Contrast: Thomas Gates and John Smith (to be continued…)

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Chapter 8: Pursuing the Millennium (Parts 1-3) – What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “We know— for God has told us— that there is a period of universal moral renovation approaching, and there is much in the aspect of Providence, which seems to indicate that our country is to have a prominent— may I not say— a principal instrumentality in the introduction of that period.”
  • “Progressive improvement in the condition of man is apparently the purpose of a superintending Providence,”
  • “The dim shadows of unborn nations… implore this country to fulfill the destiny to which she has been summoned by an all-wise Providence, and save a sinking world from temporal misery and eternal death.”
  • “While the postmillennial mainstream of American Protestantism identified the whole country as God’s new Israel and a model for the other nations, a host of sectarian movements proclaimed their own little communities as examples to mankind.”
  • “there is no adaptation of architecture to our wants and requirements; our houses are as little suited to our physical welfare, as our social laws are to our attractions and passions.”
  • “The interest aroused by communitarian social experiments in the United States on the eve of the industrial revolution revealed something about the mood and temper of the American public, its willingness to entertain a broad range of social and economic possibilities.”
  • “The tendency of American conditions, as well as the inclination of its people, was for diffusion rather than discipline, toward self-determination and away from supervision, however benign,”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: ““Many people shared John Quincy Adams’s view of America as the country where God would bring His plans for humanity to fulfillment. But the blueprints for realizing this providential destiny could be far bolder and more presumptuous than Henry Clay’s American System.”
  • Describe some of the ways Americans of all faiths (or lack of) expressed millennialism attitudes
  • Describe the basic belief of “post-millennialism” and how it impacted American religious life
  • In what ways was the millennialism of the early Republic related to Colonial Puritanism?
  • Describe the characteristics of the “Second Great Awakening”
  • Compare and Contrast: The “First” and “Second” Great Awakenings
  • Explain and Expand: The relationship between the Second Great Awakening and Post Millennialism
  • Compare and Contrast: America before and after the “Second” Great Awakening
  • In what ways was the “Second” Great Awakenings the conclusion of the “First” Great Awakening
  • What “concluded” at the end of the “Second” Great Awakening?
  • Who were the principle American leaders of the Second Great Awakening?
  • What were the civic goals of the leaders of the Second Great Awakening?
  • How were international affairs considered in a post millennial world view?
  • Describe the relationship between post millennialism and Slavery
  • Who was William Miller? Who were The Millerites?
  • What is Pre millennialism?
  • Compare and Contrast: Pre and Post millennialism from a civic perspective?
  • Describe the relationship between pre millennialism and Slavery
  • Describe the naval battle at Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain and its aftermath
  • Explain and Expand: “to turn his back on fashionable deism and join a Baptist church.”
  • Describe the beginnings of Adventism
  • Compare and Contrast: German Pietism with Lutheranism
  • React and Respond: “Sociological theory long held that persons attracted to millenarian causes would be the marginalized and despairing, looking for compensatory consolation.”
  • Describe American utopianism and communitarianism
  • Describe the relationship between millennialism and utopianism
  • Describe prominent examples of American communitarian societies
  • Who was Albert Brisbane and what was the Associationism of Albert Brisbane
  • Explain and Expand: “since children like to play in dirt, he reasoned, they should be the trash collectors.”
  • Explain and Expand: “In this pre-Marxian vision, socialism would be achieved without revolution or violence.”
  • Compare and Contrast: Socialism and Marxism in an American context
  • What made the Shakers distinct among millennialism focused sects
  • Explain and Expand: “primitive Christian church recorded in the New Testament (Acts 2: 44 and 4: 32).”
  • Explain and Expand: “Catholic monasticism, the oldest form of religious communal life, also appeared in a still predominantly Protestant America. The parallels with other communitarian movements were considerable, including celibacy, self-discipline, and the rejection of worldly selfishness for alternative lifestyles.”
  • React and Respond: “with women’s orders more prominent than men’s.”
  • Who was Elizabeth Seton
  • Explain and Expand: “The life of Mother Seton’s male counterpart, Isaac Hecker, illustrated the parallel between utopian communities and Catholic religious orders.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Both pre- and postmillennial Christians have typically been interested in the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land”
  • Who was Isaac Mayer Wise
  • What was the significance of “The Confidence Man” by Herman Melville
  • Compare and Contrast: Perfectionism and Communitarianism
  • Affirm or Refute: “Most antebellum utopian communities were not fleeing the industrial revolution. Some (like Owenites and Associationists) explicitly endorsed it, while others (like Shakers and Perfectionists) seized the chance to make whatever use of it they could. The only communities that really did reject industrialization were two German Mennonite sects: the Amish, who had settled in Pennsylvania during colonial times, and the Dakota Hutterites, who came in the 1870s.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The American Civil War and Reconstruction Era Mid Nineteenth Century American History Reading and Study Group

Chapter 24: If It Takes All Summer (Part 1: Wilderness) :: The Battle Cry Of Freedom By James McPherson

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “if victorious, we have everything to hope for in the future. If defeated, nothing will be left for us to live for.”
  • “They use a man here,” wrote a weary Massachusetts veteran, “just the same as they do a turkey at a shooting match, fire at it all day and if they don’t kill it raffle it off in the evening; so with us, if they can’t kill you in three years they want you for three more—but I will stay.”
  • “Such another depraved, vice-hardened and desperate set of human beings never before disgraced an army,”
  • “a Massachusetts officer reported that forty of the 186 “substitutes, bounty-jumpers . . . thieves and roughs” who had been assigned to his regiment disappeared the first night after they arrived. This he considered a blessing”
  • “shall ever be elected or not depends upon . . . the battle-fields of 1864,” predicted a Georgia newspaper. “If the tyrant at Washington be defeated, his infamous policy will be defeated with him.”
  • “acted independently and without concert, like a balky team, no two ever pulling together,”
  • “Those not skinning can hold a leg.” … “But the leg-holders bungled their jobs”
  • “in these dense, smoke-filled woods”
  • “In the smoke-filled woods Longstreet went down with a bullet in his shoulder fired by a Confederate. Unlike Jackson he recovered, but he was out of the war for five months.”
  • “The Federals held their ground and the fighting gradually died toward evening as survivors sought to rescue the wounded from cremation.”
  • ““I am heartily tired of hearing what Lee is going to do,” Grant told the brigadier. “Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land on our rear and on both our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.””
  • “It was not “another Chancellorsville . . . another skedaddle” after all. “Our spirits rose,” recalled one veteran who remembered this moment as a turning point in the war. Despite the terrors of the past three days and those to come, “we marched free. The men began to sing.””

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “”Upon the progress of our arms,” said Lincoln late in the war, “all else chiefly depends.”
  • Describe the appointment of Grantoverall commander of American forces and his reorganization of American military plans
  • Describe the Battle of the Wilderness and how it lead to its culminating battle
  • How did Grant begin to coordinate American military efforts in different theaters for greater impact?
  • What responsibility did Sherman have in the plans around the Battle of the Wilderness
  • What responsibility did Sheridan have in the plans around the Battle of the Wilderness
  • What responsibility did Butler have in the plans around the Battle of the Wilderness
  • What responsibility did Meade have in the plans around the Battle of the Wilderness
  • What responsibility did Sigel have in the plans around the Battle of the Wilderness
  • React and Respond: “Union’s three best generals—Grant, Sherman, Sheridan”
  • In what ways did Confederates attempt to maintain the manpower of its forces?
  • In what ways did the United States maintain the manpower of the Army?
  • Explain and Expand: “But there were flaws in the Union sword and hidden strengths in the Confederate shield.”
  • What is the significance of: “In Sherman’s campaign for Atlanta in 1864 the number of men protecting his rail communications 450 miles back to Louisville nearly equaled the number of front-line soldiers he could bring against the enemy.”
  • Explain and Expand: “If this happened, the South might well seize victory from the jaws of defeat.”
  • Explain and Expand: “This latter group experienced the usual aversion to risk-taking during their final weeks in the army”
  • Describe the Confederate reaction “Southern leaders discerned these flaws in their foe’s sword.”
  • Explain and Expand: “If southern armies could hold out until the election, war weariness in the North might cause the voters to elect a Peace Democrat who would negotiate Confederate independence.”
  • React and Respond: ““Lee’s Army will be your objective point,” Grant instructed Meade. “Wherever Lee goes, there will you go also.””
  • React and Respond: “to move against Johnston’s army, to break it up, and to get into the interior of the enemy’s country as far as you can, inflicting all the damage you can against their war resources.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The southerners’ local knowledge now came into play.”
  • Explain and Expand: “But instead of heading north they turned south.”

Articles and Resources

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

Chapter 2: Death on a Coastal Fringe (Parts 1-2) :: The Barbarous Years – The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675 by Bernard Bailyn

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “It was into this still-traditional though changing, animist, violently competitive, and delicately poised world, constantly beset by disbalancing shocks, that a small contingent of Englishmen arrived in 1607. They were people whose way of life, sensibilities, assumptions, skills, knowledge, social relations, and aspirations—their entire experience and view of the world and the universe—could scarcely have been more different from those of the people who watched their arrival from the shores of Chesapeake Bay.”
  • “Yet they were clearly barbarians”
  • “These mingled images of natives in the alien lands of the Atlantic world—advanced but satanic people whose wealth and labor could easily be exploited; simple, innocent, natural folk whose resources were as yet unknown and who could presumably be led, through Christianity, to higher stages of civilization; and brutish, debased people condemned by their animal-like wildness to live beyond an exclusionary pale—such visions had little in common except barbarousness, paganism, and the threat of dark mysteries as yet unrevealed. The inconsistency of these images would in itself prove to be a force in race relations in North America.”
  • “It is less surprising that the annals of their sojourn in America record endless turmoil and conflict—that they were hopelessly improvident and constantly engaged in quarrels among themselves and in deadly warfare with the natives—than that the settlement they led survived at all.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “Spirit existed, mind existed, not as a part of the shared physical world but apart from it; these were unique attributes of humanity.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Their relation to the land was the heart of their world.”
  • Compare and Contrast: The living conditions for working / working poor in Britain and the Native Americans they encountered in moving to America
  • How did Elizabeth’s long reign impact British colonialism?
  • Describe the “British ideology of empire”
  • Who was Richard Hakluyt and how did he impact British colonialism
  • Explain and Expand: “The dominant energizing force in the early seventeenth century, however, was the newly empowered commercial organizations”
  • Compare and Contrast: the goals and motivations of the English landed class and the English merchant class
  • Who was Humphrey Gilbert and how did he impact British colonialism
  • React and Respond: “The image that informed Englishmen had of the American Indian population on the eve of permanent settlement in America was an inconsistent blend of notions derived from scattered sources, all of which reinforced an assumption of immense European superiority in religion, culture, power, and capacity.”
  • How did British views of the pre-historic Picts impact their views of Native Americans? “how that the inhabitants of the great Brettanie have bin in times past as savvage as those of Virginia.”
  • In what ways did the English experience in Ireland impact their actions in America? “The “wild Irish” were said by would-be colonizers in the 1560s to be godless.”
  • Explain and Expand: “they both lived in worlds that were at least in part experienced as magical.”
  • React and Respond: “For the English, magic and witchcraft were not abnormal and extraordinary but commonplace and realistic, and that would be especially true in North America, for that distant land was known to be “one of the dark places of the earth,” one of the “wild partes” ultimately ruled by Satan and his minions; there the native priests were known to be “no other but such as our witches are.””
  • Explain and Expand: “was from this advanced, modernizing world, still in many ways close to its medieval origins, that the first English colonists in North America were drawn.”
  • Describe the two groups of English settlers that left for North America in 1606
  • Describe the characteristics of the group of English colonizers that landed at Jamestown
  • Who were the leaders of the Jamestown colony and what skills did they bring to the settlement?
  • Who was Christopher Newport and what impact did he have on colonization in America?
  • Who was Bartholomew Gosnold and what impact did he have on colonization of America
  • Who was George Kendall and what impact did he have on colonization in America?
  • Who was John Smith and what was his life experience before coming to Jamestown
  • What was the significance of the pamphlet “Good News from Virginia”
  • Explain and Expand: “In the first years of Virginia’s European history these representatives of England’s affluent intelligentsia would explore the Indians’ world, report on it, attempt to understand it and to conceive ways of exploiting it.”

Primary Sources

 

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

Chapter 2: Trading rings and tidal empires :: Pacific Worlds by Matt Matsuda

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Much of Pohnpei’s settlement history is known through a site called the Idhet Mound, where debris was recovered in support of traditional lore describing turtle sacrifice.”
  • “The Pacific is shaped by such overlapping histories. A reverse voyage from the Polynesian world traces Lapita culture back to island Melanesia, including the Solomons, and further back still to interactions between Austronesian and Papuan groups along the coasts of New Guinea and island Southeast Asia.”
  • “By the tenth century, Arabic records spoke of the Indonesian islands. By the early fifteenth century, Malay rulers were hearing new teachers and gaining new trading possibilities, and Hindi princes were taking the title of Muslim sultans. To the north, new Chinese emperors, the Ming, were also finally ready to demonstrate that they could rule the seas.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the successive generations of voyaging settlers into the Pacific
  • Who was Mau Piailug and what is his significance to Pacific History?
  • Describe the early Pacific “trading rings”, the foundations and principles they embraced and the impact they had on early Pacific Culture and History
  • Describe the early Pacific “empires”, the foundations and principles they embraced and the impact they had on early Pacific Culture and History
  • React and Respond: “Like Yap, the Tongan islands are famed for being the center of an “empire,” or at least a powerful trading and tribute network across many island groups. Ancient Tonga was known for its complex family lineages and sophisticated political rule. The head of state was the Tu‘i Tonga, who presided over a large royal court, numbering several hundred wives and concubines, brothers, sisters, children, and relatives who served as caretakers and food preparers. The court also had prescribed roles for falefa, ceremonial attendants, as well as war captives, family relations of low rank, and specialized craftsmen, including fisherman, carvers, and navigators.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Trade meant not only material wonders, but transfer of knowledge.”
  • What was the significance of “At Borobudur, three extraordinary circular terraces sit atop six massive square foundations, all joined by gateways and some 1,500 carved relief panels.”

Articles and Resources

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

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

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “This study centers on the historical experiences of Mexican women canning and packing workers in California during the 1930s and 1940s. It explores the connections of work, culture, and gender as well as the relationship between women’s networks and unionization.”
  • “As a historian, I have chosen oral interviews as the primary means by which to examine a cross section of Mexican women wage earners in food processing, women who ranged from single daughters to single parents.”
  • “As wage earners, were they members of a family wage economy, a consumer wage economy, or both?”
  • “More important, what type of networks developed within the plants?”
  • “Under what conditions did this collective identity, rooted in kinship and shared experience, become translated into unionization?”
  • “While important to women’s history, UCAPAWA should also be scrutinized within the context of unionization during the 1930s.”
  • “I have endeavored to write an integrated monograph documenting the history of Mexican women workers within the environs of a particular industry and a specific union using the woman- centered approach. What is woman- centered history?”
  • “The chapters that follow delineate the experiences of a generation of Mexican women cannery operatives who, from 1939 to 1950, took control of their work lives as members of the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, and Allied Workers of America.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “Scholarly publications on Mexican American history have usually relegated women to landscape roles”
  • Who were Dolores Huerta and Jessie Lopez de la Cruz and what is their significance to the labor movement?
  • Explain and Expand: “The typical pattern has been to deny decision- making roles to the female rank and file once the union has developed a foothold.”
  • Explain and Expand: “This failure to translate militancy into democratic locals can be found in other unions as well.”
  • Explain and Expand: “America. In particular, it asks what impact World War II had on this particular segment of industrial employees and to what extent their lives squared with the prevailing image of “Rosie the Riveter.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Gilded Age, Populist and Progressive Era Reading Group

Chapter 19: Tariff Bill And Dollar Mark :: American Colossus by H.W. Brands

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Though Republicans won the presidency in three of the four elections from 1876 to 1888, the Democratic candidates actually polled more popular votes (19.1 million total to 18.8 million for the Republicans). Republicans controlled the Senate for ten of the twelve years after 1876; Democrats controlled the House for ten of the twelve years.”
  • McKinley’s election inaugurated an era of Republican dominance of the federal government that lasted till the Great Depression of the 1930s.
  • “I do not promise the members of this House whenever they listen to me to give them wisdom of adamant. I do not promise them I shall not change my mind when I see good reason for doing it. I only promise that I will give them honestly what my opinion is at the time. They must take their chances about it being for eternity.”
  • “One, with God, is always a majority, but many a martyr has been burned at the stake while the votes were being counted.”
  • “It is the women who do the shopping,” Reed observed, “who keep the run of prices, who have the keenest scent for increased cost. They heard in every store the clerks behind the counters explain how this article or that could not be sold hereafter at the former price because of the McKinley Bill; they went home and told their husbands and fathers.”
  • “That’s what I tell all the boys,” he said. “But, Mack, don’t let’s lie to one another.”
  • “We are doing this in a semi-confidential way and will not receive any money from persons except those who give from proper motives,”
  • “If a gold plank is adopted, we will not carry a state west of the Mississippi River”
  • “The existing gold standard must be maintained”
  • “You may make fun of the West and South if you like. You may say that their people are not financiers,” he told the Eastern members of the House. “But these people have just as much right to express their ideas and to guard their interests as you have to guard yours, and their ideas are as much entitled to consideration as yours.”
  • “We of the South have burned our bridges behind us so far as the Eastern Democrats are concerned,” Ben Tillman of South Carolina declared. “We denounce the administration of President Cleveland as undemocratic and tyrannical!”
  • “I speak more in sorrow than in anger,” David Hill said. “You know what this platform means to the East.”
  • “Things are going against us, William,” he told McKinley. “You’ve got to stump or we’ll be defeated.” The candidate knew better. “I will not try to compete with Bryan,” he said. “I am going to stay here”—in Canton, Ohio, his hometown—“and do what campaigning there is to be done. If I took a whole train, Bryan would take a sleeper; if I took a sleeper, Bryan would take a chair car; if I took a chair car, he would ride a freight train. I can’t outdo him, and I am not going to try.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “We are New Yorked to disgrace and death, and mugwumped to a state of idiocy.”
  • Describe the circumstances around the election of 1888 and Benjamin Harrison’s candidacy
  • Describe the circumstances around the election of 1892 and the return of Grover Cleveland
  • Describe the circumstances around the election of 1896 and William McKinley’s candidacy
  • Explain and Expand: “The Democrats were entrenched in the South, and they became ever more entrenched as the politics of the region grew ever whiter. The Republicans retained their advantage in the Northeast and Ohio Valley.”
  • Describe the myth and reality of the “New South”
  • Explain and Expand: “a place where good Representatives went when they died”
  • What was the significance of tariff reform in the Gilded Age
  • Explain and Expand: “The tariff was a triumph for the capitalist class but a disaster for the Republican party.”
  • Describe the circumstances around and consequences of the Panic of 1893
  • Describe the impact of the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act
  • Who was Mark Hanna and what was his relationship with William McKinley?
  • Affirm or Refute: “Hanna’s attachment to McKinley was opportunistic—the capitalist to the candidate, the kingmaker to the king-to-be—but it was also emotional. … His attitude was always that of a big, bashful boy toward a girl he loves.”
  • What issues animated William Jennings Bryan
  • Explain and Expand: “In the end the Populists tried to have it both ways. They nominated Bryan for president, but in place of Arthur Sewall, the Democratic nominee for vice president, they forwarded the anti-fusionist Watson, who accepted the nomination under the duress of believing that his candidacy alone could prevent a fatal fracture in the party.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

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

Chapter 13: Smashup :: The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “central to the culture”
  • “We grew up founding our dreams on the infinite promises of American advertising,”
  • “I still believe that one can learn to play the piano by mail and that mud will give you a perfect complexion.”
  • “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”
  • “One can assign no single cause to the crash and the ensuing depression, but much of the blame for both falls on the foolhardy assumption that the special interests of business and the national interest were identical. Management had siphoned off gains in productivity in high profits, while the farmer got far less, and the worker, though better off, received wage increases disproportionately small compared to profits. As a result, the purchasing power of workers and farmers was not great enough to sustain prosperity.”
  • “The financial community purported to see the depression as a blessed occurrence that would improve the national character by chastening the spirit”
  • “I do not sympathize with those who think that this process of compulsory mass saving will sap the virility and self-reliance of our race. There will be quite enough grind-stone in human life to keep us keen.”
  • “Men relentlessly sabotaged the technology on which they had preened themselves in the Coolidge years.”
  • “When I think of what has been happening since unemployment began, and when I see the futility of the leaders,” declared Father John A. Ryan, “I wish we might double the number of Communists in this country, to put the fear, if not of God, then the fear of something else, into the hearts of our leaders.”
  • “They are just ready to do anything to get even with the situation. I almost hate to express it, but I honestly believe that if some of them could buy airplanes they would come down here to Washington to blow you fellows all up…. The farmer is naturally a conservative individual, but you cannot find a conservative farmer today…. I am as conservative as any man could be, but any economic system that has in its power to set me and my wife in the streets, at my age—what can I see but red?”
  • “Has the prophecy of Henry Adams, that we are all on a machine which cannot go forward without disaster and cannot be stopped without ruin, come true?”
  • “Sometimes it is a dreadful nightmare, when I feel the cold shears at the back of my neck, and see my curls fall one by one at my feet, useless, lifeless things to be packed away in tissue paper with other outworn treasures.”
  • “It was a time of paradoxes: an age of conformity and of liberation, of the persistence of rural values and the triumph of the city, of isolationism and new internationalist ventures, of laissez faire but also of government intervention, of competition and of merger, of despair and of joyous abandon.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “The prosperity of the 1920s encouraged the contagious feeling that everyone was meant to get rich.”
  • What was the “Great Bull Market”?
  • Affirm or Refute: “No one can explain what caused the Great Bull Market.”
  • Affirm or Refute: “It is true that credit was easy, but credit had been easy before without producing a speculative mania.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Customers borrowed money, bought more stock, watched the stock go up, and borrowed still more money to buy still more stock.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Not long before he left office, President Coolidge announced that stocks were “cheap at current prices.””
  • How did the nature of the stock exchanges change in the 1920s?
  • Explain and Expand: “The policies of the federal government in the 1920s were disastrous.”
  • What role did the Stock Market crashes in 1929 play in the development of the Great Depression?
  • Explain and Expand: “Nothing did more to turn the stock market crash of 1929 into a prolonged depression than the destruction of business and public morale by the collapse of the banks.”
  • In what ways did the Great Depression begin to impact American families?
  • How did President Hoover respond to the growing Great Depression in its early phases?
  • As the Great Depression continued how did President Hoover’s response change?
  • Describe “Hoovervilles”
  • Explain and Expand: “those in destitution and their children are actually receiving more regular and more adequate care than even in normal times.”
  • How did the European economic situation impact the United States?
  • How did the depression in the United States impact Germany?
  • What was the purpose of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and in what ways did it change the depression?
  • Explain and Expand: “While people went hungry, granaries bulged with wheat no one could sell.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Many Americans who had never had a radical thought before in their lives began to question the virtues of capitalism.”
  • What was the “Bonus Army” and how did Washington react to it?
  • Compare and Contrast: The Bonus Army and Coxey’s Army
  • Describe how the Great Depression impacted the Democratic primary for President in 1932?
  • Explain and Expand: “Here we are in the midst of the greatest crisis since the Civil War and the only thing the two national parties seem to want to debate is booze.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Never was a decade snuffed out so quickly as the 1920s.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The depression years killed off the icons of simplicity the 1920s had cherished.”
  • Explain and Expand: “In the 1920s, the events of half a century finally caught up with America”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Gilded Age, Populist and Progressive Era Reading Group

Chapter 18 – The Wages of Capitalism :: American Colossus by H.W. Brands

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “As a starting point for a new education at fifty- five years old, the shock of finding oneself suspended, for several months, over the edge of bankruptcy, without knowing how one got there, or how to get away, is to be strongly recommended.”
  • “The more he saw of it the less he understood it. He was quite sure that nobody understood it much better. Blindly some very powerful energy was at work, doing something that nobody wanted done.”
  • “On July 5 union sympathizers at Bellevue, Pennsylvania, not far from Homestead, reported the arrival by train of the Pinkerton men, who boarded two barges for the final approach to Homestead. Before the barges came within sight of the plant, the workers had spread the alarm. An informal militia of workers raced to the waterfront below the plant, and as the barges, propelled by a tug, drew near, the workers opened fire.”
  • “Some of the workers tossed sticks of dynamite at the barges; these effected little damage to the steel craft but seriously dented the Pinkertons’ morale. Another group of workers pumped hundreds of gallons of oil into the river upstream from the barges and attempted to set it alight as it drifted down. But the fuel wouldn’t catch. Still another group improved on the incendiary idea, commandeering a raft, filling it with oily refuse, setting it ablaze, and pushing it downstream toward the barges. This variant came close to succeeding, but the current redirected the fiery vessel at the last moment and spared the Pinkertons from roasting.”
  • “The corporation is everything and everywhere,” a journalist from Pittsburgh recorded. “The corporation trims your lawn and attends to your trees; the corporation sweeps your street, and sends a man around to pick up every cigar stump, every bit of paper, every straw or leaf; the corporation puts two barrels in your back yard, one for ashes and one for refuse of the kitchen; the corporation has the ashes and refuse hauled away.… The corporation does practically everything but sweep your room and make your bed, and the corporation expects you to enjoy it and hold your tongue.”

  • “The forces of labor must unite,” he told the second annual meeting of the ARU in June 1894. “The dividing lines must grow dimmer day by day until they become imperceptible, and then labor’s hosts, marshaled under one conquering banner, shall march together, vote together, and fight together, until working men shall receive and enjoy all the fruits of their toil. Then will our country be truly and grandly free, and its institutions as secure and enduring as the eternal mountains.”
  • “While the boycott is ostensibly declared as a demonstration of sympathy in behalf of the strikers in the Pullman shops it in reality will be a struggle between the greatest and most powerful railroad labor organization and the entire railroad capital.”
  • “A strike is essentially a conspiracy to extort by violence … Whatever other doctrine may be asserted by reckless agitators, it must ever be the duty of the courts, in the protection of society, and in the execution of the laws of the land, to condemn, prevent, and punish all such unlawful conspiracies and combinations.”
  • “The first shot fired by the regular soldiers at the mobs here will be the signal for a civil war I believe this as firmly as I believe in the ultimate success of our course. Bloodshed will follow, and ninety percent of the people of the United States will be arrayed against the other ten percent.”
  • “From this moving mass of shouting rioters squads of a dozen or two departed, running toward the yards with fire brands in their hands. They looked in the gloaming like specters, their lighted torches bobbing about like will-o’-the-wisps. Soon from all parts of the yard flames shot up and billows of fire rolled over the cars, covering them with the red glow of destruction.… It was pandemonium let loose, the fire leaping along for miles and the men and women dancing with frenzy. It was a mad scene where riot became wanton and men and women became drunk on their excesses.”
  • “When a body of 100,000 men lay down their implements of labor, not because their rights have been invaded, but because the bread has been taken from the mouths of their fellows, we have no right to say they are criminals. It is difficult for us to place ourselves in the position of others, but this Court should endeavor to do so and should realize that the petitioners in this case are representatives of the great laboring element of this country, upon which this country must so largely depend for its safety, prosperity, and progress.”
  • “Every detail of the proceedings was stamped with the effort on the part of the prosecutor to make a mountain out of a mole hill”

Thought Questions

  • In what ways was the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago significant for the United States?
  • What did The World’s Columbian Exposition symbolize about the United States
  • Describe the “battle of the currents”
  • Describe the symbolism in the following: “Millet and his crews devised a novel method of applying the mixture of white lead and oil— through hoses and nozzles from tanks pressurized by air. The “whitewash gang,” Burnham called them, and their spray equipment, even while launching a revolution in the painting industry, finished the Chicago job with just hours to spare.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Many visitors got their first direct appreciation of standard time zones (adopted by American railroads during the 1880s) by observing the fair clocks, which were connected electrically to the Naval Observatory in Washington, an hour ahead of Chicago. George Ferris’s giant wheel wasn’t finished when the fair began, but its size and shape drew gasps nonetheless.”
  • What was the significance of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890
  • What was the significance of the National Cordage Company
  • Describe the American economy in the early 1890s, the Panic of 1893 and the ensuing depression
  • In what ways had time changed banking and the currency issue
  • Describe the Haymarket riot of 1886 and its significance on organized labor
  • Who was Henry Clay Frick
  • Compare and Contrast: Pinkertons and working men
  • Explain and Expand: Pinkertons and working men
  • Explain and Expand: “The union leaders were right to be concerned about a loss of popular sympathy.”
  • Explain and Expand: “George Pullman was a paternalist, but before that he was a capitalist”
  • Who was Eugene V. Debs and what role did he have in the American Railway Union?
  • Compare and Contrast: American workers with the railroads, financial resources, federal government, public opinion.
  • Explain and Expand: “Combinations of workingmen to promote their interests, promote their welfare, and increase their pay if you please, to get their fair share in the division of production, are not affected in the slightest degree, nor can they be included in the words or intent of the bill,”
  • React and Respond: “President Cleveland directed Nelson Miles, still the commander of the Western army, to deploy federal troops against the strikers.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The troop deployment made the tense situation explosive. General Miles was as determined to crush this labor rebellion as he had been to crush the Ghost Dancers.”
  • Who was Jacob Coxey
  • Explain and Expand: “If Jacob Coxey had known either more or less about economics he might have agreed.”
  • Describe the arrival of Coxey’s Army in Washington D.C.
  • Explain and Expand: “The Western Coxeyites never got anywhere near Washington.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

World War 2 National Socialism and the Holocaust

Chapter 18: The Land of the Setting Sun :: The Storm of War by Andrew Roberts

Note: This unfortunately is a very “thin” chapter. It really should have been three chapters – The end of the Pacific war, the war against the Japanese islands and the Atomic Bombing and surrender. See the further reading below for more information about the end of the Pacific War. Very unfortunately issues surrounding the air war against Japanese cities and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not explored in any meaningful depth.

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Armchair strategists can look at the last stages of a campaign and say there’s nothing left but mopping up, but if you’re holding the mop it’s different. The last Jap in the last bunker on the last day can be as fatal to you personally as the biggest battle at the height of the campaign, and you don’t look or think much beyond him – wherever he is.”
  • “As the seconds ticked slowly toward 09.00, our artillery and ships’ guns increased their rate of fire. The rain poured down, and the Japanese took up the challenge from our artillery. They started throwing more shells our way . . . The shells whistled, whined and rumbled overhead, ours bursting out in front of the ridge and the enemy’s exploding in our area and to the rear. The noise increased all along the line. Rain fell in torrents, and the soil became muddy and slippery wherever we hurried around the gun pit to break out and stack our ammo. I looked at my watch. It was 0900. I gulped and prayed for my buddies.”
  • “because our German scientists were better than their German scientists”
  • “We were of a generation to whom Coventry and the London Blitz and Clydebank and Liverpool and Plymouth were more than just names; our country had been hammered mercilessly from the sky, and so had Germany; we had seen the pictures of Belsen and of the frozen horror of the Russian Front; part of our higher education had been dedicated to techniques of killing and destruction; we were not going to lose sleep because the Japanese homeland had taken its turn. If anything, at the time, remembering the kind of war it had been, and the kind of people we, personally, had been up against, we probably felt that justice had been done. But it was of small importance when weighed against the glorious fact that the war was over at last.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the progress of Americans in the Pacific and the recession of the Japanese in the last 18 months of the war
  • Compare and Contrast: Arguments for a “Germany First” policy and arguments for a “Pacific First” policy
  • Explain and Expand: The strategic tensions between the United States Army and Navy over the direction of the war
  • What was the American goal for the Pacific while the fight against Germany was ongoing?
  • How did the war in the Pacific change the nature of future naval warfare
  • What role did air power play in the war for the Pacific? The war for Japan?
  • In what ways were American soldiers drawn into the barbarization of warfare?
  • In what ways did American soldiers resist the barbarization of warfare?
  • Who was William Slim and what role did he play in the liberation of Burma?
  • What was the strategic value of Iwo Jima and Okinawa in American plans?
  • Why did Japan “fight on”? Why did the Japanese people “fight on”?
  • Describe the Tokyo firebombing, the goal of the action and what it achieved
  • Compare and Contrast: The battle of Iwo Jima and the battle of Okinawa
  • Describe the events of August 1945 in the Pacific

Primary Sources

Further Reading

 

 

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

Chapter 19: The Pacific (Part 2: The Islands and the Northwest Coast) :: The American Colonies by Alan Taylor

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Cook ruefully discovered that “there was not a blade of grass that had not a separate owner.” He concluded that “no people had higher ideas of exclusive property.””

Thought Questions

  • Describe the 17-18th century European mythology about the Pacific
  • Who was Ferdinand Megellan
  • Describe the colonization of the Philippines
  • Where did the Philippines fit into the Spanish colonial trade system?
  • Who was Captain James Cook?
  • Explain and Expand: “Although serving an imperial agenda, the sojourning scientists were also observant and often sympathetic men affected by their encounters with new cultures.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Hawaiian people were the farthest extension of the great northeastward migration of the Polynesians, which began in Indonesia about two thousand years ago.”
  • Describe Pre-Contact Hawaiian culture and the post contact transformation
  • Who were the “Raincoast Natives” and how and why were they culturally different from most Native Americans?
  • Describe the scientific, geographic and cultural knowledge that James Cook documented
  • In what ways did the natural abundance of the Pacific Northwest positively and negatively impact Native Americans?
  • How did the Hawaiian islands become a nexus for Pacific trade?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

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

Chapter 18: Imperial Wars :: American Colonies by Alan Taylor

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The importance of the Indians is now generally known and understood. A Doubt remains not, that the prosperity of our Colonies on the Continent will stand or fall with our Interest and favour among them. While they are our Friends, they are the Cheapest and Strongest Barrier for the Protection of our Settlements; when Enemies, they are capable of ravaging in their method of War, in spite of all we can do, to render those Possessions almost useless.”
  • “They are really better to us than we are to them. They always give us food at their quarters, and take care we are armed against Hunger and Thirst. We do not do so by them, but let them walk by our Doors hungry, and do not often relieve them. We look upon them with scorn and disdain, and think them little better than Beasts in human shape, though, if well examined, we shall find that, for all our religion and education, we possess more moral deformities and evils than these savages do, or are acquainted with.”
  • “Persuaded of their usefulness to the colony (which is true), more often than not they are so boastful as to greet our hospitable treatment with complaints. … Indeed, I could carry on forever were I to convey the ceaseless importunities with which they try us. … Still, one has to admit that their continued forays against the enemy have bred such horror as to prevent—for the time being—plots against the colony from bearing fruit.”
  • “Brethren, are you ignorant of the difference between our Father [the French] and the English? Go and see the forts our Father has created, and you will see that the land beneath their walls is still hunting ground, … whilst the English, on the contrary, no sooner get possession of a country than the game is forced to leave; the trees fall down before them, the earth becomes bare.”
  • “We tell you now [that] the French never conquered us, neither did they purchase a foot of our Country, nor have they a right to give it to you. We gave them liberty to settle for which they always rewarded us & treated us with great Civility. … [I]f you expect to keep these Posts, we will expect to have proper returns from you.”
  • “Safe from the Enemy of the Wilderness, safe from the griping Hand of arbitrary Sway and cruel Superstition; Here shall be the late founded Seat of Peace and Freedom. Here shall our indulgent Mother [Country], who has most generously rescued and protected us, be served and honoured by growing Numbers, with all Duty, Love, and Gratitude, till Time shall be no more.”
  • “This we apprehend annihilates our charter right to govern and tax ourselves. It strikes at our British privileges which, as we have never forfeited them, we hold in common with our fellow subjects who are natives of Britain. If taxes are laid upon us in any shape without ever having a legal representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the character of free subjects to the miserable state of tributary slaves?”
  • “Let them with three-fourths of the People of Ireland, live the Year round on Potatoes and Butter Milk, without Shirts, then may their Merchants export Beef, Butter, and Linnen. Let them with the Generality of the Common People of Scotland go Barefoot, then may they make large Exports in Shoes and Stockings. And if they will be content to wear Rags like the Spinners and Weavers of England, they may make Cloths and Stuffs for all Parts of the World.”
  • “As soon as the time stipulated in their indentures is expired, they immediately quit their masters and get a small tract of land, in settling which for the first three or four years they lead miserable lives, and in the most abject poverty. But all this is patiently borne and submitted to with the greatest cheerfulness, the satisfaction of being land holders smooths every difficulty and makes them prefer this manner of living to that comfortable subsistence which they could procure for themselves and their families by working at the trades in which they were brought up.”

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The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Part 2: The Widening Frontier :: Trans-Appalachian Frontier, People, Societies, and Institutions, 1775-1850 by Malcolm J. Rohrbough

Note: These questions will be explored in this entire section, not just this introduction.

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The government’s impact on families, communities, and businesses west of the mountains had far exceeded issues of relations with Indian peoples, significant as those were.”
  • “This portion of the story opens on a world of a vast open and varied landscape; it closes on the increasing presence on the land of numbers of small settlements that represented the harbingers of American presence.”
  • “Yet over the next decade, the influence of the federal government intruded into a wide range of areas that no one (least of all the Jeffersonians) could have anticipated at the turn of the century.”
  • “As the influence of the federal government moved well beyond the issues of the Northwest and Land Ordinances, a curious contradiction emerged.”

Thought Questions

  • In what ways did the trans-Appalachian frontier “widen” in the period from 1795 to 1815?
  • Compare and Contrast: Northern population growth and Southern population growth in the trans-Appalachian frontier in this period
  • What was the defining characteristic(s) that separated northern and southern trans-Appalachia?
  • Describe the trans-Appalachian river system and the role it played in migration and American development
  • Affirm or Refute: “This portion of the story opens on a world of a vast open and varied landscape; it closes on the increasing presence on the land of numbers of small settlements that represented the harbingers of American presence.”
  • Describe the process of expanding federal powers in the territories
  • What influenced the Federal government when deciding to be either a “mediator” or an “advocate” in state / territory – tribal relationships?
  • Describe the provisions, impact and unintended consequences of the Northwest Ordinance, The Southwest Ordinance and the Land Ordinance of 1784 and 1785

The Indiana Terrtory

  • In what ways did international affairs impact trans-Appalachian development?
  • Who was General Anthony Wayne? Describe the Northwest Indian War and the significance of the Battle of Fallen Timbers
  • Who was John Jay? Describe the Jay Treaty and the role he played in the settlement of the trans-Appalachian frontier
  • Who was Thomas Pinkney? Describe the Pinckney’s Treaty / Treaty of San Lorenzo and the role Pinkney played in the settlement of the trans-Appalachian frontier
  • Explain and Expand: “This confrontation over land began with words and by the end of the decade had moved to violence.”
  • Compare and Contrast: The Native American tribes of the Northwest and Southwest territories
  • Who was William Henry Harrison?
  • Describe the evolution of the area of the Indiana Territory from 1795-1815
  • Describe the Haitian Revolution?
  • In what ways did the Haitian Revolution impact the trans-Appalachian frontier?
  • How did the immediate presence of slavery impact the characteristics of southern trans-Appalachia?
  • How did the lack of an immediate presence of slavery impact the characteristics of northern trans-Appalachia?
  • What were the advances in transportation and communication that continued to fuel trans-Appalachian migration?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

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

Chapter 17: The Great Plains 1680–1800 :: The American Colonies by Alan Taylor

Notes: This chapter is effectively a continuation of Chapters 3-5, 16 and the material from there should be considered while reading this chapter.

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “In sum, the Great Plains exacerbated the paradoxical impact of colonialism so manifest throughout North America. In general, the effects of colonial intrusion—germs, weeds, livestock, soldiers, missionaries, and trade—spread far and wide, extending beyond imperial control and affecting native peoples in wildly unanticipated ways.”
  • “Their own word lakota means “allies,” but their foes, including the French, called them the Sioux, which meant “enemies.”
  • “The warriors rode three times round the village; and as each noted champion passed, the old women would scream out his name, to honor his bravery, and excite the emulation of the younger warriors. Little urchins, not two years old, followed the warlike pageant with glittering eyes, and gazed with eager admiration at the heroes of their tribe.”
  • “Holding a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other, [the mothers] sang near the bodies of their sons an air both gay and martial, thanking them for having given them the satisfaction of seeing them die at the hands of the enemy while fighting valiantly for the defense of their country, a death a thousand times preferable to the fate of him who on a wretched mat expires consumed by some deadly disease.”
  • “They told me this Reason for it, that they had lost the Use of their Bows and Arrows by having Guns so long amongst them, and when they were disappointed of Powder [&] Shott, … their Enemies found They had no Guns to Defend themselves with [and] made Warr Upon them & Destr[o]y[e]d above 100 Tents [of] Men, Women, and Children.”
  • “By combining Hispanic horses with French guns, many native bands reinvented themselves as buffalo-hunting nomads, which brought them unprecedented prosperity and power.”
  • “Possessing a spiritual rather than a scientific imagination, the natives believed that the buffalo swarmed like bees from subterranean hives every spring, and that their annual numbers depended primarily upon human rituals that managed their relationship with the supernatural.”
  • “As with all Native American religions, the villagers subscribed to a profound dualism that reflected upon the alternation of death and life, construction and destruction, reproduction and disintegration in their nature”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “As with all Native American religions, the villagers subscribed to a profound dualism that reflected upon the alternation of death and life, construction and destruction, reproduction and disintegration in their nature”
  • React and Respond: “Here in short, is gathered everything possible for trade and barter with these barbarians in exchange for deer and buffalo hides, and what is saddest, in exchange for Indian slaves, men and women, small and large, a great multitude of both sexes, for they are gold and silver and the richest treasure for the governors, who gorge themselves first with the largest mouthfuls from this table, while the rest eat the crumbs.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Hispanic New Mexico depended for survival upon both alliance with the Pueblo peoples of the Rio Grande and war with the nomads of the western Great Plains and southern Rocky Mountains.”
  • In what ways did the oppression of Native Americans impact Hispanic New Mexico?
  • What was the nature and purpose of the settlements at El Paso and Santa Fe?
  • How did the Spanish view their settlements in El Norte and the Southern plains?
  • Describe the three-way competition between the British, French and Spanish to exploit Native Americans
  • Compare and Contrast: The French and British interaction with Native Americans in the Northern Plains
  • Compare and Contrast: The French and Spanish interaction with Native Americans in the Southern Plains and El Norte
  • Describe how the manipulations of Native Americans by European settlements impacted their societies?
  • Describe the role firearms, horses and alcohol played in the destruction of pre contact Native American society?
  • Describe the purposes Europeans had in introducing firearms into Native American society?
  • What policies in New Spain made El Norte and the Southern Plains a trade “backwater” in the Spanish Empire.
  • What role did Vera Cruz play in Spanish Mexico?
  • Explain and Expand: “the Great Plains exacerbated the paradoxical impact of colonialism so manifest throughout North America”
  • Compare and Contrast: The Southern Great Plains and the Northern Plains
  • Compare and Contrast: The Eastern Great Plains and the Western Plains
  • Compare and Contrast: Nomadic Native Americans and stationary Native Americans
  • Describe the river systems of the Great Plains
  • Compare and Contrast: the role of the Missouri River and the role of the Mississippi River in European settlement
  • Who were the Genízaros and what role did they play in relations between Native Americans and Europeans on the Great Plains and El Norte?
  • Compare and Contrast: African Slavery with Native American Slavery
  • Compare and Contrast: French Native American slavery and Spanish Native American slavery
  • How did Hispanic peoples develop in El Norte and the Great Plains?
  • Compare and Contrast: Relations between Europeans and the Pueblo and the Apache
  • Explain and Expand: “Two horses and a few knives could usually purchase an adolescent Indian girl—the preferred commodity of the slave trade. Male captives were worth half as much.”
  • Compare and Contrast: How gender impacted Native American slavery and African American slavery
  • React and Respond: “Their own word lakota means “allies,” but their foes, including the French, called them the Sioux, which meant “enemies.””
  • Explain and Expand: “The horse-centered way of life proved a mixed blessing for women.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Environmentally, the horse-centered way of life was highly unstable.”
  • Compare and Contrast: The Spanish Mission system in California, New Mexico and Texas
  • Describe “Missions”, “Presidios” and “Pueblos”
  • How did Spanish colonialism change in Alta California, El Norte and the Southern Plains after the 1770s?
  • Explain and Expand: “In contrast to the aggressive French traders, who ventured deep into Indian country, the British factors cautiously stuck to their posts beside the bay”

Articles and Resources

The Cold War and Post War European History

Chapter 5 – The Coming of the Cold War :: Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “This war is not as in the past; whoever occupies a territory also imposes upon it his own social system. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach. It cannot be otherwise.”
  • “It’s quite clear— it’s got to look democratic, but we must have everything in our control.”
  • “On September 15th the Bulgarian Peace Treaty officially came into force and four days later the USA offered to extend diplomatic recognition to the government in Sofia. Within 96 hours Petkov was executed, his sentence having been delayed until the official American announcement. With Petkov judicially murdered, the Bulgarian Communists need fear no further impediments.”
  • “For many months, based on logical analysis, I have felt and held that war was unlikely for at least ten years. Within the last few weeks I have felt a subtle change in Soviet attitude which I cannot define, but which now gives me a feeling it may come with dramatic suddenness.”
  • “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.”
  • “If you open that Pandora’s Box, you never know what Trojan ’orses will jump out”
  • “Here the ego is at half- pressure; most of us are not men and women but members of a vast, seedy, overworked, over- legislated neuter class, with our drab clothes, our ration books and murder stories, our envious, strict, old- world apathies— a care- worn people. And the symbol of this mood is London, now the largest, saddest and dirtiest of great cities, with its miles of unpainted, half- inhabited houses, its chopless chop- houses, its beerless pubs, its once vivid quarters losing all personality, its squares bereft of elegance . . . its crowds mooning around the stained green wicker of the cafeterias in their shabby raincoats, under a sky permanently dull and lowering like a metal dish- cover.”
  • ‘‘it is rarely possible for the English, in their parliamentary debates, to give utterance to a principle. They discuss only the utility or disutility of a thing, and produce facts, for and against.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the events the Eastern European nations experienced during the consolidation of Soviet power
  • How did the Soviet strategy succeed and fail in Western Europe and Greece regarding working with local Communists? and Socialists?
  • What were the main reasons the Soviets were unable to successfully work with local Communists and Socialists in Western Europe and Greece
  • Compare and Contrast: The relationship between Eastern European nations and Russia in Pre-War Europe and Post War Soviet Occupied Europe
  • In what ways did the Soviets use pre-war and wartime allies in post-war Soviet occupied Europe?
  • Why did the Soviets reject existing Communist / Socialist leadership and structures in Eastern Europe?
  • Who was Mátyás Rákosi and how was he representative of and dissimilar from other leaders in Soviet occupied Europe
  • Explain and Expand: “it is perhaps worth emphasizing that neither Stalin nor his local representatives were in any doubt as to their long- term goal. Coalitions were the route to power for Communist parties in a region where they were historically weak; they were only ever a means to this end.”
  • Explain and Expand: ” The Communists’ stated objective in 1945 and 1946 was to ‘complete’ the unfinished bourgeois revolutions of 1848”
  • Affirm or Refute: “The result was that Communist parties adopted instead a strategy of covert pressure, followed by open terror and repression. In the course of 1946 and into 1947 electoral opponents were maligned, threatened, beaten up, arrested, tried as ‘Fascists’ or ‘collaborators’ and imprisoned or even shot. ‘Popular’ militias helped create a climate of fear and insecurity which Communist spokesmen then blamed on their political critics.”
  • Explain and Expand: “overwhelmingly rural eastern Europe, its allegiance was traditionally Socialist, not Communist. Thus since the Socialists could not easily be beaten, the Communists chose instead to join them.”
  • Define: “Socialist”, “Communist”, “Stalinist”, “Leninist”, “Marxist”
  • Compare and Contrast: “Socialist”, “Communist”, “Stalinist”, “Leninist”, “Marx”
  • In light of pre-war Nazi appeasement, React and Respond: “either in the innocent belief that everyone would benefit, or else in the hope of moderating Communist behavior.”
  • In light of the pre-war Nazi takeover of power, React and Respond: “with some help from violent assaults on their remaining opponents, intimidation at polling stations and blatantly abusive vote counts.”
  • Compare and Contrast: “Communism” and “Fascism”
  • Compare and Contrast: “Socialism” and “Fascism”
  • In what ways did post war Soviet occupation government define themselves in relation to Fascism? How did they use this to assume legitimacy?
  • In what ways were Finland and Yugoslavia exceptional in their post war relations with the Soviet Union?
  • React and Respond: “Communism had lost its revolutionary edge and become, deliberately, part of a broad anti- Fascist coalition.”
  • Describe the process that established West Germany and the reaction in the Soviet Union
  • Explain and Expand: “Accordingly, when the blockade failed, the Soviet leader changed tack.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Berlin crisis had three significant outcomes”
  • What was “The Brussels Pact”? What was the “1951 Paris Treaty”? How did these form the first stage of NATO and the EU?
  • Describe the process that established NATO
  • React and Respond: “Hence the famous bon mot of Lord Ismay, who took up his post as NATO’s first Secretary General in 1952: the purpose of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was ‘to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.’”
  • How did the option of German neutrality impact the formation of post war Europe?
  • In what ways did domestic politics in post- war Britain impact the formation of post-war Europe?
  • React and Respond: “It was queues for everything, you know, even if you didn’t know what you were queuing for . . . you joined it because you knew there was something at the end of it.”
  • Explain and Expand: “This is something which we know, in our bones, we cannot do.”
  • What were the priorities of France in post war Europe?
  • React and Respond: “The French duly did what the British might have done in other circumstances and made ‘Europe’ in their own image, eventually casting its institutions and policies in a mould familiar from French precedent. At the time it was the continental Europeans, not the British, who expressed regret at the course of events. Many prominent European leaders deeply wanted Britain to join them.”
Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Week 6 :: American Nations By Colin Woodard Chapter 6: The Colonies’ First Revolt

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Puritan property titles were declared null and void, forcing landowners to buy new ones from the crown and to pay feudal rents to the king in perpetuity.”
  • “All of this was done without the consent of the governed, in violation of the rights granted all Englishmen under the Magna Carta.”
  • “no more privileges left . . . [other] than not to be sold for slaves.”
  • “a conquered people could not expect the same rights as English people.”

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

Week 2 :: Pacific Worlds By Matt K. Matsuda – Chapter 1: Civilization without a center

The Pacific Worlds

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “What is clear is that once established in the central Pacific, Polynesians created a distinctive culture that extended by seafaring from New Zealand to Easter Island to Hawai‘i, an immense triangle encompassing the northern and southern Pacific, from the equator to Antarctica to the near coast of South America.”
  • “Journeying among multitudes of islands large and small, and astonished by the presence of peoples everywhere, Europeans arriving in the sixteenth century puzzled over a water world of such remarkably diverse yet apparently related civilizations. Perhaps these were land dwellers now inhabiting islands that were in fact the mountain summits of lands that had sunk beneath the waves.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “Civilization without a center”
  • In what ways do physical, linguistic and cultural anthropology impact our understanding of the history of peoples of the Pacific?
  • In what ways does climate science impact our understanding of the peoples of the Pacific?
  • Describe the Sundaland theory
  • Compare and Contrast the development of the Southwest Pacific, Central Pacific and the Northwest (Arctic) Pacific
  • Describe “Lapita culture”

Articles and Resources

 

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

Week 19 :: The American Colonies By Alan Taylor Chapter 16: French America (Part 2)

Settlers and Native Americas

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “A man with his wife or his partner clears a little ground, builds himself a house on four piles, covers it with sheets of bark, and plants corn and rice for his provisions; the next year he raises a little more for food, and has also a field of tobacco; if at last he succeeds in having three or four Negroes, then he is out of his difficulties.”
  • “Louisiana officials routinely used torture to execute white soldiers and indentured servants.”
  • “It is known that this country … was formerly the most densely populated with Indians, but at present of these prodigious quantities of different nations one sees only pitiful remnants … which are diminishing every day because of the different diseases that the Europeans have brought into the country and which were formerly unknown to the Indians.”
  • “Why did the French come into our country? Before they came, did we not live better than we do [now], seeing we deprive ourselves of a part of our corn, our game, and fish, to give a part to them? … In fine, before the arrival of the French, we lived like men who can be satisfied with what they have; whereas at this day we are like slaves, who are not suffered to do as they please.”
  • “As long as the Chickasaws exist we shall always have to fear that they shall entice away the others from us in favor of the English. The entire destruction of this hostile nation therefore becomes every day more necessary to our interests, and I am going to exert all diligence to accomplish it.”
  • “The Trade with the Indians is a necessary commerce; and even if the colonists were able to manage without it, the State is virtually forced to maintain it, if it wishes to maintain Peace. … There is no middle course; one must have the natives either as friend or foe; and whoever wants him as friend, must furnish him with his necessities at conditions which allow him to procure them.”

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World War 2 National Socialism and the Holocaust

The Storm of War by Andrew Roberts – Chapter 17 – Eastern Approaches: August 1943–May 1945

World War 2 Eastern Front Troops Advancing

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “We no longer fought for Hitler, or National Socialism, or for the Third Reich, or even our fiancées or mothers or families trapped in bomb-ravaged towns. We fought from simple fear. We fought for ourselves, so that we didn’t die in holes filled with mud and snow. We fought like rats.”
  • “Human pity was now beside the point.”
  • “The root cause of German defeat was the way her forces were wasted in fruitless efforts, and above all, fruitless resistance at the wrong time and place.”
  • “During the Second World War the German Supreme Command could never decide on a withdrawal when the going was good. It either made up its mind too late, or when a retreat had been forced upon our armies and was already in full swing.”
  • “‘Towards the end of 1943 at the latest it had become unmistakably clear that the war had been lost,’ wrote General Halder. ‘Would it not have been possible even so to beat off the invasion and thus provide the basis for a tolerable peace? Had the ‘‘Fortress Germany’’ no hope of consuming the enemy’s strength on its walls? No! Let us once and for all have done with these fairy tales.’. He was right; having taken on four of the world’s six greatest powers, Germany was doomed.”
  • “‘If you talked for two hours and you thought that finally you had convinced him of something, he began where you started just as if you had never said a word.’”
  • “‘It may well be that the Russian success has been somewhat aided by the strategy of Herr Hitler – of Corporal Hitler. Even military idiots find it difficult not to see some faults in some of his actions . . . Altogether, I think it is much better to let officers rise up in the proper way.’”
  • “A: Hold your position! B: I am finished. A: Reinforcements are moving up. B: To hell with your reinforcement. I am cut off. Your reinforcement won’t find me here any more. A: For the last time, I forbid you to speak openly over the wireless. I would prefer you to shoot your own people than allow the enemy to shoot them. B: Comrade No. 54, perhaps you will grasp the situation when I tell you that I have nobody left I can shoot, apart from my wireless operator.”
  • “Not to trust anybody was very typical of Josef Stalin. All the years of his life did he trust one man only, and that was Adolf Hitler.”
  • “If the war should be lost, then the Volk will also be lost. This fate is unavoidable. It is not necessary to take into consideration the bases the Volk needs for the continuation of its most primitive existence. On the contrary, it is better to destroy these things yourself. After all, the Volk would then have proved the weaker nation, and the future would exclusively belong to the stronger nation of the east. What would remain after this fight would in any event be inferior subjects, since all the good ones would have fallen.”
  • “19 March, entitled ‘Demolitions on Reich Territory’, in which he commanded that ‘All military transport, communication facilities, industrial establishments, and supply depots, as well as anything else of value within Reich territory that could in any way be used by the enemy immediately or within the foreseeable future for the continuation of the war, be destroyed.’”
  • “‘I think the Wagner ideology of Götterdämmerung [Twilight of the Gods] had an influence on Hitler during the last few months,’ Walther Funk told his Nuremberg psychiatrist in May 1946, ‘and everything had to go down in ruins with Hitler himself, as a sort of false Götterdämmerung.’”
  • “Officers were reduced to telephoning numbers taken at random from the Berlin telephone directory, the Soviet advance being plotted by how many times the calls were answered in Russian rather than German.”
  • “The Red Army had long been shooting anyone captured in SS uniform, and those SS men who had discarded it nonetheless could not escape the fact that their blood group was tattooed on their left arms, one inch below the armpit.”
  • “’What is so awful in his having fun with a woman, after such horrors?’ Stalin asked Marshal Tito about the ordinary Russian soldier in April 1945. ‘You have imagined the Red Army to be ideal. And it is not ideal, nor can it be . . . The important thing is that it fights Germans.’”
  • “All sorts of complications ensue as soon as you admit a fair trial. I agree with the Home Secretary that they should be treated as outlaws. We should however seek agreement of our Allies . . . I would take no responsibility for a trial – even though the United States wants to do it. Execute the principal criminals as outlaws – if no Ally wants them.”

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

The Perils Of Prosperity, 1914-1932 By William E. Leuchtenburg :: Chapter 10: The Second Industrial Revolution

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Machinery,” declared Ford solemnly, “is the new Messiah.”
  • “Many industries— textiles, clothing, and bituminous coal, in particular— remained boisterously competitive, however, and the growth of oligopoly— domination of an industry by a few firms— often meant more rather than less competition.”
  • “To staff the agencies of distribution and the “service” industries, a new white- collar class emerged in the cities. Together with the civil servant, the salesman, and the salaried manager, these white- collar employees constituted a “new middle class.” This shift in emphasis produced important changes in the national character. In place of the idea that saving was a virtue, an article of faith as old as the first colonial settlements and the talisman of Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard, a conviction developed that thrift could be socially harmful and spending a virtue. “We’re too poor to economize,” wrote Scott Fitzgerald jauntily. “Economy is a luxury.””
  • “Our future,” wrote Walter Weyl in 1919, “may depend less on the hours that we work today than on the words or the smile we exchange with some anonymous fellow- passenger in the office- building elevator.”
  • “The customer,” he snapped, “can have a Ford any color he wants— so long as it’s black.” But by the mid- 1920s the country had less interest in price than in style and comfort.
  • “We are reaching and maintaining the position,” declared Coolidge as early as 1919, “where the property class and the employed class are not separate, but identical.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the American The Second Industrial Revolution
  • Compare and Contrast how workers were impacted by the First and Second American Industrial Revolutions
  • Who was Frederick W Taylor and what is the theory of scientific management
  • React and Respond: “machine power replaced human labor at a startling rate”
  • Explain and Expand: “Since labor came out of the postwar depression with higher real wages— employers feared a new strike wave if they cut wages as sharply as prices fell— business was stimulated to lower production costs.”
  • In what ways did the Second Industrial revolution center around the “home” and “family”
  • Describe how the new chemical and synthetics industries contributed to the Second Industrial Revolution
  • Describe how infrastructure development was both a part of and necessary for the Second Industrial Revolution
  • What was the significance of The Federal Aid Road Act of 1916
  • React and Respond: “Without the new automobile industry, the prosperity of the Roaring Twenties would scarcely have been possible; the development of the industry in a single generation was the greatest achievement of modern technology.”
  • Who was Bruce Barton why was his work “The Man Nobody Knows” significant?
  • Who was Samuel Insull
  • What impact did Chain and Department stores have on America?
  • Explain and Expand: “Critics of big business in the 1920s emphasized not only the increase in concentration, but also the fact that the benefits of technological innovation were by no means evenly distributed.”
  • React and Respond: “Still, if one focuses exclusively on farm poverty or on depressed West Virginia coal towns, it is easy to distort the experience of the 1920s.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The growth of popular culture and consumerism reflected economic changes that had important consequences for class structure and life style.”
  • How did popular entertainment evolve in this era?
  • Who were Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll?
  • What were the common themes and prominent features of “blackface” comedy (radio, live performance and visual imagery)?
  • What role did “blackface” entertainment play in white culture?
  • React and Respond: “Whereas the nineteenth- century man wanted to make it on his own, the twentieth- century man sought a place for himself in the corporate bureaucracy”
  • In what ways did Irish immigrants impact the Second Industrial Revolution and how did the revolution change Irish immigrants?
  • How does the author incorporate the experience of colonialism into his narrative about the Second Industrial Revolution?
  • How does the author incorporate the experience of women into his narrative about the Second Industrial Revolution?
  • How does the author’s gender bias impact his analysis and conclusions?
  • How does the author incorporate the experiences of non-white communities into his narrative about the Second Industrial Revolution?
  • In what ways does the author’s bias and perspective impact his analysis and conclusions?
  • What year was this book written and how does the period of writing impact the author’s analysis and conclusions?
  • Taking the above few questions into consideration, why is it important to read this volume?
  • React and Respond: “Although the new prosperity fostered an exceptionally materialistic view of life, it resulted in more than just increased sales of gadgets. The country spent more than twice as much as it had before the war on libraries, almost three times as much for hospitals.”

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The Gilded Age, Populist and Progressive Era Reading Group

Chapter 17: Affairs of the Heartland :: American Colossus by H.W. Brands

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The fire from the guns raked the camp, ripping through tepees and cutting down men, women, and children indiscriminately.”
  • “Strange news had come from the West,” the Sioux seer recalled. “It was hard to believe, and when I first heard of it, I thought it was only foolish talk that somebody had started somewhere. This news said that out yonder in the West at a place near where the great mountains”—the Sierra Nevada—“stand before you come to the big water”—the Pacific—“there was a sacred man among the Paiutes who had talked to the Great Spirit in a vision, and the Great Spirit had told him how to save the Indian peoples and make the Wasichus disappear and bring back all the bison and the people who were dead and how there would be a new earth.”
  • “I should let the dance continue,” McGillycuddy said. “If the Seventh Day Adventists prepare their ascension robes for the second coming of the Savior, the United States Army is not put in motion to prevent them. Why should not the Indians have the same privilege? If the troops remain, trouble is sure to come.”
  • “Stand at Cumberland Gap and watch the procession of civilization, marching single file—the buffalo following the trail to the salt springs, the Indian, the fur-trader and hunter, the cattle-raiser, the pioneer farmer—and the frontier has passed by. Stand at South Pass in the Rockies a century later and see the same procession with wider intervals between. The unequal rate of advance compels us to distinguish the frontier into the trader’s frontier, the rancher’s frontier, or the miner’s frontier, and the farmer’s frontier. When the mines and the cow pens were still near the fall line the traders’ pack trains were tinkling across the Alleghenies, and the French on the Great Lakes were fortifying their posts, alarmed by the British trader’s birch canoe. When the trappers scaled the Rockies, the farmer was still near the mouth of the Missouri.”
  • “Since the days when the fleet of Columbus sailed into the waters of the New World, America has been another name for opportunity, and the people of the United States have taken their tone from the incessant expansion which has not only been open but has even been forced upon them. He would be a rash prophet who should assert that the expansive character of American life has now entirely ceased. Movement has been its dominant fact, and, unless this training has no effect upon a people, the American energy will continually demand a wider field for its exercise. But never again will such gifts of free land offer themselves. For a moment, at the frontier, the bonds of custom are broken and unrestraint is triumphant.”
  • “There is something radically wrong in our industrial system. There is a screw loose. The wheels have dropped out of balance. The railroads have never been so prosperous, and yet agriculture languishes. The banks have never done a better or more profitable business, and yet agriculture languishes. Manufacturing enterprises never made more money or were in a more flourishing condition, and yet agriculture languishes. Towns and cities flourish and “boom” and grow and “boom,” and yet agriculture languishes. Salaries and fees were never so temptingly high and desirable, and yet agriculture languishes.”
  • “We want money, land, and transportation. We want the abolition of national banks, and we want the power to make loans direct from the government. We want the accursed foreclosure system wiped out. Land equal to a tract thirty miles wide and ninety miles long has been foreclosed and bought in by loan companies of Kansas in a year. We will stand by our homes and stay by our firesides by force if necessary, and we will not pay our debts to the loan-shark companies until the government pays its debts to us. The people are at bay; let the bloodhounds of money who have dogged us thus far beware.”
  • “Drop the old, worn nickel of the “party slogan” into the slot, and the machine does the rest. You might beseech a Southern white tenant to listen to you upon questions of finance, taxation, and transportation; you might demonstrate with mathematical precision that herein lay his way out of poverty into comfort; you might have him almost persuaded to the truth. But if the merchant who furnished his farm supplies (at tremendous usury) or the town politician (who never spoke to him except at election times) came along and cried “Negro rule!” the entire fabric of reason and common sense which you had patiently constructed would fall, and the poor tenant would joyously hug the chains of an actual wretchedness rather than do any experimenting on a question of mere sentiment.”
  • ““A war with England would be the most popular war ever waged on the face of the earth!” The audience cheered louder. “If it is true that she can dictate the money of the world and thereby create world-wide misery, it would be the most just war ever waged by man!””
  • “The integrity of the government has been violated. A Financial Trust has control of your money, and with it, is robbing you of your property. Vampires feed upon your commercial blood.… This is a struggle for humanity. For our homes and firesides. For the purity and integrity of our government.… Go among the people and awake them to the situation of peril in which they are placed. Awake them as you would with startling cries at the coming of flood and fires. Arouse them as did Paul Revere as he rode through the streets shouting: “The British are on our shores!””
  • “Oh, this is a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are “just ordinary clodhoppers but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman.”… We don’t need population, we don’t need wealth, we don’t need well-dressed men on the streets, we don’t need standing in the nation, we don’t need cities on the fertile prairies; you bet we don’t! What we are after is the money power. Because we have become poorer and ornerier and meaner than a spavined, distempered mule, we, the people of Kansas, propose to kick; we don’t care to build up, we wish to tear down.”
  • “What’s the matter with Kansas? Nothing under the shining sun. She is losing wealth, population and standing. She has got her statesmen, and the money power is afraid of her. Kansas is all right. She has started in to raise hell, as Mrs. Lease advised, and she seems to have an over-production. But that doesn’t matter. Kansas never did believe in diversified crops.”

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American Frontier

The Trans-Appalachian Frontier :: Chapter 3: Security and Stability in the Territory Northwest of the Ohio

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “neither did he care from whom they came, for he was determined to hold his possession.” The reporting officer continued, “And if I should destroy his house he would build six more in the course of a week.”
  • “When thus far removed from the country, that gave us birth, from our friends and from the influence of the government of any state,” they declared, “we esteem it one of the greatest blessings, that we can have civil government established among us, which is the only foundation for the enjoyment of life, of liberty and of property.”

Thought Questions

  • What was the region known as “The Ohio Country”? What were the significant geographic features of this region?
  • Compare and Contrast the European search for security and stability in the Ohio Country with the process in Kentucky and Tennessee
  • Describe the impact European settlement had on Native Americans in the Ohio Country
  • Why was settlement slowed in the Ohio Country compared with Kentucky and Tennessee?
  • Who were the Native Americans that inhabited the Ohio Country around 1790?
  • Define the regions known commonly as “The Old Northwest” and “The Old Southwest”
  • Who was Arthur St. Clair and what were his functions over time in the Ohio Country?
  • What were the “two pressing problems” Arthur St. Clair needed to address?
  • What role did the French play in the American occupation of the Ohio Country and the Southwest?
  • How did the Northwest Ordinance facilitate settlement in the Ohio Country?
  • How did the Northwest Ordinance facilitate the establishment of government in the Ohio Country?
  • Describe the evolution of government (executive, judicial and legislative) in the Ohio country
  • How did British-American relations impact American – Native American relations?
  • What was the Ohio Company? Compare and Contrast the Ohio Country with the early colonial settlements such as Jamestown and Maryland
  • Compare and Contrast the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 with the Southwest Ordinance of 1790. How did they address the issue of slavery in the territories? How did they address the issue of Native Americans in the territories?
  • Describe the process of agricultural and commercial development in the Ohio Country? What role did Native Americans, African Slaves and French colonials play in this development?

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