Friday, October 30, 2009


Although fertilizer has been in use for thousands of years, the common form of chemical fertilizer was created in the 1800s. The original fertilizer that is still used today in animal manuer. Ancient farmers found that by spreading manuer from their farm animals their plants would grow brigger and faster, thus the invention of fertilizer. Then inn the 1700s scientists like Francis Baco discovered and recommended adding saltpeter to plants to healthen them. The first chemical fertilizer was created by mixing fish bones with sulfuric acid. After World War I the fertilizer industry boomed making it easier for farmers to grow their plants and feeding the agricultural revolution. Sulfur, POtassium, and Phosphorus are common elements that today are used in fertilizer bags. 


The first history of electricity can be traced back all the way to the Egyptian times, in the form of electric fish. Egyptian texts referred to them as "Thunderer of the Nile" as they were the "protector" of the other fish. These fish can also be traced back to the Greeks and Romans, as there were reports of the catfish and torpedo rays delivering a numbing electric shock.
Electricity was a mere curiosity that scientists someday hoped that they may be able to study and research, until the seventeenth century. English physician William Gilbert did a close study of electricity by rubbing amber together which showed the Loadstone effect. Further work was done by others following this, one of the others being Benjamin Franklin. He even sold his own possessions to fund money for his research. Franklin attached a key to the bottom of a wet kite, and flew the kite in a heavy thunderstorm. Sparks went from the key to the back of his hand, which proved that electricity was very much in nature.
Luis Galvani proved that with bioelectricity, electricity was the medium that the nerve cells used to send signals to the muscle. Batteries were invented later on, which were a much more reliable source than the electrostatic machines that were previously used. Electricity use turned from a mere curiosity into a large source of requirement in our society today. All of this was found from here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Telegraph and Telephone

In 1832 Samuel F. B. Morse came up with the idea of an electromechanical telegraph. In 1837 the idea was revised by Leonard Gale into a working mechanical form. Then the telegraph was going to be demonstrated, but they tried underground cables and then the idea of telegraph poles came about and that worked a lot better than the
underground cables did. The first commercial telegraph line was finished in 1846, and it was set up to go from Washington DC to New York.

As you can see from the ideas above, the telephone evolved from the telegraph a little later. From the ideas above they had already learned that telegraph poles worked a lot better than underground, and as you can see today, we have telephone poles which probably originated from the inspiration of the telegraph poles.

The invention of the telegraph was very important because it was an advancement in technology and it allowed people to communicate with each other easier and faster than before.

(above is Samuel F. B. Morse, the original inventor)

Here are pictures of some telegraphs

Robin Currie "History of the Telegraph" (accessed October 29, 2009).

Pictures from...

Cotton Gin

The Cottin Gin was one of the most powerful tools during the Industrial Revolution. First off, the cotton gin was a machine that quickly and efficiently seperated the seeds from the cotton. Not only was it at a very fast pace, but that it was a machine. This meaning, ALL of the seeds were picked out from the cotton since machines never fail to do its job. In addition, to having a machine picking the seeds out of cotton, the cotton gin made cotton so much less expensive since it was quicker and easier to make. As a result, more people could pay for cotton and it soon became a main product used for clothing. The Cotton Gin was not the only big revolutionary machinery made, it was definitely one of the more important revolutions happening during the Industrial Revolution.

The Spinning Jenny

The spinning jenny was a huge part of the industrial revolution and along with the flying shuttle, cotton gin, and spinning frame, the textile business thrived in Europe. It was invented by James Hargreaves, who was born in England in 1720 and never learned to even read or write and had no formal education. The purpose of the spinning jenny was to increase the speed at which yarn/thread could be produced and to make things in the textile mills.

When the spinning jenny was first invented in 1764, it did the work of eight men by using eight spindles instead of just one like the original spinning wheel. So, a spinning jenny could do the work of eight men at one time. Later models of the spinning jenny had up to 120 spindles.

In 1768, a group of spinners broke into Hargreaves house and destroyed all of his machines because they were worried about losing their jobs. It turns out that they were right and the spinning jenny ended up replacing people all over europe. However, the spinning jenny produced thread that was too coarse for some kinds of cloth, so it did not completely wipe out the spinners (workers who spun thread) of the 18th century.

Part of the reason that the industrial reason began in the first place was the agricultural revolution. With more advanced technology in the fields, farmers could harvest their crops much more efficiently and less laborers were needed around the farms. This lead to a large number of jobless people who soon found places to work in Europe. This surplus labor was used to develop and advance industry in Britain, especially the textile industry.

The Steam Engine

Steam engines are heat engines that do mechanical work using steam as fuel. They use boiling water to produce mechanical motion. Steam engines were used for a wide range of manufacturing machinery. Steam engines eliminated the necessity for water wheels and windmills. Now a days we use steam engines for steam tractors and some trains.

The Power Loom

The power loom was designed by Edmund Cartwright. Looms were used to weave yarn. They normally would weave any excess yarn they had. Cartwrights Loom was the main idea of Kenworthy and Bullough who took his idea and turned it into an automatic machine. Once the machine was automatic it made everything easier. Workers could have multiple looms in one room running by themselves.

Industrial Revolution

In the reading we read about different industrial accomplishments such as the cotton gin, the power loom, and locomotives. All these and more technology was improved allowing us to progress in the industry. One of the departments we progressed in was transportation, be it people or supplies/objects. Before the locomotives were made there were steamboats. I decided to do some research on steamboats and I found an article History of Steamboats. As we all know a steamboat needs a steam engine to function and they would of not been created if it were not for James Watt who created the first steam engine. The creator of the steamboats is debatable John Fitch created the first prototype steamboat, and it was successful. The prototype was launched on August 22, 1787 on the Delaware River. It was seen by Members of the Constitutional Convention of US. However the first commercial successful steamboat was made by Robert Fulton in 1807. It went from New York to Albany in 32 hours and it covered 150 miles. In 1811 Robert Fulton and Livingstone built a medium size transportation and by the end of 1844 they started a transportation service. As you can see these steamboats proved to be very efficient. They were a faster way of traveling, and transporting goods. Since locomotives weren't created at this time it was one of the fastest transportation's. This is part of what made the Industrial Revolution progress.

The Spinning Jenny

The Spinning Jenny is a multi spool spinning wheel which was invented by James Hargreaves in the Northwest of England. The device was used for creating yarn and it dramatically reduced the amount of people and work needed to produce yarn.

Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution increased the most in 1750 to 1900. There was a great increase in the ability of human society to become wealthy. One invention made by a man named Eli Whitney was the cotton gin. This machine was a great success and his creation revolutionized the cotton industry in the United States. Before, it would take hundreds of hours by hand to separate the cotton seeds from the cotton fibers themselves. After creating the cotton gin, the process of removing seeds became automatic. It made up to fifty pounds of cotton in one day. Since this process was moving rapidly, the cost of cotton also jumped a great amount, and was used for all kinds of clothing. 
Unfortunately, Eli Whitney did not live to see how his invention led a progressive success to the American industry. Even though the cotton gin allowed less labor, it did not reduce the number of slaves in any way to grow and pick the cotton. Cotton became very profitable and higher increased the demands of farmers for the land. 

Reflection on Robespierre Trial

The trials that happened in history class was a good aspect to learn more about Napoleon, Robespierre, and the French Revolution in general. I personally believe that I could have grasped more knowledge about these people if we took another strategy to learn instead of a trial. When it came to the test, I realized that I did not very well know about these people in detail. The trials could have been more stronger if it was organized and actually productive throughout. I definately enjoyed working in our groups and putting together the information. 
From the trial, I agreed with what the jury and prosecution stated. Robespierre had a good cause in mind, but his way of putting into action was not smart at all. He killed many innocent people, which led to know success of equality. In Robespierre's mind, he wanted to kill off people to bring equality to France, but his strategy was not justified. 
In the future, I think a trial would not be a bad idea, but maybe other creative strategies can also be thought of to help us better understand historical figures. 

Extra Credit Blog: The Trials of Robespierre and Napoleon

What interesting facts did you learn through the trial preparation process?

The trial process was a great way for me to prepare for the quest we had yesterday. In the quest, we basically had to answer a few general multiple choice questions about the revolutions, and then write about six significant figures from the revolution: Robespierre, Napoleon, and four people of our choosing. Having said that, the trial was a really good way to prepare us for this. We had to learn as much information as we could about the witness we were representing, the person we were crossing, and/or the person we were directing. Also, we learned about Napoleon and Robespierre by simply listening to our peers during the trial.
Why do you think it is interesting?

As anyone from our history class would tell you, I love debating. Put simply, this project allowed me to argue and discuss controversial issues with my peers. Its not that I derive pleasure out of defeating other people's arguments, but rather that I get a genuinely good feeling out of getting someone to just think about a difficult issue, and perhaps, even changing their mind.
Did you learn anything beyond historical knowledge? (skills, research strategies, etc)

Our history mock trial helped me prepare for the mock trial tryouts that I had last week. Before the history trial, I knew very little about how our judicial system worked; however, by the time we had completed it, I had a full understanding of key judicial concepts, such as examinations, opening and closing statements, and objections. I utilized these kinds of skills not only in history class, but also in mock trial.
Also, I realized how important it is to know about what you are presenting. Its not enough to simply memorize a few important points; in order to be a skilled presenter, one has to talk about the topic as if they are truly an expert on it.
Lastly, I realized that time management and organization must be mastered in order to succeed in just about any debate, presentation, project, assignment, etc. Our group didn't use class time as effectively as we could have, and we ended up having to do most of the work for the trial over the weekend and on monday. Although everyone got their own part done, we didn't get a chance to collaborate or practice before the trial, which significantly hurt us in the end.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Extra Credit Post

Extra Credit Blog: What interesting facts did you learn through the trial preparation process? Why do you think it is interesting? Did you learn anything beyond historical knowledge? (skills, research strategies, etc)

Throughout the course of the Napoleon trial, I become much better affiliated with the step by step process of a trial. I have only done one event like this before and had previously found it fairly difficult to follow, however I feel that due to the fact that the study of Napoleon caught my interest greatly, I was able to better grasp the concept of the trial. I discovered that in order to be successful in the roles one is playing in the trial, it is crucial to come to the stand extremely prepared. In order to both feel and appear to be better educated on the topic of discussion, one must be well educated on the matter. However one cannot feel comfortable with the side they are defending and must become well associated with aspects of the opposing side.
I felt particularly interested in this topic because I have had an interest for Napoleon and his reign of power from a young age. When I was little I visited Filoli gardens quite often, and remember there being an exhibit distinctly about him. From then on he and his actions have been of primary interest of mine, which surely factored into why I have enjoyed this unit so avidly. As for the actual process of the trial, I enjoyed that as well. I enjoy working on group project because I think it is nice for us to have a break from doing the usual presentation watching/note taking class. It allows us to work as a team while using the knowledge gained from the class, resulting in successful performances such as the trial.
In terms of skills and research strategies, as I mentioned earlier I feel that it is necessary to be extremely prepared for the trial. Whether one is a witness, a cross examiner, or making the opening/closing, showing up knowing your topic is what truly impresses the jury/opposing side. While I was a member of the jury, I remember being most impressed by those who came across as well educated on their topic and presented their argument with confidence. Presenting with a strong base of knowledge as well as projecting concisely and confidently are two crucial traits that I learned all members of a trial must strive to carry.

extra credit blogging

While preparing for the trial I learned a lot more of the details of Napoleon and Robespierre especially. One interesting fact that I learned through researching Robespeirre was that he thought of himself not as a criminal but as savor, killing over 15,000 people is defiantly not a savor but is someone who did deserved to die. One interesting fact that I learned about Napoleon is he escaped from the chaos and because he did not to sign the Declaration of the Rights on Man which shows he was not reasonable and very stubborn. it is interesting because he was the king and he should do things that will make his people happy and please then, no wonder he tried to escape and was killed. Research really does improve your knowledge, especially if it is background info because then you an see where the person came from which is extremely helpful.

Napoleon Bonaparte: Russian Invasion

Napoleon 1 of France was a military and political leader of France. While doing some reading on the French revolution I came across the french invasion of Russia.

In the invasion of Russia, Napoleon brought 440,000 troops to moscow, and they went there to try and take over this capitol. When they got there, they only found a burning city. Everything was burning including crops and anything valuable that they wanted. This made them have to leave because the majority of them were dying because there wasn't any food. The cold weather also killed many of them. Napoleon didn't see a reason in continuing his conquering in Russia, if they were already heavily hurt, and everything was burning.

The reason why Napoleon in the first place decided to invade Russia, was because Russia didn't aid the French in the French and Austrian war, even though they had been allies for  a very long time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Robespierre Trial

Although the whole trail was very confusing, I agree with the decision of the jury and the prosecution of Robespierre. He ruthlessly and pointlessly killed too many people to be considered an innocent man.

For me, it was hard to figure out exactly what each side was arguing in the trail. Most of the witnesses mumbled, a majority of the examiners' questions were objected to, and the whole thing just seem a little disorganized with people yelling across the room the whole time. The only major and confirmable point that I found relevant was that Robespierre was responsible for numerous deaths that were uncalled for every single day. I think the actual statistic was an average of 28-30 deaths every day.

This trial just seemed less controlled and less on task than the Napoleon trial. Part of it might have been that it was the end of the day, but the countless interruptions, both through objections and by random comments from the jury, slowed down the trial and made it very difficult for any valid arguments to come up. There was too much arguing over tiny rules and not enough legitimate interrogation of the witnesses. Also, when objected to, the examiners seemed unwilling to change their question for the witness and this didn't help move anything along either.

I think the idea of having trials for Napoleon and Robespierre was an effective way to learn a lot of the material, but i think everyone would have learned more if it had been more controlled/organized and if we had gone over more of the rules within a "courtroom" beforehand. It doesn't matter if we go over the rules in class or in our trial teams, but i think that people were not familiar enough with the rules, especially for objections, to effectively run a trial.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reflection on Trial

I thought the trial was very interesting, and was a refreshing review activity. It was nice to do the trial because it was a more fun and hands-on way to learn about and strengthen our knowledge on the revolutions. Instead of just reading it in a text book, and writing a blog post on it like usual, it was fun to work with classmates and build an argument against the other team. At the same time, learning about the structure of a  court trial. Much research was done to make sure that we were knowledgeable on the topics. It encouraged us to form an opinion on whether or not Napoleon betrayed the values of the enlightenment, and research accordingly. It led us to many blogs and bias sources which forced us to assess whether or not the source could be used in the trial. At the same time it exposed us to various different opinions.
The trial was fun, but at the same time felt like it was rushed and unorganized. This is not an insult in any way, i just feel that there was not enough time for us to research and prepare. The cross examinations guidelines were too broad in my opinion. The cross examiner could ask the witness anything, in any category, and the witness was expected to know it, since the witness was supposed to know everything the person did. This led to many answers without any evidence, or without any relation to the witness. For example: if the witness is supposed to be an expert on the Napoleonic code, they should be completely knowledgeable, and shouldn't be allowed to contradict themselves, and change opinions and change answers to questions in the middle of the examination. So to improve the trial, each side should be given boundaries on questions to be asked, and on how knowledgeable the person should be on the witness. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thoughts on Napoleon Trial

Here are my thoughts on last weeks trial.

The biggest problem was the fact that people simply did not know their witnesses well enough. But how can we blame them, when they were only given a two weeks to prepare?

Earlier this year I joined Mock Trial. Mock Trial was, in many respects, very similar to the 'mock trial' that we had in class last week. Still, I think a lot can be learned from the actual Mock Trial program, considering that the organization that designed this program has worked out a really good way to run it effectively. For one thing, they have put a lot more thought and effort into it (over the course of many years) than Ms. Xia could ever have done in just a few weeks. I'm not saying this to take a stab at Ms. Xia and her teaching methods; Rather, I'm merely pointing out that we can learn a lot from an organization that has been doing this kind of activity for much longer than we have.

In Mock Trial, each team is given a set of witness statements. They assign one person to each witness, and that person has to basically memorize their statement in order to fully understand who they are, how they want to portray themselves, and how they were involved to the case.

The prosecution and the defense attorneys can essentially do two things when examining the witnesses:
They can ask the witness about facts that were on the witness statement
They can ask the witness to draw reasonable inferences based on the evidence.
They cannot ask the witness to make up things that were not on the witness statements. Also, the witnesses cannot (for the most part) give their opinion unless they are an expert witness, or they are drawing a reasonable inference from the facts.

Because of the fact that in our 'mock trial', the examiners were allowed to ask about ANYTHING that the real historical figure would know, we basically ended up with witnesses that were unable to answer the questions asked of them (simply due to a lack of historical knowledge). This is completely understandable; I would never expect a witness to spend hours and hours every night, memorizing every single fact and details about their lives. It's simply not a realistic, fair, or even necessary goal to set for these kinds of mock trials.

I think it would have worked better if the witness had to write statements, and the statements would be given to both the prosecution and the defense. Each side could then inform the witness of key things/important facts that they might have left out, and perhaps Ms. Xia could approve a final copy of these statements. This would require much less excessive historical research on the part of the witnesses. It would also give us more time to prepare for other aspects of the trial.

I've only been in Mock Trial for a few weeks now, so I may have totally misrepresented a lot of facts about the program. If I did, (Marjory) feel free to leave a comment below, and I'll edit my post accordingly.

Napoleon Trial

Personally, I agree with the decision of the jury that Napoleon violated the ideals of Enlightenment.

Ideals of enlightenment include equality of both status and gender, freedom, and liberty. Ideally, the government should be there to help maintain these aspects of enlightenment and should take care of everyone to the best of its ability. This means including the opinion of the general public as well.

One very obvious way that Napoleon violated these ideals is by making himself emperor. How can a society be equal is one man is in control of everything and does whatever he wants. Napoleon claimed to ensure equality within his people, but, in reality, he did a terrible job of this. First of all, he was in favor of having slaves. Also, under Napoleon, men and women were of very different social status. Even before the Napoleonic Code was enacted, men held the more powerful jobs while women usually just stayed at home doing chores. Then, when the Napoleonic Code was enacted in 1804, Napoleon gave even more rights to men. Men were in complete control of all of a family's property and a husband automatically had custody over his kids in the case of a divorce. Men were also able to divorce their wives if they suspected their wife of adultery. Women were not able to get a divorce if the circumstances were flipped.

All of this just shows that Napoleon did not do a good job in power and that he violated the ideals of enlightenment.

Trial Reflection

I feel that the trial preparation process not only helped me better my understanding of revolutions, but it also helped me learn more about what goes on in a trial.

Obviously, to prepare for the trial, I had to research a lot about the times of revolution and more specifically, Rousseau and Napoleon. Although I didn't concentrate on other important people of the time and I probably don't know as much about them now, I learned a great deal about Rousseau and Napoleon.

Before the trial, I had underestimated the effect of knowing what's going on during the trial. Luckily, there were other members of my team that thought trial structure was more important, especially Cy. Things like objections and bringing in evidence really helped our argument and are part of the reason why we (the prosecution) won. Not only did objections make things easier for our side, they made it harder for the defense. For example, there were multiple times where the defense asked our witnesses questions that dealt with the witnesses' opinion. Had we answered these questions, we would have just given the defense more evidence to work with. Instead, we objected to these questions, making it easier on our witness because they didn't need to try to make up another answer, and leaving the defense with less helpful evidence.

Napoleon Trial

I was on the team that prosecuted Napoleon, and after this trial I have to agree that Napoleon truly violated the ideals of the enlightenment. Very many different points could be argued back and forth to the point where they could be either for or against Napoleon. However, Napoleon's ambition and decision to make himself emperor truly violated the ideals of the enlightenment where there is social equality. Philosopher Rousseau's main ideas of the enlightenment were that there should be social equality, and that the government should not protect the property of its citizens but rather the people themselves. Napoleon obviously violated the social equality aspect by naming himself Emperor, however he also violated this ideal in another fashion. Napoleon tried to enforce slavery on this nation of Haiti. By law, foreigners are supposed to be granted foreign rights, so how does enslaving their nation give them foreign rights? The answer is that it doesn't. Slavery is the exact opposite of the enlightenment ideal. On another note, the Napoleonic Code doesn't protect the people, but rather their property. This only protects the rich, as they have much more property than the poor. Social equality is the protection of the rich, as well as the poor, and this only protects the rich, so Napoleon doesn't uphold the enlightenment ideals.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Napoleon Trial

I am unsure if Napoleon supported the ideals of the Enlightenment. I was not able to participate in the trial and therefore wasn't able to hear the other side. I researched information targeting information saying he supported the ideals. I found in my research that he tried to support equality. In the attempt to establish equality, he had to exchange some of the peoples rights in order to establish equality. In our textbook, it said that he "tamed the revolution" and "preserved the moderate elements" like religious freedom and the secular law code. But many of the Enlightenment thinkers thought different things about the government. Napoleon was emperor at a certain time and three of the four Enlightenment thinkers thought that just one ruler was not an effective way to rule society. So in this case, Napoleon went against what they believed about the government. So as of now, I am not convinced of one side.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Napoleon Trial

Even though I was on the defense side of the Napoleon trial, I agree with the jury. Napoleon was guilty, one of the cross examiners on the prosecution side made a point that i think was direct, and hurt the defense side extremely. Napoleon was said to be a man of enlightenment ideals yet he crowned himself emperor. I think that this was probably one of the biggest points from the prosecution side. An emperor has power over the people, he decides at the end what happens. Every philosopher we learned about in class besides Hobbes has the idea of equality, they all thought that everyone should be equal: equal rights, and equal power. Also, another great point made by the prosecution was in the Napoleonic Code the rights were for the men never the women. There was one philosopher, Montesquieu, that thought men should be superior to women but overall most of the philosophers believed women should also be equal to men. Napoleon however thought women were not up to par with men, so he gave them no rights. The prosecution I think did very well, they were well prepared and knew very well the opposing sides faults. I think overall that we the defense side needed more time to prepare since we were a bit weak and unsure. Good job to both sides.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trial Reflection

Not only did this trial help us learn and review everything we have learned about the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, it also helped us gain skills to use in the future in academics. This trial helped me learn how to research for a specific person, mentally prepare to address a jury of people and know exactly what I am talking about, compact my ideas into a compact speech, and work with others while still working individually. I had to research Thomas Hobbes and know so much about him that I could ask him any question and still have the answer be exactly what I want. This is a very important skill to have. Mentally preparing to address a group of people dramatically in order to prove a point is important as well, because it is always a good thing to be able to pursuade people to see things from your point of view. Being able to summarize points into a compact speech is better than reciting a huge long essay because people can better understand and pay attention to your point and not just how bored they are of listening to your voice. Finally, I learned how to work on my own part of a project and then have it be able to easily fit in with the style and tone of other people individual part of the same project. All of these skills will greatly help me in the future.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reflection on Debate

The preparation process to me was very difficult and confusing. I feel like we had little time to actually research our witness and then know everything about that person in less than a week. It was confusing because my teammates and I didn't communicate as well as I had hoped. In addition, I can't exactly say much at the moment since I haven't even presented yet. In addition to just working within a team, I realized that in order to have a stable group you must research your information as much as you can possible. As for learning study skills, I found out that using Google docs is actually a great source of writing down your information especially when youre working with a group. What is great about Google docs is you and your partners can be writing on the same document at the same time just on different computers since it is on the internet. Lastly, I learned that if you have a short period of time to finish a project, you must work your hardest at the tasks you are given.

Trial Skills

In terms of skills, I learned a lot about preparation for the cross-examination. It's extremely important to know as much about your character as possible. More importantly, knowing the faults of your character. Knowing this allows you to anticipate the types of questions the other side will ask.

Equally important, knowing the main points. The jury does not want to hear "fluff" or filler. They only care about the important points you put forth, and how they support your main argument. The questions you ask the witness have to directly relate to your argument, otherwise they serve no purpose.

Based on the trial I saw today, there were very good questions but on both sides the witnesses did not seem prepared enough to answer the cross-examiners' questions. However, in fairness, certain questions were quite vague. Also, there were some statements made by the witnesses that did not clearly support Napolean's defense.

Monday, October 12, 2009


For my presentation I'm designing a game of Jeopardy, with all of the questions relating to the revolutions that we have studied. As the Revolutions unit comes to a close, I think this would be a good way to help people review for the test. Also, I think it would be nice for the class to learn and enjoy themselves at the same time.

On Moodle, it says that the rest of the unit will be spent in the library, or preparing for the trial. I think it would work well if we played the game on 10/21 (right before our exam, on the review day). I know this is a couple weeks away, but I imagine that the game will potentially take up a large chunk of class time (that is, depending on how I end up designing it). I just wanted to let Ms. Xia know now, so that she could plan class time accordingly.

Or, if you guys don't really think Jeopardy would be a fun/interesting/productive use of class time, just let me know in the comments. I just thought it might be a fun way to end the unit, but I'm always open to changing things up.

(also, credits to Elle and Dylan for originally coming up with the idea)

Ill be using a PowerPoint presentation for the game.


Thomas Hobbes

To sum up everything, Thomas Hobbes believes that all human's are all selfish, all equal (leading to competition and violence), power hungry, irrational and selfishly motivated. Unfortunately, I would have to disagree with him, on almost all fronts. First off, humans are not, and very far from being equal. People will always be labeled and judged based on their abilities, looks, and personality. Although we all might have equal rights, that does not mean we are all equal. Also, it is unfair and stupid to say that all people are selfish. Is he saying that he is also selfish? Such a strong statement is asking to be attacked.

Hobbes also states that people's selfishness and desire for power, causes wars. This maybe be true in certain situations, however, this does not mean that people should relinquish all their rights to the "leviathan". It is human nature to make mistakes, however, punishment should not be an a government that is in complete control and people who have no rights.

He also goes on and says that the only reason government was created was to protect people from themselves and their selfishness, and evil. I only partially agree. The government does a lot to control its people and make sure they are abiding by all rules to make society as good as possible. However, it is also very strong to say that humans have to be protected from their own evil because I do not believe humans are naturally evil.

I'd love comments :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Post-Revolution Estate System

After reading Augustine's post, I decided to do a little bit more research about the estate system and the taxing of different social classes: What sparked the revolution, and did the estate system help it, or hold it back? What happened to the estate system after the revolution ended?

I discovered that one of the problems in France (that eventually lead to the Revolution) was that the peasants were over-taxed, and the 1st estate and 2nd was (for the most part) immune from having to pay taxes. This was one of the reasons why France fell into bankruptcy. All of their income was being sucked out of the lower class, until the peasants barely had enough money to even survive. Throughout the 1700s, there were various propositions attempting to fix France's tax system, but none were successful. The attempts by various ministers, including Chrétien de Malesherbes, and Jacques Necker to tax the nobles, were constantly fought against by the courts. The lower class (despite representing 97-98% of the population) simply did not have enough political power to pass these kind of reforms. Attempts to tax the upper two estates continually failed, up until the 1780s when the revolution began.

After the revolution, it seemed like the estate system essentially ceased to exist (at the very least, it lost most of its relevance/significance). in 1789, the feudal system was abolished, and class distinctions (between the three estates) began to fade away.

American Rev. vs French Rev.

The American Revolution, and the French revolution both influenced each other in very good ways, but they did have big differences.

As a brief overview, the American Revolution began because Britain was an oppressive nation toward the colonies, which caused major war. The American won so that is why we are independent from Britain. Even though it seems as if all of the revolution was the war between the american colonies and Britain that is not true. Most of the revolution actually happened inside of the colonies. Social life in the colonies was much more open than in Europe, everyone that was free had the same rights. This made everyone in the colonies happy, so there was no tension between people in the colonies. While the colonies were busy being happy, Britain was having trouble with France , so Britain turned toward the colonies to make up for the debt that they were in as a result of dilemmas with France. Britain started to tighten up its control over the colonies, making them pay heavy taxes which resulted in war. As I said earlier, most people would say that the revolution occurred as the American colonies defeated Britain, but it actually occurred before any problems with Britain at all. It occurred when everyone had the ideas that everyone was equal.

The French Revolution occurred as a result of the French coming over to help the Americans at war. When the French came over to the United Stated, they came back to France full with republican enthusiasm. The French wanted everyone to be equal, much like the Americans, so they started to tax the wealthy class of france to let the poor people have something to eat. This angered all of the wealthy people, so the French imposed even more radical laws. This made everyone revolt even more, and this led to the Terror. During the Terror, numerous people were being killed on the guillotine, even really important people such as Robespierre. After the death of Robespierre France got organized and created a solid army. Eventually the idea of all people being equal was really spread throughout France, and people did actually feel equal.

Baron de Montesquieu

Charles de Secondat, better known as Baron de Montesquieu played a major role in the enlightenment, not only because he was the first French man associated with the enlightenment, but because his ideas about government changed everything that was established back then. His idea about government, was that there should not be only one person with all of the power, like there was everywhere at the time, but instead, there should be a separation of power, like there is now. He thought that by doing this, there would be more of a balance, and there would not be just one group, or even just one person with all of the power. The three groups would balance each other out, and make sure that none of them were taking too much of the power. This was much like the checks and balances that we have today. Another idea that Montesquieu had that was rare in those times was that there should not be slavery, because it did not make sense to have people working for people.

Montesquieu did change a lot of the government for the better of the people, but he also had some ideas that were not fair too a lot of people. His idea of women being weaker than men, made a lot of women mad, and it also made people treat women even worse that they were being treated. Other than this, Montesquieu was a really positive man full with wonderful ideas for the future.

Friday, October 9, 2009

History of Execution Methods in France

In class we discussed the reign of terror, in which countless people were beheaded using the guillotine. Even though we look upon this as an inhumane and disgusting method to kill someone with, it was said to be the most humane method at the time. In order to better understand why this was so, I decided to research the history of execution methods in Europe up until the guillotine.
Burning was a very popular method of execution in the 1500s and 1600s. Many suspected witches were burnt at the stake during this time period, until it was later abolished in 1834. However, this punishment was mostly reserved for witches, as it was considered the most humane punishment for a woman at the time. Another device used not only for death but also for torture is the wheel. A person was either attached to the outside of the wheel and rolled over spikes, or to the spokes and beaten until all of their bones were broken. This was mostly used during the middle ages. Then came the Headman's Axe. The criminal would be decapitated using an axe or a sword. The axe would sometimes miss, prolonging the agony of the person. Finally, the guillotine was invented in France in 1789 by Dr. Joseph Guillotin. It was invented so that everyone could be killed in the same way, and more humanely. The blade was finely perfected in 1792, and then the first public use was in the same year. It was used during the French Revolution mostly, and the last official use was in 1977.
Looking at the preceders to the guillotine, it seems like a very humane method of execution for the time. During the French Revolution, everyone was looking for equality, and good treatment of every citizen. But with the guillotine being used so many times, it feels to us like many people were treated inhumanely. But to the French at the time, it probably was similar to lethal injection of these times, though it was public, which is another reason why we look upon it so hatefully. This was the culture of the time, but to us it seems strange and horrifying. Because of this technology gap, maybe we make all of the blood seem more horrifying then it might actually be, though not much.

Citation: RIN.RU. Unexplained. (October 9 2009).

Haitian Revolution and Its Implications

After reading about the Haiti revolution, I wanted to go into more detail about the revolution. The Haitian revolution stands as the only successful slave revolution. There have been numerous attempts off black revolts, but this revolution stands as the only one in which the blacks were able to overthrow the government. This truly was the mark of the new era, when blacks, people who for years were thought as an inferior "race". When the blacks were able to take over the government, it proved to the rest of the world that the blacks were capable of being great and they were tired of being treated as inferiors. Even though blacks were still treated as crap for the next 100 years, this revolution would leave a mark on the world, and the white mans' view on the black slaves. I think slave masters now figured out that they would have to understand the blacks and give them some respect or else they would revolt like they did Haiti. I found it interesting that blacks choose to revolt at this specific time because the French Government had just underwent a revolution and the new government that was instilled now got to feel how it was to be on the other side of the revolution.

The Guillotine. Should they have used it or not?

Is the Guillotine the right way to kill a person who has done a bad deed? Do they deserve to die because of it? I think the Guillotine, the device used to execute men and woman, was something too harsh to use. In the middle of 1932, the government decided that the guillotine was "allegedly scandalous" for the public eye. Instead of having this act be done in public they were going to move it to be somewhere more private. This place was called the prison courtyard, somewhere inside where the killings could not be seen. A guillotine was started to be used because it was a quick and easy way to kill a person. It was a tall figure that slammed down to slice the person in half. In addition, the guillotine should have only been used when it was dealing with people who had done something horrible, like murder. But the guillotine was used for all different types of punishments. Thank god they stopped using it around 35 years after they made it go into private.

Miguel Gregori Antonio Ignacio Hidalgo y costilla y galaaga Mondarte Villasenor

Miguel Gregori Antonio Ignacio Hidalgo y Costilla y Galaaga Mondarte Villasenor also known as Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla or simply Miguel Hidalgo was a Mexican priest. His nickname was the Father of the Nation of Mexico. He was also a leader of the Mexican War of Independence. In 1810, he led a revolt against the peninsulares for the Virgin of Guadalupe. They disbanded after encounters with the criollos and Mexican townspeople. Hidalgo was captured on March 21, 1811 and executed on July 30th. His rebellion was the beginning of the Mexican war of Independence. After his death, many others took up his footsteps that brought down the colonial governments of Spain of Mexico.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The French Revolution: Louisiana Purchase

We talked a little in class about the Louisiana purchase but I decided to gather a little more information about it. It was mainly the middle of the United States (as seen in the map to the left). It was owned by France and then Napoleon decided to sell it to America. The size of the United States, at the time, doubled in size. This purchase we executed by President Thomas Jefferson, and this was a big step that he took towards the growth and development of The United States. People then decided to expand and travel to their newly owned land. They explored and found new animals and new places for settlement. Once people began to settle in the land of The Louisiana Purchase, they debated over slavery. They came to the agreement of slave states and free states. So, that meant that the people in the slave states were forced to be slaves and didn't have very many rights, and they tried to escape to the free states. The free states did not have slavery, which made it be a place where people wanted to escape to because slavery was obviously not something people wanted to do.


Hundred Days and After

Today in class we learned about Napoleon, and I decided to do some research on after the return of Napoleon. What did he leave behind that was well known? How did he leave France. I found an article that explained everything to me, Napoleon. When Napoleon returned from Elba, he came to a cheering crowd. Louise XVIII fled France leaving the alliances disputing. However as we all know he only took over for a hundred days. When he left, he left the ever popular Napoleonic Code. Which is partly in use today in France, it also served as model to other governments. Also, later on there was a new law that said no state was allowed to have to much power. They wanted these territories to have about equal power that way not one state would become powerful. This created France into a more diplomatic rule. As you can see, Napoleon did influence the modern day with the Napoleonic Code but there were other things that influenced themselves.

Re: Carson

Well Carson, touché.

I now see your point and I do agree with that the AR was a trendsetter for the FR. one point I would like to argue is that the Americans had help from multiple different countries like the French, Spain, and Holland. All three of these countries gave the Americans weapons, money and technology to fuel their victory. I think without the help of these 3 countries, the Americans would have never been able to defeat the British. On the other hand, France didn’t have any help form any other countries and had multiple armies take advantage of the fact that France was in a revolution. I think that with the aid of some of Frances allies, this transition of governments would have been more cleaner, and smoother. Using bloodshed and violence was the only way that the French could send a message to the hierarchy of France that they were not going to tolerate being bossed around any more. They were able to get their point across through extreme violence, they were able to successfully remove the hierarchy form France and clean out the class system that kept millions of French people under poor circumstances. This was shown when the French people began to call each other citizen instead of monsieur and master.

RE: Cal The AR and FR

This a response to Cal's Blog

Cal, despite your arguements I disagree with you. I think that the AR was a much more truiphmt victory in terms of the two revolutions. The AR was a trend setter that started the chain and without the AR the FR would of never happened because the citizens of France would of never seen the Americans fight back, so they would of never gotten any ideas of revolting. To the common people, a revolution is a very big deal and the Americans were bold enough to start teeir own revolution and I personally believe that started a chain of revoltutions and without that first dominoe falling, then the rest of the dominoes cannot fall. But I do agree with you that the FR was more a bloodbath, but that is because the French had no other way to go about it. The Americans were prepared, having weapons and arms, but the only way the French could go about it was by just using common house tools like knifes, making it much bloodier. Also, the French had a poor organization, so when they did take control of France, they had everyone still running around and having the ideas of revolt in their head when the Americans had a much more through government and thought out plan. 

Re: Carson

This is a response to Carsons blog about the FR and AR

I, Cal Maruyama, personally believe that the FR was more of a patriotic triumph than the AR. the people were able to fully liberate themselves form more than 500 years of tyranny, whereas America faced 200 years of cruel ruling. The French were able to send a message to the world that they were not going to tolerate being treated like doody. The poor citizens of France were revolting the statuses that controlled almost the whole society of France. Overall I thought the french rev was of more importance than the AR even thought the AR came first.

Jean-Jacques Rosseau

Jean-Jacques Roussuau was born in Jeneva, on June 28, 1712. Roussuau was a philosopher, writer, and composer of the eighteenth century enlightenment. He influenced the French revolution and the development of modern political and educational thought. He wrote a novel that he was particularly interested in which was called "Emile: or, On Education." this novel was a seminal treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship.

The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people naive enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.
This quote is showing the personal beliefs of Roussuau. from this quote, we can depict that most of mankinds misfortunes have been brought upon by our own stupidity. we can tell this because Roussuau said, "If only man picked that stick." He also believed that man goes under influence fairly easily if given the right opportunity. Roussuau's philosophy was very different from Hobbes because Roussuau believes in a different role of government in society and a very different view on human nature.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The French Revolution

During the years of the French Revolution, King Louis XVI was in power. Many events occurred during this time period leading to cruel deaths and radical changes in society. Speaking of society, there were three parts to the society during the French revolution: 1st estate were the clergy, 2nd estate were the nobles, and the 3rd estate were the commoners. The rage all began because taxes were only to be payed by the 3rd estates while the rest of the people did not have to. Since there was a bad harvest that year, the peasants did not have enough money to pay for bread, leading a violent rage to do anything in order to get food for them and their families. On top of this issue, there was no leader to stand up for the rights and rules of the third estate, and this marked the point of the storming of Bastille. The lower people were unhappy with the absolute monarchy, ran by the king himself, so  by destroying his power, it would bring justice to their issues of surviving.
This brings up the reason for why this period is also known as the enlightenment period. Before we started the unit, we learned about the new ideas all the philosophers were making, for example: Locke, Rousseau, and Montesquie. Even though the peasants were not as strong as the other estates, they became independent and fought for their rights. And even they knew that this government structure was not fair to their people which is why it was a necessity to change it, even with force. New ideas and talents also broadened the minds of people on what they believed and whether it was fair and logical or not.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

American Revolution vs. French Revolution

The American Revolution was based upon the fact that the British were taxing them without their consent on items like tea, paper and stamps. America felt like the British had no general presence in America, aside from the negative policies, which drained American resources. This caused a large revolt, because America felt completely separated from Britain, and wanted to secede from the empire. Britain was infuriated with this idea, and sent soldiers quell the uprising. This then led to events such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and then the Declaration of Independence.

The French helped America with their revolution, which then led to bankruptcy. This bankruptcy caused Louis XVI to tax the 2nd and 3rd Estates. The Bourgeoisie and peasants felt poorly represented, and demanded a National Assembly. Louis XVI had this assembly, but once he head that the 3rd Estate was pushing for a more Democratic nation, he locked the 100 representatives outside, forcing them to meet in a tennis court. Thus causing the very heart of the French Revolution. And it was this sort of uprising that triggered both the French and American revolutions. It was due to the royal's ignorance that the whole structure collapsed. As my favorite comedian, Eddie Izzard says it: "The French structure during it's revolution slowly collapsed, like a flan in the cupboard." And so it did. But in the end, the French were left with little, while America was totally revamped and ready to rebuild. And one crucial point that separates the French revolution from the American, is the fact that for the French, they dug their own grave. They didn't need to help America, but they did. And so this whole turn of events came to be.
Ill be doing a ppt comparing the French Revolution to the 1911 Chinese revolution

The Difference Between the American Rev and French Rev

I would like to dig deeper into the main differences between the American Revolution and the French Revolution, and for the purpose this blog I will call the American Rev just AR and the French Rev FR. As we know from the reading, the French had a great impact on the AR and without the French, the Americans would likely of lost and we might of still been British. The French sent over hundreds of thousands troops and financial support to help the Americans beat their long time rival the British. Ironically, this helped the Americans a ton, but the French were not ready for the repercussions of this, and that they were then sent into a debt. As we know, history went on and eventually the FR began due to these debts and the taxes that followed. Both the FR and AR were based off of the revolutionary ideas that came out of the Enlightenment. In both cases, the a select group of people were exposed to these ideas, the representatives of the 3rd Estate for the FR and writers of the Declaration of Inp. for the AR. Another common thing I noticed was the result of both revolutions, the general public made documents that gave everyone equal rights and more power with their government. Both of their documents were based off of the ideas of Locke etc. so they shared same common ideas. The biggest difference I noticed between the two rev was they way the citizens went about it. The AR was much more peaceful then the FR. The FR was known for blood in the streets and heads on pikes. I think this indicates the message the French were trying to send to the whole world. On the other side, the AR was violent, but it seemed to have more of a grand feeling to it. The Americans seemed to have more of an "epic" revolution where the FR seemed just a bunch of frustration and years of depression being let out in the course of two years through shedding as much blood as possible. The end results were great for both, because after both of their revolutions, each nation thrived, the French with Napoleon and obtaining the largest empire since the Romans in Europe and the Americans becoming an the elite power in the 20th century of the world. I personally believe the FR followed what example the AR had set and this would set a chain reactions of the common people saying if they can do it, why dont we do it, including the Haiti Rev, Indian, etc.


Upon reading about the Enlightenment of the early modern world, I realized that most of the events taking place were similar to more current events occurring today. I was able to make a clear connection between discoveries being made and breakthroughs happening in both the science regions and other aspects of human beings to an event in which took place recently at Menlo. When Richard Dawkins, a well known writer and strong atheist, came to speak to us, he proposed his outlook on evolution, providing us with his insight on how the world and existence came to be. His breakthroughs that led to his strong beliefs subconsciously tied in to what I read about in the textbook, providing me with two different experiences in which the same sort of mannerisms are taking place.

Throughout pages 482-484, it is clearly stated how significant the "enlightenment" was to those of the early modern world, primarily focused in Europe. What triggered this new sequence of events in which significant breakthroughs were made, the Europeans "new approach to knowledge-- rooted in human reason, skeptical of authority, experessed in natural laws-- was now applied to human affairs, not just to the physical universe." (Page 482, Ways of the World textbook) Through means of mainly scientific development, "growing numbers of people believed that the long-term outcome of scientific development would be "enlightenment." (Page 482, Ways of the World textbook) Although the progression in enlightenment caused some controversy, those who were thoughtful of it believed in it were able to gain the knowledge to transform human society. Majority of the beliefs of enlightenment were directed against superstition, ignorance, and ideas without clearly stated evidence. Enlightenment centered around a theme of progress, supporting constant transformation and improvement. Whether it was through religion, critical thinking, or scientific discoveries, the Europeans never seised in searching for opportunities in which breakthroughs could be found. The effect the enlightenment had on those in which it impacted was extremely significant, and "for some, it was virtually a new religion." (Page 484, Ways of the World textbook)

After researching the enlightenment the Europeans experienced in throughout the 14-1700's, I connected this gained knowledge to an event that took place in my own life. When Richard Dawkins came to speak, what he had to say reminded me of what I had read about in the textbook. He explained that in order for himself to believe in anything, there must be clear evidence provided in order to back up whatever point one was trying to prove. The way he views knowledge and evolution and various beliefs reminded me of the way the Europeans began to interpret knowledge as the enlightenment began, and provided me with a better understanding of the general concept. Both Dawkins and the Europeans believed that for them to believe anything, there must be proof provided, proving that whatever the event, occurance, or belief one is presented with is true. Aside from the Europeans that believed in religion as well as scientific evolution, a fair amount of Europeans had the same beliefs as Dr. Dawkins. I feel as though the connection between the textbook and a personal event helped me better understand enlightenment, grasping the concept on a more beneficial level.

French Vs. America

The American Revolution was a big transition for North America and that goes the same for the French Revolution. The French Revolution all started because the people in France wanted to change the way they were being governed. At the time before the French Revolution, there was an absolute monarchy which meant the king or queen ruled over everyone and everything. In addition, the American Revolution and the French Revolution differed in many ways. They differed on how their influence spread. The french spread through conquest which meant by traveling and finding people to influence. This type of spread was led my Napolean. Lastly, the french and the american revolutions were both saw as huge beginnings for both coutries. Throughout the world, countries heard about these types of solutions happening and they wanted it for themselves as well.

Significant People In The French Revolution

There were many people who had a big impact of the French Revolution. The people I am researching a little more will be Rousseau, Napoleon, and King Louis XVI. We talked about Rousseau in class and talked about his ideas. He was the one who thought that the wealthy should be taxed because they had what they needed and "needed" which was more like wanted extra indulgences. Unlike the poorer people or the 3rd estate, they did not have what they needed like food. Flour was very expensive because the prices had been raised and so it was hard for people to find things to eat. Rousseau had the idea that people later attempted in hopes of success, which meant that the 3rd estate people would agree and vote for the tax on the 1st estate with the King. Napoleon was the man who supposedly "tamed" the Revolution according to our textbook. He preserved many rights including the rights of civilians, the rights to Religion, and equality rights. He also helped to establish the French Empire which tried to spread the main ideas of the revolution. Napoleon wanted to spread their ideas from the revolution to other places because he thought that they were successful and he wanted other places to be able to benefit from them like the French did. King Louis XVI, whom we talked about in class, was the King at the time. He called the Estates General to institute a law that enables them to tax the 1st estate. Then the 3rd estate forced him to sign the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. He later tried to escape and sneak out with his family to Austria but he was caught just before and was then imprisoned in Paris. That was when the people felt betrayed and that caused the relationship between the people and him to fade and fall apart. Then, it just went down hill from there for King Louis XVI.
The French Revolution wasn't caused during the time of Louis XVI but before him, Louis XIV left France in debt because he spent too much money on art. Louis XV came along and he left France in an even larger debt then France was already in. But this wasn't the only issue the 3rd Estate was enraged with the King because they were the only ones being taxed, that year was a very bad harvest meaning not enough money. Also the people with the larger amount of money was the 1st and 2nd Estates, and they were not being taxed. Because of this an Estates General was brought into order. However there was no agreement at the end of the Assembly, because of this hostility all ready there. When Necker, the voice of the 3rd Estate, was stripped from his position suddenly there was no one on the "inside" helping the 3rd Estates to receive their rights. Because of this there was a huge commotion leading to the storming of Bastille. Bastille was a representation of the power of the King, and by taking control and destroying Bastille it meant they were overthrowing the absolute monarchy. As you can see the people were suddenly standing up for themselves, and one of the reasons is because of the new philosophers and their ideas. This was a period of enlightenment, the church suddenly isn't the greatest power and because of that people start having a sense of doubt about what is true. And suddenly, people start thinking for themselves, and they do not believe what they hear they themselves must find an answer. People were becoming independent, that is the big key. Because of this people I think started to think that they are someone in their country, they started to be independent and because of that everyone became equal. No one was special, God did not chose the King, he was not divine. Because of this I think people had more confidence to speak their needs because they were equal to the nobles and even the King himself. There was no royalty, and aristocrats but instead they were all human.

French Rev

To me, the thing that stands out most in the French Revolution is the brutality and amount of violence from the general public. Although they were poor, powerless and starving, the intensity of the riot (storming of Bastille) was uncalled for and animalistic.

You can conclude that during this period, beneath the luxuries and beauties of Versailles the French were in fact savage killers. For example, Marquis Bernard De Launay was stabbed, beaten, killed and decapitated. His head was then paraded through the city. Although it is unfair to say that all French people were savages, during this period in time, actions like these clearly display the barbarous nature of the peasants of France.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Social Contract Theory and Presentation Feedback


Tomorrow in class (or as soon as time opens up in the class schedule), I will be giving a presentation on Social Contract Theory (as advocated for by Hobbes, Rousseau, and Locke). I know we've already moved onto the French Revolution, but I haven't gotten a chance to talk about these philosophers yet, and since I didn't get a chance to do my previous presentation until Friday, this presentation ended up getting pushed up to this week.

Also, I wanted to get some feedback from you guys about my presentations. Do you think it is excessive for me to be doing 1-2 presentations per week in class? Do you find them interesting? Would you rather have the class time be spent with Ms. Xia discussing more directly relevant material (such as things that will be on the test)? Should I post video blogs on Youtube instead of in-class presentations? How can I improve my presentations as a whole? Feel free just to leave a comment on this blog post. I won't be offended if you think my presentations are boring, or a waste of time, but at least if you are going to comment then take the time to put some thought into what you have to say.



Locke vs Hobbes

Locke and Hobbes were two very important philosophers. They were both empiricists. An empiricist is a person who studies how we know "things." The reason why everything is here. Locke had some ideas that differred from Hobbes and he had some that were similiar. Locke believed that human nature, which are things all normal human beings have in common, are influenced by reason and tolerance. I believe that this is somewhat true. We do things for a reason, but then again we sometimes do bad or good things if we dont have a reason at all. They both agreed on that men and woman are selfish due to human nature. It gave them the freedom to be unequal and rise to a higher social status.

Hobbes was different, but then had some of the same ideas as Locke. A main thing that was similiar to the two, was that they were both political philosophers and they were empiricists. Unlike Locke, Hobbes was one of the main philosophers who "discovered" materialism. Being materialistic means that you are obsessed with having all the new accessories that you can hold and touch. All in all, Hobbes and Locke had many different views, but they had the same profession as a philosopher.

The French Revolution Financial Crisis

Throughout the reading about the french revolution, I noticed many issues about how much debt France owed and how much money they needed to restore France's financial crisis. I decided to do more research on the issue. I found out that many controllers of France's finance tried their best to help but nothing worked until Charles Alexandre. He became the new general of finance in 1783, he stepped up to the plate and told everyone that rebuilding the financial structure was not going to work unless they "borrowed" money from the nobles and the King. Even though he persuade the king, the Assembly was not convinced and did not approve to give money to help fix the debt. He was then fired by the King and Etienne Charles took his place. Etienne decided to try to convince the people with civil rights like freedom of religious views. Then he tried Alexandre's way of asking the higher class for money. When this idea was rejected for the second time Etienne decided to attack. This made the people throughout France in great chaos which led King Louis and Etienne to surrender. After that disrupt, Etienne resigned and then Necker took power, he then prepared a meeting with the nations Reps before it became a greater issue then it already was. And that was just part of the economic issues for France.


Hobbes was a philosopher who believed all humans were naturally selfish. Because of this he believed people could not be trusted to have freedom since it will lead them to greed and power hunger. Also because of that he believed that we humans needed an authoritative figure to govern. Because the king had absolute power they could abuse their power since humans were naturally selfish. So he thought that there should be a group of people, representatives, who would speak as mediators between king and their people but they would only give their opinions. Hobbes doesn't mention anything about God besides the fact that he believes that the King is not chosen by God. So the king in no way is divine. Hobbes like most philosophers had no opinions about God during the Enlightenment period. One reason might be that since they had lived so long to not having proof, they probably felt they needed to prove something before believing it. Hobbes was one of many philosophers to have new ideas.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Baron de Montesqui

Charles de Secondat, also known as Baron de Montesquieu was a French social commentator and political thinker who lived during the Enlightenment Era. He’s famous for his theory of democracy. Our constitution now is based of his theory. His theory was that there should be “Checks and Balances” which basically means that there can’t be someone higher than the rest. In this case, there are 3 branches that all watch over each others power. In the United States of America, there are 3 branches, the executive, the judicial, and the legislative that all have specific jobs to do in the government.


Charles de Secondat, more commonly known as Baron de Montesquieu, was famous for his Persian letters and his book, On the Spirit of Laws. The Persian Letters were what talked the wealth of the people and the power that they had over the poorer people. He thought that it was not productive to have one person or group with all the power because he believed that people get carried away when they have too much control. So this is why he created the 3 branches that were in control of the power. The King, the Parliament, the judges were three groups or people that were in control of the power. He thought this was a good solution because that way there wasn't one power dominating. They were all equally in control and that is what control the greed that normally comes with power. This is very similar to this days government. But there is one difference that Montesquieu believed was true. He thought that all people were equal, except for women. He believed that women were weaker than men and that even if they were capable of ruling, "it was against their basic nature." I think that back then that was normal because women were not thought of as equal but now times have changed. I am glad that people now appreciate women and accept that they have the potential just like men to be great rulers! :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Philosopher Hobbes

Hobbes was a very famous Philosopher he believed there was no role of god and he rejects a notion that ever selects monarchs or any leader. He says the people make the decision and all the power came straight from the people and not god. But other than he does not mention god as anything else or in any importance. God was created to protect the people from their selfishness and to not be to greedy with the actions they take or the decisions they make. He believes that the government was created because there was utter chaos before and the people needed everything to be normal and peaceful. there was no social structure since everybody is equal in Hobbes mind. which is excellent because that the way it should or at least that is what i believe.

Locke Compared to the Modern World

John Locke was a british man who had very similar views on government to ours in the U.S. today. He wanted the separation of church and government, just like our system that we obey today. He brought up the idea of checks and balances, and it was this idea that led him to support the idea that all people had inalienable rights. He even pushed for women's rights, and it was to this extent that he wished the government would concern. Being a secular man, he detested religion, but did not wish to disprove it. He simply referred to religion as nature, and would call the common "acts of God" nature. He is very similar to the other people we have studied in this era of enlightenment, but he is the only one who believes that everything should be completely balanced to the extent that no one is above another, but rather equaled by at least one other. This system is very similar to our President - Judicial Branch - Senators and House of Reps. They all equally rule, but the citizens always have a say.

Upon doing further research on Locke, I found that he also has a strong view on ownership or property. He feels that property is any material good, and that property is a natural right earned through labor. Meaning that you should be rewarded for your work, no matter the level of importance. I find this very similar to our system of minimum wage, and how no worker goes unpaid.

To summarize this knowledge, I would basically say that Locke was looking far into the future and could have been a major influence in our common beliefs today.


Montesquieu also known as Charles de Secondat was known to be one of the first man associated with Enlightenment. In 1721, he became famous for his Persian letters that explained the status of the wealthy French and the church. But more importantly, in 1748, he published a book called On the Spirit of Laws telling us about his strong beliefs on how our people should be governed. He interpreted the government to have three separate branches: the king who enforced laws, the Parliament which made the laws, and the judges of the courts who respond to these laws. Today, we use these same branches as legislative, judicial, and executive. Montesquieu gave a unique term to this system called, "the separation of powers." His main concern was that power should not be given to only person, because he will overuse it in the incorrect way. So this system of branches helps build a developed and equal government, in which all men are treated equal and issues run smoothly. One thing I do not admire about Montesquieu is he believes all men are created equal, but he believes that women are not categorized in this, because he considers them to be weaker. He believes women should only be working under their husbands, and are not capable of handling such a high status job as men. Montesquieu once said, "But constant experience shows us that every man with power is apt to abuse it."

Baron de Montesquieu

his name was Charles Louis de Secondat. He was born into a wealthy family in 1689 in Bordeaux, France. Placed under the care of a poor family. He went to college and ended up becoming a lawyer. His father died in 1713, and left Secondat under the care of his uncle. His uncle died in 1716 and left him with his fortune, his title as the president of the parliament of Bordeaux, and his title of Baron de Montesquieu. He gained fame in 1721 through his Persian Letters, which criticized the lifestyle of the french and of the church. His book, On the Spirit of Laws, published in 1748 was his claim to fame, and discussed how he felt that government should run. He believed there were three types of government. a monarchy:led by a single king or queen. A republic, ruled by an elected leader, or a despotism ruled by a dictator. He believed that the most effective government powered by the people, a democracy. He felt that it would only be successful if power was correctly balanced. There would be a judicial branch, an executive branch, and a legislative branch. All with equal power to one another. a system of checks and balances. although he believed in democracy, he didn't believe that all men were created equal. he believed that women were far inferior to men, and he approved of slavery. He died in 1755.

Jean-Jaqcues Rousseau

Jean-Jaqcues Rousseau (1712-1778) was born in Geneva, Switzerland and moved to Paris at the age of sixteen. Early in his life, we worked as a tutor and a musician and he didn't start sharing his opinions on the government until when he was around 40 years old.

Rousseau believed that people could live in peace without a government as long as they all treated each other equally. However, in his society there was a large amount of inequality because of the way that money and property were distributed. The wealthy men tricked the poor by creating a government that protected the property and money of the rich, which the less fortunate people had been trying to scrounge back.

To try to counteract the wealthy taking advantage of the poor, Rousseau thought it would be a good idea to set up the government as a monarchy or an aristocracy. In a perfect world, the best way to include everyone's opinion within the society would have been to let everyone rule as they please, but this obviously would not have worked. The government proposed by Rousseau gave leaders the responsibility of acting on behalf of the general will of the people and speaking for them when necessary. He also said that a single ruler with absolute power was allowable when direly needed, but only temporarily.

Rousseau's ideas about government were somewhat similar to those of Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu. Hobbes believe that the role of the government was to protect people and represent them, as Rousseau also believed. Montesquieu thought that government should be a democracy, so that no one person consumes all of the power, which is also very similar to Rousseau's opinions. Locke was in favor of the checks and balances system. This can also relate to how Rousseau thought things should work because in this system, no single person can have to much power.