Tuesday, November 29, 2011

19th Century Industrialization Essay

19th Century Industrialization Essay

The end of the nineteenth century brought about a huge change in the way the United States worked as a nation, making the United States the worlds most productive nation. The nation as a whole was advancing rapidly and new inventions were bringing about new ways of life. There was a rise in big businesses and financial corporations which were looking to expand as much as possible.

Technology was advancing rapidly and new inventions were being used to further our expansion. Thomas Edison, after inventing the phonograph, through long work was able to invent a light bulb that would last for a long time thus changing the world so that now large buildings and Wall Street could now be lighted up with electric. J. P. Morgan was one of the earliest to use this invention buy lighting up his house and bank with the new technology. By 1888 Edison formed the Edison General Electric Company.

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Another breakthrough invention was the electric streetcars. Replacing the slow moving horse-drawn wagons, the streetcars were quickly moving citizens to destinations and ran off of electric wires that hung above. By 1900 there were about 15,000 miles of electric streetcar lines in American cities. The electric streetcars were helping the working man, who had to travel long distances, to better getting to work on time. It was connecting cities and bringing in new residents looking for homes.

The invention of motion pictures was helped by the invention of the electric light and photography. This new form of entertainment astonished people as they were able to watch a story be told on a screen in front of them although it was silent. Another form of entertainment that caught a lot of attention was baseball. Although played in the 1840's it wasn't until the civil war when it began to pick up more interest. Teams of soldiers spread the interest of the game which lead to the formation of more teams. In 1869 the first team to pay was formed and soon after the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs was formed.

By the end of the nineteenth century railroads covered half of the United States, transporting goods and materials wherever needed, helping with further production and bigger businesses ready to industrialize. Steel was a major business for this and Andrew Carnegie saw this and helped produce the worlds steel. Steel was needed for just about all new structures and especially the rail roads.

Businesses flourished and men became rich. With the times changing with new inventions and people looking for work, businesses were able to expand and rise to the top of their industry. Carnegie bought up all the iron mines and took on coal as a partner for his industry to lead in the steel industry. He was able to produce steel so cheaply and lower his prices that any other steel company was forced into letting him buy them out, thus monopolizing the industry. This was called vertical integration.

Another form of making a monopoly was horizontal integration. This was done by controlling not all the stages in the business, but the business itself. The railroads would expand and make money only because all the other companies were doing the same thing as them, moving freight and passengers from place to place.

Laissez-faire and Social Darwinism and impacts in industrialization that would change the way people paid their employees and they was people would work as a social community. The main idea of Laissez-faire was that in order to get the greatest and cheapest productivity possible, you must leave the individual employer and the worker to the free market. By this they meant that there would be no interaction with the government or unions for that would decrease the productivity. By following the concept of Laissez-faire, the factory owners would not pay their workers enough to even cover their basic needs.

Social Darwinism, the concept of survival of the fittest and not letting anything interfere with man, followed the concept of Laissez-faire very closely. It supported that an individual should be free to manage their own property and their own contracts that they chose without any government interference. Any interference on behalf of that or between labor and management would violate the employer's property rights and the right of employer and self contract.

In giant corporations all the concepts of Social Darwinism and Laissez-faire were nonsense. There was no equality in the bargaining of positions whether it was for a coal miner or of Baer's coal company over terms of employment. There were no free individual contracts for the employee and the only contract they had was to do that of the employer or face hunger.

In this industrial age the workers were thriving to find a job. The typical American though couldn't compete with the low wages that immigrants were willing to work for and this forced many Americans onto the streets only to leave their job for a new immigrant to the country. For the people that were willing to work for the low wages and the intense hours, there were jobs willing to pay the men, women, and children that would stand the smoke filled rooms, or digging in the coal mines for the long hour days of no rest. Many workers died or got ill from diseases. Tuberculosis was a product of crowding, overwork, and poor nutrition of thousands that worked.

The Supreme Court held a big role in industrialization, creating new laws and denying businesses of unconstitutional acts. Court cases were held for labor laws and financial issues that individuals and companies faced. In 1973 the Supreme Court ruled that a monopoly was invalid. With the monopolies the company could charge substantial rates to their customers. This would affect the well being of the public and it was up to the legislature to protect the public interest. States were taking the power of their government to regulate business. The Supreme Court ruled that this was unconstitutional that a state use a power only granted to Congress. The court would also prevent the state from acting in matters such as child labor.

The Supreme Court passed the Interstate Commerce Act after railroads were charging higher rates to others for the transportation of the same goods. The Act stated that the same rate must be applied equally through shipping of goods and that all rates should be reasonable. There would be an investigation of each rail-road to find if the rates were in fact of reasonable price.

Labor was affected due to industrialization. Labor Union had tried to form for many years after the Civil War. Once a successful union was formed they turned to getting an eight-hour day. In 1872 the group supported the labor party, but with the panic of 1873 the union collapsed, along with many other unions. Violence broke out between workers and employers. Workers wanted less hours and better rates. Many formed strikes until something was done. The Homestead Steel Strike was one of the most successful strikes formed. The workers new that everyone would follow and that without them the steel factory could not continue. They were confident before hand on what would happen in response to their strike.

As a response to the Industrial Age, the United States changed and adapted in many ways. Unions were formed, inventions were used to progress, businesses flourished and workers achieved some of what they wanted. The States were advancing and leading the world as the most productive nation, making the Industrial Age one of the biggest impacts in American history.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Terra Nullius Essay

Terra Nullius Essay

For at least 40,000 years Aborigines have lived in and called Australia home. However the lives of Indigenous Australians changed in 1770 when European white men, unfairly took possession of the land (Simpson,1997). They wrongly declared the country "terra nullius", land owned by no one, and dramatically decreased the population of the aborigines dues to their invasion. Only in the past decade has Australian law recognised that prior to 1770 Indigenous people did live on the land, and in knowing this, the High Court of Australia rejected "terra nullius" from our law. This overturn however, did not and still does not address the fact that Europeans took land from Aborigines with no consent or agreement.

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European, Captain James Cook, arrived in Botany Bay, on the south-eastern coast of Australia in 1770. He claimed possession of the east coast of country for Britain under the doctrine of "terra nullius" (racismnoway.com.au). This doctrine was part of international law, which stated that Britain could take possession of another country if it was uninhabited, if the indigenous people gave them permission, or if they defeated that country in war. However Britain did not follow these rules in Australia, and acted as though the country was uninhabited. The land was declared "terra nullius" and free for appropriation. It has been debated that this occurred because Australia was the only country in the world where Indigenous people were not recognised, therefore no consent was needed. However the British Government may have purposely not acted in accordance with the international law of the time. Either way Australian land was declared empty as if the Aborigines did not exist. Those of different culture, language and lifestyle unfairly claimed their home.

Prior to Australia being taken over by Europeans, Aborigines lived unique and different lives to the rest of the world. They lived in hundreds of different tribes all over the country, and each spoke separate languages. Simple devices like spears and fishnets were highly effective ways of securing food for living. Aborigines also had a very deep connection with their land. Every rock and mountain had a name, and everything from a tree, to animal, to rainbow had a story and meaning (Luling,1979). The arrival of white people not only stole land, but also took away the Aborigines special way of life and culture. Britain made towns and cities, forced Indigenous people to work for them and enforced a totally different way of life. They brought about deadly diseases like smallpox and ultimately reduced the aboriginal population down to the 1.5% of the total population that it is today. Unjustifiably the culture and lifestyle of Indigenous Australians was demolished to the tiny amount that still exists today, but after over 200 years since invasion Australian law has begun to recognise what unfairly occurred in the 18th century.

For hundreds of yeas the rights of Aboriginal people were not recognised, but with the mid 20th century came the acknowledgement of the civil and legal rights of this small proportion of the population. In 1967 the first step toward recognition came when Aborigines were given voting rights. However it was in 1992 with the Mabo and Others v the State of Queensland, that Australia removed the principle of terra nullius for the law, and acknowledged that Aboriginal existence in Australia pre-dates that of Europeans (Farrer, 1999) This case involved Indigenous Australians appealing to the High Court of Australia in an effort to claim land that was rightfully theirs. Along with the outcome removing terra nullius, the Native Title Act 1993 (Cwlth) was implemented into Australian law. This act identifies the common law rights of Indigenous people in regard to land and their ability to negotiate matters involving sacred ground (Farrer, 1999). Nevertheless the Australian government still has not signed anything to formally admit that Australia was not terra nullius and that Europeans broke the law when invading the country. Today and for years to come, Aborigines will be fighting for the written recognition of their pre-1770 existence. The elimination of terra nullius in 1992 has made a stepping-stone for others to one day take action and for the government to one day sign a longed for treaty.

In 1770 Europeans invaded Australia, a country already inhabited with Aborigines. The British government defied international laws of the time, declared the land terra nullius, and took over the country. The lives of Aborigines were changed forever and only in the last century has Australian law begun to acknowledge that Australia was not terra nullius because Indigenous Australians have lived here for many more years than Europeans. Although terra nullius has not been removed from our law, the Australian government is yet to formally endorsed that Europeans took land from Aborigines with no consent or agreement.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Women's Suffrage Essay

Women's Suffrage Essay

The fight for women's suffrage, or voting, went on for about seventy years. The fight first officially started in 1848 with the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. This was the start of a long, complicated battle.

The woman's rights issue was actually first motivated by another cause, anti-slavery. There were meetings that women weren't allowed to vote in. At the World's Anti-slavery Convention, women weren't allowed in. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, later suffrage leaders, were two of the women who were excluded admittance.

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It was 1848, and Stanton and Mott were starting their journey on the road to suffrage with the first women's rights convention. The women at the convention made up a list of complaints to show that for years men have been dominant over women. This became the first public protest for women's rights in America, "The Declaration of Sentiments."

Many people opposed to the idea of women's rights. Men, of course, being the majority of it. They thought that women weren't as smart. They thought they could represent women better than women themselves. There were also women who thought that women in politics would be the end of family life.

In May 1869, two women's suffrage organizations formed. The first was the National omen's Suffrage Organization formed by Stanton and Anthony. This group was the more radical of the two, their goal being to have an amendment ratified for women's suffrage. The other was the American Women's Suffrage Organization, the conservative one. Their goal was to get individual states to grant women the right to vote. Later, in 1890, the two joined together to make the National American Women's Suffrage Organization.

For over fifty years, these women were determined to win voting rights. So determined in fact, that in 1872, Susan B. Anthony and 50 other women went to register to vote in the presidential election. They were refused at first, but demanded to be able to register. Fifteen women along with the inspectors who allowed them to register were arrested and tried with a $500 bail.

The unwavering determination of these women was starting to wear down the all-male government. First came Wyoming in 1869. The next was Utah in 1870 and then Colorado in 1893. The boundaries of women were expanding. By 1919, 37 states gave women full or partial suffrage. In 1918, the suffrage amendment, which was proposed in 1878 but left unchanged, was defeated and then a year later. But in 1920, the women's suffrage amendment was finally ratified.

After a very long battle, the women's struggle paid off. Their long-awaited goal was granted. This was official with the nineteenth amendment. After suffrage was granted, women continued working on women's rights.

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Western Expansion Essay

Western Expansion Essay

In the early years of the American government, expansion of the United States was a very big issue. Our countries leaders believed in Manifest Destiny, or the right to rule from the tip of the east to the western shores. There were many different people who supported this idea for many different reasons. These groups of people included economists, militants, intellectuals, journalists, as well as religious leaders and missionaries.

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Economists pushed for the expansion of American soil. With more land came more worth. There would be more room for settlers and immigrants to build homes on. New towns would develop, and along with that came businesses. The more business, the more money, the more power and economic stability. One supporter from this point of view was Thomas Hart Benton. Benton preferred gaining territory through occupation rather than conflict. His ideas were used to create the Homestead Act of 1862, granting free land to settlers so long as they stayed on it for five years. He also encouraged the creation of overland transportation making travel to the west shorter and easier. Benton was chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs as well, and strived towards the removal of Native Americans to make room for the white settlers. He might not have had the most honest intentions, but he was driven to expand. His Son-in-Law followed in his footsteps and is well known for his conquests in California over the Spanish. With enough land and citizens, the U.S. could become a very stable and powerful nation.

While journalists wrote of gold and free land, and the militia fought with the Native Americans all over the continent, religious leaders and missionaries began to act as well. Missionaries spread out far and wide, trying to save the "savage" Native Americans from hell. They decided that the Native American way was wrong, and that they had to save these people from themselves. Many socially rejected religious leaders on the other hand saw the expansion as freedom from persecution. One such man, Brigham Young, was waiting for just such an opportunity. Young was the leader of the Mormon church. At this time the Mormons were feared because of their un-Christian ways. Young determined to lead his followers far west, where church members could gather without interruption. Other religions wished to follow in the same footsteps. New land meant freedom from the violence and negative attitude of others, and they could actually build communities based on their religions.

Later came a very important advocate for more expansion, President Theodore Roosevelt. He wanted to further expand the U.S., thus forth furthering the United States trade and power. Roosevelt wanted the U.S. was to be strong. He felt that through more expansion, the U.S. could become an even bigger and richer world power. As the president, he had very much success in doing so.

There were many reasons for expansion into the west, and everybody had their own. Religion, military, and economy were just a few. Although a lot of the methods used to expand were not quite honorable, they worked. And, U.S. citizens got what they wanted. Because of the expansion into the west, we have one of the strongest military powers in the world, along with a very strong economy, and open religious worship everywhere in the country. Those who dreamt of expansion, and those who made it happen helped this country succeed.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Ancient Mesopotamia Essay

Mesopotamia Essay

The world is in turmoil over the war, but there has been one country affected drastically; and that is the center of it all: Iraq. Iraq's people have been affected directly by the war with bombings and troops marching all over, but they have also suffered indirectly. The destruction of the Iraqi cultural heritage has been a major issue.

Scholars claim that conflict will "result in devastating and irrecoverable losses to human civilization and to participate in or allow such destruction may inflame resentment and anger throughout the world" (EducationGuardian.co.uk).

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Ancient Mesopotamia is indeed ancient, reaching back more that 500 years, and scholars agree that this heritage is as important to the people as their economic survival. They also agree on several recommendations they wish to forward to the United Nations. They ask that the United Nations not to target such things as archaeological sites, museums, libraries and other institutions where the ancient heritage is housed.

In the 1920's, a famous British archaeologist by the name of Leonard Woolley discovered Sumerian royal tombs in Ur, Mesopotamia that dated back over 4500 years. It was obvious that these tombs housed royalty because they were surrounded with extravagant gold and jewelry. They also found numerous other items such as weapons and musical instruments, gaming pieces and sculptures. All of these luxury items are on display to form a unique exhibition. This exhibition prides one of the earliest and richest collections.

As the downward spiral of ancient cultural heritage is a devastation of the war, so is looting. The public went up in a fury, and rampages were on the agenda. They tore down buildings, set places on fire and took what did not belong to them. An institution that suffered the consequences of the terror was the Iraq National Museum: It was tore apart. In the aftermath, the museum was filled with broken artifacts, and if they were not broken, they were missing.

What is said to be the museum's most famous artifacts, were the tablets with Hammurabi's Code one of mankind's earliest codes of law. Another important treasure was the Ram in the Thicket - statue representing deity from 2600BCE.

The thoughts of many is that their ancient history is gone forever; thousands of years obliterated in an angry rage. Does it seem worth it now? A museum employee states, "It is all the fault of the Americans. This is Iraqi civilization. And it is all gone now."

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Yugoslav Holocaust Essay

Yugoslav Holocaust Essay

In what can be considered a modern day Holocaust, between 1992 and 1995, an unthinkable atrocity against man reared its ugly head yet again in Europe; only this time the setting was Bosnia. What is clear is that all three nationalities behavior (Croats, Bosnian-Serbs and Muslims) undermined any claim to moral superiority. Slovodan Milosevic, president of Yugoslavia, tired to deny any wrongdoing, but after numerous stories of the misconduct began to surface; it was only a matter of time before the international community took notice. The revelation came at a bad time for Milosevic who was trying to ease sanctions against Serbia and end the fighting in Bosnia.

The multi-ethnicity that Bosnia consists of is the aftermath of centuries of wars, invasions, and migrations from different groups. Yugoslavia, which means land of the South Slavs, (Friedman 5) was born in 1929 after World War I. After the death of the leader of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, in 1980 and later with the fall of the Soviet Union and communism, the country started to split apart little by little. Finally, in 1991 Yugoslavia broke into five republics: Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro, which merged to create the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Before the war in Bosnia erupted, survivors recall how under Communist rule the multi-ethnic community was able to coexist peacefully.

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Our neighbors - we were like a family. Our flats were like one home. They had two kids. We lived together. We vacationed together. Spent holidays together. Over night, they changed. (Weine 15)

During the early stages of the war in Bosnia, Croats fell victims of ethnic cleansing by both the Serbians and Muslims. In 1993, during the Croat-Muslim war, forty-two Croatian villagers perished in the village of Doljani. Hundreds more were forced out of their homes and fled to cities and towns in central Bosnia. According to Croatian sources, local Serbian forces engaged in ethic cleansing against Croats. In late 1992, Serbs took over Posavina and began to ethnically cleanse Croatian villages.

Deliberate efforts were made to embed fear into the local Serbian community, who initially were not interested in joining the war against Muslims. Serbian leaders would recount a fabricated story of a Serbian farmer's wife being murdered by Muslims. This ploy was one of the tactics used to recruit local Serbs. At the end of the fighting only several thousand Muslims and Croats remained in territories under Serbian control. Most women and children were not incarcerated, but they were at the mercy of their tormentors. Men and boys were not as fortunate; many were killed upon capture or later during incarceration. It was like World War II, but now instead of Jews, Muslims leaders, teachers, and professionals were weeded out and executed by the Serbian forces.

Ethic cleansing achieved two objectives: it created irreversible facts on the ground, and incorporated the locals in the cover-up of the atrocities. Ethic cleansing, by definition, is killing off an ethnic community or causing it to flee its traditional place of residence for the purpose of creating an ethnically homogeneous population as a basis for claiming political control over the territory. More than 700,000 Muslims were uprooted from their homes throughout the Balkan region during the war.

The Serbian concentration camps can be closely identified with the Nazi concentration camps, even though they were not as organized as the Nazi camps. In World War II, the Nazis camps were highly systematized death factories with the end solution being the extermination of all Jews. This does not mean that the mass killings and rapes that did take place in the Serbian camps were less traumatic than during the Holocaust. This is just an attempt to clarify that the Serbian camps were not as systematic as their Nazi counterparts. The Serbian camps were sloppily set up in public places such as sports stadiums, schools, farms, mines, and warehouses. Most locations were not prepared to handle sewage, water, or food. The fact that these sites were not designed for such uses it had dire consequences for the detainees. (Weine 50)

Because the camps consisted of people from the same regions, many of the detainees knew each other as well as some of the camp guards and soldiers. These acquaintances had both advantages and disadvantages. On the upside, some guards or soldiers granted some detainees special favors. Also, the guards and soldiers informed the detainees about their families status. In most cases the information provided to the detainees was false. The disadvantages of such acquaintances were lethal. One survivor recalled the worst thing that could happen to someone in the camp.

When a new contingent of Serbian troops arrived every fifteen days to relieve the older guards. An acquaintance from one's hometown might be among the newcomers. That acquaintance would murder you because he didn't want a living witness to remain. The survivor grew a beard so as not to be recognized. (Weine 51)

When foreign journalists, human rights observers, or health care workers visited the camps the detainees were not allowed to tell them stories of the atrocities that were taking place there. Those who did speak out had their names written down and were later executed. One survivor recalls such an incident after the Red Cross visited one of the camps.

They took out ten men and had them lie on the ground, and then they stood on some blocks about a meter and a half high and jumped off and landed on their chests. They broke their chests and killed the men that way. That was the hardest for me, seeing their ribs broken, sticking out through their skin, seeing them rolled over, no skin on their back, just black. (Weine 52)

The fate of the detainees survival also depended a great deal on chance and impulse. In one camp the commandant believed that it was "unethical" to kill after 9 p.m., so detainees were executed between 8:45-9 p.m. The detainees recall that the guards would think up sadistic ways to torture and kill them. The guards played games reminiscent of a scene from Star Trek in which Captain Kirk and Spock had to fight to the death. The difference is that these were real people. The detainees were dammed if they did and dammed if they didn't, because after hours of beating each other, the soldiers would kill them. Many of the soldiers seemed to torture and kill for sport. One survivor remembers that these soldiers arrived at the camps on weekends only and they would "kill as much as they wanted to." (Weine 53) The detainees referred to these soldiers as "weekend warriors". (Weine 53) Still other soldiers were motivated by greed. The soldiers would force the detainees to sign over all their properties and money to them, and they had to buy bus tickets to Croatia before they were released.

Women also fell victim to Serbian torture and death. Although the precise number of women raped is undetermined, the United Nations Human Rights Commission approximated that number to be 12,000. They were taken to flats or schools that were set up like brothels for Serbian forces. The troops would rape and beat the women before either killing them or sending them back to their families. Serbian soldiers impregnated Muslim women in order to give birth to Serbian children.

In 1992 in Sarajevo, an epic siege ensued, leaving 12,000 people dead, 1,600 of whom were children. The three-year long siege of Sarajevo began with a barrage of shells raining on the capital city from the hilltops. The attackers where form all three factions. The city of Sarajevo is in a river valley surrounded by mountains. Before the war, it had a population of 500,000. It was the most multi ethnic city in the Balkan region. The location of the city gave shape to a unique coexistence of different nationalities and religions. However, during the siege of Sarajevo, residents who attempted to escape the city, without distinction of religion or nationality, were killed by sniper fire. Two young lovers from Sarajevo became targets of sniper fire. Admira Ismic and Bosko Brkic were dubbed Romeo and Juliet because of their age and their different ethnicities. The two lovers, one Muslim and the other Serbian, had lived together for nine years when they decided to flee war torn Sarajevo. As they crossed into Serbian territory Bosko was shot and killed. Admira, wounded, crawled to her boyfriend's side and died. NATO finally launched an air strike against Serbian forces in August 1995 following a fatal bombing in a Sarajevo marketplace. (www.liv-coll.ac.uk 2)

By far the most horrific incident occurred in Srebrenica in the summer of 1995. Srebrenica was supposed to be a "safe haven" for refugees. The people in this town were disarmed and U.N. was to send troops to protect the people. The Dutch government dispatched 110 troops to defend 30,000 mostly Bosnian Muslim refugees from Serb forces. Dutch troops were outnumbered by the Serbian forces, led by the infamous General Ratko Mladic, and the town was taken over without any resistance from the Dutch army. Between July 11, 1995, and July 16, 1995, General Mladic's army killed more than 7,000 Muslim men and threw their bodies in mass graves. The Dutch government, after 7 years, finally admitted in April 2002, that it could have done more to prevent the atrocities that ensued. (Brown 1) Before the war, Srebrenica was one of the most developed towns in Eastern Bosnia. Now only one in 10 members of the workforce has a paid job, and the average monthly salary is no more than $100. (Tmusic 4)

On November 21, 1995, the republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia reached an agreement in Dayton, Ohio.

It is known as the Dayton Peace Accord. It is not only an agreement to cease-fire; it is an agreement to respect one another and to tolerate each other. Bosnia and Herzegovina is now divided into two: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in control of the Muslims and Croats, and the Republika Srpska, which is under Bosnian-Serb rule. Life in Bosnia is very different nowadays from the times of communist rule. The state does not provide like it used to, now Bosnians have to work hard and they cannot expect something in return from their government. For now the international community is helping rebuild the country but that is not going to last forever.

It really is a shame that such a beautiful country with so much history and culture has to go through such nightmare. Like World War II, the Bosnia war should serve as a moral lesson. "Never again" really does mean "Never again." The exact number of Bosnians who perished is unknown at the moment and probably we are never going to have an exact number. The atrocities that befell those people were genocide. One thing is certain: the global community has to remain involved so that it will never happen again.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Essay on Wu Chao

Essay on Wu Chao

Wu Chao was born in 624 in China. Where at is unknown. In her early years she was called Wu Zetian. Wu Zetian lived during the medieval period of Chinese history, when people were strongly influenced by Confucian ideology. Women were generally held in low esteem, and there was considerable opposition to their participation in public affairs. In such a political climate, the struggle and unique success of We Zetian must be seen as remarkable. Her gifts were evident at any early age. She was 14 years old when here reputation for beauty reached the Emperor Tai Zong, and she was summoned to live in his palace. Although she began life in the palace as a low ranking concubine, Wu Zetian managed to attract the attention of Emperor Tai Zong, who was 26 years older than her. In admirations of her beauty and cleverness, he gave her the name Wu Mei, meaning charming female. In 646, Tang Zong was in his early 50's when he fell seriously ill. His ninth son and formally appointed heir was Li Zhi who kept close to his father's bedside. It was then that the young prince grew deeply attracted to Wu Zetian.

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In June, Li Zhi succeeded his father to the throne, the third emperor of the Tan Dynast, known historically as Tang Goa Zong. Most of his father's concubines left the palace. Wu Zetian shaved her head and entered a Buddhist temple as a nun. Goa Zong found a woman names Wang to be his empress. Several months later when he visited the temple where Wu Zetian was, their romance resumed. Wu Zetian was now 28 years old. In 651 she entered the palace for the second time. She cleverly cultivated her relationships with the empress as well as other concubines, and shared gifts and favors granted to her by the emperor with others in his service. In return, the servants became her spies, keeping her informed about the empress and other concubines. The empress in the meant time was still childless, and Wu Zetian's influence over the Emperor grew enormously. In China, it was a serious political move to consider replacing an empress. In 654, Wu Zetian gave birth to a daughter, whom the Emperor was said to love very much. One day after the empress has been playing with the baby, Wu Zetian secretly strangled her daughter in the cradle. Once the death was discovered, servants informed the emperor that the empress had been playing with the child, and the death of it became Goa Zong's excuse for making Wu Zetian empress.

In her new role as empress, Wu Zetian soon demonstrated remarkable ability as well as being very ruthless. She initiated transfers of statesmen who opposed her, including the emperors own uncle. She tormented the former empress and is believed to have been responsible for her death. As Goa Zong showed increasing signs of weakness, Wu Zetian found ways of extending her power throughout the whole empire. Now know as Empress Wu, she took charge of affairs of state both large and small, and she became involved into the formulation of all new policies. In 674, for the first time ever in Chinese History, Empress Wu instituted the titles of Heavenly Empress and Heavenly Emperor for herself and her husband. That same year, she further demonstrated her political power with her proposal of a 12-point program of reform. The provisions encouraged agricultural production, reduced taxes and labor services, and decreased military operation, provide wide opportunities for criticisms and reform of the government, provided long-serving officials, and increased officials salaries, thereby winning support from everyone.

The following year, the eldest son of Gao Zong and Empress Wu, the heir, Li Hong, died suddenly. Since he had been in total disagreement with the empress, it was believed that his mother, Empress Wu had him murdered. In 680, Wu Zetian's second son, the new heir, Li Xian, was charged with preparing a coup and was banished to a remote area. In late 683, Emperor Goa Zong died, making way for Li Xean, the third son of Goa Zong and Wu Zetian. He was 23 years old and his royal name was Tang Zhong Zong. Unfortunately, the new emperor was weak and even more incompetent than his father, so the Empress stayed in power. After that, Li Xean promoted his father-in-law to Emperor but was dethroned by Wu Zetian soon after. His younger brother Li Dan, known as Rui Zong, replaced him. This reckless intervention in so many state affairs eventually evoked strong opposition and an armed rebellion against her started in 686. The rebellion collapsed about three months later. Wu Zetian wanted to rule as Emperor in her own name so she drew together her supporters in a campaign devoted to winning widespread popularity. She helped the poor and ferreted out corrupt officials and fraudulent merchants for punishment.

In autumn of 690, after she had received three successive petitions requesting her to ascend the imperial throne, the Tang Dynasty was declared replaced by the Zhao Dynasty. Wu Zetian named herself Wu Zhao, the first and only female emperor in Chinese history. She continued her rule for 15 more years. Attentive to those who excelled in examinations, she prompted many talented men to key post and gave strong backing to the honest and upright officials in her government. Population grew form3.8 million households to 6.15 million, and her troops won signal victories in the war against Turk, Tu-bu, and Khitan. Finally, weakened by age, Wu Zhao could no longer control crimes committed by trusted followers. In February of 705, her chief chancellor, Zhang Jian-zhi led a palace coup to reinstate the deposed Zhong Zong (Li Xean). Hundreds of solders invaded the palace where Wu Zhao had been confined to her bed for weeks. The Empress got up to listen to the request to return the throne back to her son. She agreed and returned to bed. She died in November the same year. She had controlled China for half a century and was the first and only female emperor.

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Valley Forge Essay

Valley Forge Essay

Valley Forge
Dear Marie,
How are the struggles back home? Is the farm doing well? What about the meat? Is it selling, and are the crops healthy? I know I have not been able to write, and I am very sorry. It has been an extremely long march from White Marsh to Valley Forge. The conditions here are very rough. General George Washington decided to station in Valley Forge so we would be near Philadelphia where the Continental Congress meets in order to protect them. It is a small valley that is supposed to protect us from the weather, but as we arrived, a light snow fell. It is very cold, and I never imagined the climate being this severe. There are twelve thousand men and women in the Continental Army here at Valley Forge, and there is a shortage of shelter and food. It is supposedly the Continental Congress's responsibility to supply the items we soldiers need, but there are many explanations as to why this does not happen. It is said that the Continental Congress is unorganized and has battles to fight of their own. This situation is making it hard for soldiers to survive, and many are becoming weak and ill. It has taken our son John and me a long time to get here, and we have been fighting strong to maintain our lives. It would be very helpful if you could pack me a sufficient amount of warm clothing because the ones I have, have little warmth. Despite the weakness of our army, General George Washington is able to get Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gehard Augustin, known as the Baron Von Steuben, shortly come to and train us soldiers for different strategies in the field of battle and how to use different weapons. The reorganization that will be performed by George Washington and Von Steuben at a later date will help our army to become a more professional and disciplined group of leaders.

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But Marie, I am afraid there is one thing that I dread to tell you. Our son John was severely injured in the last battle before our arrival at Valley Forge. I did not know that the weather and diseases would have such a powerful impact on him. The wound was large, I have to admit, but I was hoping for the best of situations. Instead we came to the worst. John passed away only days after we arrived. You do not know how hard this is for me. As our only son, he was our whole world, and now the British have taken him. I was standing there in the battlefield with John, both of us fighting off the British. We were doing so well, when all of a sudden, I heard a gunshot right next to me. I looked down, and John was lying there at my feet, helpless in pain. I picked him up and held him in my arms. There was blood everywhere, it was all over him and me. He had a gaping wound in his right thigh, and he was losing blood quickly. He deeply looked into me eyes as if he were going to say something but all that came out was a soft sigh. I told him to be strong and everything would be okay.

It was not but a few days after we arrived at Valley Forge that the disease and infection got to him, and he passed away. I am so sorry that our lives have resulted in this horrible tragedy, and I pray everyday that things will get better for the both of us. I now need you to be strong until we are able to be together again. We must keep God close to our hearts. and He will help us through this. The whole heartbreak just tears me up inside. The situation was almost more than I could bear. I can hardly think of what life will be like now without him. I know you will take this information hard. I am very sorry that I am not there with you right now, but my courage and bravery are shown on the battlefield so I must stay here and fight for the freedom of our country. There are often days I feel so full of despair and just want to give up, but I think of you and John, and I tell myself that I can make it.


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Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Lord of the Rings Analysis Essay

Essay: The Lord of the Rings

Frodo, just a three-foot tall hobbit, embarks on a perilous mission to destroy the legendary One Ring.

Sauron the Dark Lord of Modor and the ring's evil creator has sent many of his servants, the Ringwraiths and orcs after Frodo. On his quest he has many trials, testing his courage, strength, and heart, but he is not alone. A fellowship formed of Gandalf the wizard, four hobbits Merry, Samwise, Pippin, and Frodo, two humans Aragorn and Boromir, Gimli the dwarf, and Legolas the elf. Together they will protect and help Frodo reach his destiny to destroy the ring forever and eliminate the source of all evil.

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Even though the Fellowship of the Ring is only a book, it depicts the ongoing battles of good vs. evil throughout history. Unlike the Fellowship of the Ring, many battles humans are faced with are, in fact, faced alone. Sometimes people reject the help of others and still overcome their obstacles. I know, because I did.

After just barely getting by in my 9th and 10th grade years at Mercyhurst High School I was, "asked to leave" to put it in a nice way. I was flunking more than half of my classes. Even after all the grounding periods and bribes for me to get passing grades, I never succeeded. The school, my parents, and counselors went to every extreme to help me but I always brushed them aside and promised a passing report card. Still I never passed all my classes and at the end of my sophomore year I was given the boot and sent back to Iroquois High School.

Starting off my junior year, I thought it would be a breeze. I expected Mercyhurst to be more advanced than Iroquois, so my problems were in the past, I had thought anyways. My classes were harder than I had imagined. Because of my past laziness, I was behind in all my classes. I struggled but for once I managed to just barely pass all my classes. My now humiliated parents were pleased to see I had passed for once but still dissatisfied that I was still not working to my potential.

Second semester had come and I was ready to work. I was ready to fight my battle, to fight the evil, to accomplish good. My four and a half month long battle was like someone ripping out each tooth individually from my mouth. After studying, taking tests, doing homework, and doing it to my potential, I had finally not only passed all my classes but also passed them with an impressive straight A report card.

Some people like Frodo's character may need the help of others to reach their goals, but sometimes you can learn more by accomplishing goals on your own. I regret not working hard in the beginning, but I have learned a lot from what has happened. In retrospect I have learned that you don't have all the time in the world to make mistakes because it will take too long to make up for the lost time. My senior year will be an even bigger struggle for me but if I keep focusing and working hard I'll accomplish what I set out to do furthermore pushing good over evil.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Witness Essay

Witness Essay

Peter Weir's "Witness" is a perfect example to show the many opposites and clashes in cultures. The main clashes viewed in "Witness" include the Amish and Urban views and ways of life. The Amish live very simple lives free of violence and technology which in "Witness" is the very opposite to the urban world.

The first clash we see is early in the movie where an Amish group travels to the city in a horse and carriage. The viewer sees the horse and cart holding up a seemingly enormous truck. The horse and cart is tiny compared to the built up industrial town which surrounds it and seems very out of place in the very busy and fast paced streets of the urban world. A number of techniques are used by Weir to exaggerate this clash including the use of long full shots which show the large city in the background in comparison to the cart.

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The barn raising scene clearly out lines what the Amish people are about and their strong sense of community. The community comes from all directions to help build the barn, this is the very opposite to the urban world where everyone seems to be individual and do things for themselves. This closely knit community relies upon its strong sense of community to survive as the in the urban world everyone only looks out for only themselves. The sense of community in this scene is complemented by very uplifting and high spirited music. This music sets the mood to this scene and leads the viewer to believe that is how the mood would be when the Amish are raising the barn.

Later on in the film a confrontation occurs in the urban "world" where a cocky youth proceeds to make a mockery of Daniel and the Amish people. As the Amish are pacifists there ignore the taunts and do not react in any way. John Book sees this behavior and decides to take action against the will of Eli and the other Amish people. His urban nature is shown here as he proceeds to fight the youths and give the Amish people a bad name. This one split second decision gives the corrupt police what they need to find Book. The Amish way of pacifism seems to be the best option as violence and crime would greatly decrease if everyone acted in this mature manner. This is a significant difference between these to very different cultures.

"Witness" brings up the "World within a World" concept. The Amish world within the surrounding urban world is one example of this. Another clash of "worlds" is the corrupt police network which is running within the legitimate police force. John Book represents the legitimate and majority of the people force as he is an honest person with intentions to help people and has strong moral values. The corrupt world consists of characters such as Schaeffer, McPhee and Fergie who are all driven by money and greed. When Book discovers this corrupt group he's does all in his power to expose them and a number of times almost pays with greatest price of all, his life.

In all "Witness" is a perfect text to compare opposites in culture, lifestyles and worlds.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sophie's Choice Essay

Sophie's Choice Essay

Sophie's Choice is about a woman who had survived a Nazi concentration camp. The story revolves around Sophie, her lover, Nathan, and Stingo. Stingo is a young writer from the south who has moved to New York to kick-start his career, and Sophie and Nathan happen to live upstairs. The three of them become very close and good friends. Throughout the movie each of them struggle with their own problems.

Sophie struggles as a Polish-Catholic immigrant in the United States who had survived a Nazi concentration camp. She lives with the fears and memories that she has of her life at the camp. Her biggest choice that she made was deciding with child she would have to give up. At first she argued that she wasn't going to give either one of them up, but the officer told her if she didn't choice then he would take both of them away. She chooses her daughter, but in the end she ends up losing them both.

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Nathan seems to be a very troubled and lost person. He is a cocaine addict and he is also schizophrenic. He tells Sophie and Stingo that he is a Biologist, but Stingo later finds out from Nathan's brother that he doesn't have a degree of any kind. Nathan gets real angry with Sophie many times in the movie and threatens to leave, but the next day he always comes back and shows much affection toward Sophie and Stingo. Nathan also tends to get jealous when he sees Sophie with Stingo because he is afraid that Sophie will fall in love with Stingo.

Stingo's main problem is the fact that Sophie and Nathan are together. Stingo is always very caring toward Sophie and is always there when she is in need. Toward the end of the movie Sophie and Stingo leave together to get away from Nathan who seems to gone a bit psycho. During this time Stingo tells Sophie how much he loves her and that he wants to marry her. Sophie tells him that she can't marry him because she doesn't deserve to be the mother of his children. He was also younger and had his whole life ahead of him and she didn't want to ruin it for him. The next day Sophie leaves Stingo to go back to Nathan. Stingo soon learns that Sophie and Nathan ended up committing suicide.

I think that Sophie struggled the most out of all three of them. Her past mad a real impact on her life. Her life was changed forever. Losing her children was devastating for her and the guilt stayed with her.

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8 Mile Essay

8 Mile Essay

This movie is about a young, white man named Jimmy Smith, Jr. who longs to be a rapper. His nickname is Bunny Rabbit. Not only is he from a poor, low class family, but he lives in a predominately black neighborhood in Detroit. He lives in a trailer with is mom and little sister. Everyday is a struggle for him to keep his hope alive.

The film is framed by two rap battles. In the first, Bunny Rabbit is still trying to win respect from the audience and gain confidence in himself. But when he gets up in front of a chanting, all black audience and hears the insults of this opponent's rap, he falls silent and cannot speak.

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The climax of 8 mile is the second rap battle, a week later, with Bunny Rabbit now rapping in the championship battle against his enemy Papa Doc. In his 1 - minute rap, Bunny Rabbit takes all the criticisms that he knows are going to be leveled at him, and levels them at himself, and says that despite them all he's still there and still fighting. Then he goes on to down Papa Doc, who Jimmy happens to know as Clarence, a privileged, middle class black kid who went to private school. This causes the tables to turn because his opponent freezes up the same as he had done the first time.

Main Ideas and Theoretical Constructs
Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that seeks to cure mental disorders by getting patients to talk freely and bring repressed feelings into the conscious mind instead of remaining hidden within the unconscious. This practice is based on Freud's theories of how the mind, instincts, and sexuality work.

Freud's work was based on the belief that the unconscious is the part of the mind beyond consciousness and that it influences how people act. His goal was to strengthen the ego or 'I' self - the conscious mind - by bringing repressed thoughts or feelings into consciousness through psychoanalysis. By bringing such repressed memories or emotions into the conscious mind the ego/conscious and the id/unconscious would be closer to some sort of reconciliation. Freud, in short, wanted to make people more conscious of certain things that were previously repressed.

Freud also studied sexual development, and posited that sexuality actually begins in infancy and travels through several stages of the libido or energy drive associated with sexual desire. These stages are the oral, anal, phallic, and genital.

Freud claimed that all human beings are born with certain instincts, i.e. with a natural tendency to satisfy their biologically determined needs for food, shelter and warmth. The satisfaction of these needs is both practical and a source of pleasure which Freud refers to as "sexual".

He said that it was made up of what he termed archetypes which are primordial images inherited from our ancestors. As support for such a theory, he spoke of the immediate attachment infants have for their mother, the inevitable fear of the dark seen in young children, and how images such as the sun, moon, wise old man, angels, and evil all seem to be predominate themes throughout history.

In his view, infants are drawn to their mother because of the unconscious image of mother that is alive in all of us and that we fear the dark because of the unconscious image of darkness. Although he described many archetypes in his writings, there are a few that have received a lot of attention and thought. These include the animus/anima, the shadow, and the self.

Erik Erikson believed that the ego Freud described was far more than just a mediator between the superego and the id. He saw the ego as a positive driving force in human development and personality. As such, he believed the ego's main job was to establish and maintain a sense of identity.

Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development has eight distinct stages, each with two possible outcomes. According to the theory, successful completion of each stage results in a healthy personality and successful interactions with others. Failure to successfully complete a stage can result in a reduced ability to complete further stages and therefore a more unhealthy personality and sense of self.

Allport is considered a trait theorist as he believed that every person has a small number of specific traits that predominate in his or her personality. He called these a person's central traits. While these central traits share in the make-up of personality, he also argued that occasionally one of them becomes an apparent dominant force. He called this a person's cardinal trait.

Both the central traits and the occasional cardinal trait are environmentally influenced. As a child develops, specific behaviors and interactions become a part of the individual's personality. As the person grows, these traits become so much a part of the person that they no longer require whatever it was that caused it to develop.

Analysis
In explaining the behaviors that Jimmy Smith, Jr. has from the psychoanalytic theory, I found that he has a very strong libido. Throughout the movie he is obsessed with having one particular girl. He doesn't stop until he gets her. I think his strong sexual drive for women came from him not getting enough positive attention from his mom. Since he has lots of obstacles to face and getting through each day is very hard, Jimmy gets rid of his tensions from life in three ways: by reducing his tension immediately through sex, fighting, and music. I feel this is an example of pleasure principle.

Jimmy strives to become a rapper and his mother tells him that it is never going to happen because he isn't good enough or able to get out of the town that they live in. It makes Jimmy really mad when anyone tries to crush his dreams, so he uses projective identification on her. Since all she does is remind him of where he comes from and his social status, he goes off on her and tells her how bad she is and that she doesn't even have a job. He also tells her that she doesn't know how to take care of his little sister because she is always drunk.

One side of Jimmy that no one on the outside sees is his affection and love for his sister. He sings her songs, kisses and hugs her, and keeps her away from harms way. This shows that even though he puts on the archetype of a persona to everyone else by acting tough and fearless, he has a kinder side which really only comes out with his sister. Therefore this is his anima. He is a classic case of androgyny because not only can he have the tough man image, but he can also be gentle and sweet in certain situations.

He is in a form of denial with his life because he doesn't really acknowledge his upbringing or that he lives in a trailer with this mom. If anyone besides his friends comes by his home, he tells them he doesn't live there. He says that he is visiting his sister. He doesn't want to accept his life. This is why he strives to be a rapper and make the life for himself that he wishes he had. To escape his life and the things around him, Jimmy sings and writes lyrics to songs that he makes up to filter out the world by sublimation.

I feel that Jimmy is in the middle of his moratorium because he is definitely in crisis, but he hasn't made any kind of commitment to his future. He is exploring his options to try and get to the top. Jimmy's friend promises to get him some studio time at the local recording agency. When he gets there, his friend is having sex with Jimmy's girlfriend. He beats him up and goes back home. When he gets there his mom asks him about his session. He tells her that he didn't want any help anyway, and that it would be more worthwhile if he gets to be a rapper on his own. He is using rationalization to make him feel better about his situation.

Another thing he is faced with in the movie is objective anxiety because at one point there are five gang members in front of him to beat him up for an earlier fight he had with one of the guys. He looks a little scared, but he hides it well even though he knows he is getting ready to be beaten.

In explaining the behaviors that he has from the dispositional theory, I found that Jimmy has many characteristics that everyone sees in him. He is very aggressive, opinionated, talented, offensive, dependable, and determined. These are some of his central dispositions. He also has a secondary disposition that no one really sees except his sister, which is love and caring. He only shows affection to his little sister, and no one but her and their mother sees that.

Due to his attitudes, Jimmy has some forms of psychoticism. I think this because of some of his characteristics. He is very aggressive, disregards danger, socially rude, and he avoids close personal interaction by that he prefers to have "impersonal" sex. I feel that he is an extravert because he is very outgoing and likes to be around people. During the whole movie he is always with someone and goes to large gatherings where the rap battles are held. He externalizes problems by being aggressive through fighting and by being impulsive. It helps that he has a mesomorpic body type due to his muscular strength. I feel that Jimmy relates to the somatotonia temperament type because he loves to take risks. In the movie, he and his friends are driving down the road shooting a paint ball gun at people, building, and cars. Jimmy shoots right at a police car with the cop inside. He is also very competitive, especially when it comes to rapping.

Although, it seems like Jimmy is mostly bad, he does care about his friends in his own way. He uses reciprocal altruism with them so that when he needs help from them in some way, they won't hesitate. He takes his friends places in his car, and he takes care of one of his friends after he accidentally shoots himself expecting that they would do the same when necessary.

Another aspect of Jimmy is that he has young male syndrome. When he sees his friend having sex with this girl, he beats the crap out of him, which is a good example of the syndrome because he is competing for the girl. I think his aggressiveness can be summed up with two terms, direct and physical. His direct aggressiveness is shown through his aim toward the target of the opposing gang members that beat him up earlier. He is determined to beat them at rapping if he can't beat them all at fighting. He shows physical aggressiveness by fighting people.

I feel that all of these aspects of Jimmy came from his upbringing in a broken home without his father, and without the love of his mother. He was made to do everything on his own, without the help of his family. If there is no one to help bring out the good qualities in you, then more than likely you will bring out the bad ones. If no one ever takes care of or takes up for you, then you are forced to do it on your own. I feel this is why Jimmy is so aggressive and cold. One thing about him is that he is determined to make his life better and reach his goals. I think that even though he had a bad upbringing and no support, it actually helped him in some aspects with striving to reach his goal of becoming a rapper. The movie was based on the life of the rapper Eminem. As you can see, even though he had a pretty tough life, he managed to achieve his goal. He is now a nationally known white rapper.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

12 Angry Men Movie Essay

Review Essay: "12 Angry Men"

While watching "12 Angry Men" many political aspects caught my attention. This movie was not only interesting, but also realistic in the way a trial is run.

First, the numbers of jurors, the seclusion of the jurors was accurate. In a trial such as this one, a jury of twelve members is required. Twelve jurors are used rather than six to eight, so the decision making process is harder to achieve. As the movie shows, it is more difficult for twelve men to agree than six. Also, seclusion or "sequestering" the jurors is also necessary. Furthermore, to become a juror, he (not she at the time) must be at least eighteen years of age, and mentally and physically capable of performing the duties of a juror. He must also have no felony convictions, and able to understand and communicate in English. All of these criteria were fulfilled.

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In addition, a foreman is designated; this was juror #1. In criminal cases, the first juror drawn and accepted by both sides is usually appointed foreman. The foreman's duty is to make sure everything runs smoothly and sensible. In "Twelve Angry Men", this was portrayed accurately. Juror #1 called the preliminary vote along with the rest of the voting sessions, he tried his best so everyone got a fair chance to speak and he was the one who asked to see the evidence again.

Secondly, the evidence and testimonies became highly covered issues. Jurors are supposed to review the evidence and discuss their opinions. In this particular case, the jurors reviewed the evidence and testimonies several times. At one point, the men even asked to see the evidence one last time to help them reach their decision. Reviewing the evidence is very important, such as the jurors many discussions of the credibility of the testimony of the old man and old woman. This helps each juror come to the conclusion of the defendant being innocent or guilty. When coming to this conclusion, the juror's verdict must be based upon a "preponderance of the credible evidence." Also, they must be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt". This phrase was used several times during the deliberations. During one of the first scene's the Judge states, "If there's a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused, a reasonable doubt, then you must bring me a verdict of not guilty. If however, there is no reasonable doubt, then you must in good conscience find the accused guilty. However you decide, your verdict must be unanimous." This is not only used in this criminal trial, but all criminal trials. If there is any reasonable doubt in a juror's mind of the defendant being innocent, his verdict must be not guilty. Juror # 8, Davis reminded the jurors of this numerous times throughout the movie.

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The Long Walk Home Essay

The Long Walk Home Essay

The time in which Odessa lives is unfamiliar to most that was not alive or that did not live in the south. The daily struggle of African Americans of the time is also unfamiliar to whites. There exists a level of prejudice that we could not even imagine today. Odessa, like other black folk sees the injustices that exists and realizes that change is inevitable but not possible without organization and solidarity.

The simple idea that blacks are not equal, in any way, to the whites is obviously ludicrous. How can a human being think, that because of the color of one's skin, they are not the same. People of this time even go as far to suggest that blacks are not part of the human race and that they are more closely related to animals. Imagine that? This is an example of how far unchecked thinking could take a person, but in this time many whites feel this way, and the rest have no choice but to abide. If they do not they would be shunned and labeled a "white nigger" which is just about the same as being black.

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I grew up in two countries, and I am married to a person from yet another country. During my time in the United States, I always lived in the L.A. or San Diego area, which is needless to say, is multi-cultural. I traveled through out the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Japan, and China. I take great interest in areas of countries that are not culturally the same as the rest. For example, Hong Kong with its slightly British twist, or New Orleans with its Cajun culture, or even Tijuana and the amount of poverty and crime, and Okinawa where everyone speaks both Japanese and English. Because of my past, I have become pretty good at seeing the differences and similarities of cultures, and I can see why people would easily stereotype other races and act upon that prejudice.

People have a need to categorize everything, and races are no exception. I don't think that it is wrong to categorize or to recognize similarities in certain races, because similarities do exist. I think many factors could create a personality of a certain race. Look at New York for instance, a place where everyone is living on top of each other, a highly populated place. What is the first thing that most would say about a New Yorker? Does the term "New York Minuet" mean anything? What about China? Did you know that citizens of China are allowed to have only a single child? What do you think that would do to the personality of the nation as a whole? I feel blacks, having been discriminated against for so long, have developed a better sense of humor than most, and Japanese, because of the high level of competition in there country, are more detail oriented than other races. I think that Mexicans are very family oriented and would go out of the way to help a "paizon" (fellow countrymen) even if he didn't know him.

It's how you look at it and what you do with this information. If we remember that not every person of a race is exactly alike, then I think we're okay. If you take this to another level and start seeing negative similarities, then we're in trouble. But, how can we not see negative similarities though? It is difficult, especially when things would seem a certain way when actually it's not. Like for example, it is a fact that there are more blacks in prison than whites, but we have to ask ourselves why. It would seem pretty simple to me, because of the prejudices that people harbor, blacks are subjected to unfair trials, and because many blacks are below the poverty line, they can't afford to fight back. Many blacks are kept below the poverty line because of the same reason; a white person with prejudices hiring someone would simply trust the white guy. There are other negative similarities like Chinese are cheap, but coming from a poverty stricken third world country, you would also learn to make every penny count. A lot of Chinese immigrants do very well in our society and become successful.

Negative prejudices about blacks are the reason they were kept in suppression for so long. Odessa as well as all others know this to be true. This is why it is so important to them to participate in the movement and that it be a peaceful one. Trying to advocate change in any other way, than peaceful protest, would be disastrous. You cannot change the thinking of just about everyone, who's not black, by forcing an idea down there throats. Changing peoples mind is like educating them, it takes time to bring a person's mind to a level that they can understand and the bus boycott is the first step.

The boycott's organization is such that all blacks had to understand the long term commitment and what that effort would yield. They also know that this is not the only battle that will be fought, and they know that without solidarity it would be lost. The movie suggests, though, that once the boycott did start, no black person really had a choice. With no blacks riding the busses, if one were to ride, they would become the center of attention, the kind of attention they could do without. This is what happens to Selma when she decides to take the bus to meet her friend and gets harassed by some white teenagers.

Odessa's will to change the future for her children is the motivation for her to stay committed to the movement, and she will literally walk until her feet fall off to achieve this and it was achieved. In December of 1956, the boycott ended and the busses were desegregated. The first step was achieved. It would still be a long time before true equality is achieved. Some would argue that even today, it doesn't exist, that it is just less obvious. It is, however well underway. The direction this movement takes is really up to each generation and what they teach the next. I have seen so many public service announcements that show us how easy it is to be prejudice and I think we need to keep this idea in the limelight.

I feel that we cannot become comfortable about the level of prejudice that exists today. The movement is still alive and needs to keep going until we all become one race. What I mean is that it is never over. As long as there are races on this earth, we will always have prejudice. It can never be abolished.

It has changed though, today we do not have segregation in fact the opposite is true. Affirmative action tries to ensure that blacks and other minorities have the same chance that whites do. Black history month tries to teach not only blacks, that there were those that did great things. In the past black dolls were made with white features only, which could make a black child think she was ugly. Today, if you notice, black dolls have black features. In certain industries it's even cool to be black. More and more blacks are being elected into office and there are more black professionals than ever before. Black owned businesses are also on the rise. It's only a matter of time before the first black president is elected, that would be a great accomplishment! None of this would have been possible without the efforts of people like Rosa Parks.

I think that Whoopi's character knew that things would change eventually and that she had to participate in that change to make things better for her children. It has changed, and as long as we keep things moving, it will keep getting better.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry Essay

"Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry" Essay

I started reading Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, I thought, "Oh great! Another book." After a while my interest was aroused and I wanted to finish the book to see what happened. Compared to other books I have read for school, this book is one of my favorites and one that I enjoyed reading. It usual takes me one to two weeks to read a book, but I read Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry in only four days.

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The characters were very interesting, especially T.J., a troublesome young boy whom I found myself laughing at from time to time. The setting also helped the story seem real. In the early 1930's, the time the book's story took place, there was a lot of racial tension and this book depicts how such feeling can hurt someone and how awful it was for people to be treated so badly. The theme hits some people like a slap in the face, and, for others, it brings back childhood memories both good and bad.

I would recommend this book to any one. This book is a must read for those who like to read about history and those who like to read about how black people were forced to live in the early 1930's.

Anyone who reads this book acquires a new "appreciation" for the black people's heritage and also feels shame for how people used to think. Also the reader can see how much people have changed by accepting people no matter race, religion, sex, or culture. Anyone who is racist learns, from reading this book, just how much they can hurt someone and why they should not shun anyone because of skin color because deep down everyone is the same.

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry was written by Mildred D. Taylor in 1977 and won The Newbury Award.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Process Analysis Essay

Process Analysis Essay

Don't you love the feeling of accomplishment? I think everybody loves to feel like they have completed something that not everybody can complete. In cheer-leading, my coach goes through with that feeling every Friday when we perform at the football games. Our routines run pretty smooth, and we make it look so easy, but there is much more to putting a cheer routine together. Miranda, our cheer coach, must go through many hours of planning to help us start putting a routine together.

There are 3 major steps to putting a routine together and they are:
1. Putting groups together
2. Finding the order of stunts, tumbling, and dancing and
3. Polishing up the routine. With all these steps completed, we have mastered a confident performance.

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When we first start off, we have to learn who works the best together on certain stunts. Sometimes others timings can be off, or one can be much taller than the other causing the stunt to wobble if even able to get up. A basic stunt consists of four people. There are two bases that lift the girl up, one flier that gets tossed up, along with one back spot that supports the stunt from behind. while the stunts up she catches the girls upper body when cradled or when caught after coming down. When we are first learning a routine we find who works the best with each other. We start putting those stunt groups in a certain formation and add counts to make everyone go at the same time. We then learn several different stunts with many different groups to eventually feel comfortable putting them all together and doing them in sequence with one another.

Not only is stunting in the routine though, dancing is also a major part of the show and tumbling has progressively grown to be a big part of cheer. So in order for us to fit all of these procedures into a two-minute routine, it takes careful planning and guidance. You must first figure out what order you want to go in with the stunting, tumbling, and dancing. You have to decide how you will want the beginning and the ending to look. Once you have that figured that out, you have to put the groups into a formation. In this you have to put the most experienced or skilled groups in the front, try to cover up flaws, and make sure everyone can get to their spot in the specific time that you have given them. Next you have to create the music. In the music you will want to add certain sound effects to specific parts of the performance. For example, if you were twisting out of a stunt, you might want a scribbling sound to emphasize the twist. With the music done, everyone will know where and when they go in the routine, so now all that is needed is the polishing.

Polishing is the most tiring part for the cheerleaders. When we polish a routine, Miranda usually starts us off with the first stunt and starts critiquing everything. We break everything down and try to fix anything if it doesn't look clean and sharp. Once we are finished going through every stunt's flaws thoroughly, we will start to run through the routine all the way through. At first we mark everything, or don't actually do the stunts or tumbling full out because we don't remember where we are going after each stunt. This helps us to learn muscle memory so we can just perform and almost not even have to think, just do. We only do this a few times before doing everything altogether.

With everything ready to go, we usually stretch and warm up about thirty minutes before we actually perform our routine, and we take aside every stunt group individually. We warm the stunts up, and make sure they are completely stable with wobbles or drops. At this point we don't have to work as much on getting the routine ready, now we get ourselves ready and pump ourselves up for the rush of performing in front of the many people in the stands watching. With the three steps of putting the groups together, figuring out the order, and polishing we have a wonderful feeling of self-assurance, and we can perform the routine boldly, confidently, and without flaws.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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