Sunday, December 14, 2014

Andrew Jackson's Reputation Debunked

In class we have been learning about the presidency of Andrew Jackson. The question we were trying to answer was if he was really the "people's president" or not. To find the answer to this question, we slip into six groups with two groups each focusing on one of the three major events during Andrew Jackson's term. They were the Indian removal, the bank wars, and the spoils system. My group had the bank wars. Each group was provided with a couple documents to base presentations off of in which we explained our event and how it answered the main question. My group made a presentation on an app called Chatterpix which can make pictures look like they are talking while you record your voice. We had Andrew Jackson arguing how he was in favor of the people with Daniel Webster who thought the opposite. Jackson was vetoing the Second National Bank because it was highly in favor of the richer class and many of the stocks were owned by foreign powers. He thought it had too much power over the economy. Daniel Webster argued that he was just trying to turn the classes of people against each other and he didn't have the right to shut down the bank. Andrew Jackson was thinking of the common people, who made up the majority of the population, but making rich people seem like more of an enemy. Another time he really just favored the common people was the spoils system. This was a system in which the presidential candidate would offer jobs in government to those who voted for him. Jackson said he was trying to get more people to participate in government, but it was really taking advantage of their need for jobs and representation in government to help him win. He was only thinking of the common people for his votes. The Indian removal showed Jackson going against his reputation of the people's president. No other president had actually forced the Native Americans out of their rightful land until Jackson. He tried to justify it by saying he didn't want the tribe to die out like the other ones in that area and it was their choice to move to the west. In reality, the tribe had been living in peace with surrounding settlers for a while and could live on where they were. Moving out west would mean unfamiliar surroundings and possibly languages for them to have to adjust to. Andrew Jackson tried just to think of the lower class of people but never fully reached out to all the American people. The common people were still let down and taken advantage of, and he completely failed to recognize the Native Americans as people while he forced them out of their rightful land.

Here are links to the videos my group made (it was too big to be one video):
Video 1:
Video 2:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Voting Rights Everyone Deserves

In class recently we have been studying the rise of democracy in the United States. We sought to define what exactly democracy is and how well the U.S. in the 1800s stuck to its ideals. Our group first defined democracy to be a system of government in which all the population participates. To find the answer to the second question we analyzed sources about the early 19th century United States. There was a painting showing the voting process and its flaws, charts showing different data, quotes from Benjamin Franklin and Norton Townshend, and a document about the Dorr War. Using the information from these sources, we created an online poster on the website Glogster. We came to the conclusion that the U.S. was not very democratic at the start, but as time went on they got more used to the new kind of system and allowed more people the right to vote.

Monday, December 1, 2014

What We Thought We Left in the Past

The question we have recently thought about in class was why it is essential to regard human value regardless of someone's race and how the Latin American revolutions prove this idea's importance. An issue like race is always relevant in today's society. There will always be people of different race and it's just a natural occurrence we have to deal with. People should not be judged by the color of their skin, yet that seems to be happening a lot even in modern day society. A person's value does not come from their race, it comes from who they are inside. In class, we got into three groups to each learn about a different Latin American Revolution. There was one in Brazil, Gran Columbia, and Mexico and my group was assigned to Gran Columbia. We were given a reading and told to make a timeline for everything that happened in the revolution. Then, each group split up and formed new ones, each with two members from all three previous groups. We shared our timelines with the other people and taught each other about our revolutions and discussed how they were similar and different. The idea of the essential question about the impact of race was a big part of every revolution.
My group's timeline of the revolution of Gran Columbia 
In the second groups we came up with two similarities and two differences between all three Latin American revolutions. They were all against the more powerful European countries that colonized and controlled them. It was always people of the lower class, usually natives of the land, fighting against the higher class. The Brazilian revolution wasn't as violent as the other two and it was against Portugal while the other two were against Spain. The white people of the European countries believed they were more powerful than the natives of the countries because of the differences in colors of their skin. People were organized into many different social classes solely based off of their race. These social classes would determine power and rights which is totally unfair. People were ranked because of what they were born with.
Racism still exists today and sadly probably will for a while. There are people out there who believe they are better than other people because of their appearance. More and more issues have been taking over social media and a very prominent one is of course the whole Ferguson debate. Although this is not the only issue like this that has happened, there have been many other unjustified shootings to happen that were just as bad. There can be many sides to this issue, but no matter what there is definitely racism involved. Our country is basically going back in time to when race was a much bigger issue. It is very important to consider this issue, people will always be judging others from their skin color and it is not right at all. We need to understand that a person is more than what they appear to be.