Author Archive

Sam’s primary source adventures

Each team member must research and read three primary sources written by your history banquet character and answer the following questions for EACH source. Each team member is to separately post their findings on the blog:

 

Primary Source One: (http://bit.ly/1r5qptN)

What date was each of the sources written?

2001.

What is the context of the writing? (is it a journal entry, a book, article, etc.)

It is a detailed biography.

What is the content of the writing? (what is it about?)

The historical overview of Joshua Chamberlain’s Life.

What is the significance of the writing? (why should anyone care about it?)

The article goes into detailed account of instances, backgrounds, and quotes from Chamberlain’s life.

How might you use it in your presentation?

This source will give both facts about his life, as well as giving a fair idea of the personality of our character.

 

Primary Source Two: (http://bit.ly/1iq1xaZ)

 

What date was each of the sources written?

Unknown.

What is the context of the writing? (is it a journal entry, a book, article, etc.)

It is a detailed biography.

What is the content of the writing? (what is it about?)

It is a detailed biography.

What is the significance of the writing? (why should anyone care about it?)

It differentiates from the above biography in multiple scenarios. 

How might you use it in your presentation?

This source will give both facts about his life, as well as giving a fair idea of the personality of our character.

 

Primary Source Three: (http://bit.ly/1mkOsnP)

 

What date was each of the sources written?

Originally published in Gettysburg Magazine, January 1992.

What is the context of the writing? (is it a journal entry, a book, article, etc.)

A journal entry.

What is the content of the writing? (what is it about?)

A first-hand account of Joshua Chamberlain’s affairs in Gettysburg.

What is the significance of the writing? (why should anyone care about it?)

Oftentimes we cannot possibly know what an individual was thinking, especially if nothing is recorded. However, this article offers us the rare opportunity to do just that.

How might you use it in your presentation?

This source gives us great information on what Chamberlain’s thoughts were and how he implemented them. This will make any presentation we do seem much more “real” to be able to convey things such as “…And then I thought ______…” etc.

 

Primary Source Four: (http://bit.ly/1h1oY7D) [because asian = overachiever. Duh.]

 

 

What date was each of the sources written?

Unknown.

What is the context of the writing? (is it a journal entry, a book, article, etc.)

A Biography.

What is the content of the writing? (what is it about?)

Another overview of Chamberlain’s life.

What is the significance of the writing? (why should anyone care about it?)

I have chosen three biographies because each differs slightly and offers key facts.

How might you use it in your presentation?

This source will give both facts about his life, as well as giving a fair idea of the personality of our character.

 

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March 21, 2014 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

Tennis

Sam Operchuck

Blog post 3-5-14

 

 

Tennis

 

What type of people played this sport?

            Tennis was predominantly played (specifically regarding the late 19th Century onwards) by fairly prestigious individuals. Before it’s debut in America, Tennis, or games very similar were “highly regarded by kings and noblemen” as well as “adopted by the Royal family” in France. In many aspects it was considered a “gentleman’s game” much like the sport of Golf. In the 1930s, a great number of courts were assembled in schoolyards and clubs, enabling the public to have a much greater access to the sport.

 

Was it played professionally? If so, by whom?

            Tennis, once popularized, became competitive very quickly. The first Wimbledon Tournament was held  in London, England in 1877. Since then it has gained recognition as one of the most prestigious events in Tennis. The first Men’s Singles Championship was held in the United States in 1881, which is now termed the US Open.

 

What equipment did they use to play it?

            In very early versions of the game, specifically one created by Major Wingfield called “Jeu de Paume”, one could simply play it with their hands or a bat. However as the game progressed and gained popularity, racquets became the preferred instrument of play.

 

Was it played by schools and colleges?

            Tennis was not widely played in colleges during this time. Although a few may have, very little information is given.

 

How does it differ from the modern day sport?

            Tennis is known for it’s drastic changes not in rule, but in gameplay from it’s birth to modern day. For one, racquets were largely made from wood until the late 1960s, which gave the players multiple disadvantages. Predominantly, wood is fairly heavy, making it more difficult to create a stronger swing. Wood also warps with changes in humidity, changing the tension of the strings. Perhaps most importantly, was the change in gameplay. Modern day tennis has become a sport demanding no less of the athlete than top training and strength. During the late 1800s-early 1900s, Tennis was much less widely competitive. Change in courts also occurred. Originally, Courts were not always rectangles. Some were even similar to “hourglass” shapes. However as they evolved to rectangles, the strategies used evolved quickly as well to much more sophisticated, precise plays.

 

Why is the history of sports important?

            Sports have influenced nations more than a lot of people realize. Sports are one of the few events that can bring nations together in peace in spite of ongoing disputes (aka the Olympics) and yet can also be a huge point of controversy. But more so, sports have dramatic effects on pivotal areas of a country, such as the economy, news, television, food and electric industries. Many companies in all the previous industries would go bankrupt if a handful of sports became unpopular or removed.

 

 

CITATIONS

 

http://www.essentialtennis.com/atpnews/misc-atpnews/the-evolution-of-tennis/3506/

 

http://www.historyoftennis.net/history_of_tennis.html

 

http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/sports/tennis-history.html

 

 

March 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

19th Century School System

Sam Operchuck                                                                                                             12-12-13

 

 

 The Early School System of the 19th Century.

 

A Brief History

 

 

            During the Nineteenth Century, many revolutionary thinkers came out of the wood work and aided in a critical period of American History. During this time, one of the most important principles came to fruition: that of a school system that was available to the common child. Until the early 1800s, schooling, much like the weaving of clothes and the baking of foods, was done in the home (during the life of the domestic system). However as America pulled away from the domestic system in industry and technology, it also did so in education. The majority of the push for public schools came from Horace Mann, who later became the first secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education. Before a structured school system was established, teachers of very small schools or children’s parents were only able to teach what they knew, partially due to the inefficient speed that news and information travelled. However, as public schools started to spring up, so did smaller schools specifically for training teachers (another one of the contributions of Mann).

 

 

Development

 

By the time that schools were a common institution in towns and cities, states began to pass laws making it mandatory to attend school at least through a elementary level. “By 1918 all states had passed laws requiring children to attend at least elementary school.”

 

 

Widespread popularity of a public school system

 

As schools became more refined, the demand for a uniform, standard curriculum became a necessity. Noah Webster, author of the “American Spelling Book”, or “Blue-Backed Speller”, provided for such a demand. Within the book’s first 50 years of being published, over 60 million copies sold to teachers and students across the country. Webster would go on to contribute America’s first dictionary of the English language. Another widely popular textbook is William McGuffey’s “Eclectic Readers” was the “most widely used and distributed series of schoolbooks in America”. For the 19th century student, a school-day began at nine o-clock and only lasted until 1:30, making it a four and a half hour day.

 

Comparisons

 

As history has progressed, even from public schools then and now, there are few things that they have in common. They do, however, share many characteristics. As the school system developed, it brought with it a large amount of controversy. Many demanded education for all citizens, yet many also thought it should be a privilege of the wealthy. As the system developed and attendance laws formed, groups such as Catholics created their own “private” schools, where religion was incorporated into daily education. The Public school system boomed and progressed quickly, but as it did so, the private and homeschooled systems also began to develop. Things like Religion, Segregation, Morality, Occupation goals, Politics and many other things would become issues of debate between the groups, as they are today.

 

Citations:

http://www.servintfree.net/aidmn-ejournal/publications/2001-11/PublicEducationInTheUnitedStates.html

 

http://www.westwoodhistoricalsociety.com/1800s_school_day_program.htm

 

United States History – abeka

 

December 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm 1 comment

Spanish American Turmoil

Sam Operchuck

11-16-13

The Monroe Doctrine.

BEFORE THE MONROE DOCTRINE

           

            Before the time of the Monroe doctrine, a revolutionary uprising had been taking place in the Spanish American colonies from the period of 1810 through 1822. By the time of 1822, the majority of Spanish America had fought their way to independence. At this time in Europe, four powers met at the Congress of Verona to discuss the possibility of intervening and reconquering the colonies for Spain (this was primarily sought for by King Louis XVIII of France). Austria, France, Prussia and Russia were all included in this congress, however England opposed the movement for two primary concerns: for one, England had already built upon a strong trade base with the freed Spanish colonies and stood to lose profit. Secondly, France spoke of sending a strong army to Spanish America, which England feared would also give France opportunity to establish colonies. With all this at stake, England (via foreign secretary George Canning) offered an alliance to ward off Spain and France. John Quincy Adams warned against alliance with England as possibly hindering future westward expansion, and Monroe  heeded his suggestion.

 

THE MONROE DOCTRINE IS PRESENTED

 

Thus at his annual congressional address, President Monroe produced a speech declaring that 1) The United States would avoid interference with existing European colonies, 2) “The United States would not get involved in European affairs”, 3) External nations were prohibited from forming colonies within the Western Hemisphere and 4) if a European country attempted to “control or interfere with a nation in the Western Hemisphere, the United States would view it as a hostile act against this nation”. Many of these arguments were aimed directly at France for her edging towards invasion of Spanish America to develop a monarchy.

 

SIGNIFICANCE

 

Unfortunately and interestingly, the United States did not really hold the power to enforce such a declaration. For a time, the doctrine “went mostly unnoticed”. Europe refrained from entering Latin America mainly from fear of England. Yet the doctrine indeed held more weight than what was realized at the time of its authorship. It would go on to develop and influence American Foreign policy, as well as play key roles in many presidencies in the future.

 

 

CITATIONS

 

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/626367/Congress-of-Verona

 

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/monroe/aa_monroe_doctrine_2.html

 

http://www.history.com/topics/monroe-doctrine

 

http://www.expat-chronicles.com/2011/10/monroe-doctrine-an-overview/

 

 

November 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm Leave a comment

Washington is burned.

Sam Operchuck

11-7-13

 

 

The Burning of Washington

The Burning of the Capital.

            The year of 1814 saw many difficulties for America, specifically the current war with Great Britain. As British moved up the Chesapeake Bay, the heat of the summer was immense, turning nearby marshes “into thriving hatcheries for disease-carrying mosquitoes.” Until the defeat of Napoleon, the Crown didn’t have it’s full attention on fighting the United States. However, when Napoleon was defeated, England turned towards America with full force. British troops landed in the Chesapeake Bay and a force of approximately 4,000 marched on Washington towards the Nation’s capital. The majority of the inhabitants fled, yet a messenger was sent to the white house to warn the first lady, Dolley Madison, and she quickly packed as many crucial documents into bags and fled with the house staff. “That evening, the vanguard of the British army reached Capitol Hill and began its systematic destruction of all public buildings in the city.” The Capital was entirely burned out, as was the original plot by the British. The entire assumption that this mission rested on was the hope of fully deflating the fighting spirit behind the American people. Much to the Crown’s surprise, this endeavor instead strengthened America’s determination to fight. All said, little was accomplished for either side during the war, although it did serve to slightly enhance America’s economy by forcing Americans to produce things that were previously imported.

Plans for the reconstruction of Washington began quickly after the fires had been smothered, as men such as Henry Latrobe were summoned to restore the Capital Building. However, changes in the government influenced changes in the architecture of key buildings: “Changes in Congress prompted changes in the building’s interior. Chief among these were eight new rooms in the north wing for Senate committees. Latrobe also enlarged the House and Senate chambers, modifying their layout to better suit their operations. In plan and decoration, these spaces recalled the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. To ensure that the work was both elegant and economical, one of the sculptors returned to Italy—where labor was cheaper—to supervise the carving of column capitals.”

            The question then, is whether the entire reconstruction of Washington was productive or not. I would tend to believe that it was. Because of the times, America was still in an immense time of growth both physically and principally. Especially with the drastic idea of the peaceful transaction of power not only between individuals but between individuals of opposing parties, many precedents were being set for future America. With that came the creating of principles (such as the Constitution) as well as the amendment of ideas as they were “put to the test”. Although the fires did indeed cause quite a wound to the Nation’s Capital, it gave the country a moment to reflect and answer the question of “if we could change things, what would we change?” and thus provided an opportunity to implement those changes. Ultimately, just as a forest fire provokes growth, I believe the fire of the Capital also produced growth as a country.

 

 

 

CITATIONS

 

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/washingtonsack.htm

http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/exhibition-hall/timeline?story=1307

 

November 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm 2 comments

The Pennsylvania Deutsch


October 4th, 2013

A Brief History of the Pennsylvania Dutch

 

 

 

            The Pennsylvania Deutsch, incorrectly coined as the “Pennsylvania Dutch” by early English settlers, migrated in massive numbers from Germany and other countries such as “German speaking Swiss or German speaking refugee French Huguenots”. The majority of these emigrants were seeking religious freedom, as most were one of three religions, belonging to either Amish, Mennonite, or the Brethren, all of which were considered “Anabaptist” beliefs. The Anabaptist beliefs were greatly persecuted across Europe; forcing them to “flee to the mountains of Switzerland and southern Germany. Here began the Amish tradition of farming and holding worship services in homes rather than churches” Around the same time period (early 18th century) Pennsylvania had proven itself as a haven for religious freedom in the New World, specifically for Quakers. This was a great attraction for Deutschmen, and thus many emigrated with a large portion settling in towns such as Lancaster. Consequently, with such large portions of Germans settling in neighboring towns and cities, they had an incredibly strong influence on the heritage of the area; with Lancaster Country now hosting an Amish population of around 30,000 members. Properties of the Amish and Mennonite heritage were thereby passed to modern Pennsylvania, including great weight placed on the importance of Family structure and work ethic. Current-day Lancaster still holds impressively large amounts of Amish-owned farmland and even the modernized restaurants and shops of the tourist-attraction areas possess Amish traits. Traditional Amish meals are served, along with shops containing locally-based products. Unfortunately, the commercializing of the Amish tradition, especially in Pennsylvania, has led to the boundary becoming thinner between true Amish settlers and those simply exploiting the market. And yet, the Amish community of Pennsylvania continues to grow and prosper.

~Sam

 

 

 

 

CITATIONS

 

• Kerchner, Charles F., 30 April, 2008; – http://www.kerchner.com/padutch.htm

• A Beka Books; – United States History: A Christian Perstpective, Heritage of Freedom

• Unknown; – http://www.padutchcountry.com/towns-and-heritage/amish-country/amish-history-and-beliefs.asp

October 4, 2013 at 10:17 am 1 comment

Ivy League Universities: How they became what they are today

Sam Operchuck

September 26th

 


 

            Ivy League refers to any of the eight universities originally founded in New England. All of these schools are now associated with high educational and economical prestige, but how did they grow to this point?

 

Harvard, the oldest and arguably by many the most recognizable of all the ivy league members, was founded in 1636. Harvard earned it’s name from their first benefactor: John Harvard who “upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution.” Harvard began with a mere nine students and a single headmaster, and has advanced to more than 20,000 degree candidates as well as “more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.” Harvard was found based on extremely strong Christian roots. The early motto was “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae” which translated reads “Truth for Christ and the Church.” Increase Mather, who took presidency of Harvard in 1692, planted many of Harvard’s incredibly strong Christian principles and teachings. During the years of the early classes, half of the graduates became ministers, however, by the 1760s the percentage had dropped significantly to 15%. Hints of secularization of the college began to surface after Increase Mather stepped down from his presidency of Harvard. “Secularization of the American university began with the takeover of Harvard by the Unitarians in 1805.” The college’s first liberal president was John Leverett who began his term in 1708. “Leverett, a religious liberal and a layman, set the college on its course away from Calvinist orthodoxy.”

 

Harvard’s biggest rival within the Ivy League, Yale University, is the third oldest in the league (founded in 1702), and similarly received it’s name from a benefactor: Elihu Yale, “A governer of the British East India Company” who donated “over 400 books, a portrait of King George I, and cloth goods that sold for 562 pounds.” Plans for Yale can be dated all the way back to 1656, but were suspended due to Charles II decree of forcing New Haven to unite with Connecticut. Yale’s purpose at it’s founding was to train political leaders and clergy of the colony of Connecticut. Abraham Pierson was Yale’s first president (or rector) and the college was ran out of his home “until his death in 1707, when it moved to Saybrook.” However, the college’s base was moved yet again in 1716 when New Haven’s citizens outbid all other communities both monetarily and in available land.   Another Yale president, Timothy Dwight the elder, appointed Benamin Silliman as the first science professor of America in 1802. Silliman developed a medical school in 1810 and “housed in the country’s first university art gallery in 1832; … founding a graduate school and scientific school in 1847.” By the 1850s Yale was the largest college in the country. Yale College was the first to award doctor of philosophy degrees in America in 1861. By 1887 Yale became “Yale university”. Then in 1892 women were admitted to the university, seven of whom received doctor of philosophy degrees in 1894.

 

Thus the heritage of these Ivy League members can be strongly attributed to their key role models and leaders. It is plain what influence their presidents had on them, and how it shaped them into where they are now. Unfortunately many Ivy League schools have pulled away from their Christian roots, similar to Harvard. It is also interesting to observe what incredible forward bounds these universities made in education and arts in fairly short amounts of time.

 

Citations:

 

Unknown -http://www.america.edu/the_history_of_ivy_league_universities.html

Samuel Eliot Morison­ – The Founding of Harvard College (1935) p. 300

April 6th 2008, http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0100_Christianity_in_U.S..html

Barrett Wendell, Cotton Mather, the Puritan priest (1897) p 35

http://www.library.yale.edu/mssa/YHO/brief_history.html

September 26, 2013 at 11:48 am 1 comment

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