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Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet-Beecher-Stowe

“The Little Lady Who Started A Big War”

Harriet Beecher was born on June 14, 1811, in Litchfield, Connecticut, to a famous Calvanist Pastor, Lyman Beecher. Harriet was born, the seventh of fourteen children, to a family of controversial individuals. Her father preached heatedly against sinners and those who did not have a proper baptism, as well as against slavery and alcoholism. Her birth mother, Roxana, died giving birth to children, as was “proper” of good christian women at the time. It then fell upon her older sister Catherine to raise Harriet. Catherine, outraged at the sub par education women received, started her own private girls school. Harriet attended this school, studying many subjects and eventually going on to teach at the school. Harriet, a developing young writer, would then go on to marry Calvin Stowe, who fully supported her writing and education. This was atypical for the time, as many men would not have supported her writings, but Calvin certainly did. Calvin and Harriet both deeply opposed slavery, helping former slaves make connections with the Underground Railroad. But Harriet’s ultimate claim to fame was her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Beecher Stowe was a rare commodity among women in the 1800’s, especially during the time of war, when it was believed that there was nothing for women to accomplish. Most women of the time had very little education, and had very little way of accessing said information. Harriet also broke grounds with the levels of controversy that came with Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The novel was meant to pull back the curtains on the ugly issue of slavery to the common folk of the North. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was meant to help fuel the abolitionist fire that was sweeping all over the nation. It was also meant to inspire guilt in the hearts of southern slave owners, causing them to free their slaves willingly. History has shown this to have had the opposite effect, instead further splitting the nation. In this sense, however, this was Beecher Stowe’s contribution to the war effort. She may have only directly contributed by helping slaves escape to the north, and also divided the states even further, but the awful truth of what she wrote and how it affected the stability of the nation truly caused Harriet Beecher Stowe to be “the little lady who started a big war.”

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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Women in the Civil War

 

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Path to Freedom

I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending shrieks of the plantation

Cruel men. Whipping women. Cruel men take pleasure in manifesting their fiendish barbarity

The blood-stained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery

Crying for joy, singing for joy, alike uncommon

Sung to drown sorrow, seldom to express happiness

Still tongue, wise head

Accused, convicted. Convicted, punished

Half-cent to kill, half-cent to bury

Slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace

I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom, learning

It would forever unfit me to be a slave

Righteous god, influence my lessons

Glorious resurrection, deliverance to freedom, revived within me a sense of manhood

Used no longer

Determined, escape from slavery

Freedom

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Douglass poem

 

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Is Big Brother Watching?

George Orwell was actually more accurate in his warning of the future than he ever knew. If he were still around today, he would be shocked at how much the future turned out to be like society in 1984. Aside from the torture and executions, the idea of massively invading the populations privacy is a strategy used today by government and even by the population itself. It seems that Mr. Orwell’s ideas about the future were not too far from the mark.

1. I have learned that we are not as secure in our privacy as we may believe. In “5 Things You Should Know About the FBI’s Massive New Biometric Database,” the FBI uses facial recognition, iris scans, and will even share data from other data collections to learn endless information about individuals. This is frightening because there are chance of security breaches which could lead to severe cases of stolen identity. Through the USA PATRIOT Act, I learned that after the 2001 terrorist attacks the government increased support and funding to the FBI and other agencies to spy on potential threats to the country. The secret service would be given support in creating a network of electronic defenses. Wiretaps were also used increasingly, also further invading the privacy of the public. But the government is not the only one storing information about the public. In the article “Forgot What You Searched For? Google Didn’t,” the author shares that she found out just how much information Google saves. She reveals that if you give them the option, Google will save all of your searches, including exactly what pages you go to and what parts of the page you look at. Does this seem reminiscent of Big Brother following your every move?

2. The way the government keeps track of your facial expressions is much like that of the way the telescreens are able to notice the slightest facial expressions. Through these expressions the party is able to recognize some semblance of thought crime. This is why initially Winston does not make contact with O’brian a second time. “The idea of following up their momentary contact hardly crossed his mind.” He knows that a second meeting would alert the monitors of his crime. In the novel, the government is reliant of the telescreens and the invading of others privacy. Without these screens to invade the populaces privacy, they would not be able to keep the order they so desperately crave. The PATRIOT Act is the beginning of this system in our own world today by enabling the invasion of peoples privacy by the government. The final example of Google saving your history is almost a summery of the ideas presented in the previous two examples. Every action you make online is monitored and stored online. In 1984, this is also the case. “Every action you make is monitored and you are always at risk of being caught. It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself – anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide.” This quote describes the entire idea of the government control. You are never safe and you are never out of the sight of Big Brother.

3. These subjects effect us greatly in the present. We are now no longer safe to trust our personal secrets on our own teleological devices. The idea that anyone can access our basic information and even in some cases, private information is terrifying. This opens the door to many new threats that most people should never have to worry about. Theft identity, blackmailing, and the exposure of secrets are all things that we must be afraid of in our current technological age. If this progression continues, there will no longer be any sense of privacy at all. Soon the government and even the population will be able to spy on others simply through their own devices at home. Who’s to say they cannot do this already? This leaves the question; do we really want this? Do we really want to live in this age of mass media and exposure?

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Beyond 1984

 

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Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci

Born March 9, 1454 and died February 22, 1512.

“The manner of their living is very barbarous, because they do not eat at fixed times, but as often as they please.” -Amerigo speaking of the natives of South America.

Amerigo was responsible for finding a quicker route to Asia but instead what he found was an entirely new continent. Unlike Columbus who believed that South America was indeed Asia, Vespucci speculated that he had found a completely new land mass. And he was right. As we know, South America was named after Vespucci, and eventually the northern half took his name as well.

Born in Florence, Italy then became a citizen of Spain in 1505.

Utopia is set in the “New World”

More links Raphael’s travels in with Amerigo Vespucci’s real life voyages of discovery. He suggests that Raphael is one of the 24 men Vespucci, in his four voyages of 1507, says he left for six months at Cabo Frio, Brazil. Raphael then travels further and finds the island of Utopia, where he spends five years observing the customs of the natives.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/620755/utopia

 

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Thomas More's Utopia, Uncategorized

 

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Bruce Wayne(Batman Begins)

Bruce Wayne: The Dark Knight

There are many different interpretations of this character, from comic books, graphic novels, television shows, and movies. This Bruce Wayne/Batman is from the 2005 film Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan. Bruce starts of in a (somewhat) ordinary life, is thrown into a new and dangerous world, suffer through trials and tribulations, and becomes the protector of this new place he calls home.

The Prince of Gotham

Bruce Wayne is the “prince” of Gotham City, his father being the heir of Wayne Enterprise, the largest corporation in Gotham. Thomas Wayne is a surgeon and a humanitarian, wanting only to restore the city and help the needy. Bruce’s journey begins when his parents are tragically killed in a mugging gone wrong. Bruce lives in Gotham until he is an adult, brooding over the death of his parents. When the man who killed his parents is released from prison, Bruce plans on killing him but is denied the privilege by a mob crony. The realization that he almost murdered a man in cold blood forces him to flee Gotham. This is where Bruce is called to his destiny, where his true journey begins; with the death of his parents.

Trained by Shadows:Master of Fear

It is here that Bruce is thrown into a whole new world. He is called upon by a man named Ra’s al Ghul, leader of the League of Shadows. Ra’s becomes Bruce’s mentor, giving him the greatest weapon Bruce as Batman could ever need: Fear. Ra’s trains Bruce in the art of deception and self defense, tactics Bruce will later utilize as the vigilante Batman. But Ra’s is more than he seems to be. He is ruthless and seeks to destroy Gotham, the city he sees as the hive of true evil. Bruce won’t stand for this and destroys the League’s headquarters but cannot kill Ra’s himself. It is here that we learn Bruce’s tragic flaw; he cannot kill. It may not seem like this is a flaw, but to his enemies, this is a weakness to be exploited.

Ra’s al Ghul- Bruce’s mentor, turns out to be one of his greatest enemies.

Crossing the Mob:Return to Gotham

When Bruce returns to Gotham it is a whole new city. Bruce no longer owns his company, as it has gone public. The mob has taken control of the city, with corrupt officials everywhere, in the courts, prisons, police, and politics. Bruce decides to take it upon himself to get rid of the evil that has infected his home city. He uses his skills, that of fear and deception, to craft a winged symbol of the night, to strike terror in the hearts of criminals. In a matter of days, Batman is able to take down the head mob boss, Carmine Falcone.

Trials of the Caped Crusader: The Return of Ra’s

Just as it seems that all is well, Bruce’s crazed mentor returns to destroy Gotham City. He first burns down Wayne Manor, repaying Bruce for the burning of the Leagues Headquarters. Ra’s intends on leaving Bruce to die but first explains his plan. Ra’s plans on using a machine that can turn all of Gotham’s water supply into a deadly fear toxin, causing paranoia and terror that will tear the city apart. The machine will be transported on the train system that Bruce’s father built in order to help the poor. Ra’s then reveals that it was he who had Thomas Wayne murdered because he tried to oppose the League. Batman is rescued by his butler, Alfred, but his fathers house is in ruins. With vengeance in his heart, Bruce dons the cape and cowl and sets off to defeat the man who trained him and taught him everything he knows. With the help of Gotham City Police Lieutenant, James Gordon, he is able to successfully prevent the train from reaching the center of town. Bruce faces off with Ra’s and determines that while he cannot kill Ra’s, he does not have to save him either, leaving him to explode with the train as Ra’s’ machine detonates. Batman’s trials, for the moment at least, are over.

Gotham’s True Hero

Bruce has finally conquered. He has had revenge on the man who murdered his parents and saved the city he holds so dearly. Batman has become the hero of Gotham City, despite the fact that he is still a vigilante. The police who once wanted to capture him, now trust in him to keep the city safe when they cannot. Bruce Wayne, the Gotham citizen reclaims his family company and begins rebuilding his fathers house. Bruce has finally become the master of both sides of Gotham.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Epic Heroes

 

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