Archive for October, 2010

Berlin Conference

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

In 1884, a special meeting was held in Berlin concerning African affairs.  Fourteen nations were invited but ironically not a single African leader was invited to attend.  The Berlin Conference became the official starting point for the “scramble of Africa”.  During the meeting, the nations established borders but clashed over which nation had the actual claim to African territory.

Domestic Crisis

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

This is a short video discussing the Dreyfus Affair.

Dreyfus Affair

The Interpretation of Dreams

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

One major piece of literature of the 19/20th century and the world of psychology is Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams.  Written in 1900, The Interpretation of Dreams introduces Freud’s theory of dreams in relation to unconsciousness.  The theory interprets dreams as a wish that people have when they are conscious.  This specific piece of literature was essential in helping scientist to explain conscious behaviors and treat illnesses.

First Opium War

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

During the 1840s, Britain tried to force China to accept foreign trade through intimidation from their superior naval power.  Despite the fact that the product was illegal in China, an important export from Britain to China was opium.  The product was often smuggled into China by Britain causing a large addiction among the Chinese people.  Due to the nationwide addiction, the Chinese government destroyed cretes of opium discovered in Canton in order to end the opium trade between the two nations.  China’s actions threw themselves into a five year conflict with Britain, the First Opium War (1839-1842).  China was defeated and forced to surrender Hong Kong to Britain and open five ports to foreign traders.First Opium War

The Rise of Nationalism

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Here is a list containing photographs each nationalist thinker/leader during this period.

Giuseppe Mizzini (Italy)

Otto Von Bismarck (German Confederation)

Kaiser William II (Prussia)

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (France)

Queen Victoria (England)

Abdul Hamid II

Alchemy during the Scientific Revolution

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Something more about the move from alchemy to chemistry and how alchemy was used during the revolution

First, historians of alchemy note that there was no linguistic distinction between chemistry and alchemy in the seventeenth century—both disciplines being named “chymistry.” Second, Eighteenth-century illustration depicting Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier in his laboratory, by P. Fouche. Regarded as the founder of modern chemistry, Lavoisier (1743–1794) conducted groundbreaking quantitative experiments that led to the formulation of the law of the conservation of matter. © LEONARD DE SELVA/CORBIS against the popular view of alchemy as a spiritual quest based on religious symbolism, historians such as Lawrence Principe and William Newman claim that “chymists” did actually manipulate and transform matter. While the religious interpretation of alchemy served to distance it from chemistry, they emphasize the continuity and argue that medieval alchemists already had developed experimental methods often considered as chief characteristics of modern science. They established a number of tests to identify substances; they used analysis and synthesis in order to demonstrate the similarity between substances extracted from nature and substances artificially produced in the laboratory; and they used weight measurements and the balance-sheet method traditionally credited to Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (1743–1794) to determine the identity of substances.

Early modern “chymistry” also questions the grand narrative of the scientific revolution, with Galileo Galilei’s (1564–1642) and Robert Boyle’s (1627–1691) mechanical philosophy whisking away the alchemical tradition. Boyle’s view of material phenomena as being produced by the interaction of small particles that have only primary qualities (size, shape, and motion) by no means implied a rejection of the alchemical tradition. Since Jabir ibn Hayyan (c. 721–c. 851), whose work was spread and discussed in the West in the thirteenth century, the discipline of alchemy had fostered a corpuscular view of matter that was later developed by Daniel Sennert (1572–1657), an early seventeenth-century chemist. Sennert managed to reconfigure the Aristotelian theory of matter by combining the four principles with Democritean atomism. In order to provide experimental demonstration that matter at the microlevel is made by the juxtaposition of atoms, he performed a reductio in pristinum statum (reduction into the pristine state). Although Boyle positioned himself as a “natural philosopher” against “chymical philosophers, he was in debt to Sennert, since he tacitly used his experiments and his theoretical framework in his early essays as well as in The Sceptical Chymist (1680).

In addition, Boyle’s skepticism did not apply to alchemical transmutations. Until his death, he kept seeking the philosopher’s stone, using the knowledge he had learned in his youth from the American chymist George Starkey (1627–1665), who also initiated Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727). Boyle, the advocate of public knowledge at the Royal Society, concealed his transmutational processes in secret language.

Thus, two of the celebrated founding fathers of modern science, Boyle and Newton, were dedicated believers in alchemical transmutation. Since Betty Dobbs’s 1975 work, The Foundations of Newton’s Alchemy: or, “The Hunting of the Greene Lyon,” historians of chemistry have reconsidered the impact of Newton’s bold chemical hypothesis at the end of his Opticks (1704). In the famous Query 31, Newton ventured an interpretation of chemical reactions in terms of attraction between the smallest particles of matter. A uniform attractive force allowed the smallest particles to cohere and form aggregates whose “virtue” gradually decreased as the aggregates became bigger and bigger. Whereas this hypothesis has been read as an extrapolation of gravitational physics to chemistry, it is possible to view it as a way to rationalize chemical practices that was impossible in Cartesian mechanism. Newton allowed chemists to understand and measure affinities in purely chemical terms.

Read more: Chemistry – Alchemy In The Scientific Revolution – Matter, Boyle, Newton, Modern, Substances, and View


<a href=””>Chemistry – Alchemy In The Scientific Revolution</a>

The Rise of The Nazi Party

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

World War I ended in 1918 with a grisly total of 37 million casualties, including 9 million dead combatants. German propaganda had not prepared the nation for defeat, resulting in a sense of injured German national pride. Those military and political leaders who were responsible claimed that Germany had been “stabbed in the back” by its leftwing politicians, Communists, and Jews. When a new government, the Weimar Republic , tried to establish a democratic course, extreme political parties from both the right and the left struggled violently for control. The new regime could neither handle the depressed economy nor the rampant lawlessness and disorder.

This site explores the consequences of Germany’s defeat in WWI.

The German population swallowed the bitter pill of defeat as the victorious Allies punished Germany severely. In the Treaty of Versailles , Germany was disarmed and forced to pay reparations to France and Britain for the huge costs of the war. This site contains the complete Treaty of Versailles as well as maps and related material.

The German Workers’ Party , the forerunner of the Nazi Party, espoused a right-wing ideology, like many similar groups of demobilized soldiers. Adolf Hitler joined this small political party in 1919 and rose to leadership through his emotional and captivating speeches. He encouraged national pride, militarism, and a commitment to the Volk and a racially “pure” Germany. Hitler condemned the Jews, exploiting antisemitic feelings that had prevailed in Europe for centuries. He changed the name of the party to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, called for short, the Nazi Party (or NSDAP). By the end of 1920, the Nazi Party had about 3,000 members. A year later Hitler became its official leader, or Führer.

Adolf Hitler’s attempt at an armed overthrow of local authorities in Munich, known as the Beer Hall Putsch , failed miserably. The Nazi Party seemed doomed to fail and its leaders, including Hitler, were subsequently jailed and charged with high treason. However, Hitler used the courtroom at his public trial as a propaganda platform, ranting for hours against the Weimar government. By the end of the 24-day trial Hitler had actually gained support for his courage to act. The right-wing presiding judges sympathized with Hitler and sentenced him to only five years in prison, with eligibility for early parole. Hitler was released from prison after one year. Other Nazi leaders were given light sentences also. This site details Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch.

While in prison, Hitler wrote volume one of Mein Kampf (My Struggle) , which was published in 1925. This work detailed Hitler’s radical ideas of German nationalism, antisemitism, and anti-Bolshevism. Linked with Social Darwinism, the human struggle that said that might makes right, Hitler’s book became the ideological base for the Nazi Party’s racist beliefs and murderous practices. This site discusses many of the ideas contained within Mein Kampf.

After Hitler was released from prison, he formally resurrected the Nazi Party. Hitler began rebuilding and reorganizing the Party, waiting for an opportune time to gain political power in Germany. The Conservative military hero Paul von Hindenburg was elected president in 1925, and Germany stabilized.

Hitler skillfully maneuvered through Nazi Party politics and emerged as the sole leader. The Führerprinzip, or leader principle, established Hitler as the one and only to whom Party members swore loyalty unto death. Final decision making rested with him, and his strategy was to develop a highly centralized and structured party that could compete in Germany’s future elections. Hitler hoped to create a bureaucracy which he envisioned as “the germ of the future state.”

The Nazi Party began building a mass movement. From 27,000 members in 1925, the Party grew to 108,000 in 1929. The SA was the paramilitary unit of the Party, a propaganda arm that became known for its strong arm tactics of street brawling and terror. The SS was established as an elite group with special duties within the SA, but it remained inconsequential until Heinrich Himmler became its leader in 1929. By the late twenties, the Nazi Party started other auxiliary groups. The Hitler Youth , the Student League and the Pupils’ League were open to young Germans. The National Socialist Women’s League allowed women to get involved. Different professional groups–teachers, lawyers and doctors–had their own auxiliary units.

From 1925 to 1927, the Nazi Party failed to make inroads in the cities and in May 1928, it did poorly in the Reichstag elections, winning only 2.6% of the total vote. The Party shifted its strategy to rural and small town areas and fueled antisemitism by calling for expropriation of Jewish agricultural property and by condemning large Jewish department stores. Party propaganda proved effective at winning over university students, veterans’ organizations, and professional groups, although the Party became increasingly identified with young men of the lower middle classes.


The Great Depression began in 1929 and wrought worldwide economic, social, and psychological consequences. The Weimar democracy proved unable to cope with national despair as unemployment doubled from three million to six million, or one in three, by 1932. The existing “Great Coalition” government, a combination of left-wing and conservative parties, collapsed while arguing about the rising cost of unemployment benefits. Reich president Paul von Hindenburg’s advisers persuaded him to invoke the constitution’s emergency presidential powers. These powers allowed the president to restore law and order in a crisis. Hindenburg created a new government, made up of a chancellor and cabinet ministers, to rule by emergency decrees instead of by laws passed by the Reichstag. So began the demise of the Weimar democracy.

Heinrich Brüning was the first chancellor under the new presidential system. He was unable to unify the government, and in September 1930, there were new elections. The Nazi Party won an important victory, capturing 18.3% of the vote to make it the second largest party in the Reichstag.

The Great Depression has a large impact on Germany.

This is a description of the Nazi Party’s 1930 campaign for Reichstag seats.


Hindenburg’s term as president was ending in the spring of 1932. At age 84, he was reluctant to run again, but knew that if he didn’t, Hitler would win. Hindenburg won the election, but Hitler received 37% of the vote. Germany’s government remained on the brink of collapse. The SA brownshirts, about 400,000 strong, were a part of daily street violence. The economy was still in crisis. In the election of July 1932, the Nazi Party won 37% of the Reichstag seats, thanks to a massive propaganda campaign. For the next six months, the most powerful German leaders were embroiled in a series of desperate political maneuverings. Ultimately, these major players severely underestimated Hitler’s political abilities.

A more complete account of the complexity of German politics in 1932 is available.

Interactive quiz on the rise of the Nazi Party.

Lesson plans, discussion questions, term paper topics, reproducible handouts, and other resources for teaching about the rise of the Nazi Party are available here.

I got all of my info from this website……

For more info click the links also

General Ned Ludd

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

                More commonly known as “King Ludd”, or “Captain Ludd,” this fictional leader of the Luddites supposedly has origins in a real man from around the late 1700’s. One story claims that a dull-witted man in Anstey, Leicestershire was the inspiration. The tourism site for Leicester even mentions the tale on their welcome page. The story goes that the simple man smashed a pair of knitting frames, either as retribution for a whipping or after being taunted by locals. Since it was such a stupid act, whenever a machine was smashed people would jokingly say that Ned Ludd did it. When the Luddites began to smash machines in protest they adopted this figure as their mythical leader.

Friday, October 8th, 2010

This is a map of the unification of The Kingdom of Italy from 1815-1870. Italy was originally split in 1815 into two kingdoms: The Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia and the Kingdom of Two Sicilies. This map shows the dates of when certain areas began to unite together to form the Kingdom of Italy.

Italian Unification 1815-1870

This is a video about the Italian Unification. It does a pretty good job describing the events and how it occurred.
Italian Unification Video from YouTube

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This video is even better at explaining the unification. It covers from the fall of Napoleon to the unification itself.
Fall of Napoleon Into the Unification of Italy

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Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Tchaikovsky : Symphony No. 4, Finale

This song by Tachaikovsky gives a glimpse into what life was like during this changing period of Russian history. An excellent song which seems to captivate Russia During the period of 1861-1914 .  During this period Russia was most concerned about expanding their land territory.  When past Russian culture pushed for a drive east, the high culture instead thought west was the best plan of action.  Also during this period a large amount of peasants serfs gained freedom, but was met with the harsh reality that not land was made aviable.  As a reuslt many were forced to pay a tribute to the owner of land, thus causing many to fall into serious debt.  Suprisingly enought it wasnt untill 1906 than this was ambolished and serfs were given their respective land.