Civil War Strageties and Successes Infographic

The facts included in the infographic were chosen because they highlighted what each side decided to do in the Civil War and why. The statistics that were the most clearly connected to this theme were those concerning the percent of each resource possessed by the union vs the confederacy because they explained what was possible for each side to do and why. These statistics are all present in the infographic in the form of pie charts; especially accentuating the Union’s advantage with most physical resources. The infographic is visually organized by a series of pictures and captions; first explaining the northern strategy, then the southern strategy, and finally the outcome based off of the reasoning behind each side’s own strategy and resources. The process of creating this infographic was helpful for understanding the situations faced by the Union and Confederacy at the start if the war because it gave crucial background information regarding the influence of resources and circumstance on both parts of the country prior to the war.

link to infograph:

Causes of the Civil War: Timeline

By looking at all of the Conflict and Compromise projects from the class, it was possible to piece together a timeline of the events that lead up to the civil war. Each group had to make some form of presentation about a topic that contributed to the Civil War in it’s own way, and by looking at each of these projects, there were distinct connections. Charting these connections on our timeline, my group used images and short captions to briefly summarize each event that lead to the Civil War; showing how things escalated over time.

Our Timeline:

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 9.53.22 PMScreen Shot 2014-03-03 at 9.53.26 PM

Our Project:

Overall, I really liked the Ed Cafe because we got the chance to discuss topics that we were more interested in since we got to choose which discussion to join. I also liked the fact that we were in small groups for our discussions because it gave everyone a better chance to share their ideas than if we had been in a Socratic Seminar. But, with that being said, I think it would have been better if there was more variation in the discussion topic choices next time because sometimes it seemed like we were talking about many of the same things in our groups.

It went fairly well when my partner and I presented. I thought that it was a little easier to talk since I had already prepared for the discussion, and we were able to lead the group pretty well on many of our main points. The one thing that we struggled with the most was fitting all of our information into the ten minute window of time that we were given. When we received the one minute warning, we still had three or four discussion questions left to talk about, making it a little challenging to form a takeaway that related to each aspect of a slave’s experience escaping like we wanted. To improve this next time, I will make sure to be more conscious the time so I can be sure to move the conversation along a little more efficiently.

I was a good attendee in the conversations that I participated in. Although I could not have notes specific to particular discussion topics without knowing them ahead of time, that did not keep me from being able to add my thoughts to the conversation. I think my notes from the conversations that I attended are an alright representation of what I learned, but I found it distracting from the discussion to constantly record what people were saying, so there can be some holes in my notes from the times when I got particularly interested in what people were discussing.

The Antebellum North’s Not-So-Innocent Past

Contrary to popular belief, America’s northern states played a substantial role in supporting antebellum slavery greatly because, looking beyond the unrecognized immorality of owning fellow humans, slavery held together the country’s economy.

The chart to the left is crucial for understanding the northern interest in the institution of slavery because it illustrates the connection between slave-picked cotton and textile mills in the north. As the years went by and northern industrialization began to flourish, the number of textile mills increased; requiring more cotton to produce a larger quantity of cloth. This increased demand for cotton in the north required a larger number of slaves to work on plantations in the south. Northern factory owners, who were very aware of this fact, actively fought to protect the rights of slave holders  out of fear for losing success within their industry. This took shape in many forms, but most prominently in the form of anti-abolition meetings like the Broadside Public Meeting. At this meeting, influential buisness owners and prominent investors appealed to a crowd of 1,500 people. They rationalized that abolishing slavery would be far too harmful for politics and the economy because it would be unconstitutional to deny slave holders of their property after all.

Most northerners were conscious of their indirect part in the slave trade through industrialization, but some took it even a step further. The DeWolfe family is  prime example of this. Living in the northern town of Bristol, Rhode Island, the DeWolfes were surprisingly the most prominent slave trading family in the country. As Katrina Browne, a descendent of the DeWolfe family, said, “I was shocked again when I realized that instead of being the exception, the DeWolfe family was just the tip of the iceberg of the vast complicity to slavery in New England.” Having no idea of her ancestor’s connection with the slave trade until recently, Katrina and some of her relatives discovered a lot about the corruption of slavery in the north. The DeWolfes were able to aquire countless northern  investors to fund their slave ships, and they easily convinced the government to overlook their boats as they sailed off for Africa. Greed and self interest oftentimes overpowered northern morals and anti-slavery laws, making it so people would ignore the suffering of slaves as long as it benefited them.

Contrary to the common misconceptions, the Antebellum North not only played a role in maintaining slavery, but provided the industry and traders that expanded and prolonged the need for slave labor. Although these people did not own their own slaves, they were well aware of their role in maintaining slavery.

Public Meeting Records, found at , and newspaper articles found at, , were used to gather information about the broadside meeting. For more information about the DeWolfe family, watch the video Traces of the Trade (, and read PBS’s description, found at .


Be Careful Whom You Marry! : Temperance PSA

Primary Source:

“Be Careful Whom You Marry!”. New England Farmer and Horticultural Journal VII, October 23, 1829, no 14.

(If the blog allowed for proper turabian formatting, then every line after the first would be indented)

temperanceIn this newspaper article, the author’s position strongly against the consumption of any quantity of alcohol is made very clear through the way that she links the drinking of alcohol in moderation to drunken husbands bankrupting and abusing their families. The author’s main goal, being to warn against the of marrying a man who is not completely temperant, shows a clear bias within the document which can been seen through the extremes that she uses to make her point. This article is a good source to show the view point of people who supported extreme cases of temperance because since it was published in a local newspaper,the ideas in this article would be some of the many ideas that were reaching the people. At this time in history, the consumption of alcohol was being strongly campaigned against because for so long before, America had been transformed into a nation of drunkards. Liquor stores and bars could be found at every turn, resulting in a horrible situation for wives and children at home because husbands would drink-away their salaries then go home and abuse their families when they complained about having no money left. Through the insight that is gained from reading this article, it is evident that some women were standing-up against the abuse that went on within their homes by seeing the connection between  the reckless behavior of many husbands and alcohol; thus they refused to marry anybody how drank even small quantities alcohol.  To encourage others who read her article to do the same, the author claims that even a drop of alcohol will inevitably turn even the best men into horribly abusive husbands. To do this, she uses the cases of two women named Lavinia and Laura Margaret whose husbands’ uses of alcohol put them and their children through a great deal of hardships. To make her case seem even more pressing and urgent, the author can be found using words and phrases like wretched, untimely grave, awful disease, and sacrifice which play upon the emotions of the reader and show her own emotional bias within her writing.

General Jackson Slaying the Many Headed Beast

During Andrew Jackson’s time as president, one of his defining moments was with the Bank War. This situation was the reaction to the Second Bank of the United States, also known as the “Monster Bank,” gaining too much control over the American economy. Jackson saw the bank as a threat because it was comprised of only the rich, it was greatly influenced by foreign stock holders who had no interest in the good of the country, and it provided a non-elected part of the government that made the country far less democratic. Because of Jackson’s great dislike for the bank, he decided not to sign the document from congress that extended their charter even though it caused a lot of controversy for Jackson to just ignore the wishes of congress.


The political cartoonist who depicted this has a positive view of Jackson’s actions regarding the Bank War. This is clear thought the way that he depicts Jackson as a man that is slaying this gigantic, many-headed monster that is meant to represent the “Monster Bank.” Overall, he makes Jackson out to be a hero who is defeating a horrible, monstrous thing in his cartoon.

Based upon what I’ve learned about this event, Jackson did help to improve the democracy of America through his actions regarding the Bank War. Despite this, I would not say that he fully deserves the title of the “people’s president” because, as Webster points out, what Jackson did took the chance of causing a rift between the rich and the poor. But, the fact that Jackson made an action that congress considered to be “social suicide” and still stayed in good favor of the people showed that he did in fact make the right decision for his people during the Bank War.

19th Century “Democracy”

Today democracy can be defined, as it is in the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary, as a form of government controlled by the people either directly or indirectly through representation and periodic free election. Ideally, in a democratic society, the supreme power is vested with the citizens. The definition of democracy was not always this way though.

The County Election

The County Election

Back in the 19th century, property requirements were still in place in some states, restricting the right to vote to only a select group of wealthy white men. Norton Townshend, a member of the Ohio Constitutional Convention in 1850 has a quote criticizing this backwards system, saying that, “The attempt to govern men without seeking their consent is usurpation and tyranny, whether in Ohio or in Austria…I was looking the other day…into Noah Webster’s Dictionary for the meaning of democracy, and I found as I expected that he defines a democrat to be ‘one who favors universal suffrage.’” The way that Townshend comments about how the word democrat is supposed to mean ‘one who favors universal suffrage’ after saying that the United States is governed without the people’s consent shows that he could see the flaws in the way that democracy was interpreted at the time. Townshend was not the only critic of American 19th century democracy though. Another critic, George Caleb Bingham, made a painting called The County Election that touches upon many flaws in the government, but in a more symbolic way than Townshend. Through Bingham’s painting, one can see the corruption evident in the system in which the elections were run because of the apparent lack of inclusion of any person who was not wealthy and white. Even for the well-off white men, their vote was not necessarily legitimate. One can see this through the man that has to say his vote out loud so that it can be recorded by somebody else; leaving a lot of room for corruption. Another case of corruption within the painting can be seen though the man who has been beaten up for casting an apparently unfavorable vote. Other cases of exploitation within the voting system can be found sprinkled all over the painting, such as the appearance of an African American man who represents the lack suffrage for minorities or the fact that many of the voters appear to have been drinking rather heavily.

Clearly, there were a lot of flaws in 19th century American democracy, but as people began to realize these flaws, the expectation for the country to become more democratic was met, resulting in today’s definition of democracy being different than it was in the 19th century.

Romantic Art Work

The Raft of Medusa --Theodore Gerucault

The Raft of Medusa
–Theodore Gerucault

In Theodore Gericault’s painting, The Raft of Medusa, several prominent features mark it as a piece of Romantic artwork. The most noticable traits of Romanticism within this piece are how it appeals to emotion and how it shows the grotesque through the horrific images of the dead bodies on the raft. These corpses set the gruesome and somber mood of the painting, thus giving it a very dark feel. Upon closer inspection of Gericault’s painting, one can see that a man stands out from everyone else on the raft. This person, on top of a pile of his friends, is seen clearly against the others, depicting the focus of the individual. The way that everyone else on the raft reaches up towards this man gives him a clear sense of distinction, leadership, and importance. Lastly, lingering as an ever-present theme for the painting, is the awe of nature. This wonderment for the natural world is represented through the waves in the background, showing the intense power of the sea and it’s influence on the raft.notesAll of these elements within the painting serve to contrast with the ideals of the Enlightenment and emphasize the beliefs of Romanticism. Having exactly the opposite position regarding philosophy than the people of the Enlightenment, the Romantics used music, art, and literature to express their views on the Enlightenment-imposed order.

Revolutions of 1830 an 1848

Although the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 technically all failed, they still cannot be classified as completely unsuccessful like many historians have determined.  Despite the resulting defeat, many of the countries that were discussed in class had partially successful outcomes. For example, during the French Revolution of 1848, the French revolutionaries had some successes despite the fact that Napoleon inevitably declared himself emperor. For a little while France was able to achieve all of its revolutionary goals (including kicking out Louis Philippe and getting rid of the monarchy) even if they didn’t turn out how the revolutionaries had intended.  Similarly, in the Polish Revolution of 1830, the Polish people who were trying to become independent from Russia achieved their goal of independence for a short time before the revolution failed in the end. But, the success of the Polish revolution takes a step further than the French revolution because one of the most successful aspects of the Polish revolution was the fact that the nationalist ideology was able to stay alive even though they were defeated. This can be seen in a quote from Adam Mickiewicz’s National Poem of Poland when he says, “For now our nation in such anguish lies
/That even Valour, when he turns his eyes
/Upon the torture in those well lov’d lands,
/Has nothing he can do but wring his hands.” This shows that despite the fact that the Polish people ended in anguish, they succeeded in a sense because they till managed to push against the Russian influence enough to retain their nationalist spirit.

Despite the brutal fighting, soldiers proudly wave the Polish flag to show their strong sense of nationalism.

Despite the brutal fighting, soldiers proudly wave the Polish flag to show their strong sense of nationalism.

Similar small successes to the ones that can be found within the outcomes of the French Revolution of 1848 and the Polish Revolution of 18 30 could usually be found amongst the other revolutions of the time, but some revolutions, like historians have concluded, were in fact complete failures. The Decembrist Revolt in Russia in 1825 is an example of a complete failure like this because of how the Russian government completely crushed the revolution, allowing no change and violently leaving the revolutionaries in a worse condition than before. But, although the Decembrist Revolt may have been a complete failure, historians may have been a bit too hasty to jump to the conclusion that there were no partial successes within any of the 1830 and 1848 revolutions.


Reactions to the Monroe Doctrine

When the conservative ideology of the Quintuple Alliance began to influence people on the western hemisphere, it resulted in one of “Monroe’s Woes.” Monroe’s Woe was the fact that the Holy Alliance was discussing weather they should enforce the principle of intervention to help Spain regain control over the newly liberated Latin American colonies. Monroe was careful not to get the United States into a major conflict with these European powers, but he made sure that it was made clear that he would step in to protect Latin America if he had to. You can see this stance plainly stated in the Monroe Doctrine when Monroe says, “we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them [the Latin American independently-governed people], or controlling, in any other manner, their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” In saying this, Monroe is showing the European powers that although their conservative ideals make them believe in their right to the principle of intervention, he will not allow them to crush a stable new country just because it demonstrates successful liberal ideas.

Annoyed Russian Diplomat

Annoyed Russian Diplomat

All over the world, different groups of people had different opinions regarding Monroe’s reaction to the Quintuple Alliance’s dominant conservative ideology. For example, a Russian diplomat would be very annoyed that the Untied States is trying to interfere with their principle of intervention. Because the United States is still a new country, it is not seen as powerful enough to have a say in the business of the dominant world powers. For this reason, the quote in the methinks picture is displayed with a very annoyed and impatient facial expression. Not everyone had the same views as a Russian diplomat would though. A United States congressman and a Latin American revolutionary would both have very different interpretations to Monroe’s reaction than a representative from Russia. A US congressman would agree with Monroe’s idea to play “big brother” in Latin America because it would protect their extremely profitable trade with those countries, but, at the same time, they would be quite nervous about getting into a conflict with the Quintuple Alliance. A Latin American revolutionary would be grateful that America is willing to help keep them from being invaded, but they would want to make it very clear that the help they receive will not make them indebted to America in any way.