Category Archives: Schoolwork

West Civ^2 L 140 (W/ Outline)

Did World War II become more brutal as time went on? In what ways? Was the brutality on only one side?

World War II gradually became more brutal as time went on, hard as that is to believe. Despite today’s propaganda informing us that the Germans and Russians were the only evil ones, the U.S.’ tactics to win the war were just as horrific. Cities bombed into oblivion and millions dead were the fault of all parties involved in the war, most noticeably the Nazis, the Japanese, the Royal Air Force, and the U.S.

By the 1940s, in the wake of Operation Barbarossa, Hitler had begun to order more mass shootings than ever before of the Jews, the mentally or physically disabled, the Slavs, and the Gypsies. Fully half of these innocents killed over the course of the war were simply rounded up, forced to dig their own graves, and shot. By the time the Germans had invaded Yugoslavia, the Germans had instigated a reprisal shooting program in which for every single kidnapped, wounded, or killed soldier, they would simply march into the next town, round up 20-40 people, and shoot them. In one extreme example in 1944, in the village of  Oradour-sur-Glanein in Nazi-occupied France, the Germans massacred 642 citizens, wiping out the town in 4 hours. Starting in 1939, the T4 program was created to eradicate Germany of all people with congenital diseases. The “degenerates” of society were removed from their families and caretakers under the false promise of better care in Nazi-government institutions, but instead they were quietly killed. The bodies were piling up, and yet there were still more innocents to be shot. The Einsatzgruppen Killings of 1941, the work of mobile killing squads of the German SS, were noticeably affecting the executioners. The Nazis were in desperate need of an even faster and more efficient way to off their victims. Under SS Lieutenant Reinhardt Heydrich, gasses were perfected and employed in factory-style death camps, in which the prisoners were either worked to death or directly gassed upon arrival. Most of these camps were located in Poland. Around 70,000 handicapped people and about 3,000,000 non-Jewish Polish citizens were murdered by the hands of the Germans. Continue reading

West Civ^2 L135

From the readings and lectures, in what sense did World War II become more “global” during its first two or two-and-a-half years?

The start of WWII becoming more “global” occurred when Hitler invaded Poland. Russia elected not to attack Germany on the grounds of a previously-created non-aggression pact between the two countries. Hitler began his reign of terror in Poland, rounding up everyone who escaped and either executing  or sending them away to rot in concentration camps. Resistors were shot with no mercy and individuals were selected randomly to perform slave labor for the Nazis. Meanwhile, the Jewish were sentenced to suffer in their own walled off “cities” commonly referred to as ghettos. In the spring of 1940, Hitler devised and put to use a plan of attack called the blitzkrieg, where he would locate the weakest section of an enemy’s line and blast a hole through to the rear of the opposing army and eliminate the communications and supplies, leaving the army helpless and broken. Germany conquered a chunk of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, and crushed British forces with this extraordinarily effective technique. Through the blood-clouded eyes of Hilter, the British were simply uncooperative Anglo Saxons, and Hitler’s mustache decided to bomb Britain into submission. In order to accomplish this task, Hitler created the Luftwaffe–a new and improved German Air Force. On August 1940, the Battle of Britain began. Although the British pilots were aided by escaped Polish fighters, the Germans possessed superior technology and overwhelming numbers and left 40,000 citizens dead. Despite the odds against them, the British were victorious and blew a gaping hole in Hitler’s War Machine. Unwilling to give up, Hilter ordered a massively brutal invasion and occupation of Yugoslavia in 1941. Not seeing the benefit of an alliance with the Soviet Union any longer, Hitler about faced and ordered operation Barbarossa–a strike on the Soviet Union. Tiny mustache resented the fluffier mustache belonging to Stalin and was out for blood. June of 1941 was the largest military campaign in history. Anywhere Hitler’s eye turned, innocents suffered.

While Hitler was busy invading Europe, Roosevelt’s communist tendencies grew. In the President’s desire to enter the war and try his luck against the Germans, he tantalizingly dangled the entire Pacific fleet in front of the Japanese; in return, the Japanese bombed the crap out of Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt was shocked, he had expected to be hit, but escape relatively unhurt. He should have listen to the 80% of his citizens who had warned him not to involve the U.S. in the war. FDR and his military generals gathered together and created the Atlantic Charter: a war strategy against Germany just in case they got involved in the war after all. The U.S. was now in a predicament–they only had war plans against Hitler, not the Japanese who they were now at war with. Fortunately for FRD, Hilter solved this problem by ordering an attack on the U.S. who he viewed as mutts with inferior mustaches. Finally, all of the parties in WWII were in play.

West Lit^2 L135

write 150 words on this: “What is one of Kipling’s copybook headings that applies to recent public opinion?”

Previous to 1945, Copybooks were little books filled with moral messages for children to copy when learning how to write. Famous children’s author Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem satirizing public opinion by pointing out that if people just payed attention to their copybook headings, everyone would be much better off. A stanza from the latter half of his poem sounds as though it was written directly to comment on today’s public opinions, “In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul; But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”” Today the general public is delighted by the idea of Socialism in which the taxpayer is robbed to pay for the lazy who do not work and collect welfare. Take public health care for example; the money to care for those who “cannot” or will not pay for their own health care comes from the taxes of those who can pay. What the general public doesn’t realize is that in Socialism, people quickly begin refusing to work because someone else is there to pay for them. However, when no-one will work, nothing is produced and civilization grinds to a halt. Abundance can never be reached if everyone refuses to do their share by working and consequently paying for themselves.

West Civ^2 (L 125) o/ lines

*DISCLAIMER* We didn’t have time to do full paragraphs so this is our weekly paper compromise. :/

(1) What are the primary differences discussed in this week’s videos between Marxism and Marxism-Leninism?

  • I. (Background) Karl Marx = German Philosopher-type guy espoused economic theory “Marxism” late 19th century
  • II. (Topic) Russian socialists <3 Marxism and modified it after Czars (esp. Lenin)
  • #1. Marxism –> naturally via people
  • #2. M-Leninism –> workers too stupid to bring about
  • #3. Marx –> state would wither and die
  • #4. Lenin –> state got even stronger
  • #5. Marx –> everyone would have an abundance of food
  • #6. Lenin –> starved the people through deceit
  • #7. Marx–> ppl could do whatever they wanted
  • #8. Lenin –> forced ppl to work in specific jobs
  • #9. Marx –> no violence
  • #10. Lenin –> public executions, forcibly seized property, ran out intellectuals
  • III. (Clincher) Leninism and Marxism totally different and just complete control via state

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West Civ^2 (L 120) o/ lines

*DISCLAIMER* We didn’t have time to do full paragraphs so this is our weekly paper compromise. :/

(1) How did a political assassination in June 1914 lead to a world war? Why did each of the major countries intervene?

  •  I. (Background) Ottoman empire crumbling, countries breaking free –> individual nations
  • II. (Topic) Serbia agitated under A-H –> assassinated Archduke Ferdinand 1914
  • #1. A demands punishment, Serbia refuses, A threatens war
  • #2. Russia + Serbia, Germany + Austria (against R, S, & France)
  • #3. Italy + G & A-H, but later first allies
  • #4. Germany invades Belgium –> France
  • #5. England decides to teach Germany lesson
  • #6. England hunger blockades against all Germany
  • #7. Germany retaliates w/ submarine warfare
  • #8. U.S. (Woodrow Wilson) anglophile = Germany
  • #9. Unreasonable about “peaceful” Americans on Warships –> <– Europe
  • #10. Americans killed, Wilson –> war/Germany
  • III. (Clincher) Nationalistic fervor = land grabbing & assassinations = protect own territory (w/ help of major ally) = WWI

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West Civ^2 Bullet Points!? (L115)

(2) What are the values of Modernism that we see reflected across different fields, and how do they represent a departure from neoclassicism and the Enlightenment?

  • Modernism is a philosophy that lasted from late 19th century to late 20th century Western Europe and was applied to literature, art, music, philosophy, and science.
  • Two of the most famous people from this time were Sigmund Freud, the psychoanalyst, and Friedrich Nietzsche, the loopy philologist.
  • Both lived from the mid-late 1800s to the mid 1900s
  • Freud believed that people’s biggest desire in life was to satisfy their aggressiveness by taking it out on others.
  • He was not a religious man and thought that the sole purpose of religion was to glue peoples together.
  • However, Freud is perhaps most famous for his theory that dreams revealed the truth about people.
  • Nietzsche on the other hand was heavily influenced by contemporary progressive writers and coined the famous phrase “God is Dead” due to his belief that Christianity was essentially slavery and people should be free in their beliefs instead of chained to a fixed set of morals.
  • Modernism music by artists such as Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg is to this day famous for its atonality, and literature by authors such as Kafka revolved around absurd realities.
  • In fact, Kafkaesque has become a real word that describes abnormal situations.
  • Visual art styles such as cubism and impressionism were invented.
  • About two generations (18th century) before Modernism came Neoclassicism, a philosophy that preached rules, order, and logic–essentially a re-emphasis of classical Greek and Roman values and culture.
  • Music took the sonata form and perfect examples of composers are Hayden and Mozart.
  • Literature appeared as essays, letters, fables, and satires
  • The French artist David painted the “Oath of the Horatii” where Roman soldiers took vows on their blades in a typical Roman Basilica, which sums up this period precisely.
  • Essentially, Modernism is the rebellious teenage child of Neoclassicism

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West Civ^2 Blogging (L110)

(1) What arguments does Gladstone make in favor of Home Rule for Ireland?

During the 1800s, the overwhelmingly Catholic Ireland was ruled over by the Majorly Protestant England. While most political restrictions held over Ireland were lifted early in the century, Catholics were still required to pay a tax to the Protestant Church. William Gladstone, British Prime Minister, began protesting this unfair taxation in 1886, claiming that it was morally incorrect to subject the people in such a way. He also argued that Ireland would never accept British rule and rebel constantly unless the British would allow the Irish to govern themselves, but was quickly shut down. Despite his failure to free the Catholic Irish from all restrictions, he was praised as a statesman for pursuing the rights of others even when the odds were stacked against him. Continue reading

West Civ^2 Blogging (L105)

(1) What were the key steps in the process of Italian unification?

Up until the 19th century, Italy consisted of a series of independent states. Of all the states involved in the unification of Italy, Piedmont was the most influential. Two prominent statesmen, Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi, had been attempting to unify Italy for a long time, but the Prime Minister of Piedmont, Count Camillo di Cavour, played the biggest role during the 1850s. During the Crimean war, he sent 15,000 troops to anti-Russian side in an effort to gain France as an ally when time came to oust the Austrian overlords of Italy. Napoleon III supported Cavour with the condition that they would only fight as long as Austria would fire the first shot. After many failed attempts to provoke Austria into attacking, Napoleon finally gave up and began to demobilize his army. Viewing the retreating French army as an easy target to finally be rid of once and for all, Austria finally lashed out. But, the French armies were victorious and Lombardy was added to the new unified states that made up Italy at that time. However, the unification of Italy was not yet complete! Garibaldi the famous general, entered the scene again and conquered the southern part of Italy, including various Vatican territories, for Piedmont, who was ruling over the states forming Italy. In 1861 Cavour died, never seeing the full unification of Italy to which he had devoted his life. Nevertheless, one by one, more states were conquered, with the exception of the Vatican which remained independent, forming the Italy of today in 1870. Continue reading

West Civ^2 Blogging (LESSON 100!!)

(1) Discuss two weak points in the views of Karl Marx, and explain what’s wrong with them.

  • The first belief of Karl Marx that does not hold up under close inspection is  that if the division of labor is removed, out would pour artistic talent and skill into the world. But why would you attempt to specialize in perhaps 20 fields when you could work in 19 of them as hobbies and be exceptional at one in particular? If everyone decided that they wanted to focus on multiple jobs instead of one, quality health care for example would vanish. No one would specialize in the medical field anymore and the death rate would shoot back to the middle ages. Aren’t we all fond of comfy couches to lounge on in our spare time? They would vanish as well. With no one dedicated to providing a quality couch, every one you bought would be so lacking in quality and durability that it would be a waste of money to even own a couch anymore. Without specialists in every field that you can think of, quality products and care would cease to exist (especially in industries such as plumbing.)
  • The second paper-thin belief of Karl Marx is that all exchanged items must be equal. This is utterly and absurdly false because the entire reason people exchange objects is because they are unequal. For instance let’s say Fred has a new pen and Jane has a toy car and they would like to exchange the two items. If the items were equal. both people would be satisfied with what they have and not want what the other has instead. Fred desires the toy car more than he likes his pen and vice versa with Jane, making the two items unequal in both of their eyes and leaving both satisfied after the exchange. This simple example can be applied to any two exchanged items and completely trashes Marx’s belief.

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West Civ^2 Blogging (L95)

(1) What happened in France during the Revolution of 1830?

The 1820’s in France was a fairly prosperous time. However, as it came to an end, people began to complain about their many grievances that had been easily placated with the comfortable living of the 1820’s. Rioters and Political protesters filled the streets. Charles X, the new king, clamped down on the already restricted free press and reduced the limit of those allowed to vote to only 23,000 citizens. The Ultras (supporters of the king) attempted to portray those against the king as the descendants of the Reign of Terror. Animosity only grew as a result. Charles X dismissed the Chamber of Deputies (the main legislative body of France.) Eventually, Charles was deposed and replaced by a more moderate, middle-class-minded type of king. Meanwhile artisans were breaking machines and demanding that the government shut down labor saving machinery (idiots) because this newfangled machinery was taking their jobs away. Louis Philippe–the new king–was not sympathetic to their plight and demanded that the riots halt. The 1820’s clashed sharply with the 1830’s and if the Revolutions of 1830 told me anything, it is that the absence of a comfortable life in the wake of prosperity can stir up people quicker than anything else. Continue reading