Monday, February 28, 2011

Schedule Clarification

Week 7: What a Wonderful Modern Age We Live In!
Reading: Chapter 17
2/21: Lecture: Messianic Visionaries
2/23: Lecture: instructor out sick

Week 8: Winners and Losers of the 19th Century?
Reading: Chapter 18
2/28: Lecture: The Rise of Science, Technology, and Professionalism
3/2: Lecture: Colonialism and South Africa

Mardi Gras Break

Week 9: Modern Anxiety
3/14: Lecture: 1914: The World on the Eve of the Great War
3/16: TEST 2

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Miracles of Science: Technological and Intellectual Modernity in the late 19th Century

Technological and Intellectual modernity took new and familiar turns in the late 19th Century. In fact, many of the ideas and processes that would govern life in the 20th century world had their root in the second half of the nineteenth century. We will look at these today. 

Scientific Racism
Professionalization of Engineering
Communications revolution
New Steel and its ramifications
Chemistry and modern science


I'll post terms and questions from Chapter 17 soon!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Messy World of Messianic Visionaries

Today we will look at one particular brand of discontent that flourished in the nineteenth century. Faced with profound and unpleasant social change, societies around the globe produced messianic visionaries who preached the virtues of spiritual rebirth as a means to reversing the trends of modernity. Universally unsuccessful in the 19th Century, we will look at the parallels that we find within our own time.

Chapter 16 terms

Wounded Knee
Abd Al-Wahhab
Dan Fodio
Shaka Zulu
Hong Xiuquan
Taiping Rebellion
Congress of Vienna 1815
Charles Fourier
Karl Marx
Friedrich Engels
Tenskwatawa (The Prophet)
War of the Yucatan
Sepoy Rebellion
Greased Cartridge controversy

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Traditionalism vs. Modernity Part I: The Struggle for the Modern State

Today we are going to look at the troubles that plagued Europe and the West in general during the middle of the 19th Century.

The nations that emerged victorious against Napoleon believed that the Congress of Vienna in 1815 would not only stabilize Europe and prevent another age of warfare, that it would also turn back the clock on some of the fundamental changes that had taken root since the French Revolution.

The Bourbon Kings who emerged after 1815 in France exemplified this reactionary impulse, but as we shall see, it was not only the old nobles who sought a return to the old ways. We'll view this through the rise of France's Second Republic and Second Empire.

At the same time, people across England and Europe saw the post-Napoleonic period as a time for solidifying some of the basic rights gained under the age of "enlightenment." Basic reforms such as freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and universal male suffrage became rallying cries of the people. We will look at this through the failed bid for German nationhood.

The struggle between Modernity and Traditionalism spread to America and Japan as well, and we'll briefly explore these two conflicts in the context of this philosophical rift. 

Lastly, even more radical thinkers emerged out of this turmoil, and we'll spend some time  looking at them.

Some terms that will appear in today's lecture:

Charterist Movement (England)
Charles X of France
Louis Napoleon, a.k.a. Napoleon III
Carl Schurz
Richard Wagner
Meiji Restoration
Karl Marx

Chapter 17: terms and review questions

What motivated Canadians to expand westward and how did these motivations compare and contrast with those that animated Brazilians?

How did the Germans forge a united nation? What problems did they encounter?

How did Africa's national boundaries come into being?

How did the Japanese under the Meiji Restoration attempt to reinvigorate national pride and unity?

What spurred the Japanese to conquer lands in mainland Asia? How was this similar to Britain?

How did the Russian Empire differ economically from Britain and Japan? How was it the same? How did the differenes lead to economic problems?

How did China's efforts and modernization differ from those of Japan? Why?

Social Darwinism
India & "home charges"
Emperor Menelik II
Henry Morton Stanley
New Orientalism (p. 749)
Commodore Perry
Meiji Restoration
Self-Strengthening Movement

Monday, February 14, 2011

Grading your Tests

I've been grading your tests, and it is clear that while a number of you did very well on the matching, some of you have not. I can accept that there can be confusion on matching sections, but remember that these terms all appeared on the blog, greatly narrowing down the terms that you needed to know for the exam.

In the future, here is a tip: If you see a word among the selections that you don't remember from the blog, it is probably not going to be a correct answer. I put these in there for people who don't study, and frankly, for my own entertainment. Now some of you did very well - I think a reflection of reading and studying. Congrats! For the rest of you, we need to know whether or not you missed these because your study methods are insufficient.

But without further ado:

"Raja Miripuri" is actually my neighbor, Shawn Miripuri, who while Indian and a fantastic neighbor, has not to my knowledge ever been a Mughal leader. "King" Juan Valdèz might ring a bell if you remember these following commercials:

I just plain made up "Giuseppe the Navigator" because it seemed like fun, as well as "The Great Restoration" and the "Treaty of Elba." I don't think anybody used these these terms in a place where I thought someone might think it appropriate, which really confused me.

And "pokkelijder" means something along the lines of "pox sufferer" in Dutch, which in the greater scheme of Dutch profanity is apparently a terrible insult.  "Lufka Humma" is the Natchez princess immortalized in the Grandissimes by Louisiana writer George Washington Cable.

Pepe Lopez is a brand of tequila, but since we know none of you are old enough to drink, that might have confused you.  Emiliano Zapata might have been easy to confuse for Father Hidalgo, but, of course, he wasn't one of your terms. Moreover, Zapata was a full century later than Hidalgo in Mexico's dramatic revolutionary history.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Haiti as a Metaphor

Today we will explore why Haiti serves as a good metaphor for all of the themes that we have explored in this course up until this point.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Painful Arrival of Political Modernity

So far in this class, we have explored many different ways in which the world became more "modern" after 1500, particularly with regard to economics, technology, and ideas. Today we are going to look at some of the earthshaking political changes that took place beginning at the end of the eighteenth century and how they redefined the relationship between governments and the governed.

We've already spent enough time considering North America, and you've had plenty of time in your 18+ years to learn about the American Revolution. Instead, today we will cast our gaze toward the French Revolution and its enormous global ramifications.

This revolution undermined absolutist monarchies, but in the end did not necessarily replace them with governments that fostered the revolutionary ideals of liberty, fraternity, and equality.

Some of the issues we will confront:

What the French Revolution meant to the rest of the western world, and why it was so troubling for those in charge.
The conditions that allowed a man like Napoleon Bonaparte to emerge as Emperor of France
The ways in which Bonaparte did and did not carry on the ideals of the Revolution.
Why the Age of Napoleon was a little like throwing a rock into a pond in terms of global change.
How Enlightenment-era ideas could put into motion a series of events resulting in less-than-enlightened outcomes.

A few terms that we'll confront today (some are also in your book): Jacobin, Grande Armée, Decemberists, Muhammad Ali Pasha, Leo Tolstoy, "Patriotic War of 1812," Muhammad Ali Pasha, Mamluks.

Culture and images:

Napoleon in Egypt

Muhammad Ali Pasha

And where would we be without a map? Charles Joseph Minard's graphic map of Napoleon's invasion of Russia.

In addition to Tolstoy, which I'll talk about in the lecture, the Napoleonic Era inspired some of the West's most iconic music and visual art. Familiar to you should be Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture:

Or this great Boccherini piece (used in Master and Commander) composed on the eve of Napoleon's invasion of Spain. Boccherini had fled Napoleon's France for Spain.

And, of course, Goya's 3rd of May

Chapter 15 terms

In your textbook:

For Chapter 15, you should be able to explain the differences in the way the age of revolution played out in these following places:

Spanish South America
Haiti (San Domingue)
British North America (the USA)
The Ottoman Empire

How did the elimination of the international slave trade affect Africa?

How did Opium transform China's relationship with the West, and in what way did this parallel India's experience? How was India's and China's relationship with the West differ?

You should know the basic series of events having to do with the French Revolution.

Why was Free Trade so good for Britain and not so wonderful for a lot of other places?

Some terms:

Estates General
National Assembly
The Terror
Congress of Vienna
Pedro I of Brazil
Hidalgo and Morelos
palm oil
Muhammad Ali
Orientalism (and its rise and fall in India)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Your Lecture Questions

I've entered the grades for the first four of your lecture questions into Blackboard. If you have a "2" for your grade, then I gave you full credit. If you got less than a "2," then I will expect more out of future questions from you. My grading on these was generous in acknowledgment of your learning curve. It will become less generous as we get further into class.

Some things to consider when writing your questions:

  • I'm giving you plenty of time. Don't just produce something slipshod so as to exit the classroom as quickly as possible.
  • If it is unintelligible (I can't understand what you are trying to say) I cannot give you credit.  See bullet point #1.
  • The question itself should not contain errors of fact. 
  • You should use proper grammar and, ideally, spelling in your question.
  • Your question should not be virtually identical to the one turned in by the person sitting next to you.
  • No hypothetical questions, like: "What do you think would happen if the French had ESP?" Not even if they aren't this silly. Stick to the material.

Think about the big picture. Just don't scissor some small fun fact out of the lecture and expect to receive credit. In the future, a question like this will not receive credit:
"What did Spain get back from England after the Seven Years' War?"
"Where did the free press first emerge?"

Why not? Because these aren't analytical questions. Your lecture question requires you to think about the greater meanings in the material. Here are a few examples of actual student questions that I received over the last four classes. Not all of them are perfectly correct with regard to grammar, and all are not completely clear in their meaning - I would edit these before I used them on a test for both content and clarity. Yet, these questions come close to the spirit of the assignment:

"What was Nathaniel Bacon's issue with Gov. Berkeley? How did Bacon's rebellion contribute to the expansion of slavery in North America?" (Actually, the second half of this question is sufficiently analytical. On a test I would expect some elaboration of how the conflict came to be, including a description of the background and aspirations of the rebels, and the reasoning behind the move toward African slavery in the Chesapeake.)

"In what ways did mercantilism change the dynamic of European countries and ultimately aid in the starting of the Seven Years' War?" (I would edit this, but it contains analysis as it invites the respondent to draw connections between mercantilism, colonialism, and global conflict.)

"How did the commodification of the world in the end of the 15th Century influence the trade, economic, and social standings in Europe, Asia, and Africa." (This actually has grammatical errors that cloud the question's meaning. But the underlying question is an important one. If we rephrase it, we come closer to an invitation to a discussion on global commodity. We could even narrow it down. How about this: "How did the commodification of human beings alter the social standing of the poorer classes in Europe and Africa (not so much Asia) at the end of the 15th Century?")

"What did Carl Linneaeus's 'Great Chain of Being' teach? What effect did it have one Europe's worldview and foreign relations?" (Again, this question beckons us to think deeply about the connections between scientific classification, emerging ideas of race, and how these ideas translate into governmental policy in Europe. I might word it differently, but this question shows me that the student is making connections in the material.)