Josh’s thoughts
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Dec
14

Every major war the United States has been in, we as an American public have found a way to honor those who served. The National Mall in Washington DC honors those who served their country in the World War II, Korean and Vietnam memorials. Though the intentions of the architects and American public are to honor those who served. One cannot deny the strong difference in structures used to remember those who fought. By looking at these memorials and comparing them, one can infer which wars the American public considered victorious or failures, just by looking at their design and size.

The World War II memorial is perhaps the most extravagant with a gigantic water fountain/reflecting pool in the center. Encircling the water fountain are columns, each symbolizing a state of the United States and their territories in 1945. At night the memorial is visible with lights, lighting up the fountain and the columns. It is the most well lit area in the National mall. The overall feeling you get while being there is nearly joy. The only thing that changes that feeling is the star at the west wall, each star representing one hundred soldiers who lost their lives for the price of freedom. Other than the stars, there is only feeling of victory, with quotes of hope and heroism by famous leaders. Moving to the Vietnam War, it’s memorial is small, almost hard to find in comparison to the WWII memorial, and is just a wall with a list of those who sacrificed their lives during the war. Off to the side of the wall, is the two statues of three soldiers that commemorates the United States Military. The Vietnam Memorial in general is a lot less celebratory than World War II memorial, and in fact many ways gives a solemn feeling. With the list of the dead, flowers, wreathes and little American flags lining the wall, I felt almost disrespectful taking a picture of it. Gave off a feeling of a graveyard, and the American public view as so, with the way it was constructed, a list of the dead on a stonewall. Not to mention the very dim lighting at night compared to the World War II memorial. This is not surprising considering the Vietnam War is considered the least successful war, out of the three memorialized at the National Mall. There is nothing to triumph over Vietnam.

The Korean War is a different story but is memorialized in a way that can be considered a combination of the World War II memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. Both the Vietnam memorial and Korean Memorial have a wall made from the same stone, but instead of listing the dead the Korean memorial shows drawings of soldiers and men that served. Like the Vietnam Memorial with the soldier statues, the Korean has more, nineteen soldiers to be exact. The wall, with a reflecting pool, and nineteen soldiers compared to a wall and two statues, is a massive difference. What’s odd about this is how many consider the Vietnam War, a more important war in history. It did define US culture in the early 1970’s. Where as the Korean War is not really thought of as much, yet when commemorating those who served, the Korean War memorial is a lot more extravagant. This follows the order of public’s opinion of success of these wars. Vietnam is considered by the American public to be the least successful war, while World War II the most successful. The Korean War is the forgotten war, and was neither a great success nor failure. Hence the combination of design when looking at all three structures. Though these memorials all vary in feeling they all have one thing in common, to honor those who served. Even though the elaborate design of the World War II memorial does give the overwhelming sense of victory and near joy compared to the simplistic structure of the Vietnam memorial. The best way to truly commemorate those who served is in silence when you walk through these memorials, no matter their size, lighting, or structure.

Click here to view my Photo Album of the National Mall

Dec
14

As a requirement of my History 120 course, I had to research and add to a historical wikipedia article. After doing so my main objective was to maintain the article to assure it would not be deleted. After searching through various Civil War Stubs, I decided to go with a not so well known event, The Tragedy at Ebenezer Creek. After researching and posting what information I could about the event, I waited for weeks. I was beginning to think that I should have chose another event in American History that might be a little more well known. I added to the stub on October 16. No one touched my article till November 18th, and that was just a minor edit, I mispelled ‘decision’.  Finally five weeks later another wikipedia user actually went through my article and added to it. User name Ghipps added the eye witness account of Colonel Charles D. Kerr, of the tragedy. Ghipps did cite his source but not properly, before I could correct his mistake someone else took the liberty of deleting his whole paragraph he added. Looking at the article last week, and seeing that someone changed it, but seeing the article I wrote was left unchanged was mind boggling. After going through the revision history a couple of times, I finally found out what happened.  Ghipps added his segment to my article on November 24th. On November 28th, an unknown user with this IP address ‘68.82.103.45’, deleted Ghipps’ segment instead of trying to correct the improper citation. Looking over the sources that Ghipps used (history.net article), I do not see why this unknown user took out the whole paragraph, when the work was not plagiarized, just not cited properly.

After using Wikipedia all this semester for my class, I can say that Wikipedia is good when getting information about a specific topic or person. And I have used it often as a start to research for different subjects. However I would never cite it as a source for any paper or project I do. Just how I discovered how useful Wikipedia is, I also found out how flawed it can be. Because Wikipedia is user based, a lot of inaccurate things can be said, but they are usually corrected by other Users over time. However this is not true with all articles, like just this morning when reading over my article I corrected a grammar mistake I made in October. Apparently the other users such as Ghipps who looked over my article did not catch this, which is kinda funny that they caught my mispelling of ‘decision’ but not my sentence structure. ‘Davis tricked the former slaves think that them…’  I corrected it this morning to ‘Davis tricked the former slaves into thinking that…’ So yeah I would never qoute Wikipedia or cite it. Wikipedia is our modern way of verbal history. Like how the Greeks and Romans used to pass on stories through generations just verbally and things tend to get distorted. Wikipedia is the same way, except those distortions are usually counterbalanced by articles of fact, instead of somebody else’s word. I never thought I could use Wikipedia in academics, and my history class proved me wrong (our textbook was wikipedia!). I like Wikipedia when it comes to random trivia about a subject, and I will probably use it more often on my own next semester, instead of being forced to. 

Dec
11

Women in the 1950’s were portrayed as being conservative, and traditional. However fifty years later women on film are portrayed as being very sexual by nature, more provocative, but some characteristics remain. After watching ‘Oldsmobile What Women Want’ it was hard to encapsulate the impression of women today, the way the Oldsmobile video did for the 50’s. The Oldsmobile video is 2 minutes long, and can be viewed below. 

The Oldsmobile video shows that women are choosey and have certain tastes, that are different then men. Tastes such as color and feel are more preferential for a woman. This is shown in this advertisement for these same ideas are shown today in other advertisements, and seem to stereotype women as being either stay at home mothers (a 50’s ideal) or extremely sexual. In fact most ads on television that feature women today are sexual. Take a look at this commercial from Syne Drex, a diet pill company. 

Notice how the woman in the commercial is just as choosey as the one in the Oldsmobile ad. She has to touch and feel, every item of clothing and try on multiple colors before she makes her decision. As men, we just normally put on what we can find, the Oldsmobile ad points this out verbally, while in comparison the diet pill ad is showing that. The Oldsmobile ad and the diet pill ad are similar in that sense, and give us a glimpse into societies view of women. The main difference being in sex appeal. Both ads, use sex appeal to gain attention of the consumer however 1950 ads are a lot more subtle, instead of obvious about it.

Nov
15

When looking at past advertisements to modern, the easiest difference to find is the wording. Modern ads are less about words and more about image, while past ads are less about the picture and more about the words about the product. Its as if past advertisers were assuming that consumers will read paragraphs about an ad, as if descriptions of a product are really eye catching. Modern ads however use the glossiness, the colors, and like the way art can capture one’s eyes modern ads aim for that. I pulled these assumptions when comparing to advertisements, both of the same kind of product, perfume.

One of the advertisments is a Lavendar Yardley Ad taken from 1944 (view ad), while the other is an M perfume from Mariah Carey taken from 2007 (view ad). When looking at the two other than the obvious word amount on each, the Mariah Carey ad gives off a little more sensuality and sexuality, while the 1944 ad seems seductive but also ladylike for the time. Instead of having a tagline like the M ad (“captivating like a song”), the Lavendar ad uses a paragraph that describes the smell of the perfume, written on a paper like a love letter. Both however follow the color scheme of flowers, purple or red. Only the 1944 ad has actually flowers on it though. The 2007 ad uses mountains in its ad. Over time perfume ads have become more and more sexual.

Oct
30

Journalism during the civil war started booming during the recent invention of the camera. However most publications relied heavily on illustrators to bring forth the ideas and feelings that the publication wanted due to technological reasons. Harper’s Weekly covered the Civil War era in a variety of ways and never limited itself to one channel of getting their news across.

Most images published in Harper’s Weekly were drawings done by their own staff who would be present at the time of the event. They would stay out of harm’s way for an event and start drawing what they noticed or their own interpretation of the events if you will.  This is evident in a picture taken of Alfred R. Waud, a contributor to Harper’s Weekly in which he is sitting on a rock above the Gettysburg Battlefield sketching the event. Sketches were not limited to ground level distances either. The cover of Harper’s Weekly on May 16, 1862 is a sketch done from a hot air balloon of the attack on Fort Darling. A sketch of this event from an aerial view would have been more appropiate at the time as compared to a photograph because of the difficulty and near impossibility of taking a picture with the large original cameras from a hot air balloon of the events.

Meaning could easily be defered from the drawings like that of the African American Soldiers, where one could easily assume that they have just arrived in a town. Same can be said of that and the Potomac River picture. Another outlet to get their message across is political cartoons which explain a lot of the views of the day and time of which they were drawn.

Coverage of the Civil War by Harper’s Weekly

Oct
11

Dear Citizens of Abella Village,

 I propose a society be created for our own beliefs, for I have lost all faith in what the revolutionaries fought for.  The expansion westward is giving us a chance to change from the democratic ideals started after the British left.  To set up a society where everyone is truly equal socially, and finacially. Only thing that separates us from this is our moral beliefs, but all are still treated equally under the law. The Purists and Christians will never understand our view, and our lifestyle. That is why this move westward is a well needed one.

A society where every one works for not the greater good of ones self but our neighbors and love ones. If every man, woman and child followed these ideals peace and equality is not a stretch from our fingers grasp. What separates us from the Purists and the Christians is our equality is so strong together that marriage does not exist between two people but between many. Love is between every man and woman, for whom they shall chose. The church teaches us that this is sinful, but rather it is more natural then holding your love in. This paradise will be cut off from many influences of the church, and government. Our children will pass on our traditions without worry of persecution. A community in the west is a must for the survival of our children. Our religion is for the greater good, and god will save us from the rapture that he forsees. The journey begins in two weeks time.

We shall move to the river of the far West, and build with our own bare hands our heritage. Where no structure of man exists but God’s land. Located across the river, a public building shall be constructed where we the towns people will all have equal vote on what to do of our land, and domestic issues of that sort, along with worship and schooling. In this building our first laws shall be created based on the equality of each person, there is no rich or poor, just people of moral standings. Surrounding the Town building will be open fields of green grass and walkways, the openess tells a tale of our openess to eachother. Woods surround the Center of town shall be the playground for our children, and the relaxing amusement for those of us who cannot find our own peace in the City. Collective farm lands and homes surround the outter woods. This is where we grow our crops and take shifts for picking Corn and other food for our kinsmen. On the farside of the farms is our orchards where shifts will also be devised to keep a steady supply for every person. Children above the age of eight are also to take up shifts for this is the greater good of the community. Factories shall exist but far from our haven of peace and quiet. Factories will provide craftsmanship of fine furniture for each household, every person in schooling will learn the the techniques and skill for this.

 Outsiders to our community are welcome for every one is their own man, however staying for extended periods of time requires a vote from the community and willingness of the visitor to contribute in our daily work and may attend our meetings and social gatherings, but do not have a vote in meetings. Every family shall have their own house which are all helped built by the community. One might ask in this proposal, how shall we operate without a mediator in Town votes?

The mediator in meetings changes week to week and name is pulled at random three days in advance. Every man and woman over the age of elgible for this leading position. Like how the presidents of our country are overthrown every few years, our mediators shall be renewed weekly as to prevent corruption. We are all equal as people. In our successes and failures we are one. However everyone’s moral dilemma is between he and God, we do not persecute those for being liars or cheats, for their justice is coming at their end of days. All this I propose and all this we shall all ponder, till two weeks time when those of us who believe in a new start shall leave, to this Utopia I shall call Freeman’s Path.

Love,

Josh Deaton

to all my Brothers and sisters underneathe the Heavens

Sep
25

Patriot DVD

 

            Obviously being a Hollywood film itself means there will be historical distortions. The Patriot has a few historical errors that were most likely done on purpose to add more drama, and to make the viewers sympathize with Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson).  A good example of this is when the slaves state to Colonel Tavington of the British Army, that they are already free men, when they were offered freedom if they serve the Queens Army. The year is 1776 in South Carolina, a slave owner during that time, in that place wouldn’t be so kind to even help plow fields as seen later in the film. This was done to show the character in a better light, cause what kind of audience member would sympathize with the truth, a slave owner fighting for freedom but not of his slaves?

            When the script for the patriot was first written, originally the character was going to be completely based off Francis Marion, a French and Indian war hero/ revolutionary soldier. The similarities are uncanny between the characters, both fought in South Carolina and both Martin and Marion used an old Spanish church in the swamp as a base (Partiot Resource). While Colonel Tavington is based on Banestre Tarleton, who was sent by General Cornwallis to go after Marion specifically (IMDB Trivia). However unlike the film the battle between the two, their’s was not personal and far from a one man’s revenge. In fact Marion did not marry till after the Revolution. Francis Marion’s name was removed from the script several drafts later due to the fact that in reality Marion was extremely brutal during the French Indian war, and committed henious acts during the war. It was also rumored that Marion was cruel to his slaves (wikipedia). This was changed to show the character in a favorable light.

Ironically Banastre Tarleton in real life is almost the exact opposite of the way he was portrayed in the film, and is not completely a cold, sadistic, murderer, but rather considered by England to be a national hero. However he did earn the nickname ‘Butcher’ Tarleton, because of his total war strategies. The nickname hung around to strike fear into enemies. One of the really accurate portrayals of this character in the film is the spontaneous charge driven by ‘Tavington’ in the final unknown climatic battle. Tarleton was known to rush attacks. Tarleton survived the war unlike ‘Tavington’ and died at age seventy three (Cowpens NB Article).

As a film The Patriot is a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but don’t be citing it as a source for historically accuraracy. The film did have historical advisors for the film, the Smithsonian Institute advised the film on weapons, costume and location (Americanrevwar). Unfortunetly thats about as accurate as the film gets, but then again who goes to the movies for historical accuracies? Thats my thoughts on the matter, entertainment will always be distorted if not false.

Francis Marion   Tarleton

Sep
13

   Runaway Slaves were nothing unusual during the 1700’s, but over time they had become more common, at least in Newspaper Articles put out by Slave owners, almost in the same fashion as a wanted posted except without a photo. What makes it interesting is the frequency of these ads, from their beginning being few to plentiful.

When looking at the site The Geography of Slavery , it starts out with is 1736 in September with only one slave listed as a runaway. If you skip several decades ahead to 1803, Slave runaways more than doubled in listings. The highest time of slave runaways according to the spreadsheet is the 1780’s where it appears to peak. The listings cut down toward the 1790’s however there are a lot more advertisements up for slaves/servants being captured. They appear at a constant till 1803 when the listings start coinciding with historical events.

In 1800 the citizens of Virginia are prohibited from exporting slaves (Timeline: The United States), which helped bring about change not just in Virginia but the United States. Virginia first bans slavery in 1808,but trafficking of them still continues.

The first captured slave advertisement is published in September 2nd 1737 (Geography of Slavery).  Most of the runaways appear to be all in their late teens or early twenties, and all are listed in ads as being skilled laborers in some field. Whether it is a Gardner or shoemaker the writers in the newspapers made it a point to say what their runaway’s profession is. All the Runaways in my chart all came from different backgrounds and not all from one county. In fact one of them on the spreadsheet, Josee ran away when in Venezuela (number 10 on the chart). The major change from the first set of ads to the last set is that, less runaways were captured and if you read their descriptions in the 1800 ads they are very descriptive with clothing and looks at compared to the older ads that were place. This may explain for more slaves being caught in the later years. But their methods of escaping must be equally if not better because there are more runaways later on then early in the chart.

Also according to the chart most of the runaways appear to be from Richmond, with three being the most amount of runaways from the same place. I did not notice any repeat offenders for running away with the people on my chart. Of the few things I noticed, they all seem to be young, and few of them travel in groups. There is a definite pattern in frequency most runaways happen during the summer and springtime while few happen in the fall and winter. This is probably for obvious reasons such being able to survive without needing a lot of warmth.

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