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Joseph Kaminski

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June 27, 2017

American History

Professionalizing History 4: Howard Zinn and the War Against American History

I’d like to thank anyone who gave me their thoughts and opinions (in person or through email) about the first three installments of this Professionalizing History series. In the last installment, Part 3, I discussed the differences between empathizing and sympathizing with history, referring to an incredible conversation overheard in the hallway one morning. If you

American Revolution

The History of America: Howe’s Perspective

William Howe saw North America rather clearly: as a threat. Not just any threat, however; William Howe saw the colonies as a rage-induced organization of militias who were banding together against the misdeeds of the British government. William Howe had one personal question for the colonials: how long could they keep it going?

The History of America: Mercantilism

The royal governments of Europe fell in love with these ideas almost immediately, and in 1689 the Parliament of England abolished all taxes on grain to drive down prices. This allowed English grain the cheapest in the world, and it sold quickly abroad — forcing countries to become dependent on Britain. Less than a year later, in 1690, the Parliament banned the sale of French liquor to encourage the manufacturing of English gin from, you guessed it, English grain. That same year, a centralized English bank was created to stabilize the currency. To make their economic power even stronger, the Parliament would force Scotland into “The United Kingdom” in 1707, successfully “taking” the wealth of another nation.

Slavery in America

The History of America: Slavery Economics

What is freedom? The freedom to do what, exactly? As we discussed in past posts, America was in the middle of this smoke cloud at the time. There was this absence of restraint in North America, as nobody in Europe at the time cared enough or was close enough to want to watch the citizens and make sure they stay in their place. Three kinds of people moved to America…

American Flag

The History of America: New York and Pennsylvania

A majority of English colonies, if you look past their misjudgment of the weather based on latitude, had excellent geographic locations in the minds of explorers. Perhaps the nonexistent Northwest Passage would be right around the next mountain range or Indian tribe! Well, as we know today, it wasn’t, and European explorers would continue to look haphazardly for this passage to the Pacific until the 1850s when a major British exploration led by John Franklin (1786 – 1847) vanished in the Arctic, never to be seen alive again.

southern-colonies

The History of America: Southern Colonies

Of all European nations, it would seem that England would be one of the countries most involved in attempting to colonize America. Their long history of dominance in Europe along with their strong navy and vast middle class filled with entrepreneurs and investors seems like a good backup for said argument. But, why isn’t England not interested in America yet? Well, lets back up a bit.

american-flag

The History of America: A New World

Anyone who has taken a United States History course knows that sometimes, well, most of the time, we eliminate and “forget” to write down the lows of American History. Not many high school text books discuss the fact that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had made a decision to not to bomb railways used to transport prisoners to Auschwitz during World War 2, a controversial topic you can read more about here. But, there are five themes in United States history that can be seen in any high school or college history course.

Quick History: The Spread of Prohibition

As America entered the Great War, the temperance movement became much more noticeable. In 1918, Congress passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution – which completely prohibited all sectors of the trade for alcohol. From manufacturing, transporting, selling, or consuming alcoholic beverages, the states agreed to ratified the amendment within less than a year.

Four Types of Liberalism

In America, progressivism began as a social movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and grew into a political movement, in what was known as the Progressive Era. While the term “American progressives” represent a range of diverse political pressure groups (not always united), some American progressives rejected Social Darwinism, believing that the problems society faced (poverty, violence, greed, racism, class warfare) could best be addressed by providing good education, a safe environment, and an efficient workplace. Progressives lived mainly in the cities, were college educated, and believed that government could be a tool for change.

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