|Posted by mikehandlmaier on June 16, 2014 at 8:30 PM||comments (43)|
This year has flown by and as I sit to write this final reflection I can now realize that I have grown as a student and as a person. I believe I have grown to a much greater degree this year than I have any year. I put all the credit to this course. I for one am a much better writer. Going into sophomore year I knew I was weakest academically in essay writing but after a lot of hard work I can see how much I have improved. This course was designed to teach students how to write, but I would not be able to improve this without help from Mr. White. I also discovered a more efficient way of studying as I was preparing for the AP Exam. This method that I taught myself was used to prepare for my Chemistry final as well. Something I wish I would have done differently is to study and keep with the class from the beginning. I know for a fact that I am a large procrastinator and it happened again when I had to relearn everything for the Exam.
I believe the course is already well established. It helped many students grow into astounding intellectuals that are now ready for the hardest year of high school. One thing that could have changed was the use of quizzes. While everybody hates quizzes they are very beneficial in retaining information. The students will always have to study the material to and in turn will begin to grasp it months before the Exam.
As for my five year plan, it is somewhat different now. While I want to be at college in 5 years, it will most likely not be at the University of Illinois. I am looking at these colleges this summer and next year: University of Connecticut, Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland, University of Rhode Island, James Madison University, University of Delaware, University of South Carolina, Clemson University, Ohio State University, and Tulane. I previously mentioned my aspirations of becoming a structural engineer but as for now I am unsure. I’m thinking about law right now or perhaps economics and finance. To get into these schools I know I have to raise my 3.5 GPA to around a 3.6-3.7. Im also taking three AP classes and all honors in my Junior year. Also I'm taking an SAT prep course in the summer. Last but not least I already have around 100 hours of community service. 5 years from now I want to working hard in college, but also having fun. I want to achieve something I know I am capable of and that is success. In 5 years, I hope to be an outstanding student that can manage his academics along with the thrill of life.
|Posted by mikehandlmaier on April 24, 2014 at 5:15 PM||comments (1)|
It’s been nineteen long and tiring November days in the hills of Vietnam. We had just been fighting PAVN forces throughout the time in the Battle of Dak To. It’s been a long, hard battle, but I’m glad we, the Americans, won. It is a large step for a Vietnam republic that wants to see an end to the growing communist authority of the Viet Cong. I can remember that first day, when the People’s Army of Vietnam attacked our troops. General Peers seemed to react in confidence believing that we could strike back. He was lead to set up Operation Greeley, trying to get them out of the jungle they had resided in. We went back and forth for a little, suffering many casualties until the PAVN thought they could hold us in Dak To, but we planned on fighting back.
There were so many gunshots, it was like a never ending drum solo that pierced my ears for hours on end. We constantly fired at them, and they shot back after every click of the gun. I saw our planes coming from the air beggining to wrech havoc in the jungles. They released every piece of artillery that I could even imagine the plane could hold. My friends around me collapsed, dead in one of the bloodiest battles in the war. I could hardly watch as my good friend Rob was shot in the stomach by the PAVN bastards. Little drops of blood slowly beaded onto the ground as he died slowly and painfully. It turned into a gush of red fluid. I tried to stop it with my shirtsleeve but it was no use. I could not continue to work on him as he was in and out of consciousness, so I continued to fight as a medic took him away. They PAVN was fighting greatly and it was an extremely bloody battle that I would never forget.
On November 12, I could have sworn I saw fireworks. I have just learned, however, that it was our planes being blown up. The PAVN issued an arial attack, and there was little that we could do to prevent it. Every plane that flew in distance of their shots was fired upon at an unbelievable rate. Each burst into flames within seconds of coming in contact with the bullets and missiles that gashed through the steel of the choppers and planes. Explosions were becoming part of my normal routine now as they just continued. If a day went by during this battle that I didn’t hear over thousands of gunshots, or see atleast 50 explosions, it would probably mean I was dead.
After a couple days, however, we got the power spot on the top of the hill! It was a miracle, but we did it and defeated PAVN with much effort. We shot and shot and killed and killed as many PAVN as we could, so we deserved to win this battle of gore. My face was covered in sweat and just as I felt that I couldn’t stand it, the news came that we had won. This was about an hour ago, and now my surviving buddies and me are off to celebrate our victory, We will only do thios with remembrance of our friends that were killed by the PAVN. This victory is a sign of our miltaries dominance and proof that we can win and contain the spread of Communism.
|Posted by mikehandlmaier on April 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM||comments (1)|
The EU has had to deal with many problems and difficult situations throughout its existance. Europe as a whole has beeen filled with many wars and disasters and now its the 21st century and everything is not exactly peaceful. Now Islam is a religion that is feared due to recent terrror attacks in Europe by Muslims and the continent is shaky economically. This situation slighly resembles the Industrial Revolution.
The EU faces problems today similar to the problems Europe dealt with during the Industrial Revolution. Nowadays, the EU faces the challenge of Islamic immigration into Europe. Some Europeans believe that Muslims should be able to worship freely, thus accept them in their society. Muslims, however, began to become associated with riots, forcing European opinions to become anti-Islamic. In France, they went so far as to banning Muslims in some parts of the countries, although Muslims still immigrate to other parts of Europe. They are from parts of Africa like Libya, and when these African countries face problems, they turn toward Italy since they had been Italy’s colony. Once they get to Italy, they can go through Europe freely. Additionally, since some Islamic territories are even in Europe, they are close by and in reachable distance. This starts another problem of border security within countries of Europe. People in Europe are nervous about Islamic attacks, just like in the United States, and they aren’t sure how to deal with it.
This situation is like the migration during the Industrial Revolution. People in countries that didn’t have a good economy wanted to move to places that did. They then immigrate to Great Britain, like in Manchester’s case, and other industrialized countries. They then faced overcrowding, which would eventually lead to lack of food and materials, and thus lead to riots. They weren’t sure how to stop the overflow of people into the industrialized areas, just like the EU isn’t sure how to prevent Muslims from coming into other countries.
Next, they face the challenge of the welfare state. This involves paying for education and unemployment. Today, with the American recession, Europe’s economy suffered and the government can’t pay for as many people’s education as they had. The EU gave bailouts to some countries, like Ireland and Greece, but not all. Similarly, during the industrial revolution, people were concerned with unemployment when they were being replaced with machines. Some families couldn’t afford food due to the unemployment, and in some cases, riots broke out. This, however, changed with the century, as during war, factories were scrambling to find workers. They took women but then after war, it was back to the same issue. There was no clear way to solve this issue back then, and there still isn’t today.
All in all, the problems the EU faces are identical to what was delt with during the Industrial Revolution by the European nations. The bailouts and urbanization are now repeating throughout this time period. This was seen in the Industrial Revolution and is now being seen today in not only Europe but the whole world.
|Posted by mikehandlmaier on April 23, 2014 at 3:55 PM||comments (2)|
The Cold War was a period that lasted many decades which possesed two global powers that had much tension between them. The United States of America and the USSR were once allies that saw eye to eye as World War II concluded, but as time progressed they differed on their political, military and economical idealoligies. These two friends from the war very quickly turned into mortal enemies for several reasons. The diiference of capitalism and democracy versus communism was an important factor on this change, along with the ideas of Poland and the death of American President Franklin Roosevelt.
Poland was a grey area every time these two powers tried to negotiate. The US and USSR could never agree on what Poland would become. After World War II more than twenty million Soviet people were killed by the Germans because the Nazi army was able to get to Russia after conquering Poland. Stalin did not want to see his people die because of this. He feared that if the Germans tried to dominate Europe again, they would be able to get to Russia because of Poland. This is because Stalin wanted Poland to have a Communist goverment that could be influenced by the Russian government. This would have helped as a buffer against any attack from the Western Nations. On the other hand, the United States was very keen on the idea of self-determenation throughout the world. They wanted to see the Polish people choose what government they sought best for themselves. After several years of negotiations between the two powerful nations, Poland was allowed to fall under the Iron Curtain and Stalin had to sign a meeble "Decleration of Liberated Europe" which was very vague that allowed Winston Churchill and Roosevelt to go home and tell their countries that they had upheld democratic values in Russia. The agreement however ment there was a small hope for self-determination in Poland which would inevitably mean that the Poles would want out of the Soviet orbit and cause the US and USSR to continue fighting over this problem. This would eventually help kindle the begginning of the Cold War.
On April 12th 1945 President Roosevelt died, bringing a hard nosed Truman into the executive office and at the head of the foreign policy branch in the United States. Roosevelt had never let Truman know much of the talks between he and Russia, leaving Truman almost baffled at points in his term. The new president never knew how much of the American ideals Roosevelt gave up to Russia so he was very confused at Russia's later actions. When Russia broke the treaty they signed and forged elections to continue their sphere of influence further into the world, Truman had an immediate response. He was able to prove to the American government that Stalin was liar who went back on his word and there were many actions then to stop the continuing growth of Communism. Stopping Russia's sphere of influence was the primary interest of foreign policies in the United States. Under Truman, containment of Communism was the simple most important task on his plate, making the step forward into the Cold War.
The last precondition of the cold war that will be addressed is the large difference between democracy and communism. The United States favored a democratic form of government which allows the people to own property and enjoy a free market economy. Russia on the other hand, favored a Marxist communist state where the government owned everything from property to the economy. The United States did not strive for Communism to be eliminated, but for it to be up to the people to choose. This meant that the US expected communism to be eliminated since it did not give much right to the people except for in Russia. The USSR was different on this because they wanted Communism to spread throughout the world. This meant that the US had to get involved because they did not want this. The United States eventually declared the Cold War on Russia so that the USSR could not continue the growing sphere of influence.
Today Communism still exists, but as usual the democratic ideals seen in the United States are popular throughout the world. The Cold War was not a war were the two dominant military powers went toe-to-toe, but many people sacrificed for their side. The governmental prolems of Poland, the death of Rooselvelt and the traditional battle between Communism and Democracy were the key preconditions that caused the Cold War.
|Posted by mikehandlmaier on April 5, 2014 at 3:10 PM||comments (0)|
The Great Depression is considered one of the worst times to be an American, as it affected millions. The crash of the American stock market and failure of banks forced millions into unemployment. Farmers and people that owned their own business could not stay afloat, along with the previously thriving industries. While, these times were tough in the United States, Europe was also greatly affected in a way that will always leave a mark on history. Countries economies failed and Fascists radicals gained control of some countries. The Great Depressions directly affected Germany and Great Britain in a negative way, but to an even worse degree the economic collapse led to the rise of Hitler.
After World War I, many countries in Europe were in massive war debt and had to rely on the United States to stay afloat. One surprising country that falls into this category is Great Britain. Great Britain was always considered to be at the forefront of industrialization, especially during the war. At the time thought, they had a lot of debt causing their industry and trade to become stagnant. There was absolutely no demand for British product and goods. This caused them to rely on the banks of the United States. They would get loans from these banks and private investors and would use them to pay the war debts. This would work until the crash. Now Great Britain was in massive debt and had no way to pay it. The Great Depression or otherwise know in England as the Great Slump led to 70% unemployment in some parts of the nation. Another country that was affected this way was Germany just to a worse degree.
The Great Depression put Germany in an even worse state of economic failure leading to the rise of German Fascism. Germany like Great Britain was relying on the banks of the United States to pay back the war debt along with the billions of dollars in reparations that was forced upon them in the Treaty of Versailles. After the economic failure in New York, the current Weimar socialists were in power in Germany. The people of Germany did not like this as they were not able to help the failing economy. They started looking to political reform. At first they saw the Communist revolutionaries but became eventually scared of them due to their radical ideologies. Then in the middle ground came Hitler. Hitler provided government action that respected private property, as well as guaranteeing the success of farmers and businessmen like in Italy. After such economic hardship such as 25% unemployment and extreme inflation, people finally found something that could guarantee them progression. After being elected, Hitler began a campaign to help the economy. He went against the Treaty of Versailles and created a new and large army and airforce and began major infrastructure projects such as the Autobahn. This began the employment of millions of people bringing Germany back on track to economic success but terrible war crimes later on.
While the Great Depression destroyed the banks and the lives of may in the United States, it also was a very negative force in the success of European nations. This is mostly true in Great Britain and Germany. Great Britain which had led Europe for centuries and economic success became flustered as their industries failed and trade became stagnant. In Germany people became desperate for change leading to the election of the infamous Hitler. The Great Depression is most likely the worst thing to happen to the United States and Europe in the 20th century since it ended up causing War World II.
|Posted by mikehandlmaier on March 30, 2014 at 8:30 PM||comments (1)|
World War II, roughly two decades after the devastating World War I, was a time where men were sent to every corner of the world to sacrifice their lives for their countries. Nationalism was soaring to new heights at the home front of these nations, causing young men to signt themselves up for the dangerous lifestyle that comes with being a soldier. The amount of men sent was so large that there was a lack of production in the home front in many nations. In an era of bloodshed between men, women were able to take a step forward in terms of gender equality, but it was not done without hard work.
With men being moved out to different nations to protect their respective countries, many jobs were becoming vacant. While women were fulfilling their ordinary role of managing household activities, they were now being called upon to occupy these occupations. During the War, the percentage of women who worked for money was 36%, compared to the pre-war percentage of 25%. It was not typical for a women to work before the war. Women who worked were widows and unmarried woman, and they were limited to working at usual positions for women. This included working at clothing manufacturies and areas that dealt with textiles. Now as more women were taking the jobs that men had previously worked, they were working in large industrialized cities. They were now building ships, milling steel, and producing the very weapons that would sustain the war effort. These jobs were mostly limited to men but now these factories had a majority of women working. Just to show the importance of the woman’s role in a nation's work force during World War II, an All-American Baseball Girls Baseball League was created in the United States. this was due to the shortage of young men on the home front. Also a woman’s typical role before the war still remained during the war. These women were mothers who had to protect their children. These mothers became noticed as stronger people in the European nations especially. They would have to protect their kids from the bomb raids. Women were key in the survival of the work force on the home front, and that is why the women had received much more respect after the end of the war.
Women did not only join the workforce that lower and middle class men had left vacant, but also they were key political leaders in some nations. Chinese Madame Chiang Kai-Shek was a key member of the government as she was a large promoter of the Chinese struggle to defy the Japanese occupation of the country. She held many rallies and spoke to the people to rise the nationalism and fight for their continued peace and sovereignty. As well as this, she was also the head of the Chinese Air Force, which was basically unheard of for a woman. Not only this but she represented China and spoke to the US congress in 1943 about her country's struggles in the war. In no doubt she was remarkable woman that showed the people of the World that women needed a lot more respect and appreciation. Also Queen Elizabeth of England, the wife of King George VI, boosted the morale of her nation. While the Germans unleashed their bombs on the people of London, she did not flee. Along with her children, she remained in her Estate in London and struggled throughout the bomb raids, just like a typical English family. She did this along with providing aid to the families that had been bombed. This showed why women could be able to do the same as men in a time of bloodshed and broken hearts. Women had as big of an impact as men in the war effort, and that is why women deserved much more respect post-war.
With hard work in the industrialized factories of Europe and the United States (30 MINUTES), women were able to gain much needed respect and appreciation after the war. These women showed men of the world that they were no different. World War II was a key motivator for the beginning of the move towards more rights for women. Gender equality would now be on the doorstep as womans suffrage grew in nations including the United States. World War two was a time where many people died but the outcome in a woman's rights is somehting that the world will now always hold on to.
|Posted by mikehandlmaier on March 29, 2014 at 1:45 PM||comments (1)|
As my comrades and I begin our march from the support line to the dreaded front line, I remember how I got here. At home I saw much propaganda and I knew I would want to die for my Home country of Germany. I was in my freshman year of college on my way to becoming a doctor, but I knew that my country came before myself. Plus people said that the war would end before Christmas so I thought that I wouldn’t be sacrificing much. This was a complete lie. I have been fighting for months in inconceivable conditions.
Now as we stationed ourselves at the Western Front, I take my friends Hans and Joseph and grab a machine gun. I have not slept in two days and now, as I look out at No Mans Land I know my dreams will forever be haunted. I see rotting carcasses lying in large artillery craters. I see men lying in shreds on top of barbed wire and scarred bodies that had been burned to death by the flamethrowers. As German soldiers we “enjoyed” the finest trenches out of all those in the war. Our officers enjoyed underground rooms that sheltered them from artillery, where they enjoyed stolen liquor and cigars. I as a mere private did not enjoy these luxuries.While the German trenches were tremendous structures, the soldiers were still left feeling nauseated . Men had to deal with many horrible things as we lived in these dirt holes, including lice. Everyday we have to search ourselves as well as our comrades, for the insects and everyday we find many vermins on our bodies. These lice were credited with infecting many soldiers with trench fever which was a disease that left soldiers sick for a long time. I myself have also been suffering from trench foot. The pain is almost unbearable so I keep myself from walking. My feet look like moldy blocks of bread and I know if my shoes get any wetter and continue to destroy my feet, I will have to leave. I do not plan on leaving as I want to continue fighting for my country.
“Get down” yells Hans. I obey and quickly duck my head. The artillery has picked up once again. The whistling sound of the large chunks of metal falling from the atmosphere is deafening. The ground shakes every time they detonate in the ground as I crawl to my machine gun. As I grip the gun I look out and see hundreds of men making a rush for our lines. I tighten up, I'm nervous, but after months of seeing this I know what I have to do. I pull the trigger and hold down. The French soldiers before us fall into their graves. I have to let go of the trigger but I don’t worry because the men advancing towards us go flying as the superior German artillery picks up. As Joseph cools the gun down with water I can see men in our Trench being shot. The horror is real as the blood can only cloud the murky puddles. The men that die are only small numbers added to the growing total of the war’s casualties. I begin to fire my gun again, there are so many men that aiming is pointless. I realize that just myself has most likely accounted for killing more than ten fine french men and I know that I must continue. The French are getting closer and closer and now I know the horrible fate that awaits them. Men in our trenches began throwing shells of mustard gas. These shells released a sulfur toxin that can not be seen. The French don’t expect this. They grab their throats and start choking on what they perceive to be normal air, but it is not. We fire into the crowd to end their lives quicker but we are ordered to stop. We are told not to waste bullets so we can only watch the poor bastards as they die and unimaginable death.
I can only hope for the war to end in Germany’s favor. One day I know that this superior army will dominate the forces of the Entente powers. The French, Brits, and Russians are no match for our superior style of warfare. God is on our side, for we act in what is right for the people of Europe. I love my country and that is why I am willing to sacrifice my life for this cause.
|Posted by mikehandlmaier on March 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
My group for the project was Christian Benzing, Zach Stanziano, and myself. Our presentation was on the Science and Technology aspect of the Industrial Revolution.
I believe that our group had many pros to our project along with some cons. Our introduction activity that focused on psychology was a success. We saw Annie question her choices due to the answers giving by other members of the experiment. Our conclusion was also done well even though it was cut short. It focused on the key aspects on Social Darwinism which enhanced the classes understanding of that very important idea. One part of our project that should have been better was the body. While we did have key people of the time period we did not have all the possible players that could be on the AP Exam. This could have been easily fixed if we had just talked to Mr. White about our project.
One part of our project is that we overcame some difficulties. Us three as a group all have busy schedules with extra curricular activities and what not so it was very hard to meet as a group outside of class. I along with other group memebers did use google drive to the best of our ability, leaving comments for other users and use the conversation tool to communicate about what needs to be done. Also another difficulity we were able to deal with was Christians concussion. As anybody who has had a concussion knows, it is near impossible to do school work without gaining a headache, especially on a computer. Christian did help with the project though and was able to deliver some material to the class.
All in all, I believe our group did well and deserved the grade we got. While that is true, our grade could have been significantly better if we simply met with Mr. White to dicuss our body portion of the project.
|Posted by mikehandlmaier on March 17, 2014 at 12:25 AM||comments (2)|
The middle class grew so much within this time period because of the job opportunities caused by the industrial revolution, which is represented by growing amount of people in the “Bourgeoisie.” The middle class has always and will always be the backbone of a capitalist society. This meant that the increase of the middle classes population meant that this class also grew in importance in relation to a national economy. During the second industrial revolution, new forms of retailing included new department stores, chain-stores, mail-order catalogs, and advertising, which increased the number of many of available jobs. There were also lawyers, doctors, and engineers also were new jobs that joined the middle class. The national economy needed more people to work, but not as the economic elite, or the poverty ridden poor people.
As the middle class was growing so was their importance. The middle class was bvery important to the economy becuase they began to spend money on non essential items. In the late 19th century the rising middle class was spending their money on popular entertainment such as dance halls and professional sports leagues. They were not limiting their come to food and housing. This might be a precondition to a consumer economy where the middle class tries to emulate the rich and powerful leading them to buy bigger and better things that are not needed. This would benefit an economy as more money is beinng spent than it is saved. This shows us why the growth of the middle class may have been very important to the growth of nations in Europe.
The immense growth of the amount of white collar workers represents the poor people who tried to gain power and take advantage of the oppertunities that were given to them during the revolution. The middle class had many luxuries such as central heating, fresh running water, and servants. This made the lower class workers want to work hard so that they can become part of the middle class. The lower middle class were the ones becoming the secretaries, retail clerks, and lower level bureaucrats in businesses and government. It was significant because it proved to people that the new Europe was great since the average person had a steady job and enough money to survive like most of the white collared workers. This gave motivatyion to the people in this continent. It got more people to move to cities, and with more people Europe would tend to do better economically. The white collar workers proved to be an example of a life most would want and influenced many to moven and trake advantage of the situations the city had to offer.
(ADDED)**To conlude, the growth of the middle class was very important to the economical success of the time period. This is so because the growth motivated lower society memebers to work so that they too can enjoy the luxuries of the middle class people. If the backbone of a consumer isn't succesful the nation will fail. Thats why the middle class is so important to Europe.
|Posted by mikehandlmaier on March 8, 2014 at 6:00 PM||comments (1)|
The Versailles Treaty, signed on June 28, 1919, was arguably one of the most influential treatise throughout history. This supported by the fact that it changed Europe, while upholding the ideals of the Progressive Era. This can be first seen through the Fourteen Points, which was introduced by the United States president Woodrow Wilson. Wilson wanted to reshape the world to function on nationalism. This included self-determination, which allows a nation to dictate its type of government. This upholds the ideals of the Progressive Era due to the fact that within this period the main goal was purification of the government. While this idea from Wilsons fourteen points didn't stick, it did show the attempt of sticking with the ideals of the Progressive Era.
Wilson also included the League of Nations within his Fourteen Points. This was an assembly that would settle international disputes. This really purified the government because they were a group of states that would come together and establish certain policies they thought were necessary. It also checked that each state was keeping the publics’ best interest in mind which withheld the ideals of the Progressive Era. The governments job was to protect the people and their rights, which did not happen before and during World War one. Instead they favored a system of checks and balances just like they did before. That is why Great Britain gained so much economic power over the rest of Europe and Germany just surpassed everyone. After Europe and the United States realized the system of checks and balances would not work they worked to establish the League of Nations.
The next part of the Versailles Treaty addressed the idea of colonies throughout the world. The treaty really wanted more European nations to embrace building colonies, but few did. Great Britain was especially interested in the colonies because they had many all over the world. Great Britain showed that through colonies they could gain an economic superiority. The idea of the time period was that a good government and strong state could be built through economic power that came from raw materials from colonies. To some degree I believe this idea stuck with the ideals of the Progressive Era. This helped better the European countries and let them create better opportunities for the people of the nation do to the gain of a stable and booming economy. Also the colonies that became colonized now gained some sort of government and an restrictions that made a more stable society. This also upheld the ideals of the Progressive Era because not only were the European governments gaining power, the colonies had a new established government to protect the people.
The last section of the treaty was the reparations. These were heavily debated for its effect on the German people. Countries such as France did not want to see Germany ever gain so much power again so they made them pay for the total cost of the war. This came out to around 132 billion gold marks that had to be paid to the Entente powers. Also France now had economic control over the coal and iron mines of Germany for the next 15 years. Along with giving Germany a collapsing economy, they also where given strong military restrictions. These included banning a German air force, a minimal navy only for protection purposes, and an army of 100,000 men. Part of the progressive Era was each country to work together to create and unified continent. This was the case here because if every country puts the blame on the member that created the harm and they are willing to pay back then this can unify the continent. The goal was for this to happen so this part of the treaty also upheld the ideals of the Progressive Era.