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Dress solution Essay

Dress solution Essay

America’s schools have been faced with increased challenges over the last several years. Aside from seeking out new ways to educate students and keeping up with changes in technology, school leaders are facing a continued rise in social problems in their schools. Among these problems are incidents of school violence, gang activity and bullying which create a tension on school grounds nationwide that prevents many schools from fulfilling their mandate to educate students. Sadly, some of the most tragic incidents that occur in schools stem from the type of clothing that is being worn by students.

Often theft and violence can be linked to designer clothes and expensive shoes. Sometimes clothing bearing colors and insignias may be used to identify gang affiliation, thereby promoting fear and intimidation among students. Certain styles of clothing also lend themselves toward easily hiding weapons. Furthermore, the pressure to be fashionable and have the latest clothes can take its toll financially and emotionally on students and parents.

These issues are beginning to gain momentum, especially among parents, in school districts across the country.

Parental support has become the force behind the increase in school districts adopting student dress policies. A recent survey in Hoke County, North Carolina showed an average of 64 percent of parents supported uniforms in the schools. Student dress also drew the attention of the former President Clinton. In a memorandum on school uniforms to the Secretary of Education, he directed the Secretary to “develop information about how local school districts have made uniforms part of their school safety and discipline programs. ” He also requested that information about school uniforms be made available to every school district in the country.

There are no perfect solutions to the social problems that exist in today’s schools. However, schools can and should consider practical steps to create an atmosphere of respect and attentiveness for their students. Implementing a student dress policy is one such option. Although little formal research has been done on the effect these policies have on students, the feedback given by those who have implemented school dress policies indicate these policies are making a difference. This paper will explore the types of school dress policies—school uniforms and dress codes—and the effects they are having in today’s schools. Student Dress as Policy

The attention given to school dress codes and uniforms has become more and more focused over the last several years. As dialogue increases among parents, students and school officials about what remedies may exist to deal with the problems facing today’s schools, student dress policies have moved to the forefront. The issue received nationwide recognition in 1998 when, in his State of the Union address, President Clinton recommended school uniforms as a method of reducing school violence. Since that time, there has been a notable increase in the number of schools that have considered and implemented a dress policy for their students.

More recently, in his State of the State address, North Carolina Governor Mike Easley recommended school dress codes as a means to address behavior in North Carolina’s schools. In his speech Governor Easley asked every school board to “enforce a reasonable dress code policy… because students come to school to learn—not to party. ” It appears that leaders on many levels have begun to recognize the potential benefits that school dress policies can have on the school environment. Uniforms: When implementing a school dress policy, some schools are more directives while others take a more passive approach.

School uniforms are certainly the more directive method because they tell students what they must wear. A school uniform policy requires students to wear similar looking outfits to class each day. Some schools do offer an “opt-out” option if the parents agree to it. Others will also make exception for students whose religious beliefs may be hindered by the uniform. The first known public school in the country to adopt a school policy on uniforms was Cherry Hill Elementary in Baltimore, Maryland in 1987. The first major school district to require school uniforms was California’s Long Beach Unified School District in 1994.

6 According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the U. S. Department of Education; only about three percent of public schools require uniforms to be worn by their students. Nationwide, at least 37 states, including North Carolina, give local school districts the authority to require uniforms if they choose to. The first county in North Carolina to require uniforms was Halifax County. As of the 2000-2001 school year, they are the only school district in the state to require uniforms in all their schools.

10 The county school uniform regulations require elementary and middle school students to wear certain combinations of khaki bottoms with navy or white shirts (plaid jumpers are allowed for females). High school students must wear a variety of pants and shirts combinations depending on the school they attend. The Halifax uniform policy does ease penalties for financial hardship and exempts students from wearing a uniform if it imposes a substantial burden on a student’s exercise of religious belief. Though no other school districts require uniforms district-wide, some individual schools within school districts have chosen to require uniforms.

For example, in North Carolina’s largest school district—Charlotte/ Mecklenburg—23 of the 144 schools have chosen to require uniforms even though they are not required to do so. Dress Codes: Another less stringent approach to student dress policy is the school dress code. A school dress code instructs students on what they cannot wear instead of telling them what to wear (i. e. no hats, no tight fitting clothes, no vulgar or obscene depictions on clothing, etc. ). Dress codes are much more common in North Carolina’s schools than uniform policies. Out of the 117 school districts in this state, at least 48 have some form of dress code in place.

One of this state’s most notable school dress code policies is in Johnston County. Their policy not only prohibits inappropriate clothing such as short shorts and sagging pants, but also prohibits abnormal hair colors and body piercing jewelry. Students who violate the policy may receive a short term suspension from school for up to 10 days and students who repeatedly violate the policy may be suspended for the remainder of the year. Other counties, such as Cabarrus, have similar policies, but leave the responsibility of developing rules and regulation up to each school’s principal.

The Effect: There has been little scientific study done on the effects of student dress policies. However, there is empirical evidence that continues to mount, especially with the rising number of schools who are considering these options. One survey of schools nationwide conducted by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) revealed that one out of five (21 percent) public, private and parochial school principles had either instigated a uniform policy, were currently writing one, or had it on their agenda for consideration.

With so many schools and school districts adopting school dress policies, it is important to understand why so many have chosen to do so. The purpose for most, if not all, schools that are adopting uniforms and dress codes is to address the issues of discipline and academic achievement. Classroom disruptions are commonplace in today’s schools and having methods in place to promote a better learning environment have never been more important. Furthermore, little debate remains over the dangers and pressures that exist in schools today.

With the increased displays of school violence, many school officials, parents and students have become more determined to find solutions. In determining the effectiveness of school dress policies, there is no more compelling evidence that the feedback from the school principals themselves. Though the majority of public schools do not require uniforms, the feedback is very positive from those who do. According to one survey conducted by the NAESP, principals of schools that have uniform policies in place believe that students stay more disciplined and focused in their studies and feel less peer pressure.

According to the study, principals identified the following effects of school uniforms: 79 percent believed uniforms positively affected classroom discipline; 67 percent saw an improvement in student concentration; 62 percent noticed a positive effect on school safety; 72 percent saw an increase in school spirit; 85 percent noted a better perception of the school by the community; and 75 percent indicated a positive effect on peer pressure among students.

In North Carolina, the feedback from Halifax County is also positive. Dr. Viola Vaughan, principle at Southeast Halifax High School said that their school uniform policy has done a lot for the students both academically and behaviorally. “Discipline issues have decreased tremendously,” she said, “when children look around at each other, they don’t see the name brands and clothing that often divides them. ” Dr. Vaughan pointed out that even school assemblies are quieter because students act more respectfully.

Alan Sledge, assistant principle at Brawley Middle School in Halifax County, said that their uniform policy was “very effective and places a very valuable role on the academic setting because the kids are more focused on their books over their clothes. ” Feedback on school dress codes has also been positive. According to Don Woodard, a high school principal in Johnston County, the student’s “demeanor is better and there are fewer disruptions because of teasing, or students being uncomfortable because of the apparel that others are wearing.

” He also pointed out that the students have more “poise and are more well-behaved when they have the sense of being dressed for the occasion of learning. ”22 Commenting on his school’s dress code, Shelly Marsh, a middle school principle also from Johnston County, said: “We have high expectations… by having a dress code, students know there are expectations and guidelines that they must adhere to. Students’ attitudes are different according to their dress. ” Along with school principals, the U. S.

Department of Education has acknowledged the positive effect that school uniforms can have. In their publication “Manual on School Uniforms,” which was ordered to be sent to every school district in the United States by President Clinton, the Department of Education cited the following potential benefits of school uniforms: (1) decreasing violence and theft; (2) preventing gang members from wearing gang clothing at school; (3) instilling student discipline; (4) helping to resist peer pressure; (5) helping students concentrate on academics; and (6) aiding in the recognition of intruders.

Safety and Other Benefits Of all the potential benefits of school dress policies, none is more important than improving school safety. With student violence constantly making the headlines, the clamor for solutions continues to grow. Safety in schools today is essential, and creating an environment that reduces incidents of intimidation and violence is necessary for students to learn effectively. Unfortunately, the demand for high priced designer clothing often puts students at risk of theft and violence from other students.

Clothing that indicates affiliation with gangs is also a problem and can cause intimidation and fear in schools. The National School Safety and Security Services, an organization that consults nationwide on school safety and crisis preparedness issues, supports school uniforms and dress codes as a way to “contribute toward improving the school climate” because it “can play a significant role in reducing security threats and improving school safety. ” According to this safety organization, dress codes and uniforms can help reduce potential problems by:

(1) reducing conflict stemming from socioeconomic status, such as comments and personal attacks about who has better clothing; (2) reducing ways in which gang members can identify themselves which, in essence, is a form of intimidation and creates fear; (3) reducing the risk of students being robbed of expensive clothing, jewelry, etc. ; (4) in the case of uniforms, helping school administrators to more easily identify non students, trespassers, and other visitors in the hallways who stand out in the crowd.

Notable evidence of the effects of a student dress policy can be seen from the aftermath of California’s Long Beach school district implementing mandatory school uniforms. Since they began requiring uniforms, crime in the school district has dropped by 91 percent, suspensions have decreased by 90 percent, sex offenses have been reduced by 96 percent and vandalism is down 69 percent. Interestingly, these improvements came about without any other security measures having been implemented at the time uniforms became mandatory.

In addition, a study released by the Harvard School of Education found that the Long Beach school district was among six districts in the nation’s 34 largest cities that dramatically reduced their dropout rates. During the past five years, dropout rates have declined from 11. 2 to 2. 7 percent. The Center for the Prevention of School Violence, though not endorsing any specific dress code policies, points out that each of the “three Ps of school safety” — “place” (physical security of the school), “people” (those in the school) and “purpose” (mission of the school)—can be impacted by school dress policies.

This is because dress policies define what is appropriate for the school setting while impacting the way in which people relate and interact with one another. The Center acknowledges that though the research on student dress policies is limited, the anecdotal evidence supports the existence of some form of student dress policy. It is important to remember that the solution to school violence does not lie in one single approach—certainly not in school dress policies alone. Yet, because of the likely benefit of curbing school violence, they should be considered along with other solutions.

Student dress policies can also benefit students far beyond keeping them safe. Schools with uniforms say that their students have better self-esteem because without the name brand clothing on display, the students are placed on an equal level. Poorer students do not feel and are not treated as inferior because they don’t have nice clothes. This equality also seems to create a sense of school unity. Dr. Viola Vaughan and Allan Sledge, both principals from Halifax county have witnessed an increase in school unity since uniforms were required. Dr.

Arnold Goldstein, head of the Center for Research on Aggression at Syracuse University agrees. He believes that uniforms encourage a “sense of belonging” because they promote a feeling of community among the students and help make a troubled student feel like part of a supportive whole. These effects contribute to a school’s overall sense of order and discipline. As a result, the learning environment improves—making it easier for teachers to teach and for students to learn. Student dress policies also reduce the cost of clothing for students.

Parents whose children wear uniforms do not have to spend extra money on multiple outfits for their children. Instead, they need only invest in a few outfits that conform to the school’s uniform policy. This is particularly helpful to the low-income parents who often feel the financial burden of providing suitable clothes for their children. USA Today reported that in 1998 parents of students in non-uniform schools spent an average of $185 per child while parents of children in uniform schools spent an average of $104 per child.

33 Uniforms also minimize the confusion about what to wear to school each day, relieving students of the chaos of choosing and outfit each day. Dress codes are also helpful for parents when shopping for their children because they provide guidelines for parents when purchasing clothes for their children—often ruling out excessive and expensive articles of clothing that conflict with the school’s policies and keeping student dress within reasonable boundaries.

Student dress policies offer authority figures in the schools the opportunity to display their own dedication and discipline. Some schools with dress policies include (or extend the option to) teachers to participate as well. Certainly, if teachers and administrators exhibit the same discipline that is required of the students, it will reinforces the guidelines and make students more likely to comply.

The Causes of Prohibition Essay

The Causes of Prohibition Essay

When federal prohibition was introduced in America with the 18th Amendment to the constitution in 1919 and the Volstead Act in 1920, it was often termed ‘The Nobel Experiment’. It didn’t take long for most people to recognise that the experiment had gone terribly wrong and that it was fostering what it was supposed to eradicate, crime, excess and corruption.

But the question is why it was introduced in America in 1920 and to understand this issue, one has to look at the groups that campaigned against the American drinking culture, such as the Anti-Saloon League, as well as the general situation and the public opinion in America, including the fear of immigration.

One of the groups that campaigned against alcoholic drinks in America were business executives.

Including names as important as Ford and Rockefeller, they believed that alcohol undermined workers’ discipline and productivity and they even invested in scientific research in order to prove the negative effects of alcohol on the body’s health.

Thus, they feared that drinks impeded profits and prosperity, which even led some employers to form the American Anti-Saloon League, which actively supported prohibition. Moreover other groups, such as soda manufacturers and tea merchants, tended to support prohibition as they hoped for increased sales as a result of people not being able to obtain alcohol.

Therefore the business executives contributed to the federal prohibition by campaigning against it and they were heard as they were significant in order to keep the American economy going. Furthermore there was a great deal of political opposition to alcohol in America. The majority of supporters of the Republican Party were from rural small town America and they were traditionally anti-drink, which meant that the Republicans supported prohibition in order to keep their voters happy.

But both Parties had members that saw alcohol as an obstacle to improving society. Moreover the Senate was biased towards rural America, which supported prohibition and from 1917 onwards all Senators had to be publically elected, which made them more inclined to follow public opinion. This helped prohibition as public opinion tended to support it. Thus the political opposition was the most significant reason for prohibition, especially as the Republican Party, which was in power at the time tended to support prohibition.

Furthermore Protestants campaigned for prohibition and against drunkenness and violence. Particularly with the revival of protestant fundamentalism and extreme groups, like the Ku Klux Klan, in many areas particularly the rural and small town ones alcohol was blamed for morally corrupting the nation. They saw the drinking culture as the main reason for problems, such as crime, poverty and prostitution. These groups were large and often very influential, e. g. the Indiana Klan, which was a branch of the KKK, controlled large parts of the local government in Indiana.

This meant that the revival and ideologies of protestant fundamentalism were a major reason for the federal prohibition. Additionally many women and feminists in particular blamed drinks for domestic abuse, family poverty and deprivation. They formed groups like the Women’s temperance league and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which campaigned against it and they were taken more seriously than ever after the female suffrage had been introduced in 1919.

They also contributed to the establishment of prohibition by actually supporting pro-prohibition candidates. This makes them an important group to consider when looking at the reasons for the introduction of prohibition in 1920, however not as influential as other groups seeing that many women still opposed prohibition. Another reason for the introduction of prohibition was the issue of immigration and race. Many Americans and WASPs in particular associated immigrants with the drinking culture, especially the Irish and immigrants from the South, like Italians.

This made them support prohibition as they feared that immigration would have negative economic effects and that immigrants would import revolutionary ideas, such as communism. Also Southern landowners wanted to prevent black labourers from getting distracted by drinks. And in addition eugenics became popular in US in the 1920s and their idea was that alcoholic genes could be passed down to the next generation, thus weakening the American race.

Finally the situation after World War I created the perfect environment for such a radical change introduced on a federal level. Government interventionism and limiting the people’s freedom seemed more acceptable as there had been many restrictions. This meant that prohibition on a federal level would have probably been seen as too interventionist a measure, if it had been proposed at a different time making the First World War a necessary condition for the introduction of prohibition.

Therefore the reason for the introduction of federal prohibition in America in 1920 was the fact that on the one hand there was a wide range of groups campaigning for temperance and against alcohol, the most important being business executives and politicians. On the other hand it being introduced directly after the First World War was also essential as it created the environment and the mindset necessary to introduce Federal Prohibition.

Symbolized and What it Meant to America Essay

Symbolized and What it Meant to America Essay

Though the negative preconception of the general American public was the widely carried message of newspapers before and during the early days of the said event, this is not what was covered by Colliers article since it was released during the last day of the event already. Therefore, what the article presented as the sentiment of America for the event, in the context of what happened during the supposedly last day of the event, was that of respect and commendation over the behavior of the hundred thousands youths who attended the event.

This is exemplified by the same paragraphs in the previous page that Collier used to convey a positive image for the event. If we are to extract the American sentiment over the event from those few that were interviewed for the article, it could be viewed that America was surprised by and approved of the behavior of the participants, which was characterized by astonishing courtesy, order, and harmony.

Coming from an explicit expectation of negative behavior from the youth who were going to attend the event, it could have really been such a pleasant surprise to America that the youth was able to rise above all their preconceived notions.

However, it would be also reasonable to imagine that along with the positive perception of the American public over the relative success of the event was the concern over what was revealed the prevailing culture of drugs among the youth.

With the reports of the event showcasing how drugs adversely affects the health of the youth and even lead to death and how the youth blatantly welcome such practices and even treats it as a culture, there is little argument that the rest of America who are not part of the said generation and culture is worried over the possible results of such a phenomenon in the long run. Thus, basing from Collier’s article, it could be said that America’s perception of the event could have been a mixture of both positive and negative things.

Positive in terms of respect over the triumph of the American youth in staging such a peaceful display of unity, and negative in terms of their concern over the impending effect of the youth’s blatant drug practices. However, the respect for the youth and their generation’s culture that has been planted by the event in the hearts and minds of the American people is something that could not be erased for generations to come. A. What the Event Symbolized and What it Meant to America In Collier’s article, what was portrayed as the symbolism of Woodstock for those who participated in it was “an incredible unification” of people.

Woodstock, for the youth who attended it, was the fulfillment of their thrilling expectation of being able to meet strangers who shared their practices, beliefs, and culture. The event was also a fulfillment of the youth’s eagerness to experiment with drugs along with all the other people of their generation. This is based form a paragraph in Colliers article . As for the rest of America who were not there at Woodstock and who were not part of the culture that Woodstock fostered, the event could still have symbolized a positive thing.

For them, Woodstock could have been a symbol that though the youth of America have been practicing a culture entirely different from that of the previous generations, that does not mean that the generation was of no good. Woodstock could have well been a symbol that the youth of that day deserved to be respected for being the beautiful people that they are and for the beautiful things that they are able to do, beyond the prejudice that they have been faced with. For America, Woodstock could have meant that where their youth puts their heart into, there would also be peace, harmony, and beauty.

Interest groups Essay

Interest groups Essay

More than any other group special interest groups hold an enormous amount of sway in the American political system. What is interesting here is the fact that most of the public looks upon special interest groups with disdain. There are a number of reasons for this but before the reasons can be defined special interests must be defined. An interest group is an organized faction that seeks to sway political influence that is favorable to them. For example, many corporations pressure politicians to ease immigration laws because they earn enormous volumes of money by using labor that is generally inexpensive.

When it comes to the effect that special interest groups have on democratic pluralism, the effect is generally negative. The reason for this is that special interest groups undermine the democratic process and this frustrates the public to a significant degree. Probably the most significant area that voters express frustration in is the notion that special interest groups are favored by politicians more than the popular will of the American people.

That is, if a special interest group promotes an item or an agenda that is opposed by the vast majority of the America people, politicians will still give significant attention to the special interest groups and then will side with the special interest groups against the will of the people. This creates a significant amount of anger and discontent on the part of the voters because it leads to a situation where the representative form of government is no longer acting in a manner that would be deemed representative.

In other words, the elected officials no longer promote the interests of the public, but rather promote the interests of front groups, elitists and corporatists. Sadly, this assessment – while somewhat oversimplified – is very close to accurate. One of the reasons that special interest groups have such influence is because an enormous amount of money is required to run a successful election and special interest groups bring with them a great deal of money.

While this may seem like a cynical assessment of the current political landscape it is also an accurate one. It would be next to impossible for someone such as James Madison to support the current situation where special interest groups yield significant sway in the government arena. While Madison did understand that political factions were inevitable and also not inherently bad, his belief system (like most of the framers) was generally influenced by John Locke and Locke’s belief in the Social Contract.

Within the framework of the Social Contract it is explicitly stated that the government is supposed to protect the inalienable rights of the individual. When the goals of special interests are placed above the needs and benefit of the American people, then the entire notion of the Social Contract is undermined. As such, it would be difficult to believe that Madison would support the current landscape of special interest groups that dominate American politics. Granted, while there is much discontent in the United States regarding special interest groups these groups will never go away.

These groups are well funded and their money is welcomed by politicians. As such, interest groups will remain on the political landscape forever and ever. Literally.

Bibliography Madison, J. , Hamilton, A. , and Jay, J. (Date Unknown)THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Retrieved 4 September 2007 from http://patriotpost. us/fedpapers/fedpapers. html Scheikart, Larry. A PATRIOT’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. New York: Penguin, 2007. Zinn, Howard. A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. New York: Harper’s, 2007.

Analyze the Effects That the Wealthiest Individuals of the Gilded Age Had on America Essay

Analyze the Effects That the Wealthiest Individuals of the Gilded Age Had on America Essay

As the American Civil War came to an end, an era of phenomenal economic growth was spurred by a second Industrial Revolution. It touched all geographic areas of America, evident in increased farm output and labor efficiency. The magnificent flow of goods generated could be efficiently transported by freshly lain transcontinental railroads made of Bessemer steel. Presiding over these late nineteenth century developments was a new class of extremely wealthy industrialists, the main beneficiaries of the era’s prosperity.

They dominated substantial sectors of the new economy such as steel, oil, banking, and rail transportation.

While these individuals created and donated outstanding wealth, they also engineered one of American history’s most corrupt and unequally heterogeneous time periods, dubbed the Gilded Age by Mark Twain. Such ambiguity blurs the legacy of these incredible few, who some call “robber barons” and other call “captains of industry”. However, neither polarity is completely accurate. The wealthiest Americans during the Gilded Age had both positive and negative effects on American society.

While a large group of individuals amassed incredible wealth during the Gilded Age, there existed an even more elite group consisting of individuals that rank among the richest men in history. It included John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Jay Gould, James Fisk, and J. P. Morgan. To understand their later deeds, one must understand the strikingly similar environments in which these men came of age. For example, all of the aforementioned men were born in the Northeast during the Second Great Awakening, an environment in which principles such as self-discipline, frugality and efficiency were highly valued.

Preachers of the time period endorsed the Calvinist view that “where you find the most religion, you find the most worldly prosperity”, while poverty was considered a condition of the lazy and spiritually weak (Chernow 55). Like many others have done in history, the wealthiest industrialists established religion as the concrete foundation on which they justified their actions. With the exception of J. P. Morgan, the most affluent robber barons also grew up with little material means. Carnegie worked as a bobbin boy at age 14, earning about $1. 20 a week, and

Rockefeller picked potatoes for 37 cents a day in his youth (“Andrew Carnegie”, Chernow 32). These challenging living conditions further instilled frugality and grit inside the destined business leaders of America, qualities that would help them conquer industrial America. Most of the future industrialists also entered the business world in their teenage years. Sixteen-year-old Rockefeller so furtively pursued employment that he visited businesses from early morning to late afternoon six days a week for six weeks until he finally found a job as a bookkeeper (Chernow 44-45).

Additionally, they were all in their early twenties when the Civil War began. Amusingly, not one of them enlisted; each hired a replacement for $300 instead (Zinn 255). The young entrepreneurs sought to benefit financially during the war instead of fighting in it, although most supported the Union cause (Chernow 70). The road that each of these extraordinary men walked led them into a monumental era. War raged, new industries boomed, and they had the chance to take advantage of their rapidly changing surroundings. Few in history had as fortuitous opportunities as these men who were born in the right place at the right time.

The Civil War gave young industrialists an opportunity to flaunt their business acumen during “wartime prosperity”. However, with the exception of John D. Rockefeller, who quadrupled his and his associate’s company profits and then bought the company through fair and hard work, their ascent during the period was generally cluttered with acts of questionable morality. In one notorious negotiation, J. P. Morgan bought 5,000 rifles for $3. 50 each and sold them for $22 each to an army general, making a handy $90,000. It was later found that the rifles shot off the thumbs of the soldiers using them.

However, no compensation was given because the purchase was an authentic legal contract (Zinn 255). In addition, Jay Gould and James Fisk heftily profited from trading railroad stocks. With inside information, they unfairly beat out rival speculators. James Fisk also commonly sold war commodities for triple their market price to desperate armies (Josephson 66). These young men were still largely in a developmental stage during the Civil War, but their actions during the time period heavily foreshadowed their later actions. Postbellum America was said to be “the most fertile in American history for chemers and dreamers” (Chernow 97). The young industrialists naturally continued to increase their wealth in the decades after the war with blazing speed, but the actions they made to do so further polluted their legacy and adversely affected American society. Perhaps the most notorious robber baron was John D. Rockefeller. During the war, the twenty-five year old had bought his condescending associates out and then opened Cleveland’s largest oil refinery. “It was the day that determined my career” he later said (Chernow 87). After the war, Rockefeller sought to further expand his business.

He established the Standard Oil Company, a trust with $1 million dollars in capital, with the goal of controlling all of the oil industry (Chernow 134). An action that largely epitomizes his company’s chicanery is the formulation of the South Improvement Company, a collusion with three powerful railroads to increase Standard Oil stakes. Under the SIC, Standard Oil would receive a payment for every barrel of oil shipped by his refineries as well as other refineries, a deal that would discourage railroads to ship oil from refineries outside the SIC, virtually rendering it impossible for small refineries to survive.

In exchange, Rockefeller promised to meet a daily shipping quota which would stabilize railroad profits (Chernow 136). When struggling Cleveland refineries heard of the SIC plan, they immediately protested. The plan eventually failed; however, while the plan was intact, Rockefeller bought 22 out of 26 Cleveland refineries in one month, a shopping spree dubbed the Cleveland Massacre (Chernow 145). One Cleveland refiner’s daughter said “Father went almost insane over this terrible upset to his business. His whole life was embittered by this experience”.

Countless similar stories were told as Rockefeller ruthlessly conquered the oil industry by means of horizontal integration. “The day of combination is here to stay. Individualism has gone, never to return” he said (Chernow 148). Whenever legitimate competition arose, Standard Oil took extreme measures to corral it. When a rival pipeline company threatened Standard Oil’s dominance, Standard Oil hired lawyers to act as farmers and landowners who opposed pipeline construction, bought entire valleys of land, persuaded companies to not sell construction supplies to the rival company, and generously bribed legislatures (Chernow 207-209).

Using similar coercive means as well as outright bribery, Rockefeller came to control 95% of the oil industry by 1877, eventually accumulating a fortune that makes him the richest man in American history (Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen 541, Chernow 505). His success inspired countless business leaders to form trusts that further disproportioned American wealth, hence indirectly harming America socioeconomically on top of his colossal direct harm. Other industrial captains also amassed their fortunes at the expense of others.

Railroad builders such as James Hill, Vanderbilt, and the Big Four employed Irish and Chinese workers at the cost of one or two dollars a day. Hours were long and the work was dangerous. In just 1889, 22,000 railroad workers were killed or injured (Zinn 256). The most famous demonstration of railroad labor unrest was the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 which was triggered by wage cuts. 100 people died, and millions of dollars of property was damaged (Carrigan). The steel industry also generated aggrieved workers.

Two-thirds of the workers at Andrew Carnegie’s largest steel manufacturing plant, Homestead, earned $1. 40 every 12 hour workday, barely enough to keep a family above the poverty line of $500/year. Asked about working conditions, one Homestead worker said, “I lost forty pounds the first three months I came into the business. It sweats the life out of a man. I often drink two buckets of water during the twelve hours; the sweat drips through my sleeves, and runs down my legs and fills my shoes” (Reilly 8).

The wealthy inequality created by big businesses like Carnegie’s begot class warfare. In 1892, Homestead workers went on strike after the manager decided to cut wages and break the union. When Pinkerton detectives failed to stop the riot, federal troops were called in (Zinn 276). The Gilded Age naturally produced monopolistic big businesses that were owned by immensely wealthy individuals due to the nature of the technological innovations of the time period. They established an unfortunate precedent of greed and “survival of the fittest” in American society.

One must also never forget the hundreds of thousands of forgotten men who toiled twelve hour workdays to enlarge a few men’s coffers. Much like the actions of the Spanish conquistadores, those of the wealthiest industrialists of the Gilded Age are mainly noted for their detrimental effects. However, this Black Legend of the late nineteenth century is not entirely accurate. It is true that greed and inequality loomed over them; however, they also developed the American supereconomy. For example, aided by the Bessemer process, Andrew Carnegie led a dramatic increase in steel production.

In 1880, one million tons of steel were produced. By 1910, output reached 25 million tons, largely thanks to Carnegie’s innovative vertical integration (Zinn 254). Incredibly, before the 20th century, Carnegie Steel Company was producing more steel than all of Great Britain (Roark, Johnson, and Cohen 633). Rockefeller also utilized his unmatched executive skills to create a remarkably efficient business machine. For example, by applying thirty-nine drops of solder on cans of oil instead of forty, he saved $2,500 a year early in his career.

In time, this tweak saved the Standard Oil Company hundreds of thousands of dollars, and Rockefeller constantly sought for such minute enhancements (Chernow 180-181). His genius can be seen in his jaw-dropping wealth; in 1902, his income was $58 million, over a billion dollars in 1996 dollars (Chernow 504). From 1865 to 1900, the American economy grew eightfold, and this was largely thanks to the talents of the industrialists who aided America in becoming the world superpower it is today (Watts). The 19th century industrialists also did not solely harm the common man.

For example, Rockefeller’s monopolization of the oil industry ruined many common men, but it benefited even more by making kerosene widely available. This was because of Standard Oil’s foundational principle: “that the larger the volume the better the opportunities for the economies, and consequently the better the opportunities for giving the public a cheaper product without the dreadful competition” (Chernow 150). Rockefeller accomplished just this, as the price of refined oil was cut in half as a result of his enterprise.

Because of Rockefeller, millions could light their homes for a penny an hour, a cost that would be much higher if not for Rockefeller’s dominance (Folsom 83). Perhaps the advances he gave to the common man outweighed his sins against the relatively few in the oil industry. Adhering to the doctrines of Andrew Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth, the wealthiest industrialists donated stupendous amounts of money to charitable causes. In 1911, the Carnegie Corporation was founded, a charitable enterprise with $125 million in starting capital founded by none other than Andrew Carnegie.

To this day, it is one of the highest ranked charitable foundations with over $2 billion in assets for education, prevention of deadly conflict, and strengthening of human resources (Traub). As an extremely devout Christian, Rockefeller donated money from his very first paycheck, a fact that renders any extremely stingy and greedy portrayal of him false. “I have my earliest ledger and when I was only making a dollar a day I was giving five, ten, or twenty-five cents” he said. What distinguished Rockefeller from other great donors was his generous funding of medical research, an interest sparked by his father’s shady career.

When asked about building medical facilities, Carnegie once said “That is Mr. Rockefeller’s specialty. Go see him”. In 1901, the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research was founded. Its work produced the first American Nobel Prize for medicine (Chernow 478-9). In 1910, Rockefeller fought hookworm on a global scale and within five years, it was nearly eradicated (Chernow 481). In donating to charitable causes, Rockefeller managed his charitable expenditures as he would with Standard Oil.

By his death in 1936, he had given away $550 million, making him American society’s greatest philanthropist (Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen 576). One area that almost all of the late nineteenth century capitalists contributed to was education. Rockefeller himself supported UChicago, Huntington, two Negro colleges, and the famous Tuskegee Institute. Carnegie personally contributed $60 million to the construction of public libraries (Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen 576). Many others also contributed to America’s education. Cornell, Duke, Vanderbilt, and Stanford were all captains of industry.

The colleges that they founded are among America’s top colleges to this day. Largely thanks to the donations of the industrialists, the illiteracy rate fell from 20 percent in 1870 to 11 percent in 1900.. It has been said that “a free government cannot function successfully if the people are shackled by ignorance” (Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen 573). Thus, the donations of the wealthiest industrialists have had a profound effect on American society as young men and women in schools and libraries across the country to this day have been influenced by them.

During the Gilded Age, the combination of laissez-faire economics, post-war sentiment, and technological innovation led to a spur of rapid change that forever altered the American landscape. The wealthiest industrialists of the time period became wealthy by taking advantage of its developments. In retrospect, late nineteenth century American society can largely be viewed as the results of the influences of the industrialists. The effects had no definitive net impact, but they did forever shape American society.

Wild Scenes Essay

Wild Scenes Essay

Bill Crow’s Jazz Anecdotes is a thought-provoking, often amusing collection of stories from within jazz’s inner circles, told by and about some of the genre’s leading figures. While not a history of jazz, it gives readers some insights to how jazz artists worked, lived, bonded, and coped with an America in which many were still outsiders. The book’s forty-three chapters (expanded from the original 1990 edition) describe the life jazz musicians shared, offering insights into a rather exclusive, unconventional circle of performing artists.

The numerous anecdotes are categorized by chapters, gathering related tales and moving from a general overview of jazz life to anecdotes about individuals, like Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Benny Goodman. Essentially, Crow creates a context in which jazz musicians lived, and then places individual musicians within it, giving readers a better understanding of how they functioned in this rarified climate. For example, the volume opens with “Wild Scenes,” which Crow says describes how “the individuality of jazz musicians combines with the capricious world in which they try to make a living” (Crow 3).

The brief chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book, giving glimpses of the unconventional world jazz musicians inhabited (which explains to some degree their relationship to society at large). “The Word ‘Jazz’” contains attempts to explain the origins of the genre’s name, and “Inventions” offers accounts of how certain innovations occurred (such as Dizzy Gillespie’s distinctive bent trumpet), giving the reader a sense of history though the work is not an orthodox history per se. Many of the stories contained in Jazz Anecdotes convey the musicians’ camaraderie and warmth toward each other, as well as each other’s idiosyncrasies.

Others convey how difficult and often arbitrary the jazz lifestyle often was. “Hiring and Firing” demonstrates how unstable many musicians’ careers were, rife with disputes over money or dismissals for their personal quirks. (For example, Count Basie fired Lester Young for refusing to participate in recording sessions occurring on the 13th of any month. ) “Managers, Agents, and Bosses” offers a glimpse into the seamier underside of jazz, where dishonest managers and mobsters often trapped jazz performers in unfair contracts or worse.

Though jazz musicians appear to inhabit a special world, Crow does not discuss jazz in a social vacuum, tying it to social phenomena like race relations. In “Prejudice,” the tales take a more serious tone by showing how black jazz artists faced abundant racism, particularly in the South. However, Crow notes that “Jazz helped to start the erosion of racial prejudice in America . . . [because] it drew whites and blacks together into a common experience” (Crow 148). Jazz artists dealt with racism in various ways – Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday stood up to it while Zutty Singleton accepted it.

Meanwhile, even white musicians like Stan Smith angered both races – whites for performing with blacks, and blacks for “intruding on their music” (Crow 152). The final chapters focus on individual artists, illustrating the greats’ personalities. Louis Armstrong emerges as earthy and good-hearted; Bessie Smith as strong and willful but ultimately self-destructive; Fats Waller is an impish pleasure-seeker given to excellent music but poor business decisions; and Benny Goodman as gifted but tight-fisted and controlling.

Taken as a whole, Jazz Anecdotes offers a look at jazz’s human side, including its foibles, genius, camaraderie, crookedness, and connection to an American society from which it sometimes stood apart. Its legendary figures are depicted as gifted, devoted artists who enjoyed hedonism, companionship, and particularly independence. If any single thing stands out in this book, it is the latter; for the figures in this work, jazz meant creativity and freedom, which they pursued with equal vigor and vitality. Crow, Bill. Jazz Anecdotes. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Why did the Japanese attack Pearl Harbour? Essay

Why did the Japanese attack Pearl Harbour? Essay

On the 7th December 1941 the Japanese launched one of the most surprising attacks of the 20th century. The attack was aimed at the industrially, physically, economically, militarily, overall extremely powerful nation, the United States of America. They attacked the strong Pacific Naval base that was Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. The attack was carefully designed by Admiral Yamomoto. The plan was put forward by Yamomoto to the other generals and politicians, after a degree of debate the Japanese Prime Minister general Tojo agreed that the attack was to take place.

Japan is a small country that was almost totally reliant on import; its small country’s resources could not continue to feed its dense population. The difficult situation was only worsened by the Wall Street crash of 1929, which hit Japan a lot harder than a lot of other countries, of which some were much more self reliant. It was the post depression period, which saw an even more nationalistic party come into power.

With the depression Japan reverted back to the idea of the Samurai code, something that has always been a part of the Japanese culture to an extent.

But the Japanese propaganda machine helped in conscription, and get society on the Government’s side. The Government needed to have as little opposition on their own ground as possible, as well as a vast amount of Propaganda – those with power who opposed the Governments aims were often assassinated During the 1920s there were tense times when the Japanese, allies of the Germans (American opposition), struggled for Far East Pacific power against the U. S. A. Japan tried to gain control of the majority of trade in the Pacific. They entered trade agreements with countries that had before traded with the United States.

It was merely an attempt to increase power and earn her place in the sun. In an attempt to stop this, America placed tariffs on Japan and also signed a treaty putting a halt to Japan’s increasing Navy. The Japanese were only allowed to build three ships for every five ships Britain and America built, these attempts to squash the increasing power of Japan merely increased tensions. Japan was one of the most quick up-and- coming countries in terms of modernisation. Just 60 years before they had fought Manchuria or Manchuko as it was known, with the medieval technology of swords and warriors.

Whilst Britain had achieved plans and Blueprints for the world’s first Dreadnought. Clearly Japan was a long way behind. Once Japan learned of how technologically advanced the world superpowers were to them they introduced a modernisation policy in the mid 19th century. Japan’s aim was to become a superpower. It was in a time of overpopulation and starvation subsequently, it would not be able to raise price of trade and would not be able to compete with other nations in such a ‘Backward state’. It needed ‘Living space’, it needed to expand.

So in 1931 Japan started her campaign, she invaded Manchuria, Japan went into China and by 1937 controlled the majority of China. Showing great militant strength, Japan’s empire became the Greater Eastern Co-Prosperity sphere. Japan infuriated the League of Nations and when asked about her actions in Manchuria, Japan became the first Nation to abdicate from the League of Nations of her own free will, showing the League Of Nations as weak. Soon others followed Japan’s actions. Soon the League of Nations reputation diminished and subsequently disbanded. For the people of Japan morale was high, they had defied and shocked the world.

Once the War started the colonies of Britain and France were unprotected, hence Japan’s later capturing of French Indo-China. The only nation that stood in the way of Japan’s rule of the biggest ocean in the World was the U. S. A. but what could Japan do to stop the will of a much more powerful country? A nation that continued to have increasing unrest at Japan’s Militant actions, America had made plans to stub out Japan’s plans. The power of America to most, would be a good enough reason why not to attack; this was why Japan’s actions had such a shock value.

So Yamomoto devised a plan, which later proved to be one of the greatest uses of Blitzkrieg witnessed. Blitzkrieg on water had only previously been used by the British in Italy. Where their use of Aircraft Carriers showed the world their incredible use and versatility in the ability to construct a powerful attack. In order for Japan to continue in her campaign she would have to disable the American fleet, otherwise she could never gain control of the Pacific. By quickly wiping the American fleet Japan convinced themselves they could capture the needed territories before America could recover.

By then it would be too dangerous for America to backlash. The Japanese attack took place on Sunday the 7th of December; unexpectedly Japan managed to massacre the American fleet destroying a total of nine Battleships and a death toll of 2000. Sunday a day of Christian values and rest became a catastrophe for America. But America had one asset left unharmed. Her Aircraft Carriers were out of Dock on manoeuvres. Something as to why is still debated today, as Aircraft Carriers were vulnerable and useless in defence, and are only tools of attack.

But the fact of the matter is Japan attacked America in a militant aggressive way in order to expand her power and living space. To have control of the pacific would undoubtedly be very economically and militarily beneficial. It was the U. S. A that stood in the way. So the actions were that of determination and self help. The consequences did not go to plan, even though the attack was as successful as it could have ever been. Japan took on more than she could have bargained for. If America did not fear the increasing power of Japan and tried to stop her in ways like Tariffs Japan would not have attacked America.

By placing the Trade Tariffs America was running Japan into bankruptcy. Her people would starve. America essentially only left Japan with one option. Otherwise Japan would be devastated her people would up rise and the possibility of Revolution would increase against the Government. Germany would have also wanted Japan to attack America, as America entering the war became more possible the longer the war went on. If Japan could have success over America it would only make Hitler’s aims easier. America’s actions to try and decrease the power of Japan in a non-physically aggressive way.

Put Japan into a corner, and her only option left was to attack. So Japan attacked Pearl Harbour for a multitude of reasons: to decrease her Naval power, so she could take control of the majority of the Pacific for economic reasons before America took revenge. To help her allies aims in the European theatre of War. But mainly in self interest, in that if Japan wanted to continue in her increase of power, whilst continuing to feed her people without her previous imports Japan could not rely on her own exports for money and was left with no other option to attack America, when the trade embargoes were put in place.

Early Republic of America Essay

Early Republic of America Essay

The early history of early republic of America is made up of four key events that give the whole overview of this republic. That is the Alien and Sedition Acts Gabriel’s rebellion, Louisiana Purchase and the war of 1812. They bring out the picture very clearly that is, how politics and nationhood emerged then how market economy emerged, territorial expansion and the rise of slavery up to the time of the war of 1812. In a way each event contributed to the emergence of the other or the former set the stage for the later.

The Alien and Sedation Acts came to be as a result of the bills that federalists passed on the congress in 1798. After John Adams signed them, they became laws. Its supporters believed it was meant to protect the lives of the Americans from attacks by citizens from enemy powers and also to prevent the government from being weakened by seditious confrontations a thing that was strongly opposed by the Democratic Republicans.

These actually were from different laws which were referred to as alien and sedition acts.

One of them prohibited publishing any malicious information about the government and its officials, the other one, allowed deportation of aliens through to be a threat to the stability of the nation. The third one extended the duration that aliens were required to stay before they would become full citizens. It was extended from 5 years to 14 years. The last one authorized any alien resident from any country that was at war with America to be deported. This alien and sedition acts somehow triggered the slaves rebellion that was spear headed by Gabriel Prosser.

He was a black American who worked as a slave. The act of 1798 which authorized peace breakers to be deported inspired Gabriel into causing instability so that they could be deported to their mother countries. (Meinig D. W. 1993; 68-82) This rebellion was also very timely as it conceded with the time when there was a hot argument between the Haitian slave revolt and the French revolution. He wanted to take advantage of this situation. He wanted to lead this rebellion up to Richmond but they were delayed by the rains.

The masters had a premonition of the rebellion and so before it could take off but it was suppressed after Gabriel was betrayed by his fellow slaves. He was questioned about the movement but he denied. His 24 followers, his two brothers and himself were hanged. The federal government of U. S. A was not much interested in Louisiana territory but specifically they were interested in the New Orleans which was very useful to them in shipping U. S. A goods to and from Appalachian mountains. By this time, it was a Spanish colony.

The Pinckney’s treaty allowed Americans to transport various products like tobacco, pork, cider, cheese as well as butter. The treaty also allowed Americans to have navigation rights in the Mississippi river in 1798, Spain cancelled this treaty but it was strengthened later after negotiations between America and Spain. In 1801 the territory was ruled by Don Mannel De Salcedo after taking control from Marques. A secret treaty was signed between Americans and French the territory would remain a Spanish colony until the power would finally be transferred to the hands of the French.

This eventually happened in 1803. This provoked a bitter reaction from the Democrat Republicans who reasoned that buying Louisiana would make French citizens of U. S. A but with the Alien and Sedition Acts, the federalists were sure that nothing would go wrong as anybody who would contravene the rule of law would be deported to their mother land without further ado. The idea of selling of Louisiana to America by France was opposed by the foreign minister who held a different sentiment. He believed that it would hamper their mission on the Northern America.

At this time the yellow fever outbreak was greatly doing a big damage to Bonaparte’s army in Europe. He tried to make peace with United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland but Britain’s refusal to evacuate Malta provoked France to fight Britain. These circumstances forced France to stop its N. America plans and decided to sell it to the Americans. (Meinig D. W. 1993; 68-82) It is this enmity between France and Britain that led to the war of 1812 which was fought between France, United Kingdom and the United States of America. It started between 1812-1814.

The Americans joined the war on June 18th 1812 after Britain became a real threat to America. For example they included Americans into their navy; they failed to maintain neutral trade and allegations that Britain was supporting American Indians against American colonialists. Also another thing that led America to join the war because of its desire to expand its territory. In short, we can say that one event either directly or indirectly led to the other. The combination of these events are what made what was known as early republic of America. Reference: Meinig D. W. The shaping of America. Yale University Press. Volume 2. 1993; 68-82.

Foundation Of America Essay

Foundation Of America Essay

Christians in the united states of America would fully back up this argument in any given circumstance and they are neither right or wrong this is because they have everyone is entitled to his opinion. There are those who are for the view that Americas foundation is based on secular ideals of enlightenment. Christianity is linked to the formation of America because of the values in the declaration of independence document.

This document i s not constitution in a America and has got no any legal binding’s be more precise its as document that was drafted by the Americans fore fathers to the Britons on their grievances that they were subjected to during imperialisms this document cannot even be used as a source of evidence in any court of law.

(Baldwin 34) In the early century Christianity was the predominant religion in America and still is because of its strong roots.

With Christianity in full frontal position it permitted other things to accompany it like ecumenism is the act of many denominations coming together and pluralism hence unity of many churches.

During this early century pilgrims flee away from Europe in order to escape religious persecution of them settled in America and hence the growth and expansion of Christianity. Christians believe that Americans was founded by Christian forefather who had a view of a government that would help it to rise to greater level.

The founding fathers who worked on the Americas constitution were members of the orthodox church and further search shows that even the first continental congress was to open in Christian prayers. They believed that religion and government should actually go hand in hand hence they highly encouraged it. This view has been held in America for approximately 150 years (Dowel 42). In the 1980s during the civil war,protestants joined together for a reform with a purpose of constitution amendments was solely to declare America as a Christ nation.

In a bid to spread Christianity to all,One particular Rev. M. Watson even went ahead to suggest that some coins should recognize Gods presence (Jean 56). This according to them America was meant to be officially a Christian state. Colonies had come up with churches and taxed all citizens to their support regardless of being a church m ember or not. unfortunately to those who evaded tax were imprisoned,tortured or even ended up in death. This brings us to the other persons that support the view that America is founded on secular ideals and enlightenment.

The constitution is purely secular and apparently no Christ has been mentioned in it . The core founders rulers like Thomas Jefferson,Madison and their allies believed in themselves and were never Christians. With the persecution of those who evaded tax,these rulers helped pass law allowing religious freedom to all. These rulers were deists and never even concurred with the bible or anything in it. Thomass Jefferson one of Americas founding presidents rejected Christianity to a point that he actually thought that it produced fools and hypocrites belief was that religions are founded on myths.

America is one of those countries that have actually set a pace when it come to democracy. Revealingly, democracy was first began in pagan Greece. This actually shows there could be a link between Americas and democracy and paganism. This is according to those who hold the view that it was never founded on Christianity. Religion is also another factor that holds on principals that make a country. Thomass Jefferson had earlier passed law allowing religious freedom to all.

Religion clearly indicates that its not in their interest to simply it to join it. In the declaration of independence it talks of men being created equal. This is a value that the Christians uphold in their teachings but in the 1970s blacks and native Americans were not equal with whites,neither were men equal with women nor men with land equal to men who dint own land. probably this is a an argument point to those who do not concur with the fact that America was based on a Christian foundation.

A constitution a legally binding document when it was enacted to become law it freed many on religion basis but since it did not render special treatment to Christians they argued that America would be unsuccessful on the contrary it emerged a super power. democracy is fully enjoyed by all in America regardless of their religion unlike in other countries where religion is a force to reckon with people are suppressed and oppressed if they don not abide by the founding religion.

Christianity early roots do not ascertain it to be Americas foundation was not in the interest of Thomas Jefferson and his cronies to make it a Christian nation but they strived to separate the government and church.

Works cited

Dowel , Clem. Christian foundation in America. California:provident publishers limited, 2005. Jean, Mary L. America Christian History. Wyoming:secondary press, 2002. Baldwin,Michael. Declaration of independence . Boston:Point books,2001.