Che Guevara, “Colonialism is Doomed”

Che Guevara was an Argentinian doctor turned Cuban revolutionary and spokesperson whose popularity peaked after the Cuban Revolution of 1959. He became an ally to the Castros, and often spoke out against several American policies. In his speech to the UN in 1964, Colonialism is Doomed, he referenced colonialism as “complacent” and stated, “But imperialism, particularly United States imperialism, has tried to make the world believe that peaceful coexistence is the exclusive right of the great powers on earth.” He referenced the Soviet Union and China as threats to the US and alluded to the bullish ways of NATO and the Turkish government, which he believed eliminated hope for peaceful coexistence.… Read the rest here

National Organization for Women

Gender equality has often been alluded to in our course thus far (Vindication of the Rights of Women), and continues to be a discussion topic and issue today, especially in the workplace. While women’s rights were slowly improving throughout the 1900s (finally allowed to vote in 1944), there was still much work to be done. In 1966, a stance was taken with the formation of the National Organization for Women (NOW). Based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination of sex was supposed to be outlawed.… Read the rest here

Fascism and Mussolini

Once an avid supporter of socialism, Benito Mussolini became one of the most significant contributors in the creation of fascism. In What is Fascism (1932), he aimed to address the Italian people and bring forth how beneficial this new political movement would be for their country. In response to World War 1 and its appalling violence, fascism was intended to out-date movements like traditional conservatism, Marxism, and especially liberalism. It used aspects of socialism, but also reminds me of nationalism in some ways, due to the stresses in pride and unity.… Read the rest here

Mazzini and Nationalism

Author: Giuseppe Mazzini, 1805-1872. Founder of Young Italy (1831), Mazzini was an Italian activist and politician and one of the most significant figures in the push of nationalism and democracy.

Context: Published in 1852, in a time when revolutions such as the French (1848) and others were happening with comparable frequency, the ideas of nationalism and unification were picking up steam.

Language: Mazzini wrote in a very “matter of fact” tone. It read optimistically in the sense that if everything he stated was followed, Italy would be in a great position.… Read the rest here

Yorkshire Slavery and Labor Conditions

Author: Richard Oastler. Oastler was born in 1789[i] to an English family and advocated for the abolishment of slavery and improved labor conditions, especially for children.

Context: His letter “Yorkshire Slavery” was written in 1830 during the time of significantly increased industry (at this point, right in the thick of the Industrial Revolution), and need for more labor in factories and mills.

Language: I would describe the language of the piece as assertive and defiant.… Read the rest here

German Nationalism

Nationalism is defined as ” devotion and loyalty to one’s own country” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nationalism) and it was the main focus in Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s piece To the German Nation. Fichte was a German philosopher who lived from 1762 to 1814 and developed many of his ideals from analyzing Kant and his writings. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Gottlieb_Fichte). He aimed for the ears of the common German man/woman to rally together and show unity and pride in their respective nation. Once a supporter of France and the Revolution, Fichte changed his stance after Napoleon overrode Germany.… Read the rest here

Connecting the Declaration of Independence and What is the Third Estate

The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson and signed in 1776 is unquestionably one of the most well-known and significant documents in American history. It spoke against British control and tyranny at that time. Jefferson pens, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Blaisdell 63-64) Jefferson then lists several of “His” (The King of England) transgressions and the overarching aspiration to form a state separate from England and all of the injustices that have been performed under English rule.… Read the rest here