Women According to the Law

The readings in Kaiser and Marker pages 49-59 solidify the social presence of the church in Kievan Rus’ society; specifically in the way that women were treated. The most evident is the definitive distinction between “good” and “evil” women. Good women were characterized by their attentiveness to the Christian faith and their strict adherence to social principles; Evil women were those who strayed from the church and asserted their social independence. Even the way that these laws are writhed prove how male- centric the society was.… Read the rest here

With God On Our Side

One of the most prevalent imageries depicted through the course of these stories is the inclusion of God and religious allusions, but specifically in the context of good and evil. This is especially noticeable when discussion battles, where the writers of the story (supposedly those who survived and flourished after these events) had God backing them and their cause; while the others were backed by evil. This is exemplified in multiple stories, such as on page 22 when the author claims that “While Vladimir was desirous of attacking Iaroslav, the latter sent overseas and imported Varangian reinforcements, since he feared his father’s advance.… Read the rest here

CIA Intelligence Assessment: Rising Political Instability Under Gorbachev

3 Points:
  1. December 1988, Gorbachev delivered a “watershed” speech at the United Nations that demonstrated his growing liberalization efforts. All of these efforts would create a less intrusive force in the eastern bloc, as shown be attempts to decrease the military forces prevalent there and the amounts of armaments used.
  2. President Bush saw these as empty promises; pointing out how despite the perception that Gorbachev was creating opportunity for the people in the Soviet Union, their standards of living remain very low- similar to as they were under Stalin.
Read the rest here

National Organization for Women- Statement of Purpose

Three Points:

–       Says that the social restraint of keeping women in the home has been surpassed by the increased life span. Since women can live longer, the majority of their life is not spent raising children and thus they have the capacity to strive for more personal accomplishments other than domestically. In addition, technology has reduced the work in the home as there are less” chores” for women to do. This allows for women to expand from previous societal restraints because there is more time and opportunity for them to excel outside of domesticity.… Read the rest here

Survival in Auschwitz

Three Points:
  1. In these camps, one of the largest barriers between those living there was language. Most of them had Jewish background and many of them were educated; however, there was little access to communication. Not only did this make work more difficult when listening to the commanders who spoke German and the other workers that one was working with, but also an enormous feeling of isolation.
  2. The demoralizing of the people in the concentration camps proves to be one of the founding steps in the process of their success.
Read the rest here

Hitler Speech- April 12, 1921

Adolf Hitler Speech- April 12, 1921

3 Substainative points:
“We are already a colony of the outside world.” Hitler displays the opinions of many Germans when he says that Germany no longer had the ability to work for itself. Not only were they subjected to the conditions of Versailles without input, but those conditions have allowed the suppression of their entire work force. “The product of Germany’s work thus belonged, not to our nation, but to her foreign creditors,” shows the angry sentiments of Germans towards the other European nations- an anger that would only grow towards an outburst of war.… Read the rest here

Abdication of Tsar Nicholas II (March 15, 1917)

Author- Ruled from 1894- 1917, during his rule there were many military encounters (loss of the Russo- Japanese War, World War I involvement that caused 3.3 million Russian deaths), during his rule the 1905 Revolution occurred which created the 1906 Russian Constitution known for limited the power of the monarchy and instating the Duma, violence towards those politically opposing him (ex. supporters of 1905 Revolution)

Context- Abdicated after being imprisoned in him home with his family during the 1917 February Revolution
Language- Talks up the victory of Russia and its greatness, uses language to make it seems as if he willingly and by his own volition decide to abdicate for the good of Russia
Audience- A declaration to the people of Russia over the change in power, one last message to prove that he governed for the good of Russia and should be perceived that way in memory, asks the people to abide by the new ruler who he named (Mikhail Alexandrovich, who would lead along with the Provisional Government)
Intent- To formally abdicate and remove himself from power, to potentially save his life and those in his family from the violence of the revolutionaries holding them, to pass leadership to his brother (who found out about being the successor- rather than Nicholas’s son who he initially chose- through this declaration)
Message- Nicholas was making one last act of good for Russia (he “owed to our people the close union and organisation of all its forces for the realisation of a rapid victory” in WWI along with their allies), Russia would be victorious and that the people should continue to support and have faith in the Russian government by supporting the newly selected leader
Read the rest here

Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Ideal (1896)

Author: Peter Kropotkin was a Russian philosopher, evolutionary theorist, and economist, promoter of anarchy- communism (looks to abolish capitalism, the state, and private property and promote common ownership in production), influenced by Pierre- Joseph Proudhon and John Stuart Mill, wealthy upbringing but rejected his “princely” title at a young age, influenced by republican readings and his time working under Tsar Alexander II, spent time working alongside the International Workingmen’s Association and other anarchist associations and was imprisoned for his activities
Context: Tsar Nicholas II had his formal coronation to Russian leader in 1896, Tsar Nicholas had previously turned down attempts for some democracy and stated that he would do everything to maintain an absolute autocracy
Language: Asks many questions in the beginning to force people to think critically about their society and these issues, his writing is not advanced and is at a level that is easy for most to read
Audience: The common man, he uses his simple language to express to all the issues with the current state of society and how much bettered all would be without certain institutions
Intent: To make people question the institutions of society which they take for granted and assume need to be in place (ex.
Read the rest here

John Stuart Mill and Utilitarian Equality

Author- John Stuart Mill, lived from 1806- 1873, English philosopher, member of British Parliament, firm believer in utilitarianism, wife Harriet Taylor Mill was a women’s rights advocate and aided in his writings

Context- Written in 1869, the belief at the time was that women were subordinate to the men in their lives, not much support for women’s right to vote
Language- Attempts to apply logic to the situation, since he is making claims that there is no evidence behind not giving women rights he works towards creating a humanitarian angle that shows the logic behind equality
Audience- Written to enlighten the public but also to gain support in Parliament, he was in the minority when attempting to pass women’s rights into British law
Intent- Mills saw that the public believed that women were not able to accomplish as much as men and attempted to explain that they have never been given opportunities to show otherwise, wanted to convince the public (and Parliament) that women deserved similar opportunities to exhibit their equal societal worth
Message- Mills’s belief in utilitarianism is the root behind all of his claims in this writing, he believed that intellectual and voting opportunity would create a better society for everyone where everyone could defend their rights, he wanted to show that individual development would raise society overall
“That the principle which regulates the existing social relations between the two sexes–the legal subordination of one sex to the other–is wrong itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality, admitting no power or privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other.” – Mills
This quote directly proves his utilitarian point- of- view regarding this issue as he specifically says that not allowing the advancements of women is detrimental to humanity as a whole.
Read the rest here

The Theory of the Leisure Class

Author- Thorstein Veblen, American sociologist and economics, grew up with a lot of familial emphasis on education and caused resentment for “conspicuous consumption”
Context- 1899, takes place during the Gilded Age of America (economic boom that brought many immigrants from Europe)
Language- matter- of- fact language, extremely critical
Audience- became and instant success, highly praised, meant to be widely read
Intent- to shows the superficiality of the societal trend and to show the societal rift between those that can afford luxury items and those that produce the items (how that impacts class perception)
Message- criticism of how materialism of luxury goods became a symbol of wealth and of “conspicuous consumption” (displaying luxury items to maintain social status), uses dress as an example of display of goods to indicate one’s status

Read the rest here