Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of India, he ruled from the time that India gained its independence until his death. He was a supporter of Ghandi and embraced peace as the most important attribute his country could have. Due to the fact that Nehru found peace to be of utmost importance, he decided that India should follow Marxism in order to maintain the most likely course to peace. Nehru believed that following Marxism was the best path to take because violence was only used in order to gain peace in the long run. He also believed with the help of Marxism and government planning, much like the five year plans of Russia, could allow the new country of India to catch up in the world. India also took a very isolationist approach to world politics, Nehru believed that being involved in other affairs would only lead to violence with other countries, a result which he was most adverse to.

What is Fascism

AUTHOR: Benito Mussolini was a member of the Italian Socialist Party prior to WWI, when he disagreed with the parties advocacy for neutrality during the war he was kicked out. He denounced the party and began to work on his fascist movement.

CONTEXT: At the time of writing What is Fascism in 1932 Mussolini had already been in power for 10 years. He wrote a entry for an Italian encyclopedia at this time defining what exactly fascism was. Despite the fact that he and his party had been in power for 10 years the general public was unclear as to what exactly fascism was and this entry was meant to help define it.

LANGUAGE: Mussolini wrote this piece so that the general public could better understand his ideas, he did not use terribly scholarly language that was meant to overwhelm the people, he wanted them to understand. This piece is also persuasive, Mussolini needed public support for fascism so he was trying to gain it in this piece.

AUDIENCE: Mussolini’s audience was the people of Italy, he needed public support to keep fascism and himself in power so he was trying to persuade the people that fascism was a positive form of government.

INTENT: Mussolini’s intent was to define fascism for the people of Italy in his own way which he hoped would help the people see that they should support him and his political ideas.

MESSAGE: Mussolini’s goal in writing this piece was to show people that fascism was a good thing for Italy and that they would benefit from it, his message was the same and worked to accomplish that goal.

Bismarck’s Memoirs

Author- Otto von Bismark was the first Chancellor of Germany, he created this post for himself after he started three short wars against France, Denmark, and Austria from his seat as Minister President of Prussia. By provoking these three wars he aligned and united the multitudinous German states behind himself and Prussia. Von Bismarck earned himself the nickname “The Iron Chancellor” for his notoriety to rule with a decisively and powerfully.
Context- Bismarck wrote his memoirs after the events which he describes, as it is with most memoirs. He is recalling the end of the war against Austria, a war which the Prussians had decisively won and were being offered terms of surrender. In this memoirs Bismarck describes a situation in which his colleagues were pushing to deny the Austrians the terms of their surrender and to push the war onward.
Language- Bismarck is writing about these events in a memoir, the language does not stir rebellion or motivate individuals to join a cause but it is calm and very informative. He writes to recount information as completely as possible for the reader. The language is not complex, it is not designed for any certain class to be able to read as opposed to others.
Audience- Memoirs are meant to be enjoyed by everyone seeking the information which they contain. Bismarck recounts these events for anyone who wants to take the time to read them.
Intent- The intent of this piece appears to be very informative for the reader. The only other intent which the reader can detect is maybe some boastful tones, Bismarck writes of a time which he stood alone for what was the best for his country and his people; it was a time which it would make sense he may want people to know about.
Message- Bismarck does not have a strong message in this piece, it is not a call to arms or action or a piece criticizing a way of life, it simply recounts an event in his life. The most important message that can be detected is the fact that he was standing alone in a decision that benefitted the people of Germany, Prussia, and even Austria. He successfully advocated for the Prussians to accept Austria’s defeat and not destroy it to a point which future Austrians would seek revenge. As Bismarck puts it “we were not there to administer retributive justice, but to pursue a policy; that I wished to avoid in the German federation of the future the sight of mutilated territories” (Bismarck). By avoiding destroying Austria any further Bismarck helped ensure safety in the future.
Why- Bismarck wrote his memoirs to document the events that happened in his life for future people to enjoy. The purpose of the argument that Bismarck recounts is to save Germany and Prussia any conflict with a vengeful Austria in the future.

Richard Oastler on the Industrial Revolution of England

Author: Richard Oastler was born in England in 1789. He became well known for his work to improve the working conditions of the lower class (especially children). Oastler struggled at different points in his life to keep his property, he found that he was not able to make enough money to pay his rent despite working.
Context: In 1830 Richard Oastler wrote a document known as “Yorkshire Slavery”, he was writing during the midst of the Industrial Revolution of England. As farmers moved from the countryside into the cities of England there was a sudden boom in cheap labor resources. This boom allowed entrepreneurs to pay people almost nothing to work in factories which had no workers rights priorities at all. In order for a family to survive off of the wages offered at these factories most of the time the entire family had to work; “the entire family” included the children.
Language: Oastler wrote “Yorkshire Slavery” in order to help the people of England realize that they should not have to endure the horrors that they did in the factories for the amount of money they were making. The language in his piece is persuasive and explanatory, and the prose are simple enough for the common man.
Audience: Oastler was writing for the working class in England at the time, he kept his writing clear and persuasive for his audience.
Intent: The intent of this piece appears to foremost be education. He wants to educate the people of England of the problems in their labor system. Secondly, Oastler appears to want to persuade people that the conditions that they are living in are not the conditions that they must live in. If they take action things can, in fact, change. He actually became part of the change when a movement he helped run lead to the “Ten Hours Act”.
Message: Oastler’s message is quite clear, the working class of England is suffering under unfair circumstances. Possibly the most powerful part of his message is that the children of England are being trampled the worst in the new industrial system. They are being taken advantage of and cannot defend their rights on their own. He also makes a point of how child labor is ripping apart the families of England and it is not healthy for the country. Oastler’s message is that it is time for change.
Why did Oastler bother? Oastler appears to believe that there could be change to the industrial system of his time. He saw first hand the affects that it had on the families and children who had been been subjected to the terrors of the factories. Their stories appear to have inspired him to take action for change.

German Nationalism

Philosophers and authors Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Johann Gottfried von Herder both had very similar ideas on what it meant to be a nation and what it meant for a group of humans living in a defined area to become a nation. In order to become a nation they all had to identify themselves similarly. Both of these authors came out of a turbulent time for Germany, Fitche was writing in 1806 and von Herder was in 1784. This time period in Europe can be recognized by the nations that began to form, no longer was Europe divided into many different municipalities scattered about.
The French Revolution began just five years after von Herder wrote his Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind. As von Herder watched the years of turmoil leading up to the French Revolution, as he watched the people of France become a single body working towards a single goal he theorized the importance of nations but more importantly nationalism. He saw that a group of people who have been defined by nature, whether it be language, terrestrial setting, or race, could gain a sense of purpose when they become proud of their sense of belonging to a nation. To relate this idea to popular culture all that one has to do is look at the Super Bowl and its super fans. These people get a sense of belonging when they watch their teams accomplish great acts and support them in any way they can find, whether it be building a giant Seahawks logo on their front lawn or getting the “Patriots, Super Bowl XLIX Champions” tattooed on their chest a week before the game is even played. Meanwhile a team also benefits from such fanaticism because it bolsters their morale and provides support for their purpose. This is the exact same way that nationalism works for a nation, the people are proud to be part of their nation so they support their nation, in return, with this support, the nation can accomplish great things, which creates more pride.
Fichte followed up von Herder’s ideas 22 years later, after the French Revolution had ended but just at the beginning of Napoleon’s conquests into Germany. Fichte was now looking at a united country of France, one that had found its nationalism and was proud to be. Napoleon had occupied many of the small insignificant Germanic townships and cities with ease and forced Fichte to see the importance of a nation, both from the self defense perspective and for the over all efficiency of a territory. He argues that “Thus was the German nation placed-sufficiently united within itself by a common language and a common way of thinking, and sharply enough severed from the other peoples-in the middle of Europe, as a wall to divide races not akin ….” (Fichte), meaning that there was a clear “German Nation”. An area defined by nature, language and common culture that significantly enough that it should become a single nation, a single nation which the people recognize and take pride in. Fichte proclaims that “German states, whose separate existence was in itself contrary to all nature and reason” (Fichte), he is clearly stating an obvious importance in the states of Germany to cease to be divided. If the nation-states were to cease to be divided then, as a nation, the Germans could become more than what they were. Both of these men helped to define the meaning of nationalism and they truly helped to show its power in the formation and longevity of nations.

The Declaration of Independence and What is the Third Estate

The Declaration of Independence is a document that was published in 1776 by Thomas Jefferson as a reaction to a series of offenses by the English Government, specifically King George III.The document states that the colonists have a desire to dissolve their ties to the King and the government that surrounds him, an entirely novel idea during the time period. Jefferson writes that the colonists have the right to no longer be British subjects because “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 64). Once Jefferson establishes what these unalienable rights are, he goes on to list all of the ways that he, and the rest of the colonists, believe King George III has been withholding these rights from them (Blaisdell 65). Jefferson’s document, The Declaration of Independence, did exactly what its name would lead one to assume, it declared the independence of the people in the colonies and sparked a revolution.
Another man, Emmanual Joseph Sieyes, makes a remarkably similar push for independence and a revolution of the social system in his work What is the Third Estate. Much like Jefferson, Sieyes saw that men do have certain rights, that should not be taken from them. Written as a response to an inquiry about how the Estates-General should be organized What is the Third Estate asked for many of the same things as Jefferson’s The Declaration of Independence did but most importantly it requested equal representation for the Third Estate. Sieyes argues that the Third Estate “constitutes nineteen-twentieths” of all the production in the country (Blaisdell 72) and that in the event that there were no First and Second Estates leeching off of the work of the Third that the country would be far more efficient and better off in general, much like Jefferson says about the colonists being better off without King George III suppressing them. Just as The Declaration of Independence did, What is the Third Estate motivated the people to make a change, and to revolutionize the way of thinking about social order, mans’ rights and government power.