U.N. on Colonial Independence

Tree Points

1. It is important to note that all people in the world, regardless of race, gender, religion, or language deserve stability and peace.

2. It is necessary to end colonialism in the world.

3. The subjection of people by another, foreign group of is directly against fundamental human rights.

2 questions:

1. What was the reaction of the countries that had colonial properties to this document?

2. What was the country or incident that made the United Nations create this document?

1 Thought:

The entire declaration is very thorough and covers each part of colonialism.  While broad it also seems to target a very particular section of colonialism.  While most colonialism was violent, all of it was not.  This declaration is an umbrella look at colonialism and what it means for both sides involved.  This makes it much more difficult to enforce.  It could not have been easy for the U.N. in the 1960s to monitor all of its members.  It would be that much harder to manage the colonial properties.  It is so broad and general that it becomes harder to manage.

Stalin’s Reply to Churchill

3 Observations

1. Churchill had a similar view to Hitler, believing that one racial group should control all the power.  Instead of believing the Aryans had all the power Churchill believed that English-speaking nations should rule over the world.

2. The world must notice that the Soviet Union has lost more men in German invasions then both the United States and the United Kingdom.

3. The common people are being controlled by Churchill and his party and need to think for themselves.

2 Questions

1. What was the international response to comparing Churchill and Hitler?

2. What was the reaction in England to Stalin’s comments about the “common people”?

1 Thought:

It is interesting to see Stalin alienate both sides of the war.  He goes after Hitler, briefly calling him out for the Nazi racial theory and attacks Churchill.  He has basically left himself with no one to lean on in war.  However Stalin does not come across as worried.  He says that the Soviet Union has lost the most men in the war and yet does not say they will give up.  He gives strength to the Soviet Union in his speech while also taking away both possible allies.


Treaty of Versailles

Three Points:

1. Germany was forced to surrender much of the territory they gained during the war.  They lost the territory that they gained from France and also had many other restrictions.  They also had many restrictions put on their control of the Rhine, saying “Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications” around the Rhine.  They were forced to return all of their newly controlled territories.

2. Germany was forced to disassemble their armed forces.  First of all their army was not allowed to have more than 100,000 members.  Those 100,000 members were only allowed to manage the territory and not actually invade any countries.  Along with this they were only allowed to have men in the army and not use any technology such as vehicles.

3. Germany was forced to accept all responsibility for the war.  The main aspect of this is that Germany would be forced to pay for all damage committed to the “Allied and Associated Governments”.  This put all the fault of the war on the Germans and that the “Allied and Associated Governments” recognized that Germany had to assume responsibility.


1. Was there a less aggressive way to handle this and not put all of the blame on Germany?

2. How much of an impact did the Treaty of Versailles have on how Germany handled World War II.

Interesting Fact:

There was actually a second agreement, the Locarno Treaties in 1925 that was signed by the same group of countries that was used to fix relations with Germany.

ACLAIM: Dadabhai Naoroji, British Rule

Author: Dadabhai Naoroji was the first member of the British Parliament from Asia.  He was born in Bombay before British colonization.  Along with being a MP he was a social and political leader and a cotton trader.  Arguably his most important impact on Indian society was that he was one of the founding members of the Indian National Congress.

Context: The piece was written in 1871, well into the British occupation of India.  The beginnings of a new middle class and the Indian National congress was developing.

Language  The language of this piece is fairly easy to read and Naoroji is writing about aspects of life that apply to every person.

Audience: This piece was meant for the Indian people to show both the positive and negative sides of the British occupation.

Intent: The intent of this piece was to give both sides of the argument for the Indian people.  He provided all of the positives that the British have done but he does concede that not everything has been good.  He provided reasons to have and not have the British occupy India for the Indian people to see.

Message: The message of Naoroji’s writing was that the British rule has had both positives and negatives however the British know what is right.  He wrote “The genius and spirit of the British people is fair play and justice.”  and that the Indian people need to figure out what they want.

Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management

The main argument of Frederick Taylor’s “The Principles of Scientific Management” is that men are wasting their time in factories but there are ways to improve that.  The paper itself “was originally prepared for presentation to The American Society of Mechanical Engineers” so he was not writing for the uninformed.  This meant that his writing in the paper was not simple, it was not trying to address the everyman.  Taylor was aiming for people who had seen the issue of workers taking their time.  Written after the Industrial Revolution had been established, Taylor had seen the issues with the new factory system.  Taylor himself was a mechanical engineer so he had seen first hand the issues he was writing on.  His paper focused on the issue of “soldiering” and how it could be improved.  He referenced studies that proved that workers, when they got to work, would do everything slower than when they were walking to work or at home. Taylor was writing to expose this flaw in the factory system and gives ways to fix it.  He gave three distinct reasons about why the “soldiering” and explained each of them.  He proved that men do take it easy when they get to work and that it not only reflects the employee but also the employer.  Taylor’s complete message was that the factory system still is not perfect, that it has its flaws and they need to be recognized.  While the problem of laziness in the workplace exists, it is one that can be fixed.

Day by Day Nationalism

“Nationalism has become general; it grows daily and it has already grown strong enough to keep all parts of Italy united despite the differences that distinguish them.”

-Count Cavour (Camillo Benso)

While this quote from Benso, who would become Prime Minister of Piedmont-Sardinia, applies to Italy it could be applied to many different countries in Europe at the time.  Nationalism is no longer a fad at this time, it is assumed now.  Unity is now a key word in the development of new countries.  Giuseppe Mazzini wrote “unity is a necessity in the world.”  As Count Cavour wrote unity has become strong in Italy but it is needed everywhere.  Unity comes with nationalism and the two words are very important together. Count Cavour touches on it briefly and the important part of his quote is that nationalism is continuing to grow.  It is growing on a daily basis, the people are becoming more unified.  Mazzini also wrote “The question of Nationalities, rightly understood, is the Alliance of Peoples”.  This quote is the basis for what Cavour is seeing put into action.  Cavour says nationalism has become general but he is thinking too general.  While he is looking just at Italy, many other places in Europe are becoming more unified.  This is not a separated occurrence in Italy, many people are taking Mazzini’s words to heart.  Count Cavour did not know it but his writing was a base point of what nationalism is.  Italy is just one of the many in Europe who were “unified despite the differences that distinguish them.”

“We’re weaving, we’re weaving!”

In H. Heine’s poem “The Silesian Weavers” he writes “Their gloom-enveloped eyes are tearless, They sit at the spinning wheel, snarling cheerless: “Germany, we weave your funeral shroud, A threefold curse be within it endowed-We’re weaving, we’re weaving!”  This is of course in reference to the awful conditions for factory workers during the Industrial Revolution.  This poem pertains to the workers in Silesia, a Prussian Province.

This stanza in the poem is more impactful when taking into account the other two readings.  Even though Heine’s poem is about Silesia, it could be about any large factory.  This is not an overreaction to one factory with poor conditions.  Every factory had these issues.  Every worker sat “at the spinning wheel, snarling cheerless”.  The workers are clearly angry with the factory, angry with the new life.  This is not just obvious because the poem was inspired by an 1844 protest but the language.  When writing “A threefold curse be within it endowed” Heine was showing this anger.  The workers are angry about the money and hours because of these conditions.  It is much easier to like your job when the conditions are acceptable, but 19th century factories were certainly not acceptable.  The last line of the first stanza is also very telling.  By using the exclamation point, Heine is implying that “We’re weaving, we’re weaving!” is something the workers had to say often, in order to show the bosses they we’re still working.  However if they had to show they we’re working then how much effort were the putting into the work?

Nationalism and the Frenc

Nationalism major part of the French Revolution, which itself was the creation of a new French nation.  In the introduction to Johann Gottfried von Herder’s “Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind” Paul Halsall wrote “People are not naturally aware that they belong to a nation”.  The French Revolution went a long way in establishing the idea of French nationalism.  An important factor of that was the poem “La Marseillaise” which later became the national anthem of France.  The entire poem is about defending the “fatherland” from “foreign cohorts”.  The French Revolution went a long way in creating a new French national identity.

The nationalists in France worked very hard to keep their vision alive.  They define what Halsall described as “In almost every case nationalists envision much broader boundaries, and have gone to considerable trouble to construct and defend these boundaries with particular interpretations of history.”  The French went to a lot of trouble during their revolution, a time that featured many executions in order to maintain control.  They also had very different views of their place then the nobles or clergy did.  The Third Estate believed that their Supreme Being did not give them their tyrants but it was their job to rid the country of them.  The French Third Estate spared no expense when it came to enforcing the new, national way of living.  They created an entire new society to fit with the new ideas of France.  From creating a new calendar to editing playing cards and chess the French definitely went to “considerable trouble” to maintain their beliefs.


The French and American Declaration

The French and American Revolutions are two of the most famous revolutionary movements in the history of mankind.  The revolutions are very similar, mainly in the writing that led up to revolution.  The United States’ “Declaration of Independence” and the French’s “What is the Third Estate”, “Decree Upon the National Assembly”, “Tennis Court Oath”, and “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” all outline very similar grievances that the people are rising against.

In the “Declaration of Independence” the Continental Congress wrote “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.”  In the “Declaration of the Rights of Man” the French wrote “The end of all political associations is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible right of man; and these rights are Liberty, Property, Security, and Resistance of Oppression.”  The common theme in those two quotes is the word Liberty, which is “the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely” (Dictionary.com).  While the Patriots and the French had smaller grievances, specific to their situation, Liberty is the most overarching one.  Both groups felt underrepresented by their controlling body, the English monarchy for the Americans and the French monarchy for the French.  Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès wrote his “What is the Third Estate” after the American Revolution but it applies to what was happening in the colonies as much as it did to what was happening in France.  Sieyès wrote “1) What is the Third Estate?  Everything.  2) What has it been until now in the political order?  Nothing.  3) What does it want to be?  Something.”  Both the American colonists and the French citizens wanted recognition from their controlling government but more importantly they wanted the rights they felt they deserved.

The colonists way of gaining “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” was to declare independence from Britain.  They wrote in the Declaration of Independence “these United Colonies are, and of Right out to be Free and Independent States.”  The French offered up a similar solution, however their monarch was not an ocean away.  The “Third Estate” formed the “National Assembly”, which consisted of “at least ninety-six per cent of the nation.”  The “National Assembly” wrote in the “Declaration of the Rights of Man” that they had “resolved to set forth in solemn declaration, these natural, imprescriptible, and inalienable right; that this declaration being constantly present to the minds of the members of the body social” effectively declaring their own independence from the monarchy.

While the American and French revolution happened an ocean away and began about 13 years apart they followed the same track in action and writing.



What is Enlightenment

Kant writes that the motto of enlightenment is “Have the courage to use your own reason!”.  He also states the main detractors to this statement are mans tendencies towards “laziness and cowardice”.  Man has a tendency to fall back on what is easiest, and trying to find enlightenment is certainly not easy.  Instead it is easier to “have a book which understands for me, a pastor who has a conscience for me, a physician who decides my diet, and so forth”.  Why would man try to do any of those things for himself if he has people to do it for him?  Why would he go out of his way when the answers are presented to him?  With this strategy man will become stuck, will never “release from his self-incurred tutelage” as Kant states.  Kant writes that only requirement for enlightenment is freedom but he also writes “Everywhere there is restriction on freedom.”  When constantly being told what to do by superiors it becomes easy for man to go back to the “laziness and cowardice”.  To reach enlightenment man must break away from the pack and see the truth.

A man who saw the truth was Frederick II, considered a major advocate for enlightenment absolutism.  In his writing he said “The sovereign is the representative of his State.  He and his people for a single body.”  These were his own ideas, writing “That is my idea of the duties of sovereigns” at the end of his “Essay on Forms of Government”.  In that short sentence Frederick II took Kant’s motto on enlightenment and put it in his own words.  He looked past the laziness and cowardice of man and found, what he thought was, the truth.