Friday, February 7, 2020
Reading Journal 2 - Coursework Example Also, Jean Le Rond Dalembert, who together with Denis Diderot developed the encyclopaedia that was a compilation of works on trade and mechanical arts (75). Another author who contributed significantly is Mary Wollstonecraft, who advocated the womens positions (85), and Adam Smiths wealth of nations (87) among other works provided to the education. Europe started interacting with the rest of the worlds as early as in the seventeenth century especially with the discovery and settlement in the New World. They had knowledge in ship and gun making which gave them a higher advantage (394). France development was based on mercantilism that required the government to maximize on trade by monopolizing trade with its colonies (395). Europe benefited from slavery and its colonies (399). In the mid eighteenth century, it faced international rivalry; the European nations involved in wars that further split to the colonies (404). Europe suffered seven years of war (1756-1763) that ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The treaty left Britain in an economic crisis, and their efforts to get funding from America were frustrated by the American Revolution, which ultimately resulted to declaration of American Independence. This period was characterised by a desire for change. Leaders in the enlightenment believed that a man could comprehend the process of nature and manipulate them to their advantage. The ideas of Isaac Newton and John Locke were the forerunners of this knowledge (416). There was development of the print culture, the volume of printed material increased including books, journals and newspapers among others (417). The scholars who were mainly university professors helped expand the print culture (419). They were critical about most religious institutions arguing it hindered pursuit of rational life (420). Publication of the encyclopaedia also contributed to the understanding (423). They also applied their
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Mark MathabaneÃ¢â¬â¢s Kaffir Boy Essay Racial Discrimination, has already been a long term phenomenon, in existent in almost all societies in different eras and civilization. The idea of discrimination is inevitable. Considering that such discrimination creates social structure as regards what is expected of everybody in a society and what is due to them. However, sometimes this social structure is abused, beyond its limit. People who belong to a higher status quo would definitely do whatever it takes to keep it. To illustrate, colonizers who had way better technology, combat powers and knowledge as compared to areas being colonized, would come to these new conquests are superiors. They would then take the locals as slaves and ravish on the wealth that they have to offer. In their own place, these locals become discriminated and unwanted. In return, locals would do whatever it takes to associate themselves with the colonizers, by looking like them, being friends with them, working for them, or marrying people of their kind. And it always seems that it is the right thing to do. When the British came to South Africa, this is exactly what happened. Mark MathabaneÃ¢â¬â¢s Kaffir Boy, tells a real story of a man who chose to fight a different battle to combat discrimination and inequality. While most of his relatives act as freedom fighters, he came to America to educate himself and to excel in a sport he loves. His success has given so much inspiration. His story as depicted in his book will take us with him as he reveals the horrors of his past. Mark Mathabane lived in a country, wherein racial divide, for most of its early years seemed to be the only thing that defines them. South Africa, a country nestled in the continent of Africa, was once invaded by white colonizers too. And they have proven that they came there to stay. In a country such as South Africa, a nation so unique as compared to other nations in the African continent. South Africa can be considered as diverse in a special way, because it is the only African country that has Caucasians as locals. Originally dominated by black Americans, South Africa is now a melting pot of two cultures. Analysis It had never occurred to me that though the two were different as night and day, as separate as east and -west, they had everything to do with each other; that one could not be without the other (94) This statement from Johannes best explains the struggles of Mathabane. In summary it explains how the two dominant races in South Africa has tried to isolate each group against each other, by means of creating physical division such as creating boundaries and naming certain places as black or white territory. Whites are in a way regarded more superior because they are more literate as well. The government also used formal means to strengthen the divide by creating laws such as prohibiting mix marriages, and creating policies in the education system that seems to favor a specific race. Overall, it was almost the generally accepted norm, to- categorize, discriminate. Kaffir Boy, is a tale about Mark MathabaneÃ¢â¬â¢s life growing up in South Africa, just outside of Johannesburg. Mark Mathabane lives in the town of Alexandra during industrial colonialism period with his parents, five sisters and a brother. He talks about how he experienced brutality and starvation from the Peri Urban, an Apartheid police group in South Africa. Growing up very poor, he dreamt of having a better life for him and his family. He often questioned the prejudices happening around him and has decided to take the course of his destiny in his own hands. As a young boy, he struggled with his identity. He wonders which religion he should practice, which country or class he should belong. There is so much craving for autonomy that at a young age he began resenting his parents religious and tribal heritage and eventually decided to leave Africa. Believing that religion, specifically Christianity was used wrongfully by different groups and races, he eventually rejected it. He believes that government used it to claim that God had given whites the divine right to rule over blacks; the black churches misused it by demanding money from Africans who were already destitute; and black churches further misused it by resigning themselves to the idea that this was their lot in life, Gods will for black men and women (36). Mathabane also recalled how apartheid made use of tribalism as form of torture against Africans. He believes that his father, allowed himself to be controlled by superstitions, Relatively mature for his age, he reiterates his independence by doing what he pleases with his life. For Mathabane, the Christian God is bias in favor of the whites and is oblivious to the Africans pain. Although he recognizes its legitimacy as sign of respect for her mothers faith, he still rejects it the way he rejects tribalism and African superstition. For him, submitting to any specific belief or religion is synonymous with compromising his free will. In page 208 of the book he further on states African superstition and tribal culture were not for him. His scorn for his father lay in the fact that his father clung to values which had outlived their usefulness, values which discriminated against him while he attempted to function within the white mans world (208). Ã¢â¬Å"What Mathabane did accept, though it took some trial and error, was his mothers understanding that education would lead him to a better life. Learning English, he decided, was the crucial key to unlocking the doors of the white world (193). The books that white people read led to the power they had over black people (254). Mathabane eventually decided that literacy was a necessary element in the liberation struggle. How can the illiterate function, he wondered, in a world ruled by signs (201) Books had taught him about places where he could be free to think and feel the way I want, instead of the way apartheid wants (254). He then realizes that he needs to make important decisions in order to make his dreams come true. Thinking that South Africa has nothing much to offer, at least for a poor black African boy like him, he decided to try his luck with American Universities. As he begins to plot his future, his tennis abilities begin to progress faster and better. Being an avid fan of Arthur Ashe, he takes his wins and losses as if his own. The achievements of his Ã¢â¬Å"idolÃ¢â¬ encourages him to do better every single day. From black state competitions, he started joining the more prestigious white state competitions. His participation in white state competitions led to his banning from joining black state competitions. At this point, he feels as if his progress in his craft takes him away from the things he loved the most. Luckily, Mark later on leaves for the United States as a university scholar, through the help of a famous American tennis player and other white donors. Conclusion Deep within me,I knew that I could never really leave South Africa or Alexandra. I was Alexandra, I was South Africa (348). This goes to show that despite of all the successes, the author looks back in his roots. At first, his move out of Africa was just his way of Ã¢â¬Å"escapingÃ¢â¬ the endless circle of failed dreams and lack of opportunities. But his absence in his country makes him reaffirm his identity, and gives him the opportunity, to finally appreciate what his past has to offer for his present and for his future. This book tells a very dark story filled with pain, sadness and loneliness on most of its chapters, but it also provides a strong foundation for the readers to further understand the plight of the narrator. The journey he took was not only of hope, but rather, a journey of rediscovery. How can the illiterate function, he wondered, in a world ruled by signs (201)? The books had taught him and transported him to places where he could be free to think and feel the way I want, instead of the way apartheid wants (254). Why burn the only thing that taught one to believe in the future, to fight for ones right to live in freedom and dignity? (285). Here reaffirms his conclusion as we experiences Soweto riots, which was triggered by resentment over the governments ruling that African education system be taught it Afrikaans instead of English. Upon witnessing the library burn down he inquired for enlightenment from one of his peers, who mentioned that the burning is for the destruction of all the traces of white oppression in the Bantu Education system. The struggles in his youth, leads him to think that literacy is the key to success. by learning English, he will be given better opportunities, the same as the whites. According to the author, literacy has given the whites so much edge and power over the black Africans. Having an education will somehow even out the playing field. Literacy for Mathabane is so important, that for him this will eventually lead them to be liberated from all their struggles. In the end, we really have no control over our government, over the people around us, and over norms and traditions we grew up with. But we do have full control over our perspective, our feelings and destiny. And this is precisely what Mathabane did. He took charge of his own future. This book inspires me to examine the choices I have made as a young person, at the same time, it makes me wonder whether the previous steps I have taken in life will take me closer to my aspirations or take me farther. But then, it makes me think deeper not just about my ambitions, but what I really want to contribute to my society in the end. This book serves as a wake up call. In a society wherein we are given so much opportunity, it seems as if we are left with no excuses not to excel. Reference: Mark Mathabane, 1998, Kaffir Boy, Simon Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The Death Penalty "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." This is another way for someone to say they are supportive of the death penalty. The death penalty, to me, is revenge. It kills innocent people every year. Many of the families of victims do not want the criminals to be put to death. The death penalty costs more than a life sentence in jail. It is also racists. "Since 1976, there have been five hundred twenty-three executions in the United States, twenty-three in 1999 alone. There was only eleven before 1984. Then the number rose to twenty-one that year. The number of execution stayed around twenty then dropped to eleven in 1988. Then it steadily rose from there to seventy-four executions in 1997. That was the highest since 1976."(Death Penalty Information Center, P.1) There are many different methods of execution used by the government. The most common is lethal injection used by thirty-four states. Electrocution is another method, which is used by ten states. The gas chamber is used in five states. There are still two states today that use hanging as a method of execution. And two other states use a firing squad. The death penalty is also extremely racist. There have been significantly more executions of minorities than white Americans. Capital punishment also goes against the Constitution of the United States. Amendments eight and fourteen state that no cruel and unusual punishment can be inflicted, and no state can deprive any person of life liberty or property. The death penalty clearly takes these privileges away from American citizens. "More than 2000 people are on death row today. Virtually all are poor, a significant number are mentally retarded or other wise mentally disabled. More than forty percent are African American and disproportionate numbers are Native American, Latino, and Asian." (American Civil Liberties Union) It does not seem fair that only these people are dying. The Constitution states that everyone should be given a fair trial. These statistics do not prove to me that these people had a fair trial. Everybody makes mistakes. If a jury makes a mistake and a person is falsely accused of murder when they find out they messed up they want to take the
Monday, January 13, 2020
Literary history and the concept of literature I From the 1970s onwards, much has been said about the writing of history and literary history that has cast doubt on its intellectual credibility. For example, Hayden WhiteÃ¢â¬â¢s Metahistory (1973) included an influential analysis of the metaphorical foundations of 19th century history writing. In 1979, Jean-Francois Lyotard criticized grand narratives in La Condition postmoderne (The Postmodern Condition), and in 1992 David Perkins presented a whole array of sceptical epistemological and methodological arguments directed against literary history in Is Literary History Possible?. The questioning of literary history has not however resulted in the abandonment of large-scale literary-historical projects, rather it has inspired attempts to base such ventures on better designs and better foundations. Not least, many new ideas about the field have been put forward in connection with the preparation of two major works of literary history sponsored by the ICLA. It is also natural to point to two theoretical publications from 2002: the collection of essays, Rethinking Literary History, edited by Linda Hutcheon and Mario J. Valdes, and Marcel Cornis-Pope and John NeubauerÃ¢â¬â¢s brief presentation of the ideas behind a history of literary cultures in East-Central Europe. [ii] The Swedish project Ã¢â¬Å"Literature and Literary History in Global ContextsÃ¢â¬ , which was started in 1998 and will terminate in 2004, focuses specifically on some theoretical problems associated with the writing of literary history. We who participate come, mostly, from various fields within oriental studies or from comparative literature. Since the project is sponsored by the Swedish Research Council we all work, or once worked, at various Swedish universities. One of the special features of the project is the interest devoted to world histories of literature, a genre where the general problems of literary history become especially visible and acute. (I shall return to this perhaps unfamiliar genre in a moment. ) Three important cruces in connection with world histories of literature have been singled out for special discussion within the project: (i) the understanding of the notion of literature, (ii) the understanding of genres, and (iii) the understanding of interactions between literary cultures. These three sets of issues will be made the subject of four volumes of literary-historical studies and theoretical reflections, and these volumes will represent the main concrete outcome of the project. In this paper, I shall concentrate on the first of the questions, about the notion of literature. I shall say a few words about the concept of literature itself, point out some of the difficulties that it occasions in a world history of literature, and conclude with a brief discussion of how such problems may be approached and dealt with. II In a sense, of course, there are very many concepts of literature: if every nuance is taken into account, it may well be the case that each person has their own. Yet if, conversely, one looks at the situation very broadly, one can say that there is an everyday concept of literature in Western culture which is widely shared. That concept came into being in the course of the 18th century. Before that, no exact counterpart to our present concept of literature existed either in Western culture or elsewhere, and the distinction between imaginative literature and non-fiction was not of primary importance in the classification of texts. Wilt Idema and Lloyd Haft have given a concise and clarifying account of how earlier cultures thought about texts and their basic divisions. As long as no more than a few written works are in circulation in a given society, all texts are more or less equally important and valuable. If there is a dramatic increase in the number of writings, with a corresponding differentiation in their content and character, the texts are likely to be subdivided into the categories of Ã¢â¬Å"highÃ¢â¬ literature, professional literature, and popular literature. Ã¢â¬Å"LiteratureÃ¢â¬ (or high literature) is then the term for texts which are felt to be of general educational value and which are, accordingly, regarded as part of the necessary intellectual baggage of every cultured personÃ¢â¬ ¦. Works which contain useful knowledge but remain limited to one specific area, such as medicine or military science, are classified as professional literature. Works intended only to amuse, and which have (or are considered to have) no educational value, fall outside the scope of Ã¢â¬Å"literatureÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬ ¦. We may call these more or less despised writings Ã¢â¬Å"trivial literatureÃ¢â¬ . In the kind of intellectual culture described in this quotation, the fundamental distinction among texts is the one between culturally important texts and culturally less significant ones. In most such cultures Ã¢â¬â classical antiquity, classical Chinese culture, classical Sanskrit culture, and so forth Ã¢â¬â the class of culturally important texts would comprise most of what we call poetry, history writing, and philosophy, and normally also other kinds of texts Ã¢â¬â some administrative texts, some texts concerning magic, some letters, et cetera. Oral vernacular texts, or relatively unadorned fictional narratives, what we call fictional prose, would normally form part of popular or trivial literature. For complex social, economic, and cultural reasons, this way of classifying texts came to undergo great though gradual transformations in Western Europe from the late 17th to the early 19th centuries. One of the very many crucial factors behind the process must have been the growing importance of a new, more rigorous conception of empirical truth, associated with the natural sciences. High literature, in the special sense described by Idema and Haft, had always aspired to truth in the sense of great human significance. As the distinction between empirical truth and empirical non-truth became more rigid and more significant Ã¢â¬â and as many other, more or less related developments were taking place Ã¢â¬â new groupings began to emerge in the textual universe. Poetry became dissociated from scientific writings, and successively also from history, philosophy, oratory, and letters. On the other hand, fictional prose, especially in the guise of the increasingly appreciated novel, came to be regarded as one of the genres of poetry. With this, our modern notion of literature had effectively taken shape, and the term Ã¢â¬Å"literatureÃ¢â¬ (whose main meaning in the 17th and 18th centuries had been something like Ã¢â¬Å"educationÃ¢â¬ or Ã¢â¬Å"cultureÃ¢â¬ ) successively developed into todayÃ¢â¬â¢s normal designation of the concept. [v] III The late 18th and early 19th centuries saw the beginning of the writing of literary history Ã¢â¬â of the history of national European literatures, of the history of European literature as a whole and, at least from the 1830s onwards, of the world history of literature. World histories of literature thus comprise a genre which has existed for around 170 years. Among its modern instances are such impressive works as the German twenty-five volume Neues Handbuch der Literaturwissenschaft (New Handbook of Literary Studies), published between 1972 and 2002, and the Russian Istorija vsemirnoj literatury v devjati tomach (History of World Literature in Nine Volumes) from 1983-94. [vii] However in the English-speaking world the genre is more or less extinct, and its very existence appears to be overlooked in the contemporary international discussion about the globalization of literary studies. These debates are primarily inspired by the widespread interest in colonial and postcolonial studies and place the last few centuries at the centre of attention, while the traditional world histories of literature are, in principle, universal in scope, and are meant to cover all times and cultures. In many respects, it seems a good idea to have a world history of literature to fall back on. Such works can relate the various literary cultures of the world to one another and put them into perspective. Thus they may create a much needed overview, much as a map of the world helps us to comprehend certain fundamental geographical realities. To some extent, works like the Neues Handbuch der Literaturwissenschaft and the Istorija vsemirnoj literatury do just that, and of course they also contain a wealth of information and intelligent discussion. Yet, despite their often remarkable qualities, world histories of literature are typically profoundly problematic for a number of reasons. Two major problems have their roots in the very concept of literature. First, the concept is, in itself, an everyday notion. If employed without additional explications or stipulations, it is too imprecise and inconsistent to form the basis of a reasonable classification. Second, the concept of literature is a relatively recent Western invention. Its application to other times and cultures will easily lead to anachronistic and ethnocentric distortions. On the whole, world histories of literature are content to sweep such problems under the carpet. They typically prefer to rely on the everyday notion of literature and to include the resulting contradictions in the bargain. For instance, the concept of literature is traditionally used in such a manner that the criteria for a work to be classified as literature vary depending on the time and the culture one is speaking of. Modern literature is most often seen as consisting of just fictional prose, poetry, and drama. When there is talk of older periods, the concept of literature is however used very inclusively. [ix] For example, ancient Roman philosophy, history, and oratory are not excluded as being non-fiction; instead, such writers as Lucrece, Caesar, and Cicero are considered part of the European literary heritage. The same duality appears in the treatment of other literary cultures. Thus, for instance, the sacred Vedic texts (circa 1200 Ã¢â¬â circa 500 B. C.).
Sunday, January 5, 2020
The Battle of Moscow was fought Oct. 2, 1941, to Jan. 7, 1942, during World War II (1939Ã¢â¬â1945). After months of attacks and counterattacks as German forces attempted to overrun Moscow, Soviet reinforcements and a severe Russian winter took a toll on German forces, helping to thwart Germanys plans and leaving its forces exhausted and demoralized. Fast Facts: Battle of Moscow Dates: Oct. 2, 1941, to Jan. 7, 1942, during World War II (1939Ã¢â¬â1945)Ã¯ » ¿Soviet Union Armies and Commanders:Marshal Georgy ZhukovMarshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky1.25 million menGerman Armies and Commanders:Field Marshal Fedor von BockCol Gen. Heinz GuderianField Marshal Albert Kesselring1 million men Background On June 22, 1941, German forces launched Operation Barbarossa and invaded the Soviet Union. The Germans had hoped to commence the operation in May but were delayed by the campaign in the Balkans and Greece. Opening the Eastern Front, they quickly overwhelmed Soviet forces and made large gains. Driving east, Field Marshal Fedor von Bocks Army Group Center won the Battle of BiaÃ âystok-Minsk in June, shattering the Soviet Western Front and killing or capturing over 340,000 Soviet troops. Crossing the Dnieper River, the Germans began a protracted battle for Smolensk. Despite encircling the defenders and crushing three Soviet armies, Bock was delayed into September before he could resume his advance. Though the road to Moscow was largely open, Bock was forced to order forces south to aid in the capture of Kiev. This was due to Adolf Hitlers unwillingness to continue fighting large battles of encirclement which, though successful, had failed to break the Soviet resistance. Instead, he sought to destroy the Soviet Unions economic base by capturing Leningrad and the Caucasus oil fields. Among those directed against Kiev was Col. Gen. Heinz Guderians Panzergruppe 2. Believing that Moscow was more important, Guderian protested the decision but was overruled. By supporting Army Group Souths Kiev operations, Bocks timetable was further delayed. It wasnt until Oct. 2, with the fall rains setting in, that Army Group Center was able to launch Operation Typhoon, the code name for Bocks Moscow offensive. The goal was to capture the Soviet capital before the harsh Russian winter began. Bocks Plan To accomplish this goal, Bock intended to employ the 2nd, 4th, and 9th Armies, supported by Panzer Groups 2, 3, and 4. Air cover would be provided by the Luftwaffes Luftflotte 2. The combined force numbered just short of 2 million men, 1,700 tanks, and 14,000 artillery pieces. Plans for Operation Typhoon called for a double-pincer movement against the Soviet Western and Reserve fronts near Vyazma while a second force moved to capture Bryansk to the south. If these maneuvers were successful, German forces would encircle Moscow and compel Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to make peace. Though reasonably sound on paper, plans for Operation Typhoon failed to account for the fact that German forces were battered after several months of campaigning and their supply lines were having difficulty getting goods to the front. Guderian later noted that his forces were short on fuel from the outset of the campaign. Soviet Preparations Aware of the threat to Moscow, the Soviets began constructing a series of defensive lines in front of the city. The first of these stretched between Rzhev, Vyazma, and Bryansk, while a second, double-line was built between Kalinin and Kaluga dubbed the Mozhaisk defense line. To protect Moscow proper, the capitals citizens were drafted to construct three lines of fortifications around the city. While Soviet manpower was initially stretched thin, reinforcements were being brought west from the Far East as intelligence suggested that Japan didnt pose an immediate threat. The two nations had signed a neutrality pact back in April 1941. Early German Successes Storming forward, two German panzer groups (3rd and 4th) quickly made gains near Vyazma and encircled the 19th, 20th, 24th, and 32nd Soviet Armies on Oct. 10. Rather than surrender, the four Soviet Armies tenaciously continued the fight, slowing the German advance and forcing Bock to divert troops to aid in reducing the pocket. Ultimately the German commander had to commit 28 divisions to this fight, allowing the remnants of the Soviet Western and Reserve fronts to fall back to the Mozhaisk defense line and reinforcements to rush forward, largely to support the Soviet 5th, 16th, 43rd, and 49th Armies. To the south, Guderians panzers (tanks) rapidly encircled the entire Bryansk Front. Linking with the German 2nd Army, they captured Orel and Bryansk by Oct. 6. The encircled Soviet forces, the 3rd and 13th Armies, continued the fight, eventually escaping east. The initial German operations, however, captured over 500,000 Soviet soldiers. On Oct. 7, the first snow of the season fell and soon melted, turning the roads to mud and severely hampering German operations. Grinding forward, Bocks troops turned back numerous Soviet counterattacks and reached the Mozhaisk defenses on Oct. 10. That same day, Stalin recalled Marshal Georgy Zhukov from the Siege of Leningrad and directed him to oversee the defense of Moscow. Assuming command, he focused Soviet manpower in the Mozhaisk line. Wearing Down the Germans Outnumbered, Zhukov deployed his men at key points in the line at Volokolamsk, Mozhaisk, Maloyaroslavets, and Kaluga. Resuming his advance on Oct. 13, Bock sought to avoid the bulk of the Soviet defenses by moving against Kalinin in the north and Kaluga and Tula in the south. While the first two fell quickly, the Soviets succeeded in holding Tula. After frontal attacks captured Mozhaisk and Maloyaroslavets on Oct. 18 and subsequent German advances, Zhukov was forced to fall back behind the Nara River. Though the Germans made gains, their forces were badly worn down and plagued by logistical issues. While German troops lacked appropriate winter clothing, they also took losses to the new T-34 tank, which was superior to their Panzer IVs. By Nov. 15, the ground had frozen and mud ceased to be an issue. Seeking to end the campaign, Bock directed the 3rd and 4th Panzer Armies to encircle Moscow from the north, while Guderian moved around the city from the south. The two forces were to link up at Noginsk, 20 miles east of Moscow. German forces were slowed by Soviet defenses but succeeded in taking Klin on Nov. 24 and four days later crossed the Moscow-Volga Canal before being pushed back. In the south, Guderian bypassed Tula and took Stalinogorsk on Nov. 22. His offensive was checked by the Soviets near Kashira a few days later. With both prongs of his pincer movement bogged down, Bock launched a frontal assault at Naro-Fominsk on Dec. 1. After four days of heavy fighting, it was defeated. On Dec. 2, a German reconnaissance unit reached Khimki, only five miles from Moscow. This marked the farthest German advance. With temperatures reaching -50 degrees and still lacking winter equipment, the Germans had to halt their offensives. Soviets Strike Back By Dec. 5, Zhukov had been heavily reinforced by divisions from Siberia and the Far East. Possessing a reserve of 58 divisions, he unleashed a counteroffensive to push the Germans back from Moscow. The beginning of the attack coincided with Hitler ordering German forces to assume a defensive stance. Unable to organize a solid defense in their advance positions, the Germans were forced from Kalinin on Dec. 7, and the Soviets moved to envelop the 3rd Panzer Army at Klin. This failed and the Soviets advanced on Rzhev. In the south, Soviet forces relieved pressure on Tula on Dec. 16. Two days later, Bock was sacked in favor of Field Marshal GÃ ¼nther von Kluge, due largely to Hitlers anger over German troops conducting a strategic retreat against his wishes. The Russians were aided by extreme cold and poor weather that minimized the Luftwaffes operations. As the weather improved in late December and early January, the Luftwaffe began intensive bombing in support of German ground forces This slowed the enemy advances and by Jan. 7, the Soviet counteroffensive came to an end. Zhukov had pushed the Germans 60 to 160 miles from Moscow. Aftermath The failure of German forces at Moscow doomed Germany to fighting a prolonged struggle on the Eastern Front. This part of the war would consume the vast majority of Germanys manpower and resources for the remainder of the conflict. Casualties for the Battle of Moscow are debated, but estimates suggest German losses of 248,000 to 400,000 and Soviet losses of 650,000 to 1,280,000. Slowly building strength, the Soviets would turn the tide of the war at the Battle of Stalingrad in late 1942 and early 1943.
Friday, December 27, 2019
The Battle of Valmy was fought September 20, 1792, during the War of the First Coalition (1792-1797). Armies and Commanders French General Charles FranÃ §ois DumouriezGeneral FranÃ §ois Christophe Kellermann47,000 men Allies Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick35,000 men Background As revolutionary fervor wracked Paris in 1792, the Assembly moved towards conflict with Austria. Declaring war on April 20, French revolutionary forces advanced into the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium). Through May and June these efforts were easily repulsed by the Austrians, with the French troops panicking and fleeing in the face of even minor opposition. While the French floundered, an anti-revolutionary alliance came together consisting of forces from Prussia and Austria, as well as French Ã ©migrÃ ©s. Gathering at Coblenz, this force was led by Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick. Considered one of the best generals of the day, Brunswick was accompanied by the King of Prussia, Frederick William II. Advancing slowly, Brunswick was supported to the north by an Austrian force led by the Count von Clerfayt and to the south by Prussian troops under FÃ ¼rst zu Hohenlohe-Kirchberg. Crossing the frontier, he captured Longwy on August 23 before advancing to take Verdun on September 2. With these victories, the road to Paris was effectively open. Due to revolutionary upheaval, the organization and command of the French forces in the area were in flux for most of the month. This period of transition finally ended with the appointment of General Charles Dumouriez to lead the ArmÃ ©e du Nord on August 18 and the selection of General FranÃ §ois Kellermann to command the ArmÃ ©e du Centre on August 27. With the high command settled, Paris directed Dumouriez to halt Brunswicks advance. Though Brunswick had broken through the fortifications of the French frontier, he was still faced with passing through the broken hills and forests of the Argonne. Assessing the situation, Dumouriez elected to use this favorable terrain to block the enemy. Defending the Argonne Understanding that the enemy was moving slowly, Dumouriez raced south to block the five passes through the Argonne. General Arthur Dillon was ordered to secure the two southern passes at Lachalade and les Islettes. Meanwhile, Dumouriez and his main force marched to occupy GrandprÃ © and Croix-aux-Bois. A smaller French force moved in from the west to hold the northern pass at le Chesne. Pushing west from Verdun, Brunswick was surprised to find fortified French troops at les Islettes on September 5. Unwilling to conduct a frontal assault, he directed Hohenlohe to pressure the pass while he took the army to GrandprÃ ©. Meanwhile, Clerfayt, who had advanced from Stenay, found only light French resistance at Croix-aux Bois. Driving off the enemy, the Austrians secured the area and defeated a French counterattack on September 14. The loss of the pass forced Dumouriez to abandon GrandprÃ ©. Rather than retreat west, he elected to hold the southern two passes and assumed a new position to the south. By doing so, he kept the enemys forces divided and remained a threat should Brunswick attempt a dash on Paris. As Brunswick was forced to pause for supplies, Dumouriez had time to establish a new position near Sainte-Menehould. The Battle of Valmy With Brunswick advancing through GrandprÃ © and descending on this new position from the north and west, Dumouriez rallied all of his available forces to Sainte-Menehould. On September 19, he was reinforced by additional troops from his army as well as by the arrival of Kellermann with men from the Army du Centre. That night, Kellermann decided to shift his position east the next morning. The terrain in the area was open and possessed three areas of raised ground. The first was located near the road intersection at la Lune while the next was to the northwest. Topped by a windmill, this ridge was situated near the village of Valmy and flanked by another set of heights to the north known as Mont Yvron. As Kellermanns men began their movement early on September 20, Prussian columns were sighted to the west. Quickly setting up a battery at la Lune, French troops attempted to hold the heights but were driven back. This action did buy Kellermann sufficient time to deploy his main body on the ridge near the windmill. Here they were aided by Brigadier General Henri Stengels men from Dumouriezs army who shifted north to hold Mont Yvron. Despite the presence of his army, Dumouriez could offer little direct support to Kellermann as his compatriot had deployed across his front rather than on his flank. The situation was further complicated by the presence of a marsh between the two forces. Unable to play a direct role in the fighting, Dumouriez detached units to support Kellermanns flanks as well as to raid into the Allied rear. The morning fog plagued operations but, by midday, it had cleared allowing the two sides to see the opposing lines with the Prussians on the la Lune ridge and the French around the windmill and Mont Yvron. Believing that the French would flee as they had in other recent actions, the Allies began an artillery bombardment in preparation for an assault. This was met by return fire from the French guns. The elite arm of the French army, the artillery, had retained a higher percentage of its pre-Revolution officer corps. Peaking around 1 PM, the artillery duel inflicted little damage due to the long distance (approx. 2,600 yards) between the lines. Despite this, it had a strong impact on Brunswick who saw that the French were not going to break easily and that any advance across the open field between the ridges would suffer heavy losses. Though not in a position to absorb heavy losses, Brunswick still ordered three assault columns formed to test the French resolve. Directing his men forward, he halted the assault when it had moved around 200 paces after seeing that the French were not going to retreat. Rallied by Kellermann they were chanting Vive la nation! Around 2 PM, another effort was made after artillery fire detonated three caissons in the French lines. As before, this advance was halted before it reached Kellermanns men. The battle remained a stalemate until around 4 PM when Brunswick called a council of war and declared, We do not fight here. Aftermath of Valmy Due to the nature of the fighting at Valmy, the casualties were relatively light with the Allied suffering 164 killed and wounded and the French around 300. Though criticized for not pressing the attack, Brunswick was not in a position to win a bloody victory and still be able to continue the campaign. Following the battle, Kellermann fell back to a more favorable position and the two sides began negotiations regarding political issues. These proved fruitless and the French forces began extending their lines around the Allies. Finally, on September 30, Brunswick had little choice but to begin retreating towards the border. Though the casualties were light, Valmy rates as one of the most important battles in history due to the context in which it was fought. The French victory effectively preserved the Revolution and prevented outside powers from either crushing it or forcing it to even greater extremes. The next day, the French monarchy was abolished and on September 22 the First French Republic declared. Sources: History of War: Battle of ValmyBattle of Valmy
Thursday, December 19, 2019
For a citizen that follows and contributes to the American election process, one of the most important things to them is that they are being represented properly. The whole reason a person votes in the first place is so that they can be represented in decisions being made within the government. If it were not the job of elected officials to represent the peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s word then voting would never happen. This is a hot topic because everyone wants to make sure they are being represented fairly. There have been issues with how minorities, women, and even people of certain beliefs have been represented. This paper is going to focus on the election process and how minorities are being represented in both negative and positive ways. One way that representation can be diminished is through what is called Ã¢â¬Å"Minority Vote DilutionÃ¢â¬ . Meaning, Ã¢â¬Å"it was harder for minorities to gain representationÃ¢â¬ (Bowler Segura. 2012.). A way to cause this is through the movement of d istrict boundaries to make the votes unequal from district to district. One way that this happens is through Ã¢â¬Å"CrackingÃ¢â¬ which is when particular voters are Ã¢â¬Å"spread among a series of districts in order to keep them as small vote blocs within each seatÃ¢â¬ (Bowler Segura. 2012.). What it really does is cause a certain minority group to seem smaller than they actually are in the population make up. Another way to diminish a groups voting ability is by Ã¢â¬Å"packingÃ¢â¬ a certain unit of people. According to Bowler Segura this is aShow MoreRelatedEssay on The Election Process in American Politics1875 Words Ã |Ã 8 PagesThe election process is a long, drawn out one that incorporates numerous stages from the initial steps taken in trying to find a viable candidate for office to the end result that comes out of the Electoral College. The American system is one that is complex and very controversial as the readings have shown. 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