Dear Diary,

Hello, it’s me again. Thomas Paine. The year is 1791, summer

It’s been a while since I’ve written in this book. Last time we met, I believe I was ripping out several of your pages to write my most recent work- which I am proud to say is complete! It was published March 13th, and it’s called Rights of a Man.

I originally wrote it as a reply to Edmund Burke’s attack, “Reflections on the Revolution in France” but it escalated to more than that. Its purpose served to also tell the revolutionaries that the interests of the French people and the Monarch are united. Also to tell the Royalists that the revolution is an attack on the despotic principals, not the King himself. The Basitille is a representation of the despotism being overthrown.

Rights of a Man isn’t all that I have been up to. Recently our King has decided to flee. What a wonderful thing! It’s almost as if he placed the power right into me and my fellow republican’s grubby hands!

Because of this great affair, I assembled La Société des Republicains! With the help of those with similar beliefs we were able to publish a document of how the King’s flee was a symbol of a Republic. He was handing us the thrown!

We’ll see where this goes. Some say they’re going to bring the King back. How foolish! The man gave us his position and left, we should let him be! Wait… what’s this noise I hear outside? Oh my. He’s back-

To Whom it May Concern…

Hello, my name is Thomas Paine and I want equality and democracy for everyone. Nice to meet you.

 

I write this to assure you all that our current situation in France is not one I am unfamiliar with.

In 1774, I emigrated to America from England (shoutout to Benjamin Franklin) and became the co-editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine. This is when I became well-acquainted with the smell of tension and rebellion. For a man like me, such a smell can not just sit in the air. Action must be taken. In 1776, I did just that. I published a pamphlet called “Common Sense” on my ideas about American independence which spread like wildfire. This eventually led to the Declaration of Independence, which I had a hand in writing. I knew for America, sooner or later independence from England would come.

I know for France, sooner or later independence from their selfish Monarchs will come.

I recently returned to Europe to raise money for the development of a bridge I designed (my smokeless candles didn’t work out), but the smell of rebellion can not go unnoticed. I can feel another revolution growing in my gut and like the first time, I can’t stay out of it. Especially with people like Edmund Burke and their idiotic opinions. After reading “Reflections on the Revolutions in France” I feel sick to my stomach. His views on revolution are foolish and I can’t stand seeing foolish ideas being passed around. France needs change. I jump-started one revolution, I have no doubts I can put another into action.

I am Thomas Paine. I am a very democratic man who believes every man is equal and should have rights to make decisions for himself. I believe that change in France is necessary and government should reflect social equality, not greed. That is what I want.

Those ignorant fools such as Burke stand in my way, but I got the attention of the masses through my writing once, I can do it again. Soon everyone will know the rights of a man.

 

 

 

Consider the following…

When comparing the times of the English Civil War and life today, I was intrigued by the differences in terms of lifestyle (mainly women’s role, religion and death). Lifestyle back then went hand-in-hand with religion, and so many decisions and ideas were in the name of religion. So why are those ideals different now? Has religion changed or were they using religion wrong to control people? Some of my inquires and conclusions include:

-What role did women play in the English Civil War?

It’s pretty evident that women didn’t play a large part in history. Blame it on religion or “they believed women weren’t as strong” I still had some hope that women played some sort of “big part” in the English Civil War. When researching this question, I found that the women of this time were only known for defending their husbands land and running their farms and businesses while their husbands fought. I guess no surprise there.

I just find it funny how the small things that women do are often emphasized in history books. Is this simply to make girl feel better about themselves today? I guess if women’s lack of involvement bothers you, just remember “What did the English Civil War accomplish?” Is constantly questioned. Maybe its alright if we didn’t play too big of a role!

-Was religion used to control people on a personal level? A level that  monarch could not reach

My thinking behind this question is that people believed that God made the decisions and even chose kings-but did they have evidence? Were the people so scared of being excommunicated from the church and “going against God”, they couldn’t argue it? I feel as if monarchs almost played up, or altered religion to control their people.

-How did killing/executing people go from being a normal punishment to something looked down on?

I find it quite interesting how killing people, even for outrageous reasons like witchcraft, went from being normal to being something looked down on. My opinion on Execution is quite twisted. I could defend both sides.
If a man were to murder three children, keeping him alive in jail with food and shelter almost feels wrong to me. Even if he’s in jail for life. Yeah he’s wasting his life away- but at least he still has one. Those three children don’t, it’s almost like rubbing it in their faces. I believe those children would want that man dead, not somewhere he is protected and could potentially escape (it’s happened!). My Mom is a police officer, and she once told me that some homeless people would commit crimes because rotting in jail is better than rotting on the streets. Maybe if they could loose their lives, they’d think twice.

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting we start killing people for their crimes again! I completely understand why execution is unnecessary, and I’m certainly not angry that it’s not accepted here! I just thought I would throw in a different way to think about it.

These topics relate to the following sections of the curriculum:

  • BIG IDEA: Collective identity is constructed and can change over time.
  • discriminatory policies, attitudes and historical wrongs
  • local, regional and global conflicts

Cartoons: number one, number two

 

 

Technology In Continental Europe 1400-1600

Ah, Europe from 1400-1600. Right in the heart of the Renaissance. Where the art was blooming, science was rocketing, and the technology was advancing faster than the blink of an eye. Some even call this time period the bridge between the middle ages and modern history! So why not take a little trip across that metaphorical bridge and look at the technology continental Europe brought to the table.

Photo from: https://lowiczanka.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/the-history-of-poland-you-never-knew/

There’s a lot to cover in terms of inventors and inventions, but here’s a little taste of the more famous European inventors from this time period:

Galileo Galilei was a very famous Italian scientist, mathematician, astronomer, engineer, and philosopher. He discovered a lot in his lifetime that left an enormous impact on our world. The pendulum clock, telescope, and thermometer are just a few things we can thank Galileo for.

A huge step I terms of technological advancement in this time period was the printing press. Johannes Guttenberg was a German Goldsmith who produced the printing press around 1440. The press was used to create the first printed bibles- a major victory in the middle ages!

While most of us know Leonardo Da Vinci as the famous painter and sculptor, but he also had a hand in inventing the Submarine! He developed the idea of the submarine (along with many other things) on paper and Cornelious Van Drebbel brought the idea to life. The first Sub was made of wood and waterproof leather!

Robert Boyle was an Irish philosopher, chemist, physicist and inventor. He was the first person on earth to produce fire through the chemical action of two substances. Creating the pathway to what we now call matches and match boxes.

Those were just some of the main inventions that this time period had to offer. However there are far more ideas that were developed in Continental Europe. Ideas of astrology, navigation and the outside world were far in the works. Smaller inventions and ideals led to bigger ones. Continental Europe blossomed from 1400-1600 and I find it incredible how many things we have now that was inspired by those who lived so long ago.

For more on Technology check out:

bookunitsteacher.com and inventionware.com

For more on Continental Europe check out:

Brian’s Blog http://brian.talons43.ca (Economics)

Benjamin’s Blog http://benjamins.talons43.ca (Government)

Kendra’s Blog http://kendra.talons43.ca (Religion)

 

 

There are no stupid questions- but are there ones we cannot answer?

When given the opportunity to brainstorm provocative questions, I had many diverse inquiries come to mind. Here are some of my most thought provoking:

  1. Why are struggles viewed as negative when they shape who you are?
  2. Why is it believed that your birth date affects your personality? (astrology)
  3. What is holding back scientists from curing cancer?
  4. If everyone sees colours differently, what are the chances we all have the same favourite colour but call it by different names?
  5. Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder?

The questions on the list that I am inspired to pursue are numbers two and three. I have a feeling that with enough research I will be able to find an answer. There has to be reasons why astrology is a thing and as to why cancer remains an unsolved mystery. I know that people whose occupations revolve around these questions will be able to provide a resonable answer.

The rest of these questions I find very intimidating because everyone would answer them differently. I cannot truly enlist anyone to answer them due to conflicting opinions, however another response may open my eyes and alter my perception.

When it comes to these five questions, there isn’t a complete answer. You will only know you have found a solution when you feel that you are satisfied with the result. Success is isn’t nessisarily a destination in this case, just a feeling you may or may not have after disscussing or researching these inquiries.

I believe that my choosing of these questions shows that I have a very cuirious mind. My thoughts aren’t exactly connected, and I wonder about so many things that I can’t nessisarily answer. I love questions that make me think constantly and hearing other people’s opinions even if I don’t agree.

 

Christopher Columbus: Hero or Zero?

Maybe just two weeks ago, if someone were to ask me who Christopher Columbus was, I would have told them “Oh he’s just a renaissance explorer who discovered the America’s by accident.” Little did I know the actual damage that he had started! Previous to this lesson, I had never heard anything bad about Columbus. I thought he was a hero like most people do, but usually people whose name can be associated with genocide don’t get a day named after them. Yes, of course we can be thankful for the bravery he had and the knowledge he used to get us to were we are now. However, I think he was over celebrated, which was probably the reason his mistakes were repeated over and over in history. People were blinded by his greatness which caused so much more suffering than there could have been in order for there to be ‘progress’. I know it’s too late to change everyone’s calendars, but I find it silly how we praise Columbus and not all the victims who passed away back then. I think everyone should get to know Christopher Columbus a little better.