Saturday, September 25, 2004

Teaching about Japanese-American Internment

Teaching about Japanese-American Internment. This is an interesting essay which gives teachers tips on giving instruction on this sensitive historical topic.

From the site:

When the United States entered World War II following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japanese immigrants and their descendants, including those born in the United States and therefore citizens by birth, were placed in a very awkward situation. The immigrants were resident aliens in the United States, a country at war with their country of birth.

Amid the hysteria following the U.S. entry into World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This order authorized the War Department to prescribe military areas from which any group of people could be excluded. This served as the legal basis for the evacuation and internment of over 110,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans from the West Coast. Most were forced to sell their homes and businesses and suffered huge losses. Schooling and careers were completely disrupted.

Even more than 55 years after the closing of the camps, the Japanese-American internment experience continues to deeply affect the Japanese-American community. This period of U.S. history illustrates how the constitutional rights of individuals of a minority group may be at risk during a time of national crisis. This Digest provides six suggestions for teaching about the Japanese-American internment and guides to resources for teachers and students.

Friday, September 24, 2004

History of Bahrain

History of Bahrain. This is a good write up dealing with the history of Bahrain.

From the site:

The site of the ancient Bronze Age civilization of Dilmun, Bahrain was an important center linking trade routes between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley as early as 5,000 years ago. The Dilmun civilization began to decline about 2,000 B.C. as trade from India was cut off. From 750 B.C. on, Assyrian kings repeatedly claimed sovereignty over the islands. Shortly after 600 B.C., Dilmun was formally incorporated into the new Babylonian empire. There are no historical references to Bahrain until Alexander the Great’s arrival in the Gulf in the 4th century B.C. Although Bahrain was ruled variously by the Arab tribes of Bani Wa’el and Persian governors, Bahrain continued to be known by its Greek name Tylos until the 7th century, when many of its inhabitants converted to Islam. A regional pearling and trade center, Bahrain came under the control of the Ummayad Caliphs of Syria, the Abbasid Caliphs of Baghdad, Persian, Omani and Portuguese forces at various times from the 7th century until the Al Khalifa family, a branch of the Bani Utbah tribe that have ruled Bahrain since the 18th century, succeeded in capturing Bahrain from a Persian garrison controlling the islands in 1783.

In the 1830s the Al Khalifa signed the first of many treaties establishing Bahrain as a British Protectorate. Similar to the binding treaties of protection entered into by other Persian Gulf principalities, the agreements entered into by the Al Khalifa prohibited them from disposing of territory and entering into relationships with any foreign government without British consent in exchange for British protection against the threat of military attack from Ottoman Turkey. The main British naval base in the region was moved to Bahrain in 1935 shortly after the start of large-scale oil production. from all aggression by sea and to lend support in case of land attack.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Free History

Free History. I just discovered this site the other day. It is a search engine which only indexes history sites. It is still fairly new and doesn't have a lot of depth but I think it is worth keeping an eye on.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln. This is a good biography of American President Abraham Lincoln.

From the site:

Abraham Lincoln (February 12 , 1809 - April 15 , 1865) was the 16th (1861 - 1865) President of the United States , and the first President from the Republican Party . He is well praised for successfully restoring the federal unity of the nation by defeating the secessionist Confederate States of America and along the way, playing in an important role in ending chattel slavery in the United States. However, a number of states' rights supporters continue to view Lincoln as a tyrant who suspended civil liberties and suppressed the "legitimate right" to secede.

Born on February 12 , 1809 , in Kentucky , he moved at a young age to the area near Springfield, Illinois . He served as a captain in the U.S. Army during the Black Hawk War . He later tried his hand at several business and political ventures. Lincoln served four terms in the Illinois State Legislature, was twice elected to Congress (1847 and 1849) and had a successful law practice in Illinois both before and after his two terms in the House of Representatives. It is commonly held that Lincoln had turbulent mood swings alternating between grandiosity and depression, which greatly moderated after his marriage to Mary Todd Lincoln in 1842.

First elected to the House of Representatives , Lincoln spent most of his time in Washington, DC alone and made less than a spectacular impression on his fellow politicians. During his unsuccessful campaign for the United States Senate against Stephen A. Douglas , it was Lincoln's well-known gift of oratory that brought public support to an otherwise unimpressive candidate. Lincoln debated Douglas in a series of events which represented a national discussion on the issues that were about to split the nation in two. The Lincoln/Douglas debates presaged the Presidential election of 1860 , in which Douglas and Lincoln were once again opponents.

Shortly after his election, the South made it clear that secession was inevitable which greatly increased tension across the nation. President-elect Lincoln survived an assassination attempt in Baltimore, Maryland and on February 23 , 1861 arrived secretly in disguise to Washington, DC . The South ridiculed Lincoln for this seemingly cowardly act, but the efforts at security may have been prudent. At Lincoln's inauguration on March 4 , 1861 , the Turners formed Lincoln's bodyguard, and a sizable garrison of Union troops was always present, ready to protect the president and the capital from rebel invasion.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Wikinfo - Federalist Papers

Wikinfo - Federalist Papers. This is a small entry on the Federalist Papers at Wikinfo. If yu are interested in this topic, I would encoruage you to stop by and add to it.

From the site:

The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles, first published serially in New York city newspapers between October 1787 and August 1788. The articles were intended to explain the new Constitution to the residents of New York and persuade them to ratify it. The articles were written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay who was a nationalist. Madison is generally credited as the father of the Constitution. Hamilton was an influential delegate at the Constitutional Convention. John Jay would become the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The Federalist Papers serve as a primary source of interpretation of the Constitution. They also outline the philosophy and motivation of the proposed system of government, as it was presented by Madison, Hamilton and Jay. The authors of the Federalist Papers were not above using the opportunity to provide their own "spin" on certain provisions of the constitution to (i) influence the vote on ratification and (ii) influence future interpretations of the provisions in question.

Monday, September 20, 2004

History of Botswana

History of Botswana. This is a short history of Botswana. There is not a lot here but it should give you the basics of the history of this African nation.

From the site:

The Batswana, a term also used to denote all citizens of Botswana, refers to the country's major ethnic group (the "Tswana" in South Africa), which came into the area from South Africa during the Zulu wars of the early 1880s. Prior to European contact, the Batswana lived as herders and farmers under tribal rule.

In the late 19th century, hostilities broke out between the Batswana and Boer settlers from the Transvaal. After appeals by the Batswana for assistance, the British Government in 1885 put "Bechuanaland" under its protection. The northern territory remained under direct administration and is today's Botswana, while the southern territory became part of the Cape Colony and is now part of the northwest province of South Africa; the majority of Setswana-speaking people today live in South Africa.

Despite South African pressure, inhabitants of the Bechuanaland Protectorate, Basuotoland (now Lesotho), and Swaziland in 1909 asked for and received British assurances that they would not be included in the proposed Union of South Africa. An expansion of British central authority and the evolution of tribal government resulted in the 1920 establishment of two advisory councils representing Africans and Europeans. Proclamations in 1934 regularized tribal rule and powers. A European-African advisory council was formed in 1951, and the 1961 constitution established a consultative legislative council.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Henry V, the Gulf War, and Cultural Materialism

Henry V, the Gulf War, and Cultural Materialism. I had never thought about using Shakespeare to teach about the First Persian Gulf War but this author (Kevin Ewert) has and he has done an excellent job of showing how he has done it.

From the site:

This paper is about the difficult relationship between visions of the future and known history in Shakespeare’s Henry V; it is also about finding a way to make cultural materialism comprehensible to undergraduates. Three particular moments of historical/cultural schism are analyzed: between the play and the history it represents, when the final Chorus steps forward and tells us that everything Henry has won will shortly be lost; between the play and its originary moment, where a hopeful vision of the Earl of Essex returning victorious to London from Ireland is dashed only months after the play premiered; and between a modern victor in a modern battle, in a series of articles in Forbes magazine using Shakespeare’s play to “understand” the Gulf War. These three moments are linked, in order to offer a template for using the relationships of texts to historical moments for teaching a cultural materialist perspective to undergraduate students of Shakespeare.