Saturday, April 30, 2005

Sexuality in Fifth-Century Athens

Sexuality in Fifth-Century Athens. This article takes a look at the sexual practices of the ancient Greeks by comparing it to sexual norms in 19th Century Ireland. This article was written by Brian Arkins.

From the site:

There is now a very considerable body of evidence to suggest that human sexual behaviour is, to a great extent, socially constructed. That is to say that the way women and men conduct their sexual lives is determined to a marked degree by what a particular society finds acceptable. Before we come to Athens in the fifth century BC, it is instructive to consider the case of Ireland in the 19th and 20th centuries.

From 1820 on sexual behaviour in Ireland was constructed out of the economics of the small farm [2] and had little to do with the doctrines of Roman Catholicism, and still less to do with those of Jesus Christ. This highly puritanical organisation of sexuality obtained, without interruption, until 1960 and caused a great deal of suffering to many women and men. The Roman Catholic Church has never seen fit to acknowledge publicly the grave scandal which its enthusiastic endorsement of this wretched puritanism constituted.

All revolutions are betrayed, but some are betrayed more spectacularly than others. After 1922 Ireland was controlled by the emerging Catholic bourgeoisie, whose aim was independence itself rather than social reform and the provision of an adequate standard of living for the people. This bourgeoisie clearly subscribed to De Valera's dictum that 'Labour must wait'; used independence to further their own interests; and inevitably imposed their value system on the new State. As Kavanagh said, 'The Revolution created a new rich class at the expense of the general population'.[3]

Friday, April 29, 2005

History of Guam

History of Guam. This site offers a brief overview to the pacific island territory of Guam.

From the site:

Guam was discovered by Magellan in 1521, was occupied by Spain in 1688, was captured by the United States cruiser " Charleston " in June 1899, and was ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris on the l0th of December 1898. The island was inhabited by the Chamorro people who are the descendants of sea farers who first discovered the island thousands of years before Magellan.

The 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia wrote, "Guam is 32 miles long, from 3 to 10 miles broad, and about 200 sq. miles in area. Of its total population of 11,490 (11,159 natives), Agana, the capital, contains about 7,000. Possessing a good harbour, the island serves as a United States naval station, the naval commandant acting also as governor. The products of the island are maize, copra, rice, sugar, and valuable timber."

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Classic Slum

The Classic Slum. This is a book review of this work by Robert Roberts. It gives a chapter by analysis of this book which deals with English slums in the 19th and early 20th Century.

From the site:

In his classic book, The Classic Slum, Robert Roberts answered the question of how the working class of the early twentieth century saw itself. He identified the caste system that existed amongst the proletarians in a town called Salford and explained what characteristics put a family on the top or bottom part of the stratification system.

Roberts grew up in the Salford, the same slum Friedrich Engels described in his book, Conditions of the Working Class. The Roberts family, as the author described it, was near the top of the caste system as they had “connections.” Unlike Engels, who grew in a bourgeoisie family, Roberts was a born and bred proletarian. Roberts’ background put him in position to make observations of the working class from their point of view.

The differences in the voices of the two authors were notable. Engels’ used a passionate voice to blame the bourgeoisie for the suffering of the working class. He claimed that the proletarians should revolt to reform society in their favor. Roberts’ however, did not use his voice to blame the bourgeoisie. In fact, he indicated on page 28 that the proletarians would not revolt because they had a strong national identity. He wrote, “the class struggle, as manual workers in general knew it, was apolitical and had place entirely within their own society. They looked up it not in any way as a war against the employers.” Further, at one point, Roberts indicated that the proletarians did not take the views of bourgeoisie such as Engels seriously.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Urban History Association

The Urban History Association. Purpose is to stimulate interest and research in the history of urban life in all periods and geographical areas. Includes organization information, online newsletter, conference announcements, and internet links.

From the site:

The Urban History Association was founded in Cincinnati in 1988 for the purpose of stimulating interest and forwarding research and study in the history of the city in all periods and geographical areas. It is affiliated with the International Planning History Society.

The charter membership of the association was 264. Today the association includes over 475 members world wide. While the majority of members are from the United States and Canada, the association also includes members from Austria, Australia, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. Our ranks, besides a preponderance of college and university faculty, include architects, archivists, civil servants, editors, independent scholars, museum professionals, planner, public historians, and secondary school teachers. Though most of our members are urban historians who study the history of the city in the United States and Canada, the association has made a particular effort to reach scholars and professionals whose interests lie outside of North American history. In addition, the association welcomes scholars from any field who are interested in the history of the city in any period and geographical area. Besides urban history, our members includes individuals from a variety of other fields in history, including planning, architectural, social or cultural, ethnic, African-American, Native-American, economic, political, military, and western history. Our membership also includes scholars from the fields of American studies, sociology, womenÕs studies, ethnic studies, urban planning, material culture, literature, demography, museum studies, historic preservation, architecture, journalism, ethnic studies, anthropology, and political science.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Mirror Crack’d-History Reflected by Hollywood

The Mirror Crack’d-History Reflected by Hollywood. This is an article on how teachers can use films to teach history. It uses the premise that Hollywood is not always accurate in showing historical events. I am shocked. Do you mean that the Emperor Commodus didn't really die fighting in the arena as depicted in Gladiator? Or that William Wallace didn't really father a future King of England as suggested in Braveheart? This article is a good read and should give teachers some ideas on how to use film with history lessons.

From the site:

This article examines how mainstream (Hollywood) history films can be productively incorporated into high school and university history classrooms. It presents the findings of an experimental case study of the use of mainstream film in an Advanced Placement high school history course, and based on those findings suggests a sample module for a twentieth century history course combining film and text-based approaches to history.

Monday, April 25, 2005

History of Guadeloupe

History of Guadeloupe. Offers a general overview to the history of the Fench colony of Guadeloupe.

From the site:

Guadeloupe has been a French possession since 1635. The island of Saint Martin is shared with the Netherlands; its southern portion is named Sint Maarten and is part of the Netherlands Antilles and its northern portion is named Saint-Martin and is part of Guadeloupe.

Guadeloupe was discovered by Columbus in 1493, and received its name in honour of the monastery of S. Maria de Guadalupe at Estremadura in Spain. In 1635 L'Olive and Duplessis took possession of it in the name of the French Company of the Islands of America, and L'Olive exterminated the Caribs with great cruelty.

Four chartered companies were ruined in their attempts to colonize the island, and in 1674 it passed into the possession of the French crown and long remained a dependency of Martinique. After unsuccessful attempts in 1666, 1691 and 1703, the British captured the island in 1759, and held it for four years. Guadeloupe was finally separated from Martinique in 1775, but it remained under the governor of the French Windward Islands. In 1782, Rodney defeated the French fleet near the island, and the British again obtained possession in April 1794, but in the following summer they were driven out by Victor Hugues with the assistance of the slaves whom he had liberated for the purpose.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Why the Soviets Never Beat the U.S. to the Moon

Why the Soviets Never Beat the U.S. to the Moon - A Soviet space expert discusses how recently declassified material confirms his painstaking discoveries over decades about why the Soviet Union was unable to win the space race.

From the site:

Russia today is at a crossroads. If the current financial policies, under the heel of the International Monetary Fund, should continue, the one-time Soviet superpower will be relegated to Third World status, suffering the political and economic chaos that will result from such a devolution.

After his most recent trip to Russia in April 1997, during which he traveled throughout the country to various space facilities, space expert Charles Vick commented that the IMF policies in Russia ``amount to economic tyranny.'' One result, he observed, has been the meteoric rise of corruption and criminality, and the corresponding lack of available resources for basic economic reconstruction, or the space program.

The Soviet Union was the only nation besides the United States that ever developed the ability to put man into space. The Soviets did it first. But they could not sustain an effort of such magnitude, because they were not able to transfer new technology from their civil and military space programs to the economy, as a whole. As Charles Vick explains, the pie was limited in size by this failure, and when the political situation changed, other programs took priority over sending men to the Moon. Today, the Russians will doggedly try to maintain their space capabilities, Vick states, but time is running out.