Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Terrorist! Patriot?

Do you see similarities between John Brown and the actions of the pilot that flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin, TX.

for further reading:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

African American History - John Brown's Philadelphia

On Monday and Tuesday we are going to have a virtual field trip around Philadelphia to explore the sites and stories featured tell the ways John Brown is connected to Philadelphia and how the City became an important indicator of the nation’s fissures over slavery. In the 1850s the City’s industry, commerce and many of its wealthy families, by marriage and/or business connections, were rooted in the South’s slave economy and slave trade. Philadelphia was also the home of the North's largest free Black population. As we will see Philadelphia was sharply divided over slavery and John Brown intensified that division.

View John Brown's Philadelphia in a larger map

Monday, February 15, 2010

World History - Columbus Trial Documents

Click to enlarge

Posted are the areas of questioning that the witness are expected to know. Also outlined are the responsibilities of the Prosecution and Defense.

World History - Columbus Trials, Feb 16-19

Christopher Columbus has just been arrested of Killing the Native population of Hispaniola and indirectly the native peoples of the Americas. The accusations are very serious and he may face the death penalty. The prosecution seems to have a very strong case and after 500 years have decided to take the case to trial. They have seen how diseases from Columbus’ crew played a huge role in the genocide of a whole group of people. They also believe Columbus had the intention to rob and steal from the native population.

He has hired the best lawyers in town and they happen to be here in the classroom. They will attempt to show that Columbus was just doing his job as ordered by the King and Queen of Spain. He got lost on his way to India and he did what anyone else would have done.

The prosecution has natives who have survived and will testify as witnesses. The prosecution will coach and train the witnesses so that they are convincing to the jury that Columbus was a murderer. The prosecution also has a history expert to explain his evidence that may prove the prosecution’s case. They will be expected to explain to the jury what happened following Columbus’ arrival in the new world.

The defense also has a list of witnesses. The first is his own crewmen. They sailed with Columbus risking everything in pursuit of fame and fortune. In sum, they are Columbus’ boys and willing to do anything to beat the case. In addition King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain are also going to be testifying. They will explain the nature of the trip, why they paid Columbus to take the trip, and other revealing questions which could decide the outcome of the case.

I will be the judge and I run a tight ship! You are expected to be on your best behavior while court is in session to help me I have my bailiff.

The most important part of the trial is the jury. This is a group of odd number people who actually decides the case. While the judge conducts the courtroom he does not make any of the decisions regarding the outcome. It is important for the jury and both sides to remember that according to the United States legal system Christopher Columbus is innocent until proven guilty! After the proceedings the jury will meet and decide Columbus’s fate and if he is found guilty they will also be responsible for his penalty.

Over the next few days you will be working individually and in groups to arrange a strategy. The grade will be for participation and good behavior may result in a rise in you participation grade. I also expect good attendance.

World History, February

Hello to my world history classes! It has been a long time but not many school days since I have updated the blog. We have just finished studying the Renaissance and Reformation (1300-1600) and we saw how the Church abused its power and a new movement (under Martin Luther) looked to reform the Church. We recently had a lesson where students drew a map of Europe in 1600 to show the different types of Christianity that were forming in different countries. We also saw that in the Renaissance there was a yearning to return to the 'glory days' of classical Greece and Rome. Artists, scientists, philosophers, inventors, writers all prospered during the Renaissance. Because we have finished taking the test for the Renaissance and Reformation I will supply notes to any student interested but I will not be posting them online.