Sunday, June 11, 2006

Megan's "Race, Markets and Imperalism"

Web Assignment #4 Race, Markets, and Imperialism

In the Cleveland Gazette, the tone is shameful, angry, and horrified by the atrocities of the US overseas. This anti-war stance is clear as the native "liberty-loving" Philippines are described as being "hunted and slaughtered" by US soldiers("Slaughter in the Philippines," p. 1). And compared to the Dallas Morning News' take on the situation, almost justifying the actions of the soldiers, "[America] must do it's duty and use its great power in the interest of humanity and civilization. ("America as a Pacific Power," p. 4) This manifests what we learned about earlier this week about the white man's burden to culture the uncivilized peoples. In these articles, it is evident that just like today, people's realities are vastly different from one another. Some think that things are going great, others think everything is falling apart and needs change. Realities differ between people, so do historical sources. What I take away from this is that to wholly know an event in history, you have to dig for all the different perspectives on the who, what, where and why and then formulate your own ideas.

From 1863 to 1900, the economy shifted from primarily farming into a more widespread industrial one. Work was that of logging, mining, fur trading -- all marketing the great natural resources of the West. The settlers drove the Indians away from their land and means of survival. They disregarded the native Americans as equals but as brute savages -- unworthy of fair trials, basic civil rights and freedoms. Women, blacks and even some immigrants were not granted the power to vote. Although blacks won power when freed from slavery, they were infinitely far from being seen as equals to white men. But relative to the centuries of slavery, the African Americans gained power at this time. This is very significant because it pushes civil rights of immigrants, native Americans, women and suppressed people worldwide closer to equality.

I have thought about the above historical evidence, and I have come to the following conclusions. Primary sources, in particular works of art, offer infinite perspectives into history. In addition, the context in which the art was created tells even more about that moment in time. Especially at the time before the turn of the 20th century before television and radio, these pieces of art had a huge impact if published in newspapers and magazines. An entire nation could be easily swayed, angered or impassioned by the portrayal of the West or of war in one single drawing. It is almost scary to think about how much power and impact these artists had on the nation, as did the editors and journalists of this time as well.


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