Categories
History

Fort Sumter and the Civil War

The Battle at Fort Sumter was the first battle of the Civil War. It was at this fort that the first shots of the American Civil War were fired- starting the battle between the Union and the Confederates. Fort Sumter is located in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. Between April 11 and April 12, 1861, fights broke out when the Confederate forces attacked the Fort–a strategically important, as well as metaphorically important site, for many reasons.

            By 1861, the balance of power in Congress between free and slave states had reached its peak time of conflict. Acts such as the Missouri Compromise, as well as the newly annexed American properties like Texas and California, were used as temporary bargaining chips–the balance between free and slave states was truly only the binding agent for the Union.

            These two separate trains of thought were apparent from the onset of the United States as a country, and perhaps foreshadowing the entire Civil War–simply making the events at Fort Sumter the unavoidable catalyst, or proverbial “spark”. The original document outlining the structure of the US Government, The Articles of Confederation, placed way too much power in the hands of individual states, and not enough in the Federal government. Though the Constitution was eventually ratified, it still left a gray area between the State and Federal Governments, leading to Hamilton’s Federalist’s and Jefferson’s Democratic Republicans. The idea of states’ rights versus power of the federal government was imbedded from the beginning.

            The economy of the South for raw materials, and the North with its manufacturing centers, were codependent. Lincoln was not an abolitionist–in fact, he was a slave owner himself. The Emancipation Proclamation outlawed slavery only in the South–border states such as Maryland, Delaware, and even Southern New Jersey had slavery until the passage of the 13th Amendment, way after the Civil War. Lincoln made the War about slavery to protect the Union, and stunt a British-backed Confederacy.

            Though the Southern attack at Fort Sumter formally started the Civil War between the Union and the Confederacy, the seed was planted many years earlier, virtually at the onset of the United States as a nation, and its overall structure of government.

References

National Park Service, “Fort Sumter.” Last modified 08 06, 2013. Accessed June 14, 2013. http://www.nps.gov/fosu/index.htm

Categories
American History

THE ROLE OF RAILROADS IN THE GREAT WEST SETTLEMENT

Introduction

The rise of the railroad system in the American West between 1865 nand 1900 was integral to the region’s economic development and the Great West settlements. In addition, the railroad system was also instrumental in promoting ethnic diversity in the American West, as it drew Caucasian settlers from the East, African-American settlers from the Deep South, and Chinese settlers to work on the railroads[1].  The Great Plains and the Far West were popular settlement locations brought about by industrialization, partly fueled by the railroads. The railroads were also integral in the implementation of new developments, as well as encroaching economic adjustments in the area that led to the eventual defeat of the western Indians and southwest Hispanic communities. However, this also led to the growth of the presence of Asians, Mexicans, and Europeans who migrated to this area. Also, it is reported that railroad operations in Indian Territory in Oklahoma sparked competition by district settlers, and this led to the implementation of the Homestead Act of 1889 which opened the door for many settlers to gain occupancy and ownership of the land[2].

What the Railroads Accomplished

            The invention and building of the railroads in the American West accomplished many siginificant events, such as improved transportation, imports, and exports. This gave way to the extension of capitalist initiatives, as well as new business and innovation, causing the growth and expansion of the settlements, as gold, mercury, agricultural products, livestock, and other forms of wealth were easily funneled into the West[3].

References

Henrietta. A Maturing Industrial Society, 1877–1914. Bedford St Martin, 2009.

Rise of Industrial America, 1876-1900. n.d. http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/riseind/west/.

Schwantes, C. A., and J P. Ronda. The West the Railroads Made. 2008. http://www.washington.edu/uwpress/search/books/SCHWES.html.


[1]  (Rise of Industrial America, 1876-1900 n.d.)

[2]  (Henrietta 2009)

[3]  (Schwantes and Ronda 2008)

Categories
Religion

Apologetics for the 21st Century

Introduction

Known as one of the ‘primers on Christian apologetics’, this book by Louis Markos provides a thorough review of the leading views held by prominent Christian apologists, as well as the progress of apologetic arguments over time, leading up to the 21st century. Divided into two sections, it systematically addresses the historical and modern implications of the Gospel of Christ in context of our Christian standpoint in a modern world. A concise book summary of Apologetics for the 21st Century will be outlined herein.

Categories
Business

What Have I learned From Our Business Responsibility and Sustainability Course?

Introduction

During the course, I have gained an understanding of the leadership’ responsibility in setting policies, guidelines, missions and visions related to corporate and social responsibility. While taking into account the company’s responsibility towards employees,  shareholders and other stakeholders has been discussed for many years in business publications, sustainability is a more recent development of business management. However, after completing the course, I am convinced that all of today’s organizations need to implement strategies that tackle these two issues in order to maintain the company’s outside image, preserve growth and create competitive advantages.

Categories
Religion

Understanding Paul’s Way of Teaching

Paul, an oppose-turned-disciple of Christ after Jesus’ life here on earth, was known as one of the best teachers and preachers of the kingdom truth. It could be realized that his understanding of the gospel and the way he shares it to others insisted on a great impact on how the people realized what he was sharing to them. One way by which he teaches is through convincing them that what they are doing is right and it is through this process that they are establishing a connection between them and their creator. Relatively, he insists that his listeners work their own way, and that it would not be him [the teacher] from whom the effort should come. In a way, he motivated them to work through their desires and become more involved in pleasing God as his own followers and not as Paul’s students alone.

Categories
Psychology

Conflict Management and Negotiations

Abstract: Mediation is a means of resolving disputes which has much to recommend it. What follows is firstly, a literature review of mediation, highlighting the importance of procedural justice in resolving workplace disputes and child custody cases. In part II, a model of mediation is presented, including an emphasis on procedural justice, and a constructive engagement with emotions that avoids their more negative manifestations and ramifications for the negotiation process.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Introduction (p. 3)

Part I: The Nature and Functions of Mediation (p. 3)

I-A). Models and Characteristics of Mediation (p. 3)

I-B). Uses of Mediation: Cases from the Literature (p. 4)

Part II: A Proposed Model of Mediation (p. 7)

II-A). The Importance of Procedural Justice (p. 7).

II-B). The Helpful, Perceptive Outsider: The Mediator’s Approach (p. 8). 

II-C). The Strategic Importance of Common Ground and Relationships (p. 10).

II-D). The Impact of Emotion (p. 11).

Conclusion (p. 13)

Bibliography (p. 14)

Categories
History

Slavery in the South

In America, slavery was the main conflict between the North and South. However, it is little understood why the Southern states wanted to keep the institution of slavery in the era when human rights, equality were accepted in other parts of the society. After the enlightenment, nobody would have expected the South’s stubbornness to keep slaves. The below paper is going to examine the reasons behind the decision.

Categories
Political Science

Institutional Rupture versus Institutional Elasticity: Capitalism, Revolution, and the Respective Modernization Experiences of China and Japan

The question of whether or not there is more than one road to modernization is paramount to the study of modernization. Does ‘modernization’ mean westernization? A superficial look at East Asia might suggest the affirmative, with China failing and Japan succeeding in the 19th century. On the other hand, both of these countries did modernize, albeit in very different ways and at quite different times: despite its 19th-early 20th-century woes, China successfully modernized from about the mid-20th century on. To some conventional (and rather unsophisticated) perspectives, this seems puzzling, the expectation being that different societies should respond to a single modernization imperative in similar, converging ways.

Categories
Management

Influencing Others

The corporate world requires many skills, education, and drive to become successful and a leader. Only a few individuals are able to master those skills and become a standout for their company. Leaders however are not just self-focused doers, but also they are enablers, supporters, and are tasked with the responsibility of influencing others in order to get their ideas across. Leaders have all got to their position from the support of someone that was behind them pulling and pushing them towards their goals. More importantly they have built the skills of influencing others to believe in their ideas and in them. It is the key feature within a corporation, and a character accelerator for a leader. The purpose of this reflective piece is to provide reasoning of why influencing others is a beneficial trait within leaders. Witt the support of two literary pieces, this paper will provide examples and knowledge gathered from experts in their fields on its importance.

Categories
Management

Delegating for Growth

In the corporate world leaders are not born. As cliché as this might sound it is true, people are not born with unique DNA. However, leaders are rather built from experience, education, and the diligence of others guiding them and nurturing their growth. Leadership in the corporate world takes a lot of skills that have to build from the ground up. As leaders looking for others to take over for them in the future the process takes much time and guidance in delegating their growth. The purpose of this essay is to provide a reflection piece over delegating for growth in the corporate world, with the aid of two literary pieces.

Categories
Political Science

The Different Paths to Modernization in the Nations of Southeast Asia

The world has changed significantly in the last century, as technology has led to advances in communication, travel, shipping and transportation, and numerous other aspects of contemporary life. The march towards modernization has moved at different speeds, and in different stages, in countries throughout the world. Theorists have made a number of efforts to explain and understand the processes by which different nations and regions undego modernization, and have further sought to understand the factors that influence and shape modernization. The aptly-named Modernization Theory posits that the process of modernization is, or at least should be similar for most nations, as the adoption of new technologies and processes affords each nation the same opportunities and possibilities. The modernization of Asian-Pacific nations in the 19th and 20th century, however, did not always fit neatly into the presupposed guidelines of modernization theory, as the growth and change of the economic and political situations and circumstances varied widely from one nation to the next. This paper will examines some of the ways that nations in this region embraced modernization, and how the practical manifestations of modernization in the region diverged or converged from one nation to the next.

Categories
American History

The Great Depression

The world experienced its most severe economic crisis of the 20th century beginning at the end of the 1920s in the United States and extending into the 40s in some countries2. This period of time is known as The Great Depression and is often used as a yardstick for the comparison of current financial environments. The era also serves as a warning about the sustained cycles of despair that can result from such an economic downturn. Historic accounts of the crisis provide evidence about the multitude of variables that led to and sustained The Great Depression and could threaten contemporary economic markets if left unchecked. Similarly, records also contain important pieces of information regarding the measures that led to the end of the crisis and could therefore provide clues of the actions that could be taken to pre-empt or quickly respond to indications of a similar situation emerging in the present and future.

Categories
History

Alfred Jodl: The Story behind the Alleged Wrong Decision of Court

Individuals who were assumed to have had their own share in the conditions that occurred during the bloodiest turns of events in human history have been given the chance to speak about what they know and defend themselves in court. Relatively, such chances allowed them to provide information that could likely imply that they did not know the relative results of their actions nor did they have any control of the situation, and that they were simply following orders during the time. Among the most controversial individuals who have undergone the said trial was that of Alfred Jodl who was assumed to have taken his position during the Nazi governance.

Categories
Religion

ROMANS 8: 31-39 Exegesis

As in every religion, there are varying views and sects that each have their own version of the same Holy Book. The issue, naturally, is the differences in the way the Books were translated from their original texts. Christianity in particular has this problem, due primarily to the varying differences in versions of the Bible–ranging from the King James version, the “message”, the New International Version, as well as many others.

The Biblical passage of Romans 8: 31-39 deals primarily with questioning who would dare to oppose God due to the wonderful things that God has provided. It also cites the death of Jesus Christ as further evidence of God’s greatness, in that he did not place the fate of His own son above any others. In lines 38 and 39, Paul illustrates his view that nothing can separate a person from the love of God. His justification, again, was God’s willingness to sacrifice His own son for the sake of humanity.

There is another direct quote from the lines that can be interpreted in many different ways, and is quite controversial—though it does show up in some form in almost all versions of the Bible. For the purpose of maintaining the direct quote Paul extrapolates from Christ, this is Line 36 from the King James version: “As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’”

This is a very harsh quote to be placed inside a verse Paul meant to solidify God’s grace over humanity. Overall, this quote probably causes the most possible contextual controversy in the entirety of the passage due to simple translation and syntax issues. Though there is little doubt the quote itself appeared in Paul’s original drafting of Romans, there are four different versions of it, as well as the context surrounding it, that certainly lend themselves to vastly different interpretations.

Direct examples of this are the vast differences in the interpretations of this quote and the grammar and syntax surrounding it specifically between the King James Version of the Bible, compared to the version used by the sect that calls themselves “The Message”. In the traditional King James version, Paul simply uses the quote to illustrate the fact that no hardship can ever separate a person from God. This is clearly illustrated by taking the full text of lines 35-37 into context:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or      distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is       written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as    sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors            through him who loved us.

The King James Version does nothing more than use a very harsh-sounding quote to illustrate his belief in the universal grace of God.

As a direct foil to this idea, the version distributed to members of “The Message” is much more harsh, much more militant, and borderline radical. The quote is varied in this version as well, now saying, “They kill us in cold blood because they hate you…they pick us off one by one”. These much more radical words pushes Christians to isolation, almost with a bounty on their heads constantly. It is this kind of right-wing radicalism that breeds things such as the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazism. This version clearly gives the impression that Christianity is currently under attack, and one must be militant to be vigilant. Mixing radicalism with religion is no new concept, and is also a scary one indeed.

The ironic part about the entire scenario is that “The Message” was not meant to be a radical interpretation at all, but instead a sort of paraphrasing of the original text so people could better understands the intent. The version was drafted over the course of the 1990’s to strengthen the Christian faith by making it applicable to the times, similar to versions drafted during the Protestant Reformation. The intention of the author in historical context, however, was to assist in the growth of Christianity through message clarification. In this passage though, the original intent was clearly not conveyed for many reasons.

Obviously the King James Version of the Bible is not the words of Paul verbatim. Every version of the Bible has been translated from a translation and so forth, depending much on where in the world the individual Bibles are attained. Eugene Peterson, a pastor as well as a Biblical Scholar, did not have any bad intentions when he presented “The Message” to the world–in fact, he is neither a radical, a racist, nor anything other than a true believer attempting to spread the word of God. However, he did not do a very good job at all.

At closer glance, “The Message” is an abridged and simple version of a version, of a version, of a book that is extremely hard to simplify without subverting some meaning in the process. Much of the problem, especially in the English language, is the lack of an ability to translate certain words. Where there is no English equivalent, words were used to attempt to keep the meaning of the text. Unfortunately, translators are people, and all people are different–hence different messages.

There are many contemporary issues that relate directly to the passage. Again, because of the horrible translation “The Message” puts forth, and the sheer amount of people that have read the text, it naturally lends itself to individual interpretations that subvert even Eugene Paterson’s intentions, clearly pure. Mr. Paterson saw the socio-economic scope of many that could indeed benefit from the teachings of Jesus, and so he decided to try to make the language of scripture more recognizable to more people.

In the process of doing this, which was successful to some extent, he also changed the scope of some of the text overall. The original King James Version uses Romans 8 as a way to solidify God’s presence, regardless of hardships. The quote is used to solidify the point Paul himself was trying to make. Unfortunately, there are many who will now read “The Message” and believe it preaches the opposite of peace.

Possible sermon ideas for Romans 8: 31-39 are very clear when looking at the King James and the New King James Version’s of the text. I would deconstruct social and economic issues plaguing the community, and relate it to the quote Paul used. This would help people keep faith in God during times of hardship especially.