Hello! :)


Throughout American history, there are multiple themes that culture has developed around; especially protest movements. Therefore, I decided to create my playlist based off of protest songs ranging from the colonial era to the 20th century. The songs on the playlist are all about varying movements throughout American history, including environmental movements as addressed by the song “Woodman, Spare That Tree”. Other songs were created as slavery protest songs, such as “No More Auction Block for Me”, and some were from colonial America such as “Jennie Jenkins”. A couple of the songs, like “This Land is Your Land”, were not created specifically for a certain movement, but became protest anthems when heard by the American people who used them as such. Culture is often a significant factor used in protest movements, and throughout American history music has been one of those cultural factors. Protest songs aim to invoke emotion and consensus in a large part of the population, and voice the sentiments that are being felt by the American people. I chose to do songs about protest movements due to the fact that the right to protest is a fundamental American right that has been thoroughly exercised throughout American history, and often characterizes both the struggles and successes of a developing American society

A Unit One topic that I was more interested in learning about was the role women played in the colonies. We touched on it briefly but did not spend much time on it, so I thought I would do a little more research on it.

The roles of women in the colonies were determined mainly by their status and religion. This led to a classification system with women grouped into the following social groups; Puritan Women, Wealthy European Women, Unmarried Women and Widows, Colonial Indentured Servants, Native Indian Women, and Colonial Slave Women. Life in the early colonies was extremely tough, and women were expected to help men in difficult tasks in order to survive. Eventually, their roles in colonial society shifted to the more traditional expectations of caring for the children as well as running the household and farm while men were working. Women's lives were dominated and controlled by men, and they were often married by age 20 and had many children-8 on average, although only 3 usually survived. Women essentially had no rights in the colonies. They were not allowed to vote, hold office, could not buy property, and could not make a contract, among others. Widowed women did have more rights, such as the ability to sue and buy or sell property, but that changed if they were re-married.
Puritan Women lived in a society where adultery was seen as a heinous crime, and anyone caught doing so, was normally executed, or forced to wear a scarlet "A" as a punishment. Wealthy European colonial women, however, were able to lead a life much like that lavish one they enjoyed in Europe in the later colonies. They lived in mansions and wore elaborate clothing, and their lifestyle centered on making sure the house was run smoothly as well as organizing social events for their husbands.
Women colonial indentured servants were part of the 80% of Indentured Servants that made up the colonial population. If a woman indentured servant became pregnant during her contracted years, she would often have more time added on to the end. They also had very few rights, and could essentially travel nowhere by themselves. Unmarried women and widows were expected to re-marry by the age of 20, and those who did not were deemed unnatural and called "spinsters" or "thorn-backs". If they had no money, they often worked in the houses and farms of other people. However, if they did have money, they often ran their own businesses and managed lands they inherited.
Like other slaves in the colonies, colonial slave women had no rights. They were bought and sold at the will of their owners, and worked year-round doing back-breaking jobs on the plantations.Women had to do as much labor as men, even if they were pregnant. They lived in basic wooden cabins, and any children they bore automatically became property of their owners. Native American Women were essentially viewed as slaves immediately by European men, who ere shocked at the amount of labor the native women undertook. However, in their tribes, women were seen as equals to men in the importance of their roles in society. They had power as well, and were able to make decisions regarding warfare. In addition to powerful positions, native women also cooked, cleaned, gathered nuts and berries, looked after children, and cared for the sick among other jobs.

The lives and roles of women in colonial society varied greatly from one social class to another, and from these social classes stemmed many of the traditional and stereotypical jobs women had in society as time went on.

Thanks for reading!! :)

A topic from unit 2 that I was interested in learning more about was how American revolutionaries organized protests against the English in the form of boycotts of English products, which disrupted the mercantilist system. I also wanted to learn more about how they attacked English tax collectors and made life difficult for English colonial officials through groups such as the Sons of Liberty. The Sons of Liberty was a secret organization created in the American colonies that was formed to protect the rights of the colonists and to fight taxation by the British government. While there is very little documented evidence concerning the roots of the organization, Samuel Adams is often credited as being the founder and leader of this secret society. The Sons of Liberty were a very influential and headlining force in organizing the Boston Tea Party, as well as being the first to act in response to the Stamp Act, where they gathered under the "Liberty Tree" and burned in effigy Andrew Oliver, who was the public official in charge of enforcing the Stamp Act in Massachusetts. They then went on to destroy everything Oliver owned, including his home, until Andrew Oliver could take no more and resigned his position was was forced to make a public oath declaring that he promised to never again become the Stamp Act collector. The Sons of Liberty were largely found in New York and Boston, and it was an underground organization that was composed of men from all walks of life in the colonies, but mainly attracted "tavern mongers", "wharf rats", and other characters usually associated with causing trouble.
The protests organized by Revolutionaries were usually boycotts on English products. After the establishment of the Townshend Acts, colonists began to make their own goods, such as clothes, so that they didn't have to purchase them from the British. Boycotts and protests were organized under the radar, as armed militias began to form in some parts of the colonies. Tax collectors were attacked and subjected to the brutal tar and feather treatment, and the boycotts began to threaten the part of the British economy that was associated with the american colonies. The boycotts and protests, which had a tremendous impact on British merchants, became a unifying cause for the colonists. who had found something to fight for--which essentially helped them take another step in the direction of revolution.
Thanks for reading! :)

A topic from unit 3 that I was interested in learning more about was the Burr Conspiracy. The Burr Conspiracy stemmed from when vice president Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804. Burr then fled from New York to Philadelphia, and essentially went rogue. He conceived a plan to find political fortunes behind the Alleghenies He also attempted to establish a separate republic in the west, and well aware of growing border tensions between the United States and Spain, he made a plan to begin colonizing Spanish territory in the West--which included a plan to invade Mexico and establish New Orleans as the capitol of his empire. Burr approached the British for an alliance via Minister Merry, who he gained as a supporter of his plans. Burr's plans were held in consideration until the passing of Prime Minister Pitt, and his successor, Charles James Fox, deemed the ideas as dangerous and damnable. Despite his inability to form an alliance with the British, Burr continued to gain support and raise money to separate the Western states from the Union. When President Jefferson finally got wind of Burr's threats, he sent our a warrant for his arrest, and Burr was apprehended in late 1806 near Nachez, Mississippi trying to flee into Spanish territory. In May of 1807, Burr went on trial for treason but no evidence could be provided, so he was let go. However, he could not overcome the accusations, and died in New York City in 1836.
The Burr Conspiracy is officially defined as "a suspected treasonous cabal of planters, politicians, and army officers in the early 19th century". The Burr Conspiracy forced Jefferson to confront the problems of a weak central government and of adding new land to the original states.
Thanks for reading! :)

During Unit 6, A Modern Country, we studied many super corporations and growing billionaires such as John D. Rockefeller, JP Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and Boss Tweed. However, we did not learn very much about Henry Ford, so I decided to do some additional research on him and the massive company he built. Henry Ford was the founder of Ford Motor Company, and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line that caused an increase in mass production. Ford wrote an essay titled "The First Assembly Line", so I pulled a segment of his essay as a primary source document; "The first step forward in assembly came when we began taking the work to the men instead of the men to work. We now have two general principles in all our operations--that a man shall never have to take more than one step, if possibly it can be avoided, and the no man need ever stoop over." This document tells of the beginnings of the Ford company, as well as the roots of the assembly line. Ford Company could only produce one car roughly every 12 hours when they first began, and Henry Ford knew that he wanted to make the cars affordable for the people. In order to accomplish this, Ford knew that he had to come up with a faster way of producing the cars more efficiently. When he installed the first assembly line, Ford found that the time it took to produce one car was reduced from 12 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes. The introduction of the assembly line forever changed the automobile industry, and influenced many other companies to approach mass production in the same way as well.

The above picture is another primary source document relating to Henry Ford. This is an advertisement for the 1908 Ford Model T, which is considered by many to be the most influential car of the 20th century. Just how Ford had imagined, this car was the first real affordable car that opened up travel to the average, middle class American. The Ford Model T is an example of the importance of the assembly line, and how it revolutionized mass production techniques, making products more affordable for more Americans.

Thank you for reading!
Thanks for your excellent entry on Ford! -SW