Should the Driving Age Be Raised To 21?

Thanks to modern means of transportation, we can now meet people we would never have met, see more people more often, and conduct business with less cost with greater ease.

Previously, the driving age limit in parts of the US has been 16 years of age. However, some are contemplating the idea of raising the driving age to 21. This essay will give three reasons for why the enforcement of this idea would be ideological:

  1. Driving capability and trustworthiness is not a matter of age, it is a matter of experience and maturity.
  2. To raise the driving age to 21 would mean that new drivers would be the ones with the potential to use mind-altering substances.
  3. It puts young men and women trying to obtain a job or start a business at a disadvantage.

The first reason that the driving age should not be raised to 21 is that driving capability and trustworthiness is not a matter of age, it is a matter of experience and maturity.  It doesn’t matter how old you are.

The second reason that the driving age should not be raised to 21 is that new drivers would be the ones with the potential to use mind-altering substances. At age 21, they have full control on what and whether they drink, obtain drugs, and/or smoke. A driver of age 16 actually has the potential to be a safer driver due the fact that that driver cannot obtain those substances as easily.

The third reason that the driving age should not be raised to 21 is that it puts young men and women trying to obtain a job or start a business at a disadvantage. The younger generation will have to rely on their parents or friends who are older than 21 to take them to their jobs. Not wanting to go through the hassle, many will not bother and the economy will suffer as a result.

In conclusion, the driving age should not be raised to 21 because:

  1. Driving capability and trustworthiness is not a matter of age, it is a matter of experience and maturity.
  2. To raise the driving age to 21 would mean that new drivers would be the ones with the potential to use mind-altering substances.
  3. It puts young men and women trying to obtain a job or start a business at a disadvantage.

If you care about the economy, the safety of our roads, and the lives of the next generation, do not support the idea to raise the driving limit. Right now, please comment how you think we can prevent the government from enforcing this decision.

Thank you.

For you, my readers’ information, this was a persuasive essay assignment.

I showed great emotion in this essay; however, though I would like to hear your thoughts on how we can prevent the enforcement of such an idea, my conclusion was merely part of my assignment.

The call to action (action step) was also part of my essay, and it was supposed to make you start doing something about your newly acquired information.

A Ridiculous Piece of Utopian Literature

English Lesson 160

As you will all remember from my last post in which I covered several aspects of the very popular socialist utopian fiction novel Looking Backward (written by Edward Bellamy), the main character Mr. West (a man born in the 1800’s) was miraculously preserved in a vegetative sleep for over a century. I left off in my last post discussing the fallacious actions of Dr. Leete. I have now completed reading the book.

This book, as you will see if you complete reading my last post and this one, was a ridiculous piece of utopian literature. However, it amazingly inspired many people of the 18th century (the time in which the book was written) to embrace the concepts of communism. This book was a huge proponent in the rise of the communist ideology.

To bring you up to speed, Mr. West finds that he has fallen in love with Edith Leete. He then finds out that she is the grand-daughter of Mr. West’s old fiancé (the one to whom he was betrothed before he left her behind in the 19th century). He finds that she has also been in love with him…

And so it seems that they will live happily ever after. Then he goes to sleep.

Now he wakes up…except, he is back in the 19th century. The author now informs us that his vision of the 21st century was all merely a dream! Mr. West goes around views his society and the class system therein to be horrendous. It is with new eyes that he lectures and rebukes the men of the day on his enlightenment and the glory that the future can hold. However, the men reject him and are violent toward him – calling him names. Then, all of sudden…

He wakes up. Now the author informs us that he dreamed about having a dream and that the reality was what we would consider the least probable and the most akin to fiction. It is now that he goes and lives his utopian life.

This essay will be my opinion on which of the two “dreams” was more realistic: When he woke up in 1887 or 2000.

I will inform you that it was, in fact, rather disappointing to read that his utopian revelation had been but a dream; and that it was rather relieving to find that his dream of having a dream was a dream. However, it is my opinion that that his dream of waking up in 1887 was much more realistic.

The first reason for why the dream of waking up in 1887 is more realistic is because of the reactions of the countrymen. While Mr. West had been a pushover and simply accepted everything as “the way it is,” the countrymen thought him looney. They laughed and mocked him. Their reaction was a natural, realistic one.

The second reason for why the dream of waking up in 1887 is more realistic is because of the inconsistencies in the plot that had polluted the story thus far. While the novel had managed to convert thousands to the socialist mindset (in real life), it had not only failed to show how the characters in the novel had managed the peaceful, bloodless revolution of the transition from the peak of Capitalism to the alleged perfection of Socialism; it had neglected to include an action step – a call for action – the first step towards achieving the society outlined and portrayed in great detail throughout the book. It made no sense that the wealthy of society would, out of the blue, give up all their riches to the state where the state would re-distribute all the wealth. There was no mention to the steps of the formation of the government, only descriptions of how the government looked once fully formed.

In summary, the dream of waking up in 1887 after his vision of the year 2000 was more realistic than the “dream” of waking up in the year 2000 because of the reactions of the reactions to do socialist idealism and also because of the inconsistencies of the alternative option.

Why a blog site with lots of content will help me get my first full-time job after college.

English Lesson 150

This essay will present the reasons why a blog with lots of content will help me get my first full-time job after college.

An employer wants to know what you are capable of. The employer may have previous knowledge about you and what you are capable of doing, but for most people, that is not the case. In order to get your desired job, you need to differentiate yourself from the other job applicants. Since you’re new to the field and fresh out of college, you won’t have a lot on your resume.

So how can one set oneself apart?

From kindergarten to your college graduation, you have been pursuing an academic career. Most people neglect to adequately present the accomplishments of their academic career. This is very unfortunate. You need to show what you have spent the last 18-25 years of your life doing!

Granted, some graduates will list the college they attended; but as for myself, a homeschooler, there may be less public record of my academic achievements.

This is why a blog with lots of content will help me obtain a job: I will be able to communicate what I am able to do for a potential employer as well as show the (very important) added ability of clear writing.

The value of writing is greatly underestimated. Writing is necessary in nearly every aspect of life. You may have done many things that would be of great value to a potential employer, however, if you can’t tell him what it is that you have done, those things won’t be of much use to you.

If you can demonstrate, using the skill of writing, that you possess clarity, the potential for leadership, and experience in a particular field, you greatly increase the potential for success in said field because the employer will realize that the company can’t lose you – that you’re invaluable to the company, and as a result, the company will make an effort to keep you at all costs and to give you incentive to stay. 

Should the government be able to restrict content on the Internet?

We have all seen those famous Hollywood movies. The hero News reporter rushes to the scene and there she uses our favorite cliché, “blah, blah, blah…right to free speech.” That line wasn’t just made up, though; that line was is a legitimate statement of our rights.

Throughout the end of the 20th century and into present day, the internet has enlarged the world – yet, brought everyone closer at the same time. The internet became an extension of our current locations – an extension of our homes. It is a place for us to meet, debate, and discuss with others – a place to share our opinions. In such a place, would it not be completely necessary and unquestionably right to have the right of free speech?

The government, having a say in the way the internet is run, has given itself the liberty of suppressing opinions that do not coincide with their own. This is not right.

Consider this short story as an allegory:

John walked up to the podium. He was to read his dissertation on the opposition of government taxation and the Freedom Convention. He knew it was an unpopular opinion to give, especially considering the office he held. He gripped the podium and began,

“My brothers, today I give you my dissertation on the opposition of government taxation. We –”

John stopped short. He tapped his microphone…nothing. He had been silenced.

In this allegory, John began to give his opinion. When the operators heard what his topic was to be, they silenced him. He was unable to voice his opinion.

This example accurately portrays the way the government acts when they restrict content on the internet. Sure, they own the microphone; but they have offered us the use of it. The internet is an extension of our voices. If we truly have a right to free speech, then we should not be censored. But if not, then it is all a lie.

I once was in the presence of a wise lawyer. I believe he said something to the effect of the following,

“They may take all our rights away…but as long as we have the right to free speech, we can gain them all back.”

Guess what? They are suppressing our right to free speech. If they succeed, they may – under our corrupt legal system – destroy our freedoms. This is why we need the right to free speech.

In conclusion, as long as we have free speech rights, the government cannot, may not, and will not suppress our words. The government is suppressing various freedoms as it is; but even if all other freedoms be taken away, as long as we have free speech rights, we have freedom in our grasp. I call all my readers to action. I call each one of you to fight for your rights, to fight for our freedoms, and to fight for free speech! Show your beliefs by your actions; because without action, there is no proof of belief.

What is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?

The other day, I was talking with one of my friends when his Mom called him. But before he left me to my mental solitude, he asked me a deep question which I wasn’t really prepared to answer: “What is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.” I was like, “Whoa…” (but I didn’t tell him that, lol).

In this post I will touch on the history of this question, offer my opinions on it, and leave you to decide your answer.

Before you continue, please take a brief moment to reflect and consider what you currently believe to be the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.

So from where did this deep question originate?

Douglas Noel Adams wrote the science fiction novel, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and published it on October 12, 1979. It was very popular and sold 250, 000 copies in the first three months.1 It was in the book that the famous question was introduced. Here is how Wikipedia says that the question is introduced:

“In…the first novel, a group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings demand to learn the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything from the supercomputer Deep Thought, specially built for this purpose. It takes Deep Thought ​7 12 million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42. Deep Thought points out that the answer seems meaningless because the beings who instructed it never knew what the question was.”

Here is what the book adds to the question:

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory mentioned, which states that this has already happened.”

Thus, the question and the answer may never be known together. You may have the answer, or you may have the question. If you discover them both, then the universe disappears.

Here is something crazy to consider: If people find the answer, then all that is involved and contained in the question (life, the universe, and everything) disappears. This would indicate that the answer to the question might, in fact, be the question itself. 🤨

I find this interesting because it makes no sense. 42 makes no sense and there is a reason it makes no sense. People have tried to theorize on why the number 42 was chosen…and theorize they have! People have come up with the craziest of explanations. Here is one of them:

“…When using base 13; 613 × 913 is actually 4213 (as (4 × 13) + 2 = 54, i.e. 54 in decimal is equal to 42 expressed in base-13).”2

This “answer” is almost as shocking as the unexpected question! Just for the record, the author admits to having randomly picked the number. It holds no significance.

To get really picky, “everything” includes life and the universe. Thus, the question is rather redundant and could instead be phrased, “What is the answer to everything” which just intensifies the ridiculousness of the question.

Finally, the so called “question” makes no sense because the “question” is not even technically a question! It is like saying, “What is the answer to your bed?” and then expecting people to be able to find an answer to a question that doesn’t exist.

So what is the answer to the “Ultimate question of life, the Universe, and Everything?” You could argue that the answer is 42, the question itself, or even nothing. But what if one was to slightly rephrase the question so that it said, “What is the purpose of life, the universe and everything?” Now you open a whole new kettle of fish.

My friend said that the answer to this question was choice. What choice? He didn’t mention. But to each of us the answer to this question will differ.

In the New England Primer, there are catechism questions; one of which is, “What is the chief end of man?” I memorized this question and its answer in my early childhood. The answer: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” To me, this is the purpose of life, the universe, and everything.

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy_(novel)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrases_from_The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy

My Workout Routine | Hold Me Accountable

For several years now, I’ve been a bit of a work-out buff. When considering where my enthusiasm for it came from, I considered it likely to have originated from the fact that, as far as I can remember, I’ve always been bigger and healthier than the typical guy my age (I was taller, stronger, faster, ate more healthily, and got sick less often as a result). I wanted to keep it that way.

But my attention was particularly devoted to my arms; not to the fitness of my whole body (as it should be). This year, I was introduced to a workout routine by Chloe Ting (a YouTuber) that specialized on the core. It is a two-week workout done in 10-minute daily periods. She claimed that you could get abs in two weeks. Of course, I thought, “2 weeks? 10 minutes a day?! Then I get abs! How hard can it be?” I decided to give it a shot.

I failed.

I am a strong dude, but the workout was pretty intense and sometimes it was inconvenient. I got to day four before it started getting irregular and eventually stopped. 

That is one of the reasons I am making this post. I want to be held accountable to more people as I do this exercise. Plus, it would be cool if you all joined me as I did it.

There is one thing I want to point out: Chloe wears really immodest clothing (by my standards) in this video. My solution was to write down the exercises and glance at the form to understand how to perform it. For those interested, here is the video:

Just wanted to share that with you. 😀

If you do decide to join me, please let me know! I am officially starting today, 11/29/20, and will continue to at least 12/12/2020.

Ceres and the Titius-Bode Hypothesis

The following essay is written with the information taught as fact by the Ron Paul Curriculum. Whether or not the information is true is debatable, but since is a school assignment, I will write the essay as such.

In space, even our longest or largest “earthly” measurements of distance are dwarfed. Such measurements of kilometers or miles become unwieldy. This called for a new unit of measurement.

Astronomers created the Astronomical Unit. One AU (Astronomical Unit) is the distance between the Sun and the Earth. Thus, there is .39 AU between the Sun and Mercury, .72 AU between the Sun and Venus, 1 AU between the Sun and the Earth, and 1.52 AU between the Sun and Mars. Astronomers noticed a trend. They called this trend was called the Titius-Bode Hypothesis which stated that the distance between the planets and the sun would approximately double with each planet.

…then suddenly, there is 5.2 AU between the Sun and Jupiter. This did not match the Titius-Bode Hypothesis. So Astronomers began searching for another planet: Planet X. This planet would fall in the space between Mars and Jupiter. Finally, after much searching, they came across an object orbiting in space. Astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi (the astronomer who first found the object), believing this object to be the missing planet, named it Ceres. The problem was resolved.

For a while, Ceres was considered a planet; however, as time went on, numerous more objects were found orbiting in the same plane. Astronomers soon realized that these were not planets, but rather, smaller groups of objects called asteroids. They then found that these asteroids are only a few of thousands of objects orbiting in the asteroid belt. Astronomers now realize that, although they found Ceres, the hypothesis that forced them to strive to find Ceres was, unfortunately, built on a faulty ideology.

The Sun | A Conventional Essay with a Biblical Opinion

The following essay is written with the information taught as fact by the Ron Paul Curriculum. Whether or not the information is true is debatable, but since is a school assignment, I will write the essay as such.

“Of all the celestial objects with which we are acquainted, none make so strong and universal an impression upon our globe as does the Sun. He is that very light, ‘the greater light to rule the day,’ as stated in the first chapter of the book of Genesis; a vast and fiery orb, kindled by the Almighty on the morn of creation, to cheer the dark abyss, and to pour his radiance upon surrounding worlds. Compared with him, all the other solar bodies are of inconsiderable dimensions; and without him, they would be wrapped in the gloom of interminable night.”

~Hiram Mattison1

We are often amazed by the complexity of our planet: Earth. However, it would be impossible to perceive this complexity without yet one more amazing planet: The Sun.

The Sun provides the necessary light and heat required for humans, animals, insects, and plants. It is exponentially larger than all the planets in our Solar system. Let me put the Sun into perspective for you:

  1. It would take 300,30,000 Earth sized objects to equal the mass of the Sun
  2. Our Solar system is approximately 99% composed of the Sun.
  3. The diameter of the sun is 864, 059 miles1

The Sun isn’t just big, as everyone knows, it is incredibly hot as well. At its core, the sun is 15 million degrees Celsius or 28 million degrees Fahrenheit! To protect us from this super-hot light, we are (Earth is) positioned 93 million miles away from the Sun.3Many are aware how fast sound and light can travel (known as the speed of sound and the speed of light); but believe it or not, if there was a sound that could travel the necessary distance from the Sun to the Earth, it would take at least 14 years, and Sunlight coming to Earth at a rate of 186,262 miles per second takes over eight minutes to reach us!1

You might say, “If the sun is just a swirling mass of hot flaming gas, what is the Sun made of? How does it burn being that there is not oxygen in space? And if it does burn, how come it doesn’t burn up?”

Well, the sun is 98% composed of Hydrogen and Helium. To answer the second two questions, it is important to understand that the sun doesn’t really “burn.” It creates its light from a process called Nuclear Fusion which happens when protons collide and release energy (in the form of light) in the process.2

Here is a super cool illustration/explanation of how the sun operates:

“As for its energy production, it is believed that the sunlight we see every day is made of units of radiant energy called photons which originate in the inferno of the Sun’s core. They may take many years slowly wandering up to the surface, then in a little more than eight minutes they speed across the 93,000,000 miles of space to the Earth, if they happen to be headed our way. Depending upon the wavelength or amount of energy a photon has, it may be absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere, reflected back into space, or it may zip down to the Earth’s surface to warm a flea or a blade of grass for an instant.”

~ICR.org

You can see why the sun has to be so big for such a large consumption of photons every second (with such a small production rate) to be possible!

Important Note: The above information was from a view taught by the conventional educational facilities. It is not necessarily right. The following provides reason (for Bible believers) for doubt and question as to the validity of what we have been told.

Opinion:

Something that is important to remember is the sequence of creation as recorded in Genesis. Many may not realize that the first light God created (Genesis 1:3-5) was not the Sun. Actually, Genesis 1:16 shows that the creation of the Sun, Moon, and stars only happened on Day Four.

As you saw, I bolded “stars” for a reason. Genesis doesn’t say the Sun is a star, on the contrary, it says that the Moon (a light to rule the night) and the Sun (a light to rule the day) are lights – not planets or stars. This also implies that the moon does nor reflect the sun’s, but rather, gives its own light.

Sources:

  1. https://www.icr.org/article/392/344/
  2. https://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question36.html
  3. https://www.thesuntoday.org/the-sun/solar-structure/

Speak Life

I had an epiphany the other day. What if everything we said today became true? That’s pretty daunting. How about everything we have every said and will ever say for the rest of our lives?

There are many Scriptural passages about resisting the urge to speak evil, and instead, speaking life. We need to speak life. We can lift people up with our words, or we can tear them down. What will you choose?

Planning My Upcoming Wedding…

I’m engaged!

Just kidding…

But someday I might be and there are many things to be considered before entering into a relationship. Emotional trauma aside, certain aspects involved in a marriage relationship – especially a failed one – (or even a failed premarital relationship) can be quite costly – financially devastating, in fact – and people should be aware of how to avoid some of the economic pitfalls that I will address in this post.

Financial problems related to Dating

Some people, in an effort to impress, will spend more time and money than they can financially afford on a dating relationship. You’d think people would know to look out for this, but they apparently don’t.

Fancy restaurants and elaborate gifts are two of the many ways that people can meaninglessly squander their finances if their main objective is to impress.

Of course, there are circumstances when perhaps such “squandering” might be appropriate and have a purpose. However, depending upon what you are aiming to get out of a relationship (and how much you are willing to invest), it should be considered that “going all out” should not be an everyday occurrence.

Engagement and Wedding Rings

The jewelry dealers love you for your ignorance:

  1. Brick-and-mortar stores will sell you a setting for a relatively good price…and then bankrupt you on the diamond.
  2. The online stores will give you a decent deal on the diamond…and then rip you off on the setting.

Knowing this, you can go to your local jeweler for advice and compensate him for the advice by purchasing the setting from him. Then you can go online and purchase the diamond. You can then take the two parts to a store and have them assembled and tweaked. The store may not like you finding that loophole, but they will likely keep taking your business because they want you to keep shopping around their store in hopes that you will buy more.

Weddings

This is one place where I think that people go all crazy. Yes, weddings are a special day, and we should keep it that way but you don’t want to spend the next 10 years of a relationship paying of wedding debt, or suffering from a lack of funds due to extravagant wedding expenses beyond your means. Weddings do not need to be expensive, but people put themselves way back financially by getting things they don’t need (or really, want) and inviting people they don’t need (or want) there. They do this because of social expectation/pressure.  

Photographers will charge $200 an hour, refreshments are unreasonably expensive, and expenses for the setting will cost a fortune. My advice is to ignore social expectation; invite people you want there and don’t invite those you don’t; only get those services that you need (and provide the rest yourself); and finally, be original. Everyone goes to a big church, invites all their friends, has matching bridesmaids and groomsmen, parties at expensive buildings for the reception, etc. Yet, many couples will tell you that, though it was nice, it wasn’t necessary. I know people who, if they could do it again, they would make an effort to do it more cost, time, and emotionally effective.

Instead of doing it the aforementioned way, you could have your wedding in a nice park, or if you have access to a farm or acreage, do it there. Instead of buying/renting matching clothing, don’t dress up. Have a time/cultural theme (western, hippie (not suggested, btw), 18th century dress up, etc). Also, wedding dresses are expensive and impractical. I personally would recommend going without. Nonetheless, women like them and I’m not going to tell them to give that up. However, if you’re going to get one, see if you can find a used/like-new/inexpensive dress. Or, suck it up and ask your Mom or friends’ parents if you could borrow theirs.

Honeymoons

It is expected that one would follow the tradition to go away for a holiday with your loved one directly after the marriage. Often, people go to tourist attractions (and thus, virtually everything about it is  e x p e n s i v e) and expensive resorts. Again, while couples who have done this would say it was nice and really quite enjoyable, they would also acknowledge that it wasn’t necessary. I’m am not saying that one shouldn’t have a honeymoon, I am saying that there are different ways to go about it. For instance, there are plenty of nice places to take a holiday right near where you live! Or you could go to other less expensive, but still equally beautiful places. It will be more enjoyable, more cost effective, and it will put your mind at ease.

Renting or Buying

Many people will buy their first home. However, renting might be the better choice if they would otherwise have to take on too much debt in purchasing a home. When one owns a home, one must be the one to fix, or at least authorize, all aspects of repair.

Conversely, when one rents, it is the land-lords’ responsibility to repair. You are exempt from whatever damage a natural disaster might through your way. You can save a lot of money, at least for your first house, this way.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many financial aspects to consider when entering a relationship. Some of them are:

  1. Dating
  2. Rings
  3. Weddings
  4. Honeymoons
  5. Renting or Buying

One can save a lot of money by being more mindful of these early marital/premarital expenses.

P.S.

How many of you actually thought that I was engaged?

The California Gold Rush

One of the most famous moments in US history: The California Gold Rush. This historic event has spawned many fictional novels and is a favorite of many.

The time of the California Gold Rush wasn’t the first-time gold was struck in the U.S. The first gold strike in America was in North Carolina in 1799. Here and there, people found gold; but these can be compared to the calm before the storm.

The blast that shook the world that started the Gold Rush was fired by accident in 1848. It all started with John Sutter who was trying to build a saw mill. One of Sutter’s employees, James Marshal, discovered flakes of gold in the river near the mill. He looked into it, and sure enough, it was gold. That was on January 24 1848. The two men made an effort to keep the news secret, but the story got out and was eventually announced by the President (which, of course, exacerbated things).

The Gold Rush emptied towns as people rushed to stake claims. News finally reached the East coast in 1849, at which point those people rushed as well (these people are called the “Forty-niners”). Even Asians immigrated to try their hand as gold seekers. The population of California at the end of 1849 (this excludes the Indian population), sprang from 800 (in 1848) to an estimated 100, 000 (in 1849)!

Despite the mass immigration to California, the trip was actually very expensive and quite dangerous. There were three ways to California from the East Coast:

  1. By sea around Cape horn (at the bottom of South America) – a 6 months journey
  2. By sea until you crossed Panama, and then sea again – 1 month (Unfortunately, this passage was not widely used until near the end of the Gold Rush)
  3. Across the land – 4-6 months

However, though it was dangerous, as time went on, travel became easier. This helped to encourage Americans to populate the West and the Gold Rush was quite influential in expediting the process of annexing California as a state (California had been Mexican territory but California applied for annexation in 1849, and by 1850 it was granted).

Through the first few years into 1852, 81 million dollars’ worth of gold was extracted! Adjusted for inflation, this totals at almost 2 ½ billion! Incredibly, for a few years, the amount of gold extracted continued to rise.

However, in 1857, the number “only” amounted to 45 million and the amount continued to decrease from there.

Although the gold rush did some good things for the U.S., it also brought on some unfortunate sanctions, such as the following:

  1. Men left their families in hopes to strike it rich. Few struck it really rich. Many fathers and sons died traveling. Others, after the expensive commute, found that they were broke and could not make it back, thus separating them from their families forever. This led many of these men to drunkenness and thievery in their depression.
  2. Many Americans at this time believed in an ideology known as “Manifest Destiny.” This belief essentially states that Americans had the right to settle anywhere they chose. This led many disillusioned Americans to force the Indians out of California, or even shoot them if they resisted.
  3. Many of the Asian (mostly Chinese) gold seekers were often discriminated against.

On a rather ironic note, neither of the two men who originally discovered the California gold (John Sutter and James Marshall) struck it rich. Sutter never even got to start his saw mill because of the major change in the California landscape.

It’s strange that nobody remembers them anymore.

The Westward Expansion

By the mid-1800’s, the ideology of Manifest Destiny encouraged further expansion in the United States. It was a widely held American belief that it was their right to colonize and take all of North America (a right to expand).

As settlers set out to stake out the west, they traveled in covered wagons in groups called “wagon trains,” as it was safer to travel in groups. The dangers along the way included terrain, Indians, and food scarcity. Generally, all families only had one wagon unless you were rich and could afford a second. All the worldly goods one owned (that they wanted to take) had to be loaded into the wagon AND still leave enough room for passengers and all the food and water one would need for the journey. Of course, water could be obtained from springs and food from wild animals (such as the buffalo), but one would want to be prepared.

Let me be clear: these wagons were not very large. To be exact, the Prairie Schooner (which was the most commonly used 19th century wagon for long distance transportation) was typically about 4 feet (1.2 metres) wide, 9 to 11 feet (2.7 to 3.4 metres) long, and 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 metres) deep. With the bonnet (the tarped covering), the wagon was about 10 feet (3 metres) tall.1

In other words, you would have to leave almost everything of your former life behind (e.g., most of your possessions, friends, culture, etc.). This was not an easy trip at all.

There were several trails that could be taken, the most popular of which was the Oregon trail. It was the longest trail at 2000 miles long, and was desirable because of the cheap, or free cost on the land. However, due to the distance, it was a life-time commitment to make the trek; and unless your family came with you, you may not see them again.

Another trail, the Mormon trail, was famous in particular with the Mormons. It is called such because of the religious ostracism that occurred that forced them to move westward to Salt Lake City.

There is another famous trail which is known today as The Old Spanish Trail. Those of you who know your history will know that, before the Louisiana Purchase was made (that gave the possession of the greater portion of what is today the United States to America), Napoleon had conquered the area from Spain; consequently, its name. What made this trail particularly unique was not only its age, but also its location. While the other main trail started in the Missouri area, The Old Spanish Trail started in the west near where Los Angeles is located today.

There was also one last trail, only, this trail wasn’t for humans, it served animals. This trail, the Chisholm trail, ran from the Texas ranches all the way to Missouri. The trail was made so that Texan farmers would not bring their cattle through the other ranches and spread ticks to the Missouri farmers’ cattle (of which the Texan cattle were immune).

These trails were used up until 1869, at which point the Transcontinental railroad replaced them.

Sources:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/technology/prairie-schooner

Cultural Updates: The French Revolution and the Cotton Gin

This paper will be a short summary of two cultural updates from this week. The first being the French Revolution, the second being cotton gin.

The French Revelation came about as the French, seeing America’s success, decided to rebel against un-precedented tyranny. They announced their rebellion by storming a prison called the Bastille.

Having success, France began capturing some American trade ships. French-American relations had greatly deteriorated since the War of Independence. Now, John Adams (the US President at the time) tried to arrange for peace with France. However, this brought upon what is today known as the XYZ Affair. What happened during this affair was that France rejected America’s call for peace. The Democratic-Republicans (a political party at the time) demanded a full release of what had occurred. The symbols “X,” “Y,” and “Z” represent the three officials who dealt with the situation (in order to retain the confidentiality of the identity of the officials).

Eventually, both America and France unofficially declared war on one another. France would capture American trade ships, and America would win naval battles. Finally, America had won enough battles to bring France to the place where they would agree to peace. This peace arrangement was called the Convention of 1800.

The second cultural update marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution: The cotton engine.  As many of you will recall, plantation owners held slaves for the purpose of doing undesirable labor. Eli Whitney’s invention the Cotton Gin (the shortened form for Cotton Engine) made the process of purifying the cotton more effective, time-economic, and it was an invention that helped rid the slaves of one degrading task. However, this machine’s good qualities were all favorable in the plantation owners’ eyes, but it was all at the slaves’ expense. Because the Cotton Gin made the process of combing out the cotton seeds so much easier and so much quicker, it no longer required the slaves time to do so. Less labor being required to pick the cotton seeds meant that farmers could now grow more cotton…which meant that they needed more slaves to grow and pick the cotton. Thankfully, the slave trade was latter abolished post-Civil War in 1865.

The American War for Independence | The Rise of a Nation

At the first Continental Congress, they discussed the proposition that they should start training men and stockpiling weapons. The British got wind of it and decided to confiscate the weapons.

Many have heard of the story of Paul Revere; how he and William Dawes rode in from Boston to warn of the approaching soldiers. The distance between Boston and Lexington is no small journey, especially not on horse-back.

On April 12, 1775, The Brits arrived at Lexington to find the citizens already aware of their approach. They faced off. To this day it is unknown who fired the first shot that has come to be nick-named “the shot heard around the world;” nonetheless, it was fired. Though it is known today as The Battle of Lexington, it was not really a battle, but would be more properly classified as a “skirmish.” The colonists and the British fought for a short time, then the British retreated to Concord (which was their main targeted destination anyways.

There, the people had already hidden many of their firearms and were waiting outside the city. The British arrived, found them in this state, and proceeded into the city, leaving only a small party to guard the bridge. Inside, they discovered the firearms supplies and tried to destroy them; either by dumping them into the water, or by destroying it by means of smashing and-the-like (as they did to the cannons…rendering them un-usable.

The group of colonists waiting outside the city grew. They began to see smoke. Now over 400 men, they decided to go and check out what the British were doing; mind you, their intentions were allegedly peaceful…just for some random reason they were armed and had a leader. Hmm…

Upon approach, the British opened fire on them without warning or audible command. The colonist’s leader ordered them to retaliate. They colonist’s army grew and grew as more men continued to arrive. They destroyed both the group guarding the bridge and the British inside the city.

Then the colonists chased the surviving British army back to Boston and laid siege on them there for two months. George Washington led the colonial army (who drastically outnumbered the British, numbering 15,000 to 6,000).

On June 13 the colonists found out that the British were planning to capture the two hills near Boston. These hills would give the British an advantage, and yet, the colonists had not occupied them yet. However, when the colonists found out about the British’s plan, they hurried ahead of them and took the hills.

Thus, when the Brits came and found hills occupied, a battle ensued. The colonists eventually did have to retreat over the hill (Bunker Hill, after which the battle was named), but they only suffered 367 casualties. The Brits, on the other hand, suffered 1,054; a significant difference (especially so because they were already outnumbered greatly).

The British won the hills, and the claimed victory for it; but the colonists did not consider it to be their loss. Sure, the Brits had won the hills, but they had also lost a great deal more men and had instilled in the colonists a sense of courage and belief in their ability to hold off (for a time) the best trained army in the world.

The colonists did not want to fight. They wanted freedom. So, on July 5, they made a petition asking for a reduction of the Intolerable Acts; if the British would do that, then they would cease fire.

The King refused and pronounced them to be in rebellion.

With their requests denied, people began thinking about the concept of seceding from the British. Thomas Paine anonymously printed a pamphlet, Common Sense, describing this idea in 1776.

With more trust being put in the fighting ability of the colonial army, more soldiers were trained. During the early parts of the war, the colonists did very well, seizing Fort Ticonderoga (an important British fort in Canada, loaded with artillery that the colonists needed very badly), capturing British equipment as they proceeded to Quebec, and winning many of the fights they undertook. One of the amazing colonial fights happened when the colonists had to return to Fort Ticonderoga. There, they fought the battle of Valcour Island on Lake Chaplain. The British Navy was the largest and most experienced fleet in the world; however, the colonists, though they did have to retreat, were able to hold the British back for an amazingly long time.

In 1776, the colonists issued the Declaration of Independence. This demanded the cessation of the 13 British colonies. They were granted it, but now that they were independent, they had to fight to keep it. Otherwise, they would fall right back into British hands; quite possibly worse off than they were before.

The colonists were not alone, though. Actually, both the Spaniards, the Netherlands, and the French gave them aid. Since The Seven Years War there had been stress between France and Britain. France was more than willing to help them out…as long as it brought down the British. France did it secretly until the colonists pronounced independence.

But the British started to return with reinforcements. This is when things went turned a little south for the colonists. Due to a series of loses, New York was captured by the British. Now, Both Boston and New York were in the hands of Great Britain.

After a great start, the year 1776 wasn’t turning out so well for the colonists. Seemingly in an act of desperation, George Washington led the colonists across the frozen Delaware river on December 25, 1776. The very next day, he captured the British military city of Trenton.

Then in 1777, the colonists won a major victory at Saratoga when 5,700 British troops surrendered. This victory was led by Horatio Gates who had a rather interesting style of leading. He would sit out behind the side-lines and would command from there. Saratoga turned out pretty well, but he devastated his reputation in a later battle of Camden.

George Washington, Nathanael Green, Benedict Arnold, Marquis de Lafayette, Henry Knox, Baron von Steuben, Francis Marion, and the previously mentioned Horatio Gates are just a few of the most influential colonial leaders.

After Saratoga, the British would win some, then the colonists would win some; it kind of passed back and forth between them.

Then in 1778, France openly viewed the colonists as a separate country and so it was no longer required to help them in secret, they could do it publicly.

Now the colonists (who truly weren’t colonists any more) had a significant advantage on the Brits as they had all they army right there on the same continent, but the British army had to wait for long periods of time to get reinforcements and supplies.

The last battle that ended the Revolutionary war didn’t actually directly involve the colonists. It was a Naval battle fought between the French and British fleets. The British were returning with reinforcements for the holed-up British army, and the French were coming to the aid of the newly pronounced nation: United States of America. The French won the battle, and the war was basically over. There were a few other minor skirmishes, but those were mainly between parties were not aware that the war was over.

Britain signed various treaties with the Netherlands, the Spaniards, and also the French, but the treaty between the colonists and Great Britain was called the Treaty of Paris.

NOTE:

I apologize to the Ron Paul Curriculum for any direct quotes from the lectures that I may have accidentally put into writing. When I was writing down notes and historical facts several weeks ago, I don’t know if I rephrased the information in my own words, as I do now.

This is why I source you.

Sources:

The Grade 8 Ron Paul History Course (Lessons 20-25)

https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/treaty-of-paris

What should Virginia have done before giving editor Norman $500,000?

In the utopian fiction novel, In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, a rich, popular, and prosperous newspaper man, Edward Norman, falls into near bankruptcy after making a pledge to do what Jesus would do. Edward Norman does not, in fact, in my opinion, do what Jesus would do. He acts stupidly (see the footnote for greater information) by refusing to advertise anymore for the tobacco and beer industries and he also decides he will not cover any of the subjectively “un-godly” important news or gossip. He quickly reaps the consequences of making such an action and loses a great deal of subscribers and is on the verge of bankruptcy when he pleads his case to a rich young heiress named Virginia Page. Virginia had been feeling rather conflicted about what is to be done with her inherited funds, as she had also taken the pledge to do as Jesus would do. She felt that it was wrong for her to be possession of such a great deal of wealth, and was unsure of “What Jesus Would Do” in her situation.

So, when editor Edward Norman pleaded his case to young Virginia Page, she readily agrees to give him $500, 000 (adjusted for inflation, this number would be equivalent to millions in today’s dollar).

In this essay, I will present my opinion on what Virginia should have done before giving Edward Norman $500, 000.

First of all, we can well see that Norman has a failing business. When one goes from a state of great wealth, to one of poverty in a relatively short amount of time, you know that there is a problem that must be resolved.

So, what was the problem?

The problem was not that Norman didn’t have the original funds to make the newspaper work; he was previously a very wealthy man. No, the problem was in his business plan. It was that his business plan was a failure.

Thus, the first thing Virginia should have done was to investigate his business plan, see that it was an obvious failure, and help him to design a successful business plan.

As it turns out, Edward did have a new business plan in mind. But Virginia didn’t know that. For all she knew, she could have been wasting a great deal of money that could have done a lot of good for the poor people of her area.

Footnote:

Some of you may be wondering why I think that Norman acted stupidly by quitting his advertising for the beer and tobacco industries and by not covering any of the subjectively ungodly important news or gossip.

First of all, while I disagree with his ideology that the Bible says that it would be wrong to advertise for the beer and tobacco industries, if one believes that God is telling them to do so, then one should definitely do as one feels led.

However, Editor Norman earned almost all of his income through those advertisements and through coverage of those “ungodly” reports.

I would argue that instead of going bankrupt, Norman should have sold his business and with his life savings (which were very large) start a new (subjectively) more “godly” one.