Month: March 2015

Marxism: The Basis

Karl Marx, through many ideas, converted capitalist traits to fit into communism’s shoe. He took communism’s faults and attributed them to capitalism. Then he took capitalism’s qualities and gave them to communism. This is the basis of Marxism.

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The Revolutions of 1830

The revolutions of 1830 were a series of revolutions in different countries around Europe. Some were successful, some not, some were even averted. But regardless of whether they were successful or not, almost all of them had the same goal in mind: new government systems.

Poland in 1830 was a province of Russia. The Polish were unhappy under the rule of Czar Nicholas I. They revolted, remaining importantly on paper for 35 years, until they were made just a simple province. Their revolution failed.

Belgium’s revolution was more successful. Belgium had been forced into union with the Netherlands by the Congress of Vienna, and they had been joined together ever since. Belgium did not like the Dutch king, so the liberal nationalists rebelled. Eventually they were granted their freedom by the British. A treaty was imposed on the Dutch, which stated that Belgium was guaranteed its freedom, now and forever, and that it would remain “…perpetually neutral”.

In France, Louis XVIII died. Charles X became his successor. Charles X’s political opponents were dominating the government. Charles responded instantly. He limited the freedom of the press, he limited the freedom of the people in general, he closed the Chamber of Deputies, etc. Eventually he was deposed by the outraged people and they elected a new king: Louis-Philippe. Continue reading

Neoclassicism

Neoclassicism was a movement in the eighteenth century. As the name suggests, it was a revival of the Ancient Greek and Roman cultures.

Throughout the movement, until Romanticism, there was an emphasis on order, serenity, rationality, wit, the ability to speak eloquently, fluently and with strezzatura. There was a major focus on art, music and literature.

As far as painting is concerned, there is a silent beauty and serenity portrayed throughout the paintings of the 18th century. Monsieur David’s painting, the Oath of the Horatii

Oath of the Horatii

Oath of the Horatii

is a classic example. There are many more beautiful and prominent paintings from this time period.

Sculpture was moving away from the curly, extravagant style of the baroque period, and was moving towards more serene simplicity.

There was a revival of the ancient architecture, especially in America. Look at the U.S. Capitol building. The first bank looks like the Parthenon.

Literature progressed rapidly. Samuel Johnson was a moral essayist, poet, biographer of poets, and author of Rasselas. He wrote the first dictionary of the English language.

The novel was developed at this time period. A classic example is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Neoclassicism is very serene and beautiful. It is simple and with order. It contains rationality and wit. It is an enlightened stage in European history.

What Were The Main Points Guiding The Diplomats at The Congress of Vienna?

The major principles guiding the diplomats at the Congress of Vienna were stability and peace. They didn’t want another French Revolution. They wanted peace and equality, even if it meant that some smaller countries would be unhappy. For example, Belgium was forced to join with the Netherlands to make one country, even when Belgium didn’t want to.

There were three more main points that made it into document form, not just ideas. These were legitimacy, equality of power and compensation. Legitimacy meant that the royal family, such as the Bourbons in France, was and was only legitimate for France. No other person or family could rule. He would not be recognized.

Equality of power meant that all countries had to have relatively the same amount of power. No country could amass enough power to create another French Revolution.

Compensation meant that if some territory was taken, then the country would be compensated with some other territory.

These were the main principles in the Congress of Vienna.

The Issue of The Universe

For hundreds of years people had believed that the earth was in the center of the universe. This theory was born of Ptolemy’s geocentric theory. This theory, in brief, stated that the sun revolved around the earth, and so did all the stars. It also stated that the earth was stationary.

Not all ancient astronomers and mathematicians came up with incorrect theories, however. The ancient Greeks knew that the earth was round and they measure the circumference of our earthly sphere using a system of shadows.

Until the time of a very important scientist, people blindly believed this theory. That is, they believed it until the time of the man who would change their beliefs forever.

Nicolaus Copernicus was born in 1473 in Royal Prussia near Poland. His father was a wool merchant, but Nicolaus decided to follow a different trade.

Nicolaus, after making observations, wrote a book called The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, in which he explained his new theory: heliocentricity. Heliocentricity is a Latin word and it means the sun (helio) in the center (centric). His book was published on the day he died in 1533. His theory was not perfect, but it was a major step up the ladder of improvement. Continue reading