Posted in 8th Grade, History 8

H8 L70 – Civil War

The American Civil War was the bloodiest in U.S. history by a figure of about 20000 more lives lost.  And think about it – all those lives lost were American.  No foreign blood was shed in this war, it was all one country fighting itself.   From the starting battle of Fort Sumter, to the bloody Battle of Antietam, to the Appomattox Court House that ended the war, the battles of the Civil war are a good topic.   

The war was started when Union troops in the now-seceded South Carolina moved to the unfinished fort Sumter on an island in the middle of Charleston Harbor.  When the nearby Confederate forts surrounding Sumter told them to evacuate or get bombed, the Union said no and the war began.  The Confederate forts surrounding Sumter started a 34-hour bombing of Sumter.  At the end of that time, the Union soldiers surrendered and said they were out.  Nobody was killed during the bombing. 

The first casualty of the war was not a battle casualty – it was an accident.  On the way out of Fort Sumter, the Union fired a fifty-gun salute in the parade, and one of the cannons accidentally exploded and killed the cannoneer.  So the first casualty of the American civil war was not a military, it was a single cannoneer. 

The result of the fall of Fort Sumter was the first Battle of Bull Run/Manassas.  Lincoln called for 75000 men to support the Union army and quickly end the war.  this was attempted by the capture of Richmond by the Union.  The first Battle of Bull Run was between US General McDowell, and CS General Beauregard.  Each side had about 18000 untrained troops with bad leaders.  The Union wanted to surprise the Confederates and attack the left flank, but it was not executed very well and the Confederates had time to prepare.  When the reinforcements under CS Johnston arrived, the Union was pushed back.  Stonewall Jackson got his name here, and rallying under Jackson the Confederates forced the Yankees to retreat wildly.  Lincoln wasn’t too happy with McDowell, and so replaced him with McClellan.

The next battle was the beginning of US General Ulysses S Grant’s career as a military general.  When he assaulted Fort Henry in Middle Tennessee, he captured it with ease and gave the Tennessee River to the Union, and opened supply lines for himself as he moved  southwards towards the Alabama border. 

After the capture of Fort Henry, Grant decided to keep going and capture the next fort down the river, Fort Donelson.  This second fort was a little bit harder to capture.  Grant’s strategy was to surround the fort and keep it hostage until it surrendered, but CS Brigadier General John Floyd had other ideas.  He tried to make a sortie to clear a path to Nashville, Tennessee, but the sortie failed, Floyd was captured, and the fort surrendered. This opened the Cumberland River to the Union, and yet another supply line to Grant as he took large hunks out of the South.  Shortly after the battle, McClellan was relieved of his position and replaced by Henry Halleck.

The next battle was in the small town of Shiloh, Tennessee, and was between Grant, who was still moving south, and Johnston and Beauregard’s combined troops.  The Confederates surprise attacked Grant as he was traveling, and were ery successful in taking out Grant’s troops; however, General Johnston was killed in the battle as the Confederates retreated. 

As Grant took a hunk out of the South, the other supergeneral at the time, CS Robert E Lee, was attempting to retaliate and take a chunk out of the north.  The result of this was the Second Battle of Bull Run.  The battle was similar in location and result to the first battle, despite more and better trained soldiers and  new Union rearguard.  The Confederates still won, but the Union rearguard kept it from being a complete repeat of the first Battle of Manassas. 

The next battle was the bloodiest in American history, with 22,717 casualties in one day.  This battle was the Battle of Antietam, in Sharpsburg, Maryland.  McClellan was not a daredevil, and he did not use the Union advantages.  Lincoln was then mad at him, and replaced him with Ambrose Burnside. 

Burnside was soon tested in fire in the battle of Fredericksburg.  Lee entrenched himself in the Fredericksburg area, and did not move for the majority of the battle.  Burnside, on the other hand, made a series of frontal assault charges that were completely unsuccessful.  This was one of the most lopsided battles in history, with twice as many Union casualties as Confederate.

To begin 1863, Lincoln made Joseph Hooker  Eastern commander and Grant the Western commander, and gave grant orders to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi.

          The first major battle of the year was the Battle of Chancellorsville, which was remembered as Lee’s “perfect battle” because his dare-devilishness and Hooker’s timidity made this a massive Confederate victory.   Unfortunately, many fell in this battle, including the infamous Stonewall Jackson, who fell to friendly fire.  Lee’s strategy was to send Jackson and his men on a flanking mission, but after some recon Jackson came back and was shot by his own guard.  JEB Stuart took over for the rest of the day.  The Confederates were the victors, but it came at no small cost; it was the second bloodiest day in the Civil War. 

          Following his victory at Chancellorsville, Lee decided to take some of the North and a reputation, and so started a campaign to the North.  Lincoln made Hooker follow, but quickly realized that he was not a very good general and replaced him with George Meade.  Lee was excited for the battle when Meade caught up with him in Gettysburg, and nobody could’ve told what was going to happen next.  The first day was light skirmishes, before the whole of the armies were assembled.  The next day found both armies laid out in full battle formation and ready to go.  They fought until the day ended, and nobody had a victory yet.  The third day was the day that it was decided.  That fateful morning, Lee launched a heavy attack on the flanks of the Union, but made no gains.  He then decided to make a risky decision that cost him the battle… and possibly the war.  He set up a full frontal charge on the Union under CS Gen. Longstreet, and charged with the hope of breaking through the Union center.  This move was called Pickett’s Charge, and was repulsed with massive loss to the Confederates.  This ended Lee’s campaign to the north. 

  As the Confederates lost ground in Virginia, Grant topped his achievements off with the capture of Vicksburg, Mississippi.  He heavily attacked at first, but was repulsed, so he decided to wait out a siege and capture Vicksburg.  When this fell from lack of food, the whole of the Mississippi was Union soil, effectively splitting the Confederacy in two.  Texas and Arkansas could no longer help the Confederates, as they were on the other side of the river. 

Grant had been doing great in taking out the Deep South, but a mistake by one of his fellow generals, William Rosecrans, against Braxton Bragg in North Georgia, ended the union campaign to the south.  The battle was fought near Chickamauga Creek in Northern Georgia.   The Confederates were victors only because of a miscommunication in the Union lines.  Rosecrans weakened his lines and created a hole in the center where the Confederates were advancing, and a full third of Rosecrans’ army was immediately off the field.  This battle ended the Union Campaign south, but the Union was still way on top of the war. 

The next battle was the last of Lee’s victories, Cold Harbor.  Like at Antietam, the Union made frontal assaults on the Confederate entrenchments, which produced significant Union casualties and no confederate casualties.  After this, Lee was defense and retreat for the rest of the war, and never put up much of a fight afterwards. 

With William Sherman as the new commander of the West and Grant as the East, Sherman decided to move for the Atlanta Campaign.  He used no supply lines, and was deep in enemy territory, yet completely crippled the Confederacy in his Atlanta Campaign throughout 1864.  As he headed towards Atlanta, Georgia, he made sure to take out the railroad tracks.  When he came across on, he had his men take out the railroad ties, pick up the tracks, and bend them around trees.  When the Confederates came along later and saw them, they called these strange rail-covered trees “Sherman’s Bow-Ties”.  When he reached Atlanta, he captured it and burned it to the ground in the Battle of Atlanta. 

He continued past Atlanta and captured the capital, Milledgeville, and then Savannah.  As he did so, Grant was fending off Jubal Early’s attacks on him in the Shenandoah Valley in Maryland.  Grant sacked and burned many of the resources and homes.  Jubal Early’s attempts to eradicate the Union in the Shenandoah were unsuccessful, and Early’s troops were destroyed. 

As Grant took the Shenandoah Valley, Lee was being besieged in the city of Petersburg.  The war was pretty much over at this point, with only two battles and a few treaties to go. 

The second to last battle of the war was the siege of Petersburg, which Lee was stuck in Petersburg and besieged by Grant.  He was allowed out, and allowed to fight one last time in the Battle of Appomattox Court House.  After the battle, Lee, the last Confederate Army on the field, surrendered to Grant under favorable terms on April 9, 1865.

So ended the bloodiest war in American History, with over 620 thousand men dead, all American, and 3% of the entire population; all over a few small arguments over who was free and who wasn’t.   

Posted in 8th Grade, English 8

E8 L70 – Monarch Butterfly

Probably the most iconic butterfly on the planet, the Monarch Butterfly is an interesting subject, as it progresses from a little bitty inchworm to the beautiful yet robust little creature we call a butterfly.
It all starts with the hatching of the egg. The little green caterpillar that inches its way around on the leaf is a First instar caterpillar. It is pale green and translucent, with no visible colors or antennae yet, and it is very small; about 2-6 mm long, and a quarter of that wide. It eats the egg it hatched from, and immediately begins eating the plant that it is on. This plant is likely to be a milkweed, as the mother laid the egg on her last food stop back at home.
As it eats the milkweed, it collects cardenolides, a chemical that makes them taste horrendous to other animals.
Once it has enough food, it will molt and become a second instar caterpillar. By this time, it has the characteristic bands of black, yellow and white, which actually serves as a warning to predators that says, “I taste disgusting!” The antennae, or as they’re sometimes called, tentacles, start to grow; one pair on the rear end of the caterpillar (the abdomen) and one on the head (thorax) of the caterpillar.
It then molts and becomes a third instar caterpillar. This one has more distinct bands and gains a few more legs (not that they don’t already have enough). The tentacles grow longer, and the caterpillar starts to eat the leaf edges. As it grows, it is eating more food than it needs, to have enough food for the pupa stage, where they don’t eat at all.
It then molts again and becomes a fourth instar. The fourth instar is pretty much just a little bit more complicated of a band pattern, and a good bit bigger. This instar’s development is just gaining white spots on the prolegs near the abdomen of the caterpillar . It then molts again and becomes the final instar – the fifth instar.
The fifth instar has an even more complex banding, so complex that it’s almost like a “caterpillar full-body fingerprint” – each pattern is unique to the specific caterpillar. It also gains even more legs, especially the small ones up under the head.
Once it is full, the caterpillar will then go searching for a pupation site, likely under a leaf or somewhere similar. It will then weave itself a sticky silk pad, and hang under it, as it molts a pupa for itself. This whole process, along with the pupation and emergence, depending on the temperatures, takes from as little as twenty-five days to a max of seven weeks. Through this time as a caterpillar, it has grown significantly. As a first instar the caterpillar was 2-6 mm long and from 0.5 to 1.5 mm wide, compared to 25-45mm long and 5-8 wide, as well as the fifth being 2000 times heavier.
In the pupa stage, the caterpillar molts itself a chrysalis, which is normally bluish-green with small gold spots. As the butterfly forms inside, the chrysalis becomes translucent and the orange and black pattern of wings is clearly visible. This takes about two weeks; when that time is over, the final butterfly emerges in its full glory.
The adult butterfly hangs upside down for a few minutes after emergence and allows its wings to dry. The butterfly then pumps fluids into its wings and takes off to eat some sap.
While the caterpillar can only feed on milkweed, the adult can feed on a variety of other plants, such as goldenrod, horseweed, asters, thistles, alfalfa, red clover, tall ironweed, teasel, dame’s rocket, spotted Joe-Pye weed and coneflower, and of course, milkweed. Their favorite, though, is by far the milkweed plant.
Once they have taken their fill of sap from one of the above plants, they find the migration path and start their 4000-mile journey to a butterfly reservation. Say our butterfly starts in, say, the east coast of the US. It would probably travel towards the Mexico Reservation. It would start at, say, Maine, and skim down the east coast, pass the Gulf of Mexico, and skim the edge of Mexico to get to a sanctuary at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains in Mexico. The butterfly’s trip is over 2,500 miles long, and some butterflies don’t make the trip.
When they reach the sanctuary near October, the butterflies settle down on the trees, which are often dying. They settle down and hibernate through the winter. Once the winter is passed, the butterflies then migrate home, and when they get there, lay their egg, lay down, and die.
With the laying of the egg, the process resets, and the butterfly goes from egg, to caterpillar, to pupa, and then finally to follow the same trip their parents made, all the way to Mexico, and all the way back, only to lay their egg and reset the process again…. It goes on indefinitely…. That’s the life cycle of a butterfly.


• Cech, Rick and Tudor, Guy (2005). Butterflies of the East Coast. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ
• “Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle and Migration”. National Geographic Education. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2013
• Oberhauser (2004), p. 23
• Lefevre, T.; Chiang, A.; Li, H; Li, J; de Castillejo, C.L.; Oliver, L.; Potini, Y.; Hunter, M.D.; de Roode, J.C. (2012). “Behavioral resistance against a protozoan parasite in the monarch butterfly”. Journal of Animal Ecology. 81 (1): 70–9. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2011.01901.x. PMID 21939438.
• “The other butterfly effect – A youth reporter talks to Jaap de Roode”. TED Blog. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
• Petition to protect the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus) under the endangered species act” (PDF). Xerces Society. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
• Oberhauser (2004), p. 51
• Agrawal, Anurag (2017-03-07). Monarchs and Milkweed: A Migrating Butterfly, a Poisonous Plant, and Their Remarkable Story of Coevolution. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9781400884766.
• “Reproduction”. Monarch Lab. Regents of the University of MinnesotaFlockhart, D. T. Tyler; Martin, Tara G.; Norris, D. Ryan (2012). “Experimental Examination of Intraspecific Density-Dependent Competition during the Breeding in Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus)”. PLoS ONE. 7 (9): e45080. Bibcode:2012PLoSO…745080F. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045080. PMC 3440312. PMID 22984614.. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
• Oberhauser, K.S. (1989). “Effects of spermatophores on male and female monarch butterfly reproductive success”. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 25 (4): 237–246. doi:10.1007/bf00300049.
• “ADW: Danaus plexippus: Information”. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
• Emmel, Thomas C. (1997). Florida’s Fabulous Butterflies. p. 44, World Publications, ISBN 0-911977-15-5
• Oberhauser (2004), pp. 61–68.
• Frey, D.; Leong, K.L.H.; Peffer, E.; Smidt, R.K.; Oberhauser, K.S. (1998). “Mating patterns of overwintering monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus (L.)) in California” (PDF). J. Lepid. Soc. 52: 84–97.
• Solensky, M.J.; K.S. Oberhauser (2009). “Sperm Precedence in Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus)”. Behavioral Ecology. 20 (2): 328–34. doi:10.1093/beheco/arp003.
• “Plant Milkweed for Monarchs” (PDF). MONARCH JOINT VENTURE Partnering across the U.S. to conserve the monarch migration. Monarch Joint Venture. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
• Higgins, Adrian (27 May 2015). “A gardener’s guide to saving the monarch”. Home & Garden. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
Higgins, Adrian (27 May 2015). “7 milkweed varieties and where to find them”. Home & Garden. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
Gomez, Tony. “Asclepias Syriaca: Common Milkweed for Monarch Caterpillars”. Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
“Common Milkweed: Asclepias syriaca L.” (PDF). Plant Guide. United States Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
“Asclepias syriaca”. butterfly gardening & all things milkweed. Google. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
• “Butterfly Society of Hawaii”. Butterfly Society of Hawaii. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
• Butterfly Gardening.
• Wagner, David L. (2005). Caterpillars of Eastern North America. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. ISBN 0-691-12144-3
• Iftner, David C.; Shuey, John A. and Calhoun, John C. (1992). Butterflies and Skippers of Ohio. College of Biological Sciences and The Ohio State University. ISBN 0-86727-107-8

Posted in 8th Grade, History 8

H8 L65 – Kansas-Nebraska Act & John Brown’s Rebellion

          The two biggest things that influenced the start of the civil war was a compromise about the heated topic of slavery, and then the rebellion of John Brown, a staunch anti-slavery advocate. 

          The Kansas-Nebraska Act, written by Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas,  allowed for popular sovereignty in the Kansas and Nebraska areas, which was supposed to fix the problem of government intervention in the issue.   Popular sovereignty, at that time, meant that the people could vote whether they wanted slavery or not.  Both pro- and anti-slavery parties rushed to Kansas, each wanting to make sure that Kansas would be theirs.       Soon enough, Kansas was full and the parties started killing one another to make space for their own, and it ended up as, as journalists called it, the “Bleeding Kansas Situation”.

          John Brown’s Rebellion simply fed the flames of the Bleeding Kansas situation, and fanned the coals of the slavery issue.  John Brown’s Rebellion was an attempt to create a mass slave revolt by capturing a federal arsenal, distributing the weapons, and call up all the slaves at once to attack the whole of the south.

          John brown started by recruiting 21 men to join him against Harpers Ferry.  He trained them for several months at night, and they snuck up to the fort on October 16.     He captured the armory and was prepared to distribute the arms the next day, but the slave uprising never happened because of no communication; he had cut the telegraph wires so Harpers Ferry couldn’t send out SOS, but he hindered himself as well – he couldn’t send the signal for uprising.  By the next day, some marines under Robert E Lee retook the fort, and Brown was executed for treason. 

          The immediate result of John Brown’s Rebellion was death of Brown, but the lasting effects were much stronger.  The Union saw him as a kind of martyr against slavery, while of course the future Confederacy saw him as a total jerk, and this was one of the controversial points that started the upcoming Civil War.

Posted in 8th Grade, English 8

E8 L60 – Scarlet Pimpernel and Tale of Two Cities

Two books, one boring and one fast-paced, one thrilling and one slow.  Let’s see which is the better of the two, Tale of Two Cities and the Scarlet Pimpernel.

The first of the two is the Scarlet Pimpernel.        This book, by Emma Orczy, is fast paced, and is a historical fiction with a mystery-type twist.   The plot is about a man who, under many disguises, such as an old French hag, a brewer, and a traveling Englishman, saves French Aristocrats from the wrath of the peasants (and “Madame Guillotine” as referred to in the book) during the French Revolution.    Throughout the book he has to be very sneaky to preserve his secret identity to keep the French from catching him.   He does eventually get found and then it’s downhill from there, but that’s near the end of the book.    The parts I liked best were the stealth scenes, like when Marguerite is hidden  in the bar near the end of the book, and the author shows Marguerite’s feelings while also presenting a funny example of the sauciness of the Pimpernel himself.     Emma Orczy is a descriptive writer, writing books as good as Henty’s, and just about as descriptively.     As an avid reader,  some research was in order, and I found that The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of a series of about seven books, and thus I am quite excited to read the rest of the series, based on how great the original book was.  As most of these mystery books do, the ending was very happy and everyone was doing fine.

Baroness Emma Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála “Emmuska” Orczy de Orci, born on 23 September 1865, was the writer of The Scarlet Pimpernel, and thus the first person to really instill the “Superhero with secret identity” thing, as well as the “foppish playboy” idea.  One example of the same principles is Batman; Batman’s real identity was Bruce Wayne, a playboy in the late 20th.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is set at approximately the same time, but with a different plot line.   The plotline was about a single group of peasants throughout the whole of the French Revolution.   They take the bastille, and a few other prisons as the French Revolution pregresses, giving them more and more power over the Aristocrats, and eventually it leads up to The Scarlet Pimpernel, though the books were not intended to be in order.        I think the book was a little bit boring, just following a single group of peasants as they rose to power because of the French Revolution.     The battle scenes weren’t as fast-paced, and there was a lot of inferring to be done during some of the faster scenes.  Dickens isn’t descriptive like Emma Orczy and G.A Henty, Dickens is more of actually getting through the story quickly or slowly depending on what’s happening in the book.  One of the family reunions early in the book is very slow, but the storming of the bastille is quite fast and undescriptive.  I would say that it isn’t as enthralling, and is generally quite slow, so a little more time than usual would be required by this book, but only because I like fast, descriptive books. There is also some slang used in the book, so it is a good deal less understandable, than, say, a Rick Riordan or Henty book.

The setting of both of these books was at the same time, during the French Revolution, with each following a different side of Revolution.  The Scarlet Pimpernel followed the Aristocrats and their escapes from Paris, while A Tale of Two Cities follows the peasants responsible for the death of the majority of the Aristocrats.

On the other hand, they are almost completely different, being one of them on one ide and one on the other side of the Revolution.  The Scarlet Pimpernel s more about saving the aristocrats, or as the “citoyens” (French peasants called each other citizens after the Revolution, and as far as The Scarlet Pimpernel says, they were complete jerks to each other) in the book called them, “SACCRRRES ARRISTOS!” while A Tale of Two Cities is all about slaying the aristocrats.

Each of these books is good, and set in the same time, even though they had different views on the subject.  The better book is Emma Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, while Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is not so good.

Posted in 8th Grade, History 8

H8 L60 – California Gold Rush

         Thousands of people, all individual, coincidentally decided to all go westward, towards the exact same spot… what exactly was their motivation, their drive to leave the family to charge westwards?       The answer to that question is greed… and gold. 

          The California Gold rush was a result of the Mexican-American War, as the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ceded New Mexico, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, half of Colorado, the other half of which the Americans already owned, the final corner of Wyoming, the panhandle of Oklahoma, and the corner of Kansas.       This massive land grant made the cost of land shoot for zilch, so people flocked to the west to fill it quickly and cheaply as possible.       One of the settlers, named Sutter, bought land in California next to Sacramento to build a milling company.      One of the workers hired was named _________ and he was the first to see a nugget of gold sitting in the nearby stream.     He quickly reported back to Sutter, and they both swore to secrecy.       As it always does, though, the secret got out, and the news was so big that Polk talked about it in a speech.     Of course, that sent everyone in the nearby cities that part of California, and because he wasn’t fast enough to hire a guard around his property, his property was overrun and stripped of gold within a few days.        The nearby city of San Francisco was turned from a 30,000 population into a ghost town in a matter of days as people rushed out to seek a quick fortune.  Within a year, the “mother lode” was found, and the outposts started popping up like fleas in a rug.  All of this was in one year, one 1848. 

The next year, thousands and thousands moved in for the kill.       These newcomers were called “forty-niners” by the old-timers, the year in which they got to California.  By that time, most of the gold was gone.      Some struck it rich in their little plots of land, others went broke trying.  As more and more people joined the hunt, the outposts started turning into towns, and towns into cities.       The nearby Sacramento had gone from a population of approximately 300 to somewhere near 100,000 in one and a half years.       Another year brought that up to about 380,000, which is about near the size of modern Jacksonville, Florida in only two years.       As these cities sprang from dust, the men who didn’t strike it rich became bandits and drunkards, and many never returned home to tell their families how they did.       The estimated income over the whole of the Gold Rush was $160,000,000 during prime time, not counting the following years. 

Many historians count only the good side about this stampede for money, but there was also a bad side to it.        Many times the husbands simply left their wives and children “for their good” to gain them money, and then never come back.        Women and children often starved or begged and barely made it by as their husbands drank and stole, and never came back.         Often the Native Americans in the area were shot or forced to relocate by the gold seekers, and immigrating Asians were forced into slavery by these same gold-seekers.       So there were bas sides to the gold rush as well as the growing wealth of the American Economy.

All in all, the California Gold Rush had a major impact of the population of America.      A portion of such was moved westward and thus spread out, allowing for better network of people all over the continent. 

Posted in 8th Grade, History 8

H8 L55 – Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams

Around the 1800s, two men were fighting over the presidency: Andrew Jackson versus John Quincy Adams.  Both had their ups and downs, and they were completely different in many ways.

John Quincy Adams was the first of the two to win the presidency, even though they ran at the same times.  Born in Braintree, MA to John and Abigail Adams in 1767.  He traveled with his father on most of the diplomatic missions his dad was sent on.  In all that traveling he became a master linguist, and later used it to his advantage.   Between trips he was tutored under his older cousin and his dad’s clerk.   After he wrote a series of articles defending Washington’s new bill to keep the US out of foreign wars, Washington appointed him as Diplomat to the Netherlands like his dad at age 26.  While he was there, he translated Virgil, Horace, Plutarch, and Aristotle on his free time.   After serving his term, he was again appointed to a foreign country for his excellent performance in the first one; this time it was Portugal he was sent off to.   After getting back from there he wanted to retire from public service but was nominated for Presidency instead.  When the elections ran, there ended up being a three way tie between him, his opponent Andrew Jackson, and Henry Clay.   Clay knew he wasn’t going to win, so he brought over his supporters to Adams’ side, because they had the same ideas about America.  Thus, Adams beat Jackson, and Jackson played the sore loser;  he said a “corrupt bargain” took place between Adams and Clay.   He said an evidence of it was that Clay was appointed to the Secretary of State position when Adams won the election, and he may have been right.  Nobody knows exactly what happened.  Jackson then spent the next four years making absolutely sure that he would win the next election.  Adams, in the meantime, supported internal developments to America, like the C&O Canal, new roads, and irrigation additions.   To create revenue to do these monstrous things, he imposed high tariffs on exported goods, and this made him a little less popular.  He aided civil rights and fought all the laws he thought were not good, and became known as Old Man Eloquent for his speeches. When he ran for the second term, though, he lost to Jackson.   Even though he lost to Jackson, he kept serving in Congress for the last seventeen years of his life, even after a stroke that nearly cost him his life.   He served quite literally to the end;  he died of a second, more severe stroke while he was in Congress in 1848.  

While Adams served in congress, Andrew Jackson was the president.   Born March 15, 1767, three weeks after his dad died, he grew up out on the edge of North/South Carolina, with very little education and raised under his uncles.   He grew up under the care of his uncles after serving as a courier in the Revolutionary War and losing his entire remaining family to the British.   When he got old enough, he studied law in Salisbury and set up a practice in Jonesborough, Tennessee.  After serving in the War of 1812, he got the nickname “Old Hickory” for his stubbornness in battle.   After the war, he was elected to the House of Representatives  as a representative for the new state of Tennessee.   He was then elected to the Senate, but he turned it down, and went to the Tennessee Supreme Court instead.  After a time serving there, he was nominated for the presidency at the same time as Adams, and he lost because of Clay’s supposed trick.  He spent the next four years making sure he’d win the next one, and win he did.  After he won, he got the nickname “King Mob”  for inviting the whole public to the White House Ball at his election party.  As president, he opposed Government deficit spending, and shut down the government bank for a time, and then managed to be the only president in US history to pay off all the Government deficit spending.  The way he controlled government with the power of the veto is now called Jacksonian Democracy and using the veto he blocked all kinds of spending bills.  He served two terms, fighting deficit spending altogether and fraudulent government banking.  When his presidency was over, he retired to his three adopted kids;  his wife had died two months before his inauguration.  He died of lead poisoning from two bullets remaining in his chest for several years.  He died on June 8, 1845, at the age of 78.

Both of these fabulous presidents made massive improvements to the American country, and though Jackson’s payoff is still not in effect today, he set a great example for other presidents to follow today.  Adams’ road, canal, and irrigation improvements are still in effect today, and make transportation much faster.  So even though they were complete opposites in many respects they both got good things done.