Posted in 8th Grade, History 8

H8 L75 – Civil War Generals


The generals of the civil war are all interesting, and they each have a different story.  Many of them have corresponding parts of the story, like the Mexican-American War, and West Point Military academy.  One of the things they do not have in common is their names, which, in order, are Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, William T. Sherman, and Thomas J. Jackson.

Ulysses S Grant was born April 27, 1822 as Hiram Ulysses Grant, to Jesse Root Grant and Hannah Simpson Grant.  He attended West Point Military Academy, but an accidental clerical error accidentally changed his name.  Not wanting to be rejected by the Academy, he changed his name on the spot.  After graduation, he was stationed in St. Louis, Missouri, where he met his future wife, Julia Dent.   Before they could get married, Grant was dragged off by the army to serve in the Mexican-American War.   He proved his bravery under fire there, as well as the feeling that the war was only being waged to spread slavery.  He returned after the war and finally married in 1848.  Then, shoving aside all the warnings of disciplinary action about his drinking problem, he resigned from the army on July 31, 1854.  He moved back to Missouri with his family and tried to farm the land granted to him by his father-in-law, but the land wasn’t farmable.  Some of his other failed business ventures were real estate, engineering, and clerkship.  

Finally, he had nothing to sell but firewood on a St Louis Street.  Eventually, in 1860, he decided to work as a clerk (supervised by his younger brothers) in his dad’s tannery.  When the Confederates attacked the Union-occupied Fort Sumter on April 13, 1861, Ulysses S Grant immediately decided to join the army and fight.   However, the Army rejected his application, and he only got in because of an Illinois Congressman.  He was assigned the command of an unruly volunteer regiment, and immediately got to work. 

Evidence:  Under Grant’s leadership, the 21st Illinois Regiment was ready for battle. 

Evidence:  When Kentucky left the Union in 1861, Grant got ready for the first few battles, and in a joint operation with the Navy in 1862, attacked Forts Henry and Donelson, with sweeping victories.  These battles gave Grant the nickname “US Grant”, standing for “Unconditional Surrender Grant”.  With these battles, he was promoted to major general of volunteers.

He quickly took Shiloh, fended off Johnston and Beauregard’s surprise attack, and sieged Vicksburg, Mississippi,  and captured the whole Mississippi River for the Union.   He then took command at Chattanooga and decimated the Confederates [in Tennessee] in the Battles of Chattanooga.   After the war, Grant served as the 18th president, and in an attempt at a business, agreed to a partnership in the financial firm Grant and Ward only to have his co-partner, Ferdinand Ward, line his own pockets with the money, and completely wreck Grant’s career.  (He had some really bad business luck!)  He died just as his memoirs were published by Mark Twain, on July 23, 1885.  

The other major general at the time, Robert Edward Lee, was born on January 19, 1807 to Colonel Henry Lee “Light-Horse Harry” and Anne Hill Carter Lee.   He enrolled at West Point and applied himself wholly to the work.  He finished without a single demerit and with perfect scores in all of his classes.   After West Point, he met and married George Washington’s great-granddaughter, Mary Custis.  They had seven children together, three boys and four girls, but Lee could never stay long to see them, for his Army obligations sent him all over the country.   

Finally, the break he’d been waiting for happened, in the form of the Mexican-American War.  In the war, he proved himself as brave and brilliant, a perfect combination in a battle commander.   After the war, he had some trouble, though.  He couldn’t deal with the little things in life, and when his father in law died, he returned to the plantation to try to manage it.   The place had gone bad and became a sinkhole for money.  Eventually he got a break and was sent to end John Brown’s revolt;  the orchestrated attack ended the fight in less than an hour, and this success put him on the call list for Union Army Generals if it were ever needed. But when Virginia seceded, he turned down an offer from Lincoln to lead the Union army and agreed to lead the Confederate. 

In the first part of the war Lee was doing great, holding off the Union near Richmond, until he decided to move north.  That was really his fatal decision, and it probably doomed the Confederacy.  The result of his attempt to take a wedge out of the North was the bloody battles of Antietam and Gettysburg.  These obliterated whatever was left of his army before said battles, and really turned around the war effort for the Union.  The fate of the war was clear when Grant erased from existence the majority of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, as well as some of Petersburg, Virginia.   About a week later, Lee surrendered to Grant at a private home in Appomattox, Virginia.  Since Grant and Lincoln were very generous and did not hang Lee as a traitor, he was sent home to his wife and kids in April of 1865.  He took a job as a college president, and kept his mouth shut on the subject of politics.

He died of a massive stroke, surrounded by family, on October 12, 1870.   

William Tecumseh Sherman, born to Charles Sherman and Mary Hoyt, was one of eleven children.  (That’s a handful!)  His dad was a good lawyer and Ohio Supreme Court Justice.  However, he died suddenly, and left the poor family with next to nothing.  A family friend, however, raised William, and he was sent to West point when he came of age.  He had little respect for the demerit system, but he did very well academically.   There were no real big troubles on the record, just a million little things.  Despite this, however, he topped out sixth in his class at graduation.  He wasn’t shipped off to the Mexican-American war like the other major generals, he was stationed in California as an executive officer.  Since he didn’t get any combat, he thought the army was a dead end and resigned.   He made a small fortune in the gold rush as a banker, right about up until the Panic of 1857, and then he lost it. 

Evidence:  He finally settled down in Kansas to practice law.   

Two years later, in 1859, he was a well-liked headmaster at a military academy in Louisiana.   Sherman warned his friends about the war and predicted exactly what was going to happen;  the war would be long and bloody, and the Union would eventually win.   He then settled in for the ride, wanting nothing at all to do with the war.  Then, all of a sudden, after the firing on Sumter, he asked his brother, Senator John Sherman, to arrange a commission in the army.  He was assigned the 13th US Infantry and commanded under William McDowell.  Sherman was in the First Battle of Bull Run, which made him deeply pessimistic about the war.   He exaggerated the enemy’s strength and complained about shortages in food and supplies. He was then put on leave, considered insane and not good enough for duty.   He tried to help and provided logistical support for Grant in the capture of Donelson and was assigned to serve under him the following month. 

His mettle was tested in his first battle, the battle of Shiloh.  Sherman initially ignored reports of Johnston in the area and wasn’t to too picky with the picket lines.  The next morning, the Confederates struck with the force of a hammer on a diamond.  Strike correctly and the hammer can break the diamond, hit it wrong and the hammer breaks.   In this case, Beauregard and Johnston are the hammer, and they didn’t hit the diamond (Grant & Sherman) quite right.  The attack was repulsed, and the next morning, Grant and Sherman routed the Confederates.   And yet the newspapers still complained about both men; as one newspaper says, the “Army was being ruined in mud-turtle expeditions, under the leadership of a drunkard whose confidential adviser was a lunatic.”  

After the fall of Vicksburg, Sherman was given an army to command, and he began his famed “March to the Sea”, tearing through Georgia with a massive trail of destruction.   This effective military tactic, mostly used in “total war”, was called either “Scorched Earth” or “total war.” When Grant won the presidency, Sherman took over as the top gun in the Army, until his retirement in 1884.    He said flat-out no to the presidency, and died February 14, 1891, in New York City.  President Benjamin Harrison ordered all flags to be flown at half-mast that day, the death of the man who recognized war for what it really was: “War is hell.”

Sherman was Grant’s right-hand man, so who was Lee’s?  The answer comes by the name of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.   Born January 21, 1824, to Jonathan Jackson and Julia Beckwith Neale, along with four siblings.   His father and older sister, Elizabeth, were killed by typhoid fever when he was two years old.   His mom then remarried to Blake Woodson, and when the young ones had quarrels with their new dad, they were sent off to some relatives’ house.  

Jackson then lost his mother to childbirth complications; the infant, William Wirt Woodson, survived, only to die of tuberculosis ten years later.  He eventually enrolled at West Point and was only admitted because the district’s first choice withdrew his application.   He was teased by all the others about his poorness and modest education, but this only fed the flame of determination, and he finished 17th in a class of 59 in 1846.   He was then carted off the Mexican-American War, where he met Robert E Lee and the two became close friends. 

After two marriages and two stillborn daughters, he returned to the military, and served as a VMI officer at J.B[1].’s execution.  He then had another daughter that lived to adulthood.  At first, he wanted Virginia to stay in the Union, but when they voted to secede, Jackson showed his approval and agreed to start training troops for the battles.   At the time, the cadets were acting as drillmasters, training recruits for the soon-to-be-called “Stonewall Brigade”.   After training his troops for battle he was promoted to brigadier general under Joseph E Johnston.   At the first battle of Bull Run, when Jackson charged his army ahead to take a gap in the Union line, Barnard E Bee exclaimed, “Look, men, there is Jackson standing like a stone wall.” 

Afterwards, Jackson launched the Shenandoah Valley campaign, and successfully led the Confederates to victory and eventually a spot in Robert E Lee’s army. 

He showed bad leadership at the Seven Days’ Battles but redeemed himself with his lightning-fast “foot cavalry” at Cedar Mountain.    he also held his troops in place at Antietam, until Lee ordered a withdraw of all his forces from the Potomac.   He was extremely successful against Joseph Hooker in the Battle of Chancellorsville but was sadly shot by friendly fire and killed by complications.   He died May 10, 1863.

          War generals are such interesting topics, and the have so many things that were alike and things that weren’t alike at all, such as the Mexican-American War (one exception), West Point, and their side of the war. 


[1] John Brown’s

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, 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, 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.   

Posted in 8th Grade, History 8

H8 L50 – Inventions of the 1800s

   There were many new inventions in the 1800s, including the steam hammer, the steam engine, steam boat, the battery, the arc lamp, electromagnet, and many, many more. 

   Each of these things contributed to the store of knowledge that the country already had, but only a few fit the two main requirements of the industrial Revolution;  one, it had to be steam powered, and two, it had to save labor.

    One of the many inventions from the early eighteen hundreds is the steam hammer.

It fits the general requirements of the Industrial Revolution, being steam powered and work-saving.  It later inspired the steam engine, so it eventually made the travel trails from Independence, Missouri useless.   This quirky-looking machine helped to make steel beams, so it helped with construction.    

    The steamboat was another of multiple inventions fitting the requirements, it saved work by allowing something to move faster on water than before, while also saving work for rowers, since they were obsolete now.         The first owner of a steamboat was Robert Fulton, and he started a business carrying passengers up and down the New York River. 

As basically a no-competition monopoly, he raked in a lot of cash – enough to pay the sues for unsafe rides at an insanely high price.   He was eventually arrested, though, and his monopoly was ended as everyone else got the blueprint in general for the steamboat.   

              Another invention of the day was inspired by the steam hammer – the hammer could be powered by steam, so why not a set of wheels on a rail?  They came up with an invention to do just that, and they called it the most unimaginative thing ever – the steam engine.  It revolutionized land transportation and rendered the Pony Express completely pointless, as well as making many goods much cheaper because shipping was now so cheap.

   Not all the inventions of the hundred years of mechanical enlightenment was all steam.  One of the things that was not powered by steam was the electromagnet.  The electromagnet was invented by Michael Faraday, and is still in use today.    Faraday is also known for creating the Faraday Cage, which blocks EMP blasts.   It is basically a box of chicken wire all around a certain thing.    The electromagnet is a cool thing, using a magnet to create electricity.  This was an amazing achievement at the time, since nobody had any idea how to make power.  We still use it today, in a DC motor.  

            Another non-steam invention was the telegraph, invented by Samuel Morse in 1836.       This invention revolutionized communication in the US, and allowed for news to spread faster than ever before.      As this developed, the man who created it came up with a new way of communication that worked with the telegraph, called Morse code.       Morse code is a series of dots and dashes that form letters.      It allowed for news to spread even faster and faster.

In conclusion, as the inventions of the Industrial Revolution advanced, the world became smarter, more efficient, and eventually, these inventions influenced today.