Tutor profile: Courtney H.
Subject: World History
The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, became the symbol of this Iron Curtain. Why did the East German communists erected this barrier? Why did no government in the free world protest?
Berlin as an interesting phenomenon in Europe, divided between East and West people could travel and communicate freely between the blocs. This availability created a dilemma of the German Democratic Republic in the East and was problematic for the Western Zone. As an open city, people from the East had access to compare Communism and Capitalism. Since, its unique location, Berlin provided the only route out of Communist control East, this resulted in many fleeing across the border. According to Judt, educated, profession men and women who were East Berlin’s future they were looking for better wages and lives left in droves.(Judt, 250) A mass exodus of sixteen percent of the population with a prediction of emptying the Eastern zone created concern for Nikita Khrushchev and the Russian regime; combined with the fears of the rearming West Germany created even higher tensions. Khrushchev offensive plan was to starve off problems by demanding the West to withdraw from Berlin to make it a truly open “free city.” (Judt, 251) Western leaders refused and drew a hard line with the Soviet Union. With the fears of mass migration and rearmament, Khrushchev enacted several policies that led to Iron Curtin becoming not only a symbol but a physical reality. Putting a restriction on travel, he attempted to starve off the mass exodus. While the United States in public had an official hard line with the Soviets in private they were more accommodating, agreeing what the Russians had they could keep. (Judt, 252) As the departures increased Khrushchevs only rational option was to cut Eastern Berlin from the West. As a line and a concrete wall, the Berlin Wall, resulted in all travel and communication cut consequently dividing the two zones. Judt commented while “officially the west was horrified” they were simultaneously relieved. (Judt, 252-253) Both the Soviet Union and United States wanted to stabilize the region, so Khrushchev’s conclusion was logical even if it divided people. Western leaders agreed “a wall across Berlin was a far better outcome than war.” (Judt, 253) The Berlin Wall ended the crisis and restored symbolic peace by relaxing tensions.
Subject: US History
How does Madison promote ratification of the new constitution by examining the role of factions in a large republic? Do you find his arguments convincing? How does Mason take a different approach in criticizing the new document, which did not then contain a "bill of rights"?
James Madison came to the Philadelphia Convention with the purpose of constructing a new government. As one of the first delegates to arrive, he set about convincing the delegates of this measure. After the Constitution was drafted, the Federalist advocated for its ratification by the states. In the Federalist Papers Madison, Hamilton, and Jay wrote a series of arguments, which explained various points of the Constitution and the reasons why it was for the betterment of the nation. In Federalist no. 10, Madison's argument was factions were dangerous vices to the security of representative government; however, there are two ways to control its effects on society. One way was to remove its causes, which was possible and lead to the end of liberty the second was to control its effects. (Hall and Huebner, 53.) Although these effects are apart of the human nature, his conclusion was to live with factions and deplete their effects. According to Madison, a small direct democracy allowed factions to control the government it simulates their growth because it allowed stronger more dominate factions to grow and take control. Whereas a republic where a few representatives were elected by the people and who hopefully govern with the publics good will in mind controlled factions. Federalist no. 10 argued that because republics were larger, more factions were allowed to form. While this appears to be bad, in reality, it was good. Factions were formed by “ impulse of passion, or of interests, adverse to the rights of other citizens…” with a republic, the governing body could discern the true intentions and approve or dismiss them for majority’s good. (Ibid.) In other words, the state government because of their smallness may be temped by factions but in a republic, the larger sphere will deplete factions because of their numerous quantity. No factions could gain dominances by size along it would have to coordinate with other factions, thus making it a majority opinion. This was “less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens” this creating a safeguard. (Ibid., 56.) Madison's argument for the Constitution was convincing because it established a republic government that could control factions and safeguarding rights and liberty. Madison's argument does hold a valid deduction. Factions are impossible to destroy because they are essential to human nature. Humans are driven by our interests and passion these components fuel our actions, however, in government these actions could be problematic for the masses. In a pure democracy, factions would dominate and destroy liberty because a few could control the many, however, in a republic where the representatives were few and elected by the majority it holds a shield. This occurs because the many elected their representatives have to compromise or convince others their interests are better. Local interests are difficult to affect the larger scale. It would be difficult for a South Carolina interest to hold the same interest of Pennsylvania; the geographical, commercial, and populations were too different. Although Madison does place confidence in the elected few, while they may be good and educated men they are still affected by human vices. Nevertheless, when there are numerous factions, the opportunity and likelihood of one becoming dominant is unlikely thus protecting the public. But to play devil's advocate, this has not always been the cause in our nation's history when the elected representatives fall prey to their personal interests large factions grow. However, government members and parties rise and fall allowing for a correction. Overall, Madison’s argument regarding factions was plausible and valid. As an Anti-federalist and opposed to the ratification of the Constitution George Mason argument was based on the lack of a declaration of rights. According to Mason and many other anti-federalists because the document failed to include a bill of rights it failed to safeguard the liberties of its people. Contending because the federal government claimed sovereignty over the state government, the rights of the states and its citizens did not have security. Mason perceived the federal government as weak because of the banned of slavery, the lack of a presidential counsel, and the poor representation of the House of Representatives. According to this author, the representatives did not have the ability to “produce proper information” their laws were made, but they were improper for society. (Ibid., 81) Laws were fictitious making them incapable of protecting the people’s rights and liberties. Furthermore, the Senate was too powerful and could influence the executive branch thus “destroying any balance in government and enable them to accomplish the usurpation they please upon rights and libertys…” without consequences and fear of reprisals. (Ibid.) The Judiciary would be unable to prevent this usurpation because the justices were appointed by the executive who was influenced by the Senate, justice was a disillusion. In a complex web, Mason explained because the Constitution did not specifically declare the preservation of people natural liberties they could be abolished. If written the people could have some form of protect. However, if we look at Mason's logic, it proves faulty. If the law was indeed fictional under the Constitution, then a written declaration of rights would have been useless. The law would have been unable to prosecute the violation of these liberties. His overall claim was the government was too powerful it would ruin itself and the Republic. It lacked the ability to truly represent the whole people and their interest creating a government that was internally the power, which would turn into an aristocracy and produce a monarchy that would destroy itself. (Ibid., 83) While internally it was powerful externally, it was weak. By reducing the state government's sovereignty the federal government decreased it revenue from duties collected, prevented the importation of slaves making the country vulnerable and less capable of defense. (Ibid., 82) Yet, Mason failed to explain how banning slavery rendered the nation weaker. By analyzing Mason’s argument and the fear of a powerful central government that had sovereignty over the states would reduce liberties and rights. While making some valid points because of his lack of explanation, it rendered his argument incomplete. If Mason understanding of government, law, and justice were factual, then the declaration of rights was only for the peace of mind of its citizens. The law would not have protected the written liberties and if violated the justice system had not power to persecute. His entire argument was a circular were nothing in the Constitution would work, and the Republic would fail and the liberty of people would be destroyed, so the inclusion of a bill of rights would have been useless.
Subject: European History
To what extent can the period from 1455-71 be seen as on of civil war in England? Was it really a time of civil war or was it something else?
While the period from 1455 until 1471 fits the definition of a civil war as opposing groups of citizens were at war with one another, but was it a true civil war? There were too many separate elements in the puzzle that combined with others groups for alliance purposes. It was not necessarily about values or principle of government but internal feuding. While the government was a major focal point because of an incapacitated king and “corrupt” government, which led to nobility, royalty, and the populace conflict was only one side to the dynamic foundation for the Wars of the Roses. At some period, the period was a civil war, elaborate feuds, and others a rebellion. It depended on the groups and their purpose. As the Henry VI mental health dissolved he essentially collapsed the government and created instability. Somerset no longer impersonated the royal will and was exposed leading to the combination of Lancaster, Yorkist, and populace debates on royal rule. York became the protector of the realm, and the Queen fled with Parliament to the Midland after deeming London unsafe to build an army to reclaim Henry’s title. While York proclaimed he was loyal to the king and protector of the realm. He held the office without certain powers in dealing with resistance and with the king’s household, which measures had to be approved by the council and parliament before York could take action. (Harriss, 2007, 630) This limited his function with handling the constant magnate feuding in the north with the Percy and Neville families. This forced him to disassociate himself with the public in order to gain support for the lords. While government was unbalanced the Northern magnates clashes influenced the government functions and support network. The intricate web these families who acted as counterweights for the government created developed an underlining current of rebellion. The ongoing tensions between the Percy and Neville families erupted during this period. When Thomas Neville was to marry the niece of Lord Cromwell, who was awarded by the king two former manors of the Percy family that was later claimed by Northumberland, an ambush was set up to massacre the Nevilles and Salisbury. (Griffiths, 1968, 593) With the assistance of citizens in York, Richard and Egremont developed this assassination but were unsuccessful. Captured and punished by they were later released by a full pardon. The issuing of pardons by the king when he was reinstated allowed his enemies freedom to cause further crises. This led to the selecting sides of the Lancasters or the Yorkists by blood and by rivalry family connection to the other group. Because of the power each involved family had in government by offices, connection, or wealth, it affected England. When York was instated as Protectorate of England and later the Queens government had to face the feuding in the north, but without the consent of council and parliament, he could do nothing but watch, waiting, and issue warnings. Warning that all parties involved ignored because the government was not in the position to enforce. In parliament, the lords had committees to debate issues in this period of political and civil chaos they had many problems to handle for financial issues, defense of Calais, and the question of how to maintain order of Wales and later the kingdom. (Dunham, 1942, 410) Because of these issues many times, the committees in parliament were actually the king’s council that was debating on issues, because they had more authority over these issues. Since, parliament could only handle certain issues and the council another it was only natural and saved precious time to include the king’s council but separate the functions. (Dunham, 1942, 211) The slow process of government procedures occurred especially in scolding quarreling families allowed for more grievances to materialize and tensions to build. The Percy and Neville families turned “ a deaf ear to royal reproofs and civic pleadings.” (Griffiths, 1968, 602) Clergy, yeomen, husbandmen, officials were all involved in the feuds and were subjected to attacks by opposing families. For example, the Percy family attacked the bailiff of Staincliff in church. (Ibid.) The clergy was important because they could persuade their members to following individual lords making them as powerful as the gentry class and the yeomen had numbers and abilities that aided the cause. While the king and parliament continued to demand the grievances of these families be written and debated in a civilized manner and not in blood, it was ignored. The council gave an ultimatum in “strong language” to Egremont and John Neville to desist or forfeit, again it was ignored because the lack of enforcement. (Griffiths, 1968, 604) Under the Queen’s government the council and parliament would verbally chastise, they could do no more in fear of alienating magnate families they needed for support. (Ibid.) This favor resulted in powerful families and their allies in the noble, yeomen, and clergy sectors choosing sides. While York pushed to be recognized as senior magnate, Salisbury, Warwick, and later Neville families identified with his cause. (Ibid.) This resulted the Percies and Exeter supporting the Queen and Somerset. It was not necessary the figureheads these families were agreeing with but who the opposition was at a lower level than royalty. York because of the persecution of Somerset was branded as a traitor by Henry VI and forced to flee. In turn, the Yorkist while they saw the king as an instrument of Somerset, they claimed their loyalty to the king while demanding justice on their enemies. (Harriss, 2007, 631) This resulted in wanting to control royal power, which lead to the Yorkists being labeled as traitors and deprived of offices, in turn they left their estates. (Ibid.) Somerset wanted to have permanent royal authority and for the Queen to be regent until Prince Edward could rule. Overtime, York and Nevilles controlled all military commands and install their officials resulting in a government control by Yorkists, but Henry refused to affirm York's rule. The Queen openly opposed York and vice versa, but nether had the royal authority, they were at a stalemate. (Harriss, 2007, 635) With riots occurring in Cade and Lombard, the general populace was stating its displeasure of the government. Merchants not longer had confidence in the Crown or government in military or policy because it could no longer protect trade. The yeomens were beginning to question royal authority and input common will on government. They were gaining a political consciousness. With the disintegration of the government, the king as a puppet captured by one group then another, and open warfare ensuing rebellion occurred. The Prince and Queen along with their followers were labeled as rebels while the Yorkist invaded England and with the help of the general populace to take possession of key locations. The goal was to help the king and to remove the immoral and corrupt enemies of good government. This transformed the invaders into reforms. (Harriss, 2007, 641) Public disorder was running rabid through the country with the encouragement of powerful families. While Nevilles took control of state and summoned Parliament the Yorkist movement began to distrust York. The Queen, Somerset, Prince, and Exeter fled to Scotland to rebuild support. The lack of strength behind the king as an authority figure made him a puppet, a puppet that was led by powerful families who controlled most of the land base and resources to take advantage of weakness of the crown. Because the crown was weak, the council and parliament had internal tensions because of there family feuds, and without an active king policy and enforcement of authority was slow and lacking. What became of the feuding families with royal connections in the north created a chasm that changed the relationship between king and nobles to more of distrust. No longer were the lords the “pillars and arbiters” of local society. Their influence and status diminished both locally and nationally resulting in instability of government. (Harriss, 2007, 649)The Crown and it subjects relationship changed to one were the subject could call for an account of the crown and political action. (Ibid.) In reality, the catalyst of the Wars of the Roses was depicted by feuding powerful families that invoked a civil war and ultimately a rebellion.
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