Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ms. Frizzle Taking It Way Back

With our teacher out of town, our class was left on our own to move forward with the unit of "Protecting a Nation". This week we focused on Andrew Jackson and his impact in the United States.

     Andrew Jackson was America's seventh president, his term lasting from 1829 to 1837. Other than showing up on the twenty dollar bill, Jackson influenced America quite a bit. He was often known as the "people's president"; however it was up to our class to decide if he actually deserved this title. Jackson had his own opinions and usually asserted them into place. He didn't support the power of the bank, had no concern for the Native Americans, and reintroduced the spoils system. From analyzing these three situations Jackson was involved in, we were able to deduce Jackson's true nature.
The bank war was basically a large conflict between the rich stockholders, who had an advantage at the bank, and the middle class and lower, who didn't have much power and was supported by Jackson. Jackson didn't approve of the concentration of the rich power in the banks- his choice angered the rich, and assumed Jackson was a monarch who didn't want anything good for his country. Due to his power, Jackson was able to shut down the Second Bank of America.
Jackson's involvement in Indian removal changed his reputation, as well. Jackson forced Native Americans to leave their home land and head out west. Jackson made himself look good by promising similar rights and resources the Natives had in the East. He showed no concern for the Indians and wished to get rid of them.
The Spoils System was reintroduced by Jackson, overriding the original merit system. Qualification for government jobs was not based on merit but on loyalty. The system works when a president, or someone who is trying to gain votes from people, promises job positions in the government if they vote for them as an incentive. Many accused the use of this system as a way of firing all government officials. Jackson tended to give positions to many, but a few took advantage of the job- in one case where someone stole huge amounts of money.
Our class was split into six groups, and the three topics were divided evenly amongst the class. We were given documents based on our situation and were instructed to create any sort of presentation to share the information with the whole class. My group was assigned to learn about the Bank War, and then create a skit. Our skit was magic school bus theme. So this required Ms. Frizzle to go back in time on the magic school bus to the 1830s to enlighten our class about the Bank War. The link of our script is below, and don't forget to play the theme song while reading!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How Democratic Was US's Democracy?

Currently in the eminent class of Honors History 10, we have been learning about democracy and its impact on the United States in the early 1800s. 
     In order to find how democratic the United States was at the time, my group and I started by defining the term democracy, itself. We then analyzed two primary sources, quotes by Benjamin Franklin and Norton Townshend, and a source on the Dorr War; from this we deduced the situation of the US. Other secondary sources were used, as well- two data voting charts and the County Election painting by George Caleb Bingham. The information collected from these sources were connected to answer the main concept of democracy in US during the early 1800s. My group and I then put together a glog, an online poster, using glogster, to display our analysis and conclusion.