The White House as a Black Box

The author started off the reading by referencing the Cold War and how we learned much more about the Soviet Union after it collapsed. This whole idea of a black box. He connected this to present day of the White House. He asked do we know what is happening in the White House? This has been a part of our history not always know. He pointed that now preisdents are moving away from the trend of recording what happens in the white house. He pointed a key factor for this type of study is oral history interviews. The primary sources for the behavior of the white house is quite limited. The press is very important with this as well. It is a way to connect the American people about what is happening. The author states the work of the press does 2 main things which is 1. To dig into a story more and 2. To give a more complete picture of what is happening. The official communication is considered an output of the black box. What we see in the press is more from an investigation of what is happening. The author than takes about leaking information from the white house. It could have the potential to show what is happening but could also be false. You also do not know who is the source is from the leak. Another way to understand is to look at the internal paperwork. Part of the reasons we know them is from official investigators having presidents make documents official. The author then discusses FOIA and how this a good way for people to get information about the presidents. Other good sources are memoirs because rely on their own paperwork and a big one is oral history. Oral history has been assisting the anthropology and sociology field to help construct social behaviors. Oral history can be a substitute for what written history does not have. While oral history is wonderful it does have a few faults. An example is humans sometimes cannot remember everything well. Details can be left out. This is also a chance for people just to talk about themselves. This practice of oral history did not start till about the 1960’s. In conclusion that oral history is a good short  term solution to the problem. I really enjoyed this article because it is important to think about what happens in the building that a lot of the decisions are made that affect us.

Ornamental Plants

In this class I am learning about all these different histories. It is amazing these fields that are emerging. The reading starts off on this emerging study of ornamental plant culture happening in the 1800’s. There had been a very of sources written about the topic. The ornamental plant were made to make homes look good especially in the midwest. Most the plants gotten were from nurseries around the area since in the 1900s the idea of nurseries blew up from little local shops to big stores. The ornamental plants while simple represented a larger of picture of class and taste. The idea of a well kept lawn with flowers were a good representation for a middle class family. Some of the major families of the text Lawrence, Buell, and Copley were recorded in the dairies. All the dairies talked about this ornamental plant culture. The Lawrences had grown a lot of property and got many acres. The families showed their wealth through the ornamental plants in their front yard. Having ornamental plants was not easy and all the families members had to pitch in. The dairies reflected that family members did not see this as a burden. This also help create social groups like for the ladies to meet and to trade seeds and other items. They were able to trade with other women in the community. Esther Copley used plants to help with her loneliness and to help give meaning. These were not just plants but also held personal meaning.

Reading the Accidental Archive

This was an interesting read about material culture and how it influences history. Sometimes there are not written records but these artifacts can piece history together. The author writes about a home in Saint Louis that his wife and him lived in. This home was inhabited by a family who lived there in the early 20th century and left some items behind. The goal of the article for the author was to connect the artifacts left behind to a larger picture of urban public culture. There are many items that we can learn from the artifacts about St. Louis but also a larger culture. People who study material culture try to triangulate sources to put pieces together. The author has looked at many sources for this study from city records, fire records and marriage records. The author discusses the embedded artifacts of how an artifact contains and artifact. Saint Louis at the time was one of the 4th most populous city in America. The city had filled up with many immigrants from Russia, Poland and other Eastern Europe countries. Many moved into tight housing. Education and schools were very big in Saint Louis and in the neighborhoods. The area around the Tower Grove Park had diverse families but no African American families. Until the 1960s the neighbor was mostly white. These families had deep tries to the city and the institutions in there. There was a diverse working class. The people in Tower Grove had to provide many of manual labor needed for the city. The houses in Tower Grove reflected the time of how of the excitement and the nerves of an emerging middle class. An example of an artifact is a Christmas package. It was listed of clothing item because most of it was made in the home. There were some ads in the article as one. One that said the mask ball was to be postponed. This is a shift to having time for relaxation and not just for the upper class. The Aufderheide represented this in their house. A big thing for the family and others was that food should not be wasted. The German people in Saint Louis left a huge culture impact at the time.

Matthew Liebmann – Revolt part 2

This reading discusses how the history of the Pueblo people is quite for a eleven years There were no recording from the Spanish about what was happening. The author pointed out this is where archaeology comes into play. The focus was on the Jemez provence. The author wrote about a message came to the Pueblo people informing them that the revolt had started a few days earlier. In response to the revolt many of the Pueblo people destroyed any of the items that reminded them of Christianity. They burned the village to the ground. The Jemez people decided to migrate to another village until the Spanish came back. The author than described his process of mapping out the area with the assistance of the native people. Their goal was to create a high-resolution topographic map of the surface of Patokwa (88). The main tool used was the total station an electronic surveying instrument that records specific points. Also the items that they used were returned. The building and the construction of the village show the importance of the people. The first step was to recreate the plazas. The author pointed out that you cannot be specific about the rooms. The author used the two sources to look at the number of rooms and the total estimated floor area. Another item that makes it hard to tell the population it is hard with rooms to tell about exacations. The author pointed out that defensibility was probably the major reason for the planning of the village. The Jemez people thought their village may have been attacked. The Jemez allied with different villages. Before the Spanish the Utes a group of bandits were attacking. The Utes did trading with the Spanish. In the end the group of Jemez divided to stay at their new village and the other group to defend. The group divides between pro and anti spanish. The group that left settled on the penol. The author used the same technique to map out the Boletsawka. Their ground structure was still visible today. The rooms found there were different from the Jemez people with their larger more elaborate rooms. Both villages represented what happened from the revolt. This was a very interesting read. There is a lot of information you can get from archaeology to give the story of the people.

Matthew Liebmann – Revolt

The reading opens up with a very graphic and sad depiction of fight between the natives and the Spanish. The author pointed out that the natives found death would be better than to surrender. The natives knew the Spanish were coming to attack and were preparing for battle. Many of the other villages had come to join together to support. There had been a divide since some of the villages decided to fight alongside the Spanish. The fight was brutal. Many of the Jemez were either killed or taken as prisoners. The Spanish marched under the religious banner of Our Lady of Conquest. The Jemez had also called for the help of their religion. They also thought that not all the men who jumped of the cliff died. A pueblo prophet had emerged earlier named Po’Pay. Po’Pay had been held by the Spanish and tortured once free he had visions of the spirit. The idea of the vision was that the Pueblos would be free and enjoy life in the future before the Europeans. This was realized by a few who managed to rid some of the land from the colonist. The Pueblo Revolt had many different christians themes thought out the different groups. The way the native revolts are remembered are either success or failure and could be seen as marginalized. Historian, David Weber, commented that the Pueblo Revolt posed a threat to the Spanish conquest in the Americans. This was not just a history study but used archaeological evidence. The author explained how his book was different to read in between the lines. You also have to look at material culture to look at the changes in the Pueblo society. There is also a longer connection that the Pueblo Revolt had an anti colonial liberation movements worldwide (10). Another factor the author explores is the Subaltern resistance. This refers to people are left out from history or power. Subaltern is also people unable to gain access dominant forms of representations (11).  An important item to study also is the signs and symbols in Native revolts. The colonist culture become unfixed during the Pueblo revolt. While doing the study with archaeology the author said it was important not to disturb the humans remains. Also not to destroy any of the items left by the Jemez. I found this a very interesting read. It was cool to see how the author used not only the written history but also the artifacts to build a story.

Cartographic Memories of Slavery and Freedom

In Dr. Hanna’s article he wrote about life of John Washington, a former enslaved man, and part of his life from his memoir and about the map he drew. John Washington was a able to free himself when the Union arrived in Fredericksburg, Virginia. In the memoir Washington wrote he included a map of Fredericksburg. Dr. Hanna noted an interesting fact that Washington expressed places of importance with numbers. It tied back into the idea of who created the map and what did they see as important. Washington’s map was classified as a memory and a subaltern and subversive cartographic category (51). Washington maps contradicts other maps in because he used his to show slavery in Fredericksburg, but also his empactation. Dr. Hanna then discusses how to interpret Washington’s map. While other historians have looked at the memoir the map had received little attention. Which was noted in the reading of “The New Nature of Maps”. One historian had commented that the map was “crude” drawing. Washington’s map is part of the marginalized section of the group. Washington’s map is considered a re-enactment of his life and experience. Plus his map is from his memory. Dr. Hanna made the connection that since his map is from memory that it was probably influenced by newspaper and other items he read as a free man. Dr. Hanna wrote when he was interpreting the map he will be looking at Washington in his life experience as a slave and than him as a free man. Next Dr. Hanna wrote about John Washington’s Fredericksburg. There were different ways to control people by policy and than violent force. The problem was in that in urban life there was miz between slavery and free people within the same area. So owners had to take extra precaution for surveillance. This includes Washington’s own thoughts to how he was treated as a slave. He had to some freedom in movement but required permission. Washington also included moments on his map where he experienced freedom as an enslaved man. The next portion of Washington’s article was about becoming a map author. It is important to understand his life before and after of a slave. It also important to see that only a small percentage of former slaves could read or write. It was suggested that Washington used maps to share his story. Washington was not requested to write

The New Nature of Maps

The author goes into the history of using maps. For awhile maps were put into categories like paintings, because written word was considered higher. That historians would use maps to pinpoint a location or time. The author asked the question: why should maps have suffered such neglect? The first part of the answer was the attitude of the historians. Maps are a reflection of the world. There is different standards of how a map if judged especially from maps from early time periods. Another question the author asked is what is a map? It  was described as a “a social construction of the world expressed through the medium of cartography” (35). There is more than just the items on the map but also the meanings in the map. Maps also have signs, symbols, and rhetoric. The maps use signs to represent the world (36). The map also connects on a symbolic level to text. Each map has its own purpose. The study of the history of cartography the interpretation of maps as a historical document. The author points out that maps need to be studied in theri context. There are three aspects that come together with map reading. The three aspects of argument are the context of cartographer, the context of other maps, and the context of society. Every map is created differently. While a map look straight forward the intention of the map can be hard to understand. Topographical maps could be created for different city purposes. The makers of the map are usually not free from baises like finfical, military or political ideas. The next was the context of other maps. A big question the author pointed out what was the relation of other maps. 1. What is the relationship of the angle content of a map. 2. What is the relationship of the map to another similar map. 3. What is the relationship to other maps of a same cartographic genre? 4. What is the relationship of the maps to the outer cartography angle? The next is the context of society. What is the makers relationship to society because maps are not made outside society. The rules of cartography. The first is to attempt to figure out the rules of the social order. Maps also have different meanings. What did the map mean to society that first made and used it (46). The first level is the individual level. Second to id the real place of the map. Third is the maps symbolic stratum. This was a good read. I do like to look at maps especially when they represent change over time. So this was a good insight to what a map can mean.

The Port: Shipping and Trade

This article was a good read because it explained the relationship of a port city with shipping and trade. This article made me realize how fundamental shipping is to port cities. Ships were very important to port cities. They represented a complex system of communication and trade. Havana was a central location for many of the ships to come together before heading back to Europe. There are sources that recorded the history of the ships and their movement. Many ships stopped at Havana for different periods of time to resupply their ships and to gather items. There is a chart with a records of ships coming and leaving the port. In the 2nd half of the 16th century there was an increase of ships. The number of ships outgoing mostly went to San Lucar de Barrameda. The author that includes an analysis of Havana’s trade. Havana specialized in the exploitation of colonial commodities. The highest conration of of trade was between June to September. There is lack of records of items for Europe manufacturers and products. The author showed a chart of the different commodities exports and imports. A big commodity was indigo and was listed for for dyes and medical use. All of this trade increased the jobs in the shipping business as sailors. In Havana they imported a lot of wine for Europe for consumption and than trade. Wine was a staple item in the diet of many people who lived in Havana. Another big item that was traded was fabric and it showed the importance of European producers in provisioning colonial markets (25). The author pointed out that the higher end cloth was from Holland and the lower-medium cloth was from France. A lot of the silk fabric came from Spain. There was a competition between European silk and the silk coming from Mexico and Asia. The quality of the silk from Asia was high. The author put in the fabrics imported with different quality and prices. The author then moves into the Atlantic slave trade. The trading of enslaved people had been around for awhile but was changing in the 1600’s. You had to get a license from the government or crown to get a license. The crown did try to place regulations on slave trade. In the beginning of the 16th century slave trade was limited but really but really took off later. This was kept on baptism records. Not counting the enslaved people brought in illegally. There was also a lot of intercolonial trade.  The intercolonial trade was either to serve Havana’s needs or to take advantage of the system (43). Food was a big item to trade and food was a large import into Havana. Havana had been a large shipping area that influenced the rest of the island. 

Havana and the Atlantic

The author described the life of the people who lived near the Havana ports. During the 16th century there had been a lot of action near the ports. The town was currently preparing for a counter attack to a man who had landed there. The town had been struggling because this town had originally been created to be a stopping point for other conquest to happen by the Spanish. The town did not have a lot of natural resources. However the island was still important to the Spanish empire for communication and trade (4).   So the town had been in decline and was exposed to attack. The Spanish government was trying to solve the problems of Havana because people were leaving. They allowed the indigenous people back on the island. This island was important because of it’s geographical location which made it desirable to other countries. The Spanish government had to make sure to defend the port.  Unfortunately the town was destroyed but later reconstructed. An important idea from this reading was the idea of port cities. Havana was an important fortified service station to the Spanish crown. The ports also had advantages because of its leverage. It gave access to points in the mainland. This article was an interesting read because one port city can influence an empire. The port city of Havana had been a powerful move by the Spanish. This read was also important because it showed partly how many sources we need. The author had used a board range of sources.

History and Internet

This was an interesting article because I remember growing up with access to the computer so this was a different perspective. The author, Jenny L. Presnell, talked about the benefits of the internet because of all the access to items. However, there is a concern with using the internet for all research because it does not always use the review process used for academic work. We have too look through the websites to find the quality. She gave a bullet point list of items to look for like connected to primary sources, papers, scholarly discussion and many others. One of the questions the author went into war when is the internet appropriate to use for research? The answer was yes depending on the work you used or sites you used. If the website used primary sources from like a museum collection. If there is a collection of bibliographies from scholars work. Many government organizations are beginning to keep collections of their work online. There can be hyperlinks for specialized sources. Also historians can say discussion on work on the internet a lot easier now a days and people have access to it. The author then goes into how to use the internet for research. Instead of using google all the time it is good to use search directories or online databases. It also depends on what you are searching for. You gotta be careful the words you type in because you may need to be more specific. The URL is also very important to understanding the site you are looking it. The author mentioned how the internet can be like a web so it can be hard to find pieces of information. There could be pdfs or images missing. Also different databases need to be accessed in different ways. The author also points out ways to find primary sources. There are different primary sources collections from personal to from a museum cite. You have to be cautious because you do not know if anything was taken out from the sources. Try to look out for the high quality collections because they should be originally scanned. The first good place to look is to use academic search engines. Than to look at different search engines. The author  in the end suggest this criteria looking at primary sources. By first looking at the quality of the scans, can you search the document, look at the author’s sources, does it help you understand the material. This was a good read because we live in an age of the internet and it is important to double check our sources.