Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Do you believe Americans should have join the World War I ?

John Dewey

John Dewey was an American Psychologist, Philosopher, educator, Social critic and political activist. He wrote "Conscription of thought".

America was unsure about joining the war. However, John Dewey believed America should have join the war. According to John Dewey "Men pay more for flour and beef steak whether they like it or not, and at countless social points they have to ask themselves whether they will make a sacrifice willingly from sense, of union with their fellows, or sourly, peevishly, disgruntedly, in a sense of isolation."

John Dewey was asking the Civilian population will you join the union or shy away from the war.
John Dewey do not want United States of America to be isolated.

Civilian protesting against the war

"There is probably no one in the country who was not aware that many persons among us were pro German in their sympathies; that there were others who were opposed to all war and yet others were
opposed to all war and yet others with whom this war was unpopular, and others who centered their hostility upon, the policy of conscription. Alot of people were against the war because the aftermath of any war was horrible.

Why should United States join the War ?

Soldiers getting ready to go to war

According to John Dewey " we justify our attacks and suppressions on the rational ground that Social Cohesion is a necessity and that we are simply taking measures to secure Union."

United states of America entered the war because we want to be apart of a union.

John Dewey believed that if the President do not join the war we would missed one of the greatest contribution.

According to John Dewey if  " we don't join the war we shall missed the great experience of discovering the significance of American national life by seeing it reflected into the remaking of the life of the world.Without this experience we shall miss the contribution which the war has to make the creation of a United America.



Name: John Dewey
D.O.B/D.O.D: Oct. 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952
Profession: American Philosopher, Psychologist, Educational Reformer
Some Famous Works: Human Nature (1917), Conscience and Compulsion (1917),
Human Nature and Conduct (1922), A Common Faith (1934)

The piece that I analyzed was from the document called Conscience and Compulsion (1917).

“One of my most depressing experiences in connection with this matter was the number of young men who when war was actually declared merely clumsily rolled their conscience out from under the imperative of “Thou shalt not kill” till it settled under the imperative of “Obey the law,” although they still saw the situation exactly as they had seen it before”.

To begin, John Dewey did not want to enter the war. He opposed it. He thought it would disrupt the progressive movement. In addition, he thought the war would have a negative impact on American society and only the industrialists and bankers would benefit.

The excerpt that I chose above was very interesting to me. At first, he was describing the way he felt when all of these young men were sent to war. It was depressing. The reason why was because Dewey thought that America really did not have a sound reason to enter the war. As stated in the quote, the soldiers first went to war because they were defending the concept of “Thou shalt not kill”. They were fighting for the men that lost their lives during the sinking of Lusitania. However, after the war their reason changed. “Obey the law” was why they fought. In their prospective, the law allowed them to go to war.

I also noticed that both reasons were from the Bible. “Thou shalt not kill” is part of the 10 Commandments and “Obey the law” is from Romans 13:1-7. The Bible tells you to follow the 10 Commandments but also to follow the laws of the land. There are laws wherever you go therefore it was a justification to enter World War 1.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Somme Still Flows

"The Somme Still Flows" by Edmund Blunden is an essay portraying the French and German war. Blunden is telling war from a soldier point of view. Throughout his essay, if felt as if there were truly no winners. Both parties of the war end up becoming failures because more times then not both sides involved will have a high number of causalities. The people who are able to make it out of the battlefield alive were traumatized at the visions that the war left etched in their minds.
Without people fighting over battle various battlegrounds there would be no such thing as war. The essay discusses how the Somme battle may be described as a big question mark. 
“By the end of the day both sides had seen, in a sad scrawl of broken earth and murdered men, the answer to that question.” 
No matter how worst the bad became and it seemed evident that the war should not continue, however, both parties went on. For month’s attacks continued the casualty rate grew higher and higher. To my astonishment these men continued on their journey when nothing seemed to be promised to them except death.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Night in a German Munitions Factory

The role of women in industry during World War I was pivotal, no matter which side of the battle they were on.  Kate Kestian's passage from her book, "When Our Men Lay in the Trenches" described the frightening, unsafe conditions that women faced while working in a munitions factory for the German side, while their husbands were fighting on the front lines. 

Kestian described how the smell of ether overtook her that first day in the factory.  "You'll get used to it," promised an elderly worker.  "Tomorrow you won't even notice it!"  Only sometimes, Kestian explains, is she seized by a "paralysing weariness" that makes her "eyelids feel like lead" and gives her double vision. 

Women that did the same job as Kestian used a cutting machine with razor sharp blades that would cut sticks of gun powder to be put in missiles.  Other women then grabbed the sticks and bundled and packed them.  These jobs required absolute concentration and accuracy at all times.

Many women, however, were forced to take night shifts so that they could tend to their children during the day and had little, if any, sleep.   Exhaustion, coupled with dangerous equipment and the effects of the ether, made their work a ticking time bomb.

"I had been standing in my place at the table for about a week when it happened.  A scream, as if from many mouths and yet just one single scream, rose through the room."

A woman's hand had been severed in half.   She was a mother with four children at home--whose husband was already wounded in the war-- and was horrified at the prospect  of having to go to the hospital herself.    Although in shock, she knew she had to support her children.

"She felt for her injured hand and a smile crossed her deathly pale face. 'Thank God, it's only the left.' "

After the blood had been cleaned up, and they had a break, the women returned to their work.

"It's been one of those nights!" stated a supervisor.  "But at least everyone keeps awake when things go crazy."