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Bitter Harvest: A Puerto Rican Farmer Laments U.S. Control of the Island
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In 1898, the United States took control of the Caribbean island of ...

In 1898, the United States took control of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, intending to use it as a base for strategic naval operations. Most of the island's 900,000 inhabitants welcomed the end of Spanish rule. But they were divided about the U.S. presence. Some hoped links with the United States would lead to increased trade and prosperity; others wanted total independence. Some who initially welcomed the United States quickly became disillusioned. Severo Tulier, a small farmer from Vega Baja, had to sell his farm in 1899; he worked first as a field laborer, and then moved to San Juan to learn a trade. He described the conditions of life among farm workers to Henry K. Carroll, the special commissioner for the United States to Puerto Rico, who interviewed hundreds of Puerto Ricans as part of his effort to formulate U.S. policy for governing the island.

Subject:
U.S. History
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"The Black Man's Burden": A Response to Kipling
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In February 1899, British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem ...

In February 1899, British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem entitled "The White Man's Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands." In this poem, Kipling urged the U.S. to take up the "burden" of empire, as had Britain and other European nations. Theodore Roosevelt, soon to become vice-president and then president, described it as "rather poor poetry, but good sense from the expansion point of view." Not everyone was as favorably impressed as Roosevelt. African Americans, among many others, objected to the notion of the "white man's burden." Among the dozens of replies to Kipling's poem was "The Black Man's Burden," written by African-American clergyman and editor H. T. Johnson and published in April 1899. A "Black Man's Burden Association" was even organized with the goal of demonstrating that mistreatment of brown people in the Philippines was an extension of the mistreatment of black Americans at home.

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U.S. History
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"The Colonies Reduced."
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This 1767 engraving, published in Great Britain and attributed to Benjamin Franklin, ...

This 1767 engraving, published in Great Britain and attributed to Benjamin Franklin, warned of the consequences of alienating the colonies through enforcement of the Stamp Act. The act was a 1765 attempt by Parliament to increase revenue from the colonies to pay for troops and colonial administration, and it required colonists to purchase stamps for many documents and printed items, such as land titles, contracts, playing cards, books, newspapers, and advertisements. Because it affected almost everyone, the act provoked widespread hostility. The cartoon depicts Britannia, surrounded by her amputated limbs marked Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and New England as she contemplates the decline of her empire. Franklin, who was in England representing the colonists' claims, arranged to have the image printed on cards that he distributed to members of Parliament.

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U.S. History
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"Conclusions and Recommendations by the Committee of Six Disinterested Americans"
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U.S. marines occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. By 1919, Haitian Charlemagne ...

U.S. marines occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. By 1919, Haitian Charlemagne Péralte had organized more than a thousand cacos, or armed guerrillas, to militarily oppose the marine occupation. The marines responded to the resistance with a counterinsurgency campaign that razed villages, killed thousands of Haitians, and destroyed the livelihoods of even more. In 1926 the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) organized a committee to look into conditions in Haiti and offer alternatives to the American policy of routinely sending in the marines.

Subject:
U.S. History
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Conversations with History: Reporting the Story of  Genocide, with Philip Gourevitch
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Writer Philip Gourevitch talks with host Harry Kreisler about writing and shares ...

Writer Philip Gourevitch talks with host Harry Kreisler about writing and shares his perspective on moral courage and the failure to prevent the Rwanda genocide. (59 min)

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Political Science
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
U.C. Berkeley
UCTV Teacher's Pet
Crosby on Kipling: A Parody of "The White Man's Burden"
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In February 1899, British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem ...

In February 1899, British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem entitled "The White Man's Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands." In this poem, Kipling urged the U.S. to take up the "burden" of empire, as had Britain and other European nations. Theodore Roosevelt, soon to become vice-president and then president, copied the poem and sent it to his friend, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, commenting that it was "rather poor poetry, but good sense from the expansion point of view." Not everyone was as favorably impressed. Poet Ernest Crosby penned a parody of Kipling's work, "The Real White Man's Burden," and published it in his 1902 collection of poems Swords and Plowshares. Crosby also wrote a satirical, anti-imperialist novel, Captain Jinks, Hero, that parodied the career of General Frederick Funston, the man who had captured Philippine leader Emilio Aguinaldo in 1901.

Subject:
U.S. History
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Debs Attacks "the Monstrous System" of Capitalism
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In 1912, four candidates battled to become President of the United States. ...

In 1912, four candidates battled to become President of the United States. Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Democrat Woodrow Wilson, a moderate governor, represented the two major parties. Former President Theodore Roosevelt, angered over what he felt was a betrayal of his policies by Taft, his hand-picked successor, abandoned the Republican party and founded the Progressive or "Bull Moose" Party. While all four candidates appealed directly to working-class voters, whose votes would prove decisive, by far the most radical platform in the campaign was that of the Socialist Party nominee, Eugene V. Debs. Running for the fourth time, Debs called for the abolition of capitalism rather than for its reform. In this speech accepting the party's nomination he proclaimed the Socialist Party "the party of progress, the party of the future." Debs finished last in the contest, receiving 900,000 votes.

Subject:
U.S. History
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Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
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For the people of Vietnam, who were just beginning to recover from ...

For the people of Vietnam, who were just beginning to recover from five years of ruthless economic exploitation by the Japanese, the end of World War II promised to bring eighty years of French control to a close. As the League for the Independence of Vietnam (Vietnam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi), better known as the Viet Minh, Vietnamese nationalists had fought against the Japanese invaders as well as the defeated French colonial authorities. With the support of rich and poor peasants, workers, businessmen, landlords, students, and intellectuals, the Viet Minh (led by Ho Chi Minh) had expanded throughout northern Vietnam where it established new local governments, redistributed some lands, and opened granaries to alleviate the famine. On September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi's Ba Dinh square. The first lines of his speech repeated verbatim the famous second paragraph of America's 1776 Declaration of Independence.

Subject:
U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Depicting the enemy.
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This cover of the December, 1942, issue of Collier''s magazine commemorated the ...

This cover of the December, 1942, issue of Collier''s magazine commemorated the first anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The vampire-bat portrayal of Prime Minister Hideki Tojo indicates one way in which American popular media and war propaganda presented the Japanese. Unlike images of the European enemy, the Japanese were depicted as vicious animals, most often taking the form of apes or parasitic insects. The same racial stereotypes were also applied to Japanese living in America. Suspecting their loyalty, the U.S. government rounded up all Japanese Americans living on the west coast citizens and non-citizens alike and transported them to detention centers in the West. Forced to abandon their homes, jobs, and businesses, Japanese Americans remained detained in camps for the duration of the war.

Subject:
U.S. History
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Diplomacy.
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From its inception, the Confederacy sought international recognition from European nations. Support ...

From its inception, the Confederacy sought international recognition from European nations. Support from Europe would help persuade the North to accept Southern independence, and, more immediately, secure a source of manufactured goods needed for the war effort. Southern efforts to gain recognition focused on England, the largest purchaser of southern cotton. This 1862 cartoon from the northern satirical weekly, Vanity Fair, presented the Confederacy's president trying to gain diplomatic recognition from a skeptical Great Britain. I hardly think it will wash

Subject:
U.S. History
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Goodwill.
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As United States foreign investments increased during the 1920s, so did the ...

As United States foreign investments increased during the 1920s, so did the frequency of American military interventions. The 1928 Havana Pan-American Conference found President Calvin Coolidge defending U.S. intervention in Nicaraguawhich lasted from 1912 to 1933from attacks by Latin American delegates. U.S. press coverage largely ignored the controversy, preferring to herald trans-Atlantic aviator Charles Lindbergh's arrival in Havana with a message of goodwill." "How sweet it sounds in the ears of the Pan-American delegates

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U.S. History
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"The Gravest Question of Our Time": A Senator Lays Out Military Alternatives in the Post-Korean War Atomic Age
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For four years after the U.S. dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and ...

For four years after the U.S. dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II, America held a monopoly on the production of atomic weapons. On September 24, 1949, however, news of a Soviet Union nuclear weapons test shocked the nation. The following April, a National Security Council report to President Harry S. Truman advised development of a hydrogen bomb--some 1,000 times more destructive than an atom bomb--and a massive buildup of non-nuclear defenses. The subsequent outbreak of war in Korea in June 1950 justified to many increased defense spending. When fighting reached a stalemate, some in politics and the military--including General Douglas MacArthur, head of the Far East command--advocated the use of atomic weapons against targets in China. Although the Korean War was fought solely with conventional weapons, peace came only after the Eisenhower administration threatened to use nuclear weapons. Following the July 1953 armistice, government and military officials debated the place of nuclear weapons in future defense planning. In this January 1954 Collier's article, Styles Bridges, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, laid out various proposals and assured citizens of their leaders' dedication "to finding the best solution." Despite a test ban treaty in 1963--sparked in part by the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis that brought the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war--subsequent arms control agreements, and a vigorous nuclear freeze movement, the two superpowers nevertheless pursued an escalating arms race that reached a peak combined total of nearly 60,000 nuclear warheads by the late 1980s.

Subject:
U.S. History
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"The Hand of God" in the League of Nations: President Woodrow Wilson Presents the Treaty of Paris to the Senate
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The dispute over whether or not to ratify the Versailles Treaty and ...

The dispute over whether or not to ratify the Versailles Treaty and approve American participation in the newly formed League of Nations became one of the sharpest foreign policy debates in American history. The League of Nations was President Woodrow Wilson's great hope. He believed that the international organization would mitigate the failures of the Versailles Treaty while ensuring free trade, reducing reparations against Germany, extending self-determination beyond Europe, and punishing aggressor nations. On July 10, 1919, the president presented the 264-page Treaty of Paris to the U.S. Senate for ratification, including the controversial Article 10. Speaking in the style of an evangelical sermon, Wilson presented his case to Congress in this address. But the League faced bitter opposition and stirred nationwide debate. Warren G. Harding's victory in the 1920 presidential election ended the debate and closed the door on American participation in the League of Nations.

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U.S. History
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Hands across the water.
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Women's suffrage activists used a variety of tactics during World War I ...

Women's suffrage activists used a variety of tactics during World War I to advance their cause. While the more conservative North American Woman Suffrage Association energetically supported the war by knitting socks, selling war bonds, and preparing Red Cross supplies, members of the more militant National Women's Party were arrested for picketing the White House. During a July, 1917, visit from representatives of the new Russian government, demonstrators in front of the White House appealed to the envoys to support suffrage for American women as a condition for Russia's remaining in the Allied camp. The banner roused the ire of patriotic passersby, and soon after this photograph was taken an angry crowd attacked the suffragists.

Subject:
U.S. History
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Primary Source
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Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"Hello, You Fighting Orphans": "Tokyo Rose" Woos U.S. Sailors and Marines
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During World War II, a dozen female broadcasters, collectively dubbed "Tokyo Rose" ...

During World War II, a dozen female broadcasters, collectively dubbed "Tokyo Rose" by U.S. troops, provided a diversion from the horrors of war. Set up by the Japanese military and using the powerful signal of Radio Tokyo, these Tokyo Roses were on the air nightly, broadcasting English-language shows designed to make American soldiers and sailors nostalgic and homesick. One such Tokyo Rose, U.S. citizen Iva Ikuki Toguri D'Aquino, described her August 14, 1944, broadcast as "sweet propaganda" and played tunes whose titles (for example, "My Resistance Is Low") were designed to demoralize her listeners. Although some soldiers and sailors may have felt the occasional twinge of homesickness while listening to Tokyo Rose's broadcasts, most simply ignored the propaganda and insults while hoping to hear their favorite popular songs.

Subject:
U.S. History
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Primary Source
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American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"Human Rights are Women's Rights and Workers' Rights are Women's Rights:" May Chen on the United Nations Fourth Conference on Women
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The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing, ...

The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing, China during September 1995. The conference, which called for gender equality, development, and peace, grew out of the international women's movement and marked the end of the official United Nations decade of Women. For women like May Chen, Vice President of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees (UNITE), the conference was an opportunity to share their activist experiences and learn about issues confronting women around the world, including political and domestic violence against women and families, economic and cultural marginalization, and unfair labor practices. Chen, a long-time activist in the Asian-American community, relished the opportunity to meet and learn from well-prepared women who insisted that women's rights – and worker's rights – were human rights.

Subject:
U.S. History
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Primary Source
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American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
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"I Began to Feel the Happiness, Liberty, of which I Knew Nothing Before": Boston King Chooses Freedom and the Loyalists during the War for Independence
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Realizing that their best chance of emancipation lay with the British army, ...

Realizing that their best chance of emancipation lay with the British army, as many as 100,000 enslaved African Americans became Loyalists during the War for Independence. They risked possible resale by the British or capture by the Americans, and many became refugees when the British withdrew at the end of the war. Born near Charleston, South Carolina, Boston King fled his owner to join the British. He escaped captivity several times and made his way to New York, the last American port to be evacuated by the British. King was listed in the "Book of Negroes" and issued a certificate of freedom, allowing him to board one of the military transport ships bound for the free black settlements in Nova Scotia. There, King worked as a carpenter and became a Methodist minister. He moved to Sierra Leone in 1792 and published his memoirs, one of a handful of first-person accounts by African-American Loyalist refugees.

Subject:
U.S. History
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"I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier": Singing Against the War
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By 1915, Americans began debating the need for military and economic preparations ...

By 1915, Americans began debating the need for military and economic preparations for war. Strong opposition to "preparedness" came from isolationists, socialists, pacifists, many Protestant ministers, German Americans, and Irish Americans (who were hostile to Britain). One of the hit songs of 1915, "I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier," by lyricist Alfred Bryan and composer Al Piantadosi, captured widespread American skepticism about joining in the European war. Meanwhile, interventionists and militarists like former president Theodore Roosevelt beat the drums for preparedness. Roosevelt's retort to the popularity of the antiwar song was that it should be accompanied by the tune "I Didn't Raise My Girl to Be a Mother." He suggested that the place for women who opposed war was "in China--or by preference in a harem--and not in the United States."

Subject:
U.S. History
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"I'm Not Afraid of the A-Bomb": An Army Captain Tries to Dispel Fears about Radioactivity
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On July 1, 1946, less than a year after dropping atom bombs ...

On July 1, 1946, less than a year after dropping atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II, the U.S. embarked on its first postwar atomic weapons test at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. David Bradley, a physician and member of the Radiological Safety Unit at Bikini, voiced concern over dangers from radioactivity in his 1948 best-seller, No Place to Hide. In response to Bradley and other critics, the Atomic Energy Commission, the military, and other government agencies attempted to diffuse growing fears about radioactivity. The following Collier's article by a military officer--using the same eyewitness-account format as in Bradley's book--tried to persuade its readers that fears about "lingering radiation" were unfounded by documenting a test in the Nevada desert in which the military deliberately sent soldiers close to "ground zero" soon after an explosion. Some readers remained unconvinced; their published letters can be found following the article. In 1963, the U.S. and Soviet Union signed a treaty to halt atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons. By that time, some 300,000 U.S. military personnel and an unknown number of civilians in areas downwind from the test sites had been exposed to radiation. In subsequent years, studies revealed higher rates of leukemia, cancer, respiratory ailments, and other health problems among these groups. Underground atomic weapons tests continued at the Nevada Test Site until a moratorium was declared in 1992, after 928 nuclear tests.

Subject:
U.S. History
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Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
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