Skip to main content Skip to navigation
HISTORY 105, SECTION 21 – Clif Stratton – Spring 2018 History 105

Final Project: Rapid Depletion in the Amazon Rainforest

Download PDF

Rapid Depletion in the Amazon Rainforest

It is nothing new to hear that the Amazon is decreasing at a rate unimaginable to most, but between the years of 2005-2012, the Amazon saw its’ most devastating depletion to its biodiverse rainforest. It has been traditionally regarded as the largest rainforest with the most extreme variety of its kind in the natural world, yet illegal logging and lack of protection from the Brazilian government has kept the quite real possibility of its extinction in place of the indigenous people residing there and to all who observe its’ complex biology [1]. Small populations on the reserve are left by themselves to defend the only land they know, the men making up the small number on average of 48, only barely armed with pistols and bows and arrows, facing many large trucks equipped with tree cutting weapons. Their forces have cause quite the commotion, however, driving off loggers and their equipment with them. Yet Brazil’s government has yet to punish any loggers for their illegal activities, only a promise to end the illegal activity by 2030. One native to the reserve states even goes to state that “in terms of the environmental crime in Brazil, the state is not fulfilling its role [2]. With the government’s clear lack of initiative to help save the beautiful land these communities call home, it raises the question of what economic decisions were made through the country or what mutual benefits were identified between multiple countries, if at all. It also raises the question of the importance of the indigenous people to Brazil’s state of affairs, as well as exactly how long this has been in occurrence. How did early policies and/or lack of government enforcement in Brazil lead to the continuation of depletion in materials from the Amazon rainforest? How has the view of indigenous people (relative to Brazil) politically and socially, shaped this aspect further? What repercussions has this allotted in our natural world today?

In Richard P. Tucker’s book entitled Insatiable Appetite: The U.S. and the Ecological Degradation of the Tropical World, he writes how the United States and other countries feeding into the development of this rising consumerism and industrialization. In the 1860s, commercial productions of sugarcane, coffee beans, and tropical fruits began to become full-on success stories in America [3]. This created a large consumer base with each industrial effort made to satiate the growing audience, so more was wanted. Yet, the places where these crops were indigenous had begun depleting due to this mass consumerism in developed countries. As this fascination grew, so did the fascination for new materials and building resources with the time of the Industrial Revolution, turning America to other countries than those used previously and ultimately exploring the realm of rubber [4]. Rubber began the craze of the Amazon’s natural depletion, beginning with the plant called Hevea brasiliensis. This plant derived what was needed to make rubber in the first place and it was seemingly very ecologically friendly, as the material could be extracted directly from the tree itself. This logic did not translate on a larger scale, however, as the mass extraction of chemicals from these trees created a natural resource panic [5]. The mass reason for the loss in natural resources was the invention and recovery of petroleum from these birthplaces in the Amazon, creating a huge customer base for rain boots and “wet weather clothes” in England, as well as for coatings on bicycle and automobile tires. This made a skyrocket increase from the slowly rising consumption in the 1890’s upon rubbers’ introduction to the world, “creating an insatiable market for the latex” [6]. The craze of the consumers grew larger than anyone thought could be true, “the Amazon basin producing 25,000 metric tons of rubber”. This led to an even higher demand, the figure rising to almost 40,000 metric tons of rubber yielded in 1909 alone [7].

It has been ingrained in our brains since we first began going to school that white complexions have only harvested personal, social, and political gains from those that were less fortunate on this man-made scale of privilege. Examples range from the Trail of Tears, to slavery, to the Holocaust, all having one thing in common; irrevocable and unequivocal crimes. The white man, the privileged man, has shown through history, time and time again, oppression is deserved and force will be maintained among those with differences and without developed armory in defense of monstrous crimes. Since the role of early Europeans and their predisposed pigmentation of importance, illegalities have continued to occur in instances such as these. This cycle of colonialism and continued downward spiral of its repercussions has allotted cruel acts to take place. More specifically, the lack of enforcement in governmental positions Brazil’s still developing country has also impacted the Amazon for the worse due to the patterns of this abuse in naturally occurring instances, giving a sense of entitlement amongst upper class individuals [8].

A man in 1974 named José Piquet Carneiro resigned from a nature foundation in Brazil, claiming “he had failed to convince the authorities and the public of the gravity of the ‘crimes against nature’ in Brazil” [9]. This newspaper article was published by the New York Times on May 30, 1974, illustrating the need of even back then Brazil’s national need for change and motivation for it. He claimed “‘[Developers] are turning the Amazon basin into a desert, destroying its forests, rivers and animal life’”, further claiming he “‘is not against progress, but that progress and preservation of nature must go together” [10]. Replacing the natural resources man uses is only part of the equation to a stronger and healthier ecosystem, but without that contribution, no improvements can be made.

In another article published in the New York Times on November 28, 1977 titled “Joint Development of the Region Is Aim of Talks in Brazil”, it tells of eight nations beginning their public dispute of resources from the Amazon River basin for its “harnessing of its water resources” [11]. It claimed to protect the natural ecology of the river and to “globally integrate” the area and its neighboring regions. It causes great conviction in the people reading such an article and wishing they could do more to protect the nation so far from reach, especially at the last few sentences: “… there could be just 27 years left to the world’s biggest virgin forest, whose major river drains an area of 2.3 million square miles. The gigantic Amazon network of waterways includes 18 major rives and at least 200 important tributaries” [12]. These ‘virgin’ wonders are described as untouched, natural resources, yet it shows that nothing will ever truly remain untouched by human hands.

On a relative scale, “Brazil’s rate of deforestation has declined by more than 70% since 2004, unimaginable even a decade ago” [13]. On a more global spectrum, it has been found that “tropical deforestation accounts for approximately 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions” [14]. These numbers should be scaring all of us, as global warming affects all part of the earth, not just Brazil; no one is exempt from Mother Earth’s wrath or destruction.

Disgracefully, many companies behind the scenes don’t actually know a multitude of such; what forests are being used and their contributions to the mass destruction. Companies like Starbucks, Nestlé, and even McDonald’s don’t realize the large impact they make [15], as their nationally known names are concerned with more of profit rather than a wholesome, giving-back attitude after the destruction they have created in global societies. This shows the money driven society Americans have displayed, dating back to the slaves completing hard labor for them, no rewards or acts displayed for their well-deserved work.

In developing countries like Brazil, environmental policies have only had an extremity of trouble getting noticed, implemented if that. In Latin America, environmental policies are being increasingly lacking in their impact avoidance processes. Referencing the article written by Ana Villarroya, Ana Cristina Barros, and Joseph Kiesecker on September 5, 2014 entitled “Policy Development for Environmental Licensing and Biodiversity Offsets in Latin America”, it is illustrated of the utmost importance to “review major environmental policy frameworks” and extensively dissect how the revision would benefit Brazilian natives and their land, as well as how this could entail the conservation of the natural resources the Amazon gives off to supply users of many generations down the road [16]. The Amazon’s biodiverse wonders are rapidly decreasing, the people of Brazil calling for action and laws to be placed. The people residing there find themselves in dire need of ‘keeping infrastructure [the basic resources needed for a society to completely function, as well as to allow other societies to function], increasing food production, and expanding access to reliable energy and housing while also protecting and preserving the biodiversity and ecosystem services of the region” [17]. There are contrasting needs that have to be met, by the natives and by the foreign allies with resource expectations being held for years on end. However, a simple solution isn’t everything, as the large reason as to why this complete undermining of natural destruction takes place has to do with how these ‘offset’ policies are sanctioned. The article goes on to describe that only “national-level Environmental Impact Assessment Laws enable the use of these offsets, their “explicit [requirement]”. Most countries in Latin America do not have these extensive guidelines, so flying under the radar is easy for even the Brazilian government, allotting more money and more allies in the long run. In total, the effectiveness of an offset program and its truly strict enforcement would provide the country with a higher chance of keeping biodiversity conservative.

Largely, Brazil’s segregation of classes exists similar to America’s, differences between racial groups representing the country significantly by their divided “economic outcomes and education levels” [18]. Wage gaps have traditionally shown the divvy of power to each respective party, poor and rich. “Lack of access to social networks and to higher quality public schools” [19] could be the leading cause of the large lack of power to who the deforestation of the Amazon truly affect. These small tribes that see this day to day horror of their homelands have no platform other than their voices, which don’t make up much of Brazil’s populations. This in turn leads the government to almost not truly see first-hand what is going on behind the scenes of these indigenous tribes’ truths.

Hope exists for the people of Brazil nevertheless, with policies and change natives hope could last a lifetime. Although it seems as though more funds have come from this mass globalization of resources up for grabs, but just as Washingtonians could not do without their morning views of snowy peaks or oceans just miles away, the active deforestation taking place in Brazil causes outsiders looking in to have an extreme understanding and genuine sympathy for the destructions seen daily. White supremacy and ignorance of actual events taking place have led the Amazon to deplete at a constant spiral, leaving only the Amazonian natives with limited resources to defend the land they call theirs. Mass implementations of policies and follow through with these policies will ensure the prolonging of the Amazon, as well as an increase in advocating for the wrong doing behind the scenes will prove to globalize mass change in people and the products they buy from companies interacting with negative tendencies in environmental contexts.


[1] Dom Phillips, Bonnie Jo Mount, “Defending the Amazon”, The Washington Post, October 7, 2015, (accessed March 2, 2018)

[2] The Washington Post, October 7, 2015.

[3] Richard P. Tucker, Insatiable Appetite: The U.S. and the Ecological Degradation of the Tropical World, (University of California Press, November 1, 2000)

[4] Richard P. Tucker, Insatiable Appetite…, 2000 [pp. 226-227]

[5] Richard P. Tucker, Insatiable Appetite…, 2000 [pp. 227]

[6] Richard P. Tucker, Insatiable Appetite…, 2000 [pp. 227]

[7] Richard P. Tucker, Insatiable Appetite…, 2000 [pp. 228]

[8] Ana Villarroya (et. Al), “Policy Development for Environmental Licensing and Biodiversity Offsets Latin America”, PLOS ONE Volume 9, Issue 9, (September 5, 2014)

[9] Marvine Howe, The New York Times, “Conservationist Stirs Furor in Brazil” May 30, 1974

[10] Howe, “Conservationist…” May 30, 1974

[11] David Vidal, The New York Times, “Joint Development of the Region is Aim of Talks in Brazil” November 28, 1977

[12] Vidal, “Joint Development…” November 28, 1977

[13] Gina Roos, The Environmental Leader, “Greenpeace Says Big Brands Destroying Rainforest”, June 23, 2009

[14] Susanna B. Hecht, “From eco-catastrophe to zero deforestation? Interdisciplinaries, policies, environmentalisms, and reduced clearing in Amazonia”, Cambridge University Press, Volume 39 Issue 1, (March 2012) pp. 4-19

[15] Villarroya, “Policy Development…”, September 5, 2014

[16] Villarroya, “Policy Development…”, September 5, 2014

[17] Tomáš Evan, “Chapters of European Economic History”, (Prague: Charles University, Karolinum Press, 2014) pages 1-181

[18] Gustavo Andrey de Almeida Lopes Fernandes, “Is the Brazilian Tale of Peaceful Racial Coexistence True? Some Evidence from School Segregation and the Huge Racial Gap in the Largest Brazilian City” Science Direct, Volume 98, (October 2017): pages 179-194

[19] Fernandes, “Is the Brazilian Tale…” October 2017


Figure 1. Natives of the Amazon, Victor Dutertre, 1850

Figure 2. Figures of Depletion varying from each country in South America, BBC News,

Figure 3. Amazon Deforestation of trees in the Amazon, SnowBrains,


The Great Wall

Download PDF

The Great Wall

I like the ancient architecture, which is the best evidence of the history of the record, but also the wisdom of the ancients. In China, the most famous building I think is the Great Wall. The Great Wall was included in the World Cultural Heritage because the Great Wall was built on a large scale and was built with limited technology at the time and cost the labor force of several generations of people. Now a Chinese national symbol, the vast Great Wall was built over nearly 1800 years. The Great Wall is actually many walls that overlap; the combined length of those layers is estimated to be 10,000 to 20,000 kilometers. The design of the wall, which is constructed across mountain passes and ridges, makes strategic use of the natural terrain. The best-preserved portion of the wall runs east to west from southeastern Liaoning Province to northwestern Gansu Province. The Ming dynasty strengthened and maintained these sections from 1368 to 1644. [1] The royal family also maintained the Great Wall in ancient times because the Great Wall is an important military project. However, with the changing of the present Great Wall can no longer provide military assistance, so people also ignore the maintenance of the Great Wall. Much of the wall pass through poor, rural counties that lack the finances and resources to adequately protect and preserve it. One-third has already disappeared and of the most substantial part, from the Ming dynasty, just 8 percent of its 8,852km is still in good condition. Storms over the centuries have caused irreparable damage, but tourist traffic, economic development and a lack of concern and understanding have also had a toll. In Shaanxi province, there have been 40 breaches of the structure to build roads and in Hebei, villagers have used the iconic blue and grey bricks to build homes or sold them as souvenirs. [2] The history of the Great Wall is worth exploring. Is Great Wall really important in China?

Figure 1

The Great Wall of China

The history of the construction of the Great Wall dates back to the Western Zhou Dynasty. During the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period, the construction of the Great Wall entered the first climax, but the length of the construction was relatively short. After Qin Qin unified the world, Qin Shihuang continued to build the Great Wall. The Ming Dynasty was the last dynasty to overhaul the Great Wall. The Great Wall today is mostly built during the Ming Dynasty. Part I: First considerations — Early Chinese walls — Strategic origins of Chinese walls — Part II: The making of the Great Wall –Geography and strategy: the importance of the Ordos [3] The Great Wall is an ancient name for China to resist the aggression of the nomadic tribes of outside the Great Wall in different periods and to build a vast wall or military project. The Great Wall stretches tens of thousands of miles, so it is also known as the Great Wall. The Great Wall has never been an isolated city wall, but a tight system of large buildings. In short, the more advanced the Great Wall system becomes, the closer it will be to the later stages. The overall defense capability will continue to grow. The Great Wall system is mainly composed of passports, ramparts and towers, and Fengshui. In addition, it includes other ancillary facilities. Walls and balcony can be divided into gates, towers, and walls of three parts. There are different cities along the way, each with different regional cultures. Beyond the Great Wall focuses on five cities, all originally established as frontier garrisons, which now flourish with populations of over a million as capitals of the ethnically diverse regions in which they are located. The cities are Kunming, Lanzhou, Xining, Hohhot, and Urumqi. The author explores how the urban ideals and practices of eastern China were adapted to the natural and human conditions of the frontier regions, and in the process, she analyzes the interaction of Chinese and non-Chinese peoples in frontier cities in outlining the historical development of each city. [4]The pass on the Great Wall, the walls, and the balcony, Feng Sui is important historical resources. The construction of the Great Wall, because of the terrain, according to the steep terrain built the great wall. Terrain refers to the construction of terrain conditions, and make full use of natural resources to choose the right building materials. “According to the terrain to build walls”, mainly refers to the use of geography natural enemy. This principle is conducive to defense but also can save building materials. The construction of the Great Wall lasted two thousand years from the Spring and Autumn Period to the late Ming Dynasty. Due to the different levels of productivity and technology in each era and due to the different military situations faced by various regimes, the Great Wall constructed in each dynasty has its own differences in terms of structure, construction method, and shape. Due to the geographical differences in various places, even in the same era, The Great Wall is also different. Using a workforce of hundreds of thousands, the [Qin Shin Huang] strengthened and extended earlier walls. Nearly 1,600 years later, the Ming Dynasty rose to power and became the last of the Great Wall builders. Much of the wall as it exists today is of Ming construction Major construction periods The Great Wall is actually a great many walls built at different periods throughout Chinese history. The Qin and Ming greatly influenced its construction. 1. Site preparation: The ground was leveled and cleared for construction. Kilns were placed along the wall route to fire the fine-cut exterior stones. 2. Foundation: Flat stone slabs were placed on the ground to form a foundation. 3. Exterior walls: Using the fine-cut stone, the lower section of the wall was built. Walls leaned slightly inward to offer stability. 4. Strengthening: Workers filled the inside with rubble atop large stones and compacted them to minimize settlement. The rubble strengthened the wall but created outward pressure. Larger stones countered that force. 5. Capping the wall: Fine-cut stones capped the inner filling to form the walkway. Preserving the Great Wall Many sections of the Great Wall have fallen into disrepair.[5] The Great Wall was built on a steep mountain range. It was originally built to stop the invasion of the Huns. The defensive engineering of the Great Wall has accumulated rich experience in the construction of more than 2,000 years.

The process of building the Great Wall difficult. After all, it took several generations to build it. In ancient, I thought that building the Great Wall had both advantages and disadvantages. Building the Great Wall is conducive to the stability of the country and promotes development around the city, but it is not conducive to the people’s lives. The Great Wall was built artificially, so it required a large number of people to participate in the required of men in each family to build the Great Wall. The long process of construction caused the family members to miss the man who went to the Great Wall. Therefore, there are many stories to express their misses. The most famous of them is the story of Meng Jiangnu that has been passed down to modern times. Meng Jiangnu The Development of a Legend / Wilt L. Idema 3 — Meng Jiangnu and the May Fourth Folklore Movement / Haiyan Lee 24 — Part I Ballads from Late-Imperial China — 1 Trekking to the Wall 45 — 2 Guiding the Soul 61 — 3 Retrieving a Fan 80 — 4 Born from a Gourd 112 — 5 Being a Filial Daughter-in-Law 160 — Part II Ballads Collected in the Countryside — 6 Switching the Dragon-Robes 181 — 7 Mobilizing the Gods 214 — 8 Stepping into the Pond 228 — 9 Sleeping with the Bones 246 — 10 Forbidden Desires 259. “A China program book.”[6] This book tells the story of the traditional Chinese folk tale “Meng Jiangnu crying the Great Wall”, the Qin Shi Huang Empire heavy tax labor, there is a pair of young men and women Wan Xi Liang, Meng Jiang Nu married three days later, the groom was forced to start building the Great Wall, and soon died of famine, Bones are also buried under the wall of the Great Wall, Meng Jiang experienced untold hardships, walking miles to find husband, came to the Great Wall but got her husband has died of bad news, she cried under the Great Wall, more than three days and nights, The walls of the city were cracked, exposing the bodies of Wan Heiliang. Meng Jiangnu died in despair and surrender to the sea.
Figure 2

Since the reunification of China, the Great Wall has no to be a military base. The Great Wall has become a tourist attraction and a cultural heritage. The current Great Wall lacks protection and is seriously damaged in certain areas. Natural factors such as natural disasters and human factors are also the factors. The traces of the Great Wall have disappeared. But the Great Wall is an important witness to our history. We should protect it and repair it. China’s Great Wall id hard to find; Myth: The celebrated Great Wall of China is actually several walls – and largely a creation of the West that China has embraced: [FINAL Edition] is found from NEW YORK TIMES. “In the west, the Ming walls are packed earth without any of stones, and now rounded by fierce winds into little more than a ridge sighted on the plains. As for the other dynasties’ walls, they also exist but are in even worse repair and seldom visited. Some require an archaeologist’s expertise to find.” [7] This news tells China’s historical and cultural heritage protectors and relevant government departments should protect this precious cultural relics, the Great Wall is a symbol of China is the ancient relics left by the ancients. At present, there are many places in the Great Wall that have been damaged seriously waiting for our restoration. Although this is a huge project, there will still be a complete day to accumulate little by little. The Great Wall is also built from the Qin Dynasty until the Ming Dynasty was completed. This is a great project built through the efforts of hundreds of years of people.

Under the influence of cultural protection, people have the consciousness of protecting cultural heritage and have begun to understand the importance of protecting the Great Wall. Everyone gradually studied how to repair the Great Wall. However, repairing the Great Wall is not a year. It can be completed in two years. This is a long process, just like the construction of the Great Wall. For example, renovation of the Golden Gate Bridge takes 365 days to paint once and it needs to be brushed once a year. This is also a long process. The Great wall; China’s major tourist attraction is 4,000 miles of awe-inspiring architecture is found from NEW YORK TIMES. “Even though there are many impressive ancient structures around the world that required Herculean effort to complete, the Great Wall of China probably ranks at the very top of the list in terms of time, manpower and materials invested. One urban legend even suggested that it was the only manmade object visible to the naked eye from the moon. Returning lunar astronauts, however, have dismissed such claims, saying it was only visible from earth’s orbit. As the Chinese say, “You haven’t seen China until you’ve seen the Great Wall.” [8] The Great Wall is a famous building, and many in foreign countries know the existence of the Great Wall. For example, as the article said, the Great Wall can be seen outside the Earth, proving the greatness of the Great Wall. Some of these sections of wall remain in a decrepit, un-restored condition from neglect since centuries ago when the wall was abandoned as a fortification from marauding invaders. The restored sections of the Great Wall, like the one I visited at Mutianyu, are closer to Beijing and can be done in half a day. [9]Some of these sections of wall remain in a decrepit, un-restored condition from neglect since centuries ago when the wall was abandoned as a fortification from marauding invaders. The restored sections of the Great Wall, like the one I visited at Mutianyu, are closer to Beijing and can be done in half a day. The government should strengthen the protection of the Great Wall, keep to continue to repair this great building, the great wall, so that our culture can be extended. But I believe that as long as the government promotes and supports, everyone will agree and work together.

Figure 3
Why Was The Great Wall Of China Built?
By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

The Great Wall of China, which has gone through more than 2,500 years, is still standing in the east of the world because of the construction of the Chinese people for generations. It is so grand, so majestic, so magnificent that such a symbolic building that is stimulating to evoke passion, there is no second place in the world, and the human society has entered the 21st century and the wave of information globalization has swept Today, the culture and symbolism displayed by the Great Wall have become increasingly evident. The Great Wall is not only a symbol of the Chinese nation but also a symbol of human civilization and a symbol of peace on earth. All humankind will benefit from this precious cultural heritage. The Great Wall culture has strong national characteristics and is deeply rooted in the common thick soil where humanity pursues truth, goodness, and beauty. It has a fascinating and intoxicating charm. The value of the Great Wall culture has been recognized, understood and accepted by more and more people in the world.


[1]Shastri, Veda; Mattioli, Guglielmo; Mullin, Kaitlyn,The ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’,Dec 1, 2017,

[2] Great Wall protected China, now China must protect Great Wall, Oct 5, 2016

[3] Arthur Waldon, The Great Wall of China: from history to myth, Cambridge England; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990

[4]Piper Rae Gaubatz, Beyond the Great Wall : urban form and transformation on the Chinese frontiers, Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1996

[5] Story and photos by Alan Solomon, Tribune staff reporter, Up against the Wall [Corrected 09/26/04] ; Why we go to great lengths to see it, climb it, touch it, feel it Series: Wonders of the World. The Seven Wonders of Man. SEVENTH IN A SERIES. The world has too many wonders for just one set of seven. Previously, we featured the Seven Wonders of Nature and the Seven Wonders of Man-and-Nature. For those wonders and the first six Wonders of Man–the Statue of Liberty, Angkor Wat, the Pyramids of Egypt, Easter Island, Petra and the Taj Mahal–in our current series, go to [Chicago Final Edition], Chicago Tribune; Chicago, III, Sep 26, 2004, 8.1

[6] W. L. (Wilt L.) Idema, Meng Jiangnü brings down the Great Wall : ten versions of a Chinese legend, Seattle : University of Washington Press,2008

[7] Johnson, lan, China’s Great Wall id hard to find; Myth: The celebrated Great Wall of China is actually several walls – and largely a creation of the West that China has embraced: [FINAL Edition], New York Times Magazine, June, 09, 1996,

[8] [9] Cain, Bill, The Great wall; China’s major tourist attraction is 4,000 miles of awe-inspiring architecture, New York Times Magazine, Mar, 11, 2007,




Final Project

Download PDF

McKenna Kilcup

The Climb to Greatness: Wine, Culture, and Fascism

Italians consume more than 20.4 million hectolitres of wine a year, with ever person drinking about 37 liters[1]. Within the realm of international business, wine is now one of the most exported European goods, mainly France and Italy. As a of recently the two biggest wine disturbers Italy and France have switched spots. Italy now being the top distributor, Italy however did not rise up into the wine business until after World War I, since then they have upheld the tradition of Europe’s wines being some of the most expensive and delicate. Wine experts are saying that “Italy needs to use the beauty of the country, the history, the culture, and tradition to help sell its wines” even though they are the biggest grape growers and distributors[2]. As European traditions of wine trade continues to prosper, questions are being raised on how has the littlest producers transformed into one of the biggest players in a very competitive game. The family owned and run industry has bloomed, and captured the hearts of the industry along the way.

Figure 1:Demateis Winery at N. Alameda near Olvera Street. Italian American Museum, Italy, 1917. Photograph. 

The start of Italy getting into wine was strictly for themselves, for their families. When they emerged as a major competitor in the wine business it was during the time of World War II, but Italy first began wine making years before, and for many purposes one including religion. The events leading up to Italy joining the international trade of wine after World War II affected the wine trade between France and Italy and the regulations around the business through the current date. Italy’s land itself is a huge reason Italy has sustained itself as one of the biggest producers thus far, Italy’s changing geography has given a boost to the evolution of their wine-grapes. As the wine industry blossomed many other industries advanced as well. Looking at the quantitative evidence that is provided today and the factors that truly have played into the success of the biggest wine producer.

Figure 2: English Country Gentleman’s Newspaper. Italian Martini Vermouth by Martini and Rossi of Torino Italy. Italy, 1920. Advertisement.

Italy’s transition into wine making and the cultural effects that were brought on the people over time has created a major respect for wine. Italy is one of the countries with the oldest vineyards in the world in the realm of wine culture. Maurizio Antoninetti a scientific contributors at San Diego State University interprets Italy’s vineyards that date back thousands of years, Italy not only has some of the oldest vineyards but many different varieties. Italy geography offers many different kinds of soils and climatic conditions which means that there are numerous different kinds of grape varieties[3]. Looking more at the culture that follows along with the wine many can see that wine is a vital liquid for the Italian people, they enjoy hanging around and almost all food is consumed with wine.  Italy’s first vineyards were known to have been raised in Etruscan time this work been a very important commercial value. Edward Emerson a journalist for London’s Putnam’s sons, journeyed across all of Europe, meeting and talking to people from China, Switzerland, Turkey, and Italy. During his travels he learned that in the Italian wine was much more important to their culture than previous thought, it was told that instead of selling their best wines they produced, the Italian man kept it for his own family, then he disposes of that which he does not care for[4]. Even though they had been producing the best wine for years they kept it to themselves before giving the world their very best. Except for France, Italy produces and consumes more wine than all other nations in the world.

It all started during Greek colonization around 800 BC when wine was mainly used in religious purposes. Through the years this practice was passed down by generations, one after another as different beliefs began. Religion has been a very big part of Italy’s culture,  88% of their population practice different kinds of religions mostly Christianity and Catholicism. All people cherish their myths and legends, it is part of the peoples conventional lives. In an article from Cambridge University by James Hasting Nichols he concluded that the Christian church in Italy believed that since the creation of man rudimentary types of historical thought have doubtless existed nearly everywhere[5]. It is believed that with no historical development in religion is complete without the belief with family, it creates a biological unit. Wine is very prevalent in what goes on with everyday rituals that they practices, when taking communion they use the wine to represent the blood of Christ who died on the cross for others. The people of Italy really drill into their lives this strong Christian value is what defines them. Wine was not just used in that way, it was said that it takes a specific role in ancient ritual of release into death, it is offered as a liberation and would accompany the deceased on their final journey. This tradition has been in the church for a long time,  the people respect the sacracy and reliability of traditions within the church. Wine being such a major part of the Italian religion it was only time until it sparked their interest and became a way of business.

Figure 3: Maps of Italy. Italiansrus. Italy, 1882.

Apart from religion being a main influence of them entering winemaking, Italy has sustained the ability to be one of the top wine producers due to their political boundaries and the mountainous terrain has made their grape selection one of the most diverse. Hundreds of  different grape varieties scour the country of Italy, there are a vast array of wine selection, styles, and appellation making Italy not only the largest producer of grape but a diverse producer. Italy has 20 district wine regoing that can be divided into four geographic regions.  Some of the most renowned wine in the world come from the grapes of Italy. These widely loved wines can be found in France, Spain, and the Germanic countries. The Northeast quadrant is home to Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia[6]. These are some of the largest wine producers in Italy especially Veneto, these areas are affected by the Alps which shield the zone from the damp weather in the European region. Italy has 20 distinct wine regions that roughly can be divided into four geographical zones. The Northwest quadrant is most famous for the Piedmont region but is also home to Val d’Aosta, Lombardy, Liguria and Emilia-Romagna. In the Central zone it contains six regions: Tuscany, Umbria, Marches, Abruzzo, Latium and Molise.  Tuscany is without a doubt one of the best known wine regions in the world. Lastly South  contains the regions of Sicily, Apulia, Sardinia, Calabria, Basillcata and Campania. Most of these grapes are used for non-wine products such as industrial alcohol. Italy’s land is so much apart of their history, the changing rugged landscape, soil typological units, and global warming changing the rain fall. Their agriculture has evolved giving them a even bigger leg up.

Figure 4: Mauzan. Original Italian Art Deco, Maquette, Cinzanino, Italy, 1920. Drawing.

Even though the terrain and culture behind Italy’s wine reign is important, World War II and the leading events leading up to it had a huge impact on the economy of the wine business. During World War II wine was set on hold. “Nearly half of Italy’s wine shops closed as a result of police campaign of 1927,” this read across the New York Times company in 1928 February fourth edition. The struggle in Italy by the Fascist government is shown by a report of the activities of the police. In the results to this 900 licenses that were withdrawn. Wine making and producing dropped drastically. In saloons castor oil was very visible on the shelves, as a warning to any one who over indulges. All together the saloons and bars dropped from 104,000 to 90,000[7]. As these pressures were put on Italy, the diminish of saloons made the people grow anxious, finally when the restrictions were broken the business boomed. Sales in every saloon and bar skyrocketed. Not only were their more buyers but more sellers, the demand was so high people began starting their own wineries to become the big producers. Italy very much took advantage of these opportunities to expand their brand of wine.

World War II had a significant impact on the success of the wine industry. When the war hit France at such high rates it left many industries wide open for other countries to dominate in. Italy came together as one country for the first time since the Roman Empire. The 19th and 20th centuries made Italy a fierce competitor in most industries not only the wine business. This was mostly due to the leader of the National Fascist Party, Benito Mussolini. Mussolini resorted to fascist food policies the Italian austere diet was based on bread, polenta, pasta, fresh produce, and most importantly wine[8]. Carol Helstosky from the Journal of Modern Italian Studies argues that the history of food politics reveals the peculiar nature of fascist attitudes toward the Italian population, in short every move made my Mussolini was strategic. The monarchy lasted until roughly the end of World War II. In 1946, the Italians kingdom became a republic, and in 1957 Italy became a founding member of the European Economic Community. In 1963 was when the first Italian national wine law was established. In Don Kladstrup book called Wine and war : the French, the Nazis and the Battle for France’s greatest treasure it is made clear Italy received another leg up in the industry when the Nazis fell over France. The Nazi’s began pillaging what France held most dear, including their wine[9]. Winemakers mobilized to oppose their occupation, but despite their efforts the wine culture was taken due to the removal and neglection of wine crops. France was indisposed during the time of World War II, wine was put to the side while their fought for their lives.

Sped up 50 some years Italy has a very unpredictable weather forecast over their many valleys of grapes, years before Italy was announced as the top producers of wine-grapes there was no telling which country would slip into the biggest wine producer in the world. In 2013 floods reigned over the Italian valleys of grapes, spoiling their entire crop. However James Simpson the writer of “Creating wine the emergence of a world industry” clarifies that Italy has been in the trade for hundreds of years, this was just one huge obstacle that they would overcome in future years. After making their way into number one again Italy produces 48.8 Mhl of wine a year over Frances 41.9 Mhl per year, for Italy that is almost 6.52bn bottles of wine in a year[10]. Despite the years of ups and down between France and Italy the question still remains will Italy’s lead last, or will rain wash over the valley again. Though weather and other outside sources can affect Italy’s reign the reason Italy has made it to number one today is a result in their strong  unwavering culture along with the trails/bribulationsthat the country of Italy has overcome.


[1] Samuel, Henry. “Wine Around the World: Who Drinks the Most”, The Telegraph. April 2016.

[2] Govinda, Pameladevi. “Italy’s hip wine regions: here’s a look at some of the emerging wine trends and wines from Italy”, Beverage Dynamics, Vol.120(1), p.36,  Feb, 2008.

[3] Antoninetti, Maurizio. “The long journey of Italian grappa: From quintessential element to local moonshine to national sunshine.” Journal of Cultural Geography, 28 (2011), 375-397.

[4] Emerson, Edward R., The Story of the Vine. New York and London : G. P. Putnam’s sons, p 100-101. 1856.

[5] Nichols, James Hastings. “Church History and Secular History.” Church History, vol. 13, no. 2, 1944, p. 89., doi:10.2307/3160127.

[6] Frazier, Karen. “Italian Wine”. Love to Know. November 2015.

[7] Nearly Half of Italy’s Wine Shops Closed As a Result of Police Campaign of 1927.  New York Times, p. 1. 1928, February 04.

[8] Helstosky, Carol. “Fascist Food Politics: Mussolini’s Policy of Alimentary Sovereignty” The Journal of Modern Italian Studies (2010) p. 1. Accessed May 1, 2018. 

[9] Kladstrup, Don. Wine and war : the French, the Nazis and the Battle for France’s greatest treasure. P 290. 2001.

[10] Simpson, James. “Creating wine the emergence of a world industry, 1840-1914” The Princeton Economic History of the Western World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. (2011)


Figure 1. Demateis Winery at N. Alameda near Olvera Street. Italian American Museum, Italy, 1917. Photograph.

English Country Gentleman’s Newspaper. Italian Martini Vermouth by Martini and Rossi of Torino Italy. Italy, 1920. Advertisement.

Maps of Italy. Italiansrus. Italy, 1882.

Figure 4. Mauzan. Original Italian Art Deco, Maquette, Cinzanino, Italy, 1920. Drawing.


Racism in Britain

Download PDF

Racism in England 


In 2016 the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, this came as a total surprise to everyone. There were many speculations as to why that idea came about. Part of it may have been because of racism. When we think about the Brexit, one would assume that it would be because of their economy but in reality, it all be because of racism [1]. After all the United Kingdom has a great history with racism. Unfortunately, it is still a big issue around the world. It is said to be driven by xenophobia, a fear of foreigners because the UN has specific rules and regulations about immigration [1]. The only difference now is that it is easier to hide racism, as stated in the article, “This sort of racism, buried between the lines and hidden from view, is far more insidious than the racism of old because it is much harder to spot and much easier to defend or ignore [1].” In a developed world in which we live in today, we have seen many overcomings with the topic of racism but it seems like there hasn’t been much success  made. Figure 1 shows that many protest rose after Brexit and the number of racist attacks as well.

fig 1
Fig. 1 Shows a surge in protests after Brexit,2016

Great Britain is known for many good things, but they their history with racism will always be present. Certainly there have been many good adjustments in working forward and combating racism. But it is easy for there to be some setbacks, no one wants to think of themselves as racist but it is much easier for it to go unnoticed. Although racism is frowned upon, it has taken on different form in society from what it used to be. How does modern racism look like compared to old school racism in Britain?


Racism in Britain was a topic that was not very well hidden. The discrimination against people wasn’t just based of the color of their skin, it seemed to be discrimination against where they were originally from.  According to Panikos Panayi, there was prejudice on behalf of the police force against Irish,Italian and Jewish immigrants[2]. This shows how it didn’t matter the color of their skin color rather than their where they were from originally. One would always think that racism had to do more with the pigmentation of their skin, but it also goes to show that their skin tone doesn’t set the standards for racism. These were only a couple of groups that were not welcomed in England.  


Fig 2. Rally against Immigration in the 1970’s

There were definitely many run ins immigrants had with the police, which led them to go up against a judge. There was an article written in 1911 in the The TImes on the correspondence of the topic of aliens[4]. It states,” Two years ago Judge Rentoul declared that three-fourths of the cases he had been trying at the Old Bailey the Polish thief, the Italian stabber, and the German swindler. Attempts were made to prove that Judge Rentoul was incorrect, but there can be no doubt that alien criminals have in recent years been occupying an increasing prominence in our Courts[4].” This expert shows that the newspaper is trying to make it seem as if all these people are the very worst. This publication seems to be for London’s public, it is a way of stereotyping these people into criminals. It seemed as if they were a pest in their society causing all these misbehaviors.

The english were very open about how they felt about other races and were also very blunt about it. Joseph Banister explained his feelings towards Jews in his book he published in 1902, Banister states, “The Jews not only compose the most numerous and undesirable element among numerous and undesirable element among our foreign invaders, but are at the head of the various movements for bringing other obnoxious aliens to this country. The vile looking Italians one sees laying the asphalt in our streets are imported by a company composed of Jews[5].” This showed that the author did not care how he talked about other races. He blamed only one type of group on the fact that they had everything to do with all other immigrants. This book was indeed was published and set out for anyone to read without any remorse of the statements it included. This would cause lots of commotion if something like this would be published today. 

The twentieth century has brought lots of changes to many different things. With many new development since the last century, there have been good ones and bad ones. Racism has stayed constant in both centuries, but it has evolved quite a bit.  Although racism is still very well

Fig 3. Islamophobia protest 2016

alive it has taken many different turns for the worse. Today it’s not all about the way someone looks like physically or your origin, rather than before when that was very significant. Kurt Barling, states in the The ’R’ Word,” So skin colour and physical difference are no longer necessarily the clear dividing line. This has been followed by the rise Islamophobia…[3]” This goes to show how they people now a days look more a religion rather than their skin color. Just because of a couple instance where “religion” has been a part of some horrific tragedies, it has created an even bigger divide in the world. In figure 3 you can clearly see that people  getting the guts to go public about their strong beliefs. 


Clearly racism is a bit more different in Britains modern society, but nonetheless it is still a controversial issue. It has changed by the way people are categorized. People skin color is still very relevant but it has taken a slight turn towards religion as well. It may also be more hidden that it was before. Everyone knows racism is bad, but that doesn’t stop them from having those type of feeling towards other and that’s why they aren’t that blunt about the topic.



[1] Omer Aziz, “Brexit Wasn’t About Economics. It Was About Racial Hatred,” Huffington Post, June 29,2016, (Jan 17 2018)

[2] Panikos Panayi, Immigration, ethnicity and racism in Britain (Manchester Univ. Press, 1994) pgs.105-127

[3] Kurt Barling, The ‘R’ Word (Biteback Publishing London,2015) pgs.61-127

[4] A CORRESPONDENT. “Alien London To-Day.” Times [London, England] 16 Mar. 1911: 8. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 30 Mar. 2018.

[5] Banister, Joseph. “England under the Jews”  J. Banister, 1902. Pg 36


Figure 1. Protest in Britain after England decided to leave the European Nations,2016,

Figure 2. Anti Immigration Rally 70’s,

Figure 3. Anti-Muslim Protest, 2016,

Geographic Focus: United Kingdom


The Morality of Eugenics Throughout History

Download PDF

Eugenics, the science of controlling a human population with the intention of increasing desirable genes in future generations, was once widely practiced internationally. Although much research has been done on the United States’ laws surrounding eugenics, its origins are found in Europe as it was a British scientist named Francis Galton who coined the term in 1883 and pioneered the movement. [1] Galton emphasized evolution as the science behind his claims that gifted people (men especially) were superior to people of lesser intelligence. The publication of Charles Darwin’s book The Origin of Species in 1859 was truly the milestone that got the ball rolling on Galton’s belief in improving the human genome. In 1907 Galton founded the Eugenics Education Society of Great Britain, an organization for British scholars to meet and collaborate on their findings of the up and coming genetic movement. [2] Mark H. Haller also addresses Galton’s beliefs when it comes to race and genetics; “He believed that in his own day the Anglo-Saxons far outranked the Negroes of Africa, who in turn outranked the Australian aborigines, who outranked nobody.” [3]

{insert 1910s primary source paragraph here} Paragraph #3 – analysis of key contributors to eugenics societies including Josef Mengele, Francis Galton, and others


This attitude was famously adopted by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party a decade after Galton’s death, this racism was also the key factor in raising public awareness for early eugenic scientific study. Before the 1920s America was the only country that had background in eugenic legislature so Germany looked to them as an example. However, during the 1920s, German “raceologists” began publishing materials available to American genetic scholars so there was more of an equal partnership between the nations when it came to learning and sharing information. [4] While the holocaust is a great place to look at the immorality of eugenics, it didn’t stop there by any means. In 1950 there were a total of 84 sterilizations performed on inmates at the Fort Wayne State School in Indiana (under Indiana state law it was legal to sterilize a person who resided in an institution should he or she be deemed mentally unfit.) [5]

Paragraph #4 – comparison of legislature surrounding eugenics in Germany vs. US including US’s attitudes during wartime

{primary source #2 here} Paragraph #5 – public/popular reaction to legislature and practice of eugenic movement (Europe vs. US?)

Paragraph #6 – analyze the wrap up of the eugenics movement and how its effects is observed today (focusing on history shaping aspects outside the US!!!!)

[1] Chloe S. Burke and Christopher J. Castaneda, “The Public and Private History of Eugenics: An Introduction,” The Public Historian, vol. 29, no. 3, (Summer 2007): pp.

[2] Deborah Barrett and Charles Kurzman, “Globalizing Social Movement Theory: The Case of Eugenics,” Theory and Society, Vol. 33, No. 5 (October, 2004), pp.

[3] Mark H. Haller, Eugenics: Hereditarian Attitudes in American Thought, (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1984), pp.

[4] Edwin Black, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, (New York/London: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2003), pp.

[5] Ed. Paul A. Lombardo, A Century of Eugenics in America: From the Indiana Experiment to the Human Genome Era, (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2011), pp.



The United States Effect on the Gaza Strip During the Cold War 

Download PDF


The United States Effect on the Gaza Strip During the Cold War 

The Gaza Strip is a small area located on the west coast of Israel located directly above Egypt, and is considered [1]“the worlds largest ghetto”. Gaza has been in an on again off agin war with Israel who is backed the U.S. due to their large oil stores and strategic value as an ally on the world stage. The Gaza Strip has been an area of conflict for a while now due to it’s sacredness in the religious realm. The conflicts in Gaza were mainly between Palestine, Israel and other neighboring countries for control of the area. There have been many conflicts and wars in the Gaza Strip because of these reasons.  They are still going on today because no compromise has been reached yet. It wasn’t just countries waging war on each other that the citizens had to worry about, there were many different radical groups with in Palestine that were willing to fight for their beliefs and would do so often. All of this fighting going on inside of Palestine and especially in the Gaza Strip caused the area to become depleted and made it almost impossible to live a comfortable life.

Figure 1. Map of Middle East.

In the 1940’s the untied states was looking to strengthen it’s position on the global scale because they were involved in the cold war at this point in history. Due to American involvement in the cold war the United states needed to solidify it’s position across the globe to keep the Soviet Union at bay.  They wanted to gain Israel as an ally because they offered many valuable opportunities for the United States to become an even larger power then they already were.  Also because of the high strategic value that lands of Israel offered[2]. Another reason that the state of Israel was being sought after by the U.S. was because they possessed a much stronger and more organized military than the neighboring countries of the middle east. During this quest for power the United States made political decisions like supporting the rise of an Israeli nation that would worsen and prolong the condition of the Gaza Strip. Due to the choices made by the Unite States and other political decisions that were made in the 1940’s and 1950’s  the Gaza strip to this day is still poverty stricken and engaged in conflicts to this day.

In 1945 President Roosevelt met with Arab officials and [3] “assured the Arabs in 1945 that the United States would not intervene without consulting both the Jews and the Arabs in that region.” As you can tell Roosevelt didn’t want to start any unwanted conflicts. Unfortunately Roosevelt passed away later on that year and was succeeded by President Harry Truman. It was also around 1945 that the United States started to realize that the State of Israel would make a nice ally due to their massive oil supply and advanced military skills compared to neighboring countries. In 1945 President Truman shared his views on Israel and the hopeful relationship in the works, shortly after he took over the presidential office from the late Franklin D. Roosevelt, [4]“In Saudi Arabia, where the oilresources constitute a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history”. Because of these valuable opportunities the United states started trying to broker a deal with Israel to get ahold of their counties oil, but Israel said that they would no begin any negotiations until the issues with Palestine had been resolved. The United States started Started taking hasty actions to get Israel back on their side. The plan that was forged by the United States was that Palestine should be absorbed by Israel to help it gain some political and economic stability that it so desperately needed. Israel was not opposed to the idea but they  wouldn’t agree [5]“unless it is associated with the expenditures of large sums in connection with the carrying out of a far-reaching development plan applied not only to Palestine, but also to neighboring countries”.

By the time the Untied states had enter the picture in Israel there had already been fighting between the Jewish people and Arabs for many years. Both sides wanted the land for themselves, but with the United States on their side Israel saw the chance to capitalize and finally claim the lands for the jewish population. The Arabic people of Palestine who make up the much larger majority of the population were not pleased with the idea of Israel and the United states becoming allies. Palestine was a home to many radical groups who were more than willing voice their views on this new alliance that was going to try and strip them of their homeland. Because Palestine had no organized military these groups were formed to fight for the voice of the Arabic people. Many of the attacks carried out by groups like this caused just as much harm to friendly civilians as it did to the target.

It wasn’t just the people of Palestine who didn’t approve of this plan even high ranking U.S. officials like Loy Henderson, the director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs affairs. Henderson believed that [6]“a political program in Palestine which is opposed by two-thirds of the people of that country, and by the neighboring countries” was unfair to the people of jewish decent. What Henderson was saying here is the majority population which is the Palestinians did not approve of the plans being offered and it would unjust and undemocratic of the Untied states to force such plan upon them. Disregarding the objections made by many U.S. officials and Palestinian officials the U.S. continued it quest to gain more global power by forming and alliance with Israel.

In May of 1948 Israel became an independent country, with plentiful amounts of help from the United states. Immediately after this Israel met Egypt and other neighboring countries with conflict. The fighting was caused by an Israeli offensive meant to take over many of the surrounding land. The war between these countries continued on until 1949 and the  [7] “Israeli July (1948) offensive and subsequent offensive against Egyptian forces resulted in the conquest and annexation of the majority of the Gaza districts rich agricultural lands, including 45 villages”.  These were not the only loses that The Gaza Strip faced during this war. The Strip was the decimated by all of fighting and many innocent civilians were killed[8]. The main reason that this conflict began was the due to the newest plan devised by the United States to fix the situation in Palestine and especially the Gaza Strip, which was already in bad shape to begin with. After the war was over the control of Gaza was given to Egypt  and Jordan. Because of the decision made by the United Nations to separate the formerly British controlled Palestine state into two Arab and Jewish states while the holy land of Jerusalem stayed under UN control.


Figure 2. May 15 1948, Soliders being captures during war of 1948

Jerusalem is considered the most holy paces in the world by all kinds of people who follow many different types of religion. Being in possession of this city was a main reason that both the groups felt that they were entitled to the land, because their religion claimed it belonged to them. The fighting over these religious grounds has caused Gaza to become a war zone, with many different groups engaging in battle. Due to the tension between the radical groups who inhabit Gaza, the Israeli government, and the Egyptian government, the Gaza Strip was basically destroyed. Even when there were so called truce or cease fires in place the violence would never stop for long. [9] “Tension between Israel and Egypt had been rising on the Gaza frontier, truce violations ranged from theft of livestock to murder of men” reported the New York Times in March of 1955. After these acts of defiance from both sides came another small battle in the middle Gaza. Since 1948 small Firefights like this one were a regular occurrence inside of the Gaza Strip and continued to happen due to the war for territory, due to the failure of the untied states to help the middle east find a plan for Palestine that would satisfy all parties that are involved [10].



Figure 3. Protests on the Gaza-Israel boarder.


Even today in 2018 there has been no solution that has been able to resolve the conflict in Palestine. Recently the Arab people have been engaging in peaceful protests towards  the 70th anniversary of Israel becoming a nation. These peaceful demonstrators were met by a barrage of gunfire from the heavily armed Israeli side, and many protesters were killed. The actions of the United states during the cold war era are to blame for the hardships that are faced by the people of the Gaza Strip during their everyday lives. Decisions like supporting Israel only for their resources and strategic value. The United states overlooked many key factors in the Israeli Palestine conflict and forced multiple  poorly designed plans for what would be done with Palestine on it’s citizens. These decisions are what set off the chain reaction of wars that turned Gaza into a war zone. Because of these choices Gaza now is considered [11] “the worlds largest ghetto” and remains in that state to this day.


[1] Netanyahu Benjamin, “Let Israel Manage the Palestinian Homeland”, (Feb 19 2015),

[2] John King, “Gaza: a History”, 2014, Oxford University Press (2-9-18) 214-220

[3] Office of the Historian, “Creation of Israel, 1948” (May 2017),

[4] Bruce J. Evensen, “Truman, Palestine and the cold war”, (2006),

[5] Evensen,“Truman, Palestine and the cold war”, (2006)

[6] Evensen,“Truman, Palestine and the cold war”, (2006)

[7] Um Jabr Wishah,“Palestinian Voices: The 1948 War and Its Aftermath”,(2006,University of California Press), 54-62,

[8] Seth S. King, “ Israel is tense” 1957, The New York Times

[9] Irene Gendzier, “U.S. Policy in Israel/Palestine, 1948: The Forgotten History”,(Middle East policy council),

[10]Naseer Hasan Aruri,“The Obstruction of Peace: United States, Israel, and the Palestinians”, 1995, Common Courage Press (2-9-18) P. 43

[11] Benjamin, “Let Israel Manage the Palestinian Homeland”, (Feb 19 2015)


Figure 1. 2018, LA Times photo for “Nearly 1,000 Palestinians Injured in Gaza-Israel Boarder protests”,

Figure 2. Map of the middle east,

Figure 3. 1948,“Arab Israeli conflict”,

Battle of Midway – World War II

Download PDF

May 1942 is the preface to the war, during the battle, U.S. Navy carrier strike forces defeated an Imperial Japanese strike force that prevented them from capturing Midway Island. The Battle of Midway is an important marker in naval heritage because it is considered to have changed the course of the war in the Pacific within just a few days. The reason for the fighting was that after Pearl Harbor, Japan wanted to defeat the U.S. naval forces, but all the U.S. aircraft carriers had gone to sea. As a result, the Japanese ambitions failed and were disappointed. Therefore, the Japanese army has formulated a new plan to prepare for the U.S. military in midway and to eliminate all U.S. naval forces. Midway is a US gas station and an important supply station. It’s actually two islands in an atoll six miles in diameter. Midway has an area of two square miles, and it was discovered in 1859 by an American captain, N. C. Brooks. The United States annexed Midway in 1867. The Japanese attack was severely disrupted, so the Japanese decided to crush the U.S. troops here. Here is a very famous general, Frank Jack Fletcher. There is a big difference between the Japanese and U.S. fighting. The Japanese will not consider themselves attacked. They just think of how to fight back. However, the U.S. military will give top priority to how to remedy the attack or how to avoid being attacked. The U.S. reconnaissance plane spotted the Japanese aircraft carrier. Most U.S. pilots did not have a single fish Lightning hit the Japanese aircraft carrier, although the Japanese side sent a large number of bombers bombing Midway Island, but the United States defensive fortifications Midway done quite perfect, resulting in heavy losses of Japanese aircraft. U.S. aircraft use the safety advantage of their aircraft and use the “sachs cross” curve to fly Japanese zero Fighter fueled desperation. Immediately after the U.S. bombers approached the first bombing aircraft carrier “Kaga” of the Japanese army, the U.S. aircraft bombed the second carrier of the Japanese army, “Crane Dragon”, and instantly sank the Crane Dragon. The remaining Japanese aircraft carriers quickly evacuated.

Figure 1. Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, USN Photographed aboard USS Saratoga, September 17, 1942. Official U.S. Navy photograph.

The Battle of Midway is the turning point of the Pacific battlefield between the United States and Japan.It serves as a pivotal role in the pacific battlefield for the United States. Despite the Japanese Navy had more army forces and experience, it became the first main naval victory of the Allies against the Japanese.Moreover, the victory of the Midway Battle allowed the Allies to switch from the defensive role to the strategic initiative. Switching the role enabled the American Navy to prolong the Solomon Islands campaign. Without the victory at the Midway Battle, the Allies would not have taken an offensive in the Solomon campaign in August 1942. [10]

Figure 2. SBD “Dauntless” dive bombers from USS Hornet (CV-8) approaching the burning Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma to make the third set of attacks on her, during the early afternoon of 6 June 1942.

The history of the Battle of Midway will help us to understand how the victory on this battle will have an impact on not only the United States and Japan, but also other countries of the world. Since the success at of Japan at Perl Harbor in December 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy operated over 400 aircraft, rampaging around the pacific, sank British warships in the Indian Ocean. Yamamoto, the general of the Imperial Japanese Navy, believed that he had the advantage in both numbers and quality. As a result, he planned to attack the American navy, after attacking of the Perl Harbor, to fully destroy the American carrier fleet. In order to confuse the enemy with an attack on the coast of Alaska to draw American to the North, he decided to launch his main attack elsewhere. Attacking on the Midway Island became the ideal option to draw American’s attention to the North. As a result, he launched the attack on the Midway Island, expecting to see the American Naval Army going to the south. [5]

Figure 3. Designed by Bureau of Naval Personnel Training Aids / U.S. Government Printing Office, Nav War Map No. 4 / THE NORTH PACIFIC AREA. Washington: Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Dept., 1944.

The consequence of losing the Battle of Midway for Japan is a major disaster. This heavy blow does not seem to have far-reaching consequences for the Pacific naval strategy alone, but it can also have a profound impact on the morale of a maritime country that has never lost its naval battle before this war. The audience for this article is someone who closely follows the war and even the people involved in the war. It focuses on the military aspects of Japan and the tragedies of Japan’s defeat. four Japanese plane carriers were sunk-the entire carrier complement of the greatest fleet japan ever sent out of home waters. Two of them were the largest and finest in the Japanese navy.” [6]

The United States and Japan had different strategies and the arms assembly in the Battle of Midway. This article is from The New York Times, whose main audience is aimed at naval transportation and by those who are concerned about the military strength of this war. The article is focus on how United States Navy air power, in conjunction with Army and Marine bombers, met a big Japanese fleet off Midway and gave the enemy invasion forces a surprise from which they never recovered, was related today by the commanding officer of an American carrier air group. [7] It also explains how the two sides’ maritime movements are conducted and analyzes maritime transport facilities on both sides.

The Battle of Midway caused the heavy losses on the Imperial Japanese Navy. Before the Battle of Midway, the Imperial Japanese Navy have the naval supremacy in the Pacific Ocean. This power can threaten the United States by threatening Hawaii, Alaska, and the western cost. Although the Imperial Japanese Navy remained a powerful navy, it never actually recovered from the defeat at Midway. They can never replace the lost carriers and aircrews at the Battle of Midway. As a result, they can no longer take initiatives at the pacific battles, and, instead, have to take the defensive strategy. Four large fleet carriers and over 40% of the aircraft mechanics and technicians are lost. Moreover, the essential flight-deck crews were heavily weakened. Along with the constant attrition of Japanese army in the Solomon Islands campaign, it caused a sharp decrease in Japanese Army’s operational capability. The lost carriers and aircrews in the Battle of Midway made the Imperial Japanese Navy difficult to defend on the later battles, the Solomon Island campaign and the Guadalcanal battle. [11]

The victory in the battle of the Midway enable the United States to stop Japan from launching more battles on the Pacific and conquering the South-West Pacific. The Imperial Japanese Navy was planning to attack Hawaii. The Midway Battle was the first step before attacking on the Hawaiian Islands. Three Japanese divisions, were already in training for landing on the island of Hawaii before Japanese were defeated at the Battle of Midway. Thus, if they successfully launched the attack on the Midway, their plan of landing on the Island of Hawaii would have been carried out immediately after the Battle of Midway. However, the failure of the Imperial Japanese Navy on the Battle of Midway stop them from launching an attack on Hawaiian Island after the Battle of Midway. As a result, the Hawaii invasion plan had to suspend at that moment. Moreover, the Admiral of Imperial Japanese Navy, Yamamoto, planned to invade Oahu. However, after the damage of the Japanese Navy, it would be difficult for Japan to launch an attach on Oahu because the the defense would be too strong, but his damaged navy could not afford to do so anymore. [12]

The next step of Japanese’s attack, was the Eastern Operation. The original plan was to establish air and naval bases on large island of Hawaii to increase the force for Oahu. If the Battle of Midway did not damage the Imperial Japanese Navy, the surface warships and the submarines of Japanese approaching from the east to Hawaii would cause a hard time for the Allies to defend. [13]

The Battle of Midway also have huge impact on other countries. For instance, it stopped Japan from attacking Australia. The loss of fleets crews, and aircrafts deprived Japan of their capability to launch a full-scale invasion of the Australian mainland and the north of Australian mainland. Japan was planning to, eventually, launch an attack on Australia in the same year of the Battle of Midway. With their capacity before the Battle of the Midway, they could have done so with the four powerful aircraft carriers in July 1942. Thus, if there was not the victory of the Battle of Midway, the fate of Australia may have been sealed in the same year. Japanese also planned to take control of all the islands between Hawaii and Australia. This line is the lifeline to the United States. By losing Australia and all the islands between Hawaii and Austria, the United States would lose the base to recapture the Philippines. [14]

Some also believe that the success at the Battle of Midway stop Yamamoto from attacking the West Coast of the United States. However, attacking the West Coast of the United States was never Yamamoto’s intention. He, back then, was fully aware that the logistical difficulties to withdraw the Japanese Pacific Fleet in defending Hawaii to the West Coast of the United States. There would be many logistical problems for the Japanese army if there were about to launch a war on the American West Coast. As a result, the victory of the Battle of Midway did not have any impact on the West Coast of the United States. [15]


[1] Targeted News Service, “70th Anniversary of The Battle of Midway Commemoration held aboard USS Midway Museum.” Targeted News Service; Washington, D.C, Jun 3, 2012.

[2] Meeks, Ann, “MIDWAY DRIVE NAMED FOR FAMED BATTLE IN WORLD WAR II.” The Commercial Appeal; Memphis, Tenn, Apr 27, 2000.

[3] Craig L. Symonds, The Battle of Midway (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), pages: 389-392.

[4] Dallas Woodbury Isom, Midway inquest : why the Japanese lost the Battle of Midway (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007), pages: 435-442.

[5] Logan, Charles J, Complexity at the Battle of Midway: Implications for Network-Centric Warfare (2001).          

[7] Babbitt, Bruce E; Dalton, John, US FWS: Interior Secretary Babbitt designates Battle of Midway National Memorial (Normans Media Ltd: Coventry, 2000), page: 1.,contains,US%20FWS:%20Interior%20Secretary%20Babbitt%20designates%C2%A0Battle%C2%A0of%C2%A0Midway%C2%A0National%20Memorial,AND&mode=advanced&offset=0

[8] The New York Times, “Tally At Midway”, July 04, 1942, page 16.

[9] The New York Times, “Foe’s Midway Loss In Carriers Rises“,  June 13, 1942, page 3. 

[10] Navel History and Heritage Command, “Battle of Midway”, Feb 02, 2018.

[11] Pacific War,“Assessing the Place of Midway in World War II.”, 2005.

[13]Pacific War,“Assessing the Place of Midway in World War II.”, 2005.

[14]Pacific War,“Assessing the Place of Midway in World War II.”, 2005.

[15]Pacific War,“Assessing the Place of Midway in World War II.”, 2005.


Figure 1. Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, USN Photographed aboard USS Saratoga, September 17, 1942. Official U.S. Navy photograph.

Figure 2. SBD “Dauntless” dive bombers from USS Hornet (CV-8) approaching the burning Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma to make the third set of attacks on her, during the early afternoon of 6 June 1942.

Figure 3. Designed by Bureau of Naval Personnel Training Aids / U.S. Government Printing Office, Nav War Map No. 4 / THE NORTH PACIFIC AREA. Washington: Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Dept., 1944.


The Nuclear Weapon in New Period

Download PDF

The Nuclear Weapon in New Period

In the summer of 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki, Japan. Japan surrendered completely in world war 2. The dropping of the atomic bomb caused the death of a large number of innocent Japanese civilians. But it saved the lives of thousands of American soldiers. Because they are likely to invade Japan. On the other hand, the use of nuclear weapons halted the Soviet union’s military incursion. A large number of Americans rejoiced over the victory of the war. But after a little while, there has been great condemnation of the consequences of the us nuclear weapons. Americans are no less guilty of the war than the Japanese. The use and invention of the atomic bomb made Americans feel guilty. “Truman, then US President, was a racist who hated the actions of the Japanese. The attacks were carried out for some wrong reasons. In physics, the beginning of nuclear war marks the progress of physics. This huge bomb prevented more small bombs from happening. It also reduced the casualties of war personnel. At the time of the United States is the only country with nuclear weapons in the world, and Truman made the right decision, and reduces the duration of the second world war, a large number of reducing the casualties of war country.”[1] But in this day and age, the use of nuclear weapons is an irrational decision.

Figure 1: The remains of a factory are seen (upper left) in Nagasaki on Sept. 4, 1945, gutted by the Aug. 9 atomic bombing. | AP

Nuclear weapons are a kind of large-scale anti-personnel weapons since the modern times. Such super weapons emerged in the middle of the 20th century. The atomic bomb is exploded by the principle that the heavy nucleus, such as uranium and plutonium, which are easily fissile, emits huge energy at the moment of nuclear fission. It began to be developed in the first decade of the twentieth century from the work of British physicist Ernest Rutherford and others. [2] Although scientists suspect that these atomic energy may be out of control. But this invention can also bring peace to the world. The United States and the Soviet Union successively invented nuclear weapons. However, these two superpowers at the time also knew the great threat of nuclear weapons. After China succeeded in the atomic bomb explosion in 1964, it shocked the United States and the Soviet Union at that time because China was only a developing country. Subsequently, the United States and the Soviet Union actively promoted nonproliferation policies and interfered with nuclear weapons tests in other countries. The emerging of nuclear weapon highlighting a tension until today.

At 5:30 on July 16, 1945, the United States successfully conducted its first nuclear test in a vast, deserted area 50 miles from Almaty in New Mexico and became the first country in the world to possess nuclear weapons. As the only superpower that could compete with the United States, the Soviet Union followed and succeeded in blasting atomic bombs four years later in 1949 and became the second country to possess nuclear weapons. After General Charles de Gaulle became Prime Minister of France he said that: “let no doubts remain as to the intention of his Government to raise France to the rank of the nuclear powers.”[3] More and more countries have successively possessed nuclear weapons. This not only brings peace to people but also has deterrence.

Figure 2: Inventory of Nuclear Weapons World Stockpile, 2011

Nuclear weapons are a necessary condition for the unconventional use of force by a country. When a country has nuclear weapons, it has the power to externally surpass conventional armaments. It also increased its diplomatic bargaining and deterrence. James R. Holmes wrote  in his book: “The entry of new players has multiplied the number and types of deterrent interactions that take place in the international system, which has yielded a newly complex geometry of deterrence.”[4] The reason why the US-Soviet Cold War has not been upgraded to a hot war is that in a certain sense, both sides are nuclear powers, and both sides have a strong nuclear deterrent. Once the fire is opened, either party cannot guarantee whether the other party will use nuclear weapons. Once a nuclear war breaks out, it will be devastating to both countries and the world. From an objective point of view, precisely because of the nuclear deterrence, the “World War III” led by the United States and the Soviet Union was avoided.

The atomic bomb has a powerful destructive power and the people’s lives are especially vulnerable to the explosion of nuclear weapons. It is very necessary to establish protection measures for the people’s life safety. “A shelter for personnel might be required to provide protection against air blast, ground shock, thermal radiation, initial nuclear radiation, and residual nuclear radiation from fallout.”[5] First, the quality of the building can be increased. Because the structural displacement will accelerate the various qualities. A heavier object structure is more able to withstand the effects of the explosion. Second, Shear-wall structure Is a good building structure to prevent impact. Because its strength able to resist large lateral loads. Third, it is also a good idea to analyze and strengthen the weak parts of buildings that have already been established. This will not only reduce costs but also have a strong effect on the entire building. Because most of the buildings begin to collapse from the weakest part.

In 1958, Some observers thought that those troops exposed to thermal radiation could take action to protect them from burns. A 1958 INFORMS editor wrote “A method for predicting the effectiveness of human attempting such evasion is presented.”[6] the author believes that the release of nuclear energy in three ways blast, thermal radiation and nuclear detonation. The author thinks that the operation of the entire chain analysis include these aspects. The effectiveness of exposed troops depends on the burning part of body and the degree of it. The extent of the burn depends on the speed and time of burn transfer to the skin. The site of the burn depends on the individual’s positioning of the ground zero and the effect of the avoidance action on the extent of the burn .

Figure 3: China’s first atomic test on October 16, 1964, in Xinjiang. Mao wanted to prove the nation was a global power. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Some observers of China’s self-developed atomic bomb in 1964 analyzed the strategy of China’s nuclear weapons path in the future. They see China as one of the world’s leading nuclear weapons. Less than 20 years after the us dropped the bomb in Japan, China also succeeded in developing the atomic bomb and becoming a world nuclear power. Morton H. Halperin wrote: “Although the effect on Chinese economic development has probably been relatively limited thus far, the Chine

se are devoting substantial resource to their nuclear programme and may be expected to have militarily effective system within this decade. The Chinese appear to be considerably further along in the development of nuclear weapon and delivery system than had been previously anticipated.”[7] The author lists the correctly after the research and development of the atomic bomb in China. in near future, the hydrogen bomb, medium range ballistic missiles, large – scale production of fissionable material and delivery system will be developed. He thinks the Chinese specific motivation is to strengthen the ability to compete with the United States; Increasing the influence of the communist world. Promoting the national liberation process and establish the status of the Asian countries.

The invention of nuclear weapons brought human society into the era of nuclear weapons. This powerful weapon of destruction forces the country to become more peaceful. During the World War II, the United States had a huge social impact on Japan’s atomic bombs. We must keep in mind the lessons of history and we must not let this kind of man-made disaster repeat the same disaster.


[1]Watson, Russel, ”Age of angst” Newsweek, July 24 1995.Accessed January 17, 2018.

[2]Sarah J. Diehl,  James Clay Moltz. “Nuclear weapons and nonproliferation : a reference handbook,” Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO. ©2002. Pages 1-14.

[3]Malcolm Templeton, “Standing upright here : New Zealand in the nuclear age 1945-1990,”
Wellington N.Z. : Victoria University Press, in association with the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. 2006. p. 105-165.

[4]Toshi Yoshihara; James R. Holmes. “Strategy in the second nuclear age power, ambition, and the ultimate weapon,” Washington, D.C, Georgetown University Press, c2012. p225-240.

[5]Armed Forces Special Weapons Project (U.S.);  “Samuel Glasstone. The effects of nuclear weapons,” Washington, D.C, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, 1957. pages 507-523.

[6] R. A. Langevin, R. Greenstone and C. O. Elder, “Effectiveness of Troops Exposed to Thermal Radiation from Nuclear Weapons”, INFORMS, Sep. – Oct., 1958, pp. 710-722

[7] Morton H. Halperin,, “Chinese Nuclear Strategy”, Cambridge University Press, Jan. – Mar, 1965.

Geographic focus: America

Search term: American, Japan, Atomic bomb, War




Figure 1. The remains of a factory are seen (upper left) in Nagasaki on Sept. 4, 1945, gutted by the Aug. 9 atomic bombing. | AP,


Figure 2. Inventory of Nuclear Weapons World Stockpile, 2011,


Figure 3. China’s first atomic test on October 16, 1964, in Xinjiang. Mao wanted to prove the nation was a global power. Photo: SCMP Pictures,

Panama Canal

Download PDF

Panama Canal

“The Panama Canal was one of the great engineering achievements of the early 20th century. Thousands of Panamanians, Americans and French died during its construction.” [1] Without the great men who staked their lives for bettering the expansion of Panama’s economical state, today we would not have the best trade and shipping route in the northern hemisphere.  For almost 100 years the Panama Canal served as a short cut in trade and greatly impacted the United Stated economy. It also boosted the U.S in terms of military power, it opened up avenues we did not have access to before. When the United States gave control to Panama in ownership of the canal, Panama itself gave up all financial backing to support the canal. Fortunately, they were able to take the reigns and grow their economy in the process.

In the early 2000’s the Panamanian decided to expand the canal to properly accommodate new vessels and fleet to pass through their water ways. “The Panama Canal Authority began a $5.25 billion expansion project in 2007 which was completed in June [of] 2016.” [2] Without the treaty singed by President Jimmy Carter to give ownership of the canal to Panama we would not see the success and great economical strives made in that country.

Roles played by the United States in the involvement with the Panama Canal were paramount. Presidents such as Taft and Roosevelt allowed for the essential overthrow of the canals power. President Roosevelt clung to original treaties to allow U.S control and giving no power to the Panamanian people, the people who built and operated the mass canal.

When Analyzing the United states involvement with the control and operation of the canal we see that the Panama itself had little to no say so with the matter. The United States saw that as important, so we would look like the hero’s. What happened is, we showed tyrannical tendencies and had to med the issue years later.  In the early stages of the scheme to create a canal in Panama the United States at first came in with a hesitance and resistance. After lack of resistance President Theodore Roosevelt essentially snatched Panama for the Colombian People. In order to have built such a marvel they depended on private contractors. “The men engaged on the canal construction are primarily Jamaican Negros.” [7] Accounting for all these men to build the canal was almost like wishing on a hope and a prayer. Not having American men doing the work had President Roosevelt unhinged, but he knew ultimately that the cost of labor and oversight would allow for big profits in the end.  They also had to account for all the deaths and unwavering health problems these men and woman faced.

Paragraph #4 Looking into U.S leaders who had involvement in control and eventually us handing over power. Looking into how that came to be and what



did we politically gain and economically lose in result of that pass of power. [4]

Looking deeper we see how corruption dug its way into the treaty of the canals ownership. Looking it why the Government of Panama could allow for the U.S to take control. Why it took so long to gain power. When looking into the year of not having power and look at the before and after of the economy. Who completed this project and at what cost? The native people of Panama, they are the unsung heroes of this great “American accomplishment”. Hardly paying decent wages for men and women to complete the task, in very dangerous conditions.  [5]

The government of Panama was able to gain independence from U.S sanctions and look into how the transition effected the economy for better or worse. Panama was able to take control and this advanced the country economically. The cause of distributional effects [6] Many of the other unsung heroes of the canal happen to be the native Panamanian women. The New York Times in 1912 allowed to voice of Wenona Marlin to be heard globally she stated, “We women have been the main thing in “making the dirt fly” on the Panama Canal. I know you are surprised to learn this.” [8] It was rather shocking as an America to find out how much of a role women played in the digging of the canal. As American women at this time were homemakers and heavily reliant on their husbands or father to make the income for the family.

Second, Marlin claims that without the women’s help we would not have such marvels such as the Panama Canal. She recalled the despicable working conditions and the mistreatment of both men and women at these work sites. We tend not to focus on the people who actually made this happen for Panama. We look at the treaties and dealmakers that made the event possible but we need to focus on the people and who sacrificed their lives within the ten-year build. This brought up terrible turmoil once the United States choose to keep the power and control after it was completed. The Panamanian people had invested blood, sweat, and tears and it was a complete slap in the face once they control was not immediately overturned.

Bringing together points regarding how the canal functions today under the control on the Panamanian people. They are thriving after years of American tariffs and control. The canal Also how we ultimately returned the keys, so to speak. Panama is both a poor and wealthy country, having full reigns over the canal the are able to carry out a large profit. They experience high poverty due to political powers and corruption. Leadership can not be directly correlated to the canals beginnings, but by large cartel and import export percentages at high rates. Although the country isn’t thriving, it has been positively effected by the change of hands. Allowing a country to thrive off of import and export has made Panama one of the largest ports in the world.

[1] Expanding opportunities. (2017, Mar 02). University Wire Retrieved from (accessed January 15, 2018)

[2] THE END OF AN ERA. (1999, Dec 14). St.Louis Post – Dispatch Retrieved from (accessed January 15, 2018)

[3] Walter laFeber, The Panama Canal; The Crisis in Historical Perspective. New York, Oxford OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS (1989). Pp

[4] Michael L. Conniff, Panama and the United States: The Force Alliance. The University of Georgia Press (1992) Athens, Georgia. 63,109, 162

[5] J. A Zumoff,  Black Caribbean Labor Radicalism in Panama, 1914–1921 Journal of Social History, Volume 47, Number 2, Winter 2013, pp. 429-457

[6] Maurizio Bussolo, Rafael E. De Hoyos, and Denis Medvedev, Distributional Effects of the Panama Canal Expansion Economía, Volume 13, Issue 1, Fall 2012, pp. 79-129

[7] DIGGING THE PANAMA CANAL. (1903, Apr 08). New York Times (1857-1922) Retrieved from

[8] By, W. M. (1912, Sep 22). WOMEN IN MAKING THE CANAL. New York Times (1857-1922) Retrieved from

Search terms: Panama Canal, United States, history, involvement, accomplishments, economy.

[9] “The Building of the Panama Canal.” American History USA, [photo]



Nuclear Energy in Asia Final Project

Download PDF


Nuclear energy is a relatively new technology that has caused a fair amount of debate amongst numerous powerful countries. In an article from the Sun Journal it discusses how people of Maine are reacting to their governor trying to make it easier for small nuclear power plants to be established. The people mentioned in the article were greatly troubled by the governor’s plan. One of the people told the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, “We should be the ones to decide whether we want to live with the potentially catastrophic consequences that this form of energy production carries with it,”[1] The people of the article fear that some of these reactors will have some sort of malfunction or possibly even a meltdown, like the Chernobyl or Three Mile Island reactors. While the people may have been against the new plan for nuclear energy the governor’s energy office director believes, “I do not think that our state should shy away from ensuring our state policies are reflective of our state’s energy and environmental objectives and that we are open to new technologies,” [2]. This begs the question how have past events involving nuclear energy caused nuclear energy to face resistance from the general public?

The state of Maine is not the only one receiving this kind of activism against nuclear energy. Japan has been one of the most recent proponents against nuclear energy ever since the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown. This activism is due to the fact that many of the people are afraid of the past failures of these nuclear reactors. These worries are without the consideration that nuclear energy is quite new or what improvements have been made due to the failures of the past nuclear reactors. After the Fukushima reactors failure numerous nuclear scientists looked into the incident and how this type of failure could be prevented in the future. The origins of the fear of nuclear energy stem to the Chernobyl reactor failure in what was then the Soviet Union. This failure was during nuclear energy’s infancy and many changes have been made since the reactor had failed. Neither the Japanese or any other nation should have such a negative view of nuclear energy. The failures of the past nuclear generators and the impacts of those failures have caused many people to fear nuclear energy causing resistance against its use.

Nuclear energy was first conceived after the United States first created the nuclear bomb. During the 1960’s and 1970’s many developed countries started to create nuclear power plants as a new way to get energy that wasn’t from fossil fuels [3]. This initial growth was aided by the energy crisis that was occurring during the 1970’s that didn’t cause significant environmental ramifications [4]. This want for clean energy caused not only the U.S. to create more reactors, but also the Soviet Union, UK, and Japan. The push for clean energy was mainly from the general public and nuclear energy proved to be quite promising. At one point in time nuclear energy was seen as the key to the future. One of the believes was that nuclear energy would help bring an end to poverty. With the news article targeting the general public to help invoke support for a new nuclear energy plan designed to provide resources for third world countries. The article describes a plant near Los Angeles that was able to desalt sea water at a rate of 150 gallons a day while also doing this at a price of 20 cents for every thousand gallons. The plants were also planned to produce fertilizer along with many other essential agricultural products [5]. It goes on to say that nuclear energy would give third world countries a significant agricultural boost thereby helping it rise out of poverty. Even after nuclear energy had declined it began to resurrect itself due to the publics worries about climate change with China and India leading the way [6]. The willingness of the public to have nuclear power plants would, however not last.

Chernobyl’s 4th reactor after the failure
Figure 1

The United States began to halt their nuclear reactor creation after the Three Mile Island reactor had a partial meltdown on March 28, 1979 [7]. This partial meltdown led to multiple people living in the area of the reactor getting irradiated, and thereby causing a public out roar against the construction of more nuclear power plants. European countries continued to develop and create more sources for nuclear energy until the catastrophic nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, causing these European countries to back away from their nuclear energy programs and some even tried to slowly get rid of them [8]. The Chernobyl disaster on April 26, 1986 was one of the worst nuclear reactor disasters ever and caused great devastation to the surrounding area. In a study released in 2013 it found that the birds living in the area around Chernobyl have an increased occurrence of eye cataracts and an increased intensity of those cataracts compared to birds in other areas [9]. This shows that the effects of this disaster are still being felt despite the fact that this disaster happened over 30 years ago shows that the public concerns have continued support from these nuclear reactor failures. These disasters were not the only thing that was hurting nuclear energy development as despite the fact that nuclear energy fuel costs were lower than fossil fuels cost the capital costs of these plants was far larger [10]. This along with growing public distaste for nuclear energy caused many governments to continue using the fossil fuels as a primary energy source. These first failures from the nuclear reactors showed that they could become extremely hazardous to people if they were to fail causing mass hysteria towards the renewable energy source.

Fukushima plant after reactor meltdown
Figure 2

In March of 2011 an undersea earthquake caused a nuclear meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plants’ reactors. After the accident the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum reported, ” around 15,000 terabecquerels of caesium-137 was released from reactor 1–3 at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant, 168.5 times that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.”[11].  The heavy radiation emitted from all three reactors didn’t just affect Japan. Radioactive materials that came from the Fukushima plant were found all around the world as a result from the accident. The significant damage caused by one nuclear power plant failing causes, “Although nuclear accidents are rare, they produce severe damage and therefore generate a strong signal that there is an unusual risk in nuclear power generation. This signal helps to perpetuate a negative image or stigmatization of nuclear energy.” [12] This stigma causes people to turn away from nuclear energy and continue to look toward carbon energy. Even though this disaster was in part due to the fact that and extremely large earthquake, in an earthquake prone area, and tsunami hit the area causing the meltdown people think that this could happen anywhere. An earthquake with that large of a magnitude is very rare and therefore this incident should be treated as an anomaly, but due to previous failures it just adds to the negative stigma put on nuclear energy. So, the fact that the circumstances surrounding this particular disaster are rare won’t alone be enough to reduce the pressure against nuclear energy.

After many of the nuclear disasters policy changes were put into place to prevent these disasters and to regulate the nuclear energy development. The Fukushima plant failure caused many changes in policy for Japan’s government. The government was forced to review all their other nuclear power plants in order to ensure they were still being maintained properly [13]. They also had to refortify their nuclear power plants so that they could withstand larger earthquakes and not be affected by tsunami waves [14]. The lack of preparation by the Japanese government for earthquakes and tsunamis to affect their power plants, in a country that regularly experiences them, has caused many lives to be affected by the Fukushima nuclear power plant. This has caused many people to resume protesting against nuclear power plants despite it being a renewable power source. These improvements after the nuclear plant failure have only slightly helped ease the pressure from the public to get rid of nuclear energy.

Radiation movement after Fukushima nuclear reactor failure
Figure 3

The environmental effects of the nuclear energy plants can be minimal as long as we make sure we don’t have any nuclear reactor failures. Getting Uranium and also enriching it manly uses water and can cause the temperature of this water to be higher than normal [15]. This slight impact on the environment is relatively minimal, but the public has witnessed that when a nuclear reactor has a meltdown it can have a devastating impact on the environment. The Fukushima nuclear disaster has caused the waters in the surrounding area to be irradiated affecting the marine life along the coast [16].  This effect on the environment has created lots of concern over whether the risks out way the benefits with regards to nuclear energy. If we are able to ensure a very low risk of nuclear meltdowns the benefits of nuclear energy would be very beneficial to the reduction of carbon energy and its byproducts.

Nuclear energy has had many missteps in its early development. With multiple reactor failures in many different countries people started to turn away from the use of nuclear energy. The state of Maine, or any other country/state, however, should not shy away from using nuclear energy. After every nuclear reactor failure scientists have made numerous changes to the design of the reactors so that these failures would not happen again. After Fukushima had its nuclear reactor had its meltdown the Japanese government started moving away from its nuclear energy program, but scientists have since improved on the safety of the reactors so that they could better handle earthquakes and tsunamis.  The failures from the past were necessary in order to improve the safety of our reactors so that we can make them fail-proof. As long as the necessary safety precautions are taken nuclear energy should not have an impact on the daily lives of the people near the reactor.

[1] “LePage’s Nuclear Power Proposal Meets Resistance.” 2015.Sun Journal, Apr 30.

[2] “LePage’s Nuclear Power Proposal Meets Resistance.” 2015.Sun Journal, Apr 30.

[3] Elliott, D. Fukushima: Impacts and Implications. Place of Publication Not Identified: Palgrave Pivot, 2014.

[4] By JOHN, NOBLE WILFORD. 1971. “Nation’s Energy Crisis: Nuclear Future Looms.” New York Times (1923-Current File), Jul 07, 1.

[5] By GLADWIN HILL Special to The New,York Times. 1967. “Nuclear Energy Plan Viewed as Antipoverty Key.” New York Times (1923-Current File), May 26, 27.

[6] Elliott, D. Fukushima: Impacts and Implications. Place of Publication Not Identified: Palgrave Pivot, 2014.

[7] Elliott, D. Fukushima: Impacts and Implications. Place of Publication Not Identified: Palgrave Pivot, 2014.

[8] Elliott, D. Fukushima: Impacts and Implications. Place of Publication Not Identified: Palgrave Pivot, 2014.

[9] Timothy Alexander Mousseau, and Anders Pape Møller. “Elevated Frequency of Cataracts in Birds from Chernobyl.” PLoS ONE 8, no. 7 (2013): E66939.

[10] Elliott, D. Fukushima: Impacts and Implications. Place of Publication Not Identified: Palgrave Pivot, 2014.

[11] Younghwan Kim, Minki Kim, and Wonjoon Kim. “Effect of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster on Global Public Acceptance of Nuclear Energy.(Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, Japan, 2011).” Energy Policy 61 (2013): 822-28

[12] Younghwan Kim, Minki Kim, and Wonjoon Kim. “Effect of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster on Global Public Acceptance of Nuclear Energy.(Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, Japan, 2011).” Energy Policy 61 (2013): 822-28

[13] Elliott, D. Fukushima: Impacts and Implications. Place of Publication Not Identified: Palgrave Pivot, 2014.

[14] Elliott, D. Fukushima: Impacts and Implications. Place of Publication Not Identified: Palgrave Pivot, 2014.

[15] Beheshti, Hamed. “The Prospective Environmental Impacts of Iran Nuclear Energy Expansion.” Energy Policy 39, no. 10 (2011): 6351-359.

[16] Elliott, D. Fukushima: Impacts and Implications. Place of Publication Not Identified: Palgrave Pivot, 2014.


Figure 1: “Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster: A Terrorist Attack By The Usual Suspects.” SOTN: Alternative News & Commentary. August 07, 2017. Accessed May 02, 2018.

Figure 2: India. “Possible Melted Fuel Seen For First Time At Fukushima Plant.” EnergyInfraPost. July 21, 2017. Accessed May 02, 2018.

Figure 3: “Two Years On, Will the Lessons of Fukushima Go Unheeded?” March 17, 2013. Accessed May 02, 2018.