Bryan's 'Cross of Gold' Speech: Mesmerizing the Masses

A reporter for a national newspaper or television, or any other national media outlet wrote this document (the name is not mentioned). This is because the writer refers to the statements that were written by other reporters. Therefore, it is likely that the writer of the document was a reporter as well. The subject of this document is William J. Bryan’s speech, which the writer refers to as one of the most famous and outstanding public speeches in the American political history. He delivered this famous speech during the Democratic National Convention, Chicago on July 9, 1896. The main aim of the convention was to decide if the USA were to endorse the free silver coinage at the ratio of silver to gold of 16:1.

The author focuses on who Bryan was, and how he delivered the speech. Bryan was a thirty-six year old former Congressman from Nebraska, and was aspiring to be the Democrat nominee for president. When all other delegates in the convention delivered their speeches, including several US senators, Bryan rose to give his speech. The author states that the crowd applauded him for his dramatic speaking style. This document was recorded on July 9, 1896 and later in 1921. The historical context of this document is William Bryan’s argument for endorsement of the free coinage silver in the US in late 1896 as the means of controlling the high inflation that had hit the country during that period. The document helps us to understand how some of the former politicians in the US came to power (Bryan was nominated as the Democrat candidate for the position of the president the following day after his speech). From the document, it became evident that in the late 19th century, the money standard that was in use in the US was the gold standard.

New Nationalism Speech

This document is a speech, which was delivered by Theodore Roosevelt. The subject of this document is respect of humanity. In the speech, Roosevelt urges Americans to do well not only for the sake of America, but also for the sake of humankind. In addition, Roosevelt recognizes the efforts of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in making America what it was by 1910. He quotes Abraham Lincoln’s words severally, in order to emphasize his point, which was the ‘advancement of humanity’. For example, Roosevelt referred to Lincoln’s words, which stated that every person had a duty not only to improve his/her condition, but also to assist in improving humankind. Other things that Roosevelt emphasizes on in his speech include equality of opportunities, respect of public and private properties, close supervision of corporations providing public services to ensure that they abide by the law, and friendly relation of America with other countries.

Theodore Roosevelt presented this speech on August 31, 1910 in Osawatomie, Kansas. This document plays a critical role in understanding of American history. It clearly demonstrates that the American emphasis on respect of humanity is not a thing of the late 20th century, but rather is something which dates since the Lincoln’s era. From Roosevelt’s speech, it has been learnt that protection of human welfare is the foundation of economic, political, and social development of a nation. Therefore, for every leader to be able to achieve his leadership agendas, he/she must make the wellbeing of his/her followers his/her main agenda.

The White Man’s Burden

This document consists of the two poems. The first poem is written by Rudyard Kipling, while the second one-  by Ernest Crosby. Both poems are titled “The White Man’s Burden.” Both poets refer to the colonial rule by the Indians as the ‘White man’s burden’. Kipling criticizes the way the Indians took young White men to exile to serve the needs of their captives. He also criticizes how the colonialists exploited the white people by seeking the profits they made out of their hard work. Towards the end of his poem, Kipling compares the white people suffering to the bondage of the Israelites while being in Egypt, but he assures the whites that they would get their freedom. This poem was written in 1898 in the United States.

The second poem appears to refer to how the white men retaliated after the colonization by the Indians. In the poem, Cosby states how the white men loaded their young men with whisky, testaments, guns, and a few diseases, and sent them to the tropics. The poet uses the word ‘niggers’ to refer to the people of the region where the white men invaded. The poet boosts of how the white men could teach the Philippines what taxes, interests and mortgages are. In addition, he states how the whites would help the ‘niggers’ deal with labor, political and fraud problems. This poem was written in 1899.

Both poems refer to the oppressive nature of colonization. These poems contribute to the greater understanding of the history of colonialism. It helps us to understand that both the whites and non-whites suffered greatly from the hands of the colonialists. It is evident that even though colonialism made so many people suffer, it was a good way of spreading civilization and development among different countries of the world.

American Soldiers in the Philippines Write Home about the War

The document is a collection of twenty-seven letters written by American soldiers during the US war in the Philippines, between 1899 and 1904. The writers of the document are Philip Foner and Richard Winchester. The authors state that the US soldiers pursued their enemies: the Filipinos, with a lot of brutality, and sometimes, outright lawlessness. During the war period, the authors state that there was a lot of racism in America, where non-Americans were highly discriminated. In the letters, which were published in 1899 by the Anti-Imperialist League, the soldiers expressed non-support for the brutality that the American soldiers were using in Philippines. Some of the soldiers stated how they would vandalize the Filipinos houses, and would either take away or destroy everything, which they would find in the houses. Other stated that they could not understand why they were fighting the Filipinos. In another letter, a soldier compares the way they were killing the insurgents to rabbit hunting.

From the letters, it is clear that many of the American soldiers in the war did not support the way they killed innocent people in Philippines. In fact, some of them said that they did what they did only because they were asked to by their superiors. This document helps us to understand how the Americans fought the Filipinos during the US war in Philippines between 1899 and 1904. It was learnt that American soldiers used undue force to kill innocent civilians in Philippines. It is sad to discover that America was trying to deny Philippines its independence, despite being aware of the value of independence (Americans tirelessly fought for their independence in the 18th century, until they acquired it in 1776).

The War Prayer

Mark Twain is the author of this document. The author focuses on the unfolding of events, which took place in a Church, were young men (to be sent to war) and their family members gathered for a prayer (the content of the document is said to be imaginary). According to the author, the congregation was excited about the war. Everybody hoped and prayed that their sons would fight the enemies, win, and come back home. The author refers to the US war in Philippines between 1899 and 1904. The author says that during the prayer, led by the pastor in that church, an elderly man entered the church and stood beside the altar, as he waited for the pastor to conclude the prayer. After the prayer, the elderly man said he was a messenger from God. He referred to a prayer, which he said was everybody’s silent prayer, whereby he depicted how the congregation prayed for the US soldiers to use brutality to conquer the Filipinos. Twain imagined the contents of this document between 1904 and 1905, but it was first published in 1923 in Albert Bigelow. This document forms a very important part of American history by discussing how the Americans used inhumane means to conquer the Philippines. From the document, I have learnt that American soldiers used unlawful means to win the US war in Philippines.

The Man in the Arena: Citizenship in a Republic

This document is an extract of a speech delivered by President Theodore Roosevelt on April 23, 1910 at the Sorbonne in Paris. The main subject of Roosevelt’s speech was individual citizenship. Roosevelt stated that the citizenship of all individuals contributed to the greatness of every nation. He stated that the citizenship of every person played an important role in the development of a nation. He referred to citizens as the main source of power and national greatness in a nation. Roosevelt stated that good citizenship is not earned through criticizing what others do or dare not to do, or pointing out mistakes, but rather through using own efforts and devotion to achieve what one can do better. This document contributes to understanding of the American history by pointing out some of the philosophies of President Roosevelt. From the document, I have learnt that President Roosevelt also emphasized on respect of individual contribution to the development of America.

Gas and Flame in World War I: The New Weapons of Terror

This document gives a story of William L. Langer, who served as an engineer in Company E of the First Gas Regiment, Chemical Warfare Service, of the US Army during the WW I. The document was published in 1965 in Langer’s book titled “Gas and Flame in World War I.” In the story, Langer describes how he and his colleagues used to move supplies and munitions near the enemy’s lines, as they prepared to conduct attacks using machine guns and gas. The author describes how they had to trek many kilometers, as they transported the supplies in order to prepare for the attacks. Sometimes, they had to work at night in order to avoid being seen by the enemies. Langer narrates of the unfortunate turn of event on the day of attack when they lost one of their own. The document plays an important role in understanding the tactics, as well as the hardships encountered by the American soldiers during the WW I. I have investigated that the WWI was a tough battle, and the American soldiers effortlessly worked towards the defeat of the central powers.

“Orgies of Ruthless”: Bishop Quayle on German Atrocities during World War I

Bishop Quayle is the author of the document, which was published in October 1918, in his book titled “Moral Flabbiness in Peace Talk.” In the document, Bishop Quayle describes some of the atrocities committed by the Germans during the WW I. He states that during the WW I, Germans did not engage in any war, but rather engaged in killings. Some of the atrocities conducted by German soldiers during the war included rape, murder of passengers, poisoning of water wells, burning people inside their houses, crucifying inhabitants and other soldiers, and burning of hospitals and cathedrals. The author states the conduct of Germans during WWI has contributed to the heightened suspicion, which exists between Americans and German Americans today. This document contributes to the history by describing how the German soldiers (part of central powers) fought the allied side. I have discovered that despite being the main loser in the war, German soldiers conducted many atrocities against the allies.

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