World History Semester II
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World History Semester II
History Backwards is our goal--take a current event and trace its roots
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Syria's war: Who is fighting and why

Watch how the Syrian civil war became the mess it is today.

Via Seth Dixon
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Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 5:10 PM

I read articles about the Syrian war and watched this film and I got to tell you it sure is confusing. The picture on one of the websites that really disturbed me is the father holding his lifeless  8 or 9 year old daughter in his arms. I have a 9 year old daughter and it was her birthday on that day I saw the picture. Sometimes it is better emotionally to be ignorant about what is going on in the world.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 1:37 PM

Syrian civil war has escalated into a proxy wars between many nations that all have different goals in mind. It all started from the Arab Spring and is still on-going because there are many sides taking place and none of them wants to back down. Mainly due to the emerge of the Islamic State that cause a shift in the war of fighting a terrorism organization to fighting the different factions within Syria. 

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 16, 2015 5:19 PM

An interesting and well written breakdown of the Syrian war and its local, regional and global factors that have caused the escalation to this point. It should however be pointed out that some of the information within the video is actually wrong. The United Nations did a investigation and report regarding the use of chemical weapons and found ti was the rebels not Assad who had used them. Furthermore it leaves out some reports from the initial protests in Syria that some of them were armed with weapons and fired on police (suggesting that instead of one side it was mutual escalation). Plus much of the fighting in Syria is also sectarian with Shiites backing Assad and the Sunnis backing Assad's opposition (prior global intervention). If these pieces of information were corrected in addition to talking about the Kurdish predicament a bit more along with the origins of ISIS the video would be perfect. So in a way I suppose the video kind of left out important local geographic details that influenced the regional and global ones.

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The Real Monuments Men of the U.S. Army

The Real Monuments Men of the U.S. Army | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
Since World War II, the U.S. Army has had a small group of officers whose job it is to protect art in war-torn countries during military operations.
Sharolyn S. Griffith's insight:

Loved reading the book on this topic!

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We Are What We Eat: The High Altitude Diet of Afghanistan’s Nomads

We Are What We Eat: The High Altitude Diet of Afghanistan’s Nomads | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
National Geographic Photo Blog
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Top 10 emerging technologies for 2014

Top 10 emerging technologies for 2014 | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
Technology has become perhaps the greatest agent of change in the modern world. While never without risk, positive technological breakthroughs promise innovative solutions to the most pressing global challenges of our time, from resource scarcity to global environmental change. However, a lack of appropriate investment, outdated regulatory frameworks and gaps in public understanding prevent many… 
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The Saudi Duality on Women - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

The Saudi Duality on Women - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
An unknown Saudi cleric goes viral following his comments on why women can’t drive.
Sharolyn S. Griffith's insight:

Driving Day on October 26!

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Daily Kos :: STUNNING: Comparing U.S. & World Covers for TIME Magazine

Daily Kos :: STUNNING: Comparing U.S. & World Covers for TIME Magazine | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
Sharolyn S. Griffith's insight:

An interesting comparison on Time Magazine covers in the U.S. and the rest of the world.  I'm stunned.  

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"Berlin Wall" Speech - President Reagan's Address at the Brandenburg Gate - 6/12/87

"Berlin Wall" Speech - President Reagan's Address at the Brandenburg Gate - 6/12/87 | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
President Reagan's remarks on East-West relations at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany on June 12, 1987. For more information on the ongoing works... ("Tear down this wall!'' Today in 1987: Pres.

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Israel and Palestine

My friend Seth Dixon has provided a great intro to this video...

 

Watch this Jewish Voice for Peace (http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/) 6 minute mini-primer about why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting..

This video from the Jewish Voice for Peace has a more politically motivated angle than most of the resources that I post on this site, but I feel that they do justice to both sides as well as the truth. In a simple way it lays out the roots of many of the problems in the region with historic and geographic perspectives.

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, political, borders.


Via Seth Dixon, Ms. Carter, Mr. David Burton
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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 2015 8:40 PM

From 1946 to 2000, Palestine (Islamic individuals) have been at war with Israel (Jewish individuals) over land in Israel/Palestine. In 1946, Palestine took over most of Israel but throughout the decades up until 2000, Israel slowly won over almost every piece of Israel and now, Palestine barely has any land in Israel. From 1949 to 1967, Palestine took over a specific area of Israel known as the West Bank and another small part of Israel known as Gaza. There was a lot of war going on between Israel and Palestine because Israel discriminated against non-Jews. Palestinians became refugees but that didn't stop Israel from fighting to take over Palestinian land.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 30, 2015 1:03 AM

The video was informative, but bias. I have a stronger understanding of how Israel is exploiting, how the borders were re-drawn, and how the make up of the original border mattered. However, the author gave me these facts in a very pro-Palestinian manner. The narrator sees the Palatines as refugees instead of the Jews, who as the narrator said, were "refugees living where people already lived." This similar identity clearly resonated with the narrator who almost 2 minutes of the video speaking about how the treatment of the new refugees was wrong. While a fair amount of the rest of the video advocated a solution to help Palestinian, hence the negative portrayals of the United States backed peace talks.  

 

What was missing from this video was Israeli's story. The Jewish community had become a large force within Palestinian, but was not being aptly recognized. In fact, the Palestinian's prior to the UN offer weren't treating the Jews fair. When this offer came along, it was the Palestinian's who started the fight, a point that was down played in this video as the narrator rushed to point the finger at Israeli's wrong doings. Yet, another portrayal of this conflict mentioned in class, showed the Israeli's feel threatened because they are a minority surrounded by enemies within the region. All of this information means that the Palestinian's and other neighbors play more of a negative hand in the land dispute than what the narrator says.    

 

To be honest, I don't know enough about either side to really say who I support. However, from what I gather, neither side is a bushel of roses. As learned in class their were a fair deal of geographic tensions from BOTH parties that caused the fighting and their is still a fair deal of geographic tensions from BOTH parties that factor into the fighting today. Thus, the bias of this video acts as a reminder that a person looking to understand a heated conflict, such as this one between neighbors, must view the information with causation. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:30 PM

first off, this video is very pro isrelis which must be kept in mind. also i dont know what the palestinians and surrounding countries expected. the jews had nowhere to go and were sent there by england. where else where they to go? instead of accepting this the palestinians started to attack them and when they lost they wanted to come back and live there, of course the jews were not going to let them back in. neither side is completely right or wrong but i can see the jewish side more than the palestinians.

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This is a Map of Every War Ever

This is a Map of Every War Ever | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
The Battle of Jericho is the first entry in a massive project that sees the dates, locations, and brief descriptions for thousands of human conflicts overlaid on a scrollable, zoom-able map...
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Daily Life in Afghanistan

Daily Life in Afghanistan | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
We tend to look at Afghanistan through the lens of conflict, with good reason. Deaths of American forces recently reached 2000 in the 11 years since US involvement in the country began.

 

Yes, Afghanistan is a war-ravaged country; but it is also a place that families call home and where children play.  This photo essay is a nice glimpse into ordinary lives in Central Asia.

 

Tags: Afghanistan, images, culture, Central Asia. 


Via Seth Dixon
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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 3, 2015 1:09 PM

It appears that Afghanistan has a poor economy. It's lifestyle is definitely different from the way we live in the United States. The buildings are not as well-developed as the buildings in New York City and Chicago. Also, Afghanistan seems to lack cleanliness which allows diseases to spread throughout the country, and perhaps throughout small parts of other countries that border it.

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 19, 2015 12:34 AM

It is important to remember that, besides all the problems, attacks, and battles/wars that are occurring in countries such as Afghanistan, people are still living there daily lives. The people of Afganistan still work, children play in the streets, and there is still laughter amongst the chaos. Through over a decade of war, thousands of people have died from both the US and Afghan soldiers. It is very concerning that nothing stops even if a disaster occurs. These people live there lives everyday perhaps not knowing what will happen next. Especially now, with the ISIS issues and Al Qaida issues, thousands of people are suffering. These images show daily lives of Afghans, carrying on in the face of bitter warfare and economic hardship. These images show people living in this region and one can easily compare to other regions that Afghans have it a lot harder than many other regions around the world. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:06 PM

Daily life in Kabul is a daily struggle as one of the most impoverished places in the world. They suffer from a lack of infrastructure to the lack of medicine in the hospitals. Many of the invasions that have occued have weakened a already weak country. That has led to many deaths and much fighting on the area. These images show many of the struggles that pepople go through on a daily basis. This was not just the people being in poverty but with the wars and stuff that have happened there has to led them to be even more worse off. 

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The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, but Germany is still divided

The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, but Germany is still divided | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
Stunning satellite images and maps show how east and west differ from each other even today.

Via Seth Dixon
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Peter Phillips's curator insight, November 6, 2014 11:43 AM

50 years of communist rule still affect opportunities in Germany today, as these maps show. What they don't show is the social mirror that each provides to the other and the rich discussions about social policy that result. Reunification has been an expensive exercise for Germany, however one that it is committed to.

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:20 PM

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but its influence is still present in today's Germany. History plays a key role in the shaping of political boundaries and that history is clearly evident in Germany. The line where the Berlin wall once stood still divides the country economically. The western part of Germany is far more economically affluent than the east. The USSR may be gone, but its influence still remains. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 8:14 AM

These two maps (unemployment on the left and disposable income on the right) are but two examples in this article that highlights the lingering distinctions between the two parts of Germany that were reunited 25 years ago.  The social geographies imposed by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin  Wall are still being felt from this relic border and will for years to come. 


Tags: Germany, industry, labor, economic, historical, political, borders.

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The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place

The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
How alarmist, racist coverage of Ebola makes things worse. A dressing down of the latest #NewsweekFail.

Via Seth Dixon
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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:21 PM

Before I even read the article, my first thought went to the Linneaus classification.  That really damaged history with this one chart.  I think people still think of Africans and blacks(very dark blacks) as dirty or unintelligent.  Which is horrible and couldn't be further from the truth.  Misinforming the public is criminal.  News media and social media need to be careful and educate properly.  I've been asked from a customs offical, "Have you been to Africa in the past 6 months?"  Which is a very blanket question because Africa is a continent.  There were areas that were not hit with Ebola.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:37 PM

Those who deny the continued influence of racism in our society are blinding themselves to the truth. Contemporary influences of the racism that plagued the preceding centuries are still found in most major media depictions of Africa. The Ebola epidemic has served to highlight the bigotry that plagues Western media, as the assumption that all of Africa is diseased and dirty is continuously perpetuated (when, in reality, Ebola only affected a very small part of the continent). Africa is presented as "other," a backwards continent that is in desperate need of Western help and guidance- in what was is that different from the European colonizers who also viewed their actions as benevolent attempts to "civilize" the uncivilized? That mindset has not left Western circles, and yet we continue to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves for suddenly being so tolerant. The insensitivity of Western audiences to the concerns of black individuals both at home and in Africa related to the prevalence of racism highlights how determined mainstream media is to deny the existence of a problem. Until we recognize the Eurocentrism that continues to plague our media and make the necessary moves to correct the practice, harmful depictions of Africa will continue to loom large in Western media and in the opinions of many Europeans and Americans alike.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:12 AM

Africa has long been treated by the western media as a dark , brutish, uncivilized place. Africa is a place were people starve and murder each other in large numbers. There is so much more to Africa than the picture I just described. The problem is, many people just do not accept the existence of a culturally complex Africa. That narrative would destroy the traditional  darker narrative of the past 500 years. A narrative grounded in the beliefs that blacks are inherently inferior beings. During the Ebola crises, the calls to cut off travel to Africa were quick and demanding. Had the crises been in England, would those same calls have been so loud? I think we all can guess the answer  to that question. Much progress has been made, but we still need to change our cultural depiction of Africa.

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United Nations Charter (1945) and Resource Materials | Social Studies | Classroom Resources | PBS Learning Media

United Nations Charter (1945) and Resource Materials | Social Studies | Classroom Resources | PBS Learning Media | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
Digital classroom resources for Grades 6-13+. In 1945, in San Francisco, the UN was established. Its charter said "The present Charter, of which the Chinese, French, Russian, English, and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the [USA]."
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Turkey’s Kurds Seek Forgiveness For 1915 Armenian Tragedy - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Turkey’s Kurds Seek Forgiveness For 1915 Armenian Tragedy - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
Turkey’s Kurds are taking responsibility for their role in the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians in 1915.
Sharolyn S. Griffith's insight:

Sadly, this is not often taught anymore.  It is eclipsed by the Holocaust.  

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What Would Lawrence Of Arabia Say Today?

What Would Lawrence Of Arabia Say Today? | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
If T.E. Lawrence -- Lawrence of Arabia -- could see the news out of the Middle East today! A new book says he would say, "I told you so."
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Top 10 Countries That Disappeared In The 20th Century

Top 10 Countries That Disappeared In The 20th Century | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
New nations seem to pop up with alarming regularity. At the start of the 20th century, there were only a few dozen independent sovereign states on the planet; today, there are nearly 200!

Via Seth Dixon, Trisha Klancar, Mr. David Burton
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Al Picozzi's curator insight, July 2, 2013 11:38 AM

Amazing to see many of the countries and empires that are no longer around.  Also with the dissoution of many of the empires it lead's to many of the issues that were are dealiing with today.  Splitting the Austro-Hugaraian Empire after WWI along ethnic lines didn't really work and helped to lead to WWII.  The Germans in the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia fro example.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sudetendeutsche_gebiete.svg

 for the area of German population.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:01 PM

10 countries that have become nonexistent in the 20th century include Tibet, East Germany and Yugoslavia. These countries have died off because of ethic, religious and cultural falls that were quickly taken over by bigger and more powerful countries.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 2014 9:13 PM

Essentially this article boils down to the issues of religion, ethnicity and nationalism.  People who are diverse and have different ideas generally cannot all live together under one rule and agree on everything, hence nations split and new ones form to cater to their own beliefs and similarities.

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Millions gather in Mecca for Hajj

Millions gather in Mecca for Hajj | World History Semester II | Scoop.it
Thousands of people have arrived in Mecca this week ahead of the annual Hajj...
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Afghan Boys Eke Living Amid Peril at Gorge

Afghan Boys Eke Living Amid Peril at Gorge | World History Semester II | Scoop.it

The war economy touches everybody in Afghanistan and will leave a desperate hole when it is gone — not least for the Pepsi bottle boys, a prime example of how Afghans have fit their lives around America’s military presence.


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AIDS/HIV

AIDS/HIV | World History Semester II | Scoop.it

AIDS is a global issue, but clearly this impacts Sub-Saharan Africa far more than any other region. 

 

Tags: Africa, medical, infographic, development.


Via Seth Dixon
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Brittany Ortiz's curator insight, November 11, 2014 2:59 PM

If AIDS is obviously a bigger problem in SUb-Saharan Africa i would hope that, that is where we would send the most help and further educate people about safe sex and how to prevent from spreading AIDS.