Thursday, August 10, 2006

American Revolution

A Hipsters' Guide to Revolution - Lesson 10
The Haitian Revolution toppled Napoleon's France and expelled the imperial power from America. Toussaint l’Overture, a Bolivarian-esque revolutionary and former slave led the successful effot. According to this frat guy site,
"In 1801, he became president of Haiti, the former Saint-Domingue and the first black republic in modern history, as well as only the second American colony (after the U.S.) to gain its independence from Europe."
Discussion Questions:
  1. Why are Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Cuba, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico not included in the study of American history?
  2. Whatever happened to Haiti?
  3. How did Cuba become a Nation?
  4. How did Panama become a Nation?
  5. Why did Cuba and Puerto Rico not become States #49 and #50. (Remember, Alaska and Hawaii didn't become states until 1959, but Cuba and Puerto Rico become American colonies with the Platt Amendment in 1898.)
  6. Why does the history of American slavery focus on the Southern United States and not on Jamaica, Haiti, and all of the other islands?
  7. Research the year 1500 and describe West African (Wolof - others?), Mayan, Aztec, and Incan Kingdoms. Compare them to Spanish, Portuguese, British, and French Empires. Describe the effects of the various culture clashes.
  8. Compare these earlier histories with more recent events, going back to the end of World War II. Start with the Cuban Revolution in 1953, trace it through the Iran/Contra Affair, and finish with George H.W. Bush's Invastion of Panama.
  9. Of course - remember to look at it from the left and the right. The more extreme, the better. The only catch: for every extreme leftist interpretation, you much provide an equally extreme rightist/fundamental/Puritan interpretation.
  10. Analyze the positive and negative influences of United States policy in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America. Pay special attention to corporate investors and US enterprise, the CIA, other US law enforcement, US Foreign Policy, the War on Drugs, and the War on Terror.
Take Home Test/Essay:
  • Define "Hip."
  • Define "Revolution."
  • How many different American Revolutions can you name? Choose one, briefly summarize the revolution, and describe how its legacy affects hipster culture today?


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