On November 24, 1859, Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. The ideas within The Origin, particularly the theory of common descent and the theory of evolution by natural selection, have sparked controversy well into the twenty-first century. This controversy is rooted in the belief that he altered the relationship between religion and science, from one of unity to one of separation. I would like to argue that Darwin did not create a divide between religion and science. Contemporary ideas of a Darwinian divide result from misinterpretations of past conflicts with the Roman Catholic Church, lack of understanding of religious doctrine, fears over certain aspects of Darwin's ideas which some feel conflict with personal religious beliefs, fears over Social Darwinism, and concerns that accepting Darwin's theories promote atheism. In the twentieth century, the belief in a divide between religion and science has come to the forefront due to misinterpretations of Darwin's work and historical misinformation.
A history senior essay looking at Mississippi in the summer of 1964, also known as Freedom Summer, and the projects that took place during the season. The successes and failures of the summer are discussed, as well as key people within the movement.
An analysis of the tension between Wonder Woman's prominent place in the modern American mythology of the superhero and the mediocre to poor sales of the Wonder Woman comic book. This essay discusses the dichotomy of the mythic ideal Wonder Woman and what is often presented in the Wonder Woman comic book. The dichotomy is a result of Wonder Woman's status as a transgressive icon that in her characteristics defy the norms of society and the superhero narrative.
An exploration of the way families influenced educational, community, and organized labor movements in Colorado's mining towns. The essay looks at three families in Cripple Creek, Creede, and Leadville, Colorado and uses their experiences to ground the narrative.
An exploration of the early years of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order, highlighting some key unique characteristics of his transformation via spiritual conversion in the sixteenth century.
Cyprus is a unique country divided between the Greeks and the Turks. The Greeks had wanted Enosis (reunification) but the Turks would not allow Cyprus to become part of Greece. As a result Cyprus gained its independence in 1960 and Archbishop Makarios III became the first president of the independent nation. Cypriot nationalism and Communism shared an identity because of the Cypriot Communist party’s inclusive nature and strong political presence in Cyprus. Against the backdrop of The Cold War, Britain and the U.S. feared the interwoven nature of nationalism and Communism as a threat to western democracy and were anxious Cyprus would lead to a spread of Communism in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Cypriots themselves could not find a common ethnic identity because of the Greek and Turkish division, therefore the rise of the Communist Party created a shared entity not available through their ethnic ties.
The study finds unique changes in the Creole’s relationship with the state’s African American population, and traces the development of this change over the course of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The essay is an illustration of the roll of Civil Religion in American Reconstruction history.
Palestinian uses of violent and nonviolent tactics are varied and diverse. Using Chenoweth and Stephan's quantitative and qualitative work on nonviolent versus violent movements, I show that when the Palestinians utilized nonviolent means against the Israeli occupation during the first intifada they was reasonably successful in gaining Israeli concessions. This is contrasted with the use of violent means during the second intifada, which caused harsh repression and sanctions from the Israelis. I conclude that if Palestinians desire to once again rise up against the occupation, they should do so through nonviolent means so as to have a higher probability of success.
Shortly after becoming President of the United States in 2009, Barack Obama was asked by a reporter in Strasbourg, France whether or not he adhered to a philosophy of American exceptionalism. The reporter intended to mean whether Obama believed the United States is uniquely qualified to lead the world. The President began his response with the following: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” A year later, Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney wrote a book where he alleges this response proves President Obama “doesn't believe [American exceptionalism] at all” and criticized him for that stance. Furthermore, President Obama's response was brought up again during the 2012 election when Governor Romney challenged him for the Presidency. Even though the quote above is only the beginning of his entire reply, the entire exchange highlights the role American exceptionalism still plays in the political sphere. My essay emphasizes three important questions: the definition of American exceptionalism, its previous and current role in politics, and assessments of its validity from both advocates and critics.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s public statements denying the Holocaust and challenging Israel shocked the Western world. However, Ahmadinejad’s statements had precedents in the Middle East. Political leaders in Israel and Palestine have politicized the Holocaust since it occurred. Israeli leaders have used the memory of the Holocaust to establish international support for the Israeli state, while Palestinian leaders have challenged Israeli narratives to establish support for the Palestinian cause. In championing the Palestinian cause by questioning established narratives of the Holocaust, Ahmadinejad, too, sought to increase political support and fulfill political goals. The history of the Holocaust has been less important in Middle Eastern discourse than the political ends to which it has been applied.
Sex trafficking of women in post-Soviet Russia is an expansive, pervasive and largely unmitigated problem. Hundreds of thousands of women are trafficked annually into the extremely violent, brutal, coercive and manipulative world of forced prostitution. The causes of this fundamental human rights problem are multitude and highly intertwined. The primary causes of sex trafficking in post-Soviet Russia are organized crime and patriarchy. Both of these factors have roots in the Soviet period, but it was their evolution during the transition to market-democracy which led to the burgeoning of sex trafficking. The transitional period allowed for organized crime and patriarchy to be free of Soviet restraints and subsequently become more powerful, intense, and unbounded. Organized crime entrenched itself in practically all areas of society primarily through near domination of the economy and infiltration of the political sphere. As part of the rejection of the more feminist aspects of communism in post-Soviet Russia, patriarchy became institutionalized in the economic, political, and social spheres. The combination of organized crime and patriarchy, coupled with the gendered effects of the transition, resulted in an overall Russian society that was and continues to be oppressive, demeaning, physically harmful, and unfriendly toward women. Women in post-Soviet Russia are essentially second-class citizens; the government is unresponsive to most female-oriented problems. Russian women have also experienced a feminization of poverty, extremely high unemployment, and a lack of legitimate economic opportunities. The dire economic circumstances and the patriarchal atmosphere in post-Soviet Russia have disproportionately hurt women. As a result, women increasingly began to look abroad in hopes of attaining a better life and good job. A staggering number of women then become victims of sex trafficking in the process of attempting to emigrate. It is important to understand that it is the combination of organized crime and patriarchy, and all the permeating effects of both, that has caused pervasive sex trafficking. Both factors were equally critical in shaping the environment against which women were reacting, and becoming victims of forced prostitution in the process. Sex trafficking of women in post-Soviet Russia is largely overlooked and will continue to grow until the Russian government begins to take the problem seriously and addresses the negative influences of organized crime and patriarchy.