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Random Thoughts
For Mr. Angell
Posted on: November 6, 2008, at 02:18:43am   [0 comments]
Kyle Best
Mr. Angell
A.P. U.S. History
John Randolph: Randolph of Roanoke
John Randolph never served as President of the United States. However, he made a significant contribution to the history of the country. Serving multiple terms in the House of Representatives and once in the Senate, debating Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe over the Florida Purchase and War of 1812 and founding the first of America’s “third” political parties, the Quids (Gale 2), are just a few of his contributions to the country’s history. He bitterly fought with Andrew Jackson against the nullification crises of 1832 and made known to all that he fiercely opposed any constitutional changes. He fought hard for what he believed in, although he wrote no formal work on them, until his death in 1833 (Devanny 1).
As an orator and correspondent, John Randolph was matched by few (Devanny 2). In almost every single prominent debate of his day, he drove his points into the ground for all to hear. He even served as minister to Russia for a few months in 1830 (Gale 1). When he faced Jefferson in his second term, he delayed the purchase of Florida and manipulated the President into supporting a repeal of the duty on salt. His last speech opposing the War of 1812 was said to rival that of Jefferson’s inaugural address. After the War of 1812, Randolph made speech after speech about his opposition to the American System of national banking, protective tariffs, trade policy, etc. (Devanny 2). Although not big in our textbooks, John Randolph was imperative to the rising nation of America.
John Randolph, initially, supported Jefferson on all of his principals and vigorously defended these views, which is how he was first elected into Congress in 1799 (Tate 3). He broke off from Jefferson and scoffed him during his second term for his new foreign policy, the Embargo Act, etc. He disapproved of his abandonment of old Republican ways and became recognized as the leader of the Quids, or Old Republican, movement (Tate 6). Being the just and righteous man he was, he never cheated on his woman and denounced Jefferson for his secret affairs, as well (Meade 259). Randolph believed in principals and unleashed his fury upon Jefferson for losing them.
John Randolph was a wise man. He had warned and fought against the War of 1812, but no one listened. He even lost his spot in Congress, the only time he did, because of people’s disagreement with him on this. But when the war hit, Madison was faced with daunting task of raising tax collection, tariffs (by 100%) and of increasing public debt overall. As Randolph had predicted, Madison’s policies brought upon the country an economic crises, mostly outside of New England (Tate 7). It also made the country realize how dependant they really were of Britain, which led to the belief that a national bank was truly needed. John Randolph pushed against this, as hard as he could, as well and it ended up making the country more self-sufficient in the end (Devanny 14).
As a delegate to the Virginia Convention of 1829-1830, he played a key role in the final outcome. His remarks to conserve the Constitution were told to have been the deciding factor in the conservative win. He has been given much credit for the win, which led to his appointment by Jackson as minister to Russia (Gale 11). He later condemned Jackson for his proclamation against South Carolina and his nullification doctrines. In disgust at Jackson’s work, he proposed to go to England, where he’d been happy after every visit (Gale 12). But he never made it past Philadelphia, where he died.
In conclusion, John Randolph was no President of the United States. Nor is he a well-known figure in our textbooks, today. But let it be known that John Randolph played a major contribution to the successes of the conservatives, the opening of the minds of any who listened and the overall history of the United States in general. He had no fear in taking on the great minds and figures of his time, easily outspeaking and outsmarting them. John Randolph of Roanoke, the orating prodigy of his time, is a prime example of someone who could have and should have run for President, but didn’t. And yet he still harbored a plethora of views that helped shape the country into what it is today.

For Mr. Tevalde
Posted on: October 30, 2008, at 11:56:27pm   [0 comments]
Kyle Best
Mr. Tevalde
Sophomore Honors Writing
19 October 2008
Summary of The Wave
In the book, The Wave, by Todd Strasser, he tells a story about a Highschool in which he made his attempt at a classroom experiment. This experiment was designed to enlighten the students first-hand on how easily Adolph Hitler nearly accomplished his goal of completely exterminating the Jewish population. This experiment catches on quickly and the entire school becomes consumed with it, black-marking anyone to oppose this new group called The Wave. In the end, the teacher informs them all that they have been used in the same way that the Germans were towards Jews. The theme of the book is basically that people are easily changed to fit in or excel in their surroundings. The author shows us that many of the kids were weary to join this group and segregate those who didn’t, but were to afraid of standing out and/or what would happen to them if they went against it. So, people just kept going with it.
“’I don’t know like the feel of this at all…’ ‘But you mustn’t go against The Wave. We are all in this together. Anyone who is against The Wave is against us…’ ‘Yeah, you’re right. What’s so bad about following orders?’” This is a quote from the book that tells us how the students were too afraid to oppose The Wave. And even if they weren’t afraid, they wanted to fit in; they didn’t want to go against what all of their friends were so fixed upon.

The theme of Night, written by Elie Wiesel, differs greatly from The Wave’s theme. The theme of Night is a theme that says people change not because of their friends and family forcing them to, but rather that people adapt to their conditions, may they be the harsh, hot environment of the Arabian Desert or the lush, tropical environment of Hawaii. The book Night focus’s on the environment like a desert, in that the Jews are tortured beyond belief. Unlike the torture of thirst in the hot sun, these Jews were tormented by the yearn for food AND water, for just a second to rest from working just to live. These people went through watching their friends and families die. Some even were responsible for throwing their own flesh and blood into the furnaces! Yes, the theme of Night says that the humans we know today can change not from their fellow friends, but rather from the people in charge of their friends.
Given all of this information, The Wave is definitely more important of a book. The Wave shows that your friends whom you’ve known and loved for years can turn on you in a second if that’s what it takes to fit in and not stand out. Night tells us the obvious, but with more detail. Of course humans will have to adapt somehow to the harsh conditions of something like the Holocaust, so the theme Night isn’t what makes it good; the book’s vivid descriptions and envisioning descriptions are what make it a good book. But The Wave is a good book because it shows us how easily the unexpected can occur. The Wave is a wake up call to be on the lookout for something like this and to stop it from the beginning before it spreads.

Comment wall
emostaticliz12321 writes...
at 7:23:47pm on 3/3/07
and i thought that u were him ... lol
emostaticliz12321 writes...
at 7:22:17pm on 3/3/07
i added u cause i know ur brother
PrawnSkunk writes...
at 9:03:12pm on 1/31/07
First person to post on your wall.