Thursday, October 16, 2008

The French Revolution and the storming of the Bastille

The French people were getting nervous about what the king would do. Some people thought the king would send his soldiers to kill them all. They decided they needed weapons. They were going to get the weapons from the Bastille. The Bastille was a prison / fortress. The French did not like the Bastille, so on July 14, 1789 they attacked it. At first they could not get in, but then, people came with cannons and pointed them at the gate. Then the people inside the Bastille surrendered. When they got all of the weapons they needed and let the prisoners out they destroyed the Bastille.
That day became a special day in France, they call it Bastille day.
Not long after they destroyed the Bastille, other French people were mad because they still did not have a Constitution. They did not have to wait long. Soon they signed the Declaration of the Rights of Man and a Constitution.

Marquis De Lafayette and the beginning of the French Revolution

After the American Revolution, in France, the Marquis de Lafayette wanted rights for the people in France. He came up with the idea when he was in the United States fighting for freedom for us from the British. He talked about this with Thomas Jefferson. After the war, Thomas Jefferson was the Ambassador to France. Then...
King Louis XVI of France wanted to raise taxes. He didn't have any money because he fought a really expensive war with Britian. In order to raise taxes he called for the Estates General for permission. The Estates General are three groups. The First Estate is the clergy, the second is made up of the nobles, the third is everyone else. At that time, there were 28 million people in france. The third estate had 27.5 million people. The third estate had other ideas. They wanted a piece of power and a Constitution. King Luis XVI did not like that, so the third estate gave themselves a new name, the National Assembly. They invited other people from the other estates to join them. Louis got mad and locked them out of the meeting. The National Assembly went to a nearby tennis court and had their meeting there. They made a promise that they would stay together until they got a constitution. The Marquis de Lafayette joined the National Assembly.

Friday, October 3, 2008

George Washington

George Washington did not want to be president of America for life. He served two terms. When he was president the Bill of Rights was signed. The Treasury Department, War Department, State Department, Supreme Court, and the federal courts were all created dhen he was president. The people wanted him to be president for a third term but he refused because it was time for a new president.

I think he did a good job. I think he used a lot of his imagination.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The US Constitution and James Madison

After the American Revolution, states started to fight against each other. They did not pay their debts and each state had different money. In Massachusets there was a group of farmers who couldn't pay their debts and they were scared their farms would be taken away. The farmers tried to take over the Massachusets government. This was called Shays's Rebelion. All of the states were falling into pieces, so 12 states sent people to Philadelphia to agree on something that would hold America together. James Madison was studying ancient democracies because he wanted to find out how America could stay together. He wrote, with all of the other delgates, the Constitution of the United States of America. Some of the delgates were afraid that the president would be too strong. Some of the other delegates were afraid that the president would not be strong enough. James Madison suggested three branches so no one branch would be stronger than the other. The legislative branch would make the laws, the executive branch carried them out, and the judicial branch would decide if the laws were OK. The delegates signed the new constitution. We call James Madison the father of the constitution because he had the ideas of the three branches.
(the picture on the left is James Madison and the picture on the right is Dolly Madison, his wife)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Declaration of Independance

The King of England, Charles III, put taxes on tea, made soldiers live in colonists' homes. Soon they got mad and decided to write the Declaration of Independance. They chose Thomas Jefferson to write it and Benjamin Franklin advised him. Thomas Jefferson wrote that all men are created equal and that we have rights given by God. Our rights are life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. He told the King that the rights were given by God and the King could not take them away. When he wrote this he was a little scared about what might happen to him and his family. He was scared because it was treason. If you committed treason you would be hanged. The other people who signed it were brave and scared at the same time. All of their homes were destroyed, some of their families were taken, some of them were captured. One man had thirteen children who were taken away and his wife died. He never saw his kids again.

The Declaration of Independance told the King they were not part of Britain anymore.

Monday, September 22, 2008

John Locke

John Locke was a philosopher. He believed that people had rights a king could not take away. Those rights were life, liberty, and property. Because of what he thought, King James II wanted to put him in jail. Locke went to Holland so he would not get thrown in jail. The king was kicked out by parliament and his daughter and her husband, Mary and William, became king and queen. Locke gladly returned to England. On his trip back he spoke with Princess Mary because she was on the same ship as he was. He told her, if the king is being a bad king the people had the right to kick him out. Locke thought that Mary and William would be different from King James II, they would be better.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was a famous man. He made the lightning rod, experimented with electricity, he made the first volunteer fire department in Philadelphia, first hospital, he created street cleaning jobs for people in Philadelphia, he made a fire insurance company, helped write the Declaration of Independance, he made a rocking chair and whenever somebody rocked on it the fan above it would move to keep the flies away, he reorganized the way the post office worked. He did a lot of great things. He had 16 brothers and sisters too.

To learn more about Banjamin Franklin go here.