The Story of the National Road

As briefly discussed in class, the first major public highway built in the U.S. is known as National Road, or Cumberland Road. It was constructed over the period of almost two decades, beginning in 1811 around Cumberland, Maryland and ceasing development in Vandalia, Illinois in the 1830’s. Interestingly enough, over half a century earlier, a …

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Comment on Carlson’s “The Romans” by giuseppev97

What’s amazing about ancient Roman warfare is how they kept the same basic design for many of their anti-infantry and artillery weapons. For example, the Scorpion, aka the smaller and older version of the ballista, utilizes the same basic principles. However, even though they both throw stones, one became more useful on the battlefield against infantry while the other remained in use as a siege engine.

Comment on Sticks and Stones (Research Paper) by giuseppev97

As a classical historian, I’ve become quite familiar with the usage of ballistas and ancient artillery in general. Whats impressive about the ballista is that it remained in use for centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire as an effective siege engine. There are records of it being used as late as the 13th century during the Siege of Dover in England, over 1,500 years after it was adopted by the Roman Republic from the Greeks.

Comment on Summary of the Chapter “The Emergence of Big Business” in Mansel Blackford’s Business Enterprise in American History by giuseppev97

I think it’s incredible how the railroad industry became the go-to form of transportation for both short and long distances in the U.S. within decades of existence. Before the public knew it, railroad companies were able to jack up prices because they owned a monopoly in their own niche-controlled market. These were times prior to the creation of the FTC and without the checking on big business, they’re wealth skyrocketed in no time, hence the generation of 17-35 million dollars a year for most companies.

Comment on Stearns – Population Growth. by giuseppev97

You have gotta love population growth charts, they always provide some interesting insight into how fluctuations in population work in tandem with societal changes. What is quite intriguing about the population of Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries though is that there were multiple major famines in various countries, including France and Ireland on multiple occasions. Some, such as the great famine in Ireland during the late 1840’s, killed some 1 million people and forced another 2 million overseas in three years, but it does not even affect the overall growth of the population in Europe. Instead, the population of the continent still blossomed well into the 20th century without ever really breaking a sweat.

Gimpel Chapter 9: The End of an Era

This final chapter from “The Medieval Machine” discusses the various reasons as to why what we now call the Middle Ages went into such a dramatic decline in a short amount of time. The first half talks about the multitude of cults, famines, epidemics, economic depressions and popular uprisings which over the course of roughly …

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The First Technological Revolution and Its Lessons

This passage from the well renowned writer, educator, and philosopher of the 20th century, Peter  Drucker, is a broken down reflection on how the First Technological Revolution continues to influence mankind well into the 21st century. Drucker starts off by pointing out that in this age of digital technological advancement, people continue to be both …

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