On June 6th, 1944, American paratroopers stormed Normandy, France to spearhead the D-Day invasion to ultimately drive the German forces out of France during World War II. After jumping, the paratroopers held their ground before beach-landing troops arrived with reinforcements. Several battles took place, including one within a field aside a French country road. After both sides had formed a skirmish line, prepared to fight, a jackrabbit became startled and began running between the two lines. Both sides began to fire at the rabbit, trying to strike him, yet after many attempts, the rabbit remained unharmed and darted safely into the bushes. Hearing the continuous gunshots from afar, the German defenders of Baupte assumed that they were outnumbered, allowing the pair of unsupported paratroop companies to easily overtake them.

After hearing Dr. Donald Olson, of Texas State University speak of his travels to Normandy, France to study the victories that took place during World War II, and speaking with my freshmen roommate who accompanied Dr. Olson on his study abroad, I became interested in the subject and have chosen to pursue it for my history painting. I have chosen to focus on a true story that involves a jackrabbit helping the American troops win a battle and ultimately, helping them drive the Germans out of France during World War II. I have found imagery of World War II soldiers along with references of running jackrabbits from the Internet that I can use to compile a dynamic composition.

This painting’s composition will be simple, yet powerful. By abstracting the rabbit’s form to a minimalistic, pale silhouette surrounded by a drastically different background, the rabbit will remain the focal point in a haunting way. The background will be composed of random, sporadic lines and marks in order to convey not only the random, quick movements of the animal himself, but also the frantic, rushed gunshots of the soldiers firing at him. This random barrage of marks will also convey the chaotic theme of war and the constant panic of being preyed upon. This composition will most importantly highlight the rabbit’s presence in the piece to focus on his major impact in the war through such a small, minor role.

While painting this painting, I will choose to paint with quick, energetic, and activated brushstrokes to highlight the fast energy of the jackrabbit and the boisterous clamor of the soldiers and their gunshots. As for colors, I will choose to use solemn, neutral tones in the background and pale tones within the jackrabbit. By using lighter colors on the hare, he will be highlighted as a heroic figure that brought hope to the war. All of these choices will help illustrate this historic event in a way that will highlight my positive thoughts.

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Just before the Civil War erupted within America during the 19th century, arguments and debates over slavery were very prominent and common. These debates were spurred by author, George Fitzburgh, a pro-slavery colonist who supported slavery because he felt that it was good for everyone within America.

Explaining that a paternalistic society was orderly and structured, Fitzhugh described that following the traditional values was best for masters, slaves, and non-slaveholding whites. In his view, allowing the masters to take care of the weaker and poorer slaves, slavery actually protected the weak, rather than devoured them, as in a capitalist society.

In the North, industries and factories were succeeding, promoting free trade and competition. This often allowed entrepreneurs to control the weak and poor members of the society, and as Fitzhugh explained, allowed the strong to “enslave” the weak. In the South, he felt there was a more successful and orderly institution that protected the weak, actually making them the most free of all people.

Through his writings, others were able to read his logic and support his ideas. These supporters helped prolong the slavery debates and actually helped launch the Civil War. A pro-slavery propagandist, George Fitzhugh felt that slavery was the best situation for America economically and socially.

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Not long after the Revolutionary War, competition over North American lands strengthened, leading to multiple wars and battles. Leading a Native American alliance, Tecumseh, a Shawnee war chieftain, tried to unite all of the Native American tribes against the every-encroaching powers of the white civilization.

Led by visions and awakenings, Tecumseh would try to persuade his peers by foretelling disasters and predicting success. With the help of his brother, The Prophet, Tecumseh became a strong obstacle standing between America and expansion.
Determined to progress, American colonists fought against Tecumseh’s armies, slowly weakening his alliance. Viewing the Native American lands as room to grow, they did not understand the sacred importance they represented for the Native Americans.

Constantly facing his rival, Governor William Henry Harrison, Tecumseh was determined to defeat his opposition and protect his lands and livelihood. Tecumseh’s efforts only prolonged American victory and conquest, however. Finally meeting his end, Tecumseh was slain by Harrison in a substantial battle that marked the beginning of Native American decline.

After losing their strong, inspirational leader and left with his unsuccessful and defeated brother, the tribes began to separate and weaken the bonds of alliance. Without unity, the Native Americans were overwhelmed by the power of the Americans and were eventually defeated.

"Celia: A Slave" by Melton A. McLaurin

“Celia: A Slave” by Melton A. McLaurin

People are raised to harbor a natural thirst for power and control and develop a strong sense to protect that authority and preserve their ways of life. With these internal motives and desires, southerners of the newly-formed United States of America were comfortable with the power established within the patriarch and unwillingly to surrender their newfound independence, freedom, and supremacy after breaking ties with Great Britain and signing the Declaration of Independence. Although declaring that all men were created equal and were endowed with unalienable rights, including “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” racism flourished among the antebellum south, and slavery became a part of the white American Dream. As illustrated through Melton A. McLaurin’s biography, Celia, A Slave, “slavery was an institution fundamental to the existence of southern society, a permanent part of the southern way of life” (18.) Through Celia’s eyes, one is enabled a unique view of the hidden secrets and conflicts of slavery that empowered white males and conserved the power of the master.

An ordinary slave, Celia was purchased in 1850 at the age of fourteen by Robert Newsom, a successful, sixty-year old farmer living within Callaway County, Missouri. Although instructed to cook and help his daughters with the daily household operations, Celia’s primary purpose was not to lighten the housework, however. Having been a widower for nearly a year, Newsom required a sexual partner and had deliberately purchased Celia in order to fill that role, just as one of every five female slaves was expected to. For the next five years, Celia would endure continuous sexual exploitation and abuse and even give birth to two of Newsom’s children. While pregnant with a third child, however, Celia’s ordinary slave life would no longer remain common and unnoticed, but enter history through dramatic trials within court.

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At a time when religion was centralized in one’s life, unfortunate events were often interpreted to symbolize religious meanings. Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, droughts, and earthquakes were seen as warning signs from God. Even attacks from Native Americans were seen as proof of divine dissatisfaction as God was unpleased with current situations.

In the late end of the 17th century, New England clergymen had been warning of declension, the falling away from Biblically-prescribed ways. This encouraged Puritans to look for signs, which they found inevitably. Even jeremiads were given, in which the Puritans attended sermons filled with dire warnings of impending doom.

With King Philip’s War raging on, many Puritans were fearful of New England’s decline. Cotton Mather was a Puritan who was very convinced of this demise when his five-month-old infant died along with his younger brother, Nathaniel. This, followed by his witness of witchcraft, convinced him and others of the decline of New England.

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Resting along the western shoreline of Europe, sit Spain and Portugal, juxtaposing against the enormous blue of the Atlantic Ocean. Prior to 1521, the massive body of water was a mystery, a hope, and an opportunity to explore and expand. At first, the countries were unsure of what they would discover once venturing into the unknown. Wishing for trade, riches, and new lands, they funded explorers to set sail and follow the ocean currents. Fortunately, Spain and Portugal were among the first countries to benefit from overseas exploration.

Beginning exploration in 1418, Portuguese began the sailing trend. After Christopher Columbus made his first voyage in 1492, Portugal was pleased to find an entire continent hiding across the waves. Soon, other countries were interested in sharing in the wealth of the “New World.”

Upon discovering North America, Columbus began to create new trades with the Natives. “Their Highnesses may see that I shall give them all the gold they enquire, if they will give me a little assistance; spices also, and cotton,…and mastic…I think also I have found rhubarb and cinnamon, and I shall find a thousand other valuable things,” Columbus wrote, recalling the trades he had transacted and the valuable resources he had brought back to Europe. Soon the Columbian Exchange was created and goods were constantly sailing the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and the Americas.

Unfortunately, the Columbian Exchange did not only spread valuable resources and goods, but also unpleasant nuisances. Upon viewing Aztec drawings, one can view the diseases, plagues, and illnesses that struck the Indians, coming from the foreign countries across the sea. Aztecs were covered with spots from diseases such as small pox, as they were sick to their stomachs. Many became ill, and some did not survive the epidemic.

With new equipment such as astrolabes that determined the latitude of ships, and rudders that were used to steer through the ocean, explorers were able to journey all over the world. In 1497, Vasco da Gama made his first voyage to India, opening the portal between the Western World and the Eastern World. New knowledge was shared, along with trade, resources, and inventions. In 1519, Magellan Elcano sailed around the entire world, proving the Earth’s roundness and revealing unexplored waterways. After Spain and Portugal began overseas expeditions, the world began to grow more connected.

Mankind is constantly changing and striving to progress and with the vast unknown sprawled before Spain and Portugal, overseas expeditions were born. Upon finding new land, Europe began to expand and benefit from new trades, resources, and goods. Even the Natives of the Americas were affected, if not always in a fortunate manner. Prior to 1521, Portuguese and Spanish sailors left a lasting impact on England, the Americas, Asia, and the entire world.

Only in my dad’s time was the fashion so hot that it was actually on fire… Who knew that nylon parachute pants couldn’t be ironed? As the years go by, trends come and go, technology changes and grows, and memories are created and forgotten. The time that I live in now is similar to the time when my father attended high school in some ways, yet completely different in other aspects. From the crazy styles to the teched out gizmos, teenagers struggle to break free from their parents and declare themselves independent while trying to make their generation stand out from all the rest as the years continue. With this combination, an array of different times can come.

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