Tag Archives: critical thinking

John Smith and Jamestown

John Smith (1580-1631) was one of the leaders of Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in North America. His background was in soldiering more than managing, but his imposition of strict discipline brought stability to Jamestown in its early years.

This excerpt from Smith’s account of the founding of Jamestown and the Virginia colony describes the “Starving Time” which occurred during the winter of 1609-1610.

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Ideology and Propaganda: Make Mine Freedom

Throughout the Cold War, Harding College (now University) produced a number of films which promoted “American” values in the face of perceived pressure from “un-American” ideologies.  This short animated film, “Make Mine Freedom” is an early example of these films.  As you watch it, think about the goals the filmmakers had in creating this cartoon and who the cartoon’s audience might have been.

Source: The Prelinger Collection (direct link to video)

Questions to consider:

  1. The film makes reference to “isms”–given the year of production, to what “isms” might the filmmakers have been referring?
  2. What do the filmmakers promote as an alternative to ‘isms”?
  3. What are the specific dangers of these “isms”?
  4. What makes the American way better than the foreign “isms,” according to the filmmakers?

Modernist Thought: The Futurist Manifesto

The Futurist Manifesto- Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1909)

Futurism was an artistic and literary movement which emerged in the early twentieth century in Italy, spreading to other nations in Europe within a few years.  Like many artistic and cultural trends in the Fin de siècle era, it rejected the Enlightenment era past and glorified the new. Marinetti (1876-1944) was an Italian poet who claimed to undergo a conversion of sorts to more modern ideas after a car accident caused him to re-evaluate art.
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