Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011-2012 Challenges. Number 14

These are the questions for the last challenge of the year. They are about Spain´s history and the refer to the Regencies´ period and the first stage of Isabella II´s reign:


In September 1832 when  Ferdinand VII became ill, several intransigent absolutists put pressure on him in order to change the succession law in favour of Ferdinand´s brother, Carlos María Isidro. When this intrigue was discovered, a violent scene took place in La Granja Palace. One of Ferdinand VII´s sisters-in-law had an important role in this incident. Who was this lady? What happened?


Three months after Ferdinand VII´s death, his widow and Regent, Mª Cristina, married in secret a man who worked in the royal palace. Who was this man and what was his job when he met the Regent? What nobility title did he receive when this marriage became public and official ten years later?


In 1835, during the First Carlist War, the city of Bilbao was besieged by the carlist troops. According to the legend, a famous dish of the Spanhish cuisine was invented by the carlist general who commanded this siege of Bilbao. Who was this general? What tasty dish did he supposedly invent?

General Espartero´s entrance in Bilbao


The First Carlist War finished with the signature of the Vergara Convention between two generals who had been comrades-in-arms during the independence wars of the Spanish American colonies. Who were these generals?


In 1843 Isabella II was declared of age when she was 13 years old. One month later, the proggressive prime minister Olózaga was involved in a strange incident, which led to the return of the moderates to power. What was the so called "Olózaga incident"?

Salustiano Olózaga


When and why was the Guardia Civil created? What previous public order force was replaced by the Guardia Civil? Who was the first director of the Guardia Civil?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The last presentations for Unit 3

At Mari Luz´s request, here you have the PowerPoint presentations we´ve been using to end Unit 3. They can be useful for you to complete some exercises or schemes. 

P.S: I´ll include a holiday challenge in the following days. You will have until the 8th of  January to solve it. I hope that someone more tan Javi participates this time. 


Today in social sciences we have had a calm lesson.
At the beginning of the lesson Paqui has told our marks with a comment. My comment was that my notebook was a disaster and that i work very few that I copied all the exercises from the blackboard, I don´t participate in the blog at all and my first exam was horrible (but the second was good) in other words, I pass.

About the projects Paqui has said "I want to correct people's projects no machines' projects" because some people have used the translator for their projects.

When Paqui was trying to say all the marks we have received the visit of some Paqui ex-pupils. She has said they were very lovely and after that, some girls of the class have run to hug Paqui. Paqui has liked this visit.

As this afternoon Yolanda and me have a german exam we have practised the dialogue for all the class and Paqui has corrected all our mistakes. We have discovered Paqui knows German. She knows about everything!

For this Christmas holidays we have somethings for homework: we have to read all the new unit and write all the new words in the glossary. We have to dp exercises 20,22,23,24,25 of page 22.

At the end of the lesson, people who failed the exam have fixed the date of the make up exam. It is on the 16th of January.

Everyone has told merry Christmas to Paqui and a happy new year to her.

With This post we want to say merry Christmas and a happy new year to our readers from all around the world.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today in Social Science, at the beginning of the lesson, Paqui has reminded us the features of Liberalism, the ones we copied on Monday. Liberalism is a political ideology that defines a political system based on the following ideas: the human beings are born free and have some inalienable rights, citizens’ rights are reflected on a Constitution, the State has to guarantee citizens’ rights (social contract) , national sovereignty in which power belongs to citizens, who exert it through the representatives they choose in the elections, division of powers to avoid abuse and free market economy in which the State doesn’t have to intervene in economy.

We have copied the two types of liberalism from the powerpoint; they are classical liberalism where the main word is only, because in this trend property is the main right, only those who have properties are considered to be citizens and they defended census suffrage; the other one is democratic liberalism where equality before the law is the main right and all citizens are equal and have the right to vote, they defended universal suffrage.

After that, Paqui has explained us Nationalism. People could decide if they wanted to become independent or to belong to a nation. There are two conceptions of nation. The first one is progressive inclusive, members of the nation want to belong to it, like France in the past. The second one is conservative or excluding, members of the nation are those who share some common features. An example of this is the Nazis with race.

Then, we have copied self-determination and self-government from the blackboard. We have spoken about Fichte, a romantic German writer who wrote “Address to the German Nation”.

Ana has said that for her it isn’t right to have to learn Catalan, Euskera and Gallego to work in Catalonia, the Basque Country or Galicia. Paqui has said that we have to open our minds, because we can’t close doors with the problems of the languages. Paqui has also said that if you go to study abroad with Erasmus grant you will understand many languages, because it is a new opportunity in which people know that the most important thing is people and they forget nations and languages, because languages are only the way of communicating. I think that always when you learn a new language, whatever it is, it is good for you, because it is new knowledge.

After that, Paqui has explained us the three revolutionary waves in the 1st half of the 19th century: in 1820, 1830 and 1848. We have copied a scheme about them and we have completed it with the power point.
We also have spoken about the end of the world. Yolanda Abad watched a documental on the computer about it and it said that will be on the 12th of December of the next year and it will be provoked by a particles accelerator.
At the end of the lesson, we have copied that Lord Byron was a British romantic poet. He died fighting for the independence of Greece.

Today we have learnt some words:
-Peoples: pueblos
-Flemish: flamenco
-The Craddle of civilization: cuna de la civilización.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Farewell, Fernando

Today is a sad day for many people who had the chance to know Fernando Villanueva, one of the best teachers and true colleagues I´ve ever met. Fernando has always been for me an example of hard worker, devoted teacher and tolerant person. We had different opinions on several topics, but we could talk and learn from each other. I think the way he understood teaching  and his tolerance towards the others´ opinions are the best legacy we should keep and preserve. Today the world is a worst place and we all have lost a true teacher and an excellent person. IWe´ll never forget you. 

Lyrics of the song Leaning on  the Everlasting Arms:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Time to think

Here you have some quotes to think about and grow internally. There are two authors with more than one quote. These are Albert Einstein, the famous scientist, and Viktor Frankl, a Jewish doctor who survived to the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Dachau from 1942 to 1945. Frankl wrote an inspirational book called Man´s  search for meaning. I hope you like the quotes and reach some conclusions from them. 

  • A stumble may prevent a fall. Thomas Fulller
  • The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke
  • The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. Friedrich Nietzsche.
  • The hardest are the battles that I fight with myself every single day. Napoleon Bonaparte
  • He who learns but does not think, is lost. He who thinks but does not learn, is in great danger. Confucius
  • When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. Viktor Frankl
  • Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he/she learned in school. Albert Einstein.
  • The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look and do nothing. Albert Einstein
  • Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. Johan Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to. Mark Twain.
  • A human being is a deciding being. Viktor Frankl
  • Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value. Albert Einstein

2011-2012 Challenges. Number 13

Generals José de San Martín and Bernando O´Higgins crossing the Andes

This week´s challenge will be about the independence of the Spanish colonies of America. This process started during the Peninsular War, when differents colonies decided not to follow Joseph I ´s orders and took advantage of the power vaccum created on the Spanish side to start organizing their own governments. They also created boards and at the beginning they fought for Ferdinand VII´s return, but the situation changed when the Cortes of Cádiz decided to restrict the king´s powers. Many American boards started proclaiming independence and this process didn´t stop when Ferdinand VII came back to Spain. Here you have some questions to learn more about these events: 

An American social group had an important role in the process of independence. They were unhappy with their subordinated role in the colonies. What was the name of this group of people?

The most important national holiday in Mexico commemorates the first rebellion against the Peninsulars in 1810. What is the name of this rebellion? Who led this uprising?

What was the first American territory to declare independence?

How do we call the leaders of the independence?

Two of the most important leaders of the independence revolt celebrated a meeting to decide on the independence of Perú, one of the last territories in contiental America to reach independence. Who were these leaders? When and where did this meeting take place?

The Spanish army in the colonies was definitely defeated in 1824. This defeat confirmed the independence of the former territories of the Vicerroyalty of Perú. What is the name of this last battle against the independence fighters? What name did the Spanish military men who fought in this battle receive?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

15th December 2011

Today in Social Sciences at the beginning of the class we have been waiting for some few minutes because Paqui was in the class with other students finishing an exam. Afterwards we have gone into the class and Yolanda has asked Paqui if she had the exams but Paqui hadn't time to check them.
Then we have started cheking the scheme that we had to do, it was about Ferdinand VII's reign which was divided into three parts: Sexenio Absolutista, Liberal Triennium and the Ominous Decade.

Duke of Angouleme. Source: 

During the reign of Ferdinand VII the Absolutism was restored when the king asked for help to the Holy Alliance and they sent the Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis (that were in total 127,000 soldiers) commanded by the Duke of Angouleme. Another important event that happened during the reign of Ferdinand VII was the independence of all the Spanish colonies in 1824 except from Santo Domingo, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. It led to a more realistic policy.
At the end of his reign, Ferdinand VII tried to change the succession laws. Concretely the law was called the Salic Law. This law was imposed by the Bourbons and it excluded women from the throne. to make his daughter queen but the many absolutists supported Carlos María Isidro of Borbón, Ferdinand VII's brother. All this led to the First Carlist War. We have copied a scheme with these ideas.

Then at the end of the class Paqui has asked for a boy to write the journal and I have told her to write it, for homework we have to read the point four of the unit and do the exercise 19. Then we have given the notebooks to Paqui because she is going to check them and she has showed us a video that is called "This I believe", it includes a lot of interesting ideas, is better for all you to watch it (is on the post previous to this one).

See you!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Good thoughts

Here you have a video I´ve found on the History for Music Lovers channel on Youtube. The video is based on a former programme on the USA National Public Radio (NPR), where people talked about their values and the philosophy that guided their lives. It contains some interesting thoughts that maybe some of you will appreciate. 

More information about This I believe, the radio programme on the NPR:

14th of December

Sorry, but I couldn't write the journal before because I had a problem, my grandmother has died and I coludn't write it before.
Today in Social Science everybody has asked Paqui about the exams. Then she has told as that she hadn't corrected the exams. She has explained the reason why she hadn't checked the exams, and she prefers to not talk about the topic.
Then Laura Meco and Yolanda Rubio has checked the squeme about the Decisions of the Congress of Vienna.
Later Paqui has explained to us the Holy Alliance that conteins 3 big empires in Continental Europe that are the following ones: Russia ( East ), Prussia and Austria ( Central Europe ) Un.Kingdom ( Seas and Oceans ).


After we have started with the point about The case of Spain:Fernando VII' Reign ( 1814-1833 )
           His reign can be divided into three stages:
                   *Reaction: Sexenio Absolutista ( 1814-1820 )
                   *Liberal Trennium ( 1820-1823 )
                   *Ominous Decade ( 1823-1833 )
Then she has told what is Mnifesto of the Perssion: It started explaining an old Persian tradition: 5 days of choos, without any role, before the arrival of a new king and the restocration of order.
     Here we have some words that we have learned today:
           Buffer State-Estado Tapón
           Balance of powers- Equilibrio de poderes
           To seed-Sembrar
           The seed of revolution-Semilla de la revolución
           Outbroak- Estallado, brote
           To keep a promise- Mantener una promesa
           To weigh up-Tantear, valorar, sopesar
                                                                                                          Bye, see you tomorrow

Monday, December 12, 2011

12th December 2011

Today in Social Sciences we have done the exam about the French Revolution and the Enlightened Reformism oof Charles III
The exam has 5 exercises; the first one was match some names with the correct definition or what this person did.
The second exercise was about Charles III’s reign and what happened during his rulling period.
The third exercise was about described the beginning of the French Revolution and what happened in the summer of 1789. (Great Fear)
In the fourth exercise you have to describe two of three options. The options were:

-         Tell all you know about Napoleon Bonaparte, how he arrived the power and how his empire finished.
-         Tell all you know about the Jacobins Convention, how they arrived to power and what changes they made.
-         What happened in Spain during the Peninsular War.

I have chosen the first and the second options.

The fifth exercise was about concepts. You have to choose five of I think there were 8 concepts and you have to define them.

I think the exam was not too difficult but it was very long! 
We have to give the notebooks to Paqui next Thursday

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2011-2012 Challenges. Number 12

The kings´s cake being cut at the Congress of Vienna

This week´s questions will be related to the Congress of Vienna and its consequences. The questions are the following: 


There is an old German film, whose plot was related to the Congress of Vienna. It was one of the first movies with sound filmed in Europe. What was its name?


One of the main decisions of the Congress of Vienna was the creation of the Holy Alliance. But there was another international organization created as a result of the Congress of Vienna. What was its name? What countries were its members?


What was the Concert of Europe?


One of  the last interventions of the Holy Alliance was decided during the Congress of Verona and it was closely related to Spain´s history. What was this intervention and what was its result?


One of the participants in the Congress of Vienna had a mysterious death. His tomb was opened some years after and found empty. Who was this person? According to the legend, what happened to him?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Today we've started the class checking the last exercises. One of them was based in many concepts like "guerrilla". And the other was based in the events that happened in Spain during the Peninsular War. After Paqui has explained us what points are going to take part in the exam: the last two pages of the last unit and points one and two of this unit:
After we've started talking about the third point of this unit THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA AND THE RESTORATION.
Paqui has said us Joseph I was supported by the Francophiles (Frenchified).
We've could see Cortes of Cadiz had the same proposes than Madrid: Passing a lot of laws to end the Ancien Régime.
Today we've learnt a little bit of vocabulary. For example:
-Fright means "susto".
We've done a scheme that summarizes everything:
Participants of the Congress of Vienna were delegates for all the countries taht had defeat Napoleon. For example: TALLEIRAND (France) WELLINGTON (Great Britain), METTERNICH (Austria)
The Congress of Vienna's objectives were:
- Go back to the Ancien Régime and erase the remains of the French Revolution
- Remodel the map of Europe after the Napoleonic Wars
And their decisions were:
- Give the thrones back to all the monarchs deposed by Napoleon. Example: Louis XVIII became king of France and Ferdinand VII came back to Spain.
-Creation of the Holly Alliance to preserve absolutism and religion in Europe. Formed by Austria, Russia and Prussia.
-Changes in the map of Europe:
  • France came back to its frontiers in 1791.
  • Two buffer States (estados tapón) were created in France's borders: the United Kingdom of Netherlands and the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.
  • Poland, Finland and Bessarabia were annexed to Russia.
  • A German Confederation united all the Germanic States
  • The United Kingdom got the control of some strategic points in different seas and oceans
After this scheme the time of the class was finished.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Joseph I´s satirical drawings

Joseph I was the centre of many jokes during his rule in Spain. Here you have a selection of caricatures against him: 

If you want to learn something more about Joseph I as king of Spain, here you have some links in Spanish: 

2011-2012 Challenges. Number 11

This challenge is related to some people and facts related to the Peninsular War: 


As the powerful man he was during Charles IV´s reign, Manuel Godoy became very rich and had an important collection of works of art, which included some of the most famous Spanish paintings. What happened to Godoy´s possessions and properties after the Mutiny of Aranjuez?


After the awful episode of the Abdications of Bayonne,  Joseph Bonaparte was appointed king of Spain by his brother Napoleon. Joseph I tried to modernize the country, but he was not loved by his subjects. The Spaniards invented several nicknames to mock him and spread rumours about his supposed vices. What were these nicknames? Where do they come from?


At the end of 1813 the French troops left Spain. King Joseph I had left the country in June, after the French defeat in the Battle of Vitoria. King Joseph lost his baggage as a consequence of this battle. What was the content of this baggage? 


Some of the most important guerrilla fighters during the Peninsular War were Juan Martín Díaz, called  El Empecinado (the Stubborn) and Francisco Abad Moreno, Chaleco. What happened to them after the war? How did their lives end?


What is Apsley House? What is its relation to the Peninsular War?


Why did Goya paint some patriotic paintings, such as The 2nd of May 1808, The 3rd of May 1808 or the Portrait of General Palafox on horseback, after Ferdinand VII´s restoration? 

General Palafox on horseback (1814), Francisco de Goya

You will have time to answer until next Tuesday. 

1st December 2011

Today in Social Sciences Javi have checked the exercise 15 that consist in defind some concepts that were, Treaty of Fontainebleau that was an agreement signed by Godoy in 1807 that allowed the French army to cross Spain with the purpose of invading Portugal.
Other concept was Aranjuez Mutiny that was a riot prepared by Charler IV's son who conspired against his father and fired Godoy.In March 1808 Godoy was discussed and Ferdinand got the crown.
And the last concept was Abdications of Bayonne, events happened in Bayonne on the 5th May 1808, when Ferdinand VII had to give the crown of Spain back to his father, Charles IV gave it to Napoleon and Napoleon to his brother Joseph I.
Then Paqui has given as an advice to define concepts that have been: "you can't include the word you are defining in the definition".

After that we have been talking about a new form of fighting invented by the Spanish army during the Peninsular War and has been used in wars many times that consist on attacking in surprise place that was called "guerrilla" and also we have been talking about the main groups of the guerrillas war.

Then we have been talking about the results of the end of the war for this, Paqui has shown us some pictures about tortures and deads.

The government during war was Joseph I that was supported by the Francophiles some of the most importants were Leandro Fernández de Moratín and Juan Meléndez Valdés and also there were vey little popular supporting.
The Francophiles considered the war as the opportunity of modernizing Spain.
During this time there was a rebeld government that decided to call the Cortes. There were a power vacuum and in the first day of the Cortes, they decided to write a Constitution.
This constitution have the following characteristics:
It was passed on the 19th March 1812, it was called "the pepa", and has ideas of political liberalism:
-like a nation sovereignity
-division of powers
-wide declaration of rights
-indirect universal male suffrage
But there were some remains of the Ancien Régime. The Cortes of Cádiz also passed a lot of laws to abolish the Ancien Régime, but these reforms couldn't exent due to war.
And finally we have been talking a little bit about the Treaty of Valençay that was an agreement in which the French troops would retire from Spain and Ferdinand VII would recover the crown.

Some new words that we have learned have been:
-retreat means retirada
-retirement means jubilacion
-to discourage means desanimar
-to harass means hostigar
-etching means grabado
-impaled means empalado
-provincial board means junta provincial
-francophiles means afrancesados
-supreme central board means junta central suprema
-power vacuum means vacío de poder
-to come in force that means entrar en vigencia
-to be in force that means estar vigente
-to be fed up that means estar harto

For homework we have to finish exercise 15 and add the concept guerrilla and exercise 17 from page 22.

Bye see you tomorrow

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Valley of the Fallen

In today´s lesson we have dedicated  some minutes to comment on yesterday´s news about the Valley of the Fallen and the conclusions of the report of the commission in charge of studying what to do with this controversial monument. Here you have some links, just in case you want to have more information about the monument, the people buried there and what the commission proposes to do with it.

- A short report about the Valley of the Fallen, with basic information about this place: 

- Two articles in English about the report presented by the commission yesterday: 

- And this is the news in Spanish: 

30th November

Today we have started the class corrected exercise 14. It was about why was Spanish foreign policy subordinated to the French interest during Charles IV’ reign.
We have been spoke that all Europe was against France except Spain because they have a common enemy.
We have also spoke about Godoy, Maria Luisa, Charles IV and Ferdinand.
Ferdinand proposed a Munity against Godoy when the king went to Aranjuez and the citizens were with Ferdinand and Godoy tried to hide under a bed. At the end Charles abdicated and his son started to reigning as Ferdinand. Charles IV regretted his decisions and sent a letter to Napoleon asking for his help to get the crown back. In May Napoleon called Charles and Ferdinand to Bayonne (France)
On the 2nd of May 1808 some people of Madrid observed that the members of the royal family were going out of the Royal Palace escorted by French soldiers. They thought that the royal family was being abducted by the French and a revolt against they started. The French troops strongly repressed the revolt by protests spread through and out all the country.
Francisco de Goya, the painter, witnessed the events in Madrid and reflected them on his painting the 2nd and the 3rd of May 1808.
The 2nd was the Spanish against the French people.
The 3rd was the revolutionary people was killed.
After that we have started to talk about the abdications of Bayonne ( 5th of May 1808): Meanwhile in Bayonne Napoleon obliged Ferdinand VII to give the crown of Spain back to his father Charles IV. He gave it to Napoleon and Napoleon gave the crown to his elder brother, Joseph, who became Joshep I.
We have copied a scheme about the Peninsular War (1808-1813)
1)1808:First Months: Initial disorganization, sieges and unexpected victory in Bailén.
2)END OF THE 1808 TO 1812: Almost total French control of the country and only resitants: Gurrilla
3)APRIL 1812 END OF 1813: Retirement of French Troops for the Compaign of Russia and Hispano-British offensive from Portugal.
At the end of the class we have spoken about el Valle de los Caidos. Because now some political people want to put away Franco’s cadaver.
Also we have spoken about the Peninsular War (1808-1814). Initial disorganization of the Spanish army, commanded by nobles and poorly prepared to fight against French. Unexpected victory in Bainlén. (19th of July 1808). The Spanish troops commanded by General Castaños defeated the French troops commanded by Dupout. The Spanish troops took advantages of their knowledge of the ground.
1.000.000 soldier occupied all Spain except Cádiz. Only Guerrilla fighters resisted the French. We have learnt new words like the different between kipnap and abduct kipnap is ask for a ranson and abduct is because you want without a ranson also to siege a city: sitiar una cuidad and ambush: emboscada.
For homework we have to do exercise 15 except the last concept

Monday, November 28, 2011

From our heads to the sky!

60,000 is just another figure, but it also means that there are people interested in what they can find here, even if they don´t leave comments. We may not have won any award, but, as our friend Napoleon said, our greatness can only be measured from our heads to the sky! 

Presentation about Spain during the French Revolution

This is the PowerPoint presentation we´re going to use to learn what happened in Spain during the French Revolution. That period coincided with Charles IV´s reign and the Peninsular War. We´ll learn how the European events influenced the evolution of the Spanish policy and how what happened in Spain had an important effect in the end of the Napoleonic Empire. As usual, you can use this presentation to review the contents or complete your notes and exercises. 

The Russian Campaign explained from a grave

In 1812, by Illarion Prianishnikov

Here you have some interesting links about the extreme suffering of the Napoleonic army in their retreat from Russia. The following articles explain the discovery of a mass grave in Vilnius, Lithuania. In 2002 some bulldozers, removing the remains of an old housing development, discovered the tomb where more than 2,000 soldiers of the Grande Armée had been buried during their retreat from Russia. This immense grave has been excavated for some years and the archaeologists have found a lot of interesting data to determine the causes of death of the soldiers and many other aspects about the Napoleonic Army in Russia. 

The following links explain the discovery of the grave in 2002: 

And this one is in Spanish: 

And here you have a complete report with the conclusions of the study of the grave: 

28th of November 2011

Today in Social Sciences we have seen a power point when we just arrived to class. The power point was about the Napoleonic empire and, then Paqui told me to write the journal. Then she ask about the home work and she said that always the same people answers to it, so Alejandro was the one to correct the first exercise nº 12 about explaining th role of the Continental Blocksale and the of the Napoleonic Empire, Paqui has explained what it was in the power point, and she has told us about the French invasion to Russia, and Paqui has explained about how the soildiers were wearing the summer uniform and how a lot of them died because of the cold temperatures of the winter in Russia, the started attacking Russia in summer but while they were going to Moscow the winter and the cold temperatures started so as I´ve said before many people died, then Paqui has writed in the blackboard an scheme about the invasion of Russia by the Napoleonic empire.
After the winter, the Napoleonic army retired because a lot of people died and while they were comming back the Russians attacked them so at the end from the Great Army which had 1.000.000, only came back 500.000 so half of the army died on this campaing.
Then Napoleon after the Battle of Leipzig where Napoleon was defeated he was confined in the island of Elba, then he came back to France for only 100 days (The Hundred Days Empire) but when he was defeated in the Battle of Waterloo he was esiled to the island of Saint Helena, in the Atlantic Ocean, whre he died.
After we have corrected the exercise nº 13 about the effects of the Napoleonic occupation in Europe, that exercise is the one Paqui has corrected in the blackboard and she has told us that the French army spread the ideas of the revolution and the people revolted against them becouse they used the force to impose this ideas.
After this we have read about Spain during the French Revolution, in which Charles IV was the king and he vas strongly influenced by the events in France. In 1793 Spain declared the war to France but they loose in 1795 so Manuel Godoy who was the prime minister of Charles IV subordinated the Spanish foreing policy to the French interest because Great Britain was the main enemy of both countries, France and Spain.
To explain this part better, Paqui has told to some of us to be some of the characters of this period: so Daniel Pintado was Charles IV, Mari Luz was his wife Maria luisa, Ángel was Manuel de Godoy, Isabel was his wife Maria Teresa, and finaly I was Ferdinad VII, so Paqui told us the story of this period, Charles IV was the king and his wife who was the lover of Manuel de Godoy told Charles to put him as prime minister, then Paqui told us that Maria Teresa was a very sad woman becouse she knew that Manuel de Godoy was with other women, later Ferdinand VII prepared a conspirancy against his father and he fired Manuel de Godoy and Charles IV abdicates and that´s how Ferdinand VII became the king of Spain.
Finally Paqui has given us the exercise 14 from the page 22 which is about the foreing policy during Charles IV´s reign, so that´s all for today.
See you in the next class!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Make your choice!

Napoleon Bonaparte left a lot of quotes that summarized his thoughts about many different topics. There are many referred to war and fighting, such as "Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them" or "One must change one´s tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one´s superiority". Others were related to government, such as "Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues" or "The man fitted for affairs and authority never considers individuals, but things and their consequences". He also thought about revolution and wrote "A revolution is an idea, taken up by bayonets" and "A revolution can be neither made nor stopped. The only thing that can be done is for one of several of its children to give it a direction by dint of victories". He also expressed his opinion about religion, for example when he said "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich", "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet" or "If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god". His thoughts about human nature are very interesting as well: " A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights", "The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man" or "Men are moved by two levers only: fear and interest". His reflection on history was "History is a set of lies agreed upon". But his opinion about women was more negative and controversial: "Women are nothing but machines for producing children". And this is what he said about the Spanish people: "Of all the peoples of Europe, Spaniards disgust me the least". 

There are a lot of interesting Napoleon´s quotes. Here you have a selection of the ones I most like. Which one do you prefer? Leave your opinions on the comments´ section.

  • A true man hates no one
  • The only conquests that are permanent and leave no regrets are our conquests over ourselves
  • There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit
  • Courage isn't having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don't have strength.
  • Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in
  • The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance
  • To listen to the interests of all, marks an ordinary government; to foresee them, marks a great government.
  • Truth fears no question
  • Show me a family of readers and I will show you the people who move the world.
  • The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.
  • The greatness of a man is not measured from his feet to his head, but from his head to the sky
  • A leader is a dealer in hope
  • It requires more courage to suffer than to die.
  • Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.
  • War is the business of barbarians

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The French Revolutionary Calendar

As we studied yesterday, the Jacobin Convention adopted a new calendar in October 1793. The French revolutionaries changed the names of months, divided them into décades and gave name to all the days of the year. The twelve months of the year had 30 days. The five/six lasting days were called complementary or sansculottide days, reserved for holidays. The Revolutionary Calendar was in force until the 1st January 1806, when Napoleon Bonaparte decided to abolish it and come back to the Gregorian calendar, the one we use in the Western world nowadays. If you want to read more about this curious calendar, here you have some interesting links: 

- A little bit of history about the calendar: 

- The names of the days: 

- Converter: first you have to choose the century (21th) in the civil era and after this the current day, month and year and you will have the date in the French Revolutionary calendar: 

2011-2012 Challenges. Number 10

This week´s challenge includes some questions related to the French national anthem and Napoleon Bonaparte.

What is the name of the French National anthem and where does its name come from? Who was his author? In what context was the anthem composed?

Napoleon Bonaparte studied in the Military School in Paris. In his graduation exam to become an artillery officer, he was examined by a prominent mathematician and astronomer. Who was this scientist?

Napoleon´s campaign in Egypt in 1798 had an important cultural side. The French army was accompanied by numerous scientist and  scholars. Many of the Egyptian  antiques in the Louvre Museum were collected during this campaign. But the most important result of this expeditions was the discovery of a decisive object for the history of languages. What was this object and why was it so important?

In 1803 Napoleon decided to sell an important territory in the Americas, because he thought it would be very difficult to defend. What was this territory? What was the total price of this commercial operation?

When Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor, a very famous musician scratched out the dedication he had written to Napoleon in one of the symphonies he composed. Who was this musician? What was the symphony he had dedicated to Napoleon?

Napoleon in his study, Jacques-Louis David, 1812

What was Napoleon´s contribution to the treatment to Jews in Europe? 

Where did Napoleon die? Where is he buried?  How did his corpse arrive to this place?

This challenge is very easy. You don´t have any excuse!

24th of November 2011

Today in Social Sciences, at the beginning of the lesson Paqui has asked who wanted to do the journal and I've volunteered. Afterwards, Paqui has shown us a powerpoint about some things of the previous class. Then, she has shown us the next point of the unit: The Napoleonic Era (1800- 1815). Later, Paqui has explained it and copied the scheme on the blackboard. In 1800-1802 on the Three member consulate, Napoleon was the First Consul and until1804 he was elected First and Only consul for life ( because they thought he was a good ruler). The main decisions he took were:
- The reestablishment of public order and stopping counter-revolution and popular revolts.
- Administrative reforms: prefects, Napoleonic Code, educational reform.
- Concordat with the Pope: he agreed to peace with the Pope and Catholic religion came back as the official religion in France.
In April of 1804 it was approved the conversion of France into an Empire and in December of that year, Napoleon crowned himself as Emperor. Paqui has shown us a huge painting of this moment which is exposed on the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The Empire was formed by territories conquered by Napoleon (Low Countries, Milan...), territories controlled by Napoleon such as Spain, Grand Duchy of Warsaw, etc and the allies (Austria, Norway and Denmark). There were territories that didn't accept Napoleon's rule such as Great Britain, Portugal and Russia. He decided to order the Continental Blockade: Prohibition of having commercial realtions like buying and selling with Great Britain althought Portugal didn't follow this and Napoleon decided to invade it. As Spain was a France ally, he signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau with Godoy (prime minister of Spain) to allow the French troops to cross Spain towards Portugal. The Peninsular war was started when the people of Madrid revolted against French soldiers. Later he decided to invade Russia and these two decisions meant the end of the Empire in 1815.
Today we've learnt some new words:
· Ally: Aliado
· Continental blockade: Bloqueo continental

When Paqui has finished explaining this, she has asked us a date to do the exam of this unit. Almost all have voted for the 12th of December but some people disagreed and Paqui has become angry because they were talking in Spanish. Finally, Paqui has given us two exercises for homework (12 and 13 from page 22).
Bye bye!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

23rd November 2011

Napoleon's portrait
The guillotine was very famous

Today in Social Sciences at the beginning of the class Laura’s sister and his friend were talking with Paqui, and when we were all sitting in our places, some people have come late to the class because they were doing the computing exam and Laura’s sister and his friend have come also into the class. Paqui has said to them that they have to be in silence. 

After that we have check exercise ten on the book about the Age of Terror and about the Jacobins. Daniel has checked this exercise. Paqui has written the correct answer in the blackboard: this period was called the Age of Terror due to the Law of Suspects. In July 1794 some conservative deputies took control of the Convention, amonested the Jacobins leaders and executed them by guillotine.
Them, we have continued with the class. We have continued reading point C on the book about The Directory (1794-1799), the Directory was the new government that was established during 5 years. We have copied some notes about that. We were talking about the guillotine and about the death penalties in this period and Paqui has said that Laura’s sister was in favour of the death penalty. In this period they were very radical, they killed every one and the people went to see that! They had a different mentality.
A very curious thing we have talked has been the new calendar that was established in France after the Thermidorian Reaction. There were 12 month and every one with 30 days and the month was divided into three periods of ten days (not weeks) and the names were established following the type of weather in Paris during every month:

·         Vendémiaire September  Grape harvest
·         Brumaire  October  Fog
·         Frimaire  November  Frost
·         Nivôse December  Snowy
·         Pluviôse January  Rainy
·         Ventôse February Windy
·         Germinal March  Germination
·         Floréal April  Flower
·         Prairial May Pasture
·         Messidor June Harvest
·         Thermidor  July Summer heat
·         Fructidor August Fruit

The Directory had some problems from two sides; the counter-revolutionaries and the popular protests, and some internals problems also: huge inflation, corruption and less prestige to the Republic.

After that, we have talk about the beginning of the Napoleonic era. Paqui has made a small representation with us about the problems that had Napoleon to take the power and to do the “coup d’Etat”. Paqui has said to us a Napoleon’s quote because we have said to Paqui that Napoleon was very small: “The stature of the men should be not measure from feet to the head, but from the head to the sky”. That’s a good quote!

Today, we have not homework! That’s great thank you Paqui!

Bye Bye
Cu2 morrow