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