Friday, November 30, 2012

Books of Grievances

The Books of Grievances (Cahiers de Doléances) were documents written everywhere in France before the opening of the Estates General in May 1789. Louis XVI ordered to write them to know the opinion of  his subjects and to have some guidelines for the debates in the meeting of the estates. These books are an extraordinary source of information, because they collected the concerns and demands of the different estates. In general they reflected the criticism to the structrures of the Ancien Régime and the desire for change. The most interesting books of grievances were the ones written by members of the Third Estate, but also the books written by the nobles contained demands for reform and surprisingly they were aware of the necessity of a tax reform, including the contribution of the privileged to the State finances. 

Here you have more information about the Books of Grievances: 

On the following links you will be able to read books of grievances of the different estates: 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Presentation about the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era

This is the presentation we´ll use to study one of my favourite periods of History. Use it to complete your notes if you need it. See you next Friday!

28th of October

Hello everybody!

Today it’s my turn of doing the journal.At the beginning of the lesson the headmaster and the head of studies have come to the class. They have delivered a paper with the names of the candidates who run for the elections to the School Council.
We have voted.

We have started the lesson with the correction of exercise 1. It was about the causes of the French Revolution. They were:
-          Economic crisis.
-          Financial crisis (there wasn’t money to pay expenses).
-          Discontent of the bourgeois because they wanted to have more political power.
-          Ideas of Enlightenment (people met and discussed about political ideas.).
Paqui has explained that a lot of people of the Third Estate didn’t have money to buy basic things. In France there was a favorable atmosphere for changes.
She has said that some ministers advised the king to change the tax system. They advised the king that the privileged must pay taxes but the king didn’t accept this. The king finally listened to Necker . The king had to call the Estates General.


Paqui has explained the use of such a...

Then we have started the point “B” of the point “1”: THE BEGINNING OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.
It started when Louis XVI had to call the estates to discuss how to reduce deficit and a reform of the tax system. In France the representation of the estates was the same and I think that this was unfair because the Third Estate was more than the 90% of the population. The estates met separately and every estate had one vote. This was also unfair.
The Third Estate asked for a reform. They wanted to vote per person and the also wanted to increase the number of components. The king didn’t accept this but he gave the double of representatives to the Third Estate and he ordered that every estate wrote books of grievances.

The underprivileged were angry and try to convince some members of the clergy and the nobles. Some of these members joined the Third Estate and this changed all. The king closed the Estates General.

At the end of the class Paqui has said that we have to do exercises 2 and 3 for Friday.

This is the glossary of today:
-          Harvest: cosecha
-          Staples’ prices: precios de los productos básicos
-          Trouble: problema
-          State deficit: deficit del estado
-          Expenses: gastos
-          Favorable atmosphere: ambiente favorable
-          Serious: grave
-          To delay: retrasar
-          Such a big reform: una reforma tan grande
-          To call/ to summon: convocar
-          Estates General: Estados General ( name of Parliament in France)
-          Books of grievances: cuaderno de quejas

Bye, bye and see you on Friday!

Mercantilism and gold reserves

Mercantilism was the first economic theory in history and the predominant economic policy developed by the  first State-nations between the 16th and 18th centuries. It was based on the idea that the power of a country was related to the quantity of precious metals it could accumulate. The wealthier a country was, the more powerful it would be. And the best way of getting more precious metals was reducing imports, promoting exports and developing international trade. That´s why the main European powers built colonial empires, supported trading companies during the 16th-18th centuries and imposed tariffs to the foreign products  that arrived in their ports. This policy could be considered a precedent of protectionism. 

File:Colbert mg 8447 cropped.jpg

Jean- Baptiste Colbert promoted mercantilism in France

If you want to learn more about mercantilism, you can visit the following links: 

The States started accumulation gold and silver reserves during the Modern Era. In the 17th Sir Isaac Newton, the famous scientist, was the first to establish the gold standard (the correspondence between the gold reserves a country had and the amount of coins that could be minted and circulate). But the gold standard wasn´t officially adopted in Great Britain until 1774. In other countries gold and silver standards coexisted until the 19th century. The British were also the first to create a central bank, in charge of minting the official currency of the country. In 1844 the Bank Charter Act established that every currency minting had to be supported by gold reserves. That was the origin of the gold reserves every country stores in their central banks. In war times different countries left the gold standard temporarily, in order to print more banknotes to be able to buy the resources they needed. In the Spanish case, the government of the Second Republic had to transfer 510 tonnes of gold (72.6% of its gold reserves) to the USSR to finance supplies and weapons to defend legality against those who had rebelled against the government. This was the so called Moscow Gold

As the USA became the main world economic power after World War 2, many countries started accumulating dollar reserves (foreign exchange) together with gold. But this created a problem to the USA, because they didn ´t have enough gold to cover all the dollars stored in many countries. In 1971 USA president Richard Nixon decided unilaterally to suspend the direct convertibility of the dollar to gold and this meant the end of gold standard as the way of organizing the international monetary relations. However, the States continue to accumulate gold reserves. Here you have a graph where you can see the top 20 countries in gold reserves: 

Sovereign Gold Holdings Table

And here you have a more complete list: 

The price of gold has increased a lot in the last years, because it is considered to be a refuge value, a safe investment. If Spain sold its gold reserves (281.6 tonnes), the price would be around 11,335 million €

Bank of Spain gold vault 

Gold is supposed to be a safe value, but we shouldn´t forget that it´s only a scarce metal humans have decided to consider very valuable. 

If you want to learn more about gold reserves, here you have another interesting link: 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday, 26th November

Isabel has had a problem with her Internet connexion. That´s why I´m posting the journal she has sent to me by mail. I have taken out one of the pictures Isabel has included because she hasn´t added its source and I haven´t been able to find it. If you read this, Isabel, remember to include the source of all the pictures you include. 

Today in Social Sciences Paqui has said to me that I have to do the journal . Then Paqui has added some information about “ the Pantheon and Napoleon’s tomb at Les Invalides" that she has added this weekend into the blog. Paqui has also shown us a video about Marie Antoniette which shows her life. 

Then she has reminded  us that some people of the class had to give their notebooks to her. We have also corrected the exercises from page 50 and the crossword which is at the end of Unit 2 in the book. While we were correcting the last exercise, Salva has asked  Paqui the meaning of mercantilism. After that Paqui has askedus  if we understand all about Unit 2 because we’ll do the exam in two weeks. Then we have started Unit 3: THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND RESTORATION. Which have the next points:

1.   The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era ( 1789 – 1815 ).

2.    The congress of Vienna and the Restoration ( 1815 – 1830 ).

3.    The revolutionary ideologies and the revolutions os 1820, 1830 and 1848.
A. Causes.
B. The beginning of the French Revolution.
C. The stages of the French Revolution.
            1. Costitutional Monarchy ( 1789 – 1792 )
            2. Democratic Republic ( 1792 – 1794 )
            3. Directory ( 1795 – 1799 )
            4. The Napoleonic Era ( 1800 – 1815 )

After we have copied this, Paqui has shown us a PowerPoint presentation about the unit and we read the beginning of the first point on page 13 to explain point 1: the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era         ( 1789 – 1815 ), as an example of a good revolutioner Paqui has named Fernando Marcos, which it occurs when Salva asked to Paqui somethign about Napoleon Bonaparte.

Finally Paqui has told us that we have to do exercise 1 from page 22. And some  people had to give  their notebooks to her.

Some vocabulary that we have learnt today is:

· Soundtrack – banda sonora.
· Strenght – fuerza.
· Gold and silver reserves – reservas de oro y plata.

I hope you will like my journal, bye bye see you on Wednesday!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Pantheon and Napoleon´s tomb at Les Invalides

Last day I made a mistake about Napoleon´s tomb: it´s not located at the Church of Sainte Geneviève, transformed in the Pantheon for illustrious French citizens, but at the Church of Les Invalides.  The Church of Les Invalides was built by Mansart in French Late Baroque style and the Church of Sainte Geneviève was built by Soufflot in New Classicist style. 

Former Church of Sainte Geneviève, Soufflot, (1758-1790)

This is the former Church of Sainte Geneviève, transformed into a secular mausoleum in 1791. Some of the distinguished French figures buried there were Mirabeau, Voltaire, Marat, Rousseau,  the explorer Bougainville, the mathematician Lagrange and the writers Victor Hugo and Emile Zola. Here you have the complete list of men buried there (not even one woman): 

Napoleon´s tomb is located in the Hôtel National des Invalides, a complex of buildings related to the military history of France that includes the Museum of the Army and a hospital for war veterans. Napoleon´s remains are there since 1840, when King Louis Philippe of Orléans and his prime minister Adolphe Thiers decided to bring his corpse back to France from the island of Saint Helena, where Bonaparte had been exiled in 1815 and died in 1821. The process of bringing back Napoleon´s remains to France was called the retour des cendres (return of the ashes). Napoleon didn´t rest in his definitive tomb until 1861, when the works ended in the Church of Les Invalides. Here you have a short history of he tomb: 

And this is a complete list of the military men buried together with Napoleon: 

And these are some pictures of Les Invalides complex: 

File:Invalides aerial view.jpg

Aerial view of Les Invalides complex

File:Invalides 2007 03 11.jpg

Chapel of Saint Louis of Les Invalides, built by Mansart at the end of the 17th century

File:Napoleon tomb bordercropped.jpg

Napoleon´s coffin

All the pictures from

More about Rococo

Here you have some short videos about Rococo art style: 

- The first one includes short texts and a lot of images. The music belongs to Jean Philippe Rameau, a musician of that period: 

- And this is the trailer of Sofia Coppola´s film Marie Antoniette, which tells the story of Louis XVI´s wife. Sofia Coppola decided to tell the story of Marie Antoinette using a contemporary music soundtrack.  Also known as Madame Déficit, Marie Antoinette´s lifestyle could be defined as Rococo: naïve, playful, superficial and frivolous. Have a look on the clothes, the parties and the decoration of palaces and gardens. They reflect the atmosphere of the royal court and nobility entertainments very well. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

23th November 2012

23th November
Today in Social Sciences Paqui has said that we had to decide on the date of the exam. We've discussed a lot of time, but finally, the exam will be the 12th December.
Then she has said that 1/3 of the class will have to hand the notebook in next Monday.
We have started to see another part of the unit on page 44 called "Art in the 18th century".
 In the 18th century there were three art styles: Baroque, Rococó and New Classicism) 
Paqui has showed us a powerpoint presentation where we have seen some examples of Baroque architecture and sculpture like "the Agony in the garden", "Saint John" and "The fall".

Raquel and Laura have asked Paqui why is she atheist.
Then we have seen a new style called Rococó. The name comes from rocaille (stone) and coquille (shell) because of the decoration. We have seen some places with this style like "Amalienbourg Hunting Pavilion" in Munich, or "Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas" in Valencia. We have seen some Rococó style furniture. In painting it was a frivolous style, the most famous pictures were "Pilgrimage to Cithera", "The swing", "Portrait of the Marquise of Pompadour" and "Marie Louise O'Murphy".

The last style we've seen is New Classicism. We have seen the Church of Sainte Geneviève that now is the pantheon, where Napoleon's tomb is located and Paqui has showed us a photo of the coffin. We have saw also seen L'Étoile Triumphal Arch in Paris, the Vendôme Square in Paris, El Prado Museum in Madrid and the Alcalá Gate.
And in painting "Oath of the Horatti" by Jacques-Louis David, Tennis Court Oath and the coronation of Napoleon.

For homework we have to read and correct if necessary sentences A to E if necessary on page 50 and the crossword on page 12


-Altarpiece --> Retablo
-How long? --> ¿Cuánto tiempo? ¿Durante cuánto tiempo?
-Processional floats --> pasos de Semana Santa.
-Me either --> Yo tampoco
-Shell --> Concha
-Playful --> Juguetón.
-Frivolous --> Frívolo.
-Corpse --> Cadáver


Presentation about art in the 18th century

This is the presentation we´ve used today in class. Please, use it to do the True or False exercise. It would be also interesting that you make a summary with the main features of every art style. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Charles III´s colonies in Andalusia

The new populations in Andalusia and Sierra Morena

The colonization of new lands was one of the reforms made during Charles III´s rule. Charles III decided to repopulate some sparsely populated regions of Spain, such as Sierra Morena and the Guadalquivir Valley. He wanted to enlarge the cultivated areas and end with banditry. New settlements were created and the consequences of this repopulation are still evident in these places even today.

Pablo de Olavide, Charles III´s intendant for Andalusia, was in charge of this project. Villages such as La Carolina in Jaén, La Carlota in Córdoba, La Luisiana in Seville were created and around 6,000 colonists from Austria, Germany and France settled down there. Many of them were blond and blue-eyed. Every family of colonists received 50 fanegas of land, 5 hens, 5 goats, 5 sheep, two cows and a sow, were tax-exempt for ten years and protected by a special law until 1835.  The remains of this colonization are still evident at present: some of the people of these towns have blond hair, blue eyes, names such as Smith, Aufhinger, Ruff, Neff, Alpert and preserve some German traditions, such as the Fasnachto Karnevales in La Carolina or the painted eggs day in Cañada Rosal 

canasto huevos pintados

Painted Easter eggs, a German tradition in Cañada Rosal

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

21th November 2012

Hello everybody!

Today in Social Sciences we have entered and Paqui had a power point presentation of the Enlightened Despotism. She wanted to start the class as quickly as possible. At firts Paqui has reviewed our homework about the Esquilache riots, enlightened reforms of Charles III and the limitations of that reforms. The exercises were 21, 22 and 23 of the page 11. The first exercise (ex.21) was corrected by Raquel Ortiz. It was about the Esquilache Riots:
The privileged took advantage of people´s discontent due to the high prices of staples and public order ordinances and instigated a revolt against Esquilache, the main Secretary of Charles III´s goverment. The riots lasted for three days and finally Charles III dismissed Esquilache.
Paqui has also said something about the expulsion of the Jesuits because they were accused of having instigated the riots and their direct obedience to the Pope.

Afther that, Paqui has gone to the blog to explain something about Esquilache. She has said that he created the first lottery and the prices liberty. Then Carmen Lucía has corrected the exercise number 22 about the Charles III´s reforms. Some important reforms were:
-Reinforcement of the king´s authority over the church.
-Creation of primary schools and report of universities.
-Expulsion of Jesuits.
-Colonization of new lands.
-Limitation of the privileges of the Mesta.
-Liberalization of the prices of wheat.
-Support of Economic Societies of the Friends of the Country in promotion of agriculture, industry and trade.
-Decree declaring the honesty of all professions.
-Liberalization of trade with the Indies.
-Tariff to protect the national industry from the foreign competition.

Paqui has explained that people considered manual work to be dishonest and they those who lived without working.
After that, someone has talked about Gandia Shore (reality show) and Paqui said that she doesn´t like it.

The last exercise has been corrected by Gema Ortiz, and it was about the question "Why were these reforms limited". It was because they didn´t question the structure of the Ancien Regime and they weren´t the owners of their lands.
At the end of the class, we have known Charles III´s heir: his son Charles IV but we didn´t finish it. Paqui also said that on Friday we are going to decide the date of the exam. He was like the king Juan Carlos I. Paqui also has said that Charles IV had 13 sons. Paqui has said that he was Stupid.


  • Staple: all the basic products, cereals, potatoes...
  • To store: almacenar.
  • Hoarder: Speculator who accumulates products to take advance and increase their prices when they are starce.
  • To instigate: instigar, azuzar.
  • For a while: por un tiempo.
  • Mesta: Stockbreeders.
  • Riots: Motín.
  • Rioter: Amotinando.
  • Dishonest: Desonesto.
  • Scapegoat: Chivo expiatorio.
  • Privilege of passing: Privilegio de paso.
  • Economic help: subvenciones.
  • Report: Informe.
While you turn the head to write, Paqui has written two more words on the blackboard to the glossary.

And that´s all. See you in the next programme!!

Esquilache, the scapegoat

Marquis of Esquilache

Yesterday we studied a little bit the program of enlightened reforms Charles III started when he became king of Spain, after 20 years of experience as king of Naples. Charles III brought some Italian ministers, who were in charge of putting the reforms into practice. Leopoldo di Gregorio, Marquis of Esquilache, was one of Charles III´s most trusted secretaries. Firts he was appointed Secretary of the Treasury and later he became Secretary of War and Navy and finally Secretary of State, the highest rank post in the Bourbons´ bureaucracy. In this post he implemented several reforms on Charles III´s behalf: 

- He reduced the privileges of the Church (revision of the decisions of the ecclesiastical courts of justice by the Royal Courts of Justice)

- He created the first lottery in Spain

- He created a fund for widows and orphans of the members of the Army

- He modernized the city of Madrid, one of the dirtiest capital cities in Europe: some municipal ordinances prohibited throwing garbage of dirty water to the streets, many streets were paved and 5,000 lampposts were installed in Madrid. 

- He liberalized the prices of wheat and some other basic products, in order to stop hoarders´ speculation

But the most unpopular decision was the one related to clothes and public order: Esquilache ordered replacing long cloaks and broad- brimmed hats (chambergos) for short cloaks and three-cornered hats, because many criminals took advantage of the usual Spanish clothes to hide their faces and escape justice.

Sheriffs cutting cloaks and brims in the street

 The privileged, who didn´t like Esquilache´s power, used popular discontent by this public order ordinance and the increase of prices of bread and other staple food to instigate the revolt against the hated secretary. The riot started on the 23th March 1766 in different cities of Spain, but was more serious in Madrid: the rioters destroyed the 5,000 streetlights, burnt Esquilache´s residence, the House of the Seven Chimneys (a very curious building, with several legends behind), and demanded Esquilache´s dismissal to the king. Charles III gave up and dismissed Esquilache, who was appointed ambassador in Venice. The revolt finished after three days. Apparently the rioters got what they wanted, but the enlightened reforms didn´t stop. Charles III continued his reform program in some fields (economy, administration and education) and went on with the idea of imposing the royal authority over the Church. The last consequence of the Esquilache Riots was the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767. The king accused them of having been responsible for the riots, but the truth was that the Jesuits were an important power in the kingdom and the king wanted to take control over their possessions. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

19th of November 2012

Jornal, 19th of November
Hello everybody!
Today in Social Sciences we have been surprised very much, because when we have come into class we have seen that there were curtains, so "Good-bye to see badly".
Paqui has started the class reviewing what we saw last day. Paqui said us that she sent to Fernando a mail saying that he should do an extra-work, but Fernando didn´t read it.
After that, Paqui  has explained the last post that she has written about "Phlip V of Spain" he was very creazy, he did a lot of strange things. Then, Paqui explain Philip VI, was a beurotic, but when his wife died, he became more crazy. He spent his last year of life at bed, he died in his excrements. Then Jose Ángel ,the head of studies, has come to the class and he said that if Roxana, Salva, Laura Casero and Raquel can go out a moment.
After that, we have to copied some things, that Paqui has written on the blackboard. The scheme was about "Centralized Absolutism" the scheme explain that Philip V and  Ferdinand VI ruled as Absolute Monarchs, but their mental problems obliged their secretaries to be in charge of everyday decisions. Some competent ministers worked for them:  
- Marquis of Ensenada-> Project of Unique tax over the land, as had been done in the former Crown of Aragon , as a punishment for their support to Archduke Charles. A survey with this purpose was made in Castile, but the opposition of the privileend stopped this reform. Ensenada also modernized the Navy and tried to control trade with the Indies and reduce contraband.
Marquis of Ensenada
Ensenada´s cadastre

Paqui has drawn a map to explain Ensenada´s project.

  Sourse: The author : Me.

We have seen same photos of kings and observed that Charles IV looks like present king of Spain. And all of the bourbons have the same nose. Paqui has asked us if we understood everything .
Then, Paqui has said that now we were going to start with Charles III. Charles III was a representative of Enlightened Absolutism in Spain. Many of his ministers were enlightened: Campomaoes, Olavide, the Counts of aranda and Floridablanca. He had been the king of Naples for 20 years, where he got into contact with enlightened ideas. He brought some Italian minister with him and started some reforms following the enlightened ideas. This  reforms provoked the reaction of the privileged: ESQUILACHE  RIOTS (Motín de Esquilache). Esquilache  didn´t do anything without Charles III permission. He changed the clothes.

For homework  we have to do page 11 from 21 to 23 form book.

The most interested thing for me has been the life of Philip V, he was obsessed with sex, he stayed 19th months without changing his clothes, he thought that he was a frog and he put the ministers to work at 2 o´clock of morning. jajaja

- Remorse: Remordimientos
-Survey: Encuesta
-Navy: Armada, flota.
-Cadastre: catastro
-Customs: aduanas
-Brim: ala de sombrero
-cloaks: Capa
-To chase: detener
Bye bye!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The first Bourbons´ mental problems

Last day we talked very slightly about Philip V and Ferdinand VI´s mental problems. Although the first Bourbons were Absolute Monarchs, they went through periods of total inability to be in charge of the government and this gave an increasing role to secretaries, such as Ripperdá, Grimaldo, Patiño, Carvajal or Wall

Inbreeding also affected the Bourbons and the first representatives of this dynasty in Spain suffered from mental problems that made life in the Royal Palace difficult  and obliged the secretaries to look after everyday decisions. Philip V probably suffered from bipolar disorder and he had an eccentric behavior, with long manic-depressive episodes. In 1724 he abdicated on his son Louis, but had to return to the throne when Louis I died seven months later. If you want to read more  about him, click on the following link: 

Philip V and his wife Isabella of Farnese

Philip V´s son, Ferdinand VI, was completely dependent on his wife, Barbarta of Bragança. They were both neurotic and subject to melacholia. When Barbara died, King Ferdinand Vi lost reason completely and spent his last year among his own excrements. If you want to read more about him, click on the link below: 

File:Ferdinand VI of Spain.jpg

Ferdinand VI

Friday, November 16, 2012

JOURNAL 16th November 2012

Hello everybody!!

Today at the beginning  Paqui has reviewed the exercises (18,19,20) about the Treaty of Utrecht and Philip V and Ferdinand VI's Absolute Monarchies. After we have remembered the contents of the last day about the War of Spanish Succession, Raquel has explained the reasons for the War of Spanish Succession to Paqui.
Paqui has showed us an image of a citadel because Laura has asked what's the citadel (the Citadel was a fortress built by Philip V in the center of Barcelona to stop further revolts of the city).
Fernando has corrected the exercise number 18 with Raquel's help, about the Treaty of Utrecht, its main decisions were:
  • Philip V was recognized king of the Hispanic Monarchy.
  • The European territories of the Hispanic Monarchy were distributed among Austria (they received Flanders, Luxembourg, part of Milan, Naples and Sardinia) and Savoy (they received Sicily and a part of Milan).
  • Great Britain preserved Gibraltar and Minorca and they also got two important rights, which broke the Castilian monopoly in the Indies:
                     - The assiento: they could sell black slaves in the Indies.
                     - The ship of permission: once a year they could send a 500 tons ship with their products to be sold in the Indies.
                                                                       Treaty of Utrecht

And then Paloma has corrected the exercise number 19 about the Nueva Planta Decrees:
-The Nueva Planta Decrees were four(one for every kingdom of the Crown of Aragón) so they suppressed all the particular laws and the institutions of the Crown of Aragón and all the territories of the Monarchy were submitted to the laws and institutions of Castile (Audiencias, Corregidors in the municipalities)

        Paqui has shown us a map to explain what territories did the Hispanic Monarchy loss in Europe.
Territories of Philip V and Ferdinand VI

Then Paqui and some people have explained again the reason Philip V's portrait is hanging upside down because Pilar has asked about it, it's because it was a punishment for the king because he burnt the city of Xàtiva in Valencia.
After this, Miguel has corrected exercise number 20, which was about the main features of the Philip V and Ferdinand VI's Centralized Absolutism:
  • All the powers lied on the king, so he made the main decisions.
  • The Cortes (Cortes of Spain) were not called and they had only consulting functions.
  • The king was helped by secretaries, who met in the cabinet.
  • The Councils continued to exist, but only with consulting functions.
  • All the territories of the Monarchy were under the same laws and institutions.
  • The territory was divided into provinces directed, by a captain general.
  • The post of intendent, was created to make tax collection more efficient.
 Paqui has said that Philip V and Ferdinand VI had mental problems, so their secretaries had a lot of work, and that Philip V had many depressive episodes and in 1724 Philip abdicated in favour of his son Louis, but he died six months later, so the Philip's secretaries had to rule again.


-Heritage-->  herencia
-Treaty--> tratado
-Treatment--> tratamiento
-Fortress--> fortaleza
-Citadel--> ciudadela
-Headquarter--> cuartel general
-Cabinet--> cabinete
-To abdicated--> abdicar
-To dismiss/ to fire--> despedir
-To hire--> contratar.

Bye, bye see you on Monday!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The 14th of november's strike

Hello everybody!

Today it's my turn to write the journal. Paqui said to me on monday that she won't come today, so I'm going to speak about the strike in Spain.

Today some teachers didn't come to high school, like Paqui or our biology's teacher. In the high school, the minimum services are the headmaster and the head of studies. Only 15 teachers out of 55 have gone on strike in the high school.

Now I'm going to speak about Spain. The number of people arrested until 18:15 is about 117. Thousands of people were in the "paseo de Gracia" of Barcelona before the strike starts saying: "We have solutions. They want to remove us our future". In Madrid are protesting about public health. " They want to remove us the public health" they said.
The syndicates speak about the massive monitoring of the general strike.
Portugal, Italy, Greece and Belgium also tie up versus austerity.

Here are some images of the general strike:

And I don't know more to say, this is all I know about the general strike, I have seen TV to know more.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Presentation about Spain in the 18th century

Here you have the last presentation we´ll use for this unit. It includes all the information about the War of Spanish Succession, the Treaty of Utrecht and Philip V, Ferdinand VI and Charles III´s reigns. Philip V and Ferdinand VI were examples of Centralist Absolutism and Charles III was an Enlightened monarch and his rule corresponds to Enlightened Despotism. 

Some facts about the War of Spanish Succession

These are some of the most important events happened in the territories of the Hispanic Monarchy during the War of Spanish Succession and their consequences (some of them are still in force at present): 

- GIBRALTAR SEIZURE: In July 1704 an Anglo-Dutch army conquered Gibraltar. Attempts to recover the Rock failed and in 1705 Gibraltar was declared a free-port. In 1707 the British sent the first governor to Gibraltar. After the signature of the Treaty of Utrecht, the Spanish troops sieged the Rock several times. The last big siege took place between 1779 and 1781, during the War of American Independence. The Spanish and French troops attacked Gibraltar, but couldn´t seize the Rock, because the British started digging a complex system of underground fortifications, which were completed years later. During the Peninsular War, when Spanish and British were allies against France, the Spanish fortifications in the frontier were demolished and there was a period of free access between both territories. In 1830 Gibraltar was declared colony of the United Kingdom and in 1967 they voted for the continuation of their association with the United Kingdom. All the Spanish demands of return of the Rock to Spain have been rejected, although there is free circulation between Gibraltar and Spain since 1985, when the border fence was reopened. 

The Anglo-Dutch Navy attacking Gibraltar

- BATTLE OF ALMANSA AND CONQUEST OF THE KINGDOMS OF VALENCIA AND ARAGÓN: The Battle of Almansa took place on the 25th April 1707 and meant the invasion of the Kingdom of Valencia by Philip V´s troops. The Bourbons came from Castile and their victory meant the loss of the furs (fueros, the particular laws of the kingdom). This is why the defeat of Almansa is remembered as a very bad moment for the history of the Old Kingdom of Valencia in particular and the Crown of Aragon in general.

There are two Catalan proverbs that refer to the Battle of Almansa and the negative things that came from the West (Castile): 

- Quan el mal ve d´Almansa, a tots alcança ("When evil comes from Almansa, everybody is caught")

- De ponent, ni vent ni gent ("From the West, neither wind nor people")

After the Battle of Almansa Philip V´s troops occupied the city of Xàtiva on the 6th July 1707. But Philip V ordered to set fire to the city. The city burned for 8 days (this is why its inhabitants are called the socarrats (burned).The name of the city was changed to Colonia Nueva de San Felipe or simply San Felipe and the city was repopulated with people loyal to Philip V. In 1943 someone decided to hung Philip V´s portrait upside down to remember the punishment the city suffered and as a punishment to Philip V. 

Philip V´s portrait hanging upside down in Xàtiva´s Almudí Museum

- MINORCA: The British conquered the island of Minorca in 1708 and kept it after the signature of the Treaty of Utrecht. Minorca was British during most of the 18th century. This is why this period is called the "British century" in the island. Spain regained the island in 1756, during the Seven Years´War, but the British recovered it in the Treaty of Paris (1763). During the American War of Independence, Spain defeated the British again and Minorca became Spanish in the Treaty of Versailles (1783). In 1798 Minorca was invaded once again by the British during the French Revolutionary Wars, but it was finally recovered by Spain in the Treaty of Amiens (1802). 

The British Empire in the Mediterranean Sea during the 18th century

- 11th SEPTEMBER 1714: After the signature of the Treaty of Utrecht in April 1713, the War of Spanish Succession had officially finished, but in Catalonia fight continued for one more year. The city of Barcelona resisted a 14-month siege commanded by the Duke of Berwick, following Philip V´s orders. Philip V ordered the bombardment of the city, which finally surrendered on the 11th September 1714. The defenders of the city were buried in a cemetery called Fossar de les Moreres. In order to make sure that Barcelona´s inhabitants wouldn´t rebel again, Philip V ordered the construction of the Citadel of Barcelona, the largest fortress in Europe at that moment (now it´s a park). The 11th September was established as national day of Catalonia in 1980, with the approval of the Catalan Statute. Every 11th of September the civil authorities meet at the Fossar de les Moreres and offer flowers to the heroes of the war and make a political vindication of self-government or self-determination. 

11th September 1714 in Barcelona, painted by Antoni Estruch (1909)

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 of november 2012

Today in socials science  some people have arrived late and the teacher has written this down on her notebook.. Paqui has said that some of us have to work more in the blog,the same  that she has told an by e-mail and pilar has became ungry becouse she can't work more.

After that we have corrected the exercise 17 of the book .Later we star study the war in of succesion in 18th century.
We have spoken abuot th causes(in sumary some european countries were feared with the spanish kindomg become more powerfull.)We have study the development of the war too.We have joke with the word Austria and its pronunciation.

Philip the V and the Duke of vendome commanded the Franco-Spanish charge at the Battle of Villaviciosa by Jean Alaux(1840)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Charles II´s testaments

As we studied in the introductory unit, Charles II had physical and mental problems and he didn´t have direct successors. His succession soon became a European matter and the big dynasties connected to the king (the Habsburgs in Austria the Bourbons in France) started pulling strings to be Charles II´s   beneficiaries. 

As time went by without any descendants and his health was so fragile, Charles II wrote a testament in 1696, where he designated his grandnephew Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria, a four-year old child, as his sucessor. This testament was considered as a compromise solution in order to try to avoid a war in Europe if Charles II appointed either a member of the Habsburgs or a member of the Bourbon dynasty as his successor. But the European powers had different thoughts. In 1698 Louis XIV, king of France, signed an agreement with some European powers in the Hague  in order to distribute the Hispanic Empire if Charles II died: the Peninsular kingdoms and the Indies would be for Joseph Ferdinand, Archduke Charles of Austria (heir of the Habsburg Empire) would receive Milan and Louis XIV´s son would receive Naples and Sicily. The French king was trying to avoid an excessive concentration of territories in the Habsburgs´ hands. 


Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria

But in 1699 Joseph Ferdinand suddenly died. There were rumours about the causes of his death: he might have been poisoned. But nothing could be proved. Charles II had to write a new testament. He received a lot of pressures to designate a French prince as his successor: Philip of Anjou, Louis XIV´s grandson and Charles II´s grandnephew. 

Philip of Anjou (left) and Archduke Charles of Austria (right)

Charles II died on the 1st November 1700. His heir, Philip of Anjou, arrived in Madrid in February 1701. This situation wasn´t accepted by Austria and the same happened with other European powers: England, the Low Countries, Portugal and Savoy signed an alliance to expel the Bourbons from the throne of the Hispanic Monarchy and the War of Spanish Succession started. 

A quote to think about

The last post dedicated to the USA in the 18th century will be this Thomas Jeffersson´s quote. In what present situations could we appeal to this quote?

Amendments to the USA Constitution

As we studied last Friday, the USA Constitution written in 1787 continues to be in force. This is an important difference between Spain, where we´ve had seven different Constitutions and two more projects along history. But this doesn´t mean that the USA Constitution hasn´t been modified several times. This is what we call "amendments". Twenty-seven amendments have been included in the USA Constitution since 1787. The first ten amendments formed the Bill of Rights, which recognizes rights such as freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition, the right to keep and bear weapons, the right to have a fair trial and not to declare if this could incriminate oneself. Other transcendental amendments were. 

- the 13th Amendment (1865), which abolished slavery and servitude 

- the 15th Amendment (1870), which gave the right to vote to non-white people 

- the 18th Amendment (1919), which established Prohibition of producing, buying and selling alcohol. This one was abolished with the 21st Amendment in 1933

- the 19th Amendment (1920), which gave women the right to vote

- the 26th Amendment established the right to vote for those aged 18 or more.

Many of these amendments referred to suffrage, because the USA don´t have a national electoral law. Every State has different laws for elections and that´s why they had to include general rules that have to be applied everywhere. 

Since 1787 more than 9,000 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed, but only 27 have been accepted. The last one (the 27th) was made in 1992.

Here you have a complete list of the 27 amendments: 

This is the process to amend the Constitution: 

And here you have another link to the proposed amendments that haven´t been ratified for different reasons: 

Finally, here you have two videos made to learn the amendments: 

- the first one was made by two boys who create songs about different school topics. They are called Smart Songs and this is their video about the Bill of Rights: 

- And this one was made by a student called Mike Simmons. You can read the lyrics below the video on Youtube: 

Would you dare to do something similar about a different topic?