Writing Homework Twelve Student Three

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Sean N.


Poppies, happy little red tombstones, grew in the fields of Europe after the Napoleonic and Great Wars. The deposits of lime in the soil left by the scarring battles of these terrific struggles made it so only poppies could grow. Those wars of the past seem more like bedtimes stories than great horrifying clashes; so far, off they seem unreal. However, the great conflicts are not so foreign to humanity, especially to Europe; it seems War is the human races favorite pastime.

TERRIFIC OPENING PARAGRAPH, but two mistakes detract from it: "oft", not "off", and "human race's" (with an apostrophe). Even with these minor mistakes, his opening paragraph is one of the best all year.

“Dim Drums Throbbing in the Hills Half Heard”-G.K. Chesterton, Lepanto

Listen closely, we sit across a stirring broth in America, but you can still hear the war drums of Europe; you can still feel the uneasy calm as storm clouds gather. When did those drums first beet [BEAT]? We cannot consider any time before the Fall of Rome truly European history. Europe was not the name of a continent in times of antiquity; it was the name of a goddess. One may argue that the conquests and squabbles of Rome and Greece were Europeans battles, but they were Mediterranean battles, before Europe's time, before her nations were even born. Perhaps not the first, but definitely one of the first, was the struggle between the Ostrogoths and the Holy Roman Empire. In 536, the 5000 of Justinian’s troops met with 4000 Ostrogoths in Rome. The war ended in the Romans once again seizing Italy, but in a matter of decades, the Lombard has wrenched it from their grasp. From the fall of Rome until the Second Great War, there has not been fifty years of peace. In one place, there may have been tranquility for a great while, but on the continent as whole not fifty years of peace.

WOW - amazing statistic: "From the fall of Rome until the Second Great War, there has not been fifty years of peace."

The great chess games fought on fields of war with soldiers as the pieces must of been great and terrible spectacles; strategic geniuses dueling with armies and plans as weapons. However, before the nations of the west made war an art battles were nothing more than a game of chicken. The battles fought by feudal factions consisted mostly the two armies charging at each other; whoever’s line broke first and retreated lost. Simple and costly the rock, paper, scissors over feudal boundaries soon converted to orchestrated battles. A sort of natural selection soon began to favor generals and armies that used battle tactics instead of just crude melee. The isolated towns and farms were soon brought under the reign of a solitary lord and nations began to form.


Medieval kings of European lands secured their holdings and favors with other courts by various schemes and treaties. Kings gained more power over the nobles by consolidating all military forces into a singular standing army. Professional strategists fighting professional wars. As nations rose, so did the armies.

The Napoleonic war was the first to plunge the whole of Europe into the fighting. The war cost hundreds of thousands lives and forever scarred Europe; it changed the western world. Total war resulted in total efficiency; nations that could not form a capable fighting army were conquered by Bonaparte. [REPETITIOUS USE OF THE SEMICOLON] Even the conquest of a nation unified it more than freedom. Italy, notorious for being unable to unify after the Roman Empire collapse, was converged by its defeat.

England's war machine fought Napoleon on land and sea, the Napoleonic Wars showed the true power of Britain's modern military. The absolute discipline in the English Army and Navy was brought about by hundreds of battles fought across numerous theatres. The discipline in her armies spread into her government and business, the wars that Britain fought were what pushed her into the Industrial Era. The mercantilist economy which resulted from Britain’s conquest of less developed nations provided her the resources she needed for industrialism. Mercantilism, to those unknowing readers, [WAS] a form of economy where colonies send raw resources back to the motherland. The Country [DON'T NEED A CAPITAL "C"] then produces finished products from the material, clothe from cotton, cast iron from ores. In this way, Britain increased its exports profit than its import costs. When wars with other imperialistic nations arose Britain’s factories produced the necessaries for modern warfare.

The conflicts between squabbling European nations streamlined economies. Countries that could not support a wartime economy were defeated. Germany was an amalgam of over three hundred ninety separate city-states. Almost four hundred cities, each with its own government [NOT A COMPLETE SENTENCE]. Hundreds of city states squabbling amongst each other independent and making themselves easy targets.

There is an old fable about a flock of birds and a hunter. The hunter was well trained in his trade, the capture of the birds, in which he would cast a net over a bird and therefore deter it from flying away. When he threw the net over just two or three birds it was easy to drag them back to earth. One day the flock decided the only way of preserving their existence was to stand in a group so that when the hunter threw the net their combined strength would allow them their freedom. And so the birds went about their lives, whenever the hunter came along their combined strength allowed them to escape. This went along splendidly, but eventually irritation between the members grew, you're stepping on my foot, your beak is in my eye, stop ruffling my feathers, and so forth. Soon the aggravation was too great; the proud birds refused to suffer each other and went about their solitary existence. Then as expected the hunter caught all of them, one by one by one. In the end all the birds were captured.

The moral from an environmental standpoint is “do not kill all the birds” but we are not talking about that the environment. The German City States were weak because they were divided. The phrase has been beaten to death but I think it is safe to uses it one more time, united we stand[NEED A COMMA HERE] divided we fall. Napoleon easily conquered the divided German city-states. By the conquest of Germany Napoleon united her, consolidated the hundreds of German cities into thirty-nine states. War would again unite Germany further, when Bismarck became head chancellor of Germany his gambit with napoleon the third made Germany a nation.

In the Franco Prussian War (1870-71) Bismarck baited Napoleon the Third into invading Germany. The attempt was ill likely to prevail and as such failed, the Germans claimed victory. The war itself is not very spectacular, over Europe’s history there have been hundreds of similar scuffles. But what was amazing, what changed history was Bismarck's ability to turn this invasion into a unifying moment. Germany changed from isolated neighbors to brothers in arms. War gave Germany it nationalism,[NEED A SEMICOLON HERE, NOT A COMMA] war industrialized Germany.

There is no doubt what Germany did with its power was an atrocity against humanity, but they were powerful. A nation that almost conquered the entire theatre of Europe twice. That is undeniable strength; the German people are stereotyped for their fearsome love of country and abrasive personalities. Was peacetime that made German armies unstoppable? War drives the nations of Europe to greatness, it inspires the people. War is like heat in a chemical reaction. Without warmth reactions are slow, painfully so, but add a little heat and things get going. Without war Europe would still be in the middle ages.

1917 Russia: glorious and terrible revolution spread across the country. The people were weary of the oppressive czars, of the foolish spending. But what sparked the revolution, what was the straw that broke the camel's back? The Great War was ill fought and devastating for the Russians. People were starving to provide for the Russian army, which was being harshly beaten by the Germans. Russia revolution, a chemical reaction, may have not come for decades, or even at all had it not been for World War One. The war put everything on edge, it made every decision leaders had life or death, and it set the stage for revolution.

War makes nations proud, empires strong and industry flourish [NOT PARALLEL STRUCTURE AS IT SHOULD BE FOR SERIAL PHRASES]. War is cruel, yes, but it is necessary. Life itself is cruel but for some reason we all keep living. For the past seventy years there have been no major wars fought in Europe, they been ["THEY BEEN"???] civil uprisings or coups within one country's government. Europe prospered after the Second of World War because of the war, antebellum Europe was in a recession still unrivaled. What is the condition of Europe's Economy [LOWERCASE "E" IN "economy"] now? Failing economy, riots in most major cities, and a failing monetary system. Europeans grow restless without a war, what can they do, for over a thousand years the continent has been immersed in one way or another war.

While Europe sits idle perhaps armies will prepare to invade it, we cannot know and I will probably be long asleep before any such conflict. Tensions grow between members of the European Union such as Greece and Germany, maybe these nations will once again battle and spat for dominance. Europe needs a war; it needs the rush of battle[COMMA] the din of the big guns. If socioeconomic trends have any bearing what so ever there should be a large conflict within the next thirty years or so. There are those who say that war is terror, death, and living hell. But I, I think it’s time we heard dim drums throbbing in the hills half heard. I think it is time the fields of Europe once again know the smell of poppies.

Exemplary substance, 10/10, and this essay demonstrates the potential for the finest quality of writing. But there are numerous technical errors, perhaps reflecting a lack of careful proofreading. Technical: 9/10.--Andy Schlafly 20:48, 18 June 2012 (EDT)