History of Musical Trends in the 1850s to 1900

History of Musical Trends in the 1850s to 1900

Paul Fischer



History of Musical Trends in the 1850s to 1900

The 1850s saw the burgeoning classical music industry ripen with an almost pungent odor of success. While new musical forms such as jazz, salsa, and eventually pop would shock and invigorate listeners across the globe within a century, this final stage of classical dominance heardsome of the most technically proficient and abundant masterpieces. The romantic period saw the ripening of the careers of traditional musicians exemplified in Brahms’ Liebslieder (1869) and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (1892). Both of these works equate the joys of childhood and innocence with the themes of romanticism already latent in European painting and literature. As perhaps an example of the only time period in which the profits and yields of industrialization could be focused on one set of objectives, the development of a Euro-centric romanticism, the work not only eclipsed but surpassed the work of innovators in the field in a definitive manner.

Expansion of the railroads during this period is evident in the music of the artists such as Josef Anton Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony and the manner in which brassy sections open and present mark a rivalrous departure from other choral and religious composers of the time, despite the common musical ancestry of Mozart and, more recently, even Beethoven. Many different themes are inherent in the incredible development of classical music in Europe at the time. These include the religious grounding and explosion of fervor seemingly justified by not only the discovery but the realization of riches, populations, wars, emotions and tragedy on a scale not only previously unimaginable, but unimaginable from any scale previously imaginable.

Not all music of the period, however, was limited to the realm of classical work and opera houses. Home on the Range is provided as an example of tune composed in 1871 by Daniel Kelly to a poem written by Brewster Higley. In addition to the European infrastructural inward expansion allowing a greater proliferation of musical geniuses than in all the history of mankind prior to that point, American railroads were redefining the perceptions of peripheries as social and cultural constructs. A melting pot of Irish-American, African-American, European and other counter-cultures were all at the cusp of recognition, a throbbing hub of innovation just under the surface of the frontier lifestyle. By the 1900s, the music industry had dramatically changed and perhaps the most important aspect of this was the move from live audiences to gramophones and rags, both of which were finally commercially available to the masses by virtue of mass production and assembly-line factories.

Latin Jazz and the End of an Era

The end of the period saw the musical industry begin chugging as steadily as the steam engines, and Scott Joplin’s Solace (1909) will be included as an example of the developing Latin Jazz genre. While it was only published in 1909, a combination of musical and racial discrimination meant that habanera music had been popular in America for decades before any “rags” were published. By the 1940s this would become an entire genre and produce award-winning albums through the 1970s with broad popular appeal. For listeners in the late 1800s, though, the clave-style beat and off-center gathering of instrumental acoustic devices created a whirlwind of counter-cultural production right in the middle of urban areas.

The Calling of St. Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio in Urban Warfare of the Baroque Period as a Function of pre-Nationalist Demarcation from Absolutism in Form as a Function of Style

The Calling of St. Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio in Urban Warfare of the Baroque Period as a Function of pre-Nationalist Demarcation from Absolutism in Form as a Function of Style

Paul Andreas Fischer


Professor Kelsey Brosnan


The Calling of St. Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio in Urban Warfare of the Baroque Period as a Function of pre-Nationalist Demarcation from Absolutism in Form as a Function of Style

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio began a movement of art that has permeated society in a distinct manner through modern cultural representations of dance and photography, while defining social norms in which members of the greater artistic community perform their roles. The use of lighting to psychologically dominate the onlooker, formulaic precision as a pavement to success, and use of the body politic to emphasize the expression of urban warfare demonstrates the reactionary expansion of Caravaggio’s work into a rational artistic development of the Baroque period. Rejection of the customary transposition in religious ideals seen in The Calling of St. Matthew (figure 1) by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio developed a perpetually tangible coherence in artistic representation of rigor in geometry.

Use of religious terminology in definition of the artistic work of Caravaggio gave a biographical value to the narrative in work, and a detailed analysis of content and form will be provided. This painting is an oil on canvas piece which defines the vestiges of the Baroque era of wild abandon in the Renaissance decades before a definitive break in the social norms which define that period expire to the rigor necessitated by technological advances and community demands which were offered to and placed upon artists. Key to this development are the expansion of literacy and primacy in approach which work convergently to create some new dynamic in the popular reception of art.

Literacy of the Artist and the Community

This work is decidedly formal in nature and the cross-sectionality of the lighting can be reversed such that every character in the painting takes on a reversal in attitude. The furrowed brow of the young man with a light rapier at his side is not now allowed to expand in anticipation, perhaps of a fight or potential winnings (figure 6). The young apprentice by his pile of money conversely drawn downwards by study which could have been an upwards gaze in anticipation from a reflection off of the coins in hand (figure 4). Finally, the surprised onlookers at the center of the piece would have their brows furrowed by the new directionality of the light (figure 3). Fittingly, the only characters who would be unchanged by such a shift in lighting would be Christ, St. Matthew, and St. Peter. Religiously, those who had been portrayed in many ways before could now be read in one light by each literate member of society individually by virtue of the invention of the Gutenberg Press.

Sometimes the vernacular can mean artistically the explicit or provocative, which cannot be emphasized or stated in an evaluation of the good that literature, music, and dance revived from the spread of literacy to match a centuries-old explosion in population through Europe without a complete discussion of the manner in which the new form of communication and discourse was received. Shortly, this indicates the lasting nature of the upheaval in customary transposition which has been  In order to fully develop this argument, national ambitions which are set forth in artwork and poetry in generations subsequent to the critical year 1600 will be laid out. A smooth transition in form directs the ambitious but less effective rhetorical nationalism in the work of Rubens to the rigor in form found from the work of Velázquez.
The work of Michelangelo de Caravaggio establishes the vernacular visually in the painting The Calling of St. Matthew. The purpose of the investigation behind the contrast and lighting in the work determines that this painting was a shocking and terrifying experience to behold for clergy and audiences contemporary to the time.

Exploration of the style of the painting will not suffice, however, to achieve the conceptualization of the manner in which the artistic work of Caravaggio influenced later artists and his own community. More importantly, it misses the way that his own actions also were ignored by a community lost in the logic of the Classical period. While the religious statement seen in the painting was to be so outdated to a rigorous decision making process for artists’ early development as Christianity sprang outwards across Europe in the Middle Ages, the rejection of small miracles and divinity for the reality of early urban community’s recognition of great miracles and of visions which could overwhelm the artistic desire would be embraced in a natural sense.

Looking at the painting directly, it becomes clear that a break in normalized hierarchy is used to emphasize the calm nature of the elder. While the young man is armed for a monetary transaction, the rest of those involved are equipped with little more effective than a breadknife. Striking light into the room adds to a sense of surprise and depth. These are critical elements which will be dealt with in respect to later and more intensive efforts at artistic expression and lend credence to the nature of the rigorous investment component within his work.

Caravaggio’s Style and Technique Rejects Typification as a Parrot of the Paints

This is an example of the painterly before the Baroque painting had emerged. Within a century, the entire continent would reach the same stylistic panacea. Not all was as it seems, however, and no modernist completion to the form would be emphasized through such work.

Use of lighting in Caravaggio gives insight into the lifestyle of the painter and makes a significant difference to the behaviors of the individual himself as well as the society around him. It is well documented that he may have been illiterate, and this reputation as a parrot of the paints dominated the interpretation, both of his violent acts of inebriety as well as his professional artwork, which critics found for centuries. In the early 20th century, evidence emerged that his failure to pay rent in fact instigated a series of events which precipitated the misunderstanding after theft of his books and belongings.

The Calling of St. Matthew shows both literacy and astute care to the setting of his work. Unlike the squalor which surrounded his work, a strange brevity in accuracy is found to point at a single object which emphasizes a concept, in this case coins and arms. In order to understand how this stands out as an exceptional case of narrative painting, mysterious circumstance should be addressed as a possible factor in the development of the painting.

The nature of a mysterious in opposition to a certain circumstance can be seen in the series of paintings Mary de Medici Cycle by Peter Paul Rubens, specifically Henry IV Receiving the Portrait that currently resides in the Musée des Louvre in Paris. In this painting, which does date to slightly after the work discussed of Caravaggio, the lighting is focused to the bottom part of the painting, which focuses the viewer’s eyes upwards in admiration, but only in part of the painting. Later artwork will take advantage of the invention of tall candles and other dramatic forms of illumination to subvert the adoration of absolute monarchists into an intimidated dogma of nationalism, which begins with The Calling of St. Matthew.

Nationalism comes close to describing the fervor which surrounded leaders at this time, and a prayer contemporary to the time describes the excitement and anticipation of this moment as, “Virtue will return, with the laurel crowned,/ and her just favors bestowed upon true merit,/ will reawaken the excellence of the arts.” This was a prophecy as much as a prayer, and the discussion of the divinity of the right of King Henry IV can be evaluated as a function of glorification of absolutism in form (Rosenberg, 11-12). Creation of the “adorable” using inferior lighting is a short distance in theory from the glorification in themes which will become characteristic of absolutist nationalism.

An explorative journey is induced which changes the understanding of the painterly style which is not present in this painting. The patron of the piece is seen to be female, which reaffirms the communication between the artist and the painter and is indicative of the artist’s wish to conform to the needs of the painting. There is natural rejection which presents in the work of Caravaggio, and pastoral biblical scenes are accompanied by dramatic intercommunications.

One critical point which proves the literacy of Caravaggio through The Calling of St. Matthew was the inclination of Matthew towards immediate conversion (Culler, 7). This could not have occurred over time, it must have been the result of a vision upon the sight of Christ, and the actions of Peter, who points or gestures. Those are actions which indicate that all but the young see this apparition.

The young man is bewildered by the narrative. The buried head seen in figure 4 demonstrates a lack of familiarity with the use weaponry in a manner complicit with the ideals at hand. Soon gunpowder made even the walls and heavy fortifications of politic and finance alike comparatively useless. The impact on mothers who cried over the spilt blood of warriors was greater with the urban conflict, and the changes culturally as well as politically are Cicorean in nature in a manner similar to the introduction of the short sword and hand axe in place of poles and spears that preceded them. It only cost a gold piece to satiate a tax collector, but a pound of flesh for a vengeful merchant, after all, according to popular culture of the time (Shakespeare, ll. 307-308).

Style as a Form of Intimidation

The style of Caravaggio could be imagined as a grotesque and primal pioneer of was destroyed and resurrected through the lens of the neoclassical style in the flames of Revolution. Invention of chiaroscuro, manipulation of light, and narrative rejection of nationalism was marked by his the manipulation of the viewer’s eyes through use of lighting. Evidence demonstrated in the work before, after, and contemporary to the work of Caravaggio shows that a rigor in style lends to the widely ascribed geometry and sobriety of later churrigueresque artwork. With a patron in the church, the appeal of an ordinary and communicative discourse between the artist and the poor, through such generally accessible characters as those found in the bible, is an attraction which remains present in successful artwork in modern history (figure 15). This makes the political impact of Caravaggio reactionary in nature. Finally, his work continues to reverberate somehow and the mass appeal of various types of lighting as well as politicization of artistry remain.

Evaluation of a religious artist using the tool which is found in discussion of customary transposition in religious ideals creates a necessity to first define and then to apply the terminologies of the relevant concepts. Karl Barth defines the term religiously, emphasizing with the introduction of a neutered spiritual power that “the customary transposition of the divine being into a neutral absolute, to an anthropocentricity which is secretly at work in response to the revelation of God” (Barth, 296). In order to capture the terminology artistically, some raw emotive power and controversy must be drawn upon. Both are present in the story and the actuality of the artistic work of Caravaggio in The Calling of St. Matthew.

It is natural for discussion of the small miracle to include that counteraction against a greater evil, or an organized crime. That fear was realized centuries later for descendents of the patrons of Caravaggio’s art. In the same sense, there is a natural pessimism in the work that followed a concept fostering the emergence of Caravaggio’s style such as Adam and Eve by Albrecht Dürer, an engraving from 1504 seen in figure 8. This accompanies and precludes other cultural representations which would have been contemporary to the Baroque period, including the literary masterpiece Paradise Lost by John Milton lyrically recounting a greater good, “he whom mutual league, united thoughts and counsels… glory never shall his wrath or might/ Extort from me” (Milton, ll. 87-111) such that the outline for the grounds in the introduction of a greater benevolence was set.

Keeping the viewer focused in a contemplative pose with their eyes downward reverberated throughout the intellectual communities and discourse, and maintenance of hierarchy can be correctly seen through the work of Caravaggio to be of paramount importance to the Christian ideology and European dominance which was subsequent to the inferiority of the plague and suffering of the previous generations. As Matthew is “in the act of conversion itself… realization is delayed for a brief moment” throughout the artistic work, this indicates a rigorous adherence to religious ideology which was characteristic of upheaval. In a certain way this was being retold and visually portrayed for the consumption of the masses centuries before the masses would have any access to but ripples of the artistic revolution.

Urban Warfare in the Renaissance and the Obsolescence of Older Technology

There is a personality to urban warfare which was unique to the moment when Caravaggio painted, and the weaponry in this painting may have been something akin to the use of arms by rap stars in today’s music videos (50 Cent, OK). What had been relegated to the realm of stories and the biblical testament of the slave driven work camps of the Romans was becoming a part of the every day, and needed great artistic projection of the imagery. At the end of the selection, confusion presented itself directly within the communicative style and a greater precision without hampering the style the artist found necessitated.

Returning to the painting, the hilt of a light rapier, nearly half the size of the older generations’ swords, developed to mobilize a new level of youth involvement in urban warfare (figures 12 and 13) which had been virtually nonexistent previously. The nature of this critical brutality that would later consume Europe’s young into the most deadly of wars to that point, the Thirty Years War, had already begun to surface before Calling of St. Matthew in as early as 1579 with the Vernichtungsstrategie exemplified by the quote “when soever he made ostying or inrode, into the enemies Countrey, he killed mane, woman, and child” from Northern Europe as hierarchy and size of armies began to increase (Parker, 205). Even as Vienna suffered continued sieges, quarrels amongst families enriched for the first time began to become imagined as the norm. The light which in earlier pieces of artwork such as Four Apostles by Albrecht Dürer encouraged the viewer to look up in childish adoration was replaced by a superior lighting that directed the scholarly contemplation of the higher concepts which were now being explored by artists.

In the representation of The Calling of St. Matthew, introduction of the presence of arms shows that the anarchic discourse of transactions without a market is not lost or reduced. More importantly, that young man does not draw or have need to use his rapier, loosely hung at his side, as satiated in the company of the benevolent as the thieves and vagabonds that preceded modern banking were satiated in the blood and belongings of those who failed to invest in the extortion implied in the transaction of security (figure 6). Whether urban warfare allowed by such light and deadly weaponry was transforming society by bringing the dead to the doorsteps and gutters of the investors and families who needed their sacrifice to survive or inventions which included complex architecture, modern locksmithing, and irreproducibility in art, bank notes, or identity made the brutality of ancient conflict insignificant is lost to the viewer.

Light weaponry as a focus of the work of Caravaggio is remarkable and unique to his own experience as a painter. Living in squalid conditions, unable to pay rent and in the center of this new norm of urban warfare which returned to the Italian countryside after over a millennia, the importance of the short sword and dagger required a familiarity with literature beyond the bible. It demonstrates a definitive knowledge of a complete classical education, of the sort only available at certain prestigious and ancient universities.

St. Peter shuffles in the painting with the encumbrance of the ceremonial blade, which makes the necessity for intentionality before use of such a weapon clear (figure 14). The young man is in motion, and ready to spring from the chair in an instant (figure 11). There must be some considerations to the communication from ineffective bronze weapons into the short daggers which made Roman Legions particularly deadly in nature, using the old to incapacitate victims and the new to extinguish naturally low rates of recovery.

Lighting in Constructive Outline Conducive to Caravaggio’s Vision of the Evolution of Warfare

The bazaar was a place of trade, meeting, and communication, something akin to the English pub and stock companies or the European banks, bars, and nightclubs which mark the modern era. The etymological comparison between bar as a shortened form of bazaar cannot be likely a direct mistake. An early architectural impetus for revolution can be found to hint at the extension and development of the futuristic means of communication and of exchange which separated exchange using financial instruments from the everyday ordinary emotions, sickness, wars, or even the youth interfering with fair and just transactions (figure 4).

With the introduction of a bourgeoisie and merchant class, or the capitalist, across Europe much later than the rest of the world, finally the rigid social hierarchy of nobility and royalty began to weaken. Good things come to those who wait, and the late onset of such a change also meant that the extent and the velocity of the social changes were intensified compared to other parts of the world. Family structures changed dramatically and in addition to such social architecture, change can be more readily observed in physical architectures of buildings and artistic styles that, until then, had been relegated to religious Cathedrals within structure and from beyond. With these structural elements, the nature of the artistic work would also become redeveloped to emphasize the new religious concepts which were taking hold of various modes of cultural expression.

In The Calling of St. Michael, Michelangelo Caravaggio carefully selects the accompanying crowd who will oversee the failed transaction, that was dinner ending in harsh words. The passage which the painting tells of both scores in directionality and in content from the nature of sickness and health. In the painting, something is pointed at and another young man, possibly one of the sinners but in all likelihood an apprentice to the tax collectors, is armed and alerted, but still cautious (figure 5 and 6). This gives insight to the concerns of new forms of urban warfare, enabled by finer expertise in technological construction of the modern sword, or in this case rapier, and allows yet a further modernization of the biblical themes with a poignant defense of the older characters in the painting. It also redirects the exclamation of Christ, that doctors should be left for the sick into a message against the interfamilial wars which plagued Europe at the time of Caravaggio rather than a plea to the tax collectors and sinners who ignored the colonies of lepers, and victims of disease.

Poverty as an Underlying Source of Urban Warfare

Expansion of the concept of artistic representation of the economic transformations protecting or endangering those close to artists elucidated the concerns of disease and reference to escape through a subtle domination. The conceptualization of such direction did not exist prior to this eclipse of the outward momentum of the stylistic conflagration which Caravaggio was indicative of in nature. It did absolutely no good for his work to see superior lighting, representation of the act of conversion and introduction of money to shock the onlooker without a dramatic change in the nature of the onlookers themselves (Wendt).

Velázquez not only reproduced into and was part of a greater movement in enhancing the rigor of artistic work that Caravaggio helped to ignite, but also extended the importance of lighting into a cumulative perfection in colors as well. The distortion which can be seen in his artwork (figure 10) tackles the difficult in artistic composition also provides an exceptional comparative factor to the themes of warfare among the work of Caravaggio. In the same way that a beam of light, robes and fashion indicates the holy or imperfect nature of Christ, the sinners and other characters, Velázquez can be seen to use green and brown to represent earth and growth of his patron, and the dashing warfare espoused therein (Justi, 75). As weapon increased in efficiency indicating use in urban settings, the armor obsoleted by the trends illustrated in the work of Caravaggio demanded a new attention.

For the first time since the establishment of a united Christendom through the Catholic Church, poverty became commonplace even among those of virtuous religious standing, an event which was immortalized in confrontations such as the arrest of Thomas Aquinas in England and later conflict in Protestant and Reformed Catholic leadership throughout greater Europe. The relationship between the financiers and the changing horizons of religion can be seen as an elderly man is at ease with his calculations but the traumatized young are hunched over their work (figure 4). More of this redefinition in artistic expression would be necessitated for Caravaggio to shrink from the reality of a coming compression in artistic means through scalable growth across Europe, as the form of stylistic development.

Execution of expansion from objectives to ideals for religious doctrines were not limited to this time period, but are definitely noted through work in this time period. Visually, Caravaggio demands a subtle attention in scale to the narrative pattern of his artwork by using bold lighting popularized in previous centuries to create a subservient and groveling audience, which reflected the ambitious attitude of early Church reactionism. The light beam seen is in a direct contrast with the dull window, and representative of both industrialism and makes an important point into the nature of the cross-vector lighting array (figure 9).

Representation of the small sins which were demanded through this new focus in lighting gave a contrasted conflict in behavioral response with the confusion of the new era of urban warfare, financial instruments misused in the familial sense, and scales of production which seemed to promise the near miracle of biblical scales. Such a demonstrative effort was not lost upon the focus of the productive capacities within the customary transposition as a neutered response to the miracles with whom God expected conflict and resolution from naturally evil forces (Barth, 296). Instead, a distinctively gendered substitution of miraculous episodes in constraint defused the patchwork which threatened to smother the rich and often disgustingly vibrant community culture surrounding the young and meteorically rising star of the artistic community. The biblical passage from which Caravaggio would have worked was likely an oral rendition, and this was an important message in how to reduce the influence of negative emotions to simply good words.

In subsequent generations, the narrative in his work found itself fitting as snugly as a globe by the chess set. The goals and objectives of artists not only had to change, but were finally able to. Some of this break was natural to the work of Caravaggio himself and the rest was stylistic and later demonstrated in The Triumph of King Henry IV (figure 2). Gambits as a form of artistic intellectualism aside, enforcement of the positionality of the viewers discretion gave a certain completion to development of the transitory nature found in artistic work.

Statuesque in Nature and Industrial Complicity in Form

The reach of the success of this new visual form of subjugation of the viewer must be captured through art forms outside of the painting. The work of Albrecht Dürer exemplifies the compression in artistic ambition typical of rudimentary nationalism (figure 8), and in Caravaggio a geometrical architecture and rigor is explored, but perhaps the most delightful expression of this, an execution of sorts after direct play in form, comes the work of the sculptor. These bring the lighting into a new dimensionality of style and further encrypts the intended phenomenon and feeling of release or absolution which is decidedly desirable.

Such an encryption in form has been recently designated through the work of Antonio Canova, and seen in Cupid and Psyche which dates to the French Revolution. On display at the Louvre, the granite relies on the psychology of the viewer to add the brilliant and dazzling light which refract through the wings of Cupid which are inconceivable through material means (figure 7). This demonstrates not only carefully prepared knowledge of the style typical to Caravaggio, but additionally introspective reflection on the necessity to mirror the work as painters moved from the Baroque into Rococo and eventually necessitated a return, a sort of folding of the artistic styles which intensifies viewers’ individual experience.

In the Calling of St. Matthew by Caravaggio, this encryption must be defined through the rigor of creative absolution and omission of a defined timeline for the investment in an imagined timeline that includes both the explicit and implicit as definitive to style. German analysts have attributed the violence in the work of Caravaggio to a “rough sexuality” which forces its way through his work into the creations often commissioned by church or competitors to engage a discussion of how it is Christ follows as the leader (Wilkens, 22-23). Focus on the cross-sectional lack of lighting seen through Christ and St. Peter to gain insight into the ways this can be accomplished, that darkness or evil must exist before the intimidating forces of good or light can force them outwards (figure 6 and 9).

Today, the customary transposition in religious ideals has spread across mass culture. The selfie pioneered by Marilyn Monroe (figure 15) as well as modern ballet and dance architectures are exhibitions inviting the drawing of conclusions about a societal lifestyle which is irreproducible today, and modern culture has become emblematic of his work across hundreds of years of development. Similarity to the development of the selfie momentarily impacting modern means of understanding the work of Caravaggio begins with the dominant lighting that forces the viewer into contemplation and continues in an imitative nature but difficult rigor in form all contributing to a truly successful implication of social means across the hierarchy of belief systems implicit in such artistic endeavors.

Forms of representation also play a distinctive role in cooperative norms from viewership directly throughout formidability in form. Tacit revolution is countered by the domination of the subject and framing of the object in a corporate sense of belonging. Without the use of direct narrative, such a technique becomes decidedly useless.

Fame from a simple snapshot is given by fashion in the work of Caravaggio and is not appropriately reproduced or encouraged in any way. The viewer would have had a direct and personal connection to the work which is not present in the artists but were typical of the time. This also speaks directly to The Calling of St. Matthew and the customary transposition of the individual miracle which is found in the painting. The following of the tax collector is in turn collected by Christ. With a simple idea, Marilyn Monroe opened a thumbprint sized pavement to fame for America’s women and opened the eyes of the rest of the world to social means of hierarchy which were being demolished in a way never seen without violence in history.

Rigor Beyond the Statuesque and Tertiary Analysis

The act of painting, as hunting and warfare, had been a primal endeavor of social malaise and bare necessity. Artistic and cultural works had historically pointed to the plague, to violence, or to religious discord for an inspirational sentiment, a trend which should have been accelerated by the patron system of the Renaissance. Caravaggio uncovers a unique connection to the divine as the customary transposition in evil is replaced by an altogether more terrifying equivalent in his artistic representation of the good and saintly in conflict to the developing sins of urban warfare and tyranny of misuse of financial instruments.

This is a benevolence which works in the face of the ordinary sins, multiplied through the time period in an extravagant fashion. That fundamental shift in religious thinking was a theoretical device of academic construction and development and the social creations of the Renaissance must be understood to complement political movements and a dynamic in confusion of style which has today been lost. That does not mean the authenticity of the moment has been lost.

The late latin poem dating from the early 13th century O Fortuna defines the shedding of the conceptualization of poverty as tied to sinful behavior and ushers in a new era of industrial concern for the masses. By the time of Caravaggio, the opera King Arthur by Henry Purcell began to introduce structure into the eardrums of Europe, a rigor which did not necessitate the rigidity of the older dullard implied by classical conceptions of those who approached their work as a separation of form from passion. By firmly placing The Calling of St. Matthew into a historical context, it has been possible to gain insight into the nature of urban warfare as well as the religious understanding of miracles underpinning a dramatic reconception of poverty in the modern sense of development.


Figure 1: The Calling of St. Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1600, oil on canvas, San Luigi dei Francesi.

Figure 2: The Triumph of Henry IV by Peter Paul Rubens, 1620, oil on wood, Met Fifth Avenue Gallery 630.

Figures 3-6: The Calling of St. Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1600, oil on canvas, San Luigi dei Francesi.





Figure 7: Cupid and Psyche by Antonio Canova, 1787-93, Musée de Louvre, Paris.

Figure 8: Adam and Eve by Albrecht Dürer, 1504, copper engraving, Museo del Prado.

Figure 9: Detail from The Calling of St. Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1600, oil on canvas, San Luigi dei Francesi.

Figure 10: Detail from Don Juan Francisco Pimentel (1584-1652), 1648

Figures 11-14: Details from The Calling of St. Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1600, oil on canvas, San Luigi dei Francesi.





Figure 15: Selfie taken by Marilyn Monroe c. 1940, obtained through Swann Galleries.


50 Cent, OK, You’re Right Shady Records/Aftermath, 2007.

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Culler, M. B. Self-reference in Caravaggio’s “Calling of St. Matthew” (Order No. 1442315). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I, 2007.

Justi, Carl. Diego Velazquez und sein jahrhundert. Vol. 1. M. Cohen, 1888.
Parker, Geoffrey. “The” Military Revolution,” 1560-1660–a Myth?.” The Journal of Modern History 48, no. 2 (1976): 196-214.

Rosenberg, Pierre. France in the Golden Age: Seventeenth-century French Paintings in American Collections. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1982.

Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice (Vol. 7). Lippincott, 1916.

Wilkens, Albrecht, and Prof. Dr. Klaus Heinrich. Licht Und Gewalt Bei Caravaggio, 2010.

Warhol and the Importance of Moving in Two Directions

Warhol and the Importance of Moving in Two Directions

Paul Fischer
Professor Kelsey Brosnan
Warhol and the Importance of Moving in Two Directions
The artistic exhibition at the Fleming Museum at the University of Vermont was recently displayed as a celebration of architectures, of the 80’s, and will be followed by an exhibition of romantic art. Social disambiguation occurs when the work of great artists such as Warhol and Picasso glowers angrily across two exhibits in one museum at each other through their artwork. The liquid gel covered ‘Electric Chair’marks a distinct and international call of recommendation of the actions which are portrayed in the oils, inks, and pastels of other artists.
This was not only a presentation in photography with the illustration, but also a moralistic behavior, a set of judgements which were as clearly stated as the ancient tablet from Sumer which lies cooly outside of the marbled exhibition room, dating from 2885 BC. Beyond the introduction of photographic display, a poster for a film about Jean-Michel Basquiat took the exhibition beyond the traditional mediums of art exhibition: the viewer is encouraged to find subject material outside of the exhibition itself. That is fitting for a walking artist such as Basquiat.
As an exploration of a specific time period, there is also a progression which follows both rooms of the exhibition. Underneath the weighty Egyptian collection sits a glaring representation of the emptied fast food restaurants of the strips of modern corporatism, and represent the dominance of franchise, all too soon after the corporation overtook the individual or family businesses. Electric lights still glare, and the spirit of a material wasteland is emphasized in a Butlins-style photograph which hangs out quietly around the corner. While this is just a photographic preparation for the directionality which is enforced by Picasso, there is also a transitive quality for one who starts with the exhibit room containing works by Warhol and Basquiat.
A final note should be offered to the nature of the mediums offered. Three-dimensional art, lists, even a feather is offered as a form of artistic representation in the exhibition. Pen and paper to crayons are offered to make more than a point, but to invert the message of the work into the sublime. Yet somehow, with the liberation of Namibia, also correctly called South West Africa prior to the independence, a certain curiosity is evoked among the trends which are being emphasized. An almost arrogant statement of this moment in history is rebuked by the celebration of what was accomplished in Butlin-style photography.

This was a moment of great hope for the world, and for Africa: as independence was won the rich world fought epidemics and poverty in quite the same numbers as even the poorest nations. It was a moment in history where it seemed as though a senseless reaper demanded equal destruction from each of the continents of the world, and these were artists who caught this phenomenon and questioned it. One of Andy Warhol’s favorite pictures, of what appears to be a young Lou Reed with his eyes nearly closed, is separated by a decade from the electric chair which would define Andy Warhol’s career and initiate greater controversy and discussion than any of the antics, deaths, pranks, or mischief which had marked him as an artist. For him, this was a symptom of barbarity sustained by the rank ignorance and dormant ardor of a system of values which was missing a cog, or a piece of some sort, something which is illustrated at a later point in the exhibit.

Unity, Expansion, and Rate of Change in Stylistic Interpretation from Baroque to Classical Artwork

Unity, Expansion, and Rate of Change in Stylistic Interpretation from Baroque to Classical Artwork

Paul Andreas Fischer


Professor Kelsey Brosnan

Unity, Expansion, and Rate of Change in Stylistic Interpretation from Baroque to Classical Artwork

The place of unity in the stylistic representation of space frontiers without a time period from which to operate is also lacking movement in this placement, conceivably speaking throughout the appropriate conceptualization of the comfort of that artistic form and representation. Connotation of belief in the fluidity of artistic difference can be felt within the artistic devices of expansion (Wöllflin, 164) and is found in the artistic work of Dirk Vellert. A genuine departure from the pioneering provincialism is found as the Reconquista is effectively discarded and the focus of artistic work begins to develop into a united demonstration of piety combined and bound to ungodly wealth.

Style is not neither logical nor is it itemizable (Schapiro, 2) and the transition from the primitive art form is one which finds direct loss of contact with the rational as a result of social unity and coherence in artistic expression. The expansion of such a development indicates a cognitive disregard for the reality of a material expansion into artistic form. This cognitive disregard both hinders the expansion of the singularity, preserving the local multitude as well as ensures that such an expansion must occur.

What style can be directly seen as is the Baroque development from classic art of the 15th century. As a constant form, this is definitely implied as a community singularity, which is seen in the art of newly relaxed artists in their approach to the expression of their work (Wöllflin, 156). The gradual change of artwork from Classical to Baroque in style is marked by the limitation to specific fields of development, as defined by the refinement of materials, procedures, and investment behind artistic endeavors. Finally, it should be seen in both unity and expansion that a greater singularity in style is found.

The concentration of wealth created a unique system of complexity in artistic style that found itself without a direction and yielded a yearning or longing for a return to simplicity of primitive art forms by the modern era (Schapiro, 4). Other factors which played a role included a spiritual communality which could not be experienced during the massive onslaught of death and poverty which marked European art forms in the centuries preceding that new era. Lack of style, then, as well as the primitive art form can be seen to be logical in nature. This brings a new meaning to the joke from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, “if it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it!”

In artistic expression, unlike architecture, for example, the illogical can be seen to have a positive attribution of form and projection in its appeal to both the audience and the social tapestry for which the artwork provides a distinct and complete excitement in form. The domination of unity can be seen in the lighting as well (Wöfflin, 162). This is the sort of individualistic conceptualization of the development of style which was singular across the artistic world at the time. There is a use for such an analysis, as it affects modern painters such as Escher who attempt to increase their artistic tension by disregarding the rigidity of logic in their painting or drawing almost to an extreme to achieve a level of modernity in style.


Meyer Schapiro (1904-1996), “Style,” 1953 [Excerpt, pp. 1-4]

Jonathon Blower H. Wölfflin, translator, & Evonne Anita Levy, editor, writer of essay. (2015). Principles of art history : The problem of the development of style in early modern art / Heinrich Wölfflin ; a new translation by Jonathan Blower ; edited and with essays by Evonne Levy and Tristan Weddigen. (Texts & documents).

Crusades in the New World

Crusades in the New World

  A lecture was given recently by former History professor Alfred Andrea, of the University of Vermont at the Waterman Lounge. The presentation was well-sourced, and he has certainly kept a speaking capability which has not suffered after 15 years in retirement. One thesis was included, that the conquest of the New World could be termed as a Crusade.

  It is an interesting point, and one which has been explored in the past. One question which arose and was acknowledged in questioning as a good point was about the Treaty of Tordesillas. There must have been included among some primary sources discussion of calling this conquest a Crusade as Spanish conquistadors and royalty alike wished to prevent the double-entry into the New World by Britain and France.
  Portuguese encroachment upon the perceived divine entitlement of Spain to the New World could be acknowledged as long as similar deferment to the superior naval capabilities of the Spanish Imperial Navy. Unfortunately, these other potential players who had not proven effective in the Middle East or in the Spice Islands yet, and had little bargaining position with which to enter the New World. Whether there will be an attempt to reclassify greater parts of the period of colonization in the New World as a crusade remains to be seen.

Tree Nurseries and the Enabling Acts: Examples of State and Federal Responses to the Unregulated Timber Industry Prior to the Great Depression

Tree Nurseries and the Enabling Acts: Examples of State and Federal Responses to the Unregulated Timber Industry Prior to the Great Depression

Paul Fischer


Professor McCollough

Tree Nurseries and the Enabling Acts: Examples of State and Federal Responses to the Unregulated Timber Industry Prior to the Great Depression

The process of altering the landscape requires resources, and historically the dominant forms of construction, whether for the famous log cabins of the American frontier or the scaffolding for cement and steel structures which punctuate and bridge the distances in this nation even today, have been dependent on the timber industry. Previous discussion has been offered on the technical innovations which transformed the timber industry as well as the face and character of the United States, it is now time to move a generation forward and see the effects these innovations had on the new industry and the resources over which it presides. By examining the Green Mountain State Forest News during its heyday between the years of 1925 and 1935 it will be possible to retrospectively analyze the changing industry in a momentous period in American history, during the onset of the Great Depression and tail end of the Roaring 20s. The expansion and, for all intensive purposes, initiation of reforestation efforts on behalf of state tree nurseries will be viewed as an example of local regulation and offsetting of industrial efforts to increase production while the advent of National Forests and subsequent Enabling Acts passed by states under Calvin Coolidge’s presidency will be critically acclaimed as a fundamentally constitutional regulation of each state’s timber industries, without which would most certainly have yielded devastating effects on the national economy under the conditions of the Great Depression.

Reforestation and Forest Nurseries

The Green Mountain State Forest News preceded the January edition of their second volume, 1926, with “SET YOUR IDLE FOREST LAND TO WORK BY REFORESTATION” (Vermont Forest Service, V. 2: 1), and this was a process which had begun many years earlier, around the turn of the century. At that time, only thirty five thousand trees were being planted in Vermont. Just a couple decades later, this had become thirteen million with two million planted through two state tree nurseries (Vermont Forest Service, V. 2: 1 August). That same month, the Calvin Coolidge State Forest was authorized (Vermont Forest Service, V. 2: 5) and a fundamental change in the manner in which forestry in the United States was carried out occurred. President Calvin Coolidge entreated listeners to “treat our forests as crops , to be used but also to be renewed” as a domestic crisis was likely becoming apparent in the form of the rampant and careless deforestation occurring at the time (Vermont Forest Service, V. 2: 4 January).

While timbering issues were one cause of deforestation in Vermont, other concerns existed as well. In January of 1926 it is reported that 10% of losses were due to insects and disease, while half of forest fires were due to “carelessness”, primarily on railroads. During this period of prohibition, this may be that this is doublespeak for workplace inebriation. Accidental sources of railroad fueled forest fires began with sparks flying from the wheels of trains, which were inches long. This would later provide an incentive to change the design of elevated rails and local rail commuters (McCullough, 2016). Different solutions were advised for the various problems which faced forests which ranged from the advice of a W.E. Buton, the State Entomologist of Connecticut, to use Blackleaf-40, with the active ingredient of nicotine sulfate and soap to combat insect populations (Vermont Forest Service, V. 1: 12, December). This may also have been apparent in Fish and Game surveys as detrimental to bird populations, a demonstration of the particular relationship between hunter and prey (Modu) which will be returned to as the wildlife also plays a certain role in securing the lands for the National Forests that may have stopped the collapse of American ecosystems. The new insecticide began use in 1926 in Vermont, and replaced the lead based insecticide used previously (Vermont Forest Service, V. 1: 5, July).

Consequences of Spanish Deforestation and European Input

One of the incentives for change in the industry were the efforts of European foresters. A speech in Vermont outlined an official’s trip to Spain, and the total devastation to ecosystems and economic capabilities as a result of widespread deforestation there (Vermont Forest Service, V. 2: 6, December). Without the appropriate husbandry from humans to the forests, the crops and wider ecosystems also failed. With them dropped entire economic developments. Speculative investments to restore the glory of Spain were lost. In order to avoid such a future in the United States, or at least Vermont, this official recommended a regimen of “Study, Service, and Sacrifice” for students and future foresters. The amount of lumber cut in Vermont at the time was 112 million, outstripping reforestation efforts by a factor of nearly ten (Vermont Forest Service, V. 3: 2, July). While research abroad indicated that use of 35 seed trees (5) instead of 6 seed trees per acre (Vermont Forest Service, V. 1: 8, March) could mitigate damages, the consequences of deforestation were yet to be firmly established in the United States or Vermont. The number of trees which would have to be bought from a tree nursery in order to reforest an acre is 1200 (Vermont Forest Service, V. 1: 12, October), so considerable savings were found in either scenario.

Without complete social acceptance of these beliefs, however, there was sufficient evidence for state legislatures and the President to act. In 1925, funds were secured from Congress to request permission from private and state organizations for the Federal Government to purchase land on sovereign territory of the states for the purpose of the preservation of forests and the “nation’s natural resources” and an Enabling Act was proposed and passed in the Vermont Statehouse with a call for opinions occurring in January 1925 (Vermont Forest Service, V. 1: 5-6) and legislation being passed in March of the same year, just in time for Forest Protection Week (Vermont Forest Service, V. 1: 1). A critical part of passage of this Enabling Act was competition with New Hampshire for state forest lands and the resources that came with them.

Political Legislation as a Cause of Preservation of the Landscape

By examining the political process which allowed the preservation of our nation and state’s forests, a historiography of changing perspectives is offered in regards to natural resources. This gives constitutional and fundamental grounds for the institutions maintained in current legislation and operations. From the Forest Service to the Bureau of Forestry, many of these institutions remain. 

New resources have entered the economy and horizons of human exploitation, from dangerous new methods of extraction from the earth to safely extracting energy from dangerous radioactive elements and even, perhaps one day, utilization of the boundless expanses beyond our atmosphere. The trend to understand our landscape and the economic potential it holds remains critical to the success of the United States. Implementation into the political process is, for America, not extraneous but intrinsic to the process of development, growth, and security.


McCullough, William. History on the Land., 2016. Lecture.

Modu, S., B. S. Binta, and A. U. Mani. “Effect Of Lead Exposure On Egg Production, Quality And Hatchability In Quail Birds (Coturnix Japonica).”Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine 9, no. 3 (1999): 234-237.

Vermont. Forest Service. Green Mountain State Forest News., 1924-36.

Technical Innovation and Responses to Deforestation in the United States, 1904-6

Technical Innovation and Responses to Deforestation in the United States, 1904-6

Paul Andreas Fischer


Professor McCollough


Technical Innovation and Responses to Deforestation in the United States of America, 1904-6

The importance of two technical innovations will be described as component to the development of American communities can be seen in the development of early modern forestry, analyzed in this first of a two part series spanning the time period from 1904 to 1934. The United States prevented the expanding economy at the beginning of this span from turning the landscape into a barren wasteland such as had been seen historically through technical innovation which also made this development possible. This will be seen in the span of production of on a qualitative level, an analysis with profound implications for the economic horizons at the time.

Some segmentation and disambiguation will be necessary as attention will be offered to technical innovation in forestry and to reforestation efforts, providing a cycle from the origins of deforestation and reforestation in the glimmer of the mirror of a prospector’s hypsometer through the measuring and production process with the hypsometer and back to the seed trees which allow reforestation. The seeds of the conservation movement can be found here, and this will be touched upon in summation, but will await further investigation in the subsequent paper on the topic. Research covered but not included in this synopsis of certain importance will include the prevention of forest fires and pathogens, which at the time also played roles in reforestation as well as deforestation efforts.

Addressing Problems in Forestry and Assembling Individualized Response Systems

Among the earliest efforts to organize forestry efforts in the United States was the establishment of a bureau for efforts in forestry that predated other federal efforts in related fields. Review of literature from Forestry Quarterly in February, 1904 provides a succinct description of the organization of the bureau, authorized and explored in 1903, which proceeds as follows:

Organization of the Bureau:

Forest Measurements and Forest Management – 24.4%

Dendrology (Forest Investigation) – 9.5%

Forest Extension – 14.4%

Forest Products – 14.4%

Records – 30-7%

This bureau was necessitated by a failure of state and local enforcement such as fire departments, not yet fully formed, as well as police responsibilities which were not established as the primary method of prevention (Forestry Quarterly Volume 2, 77-85). Indeed, constitutional protection of endangered forest fire zones at the time only applied to disaster areas after incidence, and were frequently inadequate in nature. This failure was described fully in a report of the Superintendent of Forests to the New York State Forest, Fish and Games Commission after forest fires consumed 12% of state lands, costing over 75,000 days of labor in clean-up costs.

State responses to forest fires and other dangers were not limited to New York, however, and two case studies are offered which endeavor to measure the results on states both farther east and west. In Massachusetts for the first time the unique nature of forests in relation to property is being addressed at this time. Simply prosecuting and investigating the fires and inadequate control of the land as matters of property destruction were proving futile, and the necessity to involve other departments, or establish such divisions as necessary had become apparent (Forestry Quarterly Volume 2, 59). One unique approach was the expansion of insurance companies’ corporate presence in the field, other suggestions include tax reform, though ultimately the report acknowledged that at the time Massachusetts had premier standards for forest care, which it was not wont to dismiss (74). The impact of neglect turning profitable woodlands into barren wasteland is well summarized, as, “neglect breeds neglect, carelessness induces indifferences; thriftlessness is our neighbor may sometimes stimulate by bad example to increase activity and thrift on our part, but when a whole community is slovenly, the character of the best is endangered by contagion” (54). The concern to intruding pathogens is addressed at this time, a field pioneered at the time, as fungal infection would be a primary concern for foresters in the coming decades. With the power of the newly innovated microscope this was a challenge that could be finally tackled, though this is a development which will be cited in the subsequent installment to this series.

In Michigan, concerns over the flames arising over groves of young pines gave rise to prevention of forest fires, and was a relatively new concept and will come into play as intrinsically tied to reforestation efforts. This will be discussed in nature with the results from a Minnesota experiment that was released subsequently, also in relation to pine trees, and would prove a critical seed source for early reforestation efforts. Firstly, however, it would be advantageous to take a look at some of the technological innovations making this expansion of the academics and industry behind forestry possible.

Hypsometer: A Glimmer in the Forester’s Eye Removes Trial and Error From an Industry, and Enforces the Scientific Method

The hypsometer was a device used to measure the height of trees, and a new design by Henry Donald Tieman described in May 1904 increased the efficacy of the device by double over the former model known as a Faustman, to around 45 trees an hour (Forestry Quarterly Volume 2, 144-7). The layout for the device can be seen below in figure 1 and a short description of its methodology will be provided. An example of how this device increases efficacy is the way it removed the necessity to calculate the slope of the ground into an equation to find the height of the tree, an extraneous piece of work, by virtue of a hanging weight. This 9.6 ounce device would transform the nation’s understanding and utilization of the scope of extant natural forest resources.

Figure 1. Hypsometer

A: Foresight, viewpoint B: Sliding Arm C: Rotary Mirror PD: Vertical height

PAD, PBC: Triangle measured TCS & PCD: 2 similar triangles W: Weight WD: Swinging Scale Rod

The impact of this invention on forestry in America can be imagined in two ways. Firstly, the process of tree prospecting was transformed. Vast areas of woodland were suddenly able to be quantified and prepared in value before lumbering operations were even deployed, this would feed the maturing railroad industry into its final stages of transportation dominance. More importantly, one only needed a basic set of calculations, generally prepared, in order to use this, transforming the investment and education needed to perform the otherwise costly process of prospecting for timber. That was a device which certainly increased the supply of timber, one that was met with an unflinching demand as industrial and corporate interests continued to boom. A tandem nature to the innovation creating a positive influence in the process of reforestation would be shared with another device that would prepare a log for use with unprecedented efficiency.

A New Xylometer Increases Production But Reduces Waste In the Lumber Industry

A similar paradox in engineering for the early conservationists of the time was found in the development of the xylometer. Profitability of the lumber manufacturing process was increased and greater supply of railroad ties allowed while waste in the production process was reduced, introducing an economic shift similar to a declining demand, as a result of the technical progress. The new design is pictured in figure 2 and can be found originally in the November, 1905 issue of Forest Quarterly, increased the number of ties, or pieces of lumber, that could be effectively quantified to twenty per hour (Forest Quarterly Volume 3, 335-8). The new technology developed in explicit co-operation with railroad corporate interests was of greater centrality to understanding the true benefit of the advance and yielded an indisputable increase in efficiency.

In order to evaluate this latter advantage, it will be first critical to examine some of the technical details behind previous attempts at the considerably important task of weighing and volumetrically categorizing lumber (Forestry Quarterly, 335). The most successful and widespread was the use of a water tank in order to weigh lumber, using a gauge to measure the displaced water and there-by find an estimate, though inaccurate, of the amount of lumber provided. Efforts to industrialize the process of timber harvest presented a problem with the former method, however, similar to the investigation at the time in the halls of academia with invasive fungi and insect species rotting standing groves of white pines, but instead induced rot in logs already prepared for production. Rather than rotting on the hills as they lived, this occurred as a result of the minutes it would take to load and unload a series of logs from a water tank in an efficient manner. Entire forests would then be wasted.

The new device relied on railroad technology for use and could weigh an individual log. Both of these removed much of the necessity for manual labor and increased precision of smaller operations (Forestry Quarterly Volume 3, 336-7). In addition to saving labor, the winch also provided a diameter of the log and allowed calculation of the specific gravity of the wood being prepared for the production process, generally in housing or transportation concerns. An interesting sidenote is the raw mathematical power making the progress possible, Humphrey’s or the Vermont Rule and Constantine’s Rule, gave individual loggers and companies the capability of making scientific work out of what would have been previously a rude game of guessing or estimation. Once again, the process would have required an educated individual and a significant amount of waste but was successfully replaced by someone who only had a general literacy, or capability of applying a chart to their manual labor (338).

Figure 2. Xylometer

Conclusion: How American Innovations Built the Land and, Ironically Enough, Saved the Landscape

The time period addressed in the periodical review from Forestry Quarterly demonstrated a period of significant research into forestry in the United States. Industrial expansion was massive, and these clutch bits of innovation and their mass-production allowed it to continue. This research would also prove necessary to allow the continuation of the American landscape, and establish conservationism as an environmental movement which remains enshrined by federal statutes, organizations, and cultural behaviors today.

Some of the aspects of forestry described work together, such as with the dual-utility of the hypsometer in deforestation as well as reforestation, and it will subsequently be necessary to evaluate what political and economic changes were made. This will be accomplished through a localized approach. In Vermont these technical innovations will be seen to radically change the nature of America’s relationship to the land. The techniques and inventions developed and described above provided stimulus behind the 1920s, and achieved maturation along with a fresh generation of timber, a president from the Green Mountain State, Calvin Coolidge, would be elected president and the legal structures of the renewed vision of American forests as more than resources but as crops will be seen in action. With the Great Depression looming, it may also be possible to make some conclusions about how the enormous growth of these efforts, which can now be confirmed to have occurred in Vermont, may not have spread to other states quickly enough to prevent what was definitively the greatest economic crisis in American history, though this will not be the purpose of further work in this field.


Fernow, B. E, New York State College of Forestry, and Ingentaconnect. Forestry Quarterly, 1902.

New York State College of Forestry. Forestry Quarterly, 1905.

The Red Terror Arises From the Ashes of the Green and White Armies: Revolution, Civil War, and the Cheka

The Red Terror Arises From the Ashes of the Green and White Armies: Revolution, Civil War, and the Cheka

Paul Andreas Fischer


Professor Youngblood

The Red Terror Arises From the Ashes of the Green and White Armies: Revolution, Civil War, and the Cheka

As the rising dust of the peasant revolts superseded the omnipresent factory smoke both literally and figuratively as WWI faded into the Civil War, an early and thoroughly Marxist interpretation of the party’s agenda gave way to more pragmatic concerns. The early Bolsheviks’ program moved to adopt the peasantry into their program and address their concerns while consolidating power over state and electoral procedures. This was a development which established an interesting dichotomy in the structure of the Bolshevik party, avoiding co-operation with opposing Socialist forces within Russia and saved the Party from factions within Russia that wished a complete privatization of land and reversion to older practices. Both will be examined as distinct components of the socialist political machine in Russia during the Revolution and subsequent social and economic deprivation along with significant military atrocities.

The roots of Bolshevism rejected the presence of the peasantry in a post-revolutionary society entirely, as a position which operates outside of the normal range of functionality for a successful Communist state under conventional Marxist theory (Barker and Grant, 305-10). This is evident in early essays of Iosef Lenin as well as in his work which encourages the people of Russia to look towards the movement of the previous attempts at Revolution which he admits in his “April Theses” of April 1917 had placed power into the hands of the bourgeoisie as the proletariat lacked organization or class consciousness (Weinberg and Bernstein, 40-1). Already the “second stage” is identified as one which places “power in the hands of the proletariat and the poorest strata of peasantry” which hints at later attempts to strike at the kulaks, a financially empowered minority of the peasantry accorded some rights by the imperial regime and Provisional government, but which posed a significant threat to the status quo, and would rebel in five districts (Weinberg and Bernstein, 83).

The status of peasant, however, is so ingrained into Russian culture and society that it was not possible to see a Communism rise in Russia without some critical new curtain of demonstration to the ideals which would be encouraged in the people; premature action by the “man in the street” could spoil the nation’s wealth and demand the impossible (Barker and Grant, 331-5). The significance of the peasant can be seen as self-evident in the cries of a peasant in the opposition of privately owned property in late 1917 (Weinberg and Bernstein, 48). That the very individuals who labor for the land live in poverty is a central theme in the work, and this correlates well the cries of the peasantry in Peasant Resolution in late October of 1917, the week before armed insurrection in Petrograd, which add to this a need for the peasantry to have access to basic necessities in addition to public ownership of the land (Rowley, 122-3).

In order to understand the peasantry in relation to the development of the Bolshevik party, some understanding of the characters in play must also exist. Leon Trotsky followed the fall of the Provisional government and aforementioned armed insurrection at Petrograd with urges to Bolshevik followers to allow their voting be their oath (Weinberg and Bernstein, 53). This was a hint at later despotic and dictatorial methods which would be utilized by the party including the establishment of the secret police, the Cheka. That secret police which expanded rapidly would represent part of the rapidly changing double-standard extant both in the party discussions as well as in opposition, a key development in which is to evaluate the role of the Civil War which would last until 1921.

The avant-garde architecture of Vladimir Tatlin, Model for the Comintern Building, which remains unbuilt, is tenuous in structure at best (Rowley, 128). Revolutionary society mirrored this gut-wrenching design at the time. The Cheka served the purpose of the fish-line in the design, which should only exist in the time of Civil War, and be invisible to the viewer’s eye. Instead they became dark and hideous, and among the most hated parts of the Bolshevik agenda. Discussion of the Cheka would be incomplete without discussion of the Kronstadt rebellion in which hundreds of sailors were executed and thousands imprisoned as dissatisfaction with the new rule was demonstrated in their proclamation “What We Are Fighting For” which bemoans the replacement of the hammer and sickle with the bayonet and barred window (Weinberg and Bernstein, 88-9). It would be best not to forget that criminal reform was a primary focus of the Revolution of 1905, and despite the first World War, remained critical to many members of the population’s satisfaction. Over the course of the organization’s early existence, in these first years of revolution hundreds of thousands were incarcerated and around 10,000 executed, which Lenin emphasized as critical to the struggle against “Counter-Revolution and Sabotage” but betrayed the reality of the Revolution and Civil War for the Working class (Weinberg and Bernstein, 67).

The commonly known White Army and Red Army were not the only positions during the Civil War, which saw many of the fears of Lenin, Trotsky, and other leaders of the Revolution play out to the tune of horrendous atrocities. A series of Menshevik newspapers detail the worst fears of both White and Red Armies which seemed to have no end, from the stealing of cattle to the wanton burning of significantly more than 10,000 tons of grain by villagers in rural areas (Weinberg and Bernstein, 46-7). Bringing the subject of this work to a head were the efforts of the “Green Army” led by A. S. Antonov and designated as terroristic in nature, but espoused some legitimate concerns of the population and felt the impact of Communist despotism directly (Weinberg and Bernstein 84-6). At Tambov these “Toiling Peasants” suffered an unknown number of casualties and punitive burning of several villages. Ironically enough, they directly conflicted in nature with the demands of the Peasant Resolution, perhaps due to the aforementioned famine and need for basic necessities, reaching the point that a report to the American President Hoover described communal consumption of dogs in bologna and sausage (Weinberg and Bernstein, 73), and demanded reinstatement of private property and a demonstrative elimination of Cheka-style justice. In order to understand the execution of 10,000 people and the atrocities of the war, some knowledge of the fears of Revolutionary leaders at the time had to be imparted.

It can be seen that many of these forces interacted with one another, and some basic conclusions must be drawn from the work. The Bolshevik Party developed a dichotomy of practices which included developing stages by which it justified repressive and also dictatorial processes that prevented internal factions from gaining excessive control of the nation. The most punitive of these, inspiring rebellion, have been discussed, and others include disruption of democratic procedures which would have profound effects on attempts to spread Communism across the world in later generations. The Party was also saved from an immediate privatization of land and elimination of the gains made on behalf of the working man by terrorist and anarchist organizations in Russia at the time, in part by the serious punitive nature of the actions.

Issues in Taxation, Working Conditions, and Autocracy: Periodic Revolutions and The Revolution in Late Imperial Russia

Issues in Taxation, Working Conditions, and Autocracy: Periodic Revolutions and The Revolution in Late Imperial Russia

Paul Andreas Fischer


Professor Youngblood


Issues in Taxation, Working Conditions, and Autocracy: Periodic Revolutions and The Revolution in Late Imperial Russia

The revolution of 1905 failed as a direct result of Revolutionary inability to incorporate peasantry into their plans for the future government. The imperial authorities gave little to no service to the work of the proletariat in working conditions, to the peasantry in relief of in the servile nature of their work or unnecessary taxation, or to representation in the Duma which was not equally offered to all members of society and which was characterized by repression of free speech and education. Each of these three problems will be addressed in the documents provided which are drawn from the period.

An example of Revolutionary belligerence be seen in Lenin’s “What Is to Be Done” essay written in 1902 (WB, 21). As Party Theoretician of the Bolshevik faction of Socialist Revolutionaries, the dominating side of Socialist-Democrats commonly known as Mensheviks and Bolsheviks, Lenin made a shrewd decision with this which may have worked by the time of the Revolution of 1917, after Russia was forcibly industrialized, this time by war, and on a broader scale than ever before, but appears to be misplaced nearly a decade after his writing with the Revolution of 1905. In fact, it is mentioned in the letter that “it is much easier for demagogues to side-track the more backwards sections of the masses” and in what would today be a risky statement, at the time this group certainly would have included both women and peasants. The promise for a role in a post-Revolutionary society aside, it can be assured that at this time Lenin foresaw no place for them in the execution of a Revolution itself.

The causes of the workers which were ignored by the government paralleled the cause of the peasants, which were inadequately or not fully addressed in early Bolshevism, just as these causes were avoided by the ruling government. Following the Revolution of 1905 as the Emperor only gave a nod to the actions of Bolsheviks, according to the Vyborg Manifesto, which spelled out demands of peasants through the mouthpiece of liberals and leftist deputies, it would appear that the work of the peasants in demanding private property from noble, government, church and other sources had indeed forced the dismissal of the people’s representatives (WB, 33) in the Duma in 1906. Taxation on social drinking may be a euphemism for various activities which culturally would be seen as the responsibility of an adult, and is only included as a concern in A Resolution for Peasants (Rowley, 93). It is important to notice that the workers are not the peasantry, nor vice-versa in this case, and the work should not be interpreted as gains by the proletariat at the expense of the peasantry. Neither were effectively defended.

The cultural reaction to the lifestyles of the bourgeois may seem in retrospect to be petty or unfounded in the events which were transpiring in imperial Russia. The reality is that the reaction, which is noted by peasants and in the work of artists, who frequently came from a lower background, has been called for as intrusions into the everyday life of the peasant, in a time far before any scientific or popular measures could have justified them. This exasperation can be seen in work of Leo Tolstoy (WB, 14), which shows a hypothetical evening in indulgence as well as the servile nature of the lower classes at the time. The government had banned education, and had instituted unpopular taxes, both of which are addressed in an appeal from the Peasants and Petition from Workers to the Duma shortly before the Emperor’s Fundamental Laws were released (Rowley, 93-4). The directive ignores demands to compensate, and therefore, under the imperial mercantile government, to eliminate overtime work.

Education is addressed in the Instruction From Workers (Rowley, 94), which is a call from the factory workers who formed a smoky ring encapsulated by oppressed peasantry and circumnavigating the decadent nobility, and comprised two of fifteen points, a third should be considered the freedom of speech. The October Manifesto granted the of freedom of speech and equal elections for a body, the Duma, which was responsible for all new laws requested. Their subsequent revocation was the grounds for Revolution. Contemporary analysis finds the freedoms may have been greater than those asked for by Lenin in 1902 which will be addressed later (WB, 29-30).

In these documents education, free speech and social responsibilities can be seen to be a primary concern of Revolutionaries. These are ignored in the Fundamental Laws which were instituted by Emperor Nicholas II in order to scale back promises made in the October Manifesto (WB 29-30). These laws are hard to look at favorably, especially after the Manifesto spells some inveterate hypocrisy in the official order, and no escape or guarantee of taxation or of economic stability is offered.

The divine right commanded in the Fundamental Laws gave autocratic power to the Emperor, not only over the state, but over God as well (Rowley, 96). This was not a simple promise or blown smoke which would win over the masses, but a dedication to divine work and the Russian soil which persisted even in his last, albeit doomed, campaigns in defense of the Empire in 1915 (WB, 35). The greatest betrayal of the Russian people in this declaration, however, was the right to revoke the commission of the Duma, a right that due to the divine right described could never be justly reciprocated.

In a Women’s Petition there is sarcastic reference to the “great day of the opening of the State Duma” (Rowley, 95) before complaint from the lack of a single female representative in the proceedings. The main objective of this document is to obtain representation, though other constituent efforts by females from the time would demand health services. One error, though not problem per say, in the Women’s Petition was an insisting declaration that the women were equally represented economically. That was not the case.

The failure of women to receive any representation in the Duma, or equal representation economically at the time is indicative of a general reciprocity in the Fundamental Laws which is not present. While a veto from the Duma would nullify any law made by the Emperor, as a check and balance to provisions which allow the Emperor to veto laws passed or to implement martial law in any area in order to establish the absolute power claimed in the first chapter of the Fundamental Laws, those laws are guaranteed as untouchable by any popular or noble means whatsoever. With censorship and economic hardship coming in the next decade and voiced in a speech by Alexander Guchkov (WB, 33-4) this faint hint of discord would become clear to every faction by the outbreak of the first World War.

The most effective defense of the Emperor’s actions can be found in the work of Konstantin Pobedonostsev who cites the Emperor that, “equal distribution of ‘freedom’ among all involves the total destruction of equality” (WB, 16). The Prime Minister Petr Stolypin announced efforts to build a sewer system in St. Petersburg in 1911 which had become a “breeding ground for both cholera and plague bacteria” (WB, 18). What went unmentioned in his announcement was that the actions of the government were responsible for this overcrowding and poverty, which can be seen in the depth of famine during November 1905 when a resolution from the Soviet established a state of war between the government and the workers as one hundred thousand were forcibly removed to the streets (WB, 31).

As the peasants demand replacement of members of the Duma, the Fundamental Laws clearly state, “The Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Ministers, and Heads of various departments are responsible to the Sovereign Emperor for State administration” (Rowley, 98) which sealed for the newly educated their great ambitions and desire for position. This would alienate the women whose concerns included healthcare which (Rowley, 95), as noted before, were among the few complaints seriously addressed with meaningful action by the government.

Moving from peasantry to proletariat concerns involves a massive shift in horizontal and vertical analysis, but this was accomplished through examination of a petition from the workers, addressing exploitation as well as freedom of speech or education already seen. Support is offered from a primary document from Leo Tolstoy showing the equal return of demands. The most important problem is the failure of the Fundamental Laws, which are appropriate in style for the age of Absolutism but obsoleted by the Revolution, to address such issues after the promising nature of the Manifesto on State Order and the Emperor’s own struggle. The significant omission by Lenin of the peasants from his early work, even highlighting them as a potential liability for Revolutionary activity was brought to light, which should prelude the nature of the coming Revolution, which will be terminal for the imperial family.

A Review of Documents Pertaining to Colonel Isaac Clark, Discipline in the War of 1812, and Analysis of Education and Connections in Prosecution of Charges of Treason and Desertion

A Review of Documents Pertaining to Colonel Isaac Clark, Discipline in the War of 1812, and Analysis of Education and Connections in Prosecution of Charges of Treason and Desertion

Paul Andreas Fischer


Charlie Briggs

A Review of Documents Pertaining to Colonel Isaac Clark, Discipline in the War of 1812, and Analysis of Education and Connections in Prosecution of Charges of Treason and Desertion

The topics of treason and desertion are of particular interest during the War of 1812, and to military history since the origination of organized warfare. While at first these seem to have little in common other than the method by which they are carried out, through a court martial issued by a commanding officer, at the time approved by a general or special tribunal, there is often much more which connects these sentences than would be normally appreciated. Examination of documents from Colonel Isaac Clark and secondary sources reveal a personal understanding of American law and military procedure, one that may have been both important in his time as well as in modern understanding of the legal and political structures which govern today’s society. Isaac Clark demonstrated a personal growth in his career as an errant soldier and later as a commanding officer of soldiers in the United States Military in his exploration of his new nation and the Constitution; personal documents display both an ignorance luckily tempered by mercy which nearly cost eight of his soldiers their lives unnecessarily as well as an intuitive grasp and understanding of the basic tenets and principles which were not commonly accepted in America until the 1960s when properly contextualized. The charges leveled against Isaac Clark demonstrated experiential growth in which a mishap set precedent for a fundamental and unique interpretation of the Bill of Rights contained within the Constitution, that the right to remain silent implicitly connotes to a right to know the reason for one’s arrest.

Generally soldiers by this time period were disciplined in minor matters by use of the lash, though the War of 1812 saw the right of a commanding officer to use the instrument on soldiers ended as America sought greater recruitment in the newly founded army (Stagg, 541). While the expansion of military operations proved to be quite successful from a corp of permanent officers (Buchanan, lecture), this may not have been enough to withstand a legitimate invasion carried out in earnest. Without this rudimentary, though brutal, method of discipline, volunteers deserted at a greater rate than during previous invasions or even in comparative military operations, and military leaders used harsher forms of punishment, including the noose, as a form of protest (Stagg, 568). Of the soldiers enlisted in the War of 1812, one in eight deserted at one point, of whom one fifth received punishment (544). That is a percentage which correlates closely to those killed in the line of duty over the course of the war, and represents a statistically significant increase on the former statistic, though its importance should not be exaggerated as only around ten percent of these were actually executed or awaiting execution at the end of the war.

Isaac Clark’s first run-in with military procedures had been as a young man during the American Revolution. While interrogating a British officer with Ethan Allen, he shot the officer in the heart against orders to shoot after Ethan Allen had shot the officer in the hand (ICP, 1). This may have been an action in the heat of the moment, and charges were never pressed. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of his career was not what was done in battle, fighting skirmishes and leading an anti-smuggling unit but as a leader, defending his credentials, connections, and actions against rash and unscrupulous accusations, ones that turned out to be apparently unfounded.

The topic of desertion only arises with interest to the colonel in 1813, after the outbreak of war with England. He understood that the need to impress discipline in the ranks without a paddle, for whiplashing, could only be accomplished with the use or threat of a noose. That was likely a classical inflammatory response to a quite limited conciliatory measure for soldiers at the time, and cannot be considered a manner of sadism or hatred for his own men, as there is evidence that with medical advice certain conscripts were allowed to have another man stand in their place under his command (ICP, 41). The men responded to the accusations, despite one who may have been illiterate, with a written appeal for mercy, acknowledgement of their own guilt, and the company’s rectitude in their sentencing (48). As an act of civil disobedience, among many others, the use of corporal punishment by commanding officers in retaliation to losing their preferred method of discipline may have created genuinely negative concepts which ran throughout and beyond the military mobilization which occurred. It is important to remember that Isaac Clark did not lose his sword until 1815 and was likely a candidate for Brigadier General as late as 1812, according to a letter from Senator Jonathon Robinson.

Eight men were charged with desertion, and though it is not specified that supplies were stolen or, worse still, sold to the British, it is possible that this was the case. Such an incident was often worse than “changing colors” both in terms of danger and generally in severity of punishment. A unit could be endangered and left without ammunition, supplies, or even food and with long periods of time between communications, this was still long before the establishment of the Pony Express or efficient federal lines of communication, which could spell termination for units or even foil offensive operations. Of course, the greatest danger from such behaviour was recidivism, though such bounty jumping was relatively rare, and spread of desertion among new recruits. In reprimand, it is made very clear that soldiers could face death if not for the mercy offered in the officer’s clemency.

Not all cases of desertion were so malevolent in nature, however. Royal Dick was a New England black man in the 4th Infantry Regiment who was charged with desertion after leaving due to being teased by fellow soldiers, and sentenced to losing pay as well as having his ears cropped, though “the commanding general approved the sentence, but remitted the cropping of the ears” (Stagg, 551). The two incidents of Colonel Isaac Clark’s own transgressions of the law during war-time in the heat of interrogation and his reprimand of a similarly misguided band of soldiers are a fascinating insight into the development of an American military officer, but with the conclusion of the War of 1812 a new development takes place. Arrested for reasons unidentified, though it can be assumed this was no “marching order violation” and could well have been treasonous in nature, what is astounding about the particular case is the appeal of his reprimand. This document does not take responsibility for wrongdoing, but merely criticizes the manner of the colonel’s arrest (ICP, 61).

As an officer, to be charged with desertion would not have been likely, and it is instead the probability that the charges were treasonous in nature. This should not be taken to mean particularly threatening or dangerous, and probably differed quite significantly from the attempted surrender of West Point by Benedict Arnold during Clark’s previous combat service (Wright, 34) which was unsuccessful but foreshadowed a looming British invasion in the Northeast rather than in the South, as might have been expected. An example of how such an incident might be prosecuted for a man without education or connections can be seen in Irish-born Private Mitchell, who was charged with mutinous behaviour after talking back to an officer with expletives and was sentenced to be shot and fined three dollars, a sentence which was carried out after review in Washington (Stagg, 556).

In this defense, a potentially momentous event has transpired. Prosecution of officers was extremely rare during the War of 1812, and even more rare afterwards, though many deserters were freed in 1815 after being cleared by cessation of the war. Isaac Clark was never given a reason for his arrest, which for American civilians was officially codified in 1966 with the Miranda Rights as improper interrogation techniques implicit in the Fifth Amendment: without the knowledge one is under arrest and on what charges, there is no possibility of remaining silent or awaiting a proper legal counsel. The case in point is shown to be intrinsically constitutional in nature, though without evidence of such respect being placed in civilian cases until a century and a half later, this may not have been a defense frequently recognized in the United States in these early formative years.


Buchanan, Andrew. “Military History of the United States.” Lecture at the University of Vermont. (2013).

Clark, Isaac. 1, 40, 41, 48, 61, 6a3, 73. “Isaac Clark Papers 1781-1821.” Isaac Clark Papers, Special Collections, University of Vermont Bailey/Howe Library, Burlington, Vermont.

Stagg, J. C. A. 2014. “Freedom and Subordination: Disciplinary Problems in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812.” Journal Of Military History 78, no. 2: 537-574. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed November 30, 2015).

United States. Army. Regulations for the order and discipline of the troops of the United States. Part 1. Philadelphia, PA. Charles Cist.

Wright, Esmond. “Benedict Arnold and the Loyalists.” History Today 36 (1986): 29.

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