Work Cited for Final Project

“Washington: The Making of the American Capital” by Fergus M. Bordewich. Published 2008

Census Bureau Website(2010  & 1820 Census): Accessed 11/29/12

Image of current White House: Accessed 11/25/12

Image of Capitol Building Under Construction: Accessed 11/25/12


Final Project Essay

Washington DC, the nation’s capitol, “The District”, the most powerful city in the world in many peoples opinion, is located a short 30-45 minute drive from us, yet we sometimes forget that it’s even there. However if we were to stop and realize the splendor of DC, we start to wonder exactly why is it located where it is, and how did it come to be the center of government it is today. Most importantly, we must examine how the city has changed over the past 200 years. We will examine everything from maps to charts and even some textual analysis to examine every major aspect of “The Districts” growth.

In the year 1790, The Residency Act was enacted, and officially established a permanent seat of the Government of the United States. Thus the city was built by its master architect, Pierre Charles L’Enfant. He was a French-born American architect who brought his European architectural skills and adapted them to fit the American lifestyle. The two most important building when a person thinks of DC are The White House and The Capitol Building. In my Google maps I show when they were under construction and them today to show how the buildings have changed from their original plans and layouts. However what is more important than the city itself is the people in it.

The population of Washington DC at the time of its creation was mainly military personnel and government officials, however as the years have gone by the population has greatly increased. The reason for this initially was the location of the city, it being located on the potomac. Merchants and travelers used Washington DC as a major port to travel to and from New York City, which was and still is the economic center of the United States. Its population continued to increase due to the growth of the actual government. With new administrations and organizations of the government being added since the early 1800’s, the residency within the actually city naturally had to increase with the job market. So upon looking at this in conjunction with the time period, its not a surprise that the population increases as the years go by.

Now it is not only the population that changes but the type of people in the city changes as well. The two pie charts, based on data taken from the Census Bureau website and Wikipedia, show the demographic of the population on Washington DC in the years 1820 and 2010. In the first chart you can see that there are only two groups of people, White and African-American. The white population comprises about 3/4th’s of the city, and of the remaining population that is African-American, less than half of that is freed. Washington DC had a decent sized slave population, mainly due to the fact that the city is located in the Virginia/Maryland area, and slavery was a cornerstone of the Virginian economy. So although the percentage is slim in comparison to the White population, the number of African-Americans is substantial given the size of the city at the time. Now we look forward to the year 2010 where the Census Bureau depicts the demographic of Washington DC. There is a drastic change in the percentage of African-Americans, going from about 25% to 50.7%. The number of African-Americans in DC about double while the percentage of White people was cut about in half, from about 75% to 38.5%. What is also interesting is that ethnic groups that did not exist during the 17th century are now comprising a good portion of the population. Hispanics comprise of 9.1% of the population while other (comprising of mainly Asian and Native-American) makes up 1.7%. This also can reflect the mixing of cultures of the nation as a whole. Being that the capital is a representation of the nation, we can see that over time different racial groups have intertwined with the original citizens of Washington DC. So not only has the population increased, but so has the cultural diversity of the city.

Finally the Google N-Grams, they show essentially what people were talking about using key words. The first shows book titles with the words “DC, Construction, Burn, and Burning” in American books. The term “DC” spiked during its construction between 1803-1809, and then rose again with “Burn” after 1812 until 1820. So seeing that the burning of Washington DC is a topic that many are discussing is not that surprising, but what I did not expect was when those same words had a relatively high percentage in England during the same time. I found it interesting that England was also talking about the nations capitol.

In summary, based on the growth of population, the growth of diversity, and showing the importance of the city not only in America but in England as well, and also reviewing the architectural aspects of the cities, we can see that over the past 200 years or so the city has change to fit the mold of an ever changing nation. A city designed by a Frenchman, built by Europeans and Africans, and burned by the British, has now become the home for Americans. With its ever growing and changing ways, who knows where it will be 200 years from now. So now we can remember to take the time and appreciate the city closest to us, yet which holds so much history, influence, and importance than we realize.

Final Project Links

Google Map of DC 1:

Google Map of DC 2:

Google N-Gram For America:

Google N-Gram For England:

Population Growth Chart(In Thousands): //,100,300&chxt=y&chs=340×265&cht=lc&chco=3D7930&chds=10,288&chd=t:-1,15.5,23,30,33,51,75,131,177,230,278&chg=14.3,-1,1,1&chls=2,4,0&chma=|5&chm=B,C5D4B5BB,0,0,0&chtt=Washington+DC+Population+Growth(1800-1900)&chts=008000,11.5

Demographic Pie-Chart of DC(1800): //×225&cht=p&chco=0000FF&chd=s:Tq&chdl=African+American|White&chma=|0,5&chtt=Racial+Demographic+of+Washington+DC(1820)&chts=008000,12.5

Demographic Pie-Chart of DC (2010): //×225&cht=p&chco=BBCCED|C83434|80C65A|FF9900&chd=s:XfGB&chdl=White(38.5%25)|African-American(50.7%25)|Hispanic(9.1%25)|Other(1.7%25)

This is Programming?

So as I was messing around on “Scratch” there was only one thing that I could think, WHAT IS THIS CRAP?! Excuse my foul language but this “programming software” just annoyed me to no end. The idea that people spend hours of there day putting virtual legos together just to make an ugly cat dance and change colors makes me so angry. This is NOT PROGRAMMING! This is virtual Lincoln Logs. Programming involves calculations and brain function and even so education in the field, but my five year old brother could use this program.  I just dont understand how people from MIT could pass this off as a technological advancement. I am not a programmer in the slightest, im a teacher. But I feel like this is a dumbing down of the art and practice of programming. So I do not have much else to say about this except that I couldnt “explore” this for more than 20 minutes until I got annoyed by the dancing cat.

How to keep what you have.

We’ve all been there, losing pictures, videos, music and documents to cyberspace. How can we save ourselves from this catastrophe of losing all of our content? Upon reading the content for this week I realized that there are precautionary techniques that we can take. As far as pictures are concerned, save them on external memory formats, such as flash drives or external hard drives. Make multiple copies of your pictures in multiple places, and upload them to facebook, twitter, or flikr. This will allow further safety precautions to ensure  your photos are safe. This will also be true for audio files, upload them to youtube or other media sharing websites to secure their presence. People lose their files because they do not take the proper preparation to ensure their security, so if the pictures and music and videos were that important, maybe they should take better care of their stuff.

Looks Can Be Decieving

The way something is presented, how it looks, is almost as important as the content itself. Whether it be a formal presentation for a class, the way you dress for work, even convincing your parents of something, what they see can sometimes be more powerful than what they hear. Take the article  by Edward Tufte for example. His example about the use of powerpoint, he said, “The standard PowerPoint presentation elevates format over content, betraying an attitude of commercialism that turns everything into a sales pitch.”  When I was in high school, and even now in college, whenever a teacher uses power point, I cant really pay attention. I feel like im being talked down to. Dont get me wrong, power point is great for talking points for a speech or presentation. I just feel like teachers and professors sacrifice the act of teaching in order to get through material. This pint again is reinforced when we look at the Gettysburg Powerpoint and see that the actual speech is much more powerful than a powerpoint. Besides the technical side of powerpoint and other visual media, the excecution of using it in cohesion with your presentation must have a perfect balance. So basically, just because you have use a powerpoint doesn’t mean your content and presentation is valuable and good. You must actually know what your talking about, instead of being good at using powerpoint.

Reading Statistics

As I examined the 2008 and 2007 Felton Reports, I was confused. All these graphs of different shapes and numbers. I prefer bar graphs, simple pie charts, even histograms I can deal with. I tried to follow along the information that the reports were trying to convey, I just found it too confusing. However there was some information that I did see that i found interesting. The number of itunes track played in 2007, which was only 25,000. As opposed to 2008 where that number was 34,000. I went back and found it very interesting how I could compare statistics like that between the years. I dont know why there was so much data about alcohol though. The data looked really nice and colorful though.

Comparing Then To Now

Where you live matters. Where you are born and raised is the biggest factor that shapes your beliefs and ideals. This is one of the things I feel we need to understand when looking at maps in the context of historical analysis. I am going to focus on the hypercities link  because to me it was really fascinating to see the evolution of a city such as New York City. I went as far back as the 1600’s and slowly made my way through the years until present day. It was like watching history unfold right before my eyes. Looking at other cities such as Berlin go through such dramatic changes really showed how resilient human beings are. Along with that the Thomas and Ayers readings coincide with evolution of cities. They argue that “slavery and modernity need to be seen as parts of the same process in the United States.  Rather than a fight of modernity against slavery, the American Civil War could be seen as a fight between variants of modernity, not as the inevitable clash of the future against past.”. This is a very interesting point that I am starting to agree with. I try to look at this topic removing my own personal beliefs and can I that the Civil War was more about the direction of the country than it was the morality of slavery itself. I do still feel like morality and ethics had a part of it, but the logistics and economic factors I believed overshadowed those of the heart. Based on where people lived at that time, they’re opinion on slavery differed because slavery directly impacted their income. Southerners depended on slave labor for their economic stability, northerners did not. It was an issue of money rather than morals. To see how location can play a role in the opinions of people really fascinated and I am looking forward to how we will further examine this in class.

Are my Ideas Really Mine?

This weeks topic is basically about copyright and owning history and ideas. I found this topic confusing for the most part because of how technical it can be. This is also a very controversial topic; who, if anybody, own historical events, documents, and artifacts. While watching the videos and reading the texts, I found a commonality in it all. The issue of ownership is more a legal issue than an ethical or logical one. Let’s say I have an idea, but I do not copyright it or patent it, another man has the same idea some time later and makes money off it, he DID in fact copyright the idea. Who owns the idea? Even though it was my idea originally, it doesn’t really matter because I never had a copyright on it.

This idea that ideas can be owned kind of splits me down the middle. Some ideas I agree deserve credit and the money, however there are just some concepts an ideas that just don’t make any sense to copyright. Let’s say my brother want to have a lemonade stand to make some extra money, and makes his own lemonade. He did not invent the concept of a lemonade stand nor did he invent lemonade, so is he in violation of copyright? These are the situations where this whole topic just confuses me. Usually when I write papers I source literally everything I see, to avoid plagiarism. So I guess my confusion leads me to the topic of my blog, are my ideas really mine?

UFC Wiki Page Analysis

I randomly clicked on some sources to check the validity and I found them to be quite credible. They showed different points of view on the company as well as the sport of MMA in general. The discussion part of the Wiki page is lacking in my view, although its easy to tell that experts are the ones who verify the validity of the content. I really dont see as much discussion as I thought I would. The history of the page is very impressive. I just skimmed through it and noticed that the page is updated frequently. The most recent update was June of this year. It was great to see the evolution of the page and see how informative Wiki can really be.