Francisco Franco

General Francisco Franco became dictator of Spain in 1939, following his victory in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) as leader of the Nationalists. As a firm isolationist, he separated Spain from international affairs throughout his reign and kept it neutral during World War II . However, he also attempted to capture Gibraltar and establish clear control over Spain's colonies in Morocco, but was unsuccessful. He also tried to create a national Spanish identity by promoting the Spanish language and activities like bull-fighting, while also suppressing foreign languages and customs. He held right-wing, monarchist views on government. During his time as ruler of Spain, he developed a reputation for being a harsh and cruel military leader. It is believed that nearly 200,000 political prisoners were killed by Franco via starvation, being overworked, and executions. However, towards the end of his reign he became less oppressive and his harsh policies became more relaxed.

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Ferdinand Magellan
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Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who heavily expanded the known world. In 1519, Magellan set sail from Spain and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to reach South America. He then sailed down the eastern shore of the continent until he reached the southernmost tip. Magellan discovered a strait from which he could travel through, today known as the Strait of Magellan. After passing through this route, Magellan found himself in a massive ocean. He gave it the name the Pacific Ocean. Magellan then sailed westward and landed in the Philippine Islands, which he claimed for Spain. He intended to sail even further, but he was killed in battle in 1521. The remainder of the crew returned to Spain a year later, after completing the first round-the-world voyage. Because of Magellan's efforts, many new areas were included in the map of the world.

Sandro Boticelli - Venus and Mars

This painting was made by Sandro Boticelli around about 1483. It depicts the Roman goddess Venus watching over the god Mars , who is sleeping. In the background, fauns play and one blows a horn into Mars' ear. Boticelli made this painting to demonstrate the theme of love conquering war (Venus' presence allows Mars to take off the armor he usually is depicted wearing and sleep). Given this theme, it can be assumed that this piece of art was commissioned for a wedding. Throughout "Venus and Mars", the art techniques of chiaroscuro, sfumato, perspective, classicism, and realism are evident, making it a fine demonstration of the Renaissance art style.

This is an example of a piece of Renaissance artwork that was largely influenced by humanism . The subject of the painting itself is based off of Roman mythology and culture, which experienced a major rise of importance during the Renaissance. Throughout the Renaissance, the ideas of the Roman age were the basis of many paintings, buildings, and sculptures. The subject of "Venus and Mars" continues to demonstrate humanism due to the fact that it is not based on the idea of death. Death was prominent throughout medieval artwork and one key aspect of humanism was the belief that medieval culture and art was not as important or relevant as those of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.external image botticelli-venus-mars-NG915-fm.jpg

Haiti Day Question #1
U.S. involvement in the creation and improvement of foreign nations have both positive and negative effects on the people living there. U.S. involvement can have a positive effect on these nations by giving them stable economies and governments. To this end, this can also lead to the common people having a voice within their government through democracy. However, U.S. involvement can have negative effects on these nations because many times, leaders are installed that may have the support of the U.S. government, but do not have the support of the people who live in the country received aid. Ultimately, this may lead to even more political discord and instability than there was before U.S. involvement.