Eric Marcarelli

Software Developer, Writer, Painter

Review of The War that Made America

August 08, 2010 by Eric Marcarelli in Books, History, Writing 0 comments
This is an academic book review I originally wrote for my colonial history class. The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War was written by Fred Anderson, a professor of history at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Anderson has also written longer book, The Crucible of War, on the same subject. In The War that Made America, Anderson argues that the French and Indian War created the conditions that would ultimately lead to the American Revolution, and so it may be considered “the war that made America” (Anderson viii). The war essentially ended France’s imperial presence in North America. Now left to contend alone with the British colonists, whose hatred of Indians was fueled by the war, Native American ability to play a determining role in the developments of North America came to an end. The conduct and conclusion of the war encouraged the British colonists in North America to view themselves as equal partners in the British Empire, while in stark contrast it emboldened Britain to use its military power to exert control over the colonies. Anderson’s work will be explored through an examination of the evidence leading to his thesis, an analysis […]

The List

August 08, 2010 by Eric Marcarelli in Short Stories, Writing 0 comments
Scratch. Slide. Scratch… Matt gave in to the pavement and fell backwards with a sigh. The stifling July heat surrounded him. “This is the end,” he said quietly. Presently he heard footsteps and sat up, dazed. The blue figure of Mailwomen Miggle was approaching. “Any mail?” asked Matt. “Bills,” said Miggle cheerfully. Matt dropped back down. “What are doing?” asked Miggle. “Existing” was the reply. “Hm… I have something here that you might be interested in…” “What’s that?” “A clue.” Matt sat up and stared at Miggled with a puzzled expression. “One of Bone Boy’s clues,” said Miggle, extending a piece of folded paper to Matt. Immediately Matt hopped to his feet and snatched the paper, and without a word he ran off down the street.

The Twelfth Amendment

August 08, 2010 by Eric Marcarelli in History, Writing 0 comments
The presidential election system designed by the framers of the Constitution was ingenious. Each elector was supposed to cast votes for two people they wanted to be president. The votes would be tallied and the first place candidate would become the president and the second would be the vice president. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. In the election of 1800 the two Democrat-republican candidates, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, tied with seventy-three elector votes each and it fell to the House of Representatives to choose between them. The House voted thirty-six times before one candidate, Jefferson, finally received the required support to be named president. The constitutional electoral system clearly needed work. However, change did not come as easy or quickly as one might imagine. Although it may seem to be a trivial technical change to the operation of government, the Twelfth Amendment was controversial from its inception. The battle for passage was difficult and its goals were achieved at the price of a weakened vice presidency.

An American Sound: The Philosophy and Political Behavior of Ronald Reagan

August 08, 2010 by Eric Marcarelli in History, Writing 0 comments
This is one of two essays I wrote for my 20th century Presidency class. If you enjoy this one, you may also like my look at Kennedy. The line stretched out beyond sight. It would be a three to six hour wait, but over a hundred thousand Americans joined in the solemn procession on June 11, 2004 to pay their final respects to the former president (Lying in State). Ronald Reagan had come into office in 1981 and served two terms. During his presidency the United States experienced economic growth and the Cold War neared its surprisingly rapid conclusion, but it was not simply his political successes that brought him such admiration. In his Second Inaugural Address, Reagan referred to an “American sound” or “song” that reverberated through generations of Americans and expressed their deepest aspirations (1/21/85). Reagan was able to sing that song. He espoused an optimistic and inspiring philosophy that spoke to core beliefs of freedom, individualism, exploration, and courage. While he did not rise to his own standard on every occasion, this philosophy brought Reagan public support and guided major policies throughout his presidency.

Rhetoric vs. Reality in the Kennedy Presidency

August 08, 2010 by Eric Marcarelli in History, Writing 0 comments
This is one of two essays I wrote for my 20th century Presidency class. If you enjoy this one, you may also like my look at Reagan. Gunshots shattered the early afternoon revelry of November 22, 1963. One moment the nation’s beloved president was waving to the adoring masses, and the next he was mortally wounded. Before the day was over, John F. Kennedy would be dead, and a mythical image of his presidency would begin to take shape. Kennedy’s wife gave a name to this myth when she described her husband’s presidency as Camelot, an allusion to the legendary kingdom where, for a brief moment, the great King Arthur reigned over a kingdom of justice and order before it was brought to a tragic end. It was easy for the American people to mythologize Kennedy because in life his rhetoric had risen to such inspirational heights. He challenged Americans to live up to their ideals, and evoked images of a world in which even the toughest problems could be conquered by human ingenuity. In reality Kennedy did not always live up to his own philosophy. Kennedy seems to be constantly straddling the line between his idealistic vision for American […]