The Titanic

The Titanic was a boat that set sail on April 10th 1912. 

On its way to New York City from England it crashed into an iceberg killing more than 1500 people!


In the late hours of the 15th April 1912 at 11:40pm, the ship was going through the North Atlantic Ocean when the disaster occured. The front rear of the ship accidentally crashed into a colossal iceberg, usually this wouldn't matter, but due to the incorrect structure of the ship, it was weak and cracked, leading to the ship becoming flooded.

Another problem the Titanic suffered from, is that they didn't have enough lifeboats on board as they were so positive there was no chance of an incident occurring. 

So to have been able to save the 2,224 people on board they would have had to have had around 48 lifeboats, but they had a shortage of only 20, leading to the death of approximately 1,500 people.

The Titanic was also extremely important as many of the most wealthiest ,famous people were on board at the time of the incident, although they were first to be evacuated, many still did not survive. 

The way they had everything set out was that the wealthy, fortunate people who had paid a lot to be on the boat where located on the luxury, top half of the ship, where as the less fortunate people who had paid very little where located at the bottom part of the transport as they were most likely only on the ship to travel to a different country, and were not on their so much for the experience. 

The Titanic was such a tragedy that it is extremely well known nowadays, there was even a film made in the 1990’s inspired by the incident, including a survivor named Violet Jeshop who was on Titanic as it sunk. Sadly she's now passed away. But she told everything she knew to many people who have now documented it, for all  us today...but, the Titanic still lays somewhere at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean, still yet to be found.

By: Blossom Santana-Spevick


Harry S. Truman on May 8 1884 ,Lamar ,Mississouri to John Anderson Truman ,

and Martha Ellen Young Truman.Truman was the eldest of three children (himself ,

Mary Jane Truman and John Vivian Truman).John Anderson Truman,was a farmer

and livestock trader,and the Truman family moved to Harrisonville 10 months after

Harry's birth.

At 17,Truman graduated highschool and worked as a bank clerk in Kansas City.% years

down the line,Harry was moving back to his family farm,and taking over the management

another 8 years later,due to his father’s death,in 1914.

When America entered the Great War in 1917,Truman was nearly 33 years old.^ years of experience with the National Guard(1905-11) and being well of age-Harry immediately volunteered.And a year later,he was sent overseas,and served as the Captain of Battery D in France.Truman was admired by the men he led,and showed devotion towards him,for his bravery and courage on the field.

Returning to the US in 1919,Harry married Elizabeth Wallace,a childhood sweetheart.With one of his fellow army friends,edward Jacobson,he opened a haberdashery,but the business failed in the early 1920s.Around the same time,Truman was ,fortunately for him,introduced to Thomas Pendergast the Democratic boss of Kansas City.And thanks to the support and backing of Pendergast,Harry Truman successfully launched his political career in 1922,as he ran for county judge prosperously.He wasn’t as victorious 2 years later,as he failed to be reelected in 1924 for the same position as county judge.In 1926,he was reelected and had 2 four-year terms,this is when he attained a reputation for honesty and skillful management.

In 1935,he was sworn in as Mississouri’s Junior Senator.Truman didn’t start his senate career with a positive reputation, but one for being the puppet of the corrupt Pendergast;but that was eventually discarded because of his friendliness,personal integrity and attention to his duties.

9 years later,Truman was elected to be Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Vice President in the 1944 democaratic ticket,replacing Henry A.Wallace.In the following year of 1945,Roosevelt died of a cerebral  hemorrhage in April 1945,the same day Truman was sworn into presidency.He initiated his presidency with great energy by helping arrange Germany’s surrender on May 8,and meeting with the Allied leaders to discuss the fate of postwar Germany.During this meeting of leaders,Truman received the news that Japan could kill 500,000 Americans in an invasion on Japan’s behalf ,Truman threatened to atomic bomb Japan if they didn’t surrender,and they failed to cooperate.Truman authorised the dropping of the bomb and 100,000 japanese men,women and children died;this remains the most controversial decision ever taken by an American President.Japan then surrendered August 14,and the Pacific War ended September 2 1945.

Swiftly after World War II had finally finished,Truman faced another conflict:the Soviet expansionism in eastern Europe.In the earlier months of 1946,Truman summoned former UK Prime Minister,Winston Churchill to Missouri  to sound the alarm of his ‘iron curtain’ address(a barrier introduced by the Soviet Union after WWII to seal itself and its dependent allies off from any noncommunist nations).And Churchill announced in Missouri that the United States and Britain needed to vigorously oppose Soviet expansionism,Truman also called for economic aid from Greece and Turkey to help those countries resist communist takeover,this was later known as the Truman Doctrine.

Harry Truman supported George Marshall’s for undercutting communism's appeal in western Europe,by sending over financial aid($13 billion)to rebuild the crumbling economies.By 1948 the US,UK and France decided to start occupying zones of Germany ,and by 1949,those regions became West Germany.Responding,the Soviets decided to blockading all western routes to and from Berlin.

The Berlin stand-off lasted till May 1949,when the Soviets called off the blockade,in return for a conference on the fate of Germany;it failed,as Stalin refused to cooperate with the US and British offer of making the Soviet democratic.

Communist North Korea attempted to seize noncommunist South Korea in  June 1950.Truman responded by sending US forces to counter the North Korean attack.After a few hardships,South Korea was liberated ,but that wasn’t enough for the general,Douglas MacArthur,and strived for victory over the communists.US forces drove toward the north,this was when China infiltrated and MacArthur insisted on extending the war to China also and using nuclear weapons to conquer the communists,that was when Truman relieved MacArthur from command.But that wasn’t the end;the war carried on for many years after Truman’s time in office ended,in total the war claimed over 33,000 American lives.

The lack of victory,and increasing amounts of defeats(the inability to have a clear-cut victory against North Korea;Soviets conquests in Europe;and the increase of communism in China)led many Americans to believe that America was losing the Cold War.The common belief of the president being soft on communism started to rise and Truman’s popularity started to plummet.And in March 1952,he announced that he wasn’t going to run for reelection.By the time he left the Whitehouse in 1953,his approval rating dropped from 87 percent,to a 31 percent.

He lived a modest and humble retirement ,and remained in good health until the mid 1960s when his health started to decline.And sadly on the Christmas of 1972,Truman lapsed into unconsciousness and unfortunately died the next day.

By: Sophie Lea

The Tudors

HENRY VII (1485 - 1509)

  • Became king after defeating Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485

  • He had weak claims and lots of enemies who wanted him dead, making it important for him to consolidate power by establishing his dynasty whilst ensuring his enemies were dealt with.

  • Henry VII understood court politics and did not trust anyone other than a small group of people.

  • Main aims: establish his right to the throne, control the nobility, strengthen the Crown's control of England

  • Henry VII also wanted to end the political instability of the Wars of the Roses. When he took the throne in 1485, he feared losing his throne to unreconciled Yorkists such as Elizabeth of York and Edward, Earl of Warwick.

  • In 1486, Henry married Elizabteh of York and this was significant as it united the conflicting families of Lancaster and York. A child would represent both houses and this would mean the Tudor legacy would continue after Henry VII’s reign.

HENRY VIII (1509 - 1547)

  • Characteristics/persona: considered to be handsome, vain, egotistical and self-righteous

  • Early Aims: wanted a legitimate authority, distance himself from his father’s unpopular policies, establish his authority as King of England

  • Consistent aims: maintaining England's security and stability, winning war against France, securing the Tudor dynasty.

  • Changes from Henry VII's rule to Henry VIII's rule: When Henry VIII became king, he attacked his father's advisors and institutions, made arrests towards Empson and Dudley (Henry VII’s financial enforcers), he shut down the Council Learned in Law

  • By the end of the 1520s, Henry wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon and wished to marry Anne Boleyn.

  • When coming to power, Henry VIII declared that that the English Church was separate from the Catholic Church in Europe and that the Pope had little power in England. He did this for several reasons - he needed money, he wanted to have more power and he wanted to appease the woman he was in love with (Anne Boleyn).

  • Henry VIII was far more certain in his right to be king than Henry VII.



  • Edward VI claimed the throne aged 9 but because he was too young to rule, England was led by a Regency Council.

  • The Duke of Somerset was his uncle, Edward Seymour. Seymour became in charge of the Regency Council and ruled England for two years.

  • After Edwrads death, they passed it onto Seymour as he was popular after his victories against Scotland in 1547.

  • In 1550, John Dudley became the Lord President of the Privy Council. He eventually became Duke of Northumberland. He was an important figure in England until Edward VI's death in 1553. Dudley used Catholic support to get to his high position and he oversaw Protestant changes though confessing himself to be Catholic on the scaffold.

  • Somerset's loss of power was mainly because of his failure to deal with a rebellion in 1549. He had also left many in the Regency Council and his foreign policy was expensive and ineffective. In 1552, Somerset was arrested and tried for treason and executed.



  • Mary became Queen of England due to public approval.

  • She wanted to restore Catholicism back into England.

  • She faced many difficulties being in charge as many people were against the idea of a female ruler 

  • To fulfill her aims, Mary I needed a loyal government to support her. She decided to increase the size of the Privy Council by including more Catholics. 

  • Parliament opposed Mary’s policies and they overruled Mary’s proposal to destroy the property of Protestant exiles

  • The matter of succession also caused conflict between Mary I and her government. She wanted to marry King Philip II but this was not a popular choice.

  • She was reluctant to name Elizabeth as her successor as Elizabeth was Protestant and Anne Boleyn caused Henry VIII to divorce her mother. She eventually became her successor despite this.



  • Elizabeth I was a Protestant Queen who claimed to be married to her country. She followed the motto 'semper eadem' (meaning 'always the same') which highlights her desire to make England stable.

  • Elizabeth I was the daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.

  • As Henry VIII wanted a male heir, Elizabeth was seen as disappointment to him.

  • Elizabeth was declared illegitimate due the divorce of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. 

  • Elizabeth's aim in power was to deliver a religious settlement which would satisfy the majority of society. 

  • She wanted the Church of England to be Protestant in doctrine (teaching), but she still wanted to keep aspects of traditional Catholic worship.

  • To consolidate her power, Elizabeth I had to stabilise England internally and her main priority was to deal with religion. The Act of Supremacy allowed Elizabeth to be declared as the head of the Church. Elizabeth introduced the religious settlement in an attempt to produce a compromise between Catholicism and Protestantism. However this settlement was not liked by many Protestants as they believed many of the aspects of it were one-sided, following Catholicism instead of it being an equal representation of both. 

  • As Elizabeth refused to marry, she was the last remaining member of the Tudor dynasty. Most people wanted Elizabeth to marry so that her husband could help control her and aid her ruling of England and also a husband would allow her to produce an heir and continue the Tudor legacy. 


By: Deepa Patel

Tiananmen Square Protests

On April 15th, 1989, the Communist leader Hu Yaobang died at the age of 79. He had championed, in the years of being a leading official in the Communist Party, more free speech and freedom of thought, ideas that were deeply opposed by powerful party officials. He helped to also destroy the negative connotations of Mao Zedong’s (or Chairman Mao), who was anti-Western and a very strong nationalist and known to use the millions of peasants that populated the country because he thought they were ‘poor and blank’. However, after years of serving in the party, even being one of the youngest individuals to take part in the Long March (1934-1935), he was ousted

in 1987. 
During this time, the Communist party as a whole was going through

large changes, allowing foreign investment into the party.

Deng Xiaoping - leader of the party at the time - wanted to boost living

standards and the economy, and, while achieving more hope for political

openness, he also allowed more corruption to enter the country. Now,

there was a division inside and outside of the party between people who wanted change to rapidly reshape the country and ones wanting to keep strict control over the masses. This lack of decision making had a large impact on students, with apprehension directed towards the possibility of inflation and reality of corruption. These provided the wood for the proverbial fire of the protests, beginning a slowly escalating retaliation to the government’s indecision.
By the spring of 1989, the protests had grown in size and notability. One of the initial demonstrations that sparked the growth in popularity of the movement occurred on April 27th, in which the protesters gained the support of local factory workers and displaying an ‘anti-corruption’ and ‘anti-cronyism (appointing friends/associates to positions of power without properly checking their qualifications first)’ message as opposed to ‘anti communist’. 
Further down the line, on May 13th, a portion of the student demonstrators that would later take part in the Tiananmen Square protests began a hunger strike, which proved to be a catalyst for other strikes of a similar nature to begin around the country. As the demonstrations grew in size and number, the Chinese government grew increasingly hot under the collar and fearful of the damage to their corrupt society they could cause, especially when they interrupted a diplomatic visit from the Russian Prime Minister Gorbachev two days later on May 15th. 
Even though Gorbachev’s detoured visit didn’t result in any large incidents, the protests showed no signs of ceasing in the coming week, leading the Chinese government to declare a state of martial law - imposing military control to put a violent end to temporary emergencies - on May 20th. Beijing was then swarmed by 250,000 armed troops, dispatched to eliminate the threat of the protests. In Tiananmen Square, one million protestors gathered, unmoved by the oncoming wave of armed forces, with marches sparking off this hub of activity as well as featuring on the news daily.
The presence of the Chinese army didn’t scare or quell the resistance

in the first two weeks of protesting: this period of inactivity on the other

side led the Chinese government to reconsider their plan of attack,

deciding to rapidly increase violence and hostility towards the

demonstrations. This aggression reached its peak at 1 a.m. on June 4th,

where the combined force of the Chinese police and armed forces fired

live bullets into the crowds gathered at Tiananmen Square, killing an

estimated 10,000 people in the gunfire. While some protestors decided to

escape, saving their lives, others took up an offensive against their oppressors and attackers, bombarding the tanks and troops with stones and flaming debris: as many as 10,000 people were arrested following the short-lived battle. The defining image of the protest was of the nicknamed ‘Tank Man’: an unidentified protestor stands in front of the might of a row of military tanks, providing a portrayal of the power struggle that caused the protests in the first place.
Following the massacre, world leaders were disgusted by the actions of the Chinese government, introducing new limits to Chinese power and sanctions for the violation of many human rights. Today, 31 years on from the protests, many countries commemorate those wounded, arrested or killed in the massacre, with families paying tribute to lost loved ones. However, the Chinese government has chosen to censor this event from their history, prohibiting people from entering the site of the massacre, including foreign journalists and reporters, and not commemorating the event as a country. This act of denial follows many previous events related to the protests in their home country, with arrested individuals not getting released until in excess of 20 years after the protests occurred.

By: Beau Waddell