The Causes of World War I

This week I was asked to list the causes to WWI. This changed the face of Europe. This war ended old tactics and gave new ones. Let’s look at the geography and alliances of Europe in 1914. We will also look at the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.


The geography of Europe in 1914 was very different from what we see today. The German Empire was much smaller. Half of present-day Germany was Austria-Hungry. The Ottoman Empire was still present but was fastly declining. All of the superpowers of Europe; France, Germany, Austria-Hungry, United Kingdom, and Spain had colonies all over the world.


The Alliances of Europe didn’t all happen in 1914. We must go back many years. In fact, we have to go back to another war, the Austro-Prussian War. Prussia or Germany fought and defeated Austro-Hungry. After this war, Prussia started making many alliances. It formed the League of 3 Emperors which allied Russia, Austria-Hungry, and Prussia. Then Prussia started building itself internally. Next Prussia formed and a strong alliance with Austria-Hungry. Then Italy joined them which formed the Triple Alliance. By now Prussia was almost at the top of Europe. But the rest of Europe decided to take action. France and Russia formed the Franco-Russian Alliance. Soon Britain allied herself with France and Russia in the Triple Entente. In Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire was almost gone. Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece were taking over the area of the Balkans. Serbia formed an alliance with Russia. Thus the stage was set for war.


The last spark that lit the fire of World War I was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria–Hungry. Ferdinand and his wife were killed by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist who, with a group of other Serbians, plotted to overthrow Austria-Hungry. Austria-Hungry declared war on Serbia. Soon most of the nations in Europe were involved in The Great War.


World War was important war in changing the face of Europe. This war cost 16 million lives and is very important to study. I hope you have enjoyed this essay.



Samuel Duarte JM


Buying a Car

This week I am going to share what car I would buy. I will also give the prices for the insurance and operating costs. Let’s begin.


What car would I buy? I found on Craigslist a 2005 F150 Triton V8 Lariat. This truck fits all the priorities that I stated in the previous essay. It is a crew cab and has a bed. It is also automatic. The price is $7800.


What are the complete costs for this truck? The purchase costs for this car is $7800. With a 25% down payment and a 4-year loan, the monthly cost is $329. If I drive 12,000 miles a year what are my operating costs? With the gas price at approximately $2.5 a gallon and a truck of this size has 18 mpg, the monthly price is just about $138 a month. What does my repair cost? Just about $70 a month. With the advice to change oil every 4 months, it is $90 every year. Finally, what is the insurance? $70 a month. Altogether, this car would cost $6828 a year or $569 a month.


This assignment has been very helpful in understanding how much a car costs. Thanks for reading.


Samuel Duarte JM

Safety Code of American White Water.

This week I was asked to summarize the Safety Code of American White Water. This code is an important thing for swimmers and rafters to read. So let’s look at it.


It opens up with Personal Preparedness and Responsibility. It covers the basics such as making sure you are a competent swimmer, typical river hazards, etc. Next is Boat and Equipment Preparedness. This covers what you need to do with your boats. This part recommends you to put some rope in your boat. Third is Group Preparedness and Responsibility. This covers planning and tells you to keep together on the river. Next is the Guidelines for River Rescue. If you know how to swim and fall out of your boat, hold on to it. This is a good idea unless there are dangerous rapids ahead. Also, practice throwing ropes to people in the water. The code then goes into the classes of rapids.


This code is very important for rafters, kayakers, and swimmers. I will put a link to the full code below. Thank you for reading.

Samuel Duarte JM


The code-

My Priorities When Buying a Car

Today I would like to share my priorities when I’m looking for a car. I will also show why they are important to me and how my priorities are different from other teens.


What are my priorities when buying a car? I would like a crew cab car or truck. Why do I want a crew cab? I would like the capacity to carry more than two people in my car. I would also have lots of room for equipment and tools. I would also like the ability to haul stuff in a bed. So I would need to buy a truck. Why do I want a bed? I like the capacity to carry things like wood, straw, or gravel. One of the things that come with trucks is one of my priorities when looking for an automobile. What is that thing a want? The nice ability to tow a trailer or RV. Why do I want the capability to tow? If I’m able to tow a trailer, I can haul large equipment.


How are my priorities different from other teens? Most teens want a cool sports car that can go really fast. Now don’t think I don’t like sports cars. But a race car is not the best first car.


Buying a car can be a lengthy and expensive process. But if you do your research, it will be much easier. Thank you for reading.



Samuel Duarte JM

The Spanish-American War

This week I learned about the Spanish-American War. This important war had battles fought in the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Let’s look at the causes of the war, what happened, and the outcome.


What were some of the causes the Spanish-American War? For many years Cuba had tried to gain independence from Spain. The U.S. took to ridiculing Spain and sent a ship, the USS Maine over to Cuba. While it was docked in the Havana harbor, it blew up from bombs placed by the Spanish, on February 15, 1898. The U.S. was somewhat slow in declaring war, but on April 25, 1898, the war began.


The fighting that happened in the Philippines manly happened in one battle. On May 1, 1898, the Battle of Manila Bay began. The United States Navy soundly defeated the Spanish Navy. This battle ended the Spanish Occupation of the Philippians. In Cuba, the action took place on land and sea. At the Battle of San Juan Hill, the Americans overwhelmed the Spanish soldiers. The port city of Santiago was attacked by sea and defeated. In Puerto Rico, the Spanish were defeated as well. The Spanish-American War lasted ten weeks. Peace was made on August 12, 1898.


The war had some very direct outcomes. This war marked the entry of America into world affairs. Now American power is seen all over the world. The U.S. gained Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippians. Besides losing the countries already mentioned, Spain also lost Guam. The Spanish-American War was a turning point in the power of America in the world.



Samuel Duarte JM

How to Stay Safe in the Water

This week I learned the basics of swimming. Most importantly I learned how to stay safe in the water.


When you are looking for a safe place to swim, what should you look for? You need to find water that is somewhat clear, twice the depth you are tall, and not very swift. But if you’re going to a swimming pool you don’t have to worry about this. You also need to have an older person near when you swim. They should be 21 years old or older. Hopefully, they will have some rescue training. They should know basic first aid. They should also be a very good swimmer.


One of the most important things to do to stay safe in the water is to have proficient swimming skills. When you swim, always take a partner with you for safety. Also, make sure you are fit enough to swim. You don’t want to get in a pool, start swimming, and then have a heart attack. The most important thing to do is to act safely. Don’t try to show off or fool around.


Swimming can be very fun if done properly. Remember, safety starts with you.


                                                  Samuel Duarte JM

The Industrial Age in America

This week I learned about the Industrial Revolution. It began in 1760 and ended in 1914. It was marked by an enormous growth in machinery.


images    As the Industrial Age began, a few of the main money makers were oil, electricity, railroads, steamboats, steel, and automobiles. Almost all of the multi-millionaires in this era were either involved in steel or oil. Let’s take a look at a brief sketch of their lives.



Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller- left to right   

Cornelius Vanderbilt was born in 1794. He started in the steamboat industry with one boat and ended with a whole fleet of ships. His reputation for hard work ethic and determination earned him the nickname “Commodore.” However, when he noticed that the railroad business had more opportunity, he switched to the railroad business. John D. Rockefeller was born in 1839 to a very poor family. He worked his way up the entrepreneur ladder and started Standard Oil. However, he was sued by the US government for having too big a business. But even to this day, Rockefeller is the richest man in American history. Andrew Carnegie was born in 1835. He got very interested in steel so he started the Carnegie Steel Company. But later on, a strike struck his company. Carnegie’s advisor Henry Fick sent an army to calm it down. However, this destroyed Carnegie’s reputation. J.P. Morgan was born in 1837. His

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J.P. Morgan

father was a banker and wanted Morgan to follow in his stead. But Morgan had other plans. Instead, he got into steel, railroads, and electricity. In 1895, the government almost ran out of gold, so Morgan bailed out the government. Again, when the panic of 1907 happened, Morgan gave 30 million to Wall Street.



To finish up this essay, let’s look at three important inventors in this time. Henry Ford was born in 1863. At a young age, he loved to tinker and take things apart.

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Thomas Edison and Henry Ford 

In 1908 the first Ford car, Model T, was put on the market. Thomas Edison was born in 1847. He was homeschooled for three years. He invented or finished, among other things, the two-way telegraph, the light bulb, an electric chair. The light bulb is his most famous invention. He even got financial backing from J.P Morgan. He is the most famous inventor of all time. Nikola Tesla was born in 1856 in Austria. He immigrated to America in 1884. He worked with Edison, for a bit but he soon left. He joined George Westinghouse in Westinghouse’s battle against Edison. Tesla and Westinghouse supported AC power, but Edison promoted DC current. Today, the car company Tesla is named after him.

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Nikola Tesla 





The Industrial Revolution was a time of amazing invention. We should be very thankful for men like Thomas Edison who made life so much easier for us today.


Samuel Duarte JM