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Posted on April 19th, 2014, by

3) This week we have been looking at architectural styles. Of the eras we have looked at and the styles we have considered, which would be your favorite? Why? Do you have a real building in that style that you can refer to? If so describe it.


In our opinion, one of the most inspiring architectural styles is baroque;, a style which formed in Europe at the beginning of 17th century. It attracts viewer’s attention by the fact that in place of simple geometric forms adopted in the Renaissance, complex compositions and opulent decoration come. In different lighting conditions, the rich decorations in the form of garlands, scrolls, leaves, plants, and human figures create peculiar light-and-dark pictures, generating the impression of movement and breathing of a building. Careful balance of building’s parts is replaced in baroque; by the construction of complicated figures out of the façade elements, interacting with each other and with the environment. This interaction between architecture and environment is seen a specific feature of the baroque; besides, splendor and magnificent baroque is best for exalting power and strength of the city.

Complexity of decoration, splendor, luxury, and the illusory nature of baroque may be cleared observed on the example of Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna residence of the Austrian emperors, which is one of Europe’s most beautiful architectural constructions in the baroque style designed by Johann Fischer von Erlach. In accordance with the baroque concept of nature-architecture interpenetration, the palace and the park form a single indivisible whole with characteristic spatial scale and unity. The pomp of Schönbrunn Palace probably yields only to Versailles, another example of baroque architecture.

4) As we complete the Urban Space section of this class I want you to think about how your sense of urban space has changed by taking this class.


Development of cities is surely accompanied by significant changes of urban space, both external (geographical and architectural) and internal (symbolic, social, mental). The previous decades brought the wide spreading of urbanization and changed in the structure of human settlement, as well as in human roles, values, behavior patterns and perceptions. Furthermore, we reckon that as a result of globalization, the notion of place and space becomes rather abstract. The flows of goods, information, capital and resources, which used to contribute to the development and rise of the urban system, at the contemporary stage lead to the loss of connection with a particular place. In this way, modern urban lifestyle contributes to the substantial weakening of the primary constraints, and social links become more fragmented and superficial.

In general, today, the urban space sets the characteristics of the modern society, as well as trajectories for future changes. On the other hand, studying the city and its social space makes it possible to resolve the problems associated with the current tendencies in the economy, politics, culture and other areas that influence the contemporary society.


5) Each generation of immigrants has faced some degree of antagonism from Americans already in the country. Beginning with the Irish describe what forms this took. What were the nativist movements and what were some of their ideas? What actions did they take against immigrants?


The history of the American people is the history of immigration, marked by broad ethnic diversity. Still, each wave of immigration faced certain degree of antagonism from nativists.

Thus, the Irish called the country’s first serious wave of hostility toward immigrants, which was combining both general hostility towards immigrants and fear of Catholicism from the side of the Protestant population. Political expression of this antagonism was found in the movement of Know Nothing nativists, squeezing the Irish out of the country by any means, in particular, anti-Irish riots in 1844 and fierce fighting between Irish and Protestant gangs in 1850-60’s. Further, as the American West got filled with the Chinese, the Americans born in the country reacted negatively to their arrival, which led to the adoption of the single U.S. immigration law, where only a particular group of people was named the chief object of the restrictive policies (Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882).

The next wave of immigration, containing were Italians, Greeks, Jews, Hungarians, Poles and others Slavic nations, led to the second stage of organized xenophobia. By the 1890’s, many American citizens believed that immigration was a serious threat to the health and safety of the country, and thus, in 1893, a group of Americans created the Immigration Restriction League, which, along with other like-minded organizations, started to demand from Congress drastic reduction of immigration. Finally, the law on national origin adopted in 1921 not only limited the number of immigrants who could enter the United States, but also set quotas basing on national origin, mainly limiting the number of arrivals from Eastern and Southern Europe and declaring inappropriateness of immigration from Asia. Similarly, limitation for the wave of immigration from Mexico, the Caribbean and other parts of Central and South America was adopted by the Hart-Celler Act of 1965.

In the early 21st century, the American society again finds itself engaged in the debates over immigration and the role of immigrants in the American society. Just like in the past, many antagonists consider that new immigrants seem unable to assimilate into the American society and pay too much attention to maintaining their national ties, being too far from the core American values, as well as that the newcomers take jobs away from the Americans and put pressure on the system of education, health care, social security and social structure.

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