22 Weekly Letter


We try to critically discuss an article or concept each day.  One day this week we watched a Ted talk on rejection.  I posted it below, but basically to overcome fear of rejection, a man dedicated 100 days to being rejected.  His stories of how he was rejected were hysterical.  Thomas and Bo thought this was great and wanted to start right away.  After discussing it further, they both brought up areas in their lives where they had felt rejected and how that had stopped them from pursuing an activity all together.  Now, that they had watched this man purposefully get rejected, they both thought they’d go for the activities again.

I did not even know they had shelved areas of their lives because of rejection.  What a blessing it was to discuss this with them.  This time with out children will never be replaced.  We are so blessed to spend our days pouring into them.  I cherish each second, well not each but most, with my children and feel incredibly privileged to educate them.

As we journey through the last few weeks of EHA Cycle 4, I hope you’ll spend a few minutes each day critically, deeply discussing a topic with your children.  Maybe a funny Ted talk will lead to an opportunity opening that was once closed.



WEEK 22 CARD 1  1867 Last Japanese Shogun Resigns

Samurai Rap

After facing great opposition and a contentious civil war that threatened to tear Japan apart, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the 15th and last Tokugawa Shogun, resigned in 1867, bringing an end to the Tokugawa Shogunate’s 268-year rule in Japan.

Born Matsudaira Shichiroma in the Hitachi Province as the seventh son of Tokugawa Nariaki, Yoshinobu was educated as a scholar in the literary arts and politics, and was trained under strict supervision in the martial arts.

  • In 1858, an opposing faction won out and their young candidate, Tokugawa Yoshitomi, became the 14th shogun, known as Tokugawa Iemochi. Iemochi placed Yoshinobu and his supporters under house arrest and his tenure was marked by turmoil and political infighting.
  • Just eight years later, in 1866, young Iemochi died at age 20 of heart failure and Yoshinobu was named 15th Tokugawa Shogun.

Immediately upon his ascension, Yoshinobu initiated widespread reforms to overhaul and strengthen the Tokugawa government. He sought assistance from the Second French Empire and military equipment from the United States to bolster the national army and navy. It seemed that the Tokugawa shogunate was resurging.


Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last Shogun of Japan.

In fact, it would fall in less than one year. During Yoshinobu’s tenure, civil war was brewing between a faction that wanted the Tokugawa family to remain in power and those who favoured the emperor. These struggles led to the Boshin War in 1867, which threatened to tear Japan apart and brought Yoshinobu to the brink of downfall. Sustaining serious losses and desiring to reunite Japan, Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned on 14 October 1867.

His resignation marked an end to the Tokugawa Shogunate’s 268-year rule and a return to the emperor as Japan’s supreme leader. This eventually paved the way to the Meiji Revolution, the opening of Japan to the West, and the nation’s emergence into the modern era.

WEEK 22 CARD 2  1868 The 14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment is a very important amendment that defines what it means to be a US citizen and protects certain rights of the people.  There are three important “clauses” in the 14th amendment, each of which are still important today.  A clause is a sentence in any part of our constitution.

The amendment addresses many aspects of citizenship and the rights of citizens.  The most commonly used — and frequently litigated — phrase in the amendment is  “equal protection of the laws”.

  •  Before the 14th amendment, African Americans could not become citizens and this limited the rights of those that were able to escape slavery and become free.  Remember Justice Taney and the Dred Scott case?
  • This clause allows all people born in the United States to be US citizens.
  • The Supreme Court protected this right for the children of immigrants and the right of Native Americans to become citizens also was protected later on.

The amendment resolved pre-Civil War questions of African American citizenship by stating that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States…are citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside.”


WEEK 22 CARD 3  1869 Transcontinental Railroad completed


The First Transcontinental Railroad stretched from the East Coast of the United States to the West Coast. No longer would people travel in long wagon trains that took months to reach California. They could now travel faster, safer, and cheaper by train. In addition to people, things like mail, supplies, and trade goods could now be shipped across the country in just a few days. The railroad was built between 1863 and 1869.

The Route There were two main routes along which people wanted the first railroad to be built.

  • One route was called the “central route”. It followed much the same route as the Oregon Trail. It would begin in Omaha, Nebraska and end up in Sacramento, California.
  • The other route was the “southern route”. This route would stretch across Texas, New Mexico, and end up in Los Angeles, California.
  • The central route was eventually chosen by Congress.

WEEK 22 CARD 4  1871 The end of Franco – Prussian War

Franco-German War, also called Franco-Prussian War, (July 19, 1870–May 10, 1871), war in which a coalition of German states led by Prussia defeated France. The war marked the end of French hegemony in continental Europe and resulted in the creation of a unified Germany.

The French emperor, Napoleon III, declared war on Prussia on July 19, 1870, because his military advisers told him that the French army could defeat Prussia and that such a victory would restore his declining popularity in France. The French were convinced that the reorganization of their army in 1866 had made it superior to the German armies.

The efficient German mobilization contrasted with confusion and delay on the French side. Germany was able to deliver 380,000 troops to the forward zone within 18 days of the start (July 14) of mobilization, while many French units reached the front either late or with inadequate supplies. The vast German and French armies that then confronted each other were each grouped into right and left wings.On September 2, 83,000 encircled French troops, with Napoleon and Mac-Mahon, surrendered. Since Bazaine’s army was still bottled up in Metz, the result of the war was virtually decided by this surrender.

Surrender of Napoleon III after the Battle of Sedan, September 1, 1870.

Surrender of Napoleon III after the Battle of Sedan, September 1, 1870.

The Franco-German War had far-reaching consequences.Most importantly, Germany’s annexation of Alsace-Lorraine aroused a deep longing for revenge in the French people.

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