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By Ewan Leslie, VI Form
Joseph Stalin’s Purge of the Soviet Military and Its Subsequent Consequences
In November, 1935, the five Marshals of the Soviet Union, the highest military rank in the Red Army, posed for a photograph.2 These marshals made up a diverse group of military leadership. On the far left, 42 year old Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevksy was a young, innovative officer who was proposing groundbreaking military tactics.3 Next to him, Marshals Semyon Budyonny and Kliment Voroshilov were steady, veteran leaders who served in the Russian Civil War almost two decades earlier. On the far right, Marshals Vasily Blyukher and Alexander Yegorov served important positions within the Red Army hierarchy, mainly concerning the running of the Red Army apparatus and its various military fronts.4 With these five Marshals anchoring the Red Army leadership, the future of the Red Army and the Soviet Union seemed promising. However, Joseph Stalin, the dictatorial General Secretary of the Soviet Union, would disrupt this situation by instituting a series of purges that led to the executions of Marshals Tukhachevsky, Blyukher, and Yegorov, damaging the Red Army’s capabilities for years to come.
In February 1937, Stalin spoke to key government and military officials in a plenum of the Central Committee.5In his speech, Stalin addressed the impending danger to the Soviet Union posed by numerous counter-revolutionary groups who had supposedly infiltrated the Red Army. The rise of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in Europe had led to Soviet fears of fascists in the Red Army. Domestically, Stalin warned of the rise of a new and dangerous “fifth column,” a group made up of anyone who dared to oppose Stalin’s iron grip on power.6 Specifically, Stalin feared that his historic rival, Leon Trotsky, had gained substantial influence amongst both Soviet politicians and Red Army officers, and that now he threatened Stalin’s power. To combat this perceived threat (and to assuage his growing paranoia), Stalin advocated for and implemented a series of purges against various sectors of Soviet society, including the Red Army, trying to eliminate any potential threats to his regime. These purges are known collectively as the “Great Purge” and the “Great Terror,” and they led to the disgracement of over 25,000 Red Army officers, many of whom were executed or sent to the infamous Soviet Gulag work camps.7 The Great Purge also claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Soviet civilians who were deemed “counterrevolutionary”.(more…)
The Ely Prize is presented to the student who gave the best speech in the III Form Global Seminar Public Speaking Competition each spring.
By Thomas Scaringella, VI Form
Weaving My Past to Grow My Present: VI Form Lion Term Letter to V Formers
Dear Fifth Form Peers,
First, congratulations on your newly earned title as, Rising 6thFormers! It is a huge accomplishment with many prospects. Seek out all the opportunities you can. Although unrecognizable now, from this day until the end of next year, every experience is going to culminate together and lead you down paths to be explored. Lion Term was one example of this for me.
Since I was little, a fascination of formulas and numbers consumed my inner self. Immersed in the sports section of the Boston Globe invoked motivation, aspiration, and infatuation. The stats were the most intriguing. Someday, I imagined, I would be like Tom Brady or Big Papi. Or not. There were no unexpected wins for me generating global crazes. However, my love of statistics and teamwork did drive me to the role of an athletic team manager multiple times since 7thgrade. Fast forward, ironically, I had a similar encounter with real estate; the area of focus for my Lion Term project.
Over a year ago, our family was inquiring about real estate in Southern Florida. Initially, the thought was dull. My head was into college visits, a summer job, and seeking out summer activities in the north. Driving around with my family to visit new, humid terrain was not ideal until I sucked it up and forced myself to get engaged. Quickly, I began performing my own research and evaluating stats. Grabbing real estate booklets, snatching the Sunday real estate section of the New York Times, and studying online searches became a pastime. Reviewing home days on market (DOM), analyzing price per square foot, identifying % of increase or decrease in previous selling price, comparing tax assessments and homeowners association fees among various communities, and grasping how much time realtors put into a sale (and at what cost) were among some of my interests. As such, selecting an assignment for Lion Term was a “cushy number.” Fortunately, I established a good relationship with the Florida agents, and they took note of my analysis and enthusiasm. After acquainting the Sister Listers Delray Beach Lang Realty team of Lion Term, they graciously extended an offer to work with Nolan Moore and me. (more…)
By Sarah Bechard, III Form
American Sign Language to “Youth” by Troye Sivan
Editor’s Note: In the St. Mark’s Saturdays’ course “American Sign Language,” the students found resources and learned the signs to perform one whole song in ASL. The goals of the assignment were to learn ASL vocabulary, understand how to sign songs, understand ASL word order, and practice sign fluency. The subtitles reflect ASL word choice and grammar, rather than spoken English grammar.
By Caitlin Lochhead, VI Form
Burgeoning Singer-Songwriter with Two Original Songs
Utilizing the Class of ’68 Fifth Form Fellowship, over the summer Cait took songwriting lessons at Encore Music Academy in Millis, MA and recorded two original songs at Encore in Franklin. She wrote both songs: “Now We’re Done” unassisted and “Young” with the help of Brian Dollaway, a former guitar teacher of hers with whom she took songwriting lessons.
Click on the songs to listen!
By Jenny Shan, VI Form
Casual Bike Rental Volume Prediction via Artificial Neural Network
Aim: This study aimed to build a predictive model for casual bike rental volume using artificial neural network and compare its performance with traditional regression method, linear regression.
Method: The data set under study is related to 2-year usage log of a bike sharing system namely Capital Bike Sharing (CBS) at Washington, D.C., USA. There were some external sources that corresponding historical environmental values such as weather conditions, weekday and holidays are extractable. All the records were randomly assigned into 2 groups: training sample (50%) and testing sample (50%). Two models were built using training sample: artificial neural network and linear regression. For artificial neural network, the input layer has 11 inputs, the two hidden layers have 3 and 2 neurons and the output layer has a single output. Mean squared errors (MSE) were calculated and compared between both models. A cross-validation was conducted using a loop for the neural network and the cv.glm() function in the boot package for the linear model. A package called “neuralnet” in R was used to conduct neural network analysis.
By Olivia Hammond, Matt Gates, and Matt Walsh, VI Form
History Fellowship: Civil War Monuments and Historical Memory
Editor’s Note: The project was part of a History Fellowship unit looking at the Civil War and historical memory. Students were asked to select a monument(s) and–1. Describe, in detail, your monument(s) (who, what, when, where, why, etc.); 2. Explain the question(s) that you are exploring about your monument(s); and 3. Describe the answer(s) to your question(s). They could use a medium of their choice (e.g., paper, movie, etc.) to present their analysis.
Olivia–Racial Attitudes in the Civil War Era: Seen Through Two Boston Monuments (video)
Matt G.–Confederate Statues in the Cherokee Nation (video)
Matt W.–Civil War Memory through Local Newspapers (essay)
SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTIFACTS (more…)
By Samantha Wang, IV Form
What Led to America’s Economic Prosperity After World War II?
Editor’s Note: Samantha utilized funds from the Kean Fellowship in the spring of 2018 to finance videos, programs, and books for her independent research project.
By the early 20th century, America had quietly become the world’s strongest industrialized country. But not for long. A huge crisis was brewing behind the exploding expansion of the U.S. economy: on October 24, 1929, a sudden storm swept across Wall Street, and an economic depression followed.The United States, as the birthplace of the Great Depression, became a major disaster area. American industrial production shrank by a third from 1929 to 1932, the unemployment rate was horrendous, pessimism pervaded the whole society, and many people came to doubt the capitalist system.In 1932, the Democratic Party candidate, Franklin Roosevelt, was elected President of the United States. Faced with a severe situation, President Roosevelt advocated for the repression of the domestic forces of Nazism and Communism and the execution of complete control over the national bourgeoisie through his New Deal policies. The American economy slowly got back on track afterward. (more…)