Ben Franklin's World

By Liz Covart

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Category: History

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Reviews: 2


 Apr 25, 2019

Sherry
 Feb 2, 2019
I really enjoy these podcasts! I think of Liz as a friend. I've learned a lot from listening to every podcast posted to date.

Description

This is a show about early American history. Awarded Best History Podcast by the Academy of Podcasters in 2017, it’s for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world. Each episode features conversations with professional historians who help shed light on important people and events in early American history. It is produced by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Episode Date
277 Whose Fourth of July?
01:12:06

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass delivered a speech to an anti-slavery society and he famously asked “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

In this episode, we explore Douglass’ thoughtful question within the context of Early America: What did the Fourth of July mean for African Americans in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries?

To help us investigate this question, we are joined by Martha S. Jones, the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, and Christopher Bonner, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Maryland.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/277


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Jun 30, 2020
Bonus Listener Q & A: Young Benjamin Franklin
16:01
Jun 26, 2020
276 Stephen Fried, Benjamin Rush: Founding Father
01:05:30

Who gets to be a founding father?

“Founding Father” status goes to men who helped found the United States. That means the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, those who led the Continental Army, and the 36 delegates who signed the Constitution. We’re talking about more than 100 men and yet, we don’t really talk about more than a handful of these “founders” as Founders.

Stephen Fried, an award-winning journalist and author of Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father, joins us to explore the life and deeds of one founder we don’t always talk about, Benjamin Rush.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/276



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Jun 16, 2020
275 Ingrid Tague, Pets in Early America
25:18

What kinds of animals did early Americans keep as pets? How did early Americans acquire pets? What kinds of animals did early Americans keep as pets?

Ingrid Tague, a Professor of History at the University of Denver and the author of Animal Companions: Pets and Social Change in Eighteenth-Century Britain, joins us to answer your questions about pets and pet keeping in Early America.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/275



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Jun 02, 2020
274 Alan Gallay, Walter Ralegh: Architect of Empire
01:09:12

What do we know about how and why England came to establish its first permanent colony at Jamestown? And what do we know about the English colony that came before it, the Colony of Roanoke?

Alan Gallay, Lyndon B. Johnson chair of United States History at Texas Christian University and author of Walter Ralegh: Architect of Empire, leads us on exploration of the life and work of Sir Walter Ralegh, the man who crafted the blueprint for England’s colonization plans in the Americas.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/274

Production of this episode was made possible by a grant from the Roller-Bottimore Foundation of Richmond, Virginia.


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May 19, 2020
273 Victoria Johnson, David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Early Republic
01:03:38
May 05, 2020
272 Origins of the 11th Amendment
11:07
Apr 21, 2020
286 Vast Early America Series: The Oregon Trail
46:16

Do you have what it takes to be a pioneer?

If offered the opportunity, would you undertake a journey across the Oregon Trail in a mule-pulled covered wagon?

Today, we explore the Oregon Trail past and present with Rinker Buck, author of The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/077

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Apr 14, 2020
285 Vast Early America Series: Age of American Revolutions
44:45

The American Revolution inspired revolutions in France, the Caribbean, and in Latin and South America between the late 18th and mid-19th centuries.

Naturally, Spanish and Portuguese American revolutionaries turned to the United States for assistance with their fights. How did Americans in the United States respond to these calls for assistance? What did they make of these other “American Revolutions?”

Caitlin Fitz, an Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University and the author of Our Sister Republics: The United States in an Age of American Revolutions, helps us investigate answers to these questions.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/090

 

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Apr 07, 2020
284 Vast Early America Series: A History of Early Detroit
55:16

Located 600 miles inland from Philadelphia and over 700 miles from Québec City, early Detroit could have been a backwater, a frontier post that Europeans established to protect colonial settlements from Native American attacks.

Yet Detroit emerged as a cosmopolitan entrepôt filled with many different people and all of the goods you would expect to find in early Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, or Charleston.

Today, we explore the early history of Detroit with Catherine Cangany, an associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame and author of Frontier Seaport: Detroit’s Transformation into an Atlantic Entrepôt. 

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/051

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Mar 31, 2020
283 Vast Early America Series: After Yorktown
38:14
Mar 24, 2020
282 Vast Early America Series: India and the Making of Britain & America
51:03

Neither colonial North America nor the United States developed apart from the rest of the world. Since their founding, both the colonies and the United States have participated in the politics, economics, and cultures of the Atlantic World.

And every so often, the politics, economics, and cultures of lands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans intersected with and influenced those of the Atlantic World. That’s why in this episode, we’re going to explore the origins of the English trade with India and how that trade connected and intersected with the English North American colonies.

Our guide for this investigation is Jonathan Eacott, an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside and author of Selling Empire: India in the Making of Britain and America, 1700-1830

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/111

 

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Mar 17, 2020
281 Vast Early America Series: The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright
48:45

Colonial America comprised many different cultural and political worlds. Most colonial Americans inhabited just one world, but today, we’re going to explore the life of a woman who lived in THREE colonial American worlds: Frontier New England, Northeastern Wabanaki, and Catholic New France.

Ann Little, a Professor of History at Colorado State University and the author of The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright, leads us through the remarkable life of Esther Wheelwright, a woman who experienced colonial America as a Puritan New English girl, Wabanaki daughter, and Ursuline nun in Catholic New France.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/108

 

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Mar 10, 2020
280 Vast Early America Series: Thundersticks
56:35

Early North America was a place rife with violent conflict. Between the 17th and 19th centuries we see a lot of conflict between different Native American peoples, Native American peoples and colonists, colonists from one empire versus colonists from another empire, settlers from one state quarreling with settlers from another state, and in the 19th century, we also see strife between Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans.

Today, we’re going to explore some of the causes of the violent conflict that took place in early America by looking specifically at Native America and the ways Native Americans used guns to shape their lives and the course of North American colonial and indigenous history.

Our guide for this exploration is David J. Silverman, a professor of history at George Washington University and the author of Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/184

 

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Mar 03, 2020
279 Vast Early America Series: Christian Slavery
57:28

Between 1500 and the 1860s, Europeans and Americans forcibly removed approximately 12 million African people from the African continent, transported them to the Americas, and enslaved them.

Why did Europeans and Americans enslave Africans? How did they justify their actions?

Katherine Gerbner, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota and author of Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World, leads us on an exploration of ways Christianity influenced early ideas about slavery and its practice.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/206

 

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Feb 25, 2020
278 Vast Early America Series: Competing Visions of Empire
52:00

How and where did the colonies of North America and the Caribbean fit within the British Empire?

The answer to this question depends on whether you explore the views of a British imperial officer, such as the King of England, or a colonist who lived in one of the North American or Caribbean colonies.

In today’s episode, Abigail Swingen, professor of history at Texas Tech University and author of Competing Visions of Empire: Labor, Slavery, and the Origins of the British Atlantic Empire, leads us on an exploration of how colonists and British imperial officers viewed the colonies and their place within the British Empire during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/036

 

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Feb 18, 2020
277 Vast Early America Series: Aquatic Culture in Early America
57:56

The Atlantic World has brought many disparate peoples together, which has caused a lot of ideas and cultures to mix.

How did the Atlantic World bring so many different peoples and cultures together? How did this large intermixing of people and cultures impact the development of colonial America?

Kevin Dawson, an Associate Professor of History at the University of California-Merced and author of Undercurrents of Power: Aquatic Culture in the African Diaspora, joins us to explore answers to these questions with an investigation of the African Diaspora and African and African American aquatic culture.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/224

 

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Feb 11, 2020
276 Vast Early America Series: The Dutch Moment in the 17th Century
38:32
Feb 04, 2020
275 Vast Early America Series: The Little Ice Age
50:31

We’re living in a period of climate change. Our Earth has been getting warmer since the mid-19th century.

So how will humans adapt to and endure this period of global warming? Will they adapt to it and endure?

It turns out the people of early America also lived through a period of climate change and their experiences may hold some answers for us.

Sam White, an Associate Professor at The Ohio State University and author of A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe’s Encounter, joins us to explore the Little Ice Age and how it impacted initial European exploration and colonization of North America.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/189

 

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  • Episode 015: Joyce Chaplin, Round About the Earth
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  • Episode 127: Caroline Winterer, American Enlightenments
  • Episode 267: Thomas Wickman, Snowshoe Country

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Jan 28, 2020
274 Vast Early America Series: The Other Slavery
46:33

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He also played a central role in the European adoption of Indian or Native American slavery.

When we think of slavery in early America, we often think of the practice of African and African-American chattel slavery. However, that system of slavery wasn’t the only system of slavery that existed in North America. Systems of Indian slavery existed too. In fact, Indians remained enslaved long after the 13th Amendment abolished African-American slavery in 1865.

Andrés Reséndez, a professor of history at the University of California, Davis and author of The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in Americas leads us on an investigation of this “other” form of American slavery.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/139

 

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  • Episode 008: Greg O’Malley, Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America
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  • Episode 067: John Ryan Fischer, An Environmental History of Early California & Hawaii
  • Episode 220: Margaret Ellen Newell, New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of Slavery
  • Episode 250: Virginia, 1619

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Jan 21, 2020
273 Vast Early America Series: Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit
43:39

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue as part of the great European quest to find new routes and shortcuts to the spice islands and territories of Asia.

Columbus’ “discovery” of the Caribbean and North America caused European peoples to colonize North and South America. It also encouraged Europeans to keep up their search for new ways to access Asia.

Joyce E. Chaplin, the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University and author of Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit leads us on an exploration of the early history of around-the-world voyages and the impact those voyages had on the peoples and places of the Americas, the Pacific Islands, Asia, and Europe.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/015

 

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Jan 14, 2020
272 Vast Early America Series: Information & Communication in the Early American South
39:58

We live in an age of information. The internet provides us with 24/7 access to all types of information—news, how-to articles, sports scores, entertainment news, and congressional votes.

But what do we do with all of this knowledge? How do we sift through and interpret it all?

We are not the first people to ponder these questions.

Alejandra Dubcovsky, an Associate Professor at University of California, Riverside and author of Informed Power: Communication in the Early South takes us through the early American south and how the Native Americans, Europeans, and enslaved Africans who lived there acquired, used, and traded information.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/082

 

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Jan 07, 2020
271 BFW Team Favorites: Paul Revere's Ride Through History
01:32:58

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere rode to Lexington, Massachusetts to spread the alarm that the Regulars were marching. Revere made several important rides between 1774 and 1775, including one in September 1774 that brought the Suffolk Resolves to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

So why is it that we remember Paul Revere’s ride to Lexington and not any of his other rides?

Why is it that we remember Paul Revere on the night of April 18, 1775 and nothing about his life either before or after that famous ride?

Why is it that Paul Revere seems to ride quickly into history and then just as quickly out of it?

In this episode we speak with four scholars to explore Paul Revere’s ride through history.

This episode originally posted as Episode 130.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/271



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Dec 31, 2019
270 BFW Team Favorites: Slavery & Freedom in Early Maryland
50:15

How do you uncover the life of an enslaved person who left no paper trail?

What can the everyday life of an enslaved person tell us about slavery, how it was practiced, and how some enslaved people made the transition from slavery to freedom?

We explore the life of Charity Folks, an enslaved woman from Maryland who gained her freedom in the late-18th century. Our guide through Charity’s life is Jessica Millward, an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine and author of Finding Charity’s Folk.

This episode originally posted as Episode 089.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/270


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Dec 24, 2019
269 BFW Team Favorites: One Colonial Woman's World
46:10
Dec 17, 2019
268 BFW Team Favorites: Young Benjamin Franklin
01:02:14

What in the first 40 years of his life made Benjamin Franklin the genius he became?

Benjamin Franklin serves as a great window on to the early American past because as a man of “variety” he pursued many interests: literature, poetry, science, business, philosophy, philanthropy, and politics.

But one aspect of Franklin’s life has gone largely unstudied: his childhood and early life.

Nick Bunker, author of Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity, joins us to explore Benjamin Franklin’s early life and how family, childhood, and youthful experiences shaped him as a scientist and diplomat.

This episode originally posted as Episode 207.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/268


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Dec 10, 2019
267 Thomas Wickman, Winter in the Early American Northeast
01:02:07

How did the people of early America experience and feel about winter?

Thomas Wickman, an Associate Professor of History and American Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and author of Snowshoe Country: An Environmental and Cultural Winter in the Early American Northeast, joins us to investigate how Native Americans and early Americans experienced and felt about winter during the 17th and early 18th centuries.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/267



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Dec 03, 2019
266 Johann Neem, Education in Early America
32:13

How did early Americans educate their children? How and when did Americans create a formal system of public education?

You sent me these questions for Episode 200: Everyday Life in Early America. You also said you wanted to know more about how early American boys and girls learned the trades they would practice later in life.

Johann Neem, a Professor of History at Western Washington University and author of Democracy’s Schools: The Rise of Public Education in America, joins us to further explore how early Americans educated their children and how early American children learned the trades they would practice later in life.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/266



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Nov 26, 2019
265 Lindsay Chervinsky, An Early History of the White House
01:00:27

On July 1, 1790, Congress passed “An Act for Establishing the temporary and permanent Seat of the Government of the United States.” This act formalized a plan to move the capital of the United States from New York City to Philadelphia, for a period of 10 years, and then from Philadelphia to Washington D.C., where the United States government would make its permanent home.

What buildings did Congress have erected to house the government?

Lindsay Chervinsky works for the White House Historical Association as the White House Historian and she joins us to explore the history of one of the earliest buildings in Washington D.C., the White House.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/265



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Nov 19, 2019
264 Michael Oberg, The Iroquois, United States, and the Treaty of Canandaigua 1794
56:45

The Treaty of Paris 1783 ended the American War for Independence, but it did not bring peace to North America. After 1783, warfare and violence continued between Americans and Native Americans. So how did the early United States attempt to create peace for itsnew nation? 

Michael Oberg, a Distinguished Professor of History at the State University of New York-Geneseo and the author of Peacemakers: The Iroquois, the United States, and the Treaty of Canandaigua, joins us to investigate how the United States worked with the Haudenosaunee or Six Nations peoples to create peace through the Treaty of Canandaigua, 1794.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/264



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Nov 12, 2019
263 Sari Altschuler, The Medical Imagination
52:19

Did you know that imagination once played a key role in the way Americans understood and practiced medicine?

Sari Altschuler, an Assistant Professor of English at Northeastern University and author of The Medical Imagination: Literature and Health in the Early United States, joins us to investigate the ways early American doctors used imagination in their practice and learning of medicine.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/263



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Nov 05, 2019
262 Interpreting the Fourth Amendment (Doing History 4)
01:02:46

History is an important tool when it comes to understanding American law.

History is what the justices of the United States Supreme Court use when they want to ascertain what the framers meant when they drafted the Constitution of 1787 and its first ten amendments in 1789. History is also the tool we use when we want to know how and why the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution and its amendments have changed over time.


Sarah Seo, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Iowa, Fourth Amendment expert, and the author of Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom, joins us to investigate how and why the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Fourth Amendment has changed over time and how that change has impacted the way the Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable search and seizures.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/262


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Oct 29, 2019
261 Creating the Fourth Amendment (Doing History 4)
58:36

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution doesn’t always make headlines, but it’s an amendment that undergirds foundational rights. It’s also an amendment that can show us a lot about the intertwined nature between history and American law.  


In this 3rd episode of our 4th Doing History series, we explore the early American origins of the Fourth Amendment with Thomas Clancy, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Mississippi School of Law and an expert on the Fourth Amendment.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/261

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Oct 22, 2019
260 Origins of the Bill of Rights (Doing History 4)
01:01:30

How and why did Congress draft the First Ten Amendments to the Constitution?

In the United States, we use the Constitution and Bill of Rights to understand and define ourselves culturally. Americans are a people with laws and rights that are protected by the Constitution because they are defined in the Constitution. And the place where the Constitution defines and outlines our rights is within its First Ten Amendments, the Bill of Rights.

In this second episode of our 4th Doing History series, we’re investigating how and why Congress drafted the First Ten Amendments to the Constitution. Our guide for this investigation is Kenneth Bowling, a member of the First Federal Congress Project and a co-editor of A Documentary History of the First Federal Congress.


Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/260



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Production of this episode was made possible by a grant from the Roller-Bottimore Foundation of Richmond, Virginia.

 

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Oct 15, 2019
259 The Bill of Rights & How Legal Historians Work (Doing History 4)
01:11:47

Law is all around us. And the basis of American Law comes not only from our early American past, but from our founding documents.

This episode begins our 4th Doing History series. Over the next four episodes, we’ll explore the early American origins of the Bill of Rights as well as the history of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment will serve as our case study so we can see where our rights come from and how they developed from the early American past.

In this episode we go inside the United States National Archives to investigate the Constitution and Bill of Rights. During our visit we’ll speak with Jessie Kratz, First Historian of the National Archives, and Mary Sarah Bilder, the Founders Professor of Law at Boston College, to better understand our founding documents and the laws they established.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/259

 

About the Series

Law is all around us. The Doing History: Why the 4th? series uses the Bill of Rights and the Fourth Amendment as case studies to examine where our rights come from and how they developed out of early American knowledge and experiences. It also uses the history of the Bill of Rights and the Fourth Amendment to explore the history of law as a field of study and how this field of study differs from other historical subjects and how historians and lawyers use and view the history of the law differently.

The Doing History series explores early American history and how historians work. It is part of Ben Franklin’s World, which is a production of the Omohundro Institute.



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Oct 08, 2019
258 Jane Calvert, John Dickinson: Life, Religion, and Politics
01:00:52

The Second Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776 with 12 colonies and one abstention. The delegation from New York abstained from the vote. And Pennsylvania voted in favor of independence because two of its delegates were persuaded not to attend the vote given their opposition.

John Dickinson was one of the two delegates who absented himself from the vote. Later, he would refuse to sign the Declaration of Independence. But why?  


Jane Calvert, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Kentucky and the Director/Editor of The John Dickinson Writings Project, joins us to explore the life, religion, and political views of John Dickinson. 


Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/258

 

Listener Meet Up



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Oct 01, 2019
257 Catherine O'Donnell, Elizabeth Seton: An Early American Life
52:18

What was it like to live as a woman of faith in early republic America? What was it like to live as a Catholic in the early United States?

Catherine O’Donnell, an Associate Professor of History at Arizona State University and author of Elizabeth Seton: American Saint, helps us investigate answers to these questions by taking us through the life of the United States’ first saint: Elizabeth Ann Seton.


Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/257

 

Atlanta Meet Up



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Sep 24, 2019
256 Christian Koot, Mapping Empire in the Chesapeake
01:01:12

How do empires come to be? How are empires made and who makes them? What role do maps play in making empires?

Christian Koot is a Professor of History at Towson University and the author of A Biography of a Map in Motion: Augustine Herrman’s Chesapeake. Christian has researched and written two books about the seventeenth-century Anglo-Dutch World to better understand empires and how they are made. Today, he joins us to take us through his research and to share what one specific map, Augustine Herrman’s 1673 map Virginia and Maryland, reveals about empire and empire making.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/256

Augustine Herrman’s Map, Virginia and Maryland as it is planted and inhabited

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Production of this episode was made possible by a grant from the Roller-Bottimore Foundation of Richmond, Virginia.

 


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Sep 17, 2019
255 Martha S. Jones, Birthright Citizenship
58:09

Who gets to be a citizen of the United States? How does the United States define who belongs to the nation?

Early Americans asked and grappled with these questions during the earliest days of the early republic.

Martha S. Jones is a Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University and a former public interest litigator. Using details from her book, Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America, Martha joins us to investigate how early Americans thought about citizenship and how they defined who could and couldn’t belong to the United States.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/255


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Sep 10, 2019
254 Jeffrey Sklansky, The Money Question in Early America
53:24

We read and hear a lot about money. We read and hear about fluctuations in the value of the Dollar, Pound, and Euro, interest rates and who can and can’t get access to credit, and we also read and hear about new virtual currencies like Bitcoin and Facebook’s Libra.

We talk a lot about money. But where did the idea of money come from?

Did early Americans think about money a lot too?

Jeffrey Sklansky is a Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author of Sovereign of the Market: The Money Question in Early America. Jeff is an expert in the intellectual and social history of capitalism in early America and he’s agreed to lead us on an investigation of the world of money in early America.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/254


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Sep 03, 2019
253 Susan Clair Imbarrato, Life and Revolution in Boston and Grenada
45:11

What can a family history tell us about revolutionary and early republic America?

What can the letters of a wife and mother tell us about life in the Caribbean during the Age of Revolutions?

These are questions Susan Clair Imbarrato, a Professor of English at Minnesota State University Moorhead, set out to answer as she explored an amazing trove of letters to and from a woman named Sarah Gray Cary. 


Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/253


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Aug 27, 2019
252 Matthew P. Dziennick, The Highland Soldier in North America
01:00:30

Much of early American history comprises stories of empire and how different Native, European, and Euro-American nations vied for control of North American territory, resources, and people. 
 In this episode, Matthew P. Dziennick, an Assistant Professor of History at the United States Naval Academy and author The Fatal Land: War, Empire, and the Highland Soldier, presents us with one of these imperial stories. Specifically, we’re going to investigate the world of the eighteenth-century Scottish Highlands and how the 12,000 soldiers the Highlands sent to North America shaped the course of the British Empire during Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution.

Aug 20, 2019
251 Cameron Strang, Frontiers of Science
53:36
Aug 13, 2019
Bonus: Virginia, 1619
06:38

2019 marks the 400th anniversary of two important events in American History: The creation of the first representative assembly in English North America and the arrival of the first African people in English North America.

In this bonus episode, Cassandra Newby-Alexander helps us determine whether the English or Dutch brought the first African people to English North America and explore more about the lives of those first African people in early Virginia.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/250



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Aug 06, 2019
250 Virginia, 1619
01:16:42

2019 marks the 400th anniversary of two important events in American History: The creation of the first representative assembly in English North America and the arrival of the first African people in English North America.

Why were these Virginia-based events significant and how have they impacted American history?

Cassandra Newby-Alexander, a scholar of African American and American History and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University, helps us find answers.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/250


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Aug 06, 2019
249 BFW Road Trip: James Monroe's Highland
46:59

Between 1789 and 1825, five men would serve as President of the United States. Four of them hailed from Virginia.

Many of us know details about the lives and presidencies of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. But what do we know about the life and presidency of the fourth Virginia president, James Monroe?

Sara Bon-Harper, Executive Director of James Monroe’s Highland, joins us to explore the public and private life of James Monroe.

This episode originally posted as Episode103.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/249

  

 

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Jul 30, 2019
248 BFW Road Trip: National Museum of African American History and Culture
33:40

Not all historians publish their findings about history in books and articles. Some historians convey knowledge about history to the public in public spaces and in public ways.

We conclude the “Doing History: How Historians Work” series with a look at how historians do history for the public with guest historian Lonnie Bunch, the Founding Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

This episode originally posted as a Bonus Episode in 2016.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/248

  

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Jul 23, 2019
247 BFW Road Trip: Schoharie Crossing
40:07

A “little short of madness.” That is how Thomas Jefferson responded when two delegates from New York approached him with the idea to build the Erie Canal in January 1809.

Jefferson’s comment did not discourage New Yorkers. On January 4, 1817, New York State began building a 363-mile long canal to link the Hudson River and Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes and the Midwest.

Janice Fontanella, site manager of Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter, New York, joins us to discuss the Erie Canal, its construction, and the impact that this waterway made on New York and the United States.

This episode originally posted as Episode 028.

 

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/247

  

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Jul 16, 2019
246 BFW Road Trip: Château de Ramezay
43:35
Jul 09, 2019
245 Celebrating the Fourth
01:12:18

It wasn’t always fireworks on the fourth.

John Adams predicted Americans would celebrate the Second of July, the day Congress voted in favor of independence, "with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." He got the date wrong, but he was right about the festivities in commemoration of Independence Day. And yet July Fourth events have changed a great deal since 1776.

How do our fireworks displays, barbecues, parades, and sporting events compare to the first and earliest celebrations of independence? How and why do we celebrate the United States and its independence as we do?

Three historical experts take us through the early American origins of Fourth of July celebration.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/245


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Jul 02, 2019
244 Kimberly Alexander, Shoe Stories From Early America
01:00:52

There’s a saying that tells us we should walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. It’s a reminder we should practice empathy and try to understand people before we cast judgement.

As it happens, this expression is right on the mark because it seems when we use shoes as historical objects, we can learn a LOT about people and their everyday lives and actions.

Kimberly Alexander, museum specialist, lecturer at the University of New Hampshire, and author of Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era, joins us to help us better understand shoes and what they can tell us about the everyday lives of early Americans.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/244



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Jun 25, 2019
243 Joseph Adelman, Revolutionary Print Networks
01:04:46

For the American Revolution to be successful, it needed ideas people could embrace and methods for spreading those ideas. It also needed ways for revolutionaries to coordinate across colonial lines.

How did revolutionaries develop and spread their ideas? How did they communicate and coordinate plans of action?

Joseph Adelman, an Assistant Professor of History at Framingham State University and author of Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763-1789, joins us to investigate the roles printers and their networks played in developing and spreading ideas of the American Revolution.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/243



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Jun 18, 2019
242 David Young, An Early History of Delaware
51:02

Delaware may be the second smallest state in the United States, but it has a BIG, rich history that can tell us much about the history of early America.

David Young, the Executive Director of the Delaware Historical Society, joins us to explore the early American history of Delaware from its Native American inhabitants through its emergence as the first state in the United States.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/242


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Jun 11, 2019
241 Molly Warsh, Pearls and the Nature of the Spanish Empire
57:25

Spain became the first European power to use the peoples, resources, and lands of the Americas and Caribbean as the basis for its Atlantic Empire.

How did this empire function and what wealth was Spain able to extract from these peoples and lands?

Molly Warsh, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and author of American Baroque: Pearls and the Nature of Empire, 1492-1700, helps us investigate answers to these questions by showing us how Spain attempted to increase its wealth and govern its empire through its American and Caribbean pearl operations.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/241

 

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Jun 04, 2019
240 Flora Fraser, Biography and a Biographer's Work
45:05

Have you ever had one of those really conversations where the person was so fascinating that you wished the conversation didn’t have to end?

Flora Fraser joins us for one of those conversations. We’ll talk about biography, and in doing so, she’ll tell us what it was like to grow up as the daughter and granddaughter of two famed, British biographers and about the genre of biography and how it developed in the United Kingdom.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/240


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May 28, 2019
239 Joseph Adelman, Travel and Post in Early America
37:06

How did the postal system work in Early America? How did people send mail across the North American colonies and the British Empire?

Joseph Adelman, an Assistant Professor of History at Framingham State University and author of Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing, 1763-1789, joins us to further explore how the early American postal system worked and how people and mail traveled around early North America and the Atlantic World.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/239



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May 21, 2019
238 Stephen Brumwell, Benedict Arnold
01:11:55

Benedict Arnold is an intriguing figure. He was both a military hero who greatly impacted and furthered the American War for Independence with his bravery on the battlefield and someone who did something unthinkable: he betrayed his country.

Stephen Brumwell, an award-winning historian and the author of Turncoat: Benedict Arnold and the Crisis of American Liberty, joins us to explore the life and deeds of Benedict Arnold and Arnold’s stunning metamorphosis from hero to traitor.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/238



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May 14, 2019
237 Nora Doyle, Motherhood in Early America
54:47

Mother’s Day became a national holiday on May 9, 1914 to honor all of the work mothers do to raise children.

But what precisely is the work that mothers do to raise children? Has the nature of mothers, motherhood, and the work mothers do changed over time?

Nora Doyle, an Assistant Professor of History at Salem College in North Carolina, has combed through the historical record to find answers to these questions. Specifically, she’s sought to better understand the lived and imagined experiences of mothers and motherhood between the 1750s and 1850s.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/237



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May 07, 2019
236 Daniel Livesay, Mixed-Race Britons and the Atlantic Family
59:17

Who do we count as family?

If a relative was born in a foreign place and one of their parents was of a different race? Would they count as family?

Eighteenth-century Britons asked themselves these questions. As we might suspect, their answers varied by time and whether they lived in Great Britain, North America, or the Caribbean.

Daniel Livesay, an Associate Professor of History at Claremont McKenna College in California, helps us explore the evolution of British ideas about race with details from his book Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/236

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Apr 30, 2019
235 Jenny Hale Pulsipher, A 17th-Century Native American Life
01:03:18

What does early America look like if we view it through Native American eyes?

Jenny Hale Pulsipher, an Associate Professor of History at Brigham Young University and author of Swindler Sachem, is a scholar who enjoys investigating the many answers to this question. And today, she introduces us to a Nipmuc Indian named John Wompas and how he experienced a critical time in early American history, the period between the 1650s and 1680s.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/235

 

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Apr 23, 2019
234 Richard Bushman, Farms & Farm Families in Early America
47:28

If we want to understand everyday life in early America we need to understand the everyday life of early American farms and farmers.

Roughly three-quarters of Americans in British North America and the early United States considered themselves to be farmers. So how did early Americans establish farms and what were the rhythms of their daily lives?

Richard Bushman, the Gouverneur Morris Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University, joins us to investigate farms and farm life in early America with details from his book, The American Farmer in the Eighteenth Century: A Social and Cultural History.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/234

 

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Apr 16, 2019
233 Gwenn Miller, A History of Russian America
48:19

When we think about colonial American history we think about the colonies of the English, the Dutch, the French, and the Spanish. Rarely do we think about the colonies of the Russians. And yet Russia had colonies in North America.

Gwenn Miller, an Associate Professor of History at the College of the Holy Cross, joins us to investigate a history of Russia’s colonies in North America with details from her book Kodiak Kreol: Communities of Empire in Early Russian America.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/233

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Apr 09, 2019
232 Christopher Hodson, The Acadian Diaspora
01:02:43

Before the English settled in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 or the Dutch settled near Albany, New York in 1615, a group of French-speaking, Catholic settlers established a settlement in Nova Scotia in 1605.

By 1755, nearly 15,000 Acadians lived in Acadia.

Christopher Hodson, an Associate Professor of history at Brigham Young University and the author of The Acadian Diaspora, joins us to investigate the lives of these early North American colonists and how the British government came to displace them through a forced migration in 1755.


Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/232

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Apr 02, 2019
231 Sara Georgini, The Religious Lives of the Adams Family
01:02:26

Historians use archives to create the histories we love to read, watch, and listen to. So we’re going into one archive to investigate how historians use them and to discover more about the religious lives of the Adams Family.

Sara Georgini, Series Editor of The Papers of John Adams, invites us to join her inside the Massachusetts Historical Society so we can take a closer look at the historical details provided by the Adams Papers and the role these manuscripts played in helping her write her book, Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/231

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Mar 26, 2019
230 Mitch Kachun, First Martyr of Liberty
58:53

Samuel Gray, James Caldwell, Samuel Maverick, Patrick Carr, and Crispus Attucks. These are the five men who died as a result of the shootings on Boston’s King Street on the night of March 5, 1770.

Of these five victims, evidence points to Crispus Attucks falling first, and of all the victims, Crispus Attucks is the name we can recall.

Why is that?

To help us answer this question and to conclude our 3-episode series on the Boston Massacre, we’re joined by Mitch Kachun, a Professor of History at Western Michigan University and the author of First Martyr of Liberty: Crispus Attucks in American Memory.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/230

 

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Mar 19, 2019
229 Patrick Griffin, The Townshend Moment
01:00:57

Within days of the Boston Massacre, Bostonians politicized the event. They circulated a pamphlet about “the Horrid Massacre” and published images portraying soldiers firing into a well-assembled and peaceful crowd. 


But why did the Boston Massacre happen? Why did the British government feel it had little choice but to station as many 2,000 soldiers in Boston during peacetime? And what was going on within the larger British Empire that drove colonists to the point where they provoked armed soldiers to fire upon them?

Patrick Griffin, the Madden-Hennebry Family Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame and author of The Townshend Moment: The Making of Empire and Revolution in the Eighteenth Century, joins us to answer these questions as we continue our 3-episode investigation of the Boston Massacre.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/229

 

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Mar 12, 2019
228 Eric Hinderaker, The Boston Massacre
01:03:36

On the evening of March 5, 1770, a crowd gathered in Boston’s King Street and confronted a a sentry and his fellow soldiers in front of the custom house. The confrontation led the soldiers to fire their muskets into the crowd, five civilians died.

What happened on the night of March 5, 1770 that led the crowd to gather and the soldiers to discharge their weapons?

Eric Hinderaker, a distinguished professor of history at the University of Utah and the author of Boston’s Massacre, assists our quest to discover more about the Boston Massacre.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/228

 

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Mar 05, 2019
227 Kyle Courtney, Copyright & Fair Use in Early America
01:15:56

In the 21st century, we are all creators and users of content. We take original photos with our smartphones, generate blog posts, digital videos, and podcasts. Some of us write books and articles. And nearly everyone contributes content to social media.

Given all of the information and content we generate and use, it’s really important for us to understand the principles of copyright and fair use, principles that have an early American past.

Kyle Courtney, a lawyer, librarian, and Copyright Advisor for Harvard University, will serve as our guide through the early American origins of copyright and fair use.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/227

 

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Feb 26, 2019
226 Ryan Quintana, Making the State of South Carolina
01:01:07

What do we mean by “the state?”

How is a “state” produced?

Is “the state” something everyone can participate in producing?

Ryan Quintana, an Associate Professor of History at Wellesley College and the author of Making a Slave State: Political Development in Early South Carolina, joins us to answer these questions with a look at the creation and development of the State of South Carolina.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/226

 

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Feb 19, 2019
225 Elaine Forman Crane, The Poison Plot: Adultery and Murder in Colonial Newport
51:12

In 1738, a cooper named Benedict Arnold petitioned the Rhode Island General Assembly for a divorce from his wife Mary Ward Arnold. Benedict claimed that Mary had taken a lover and together they had attempted to murder him with poison.

How did this story of love, divorce, and attempted murder unfold? What does it reveal about the larger world of colonial America and the experiences of colonial American men and women?

Elaine Forman Crane, a Distinguished Professor of History at Fordham University, takes us through the Arnolds’ story with details from her book, The Poison Plot: A Tale of Adultery and Murder in Colonial Newport.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/225

 

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Feb 12, 2019
224 Kevin Dawson, Aquatic Culture in Early America
57:00

The Atlantic World has brought many disparate peoples together, which has caused a lot of ideas and cultures to mix.

How did the Atlantic World bring so many different peoples and cultures together? How did this large intermixing of people and cultures impact the development of colonial America?

Kevin Dawson, an Associate Professor of History at the University of California-Merced and author of Undercurrents of Power: Aquatic Culture in the African Diaspora, joins us to explore answers to these questions with an investigation of the African Diaspora and African and African American aquatic culture.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/048

 

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Feb 05, 2019
223 Susan Sleeper-Smith, A Native American History of the Ohio River Valley & Great Lakes Region
01:07:10

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Ohio River Valley proved to be a rich agrarian region. Many different Native American peoples prospered from its land both in terms of the the land’s ability to produce a wide variety of crops and its support of a wide variety of small fur-bearing animals for the fur trade.

Susan Sleeper-Smith, a Professor of History at Michigan State University and author of Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest: Indian Women and the Ohio River Valley, 1690-1792, helps us explore this unique region and the important roles it played in the early American past.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/223

 

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Jan 29, 2019
222 Adam Costanzo, The Early History of Washington, D.C.
01:10:08

Have you ever wondered how the capital of the United States came to be situated at Washington D.C.?

The banks of the Potomac River represent an odd place to build a national city, a place that would not only serve as the seat of government for the nation, but also as an economic, cultural, and intellectual hub. Still in 1790, the United States Congress passed the Residence Act and mandated that it would establish a new, permanent capital along the banks of the Potomac River. Why?

Adam Costanzo, a Professional Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi and author of George Washington’s Washington: Visions for the National Capital in the Early American Republic, joins us to consider questions of the national capital’s location and construction.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/222

 

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Jan 22, 2019
221 Rae Eighmey, The Culinary Adventures of Benjamin Franklin
54:35
Jan 15, 2019
220 Margaret Newell, New England Indians, Colonists, & the Origins of American Slavery
01:14:25

Did you know that one of the earliest practices of slavery by English colonists originated in New England?

In fact, Massachusetts issued the very first slave code in English America in 1641. Why did New Englanders turn to slavery and become the first in English America to codify its practice?

Margaret Ellen Newell, a professor of history at The Ohio State University and the author of Brethren By Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery, joins us to investigate these questions and issues.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/220

 

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Jan 08, 2019
219 Adrian Covert, Taverns in Early America
51:01

Inns and taverns played prominent roles in early American life. They served the needs of travelers who needed food to eat and places to sleep.They offered local communities a form of poor relief. And they functioned as public spaces where men could gather to discuss news, organize movements, and to drink and play cards.

Adrian Covert, author of Taverns of the American Revolution, helps us explore taverns and the many roles they played in early American life.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/219

 

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Jan 01, 2019
218 Peter G. Rose, How the Dutch Brough Us Santa, Presents, & Treats
41:38

Have you ever wondered where the Christmas traditions of stockings, presents, and cookies come from?

What about jolly, old Saint Nicholas? Who was he and why do we often call him Santa Claus?

Peter G. Rose, culinary historian of Dutch foodways in North America and author of Delicious December: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents, and Treats joins us to discuss the origins of Santa Claus and edible goodies such as cookies in the United States.

This episode originally posted as Episode 009.

 

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/218

 

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Dec 25, 2018
217 Jessica Millward, Slavery and Freedom in Early Maryland
49:17

How do you uncover the life of an enslaved person who left no paper trail?

What can the everyday life of an enslaved person tell us about slavery, how it was practiced, and how some enslaved people made the transition from slavery to freedom?

We explore the life of Charity Folks, an enslaved woman from Maryland who gained her freedom in the late-18th century. Our guide through Charity’s life is Jessica Millward, an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine and author of Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland.

This episode originally posted as Episode 089.

 

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/217

 

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Dec 18, 2018
216 Lisa Wilson, A History of Stepfamilies in Early America
43:33

What do George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln have in common?

They all grew-up in blended or stepfamilies.

Lisa Wilson, the Charles J. MacCurdy Professor of American History at Connecticut College and author of A History of Stepfamilies in Early America, takes us through the creation and interactions of blended and stepfamilies in early America.

This episode originally posted as Episode 027.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/216

 

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Dec 11, 2018
215 Rachel Hope Cleves, A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America
52:00

We tend to view gay marriage as a cultural and legal development of the 21st century.

But did you know that some early Americans lived openly as same-sex married couples?

Rachel Hope Cleves, a Professor of History at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and author of Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America, reveals the story of Charity Bryant and Sylvia Drake, women who lived as a married couple in Weybridge, Vermont between 1807 and 1851.

This episode originally posted as Episode 013.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/215

 

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Dec 04, 2018
214 Christopher Grasso, Skpeticism and American Faith
55:59

Was the early United States a “Christian nation?” Did most of its citizenry accept God and the Bible as the moral authority that bound them together as one nation?

Scholars have taken a binary stance on these questions. Some argue that early America was a thoroughly religious place and that even those who didn’t attend church were on the same basic page as those who did. While others argue early America boasted an increasingly secularized society.

Christopher Grasso, a professor of history at William & Mary and the author of Skepticism and American Faith: From the Revolution to the Civil War, challenges and complicates these two ideas by offering a third explanation: the religious landscape of early America was a continuum where many people experienced both faith and doubt over the course of their lives.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/214

 

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Nov 27, 2018
213 Rebecca Fraser, The Pilgrims of Plimoth
58:12

In 1621, the Pilgrims of Plimoth Colony and their Wampanoag neighbors came together to celebrate their first harvest. Today we remember this event as the first Thanksgiving.

But what do we really know about this holiday and the people who celebrated it?

So much of what we know about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving comes to us through myth and legend, which is why Rebecca Fraser, author of The Mayflower: The Families, The Voyage, and the Founding of America, joins us to help suss out fact from fiction.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/213

 

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Nov 20, 2018
212 Researching Biography (Doing History)
01:09:02

How do historians and biographers reconstruct the lives of people from the past?

Good biographies rely on telling the lives of people using practiced historical methods of thorough archival research and the sound interrogation of historical sources. But what does this practice of historical methods look like?

In this final episode of the Omohundro Institute’s Doing History series about biography, Erica Dunbar, the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University and author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge, takes us into the archives to show us how she recovered the life of Ona Judge.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/212

 

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Nov 13, 2018
Bonus: Erica Dunbar, The Washingtons' Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
52:36

As part of the Omohundro Institute's Doing History series on biography, Episode 212 offers us a new conversation with Erica Dunbar, the author of Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge.

The new episode will explore how historians and biographers reconstruct the lives of people from the past using the story of Ona Judge. In preparation for this new episode, here is our original conversation with Erica Dunbar about Ona Judge.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/137

 

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Nov 09, 2018
211 Considering John Marshall, Part 2 (Doing History)
01:10:46
Nov 06, 2018
210 Considering John Marshall, Part 1 (Doing History)
01:15:46

For 34 years, John Marshall presided as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. During his service, Marshal transformed the nation’s top court and its judicial branch into the powerful body and co-equal branch of government we know it as today.

The Doing History: Biography series continues as Joel Richard Paul, a professor of law at the University of California, Hastings Law School and author of Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times, joins us to explore the life of John Marshall and how he wrote his biography.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/210

 

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Oct 30, 2018
209 Considering Biography (Doing History)
01:35:59

Biography. Since the earliest days of the United States, and even before the thirteen colonies came together to forge a nation, Americans have been interested in biography. But why?

What is it about the lives of others that makes the past so interesting and fun to explore?

This episode marks the start of the Omohundro Institute’s 4-episode Doing History series about biography. This series will take us behind-the-scenes of biography and how historians and biographers reconstruct the lives of people from the past.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/209

 

About the Series

The Doing History: Biography series explores the genre of biography, how it relates to and is different from the genre of history, and how historians and biographers can best uncover and understand the lives of people from the past.

The Doing History series explores early American history and how historians work. It is part of Ben Franklin’s World, which is produced by the Omohundro Institute

 

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Oct 23, 2018
208 Nathaniel Philbrick, Turning Points of the American Revolution
55:18

2018 marks the 241st anniversary of the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga and the 240th anniversary of the Franco-American Alliance. But was the victory that prompted the French to join the American war effort, truly the "turning point" of the War for Independence?

National Book Award-winner Nathaniel Philbrick joins us to explore the two events he sees as better turning points in the American War for Independence: Benedict Arnold’s treason and the French Navy’s participation in the war.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/208

 

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Oct 16, 2018
207 Nick Bunker, Young Benjamin Franklin
01:02:33

What in the first 40 years of his life made Benjamin Franklin the genius he became?

Benjamin Franklin serves as a great window on to the early American past because as a man of “variety” he pursued many interests: literature, poetry, science, business, philosophy, philanthropy, and politics.

But one aspect of Franklin’s life has gone largely unstudied: his childhood and early life.

Nick Bunker, author of Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity, joins us to explore Benjamin Franklin’s early life and how family, childhood, and youthful experiences shaped him as a scientist and diplomat.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/207

 

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Oct 09, 2018
206 Katharine Gerbner, Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World
57:19

Between 1500 and the 1860s, Europeans and Americans forcibly removed approximately 12 million African people from the African continent, transported them to the Americas, and enslaved them.

Why did Europeans and Americans enslave Africans? How did they justify their actions?

Katherine Gerbner, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Minnesota and author of Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World, leads us on an exploration of ways Christianity influenced early ideas about slavery and its practice.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/206

 

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Oct 02, 2018
205 Jeanne Abrams, First Ladies of the Republic
52:42

La Presidente? The Presidentess? The First Lady of the Land?

The Second Article of the United States Constitution defines the Executive Branch of the government, the powers it has, and the role of the chief executive, the President of the United States. But what about the position of the President’s spouse?

Jeanne Abrams, a Professor at the University Libraries and the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Denver, joins us to explore the lives and work of the first First Ladies of the American Republic with details from her book, First Ladies of the Republic: Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Dolley Madison and the Creation of an Iconic American Role.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/205

 

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Sep 25, 2018
204 James Lewis Jr., The Burr Conspiracy
01:01:07

Aaron Burr: Revolutionary War hero, talented lawyer, Vice President, and Intriguer of treason?

Between 1805 and 1807, Aaron Burr supposedly intended to commit treason by dividing the American union. How did Americans learn about and respond to this treasonous intrigue?

James Lewis Jr., a Professor of History at Kalamazoo College and author of The Burr Conspiracy: Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis, guides us through what we know and don’t know about about Aaron Burr’s supposed plot to divide the American union.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/204

 

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Sep 18, 2018
203 Joanne Freeman, Alexander Hamilton
01:01:53

Hamilton the Musical hit Broadway in August 2015 and since that time people all around the world have been learning about a man named Alexander Hamilton. Or, at least they’ve been learning about the musical’s character Alexander Hamilton.

But who was Alexander Hamilton as a real person?

Joanne Freeman, a Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, and one of the foremost experts on the life of Alexander Hamilton, joins us to explore this large question so we can discover more about the man who helped to create the United States.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/203

 

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Sep 11, 2018
202 The Early History of the United States Congress
01:13:36

On September 17, 1787, a majority of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention approved the new form of government they had spent months drafting and submitted it to the 13 states for their ratification and approval.

On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the 9th state to ratify the Constitution, which prompted the transition to the government of the United States Constitution.

Matt Wasniewski, the Historian of the United States House of Representatives and Terrance Rucker, a Historical Publications Specialist in the Office of the Historian at the United States House of Representatives, lead us on an exploration of why and how the United States Constitution established a bicameral Congress and how and why the House of Representatives took the shape and form that it did during its early meetings.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/202

 

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Sep 04, 2018
201 Catherine Kelly, Art, Politics, and Everyday Life in Early America
01:04:10

What kind of character should Americans have? Is it possible to create a shared sense of national character and identity that all Americans can subscribe to?

Americans grappled with many questions about what it meant to be an American and a citizen of the new republic after the American Revolution. They grappled with these questions because the people who made up the new United States hailed from many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. So they wondered: How do you unite the disparate peoples of the United States into one national people?

Catherine Kelly, author of Republic of Taste: Art, Politics, and Everyday Life in Early America, joins us to explore the world of art, politics, and taste in the early American republic and how that world contributed to the formation of American character and virtue.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/201

 

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Aug 28, 2018
200 Everyday Life in Early America
01:25:04

What would you like to know about Early American History?

It turns out, you wanted to know about the establishment of schools, how the colonial postal service worked, and about aspects of health and hygiene in early America.

In this listener-inspired Q&A episode, we speak with Johann Neem, Joseph Adelman, and Ann Little to explore these aspects of early American history and to get answers to your questions about them.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/200

 

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Aug 21, 2018
199 Coll Thrush, Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of the Empire
39:53

When we explore the history of early America, we often look at people who lived in North America. But what about the people who lived and worked in European metropoles?

What about Native Americans?

We explore early American history through a slightly different lens, a lens that allows us to see interactions that occurred between Native American peoples and English men and women who lived in London.

Our guide for this exploration is Coll Thrush, an Associate Professor of History at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and author of Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of the Empire.

This episode originally posted as Episode 132.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/199

 

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Aug 14, 2018
198 Andrew Lipman, Saltwater Frontier: Native Americans and the Contest for the Northeastern Coast
54:45

When we think of Native Americans, many of us think of inland dwellers. People adept at navigating forests and rivers and the skilled hunters and horsemen who lived and hunted on the American Plains.

But did you know that Native Americans were seafaring mariners too?

Andrew Lipman, an Assistant Professor of History at Barnard College, Columbia University and author of The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast, leads us on an exploration of the northeastern coastline and of the Native American and European peoples who lived there during the seventeenth century. 

This episode originally posted as Episode 104.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/198

 

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Aug 07, 2018
197 Brett Rushforth, Native American Slavery in New France
56:53

When we think about early American slavery, our minds evoke images of plantations where enslaved men and women were forced to labor in agricultural fields and inside the homes of wealthy Americans.

These images depict the practice of chattel slavery; a practice where early Americans treated slaves as property that they could buy, sell, trade, and use as they would real estate and draught animals.

But, did you know that some early Americans practiced a different type of slavery?

We investigate the practice of Native American or indigenous slavery, a little-known aspect of early American history, with Brett Rushforth, author of Bonds of Alliance: Indigenous and Atlantic Slaveries in New France.

This episode originally published as Episode 064.

 

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/197

 

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Jul 31, 2018
196 Alejandra Dubcovsky, Information Exchange in the Early Southeast
41:58

We live in an age of information. The internet provides us with 24/7 access to all types of information—news, how-to articles, sports scores, entertainment news, and congressional votes.

But what do we do with all of this knowledge? How do we sift through and interpret it all?

We are not the first people to ponder these questions.

Today, Alejandra Dubcovsky, an Associate Professor at University of California Riverside and author of Informed Power: Communication in the Early South, takes us through the early American south and how the Native Americans, Europeans, and enslaved Africans who lived there acquired, used, and traded information.

This episode originally published as Episode 082.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/196

 

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Jul 24, 2018
195 Morgan Bengel, Old Newgate Prison and Copper Mine
40:38

In 1705 a group of colonists in Simsbury, Connecticut founded a copper mine, which the Connecticut General Assembly purchased and turned into a prison in 1773.

How did an old copper mine function as a prison?

Morgan Bengel, a Museum Assistant at the Old New-Gate Prison and Copper Mine, a Connecticut State Historic Site, helps us investigate both the history of early American mining and the history of early American prisons by taking us on a tour of the Old New-Gate Prison and Copper Mine in East Granby, Connecticut.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/195

 

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Jul 17, 2018
194 Garrett Cloer, Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site
01:00:26

As part of its mission, the National Park Service seeks to protect and preserve places saved by the American people so that all may experience the heritage of the United States. These places include those with historical significance.

Supervisory Park Ranger Garrett Cloer joins us to explore the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site so we can discover more about the Siege of Boston (1775-76) and the birth of the Continental Army and the life and work of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/194

 

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Jul 10, 2018
Bonus: Behind the Scenes of the Adams-Jefferson Letters
39:33

In 1959, the Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press published Lester J. Cappon’s The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and John and Abigail Adams. It was the first time that all 380 letters between Jefferson and the Adamses appeared in a single volume.

Why did Lester Cappon and the Omohundro Institute undertake this great project? And how did they put together this important documentary edition?

Karin Wulf, Director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, takes us behind-the-scenes of The Adams-Jefferson Letters and its publication.

 

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Jul 06, 2018
193 Partisans: The Friendship and Rivalry of Adams and Jefferson
01:23:08

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Two drafters and signers of the Declaration of Independence, two diplomats who served the United States abroad in Europe, and two men who went on to serve as vice president and president of the United States. Both men left indelible marks on American society.

Adams and Jefferson are two founders who captivate the attention of and greatly interest Americans today, so in honor of the 242nd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and the 192nd anniversary of their deaths, we will explore their lives and relationship.

Barbara Oberg and Sara Georgini, two historians and documentary editors, join us from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson and the Papers of John Adams Documentary Editing Projects so we can explore the lives and relationships of John and Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/193

 

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Jul 03, 2018
192 Brian Regal, The Secret History of the Jersey Devil
56:44

The Jersey Devil is a monster legend that originated in New Jersey’s early American past.

How and why did this legend emerge? And, what can it tell us about New Jersey’s past?

Brian Regal, an Associate Professor of History at Kean University and the co-author of The Secret History of the Jersey Devil: How Quakers, Hucksters, and Benjamin Franklin Created A Monster, takes us into New Jersey’s past by taking us through the origins of the New Jersey Devil story.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/192

 

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Jun 26, 2018
191 Lisa Brooks, A New History of King Philip's War
01:04:45

King Philip’s War is an event that appears over and over again in books about colonial America.

So when you have an event that has been as studied as King Philip’s War has been, is there anything new that we can learn about it by re-examining it in our own time?

Lisa Brooks, an Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College believes the answer to this question is “yes.” And today, she’s going to help us re-examine and re-think what we know about King Philip’s War by introducing us to new people, new ways we can look at known historical sources, and to different ways we can think about what we know about this event with details from her book Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/191

 

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Jun 19, 2018
190 Jennifer Goloboy, Origins of the American Middle Class
50:58

As many as 70 percent of Americans consider themselves to be members of the middle class. But if you consider income as a qualifier for membership, only about 50 percent of Americans qualify for membership.

So what does it meant to be middle class and why do so many Americans want to be members of it?

Jennifer Goloboy, an independent scholar based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the author of Charleston and the Emergence of Middle-Class Culture in the Revolutionary Era, helps us explore the origins of the American middle class so we can better understand what it is and why so many Americans want to be a part of it.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/190

 

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Jun 12, 2018
189 Sam White, The Little Ice Age
51:42

We’re living in a period of climate change. Our Earth has been getting warmer since the mid-19th century.

So how will humans adapt to and endure this period of global warming? Will they adapt to it and endure?

It turns out the people of early America also lived through a period of climate change and their experiences may hold some answers for us.

Sam White, an Associate Professor at The Ohio State University and author of A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe’s Encounter, joins us to explore the Little Ice Age and how it impacted initial European exploration and colonization of North America.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/189

 

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Episode 200

 

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Jun 05, 2018
188 Terri Halperin, The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798
56:37

The Alien and Sedition Acts consisted of four laws enacted by the United States government in 1798. The United States passed these laws during a time of great uncertainty, a time when many Americans feared for the very survival for their nation.

But why did Americans fear for the United States’ existence and why did they think four laws that limited citizenship and freedom of speech would protect and secure their young republic?

Terri Halperin, an instructor at the University of Richmond and author of The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798: Testing the Constitution, will help us find answers to these questions by taking us through the Alien and Sedition Acts and how they came to be.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/188

 

Send Liz your questions about early American history for Episode 200!

 

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May 29, 2018
187 Kenneth Cohen, Sport in Early America
50:47

Our present-day American culture is obsessed with sports. To cite just two pieces of evidence of this, on average, more than 67,000 fans attend each National Football League game and more than 30,000 fans attend each Major League Baseball game. This is to say nothing of the millions of fans who watch these sports on television or listen to them on the radio.

When did America become a place filled with sports nuts? When did the business of professional sports become a thing in the United States?

Early American history has answers for us as does Kenneth Cohen, a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the author of They Will Their Game: Sporting Culture and the Making of the American Republic.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/187

 

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May 22, 2018
186 Max Edelson, The New Map of the British Empire
01:05:34

As a result of Great Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War, British North America expanded so that it stretched from the Atlantic seaboard west to the Mississippi River and from Hudson Bay and the Gulf of St. Lawrence south to Florida. Plus, it also included islands in the Caribbean.

How exactly would Great Britain, centered on a small island over 3,000 miles away, govern this new, expanded North American empire?

Max Edelson, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia and author of The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America Before Independence, helps us explore this question by taking us on an investigation of the Board of Trade and its General Survey of North America.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/186

 

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May 15, 2018
185 Joyce D. Goodfriend, Early New York City and its Culture
56:29

Who should determine our culture and the morals our society follows?

Culture, or the intellectual achievements, attitudes, and behaviors of our particular places and social groups, is all around us. It impacts how we think and act as members of families, local communities, states, and nations.

Culture is important. So how do we establish culture? Who sets the unwritten social rules and ideas that we adopt and live by?

Joyce Goodfriend, a professor of history at the University of Denver and author of Who Should Rule at Home? Confronting the Elite in British New York City, helps us investigate these questions by taking us through the history of early New York City and how its culture evolved between 1664 and 1776.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/185

 

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May 08, 2018
184 David Silverman, Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America
56:09

Early North America was a place rife with violent conflict. Between the 17th and 19th centuries we see a lot of conflict between different Native American peoples, Native American peoples and colonists, colonists from one empire versus colonists from another empire, settlers from one state quarreling with settlers from another state, and in the 19th century, we also see strife between Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans.

Today, we’re going to explore some of the causes of the violent conflict that took place in early America by looking specifically at Native America and the ways Native Americans used guns to shape their lives and the course of North American colonial and indigenous history.

Our guide for this exploration is David J. Silverman, a professor of history at George Washington University and the author of Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/184

 

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May 01, 2018
183 Douglas Bradburn, George Washington's Mount Vernon
01:06:37

George Washington played three very important public roles during his lifetime. He served as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, the President of the Constitutional Convention, and as the first President of the United States.

In addition to these important public roles, Washington also played a role that was very important to him. He served as a farmer and agricultural innovator.

Douglas Bradburn, the CEO and President of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, joins us so we can explore the history of Washington’s storied estate and his agricultural practices. Plus, we’ll also discover all that Mount Vernon has to offer us as a historic site.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/183

 

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Apr 24, 2018
182 Douglas Winiarski, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: The Great Awakening in New England
59:00

What was it like to live through an extraordinary time?

The 1740s and 1750s proved to be an extraordinary time for many ordinary New Englanders. It was a period when itinerant preachers swept through the region and asked its people to question the fundamental assumptions of their religion: What did it mean to be a Puritan? What did it mean to be a Protestant Christian?

Douglas Winiarski, a Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies at the University of Richmond and the author of the Bancroft prize-winning book, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England, helps us explore the religious landscape of New England during the 18th century and how New Englanders answered these powerful questions during the extraordinary period known as the Great Awakening.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/182

 

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Apr 17, 2018
181 Virginia DeJohn Anderson, The Martyr and the Traitor: Nathan Hale & Moses Dunbar
54:08

Why did early Americans choose to become patriots or loyalists during the American Revolution?

How did they make the decision to either stand with or against their neighbors?

Did political beliefs really drive them to support one side of the imperial conflict over the other?

In this episode, we explore answers to these questions about how and why Americans chose to support the sides they did during the American Revolution, by looking at the lives of two young soldiers from Connecticut: Moses Dunbar and Nathan Hale.

Taking us through the lives, politics, and decisions of these young men is Virginia DeJohn Anderson, a professor of history at the University of Colorado-Boulder and author of The Martyr and the Traitor: Nathan Hale, Moses Dunbar, and the American Revolution.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/181

 

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Apr 10, 2018
180 Kate Elizabeth Brown, Alexander Hamilton and the Making of American Law
59:40

The legacy of Alexander Hamilton tells us that he was Thomas Jefferson’s political rival, a man who fought to secure strong powers for the national government, and the first Secretary of the Treasury.

What Hamilton’s legacy doesn’t tell us is that he also fought for states rights and championed civil liberties for all Americans, even those Americans who had supported the British during the American Revolution.

Kate Elizabeth Brown, an Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at Huntington University in Indiana and author of Alexander Hamilton and the Development of American Law, joins us to explore more about the Alexander Hamilton we don’t know, the Hamilton who helped develop American law.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/180

 

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Apr 03, 2018
Bonus: Listener Q&A About Religion in Early New England
09:12

Douglas Winiarski answers your questions about religion in early New England with details from his book, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England.

Darkness Falls on the Land of Light is the story of how ordinary New Englanders living through extraordinary times ended up giving birth to today’s evangelical movement. Doug performed a close reading of letters, diaries, and testimonies to write this book and his outstanding scholarship in this book was recognized with a 2018 Bancroft Prize.

Download the FREE OI Reader app for Bonus Content and Sample Chapters from Darkness Falls on the Land of Light

 

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Mar 30, 2018
179 George Van Cleve, After the Revolution: Governance During the Critical Period
01:04:41

The Confederation period is one of the most neglected aspects of United States History. And yet, it’s a very important period. Between 1781 and 1789, the Confederation Congress established by the Articles of Confederation had to deal with war, economic depression, infighting between the states, trouble in the west, foreign meddling, and domestic insurrection. It’s a critical period where no one knew whether the United States would survive as an independent nation.

George William Van Cleve, a researcher in law and history at the University of Seattle Law School and author of We Have Not A Government: The Articles of Confederation and the Road to the Constitution, takes us into the Confederation period so we can discover more about the Articles of Confederation, the government it established, and the problems that government confronted.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/179

*Correction: After production we noticed that in her second question to George, Liz noted the Articles of Confederation has a history that begins in 1787. Liz misspoke. The Second Continental Congress drafted the Articles of Confederation in 1777, ratified them in 1781, and they remained the active constitution of the United States until 1789, when the Constitution of 1787 went into effect on March 4, 1789.

 

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Mar 27, 2018
178 Karoline Cook, Muslims and Moriscos in Colonial Spanish America
49:59

In 1535, Spanish holdings in the Americas proved so great that the Spanish government created the Viceroyalty of New Spain to govern all territory north of the Isthmus of Panama.

The jurisdiction of New Spain included areas of upper and lower California and large areas of the American southwest and southeast, including Florida.

Karoline Cook, author of Forbidden Passages: Muslims and Moriscos in Colonial Spanish America, serves as our guide as we explore some of the political, cultural, and religious history of New Spain. Specifically, how Spaniards and Spanish Americans used ideas about Muslims and a group of “new Christian” converts called Moriscos to define who could and should be able to settle and help colonies North America.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/048

 

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Mar 20, 2018
177 Martin Brückner, The Social Life of Maps in America
55:40

Did you know that maps have social lives?

Maps facilitate a lot of different social and political relationships between people and nations. And they did a lot of this work for Americans throughout the early American past.

Martin Brückner, a Professor of English at the University of Delaware, joins us to discuss early American maps and early American mapmaking with details from his book The Social Life of Maps in America.


Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/177

 

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Mar 13, 2018
176 Daina Ramey Berry, The Value of the Enslaved From Womb to Grave
50:11
Mar 06, 2018
175 Daniel Epstein, House Divided: The Revolution in Ben Franklin's House
45:47

Just how personal was the American Revolution?

What could the event and war mean for individual people and families?

Daniel Mark Epstein, author of The Loyal Son: The War in Ben Franklin’s House, guides as as we explore what the Revolution meant for Benjamin Franklin and his family and how the Revolution caused a major rift between Franklin and his beloved son, William.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/176

 

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Feb 27, 2018
174 Thomas Apel, Yellow Fever in the Early American Republic
50:34

It’s February 2018 and doctors have declared this year’s seasonal flu epidemic as one of the worst to hit the United States in over a decade. Yet this flu epidemic is nothing compared to the yellow fever epidemics that struck the early American republic during the 1790s and early 1800s.

So what happened when epidemic diseases took hold in early America? How did early Americans deal with disease and illness?

Thomas Apel, author of Feverish Bodies, Enlightened Minds: Science and the Yellow Fever Controversy in the Early American Republic, has some answers for us.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/174

 

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Feb 20, 2018
173 Marisa Fuentes, Colonial Port Cities and Slavery
54:22

The histories of early North America and the Caribbean are intimately intertwined. The same European empires we encounter in our study of early America also appear in the Caribbean. The colonies of these respective empires often traded goods, people, and ideas between each other.

Marisa Fuentes, an associate professor of history and women and gender studies at Rutgers University and author of Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive, joins us to explore some of the connections mainland North America and the British Caribbean shared in their practices of slavery in urban towns.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/173

 

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Feb 13, 2018
172 Kenneth Daigler, Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War
49:36

Intelligence gathering plays an important role in the foreign policies of many modern-day nation states, including the United States. Which raises the questions: How and when did the United States establish its foreign intelligence service?


To answer those questions we’ll need to journey back to the American Revolution.

Our guide is Kenneth Daigler, an intelligence professional with 33 years experience managing human sources and collection and the author of Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War, will facilitate our mental time travel and exploration of this topic.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/172

 

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Feb 06, 2018
171 Jessica Stern, Native Americans, British Colonists, and Trade in North America
01:00:17

History books like to tell us that Native Americans did not fully understand British methods and ideas of trade. Is this really true?

Did Native Americans only understand trade as a form of simplistic, gift exchange?

Jessica Stern, a Professor of History at California State University, Fullerton and the author of The Lives in Objects: Native Americans, British Colonists, and Cultures of Labor and Exchange in the Southeast, takes us on a journey into the southeast during the early 18th century to show us how trade between Native Americans and British colonists really took place.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/171

 

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Jan 30, 2018
170 Wendy Warren, New England Bound: Slavery in Early New England
42:50

New England was a place with no cash crops. It was a place where many of its earliest settlers came to live just so they could worship their Puritan faith freely. New England was also a place that became known for its strong anti-slavery sentiment during the 19th century. So how did New England also become a place that practiced slavery?

Wendy Warren, an Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University and author of the Pulitzer Prize-finalist book New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America, joins us to explore why New Englanders practiced slavery and just how far back the region’s slave past goes.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/170

 

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Jan 23, 2018
169 Thomas Kidd, The Religious Life of Benjamin Franklin
51:12

We remember Benjamin Franklin as an accomplished printer, scientist, and statesman. Someone who came from humble beginnings and made his own way in the world. Rarely do we remember Franklin as a man of faith.

Benjamin Franklin spent more time grappling with questions of religion, faith, virtue, and morality in his writing than about any other topic.

Thomas S. Kidd, a Professor of History at Baylor University and author of Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father, leads us on a detailed exploration of the religious life of Benjamin Franklin.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/169

 

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Jan 16, 2018
168 Andrea Smalley, Wild By Nature: Colonists and Animals in North America
50:42

When we study the history of colonial North America, we tend to focus on European colonists and their rivalries with each other and with Native Americans. But humans weren’t the only living beings occupying North America during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Rivalries existed between humans and animals too. And these human-animal rivalries impacted and shaped how European colonists used and settled North American lands.

Andrea Smalley, an associate professor of history at Northern Illinois University and author of Wild By Nature: North American Animals Confront Colonization, joins us to explore the many ways wild animals shaped colonists’ ideas and behavior as they settled and interacted with North American lands.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/168

 

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Jan 09, 2018
167 Eberhard Faber, The Early History of New Orleans
52:33

The French established New Orleans and the greater colony of Louisiana in 1717. By 1840, New Orleans had become the 3rd largest city in the United States. How did that happen?

How did New Orleans transform from a sleepy, minor French outpost into a large and important early American city with a thriving, bustling port?

Eberhard “Lo” Faber, an assistant professor of history at Loyola University, New Orleans and the author of Building the Land of Dreams: New Orleans and the Transformation of Early America, leads us on an exploration of the early history of New Orleans.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/167

 

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Listener Meetup Details

Date: Saturday, January 6, 2018

Time: 5pm

Place: Open City Diner, Woodley Park

 

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Jan 02, 2018
166 Freedom and the American Revolution
57:09

The Declaration of Independence described “all men” as “created equal” when its authors knew they were not. So was the revolutionary idea of freedom dependent on slavery?

In this last episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series we return to the place our series began: the world of Paul Revere. We speak with Christopher Cameron, an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, to discuss how Phillis Wheatley, Cesar Sarter and other black revolutionaries in Massachusetts grappled with the seeming paradox of American freedom as they fought to end slavery during the American Revolution.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/166

 

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Dec 26, 2017
165 The Age of Revolutions
01:19:06

Between 1763 and 1848, revolutions took place in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. But why is it that we only seem to remember the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Haitian Revolution?

Given that the American Revolution took place before all of these other revolutions, what was its role in influencing this larger “Age of Revolutions?” Did it influence this larger period?

Our exploration of what the American Revolution looked like within the larger period known as the “Age of Revolutions” continues as Janet Polasky, a professor of history at the University of New Hampshire and the author of Revolutions Without Borders: The Call of Liberty in the Atlantic World, guides us through the period to explore answers to these questions.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/165

 

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Dec 19, 2017
164 The American Revolution in the Age of Revolutions
01:01:51

The American Revolution took place within a larger period known today as the “Age of Revolutions.”

What does the Revolution look like when we place it within this larger context? Did it really help foment the many other failed and successful revolutions that took place during the period?

Over the next two episodes of the Doing History: To the Revolution series, we’ll explore answers to these questions by taking a closer look at how the American Revolution fit within the larger context of the Age of Revolutions.

The first part of our exploration will take us into the Caribbean. Laurent Dubois, a professor of history at Duke University and the author of four books about slavery and revolution in the French Caribbean, will serve as our guide.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/164

 

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Dec 12, 2017
163 The American Revolution in North America
01:04:21

When we think about North America during the American Revolution, most of our brains show us images of eastern Canada and the thirteen British American colonies that waged a revolution and war for independence against Great Britain.

But what about the rest of the North American continent? What about the areas that we know today as the midwest, the Great Plains, the southwest, the west, and the Pacific Northwest? What about Alaska? What went on in these areas during the American Revolution?

What did the American Revolution look like through the eyes of Native American peoples?

In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series, we explore what the American Revolution looked like within the larger context of North American history with historians Claudio Saunt and Alyssa Mt. Pleasant.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/163

 

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Dec 05, 2017
162 Dunmore's New World: The Revolution and the British Empire
47:45

What did British imperial officials in London and their North America-based representatives make of the American Revolution?

In this episode, we explore the American Revolution through the eyes of John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, a British imperial official who served the empire in North America before, during, and after the American Revolution.

James Corbett David, author of Dunmore’s New World: The Extraordinary Life of a Royal Governor in Revolutionary America, serves as our guide for this exploration.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/162

 

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Nov 28, 2017
161 Smuggling and the American Revolution
01:21:39

At the end of the French and Indian, or Seven Years’ War in 1763, Great Britain claimed that smuggling was a BIG problem in its North American colonies and cracked down on the practice.

But just how BIG of a problem was smuggling in North America? Why did British North Americans choose to engage in the illegal importation of goods like tea? Was it really all about cheaper prices?

Fabrício Prado, Christian Koot, and Wim Klooster join us to explore the history of smuggling in the eighteenth-century Atlantic World and to investigate the connections between smuggling and the American Revolution.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/048

 

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Nov 21, 2017
160 The Politics of Tea
01:30:57

How did early Americans go from hosting social tea parties to hosting protests like the Boston Tea Party?

Tea played a central role in the economic, cultural, and political lives of early Americans. As such, tea came to serve as a powerful symbol of both early American culture and of the American Revolution.

In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series, Jane Merritt, Jennifer Anderson, and David Shields take us on an exploration of the politics of tea during the era of the American Revolution.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/160

 

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Nov 14, 2017
159 The Revolutionary Economy
50:49

How much merit do the economic factors behind the cry “No Taxation Without Representation” have when we consider the origins of the American Revolution?

In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series we begin a 3-episode exploration of different aspects of the early American economy and what roles these economic aspects played in causing the American Revolution.

Serena Zabin, a Professor of History at Carleton College and author of Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in Imperial New York, helps us survey the economic scene by guiding us through the British North American economy on the eve of the American Revolution.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/159

 

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Nov 07, 2017
158 The Revolutionaries' Army
01:45:03

Between 1775 and 1783, an estimated 230,000 men served in the Continental Army with another approximately 145,000 men serving in state militia units.

Who were the men who served in these military ranks? What motivated them to take up arms and join the army? And what was their military experience like?

In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series, we explore the development of the Continental Army, partisan militia groups, and Native American scouting parties. Our guides for this exploration are Fred Anderson, Randy Flood, and Brooke Bauer.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/158

 

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Oct 31, 2017
157 Judith Van Buskirk, The Revolution's African American Soldiers (Doing History Rev)
53:33

Between 1775 and 1783, an estimated 230,000 men served in the Continental Army with another approximately 145,000 men serving in state militia units.

But who were the men who served in these military ranks? What motivated them to take up arms and join the army? And what was their military experience like?

In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series we begin a 2-episode exploration of some of the military aspects of the American Revolution by exploring the experiences of the approximately 6,000-7,000 African American men who served in the Continental Army. Our guide for this exploration is Judith Van Buskirk, a professor of history at the State University of New York, Cortland and the author of Standing in Their Own Light: African American Patriots in the American Revolution.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/157

 

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Oct 24, 2017
156 Power of the Press in the American Revolution (Doing History Rev)
01:21:52

How did Americans find out about the Revolution?

What effect did printed materials like newspapers, pamphlets, and books have on shaping the debate about independence? And just how big of a role did Thomas Paine’s Common Sense play in causing Americans to declare their independence from Great Britain?

In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution! series, we explore these question with four scholars of Revolutionary communication: Alyssa Zuercher Reichardt, Eric Slauter, Seth Cotlar, and Trish Loughran.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/156

 

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Oct 17, 2017
155 Pauline Maier's American Revolution (Doing History Rev)
01:24:48

How much can the work of one historian impact how we view and study the American Revolution?

We investigate the answer to this question by exploring the life and work of Pauline Maier, a historian who spent her life researching and investigating the American Revolution. Over the course of her lifetime, Maier wrote four important books about the American Revolution: From Resistance to Revolution, The Old Revolutionaries, American Scripture, and Ratification.

Mary Beth Norton, Joanne Freeman, Todd Estes, and Lindsay Chervinsky join us as we journey through Maier’s body of work to better understand the American Revolution and how one historian can impact how we view and study history.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/155

 

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Oct 10, 2017
154 The Freedoms We Lost (Doing History Rev)
01:09:25

Declaring independence from Great Britain required the formation of new governments.

But why did Americans want and need new governments? And how did their interactions and experiences with their old, colonial governments inform their decisions to create new governments?

Barbara Clark Smith, a curator in the division of political history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the author of The Freedoms We Lost: Consent and Resistance in Revolutionary America, leads us on an exploration of how Americans interacted with their government before the American Revolution and how the Revolution changed their interaction and ideas about government.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/154

 

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Oct 03, 2017
153 Committees and Congress: Governments of the American Revolution (Doing History Rev)
01:39:20
Sep 26, 2017
152 Origins of the American Revolution (Doing History Rev)
51:55

What caused the American Revolution?

Was it the issue of ‘No Taxation without Representation?’ Was it conflict and change in the social order of colonial and British society? Or, was the Revolution about differences in ideas about governance and the roles government should play in society?

In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series, we explore one set of ideas about the origins of the American Revolution with Bernard Bailyn, a Professor Emeritus at Harvard University and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/048

 

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Sep 19, 2017
151 Defining the American Revolution (Doing History Rev)
52:05

What do we mean by the American Revolution?

How do we define it? Was it a war? Was it a movement? Was it a series of movements?

The Doing History: To the Revolution! Series seeks to explore not just the history of the American Revolution, but the histories of the American Revolution. In this episode, we undertake the difficult task of trying to define the American Revolution by going behind-the-scenes of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/151

 

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Sep 12, 2017
150 Woody Holton, Abigail Adams: Revolutionary Speculator
01:01:21

Abigail Adams lived through and participated in the American Revolution. As the wife of John Adams, she used her position to famously remind Adams and his colleagues to "remember the ladies" when they created laws for the new, independent United States.

In this episode, Woody Holton, a Professor of History at the University of South Carolina and author of Abigail Adams: A Life, helps us explore a different, largely unknown aspect of Adams' life: Her financial investments.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/150

 

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Sep 05, 2017
149 George Goodwin, Benjamin Franklin in London
55:25

Over the course of his long life, Benjamin Franklin traveled to and lived in London on two different occasions. The first time he went as a teenager. The second, as a man and colonial agent. All told he spent nearly 18 years living in the heart of the British Empire.

How did Franklin’s experiences in London shape his opportunities and view of the world?

George Goodwin, author of Benjamin Franklin in London: The British Life of America’s Founding Father, leads us on an exploration of Franklin’s life in London.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/149

 

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Aug 29, 2017
148 Marla Miller, Betsy Ross
47:33
Aug 22, 2017
147 Don Hagist, British Soldiers, American War
46:30

What about the British Redcoats?

When we discuss the military history of the American War for Independence, we tend to focus on specific battles or details about the men who served in George Washington’s Continental Army. Rarely do we take the opportunity to ask questions about the approximately 50,000 men who served in the British Army that opposed them.

Don N. Hagist, independent scholar and author of British Soldiers, American War: Voices of the American Revolution, leads us on exploration of the “other” men who fought in the American War for Independence, the soldiers in the British Army.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/147

 

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Aug 15, 2017
146 Robert Middlekauff, George Washington's Revolution
51:32

What drove George Washington to become a Patriot during the American Revolution?

How did he overcome the ill-trained and inexperienced troops, inadequate pay, and supply problems that plagued the Continental Army to win the War for American Independence?

Robert Middlekauff, professor emeritus of colonial and early United States history at the University of California, Berkeley, reveals the answers to these questions as we explore details from his book Washington’s Revolution: The Making of America’s First Leader.

This episode originally posted as Episode 026.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/146

 

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Aug 08, 2017
145 Rosemarie Zagarri, Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution
01:00:40

Mercy Otis Warren wasn’t your typical early American woman. She was a woman with strong political viewpoints, which she wrote about and published for the world to see and consider.

Did anyone take her views seriously?

Did her writings sway public opinion in the direction of her political views?

In this episode, Rosemarie Zagarri, a professor of history at George Mason University and author of A Woman’s Dilemma: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution, helps us kick off a new, six-episode series about the people of the American Revolution by taking us through the life of Mercy Otis Warren.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/145

 

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Aug 01, 2017
144 Robert Parkinson, The Common Cause of the American Revolution
54:50

How do you get people living in thirteen different colonies to come together and fight for independence?

What ideas and experiences would even unite them behind the fight?

Patriot leaders asked themselves these very questions, especially as the American Revolution turned from a series of political protests against imperial policies to a bloody war for independence. What’s more, Patriot leaders also asked themselves once we find these ideas and experiences, how do we use them to unite the American people?

Robert Parkinson, an Assistant Professor of History at Binghamton University and author of the award-winning book, The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution, has some ideas for how patriot leaders answered these questions.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/144

 

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Jul 25, 2017
143 Michael Klarman, The Making of the United States Constitution
01:07:38

How did the framers draft the Constitution of 1787? What powers does the Constitution provide the federal government? Why do we elect the President of the United States by an electoral system rather than by popular vote?

These are some of the many questions you’ve asked since November 2016. And today we’re going to explore some answers.

Michael Klarman, the Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and author of The Founders’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution joins us to discuss the United States Constitution and how and why the framers drafted it.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/143

 

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Jul 18, 2017
142 Manisha Sinha, A History of Abolition
57:41

Most histories of American abolitionism begin just before the Civil War, during the Antebellum period. But the movement to end chattel slavery in America began long before the United States was a nation.

Manisha Sinha, a professor of history at the University of Connecticut and author of the award-winning book The Slaves Cause: A History of Abolition, takes us through the early American origins of the the abolition movement.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/142

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Jul 11, 2017
141 A Declaration in Draft (Doing History Rev)
01:17:17

The Declaration of Independence stands first in a series of documents that founded the United States. It also stands as an early step in the long process of establishing a free, independent, and self-governing nation. Since 1776, more than 100 nation-states and freedom organizations have used the Declaration of Independence as a model for their own declarations and proclamations of independence.

Given the Declaration of Independence’s important place in the hearts and minds of peoples around the world, we need to go behind its parchment and explore just how the Declaration of Independence came to be.

In this preview episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution! Series, we explore how the Second Continental Congress drafted the Declaration of Independence.

Show Notes:https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/141

 

About the Series

The mission of episodes in the Doing History: To the Revolution series is to ask not just “what is the history of the American Revolution?” but “what are the histories of the American Revolution?”

Episodes in this series will air beginning in September 2017.

The Doing History series explores early American history and how historians work. It's produced by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Be sure to check out Doing History season 1, Doing History: How Historians Work.

 

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Jul 04, 2017
140 Tamara Thornton, Nathaniel Bowditch: 19th-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea
53:24

Nathaniel Bowditch worked as a navigator, mathematician, astronomer, and business innovator. Over the course of his lifetime, his fellow Americans hailed him as the “American Sir Isaac Newton.”

Tamara Thornton, a professor of history at the University of Buffalo and author of Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed America, leads us on a detailed exploration of the life of Nathaniel Bowditch.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/140

 

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Jun 27, 2017
139 Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: Indian Enslavement in the Americas
47:49

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He also played a central role in the European adoption of Indian or Native American slavery.

When we think of slavery in early America, we often think of the practice of African and African-American chattel slavery. However, that system of slavery wasn’t the only system of slavery that existed in North America. Systems of Indian slavery existed too. In fact, Indians remained enslaved long after the 13th Amendment abolished African-American slavery in 1865.

In this episode, Andrés Reséndez, a professor of history at the University of California, Davis and author of The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in Americas, leads us on an investigation of this “other" form of American slavery.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/139

 

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Jun 20, 2017
138 Patrick Spero, Frontier Politics in Early America
47:51

Did you know that Connecticut and Virginia once invaded Pennsylvania?

During the 1760s, Connecticut invaded and captured the northeastern corner of Pennsylvania just as Virginia invaded and captured parts of western Pennsylvania. And Pennsylvania stood powerless to stop them.

In this episode, Patrick Spero, the Librarian of the American Philosophical Society and author of Frontier Country: The Politics of War in Early Pennsylvania, takes us through these invasions and reveals why Pennsylvania proved unable to defend its territory.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/048

 

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Jun 13, 2017
137 Erica Dunbar: The Washingtons' Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
51:52

George Washington was an accomplished man. He served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, first President of the United States, and on top of all that he was also a savvy businessman who ran a successful plantation.

George Washington was also a slaveholder. In 1789, he and his wife Martha took 7 slaves to New York City to serve them in their new role as First Family. A 16 year-old girl named Ona Judge was one of the enslaved women who accompanied and served the Washingtons.

Erica Dunbar, a Professor of Black American Studies and History at the University of Delaware and author of Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge, leads us through the early American life of Ona Judge. 


Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/137

 

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Jun 06, 2017
136 Jennifer Van Horn, Material Culture and the Making of America
54:14

What do the objects we purchase and use say about us?

If we take the time to think about the material objects and clothing in our lives, we’ll find that we can actually learn a lot about ourselves and other people. The same holds true when we take the time to study the objects and clothing left behind by people from the past.

Jennifer Van Horn, an Assistant Professor of History and Art History at the University of Delaware and author of The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America, leads us on an exploration of the 18th-century British material world and how objects from that world can help us think about and explore the lives of 18th-century British Americans.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/136

 

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May 30, 2017
135 Julie Holcomb, Moral Commerce: The Transatlantic Boycott of the Slave Labor Economy
41:38

If early Americans desired slaves mostly to produce sugarcane, cotton, rice, indigo, and tobacco, what would happen if Europeans and early Americans stopped purchasing those products?


Would boycotting slave-produced goods and starving slavery of its economic sustenance be enough to end the practice of slavery in North America?

Julie Holcomb, an Associate Professor of Museum Studies at Baylor University and author of Moral Commerce: The Transatlantic Boycott of the Slave Labor Economy, helps us explore answers to these questions by leading us through the transatlantic boycott of slave produced goods.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/135

 

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May 23, 2017
134 Spencer McBride, Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America
51:10

In Colonial America, clergymen stood as thought leaders in their local communities. They stood at the head of their congregations and many community members looked to them for knowledge and insight about the world around them.

So what happened to these trusted, educated men during the American Revolution? How did they choose their political allegiances? And what work did they undertake to aid or hinder the revolutionary cause?

Spencer McBride, an editor at the Joseph Smith Papers documentary editing project, joins us to explore some of the ways politics and religion intersected during the American Revolution with details from his book, Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/134

 

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May 16, 2017
133 Patrick Breen, The Nat Turner Revolt
59:01

The institution of African slavery in North America began in late August 1619 and persisted until the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in December 1865.

Over those 246 years, many slaves plotted and conspired to start rebellions, but most of the plotted rebellions never took place. Slaveholders and whites discovered them before they could begin. Therefore, North America witnessed only a handful of slave revolts between 1614 and 1865. Nat Turner’s Rebellion in August 1831 stands as the most deadly.

Patrick Breen, an Associate Professor of History at Providence College and author of The Land Shall Be Deluged in Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt joins us to investigate the ins and outs of this bloodiest of North American slave revolts.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/133

 

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May 09, 2017
132 Coll Thrush, Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of the Empire
37:00

When we explore the history of early America, we often look at people who lived and the events that took place in North America. But what about the people who lived and worked in European metropoles?

What about Native Americans?

Today, we explore early American history through a slightly different lens, a lens that allows us to see interactions that occurred between Native American peoples and English men and women who lived in London. Our guide for this exploration is Coll Thrush, an Associate Professor of History at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and author of Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of the Empire.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/132

 

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May 02, 2017
131 Frank Cogliano, Thomas Jefferson's Empire of Liberty
50:44

The United States has a complicated history when it comes to ideas of empire and imperialism. Since it’s earliest days, the United States has wanted the power that came with being an empire even while declaring its distaste for them.

Therefore, it should not be surprising that the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence, which severed the 13 American colonies’ ties to the most powerful empire in the mid-to-late 18th-century world, also had strong views about empire: Thomas Jefferson wanted the United States to become a great and vast “Empire of Liberty.”

Frank Cogliano, a Professor of American History at the University of Edinburgh and author of Emperor of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson’s Foreign Policy, joins us to explore how Thomas Jefferson came to be a supporter and promoter of empires.

 

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/131

 

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Apr 25, 2017
130 Paul Revere's Ride Through History (Doing History Rev)
01:31:41

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere rode to Lexington, Massachusetts to spread the alarm that the Regulars were marching. Revere made several important rides between 1774 and 1775, including one in September 1774 that brought the Suffolk Resolves to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

So why is it that we remember Paul Revere’s ride to Lexington and not any of his other rides?

Why is it that we remember Paul Revere on the night of April 18, 1775 and nothing about his life either before or after that famous ride?

Why is it that Paul Revere seems to ride quickly into history and then just as quickly out of it?

In this episode we speak with four scholars to explore Paul Revere’s ride through history.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/130

 

About the Series

The mission of episodes in the Doing History: To the Revolution series is to ask not just “what is the history of the American Revolution?” but “what are the histories of the American Revolution?”

Episodes in this series will air beginning in Fall 2017.

The Doing History series is part of a partnership between Ben Franklin’s World and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Be sure to check out Doing History season 1: Doing History: How Historians Work.

 

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Apr 18, 2017
129 John Bell, The Road to Concord, 1775
54:38

How did the colonists of Massachusetts go from public protests meant to shame government officials and destroy offending property, to armed conflict with British Regulars in Lexington and Concord?

John Bell, the prolific blogger behind Boston1775.net and the author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War, leads us on an investigation of what brought colonists and redcoats to the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/129

 

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Apr 11, 2017
128 Alan Taylor, American Revolutions: A Continental History
48:25

Historians often portray the American Revolution as an orderly, if violent, event that moved from British colonists’ high-minded ideas about freedom to American independence from Great Britain and the ratification of the Constitution of 1787.

But was the American Revolution an orderly event that took place only between Great Britain and her North American colonists? Was it really about high-minded ideas?

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Alan Taylor joins us to explore the American Revolution as a Continental event with details from his book, American Revolutions: A Continental History. 1750-1804.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/128

 

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Apr 04, 2017
127 Caroline Winterer, American Enlightenments
56:27

In many ways, the Enlightenment gave birth to the United States. Enlightened ideas informed protests over imperial governance and taxation and over whether there should be an American bishop.

If we want to understand early America, we need to understand the Enlightenment.

Caroline Winterer, a Professor of History at Stanford University and author of American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason, takes us through her ideas about the Enlightenment and how it influenced early America.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/127

 

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Mar 28, 2017
126 Rebecca Brannon, The Reintegration of American Loyalists
47:02

What happened to the loyalists who stayed in the United States after the War for Independence?

After the war, 60,000 loyalists and 15,000 slaves evacuated the United States. But thousands more opted to remain in the new nation.

Rebecca Brannon, an Associate Professor of History at James Madison University and author of From Revolution to Reunion: The Reintegration of South Carolina Loyalists, joins us to explore what happened to the loyalists who stayed.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/126

 

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Mar 21, 2017
125 Terri Snyder, Death, Suicide, and Slavery in British North America
38:08

Early America was a diverse place. It contained many different people who had many different traditions that informed how they lived…and died.

How did early Americans understand death? What did they think about suicide?

Terri Snyder, a Professor of American Studies at California State University, Fullerton and author of The Power to Die: Slavery and Suicide in British North America, helps us answer these questions, and more, as she takes us on an exploration of slavery and suicide in British North America.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/125

 

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Mar 14, 2017
124 James Alexander Dun, Making the Haitian Revolution in Early America
54:02

What did the American Revolution mean and achieve? What sort of liberty and freedom did independence grant Americans and which Americans should receive them?

Americans grappled with these questions soon after the American Revolution. They debated these issues during the Constitutional Convention of 1787, in the first congresses, and as they followed events in revolutionary France and Haiti during the 1790s and early 1800s.

James Alexander Dun, an Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University and author of Dangerous Neighbors: Making the Haitian Revolution in Early America, joins us to explore the ways the Haitian Revolution shaped how Americans viewed their own revolution.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/124

 

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Mar 07, 2017
123: Revolutionary Allegiances (Doing History Rev)
01:34:07

In December 1773, the Cape Cod Tea Crisis revealed that the people of “radical” Massachusetts were far from united in their support for the American Revolution. An observation that leads us to wonder: How many Americans supported the Patriot cause?

In this episode we speak with four scholars to explore the complexities of political allegiance during the American Revolution.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/123

 

About the Series

The mission of episodes in the Doing History: To the Revolution series is to ask not just “what is the history of the American Revolution?” but “what are the histories of the American Revolution?”

Episodes in this series will air beginning in Fall 2017.

The Doing History series is part of a partnership between Ben Franklin’s World and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Be sure to check out Doing History season 1: Doing History: How Historians Work.

 

Bonus Content

 

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Feb 28, 2017
122 Andrew O'Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America
47:20

Did the Americans win the War for Independence? Or did the British simply lose the war?

The history of the American War for Independence is complicated. And history books tell many different versions of the event, which is why we need an expert to guide us through the intricacies of whether we should look at the war as an American victory, a British defeat, or in some other light.

Andrew O’Shaughnessy, author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire, joins us to explore British viewpoints of the American War for Independence.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/122

 

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Feb 21, 2017
121 Wim Klooster, The Dutch Moment in the 17th-Century Atlantic World
39:38

The Spanish, French, and English played large roles in the origins of colonial America. But so too did the Dutch. During the 17th century, they had a “moment" in which they influenced European colonization and development of the Atlantic World.

Wim Klooster, a Professor of History at Clark University and author of The Dutch Moment: War, Trade, and Settlement in the Seventeenth Century Atlantic World, guides us through Dutch contributions to the Atlantic World.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/121

 

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