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?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, 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 (University of Virginia, 2017). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/134
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.
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, 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 (Oxford University Press, 2016), joins us to investigate the ins and outs of this bloodiest of North American slave revolts. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/133
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?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, 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 (Yale University Press, 2016). You can listen to the episode here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/132
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.”
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Frank Cogliano, a Professor of American History at the University of Edinburgh and author of Emperor of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson’s Foreign Policy (Yale University Press, 2014), joins us to explore how Thomas Jefferson came to be a supporter and promoter of empires.. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/131
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 seems to ride quickly into history and then just as quickly out of it?
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we speak with four scholars to explore Paul Revere’s ride through history. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/130
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?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, John Bell, the prolific blogger behind Boston1775.net and the author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War, (Westholme Publishing, 2016), leads us on an investigation of what brought colonists and redcoats to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/129
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 on Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History to explore the American Revolution as a Continental event with details from his book, American Revolutions: A Continental History. 1750-1804 (W.W. Norton & Company, 2016). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/128
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.
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Caroline Winterer, a Professor of History at Stanford University and author of American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason (Yale University Press, 2016), takes us through her ideas about the Enlightenment and how it influenced early America. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/127
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.
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Rebecca Brannon, an Associate Professor of History at James Madison University and author of From Revolution to Reunion: The Reintegration of South Carolina Loyalists (University of South Carolina Press, 2016), joins us to explore what happened to the loyalists who stayed. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/126
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?
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, 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 (University of Chicago Press, 2015), helps us answer these questions and more as she takes us on an exploration of slavery and suicide in British North America. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/125