Author Archives: Liz Covart

Liz Covart

About Liz Covart

Liz Covart is the Digital Projects Editor at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture at the College of William and Mary. She holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Davis. For more information about Liz and her podcast visit lizcovart.com.

British Soldiers, American War


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ben_franklins_worldWhat 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.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Don N. Hagist, independent scholar and author of British Soldiers, American War: Voices of the American Revolution (Westholme Publishing, 2012), leads us on exploration of the “other” men who fought in the American War for Independence, the soldiers in the British Army. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/147

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George Washington’s Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldWhat 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?

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, we revisit our conversation with Robert Middlekauff, professor emeritus of colonial and early United States history at the University of California, Berkeley, as we explore details from his book Washington’s Revolution: The Making of America’s First Leader (Vintage, 2015).You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/146.

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Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldMercy 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 of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Rosemarie Zagarri, author of A Woman’s Dilemma: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution (Wiley-Blackwell 2015), 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. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/145

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The Common Cause of the American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldHow 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?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, 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 (UNCPress, 2016), has some ideas for how patriot leaders answered these questions. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/144

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The Making of the United States Constitution


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ben_franklins_worldHow 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 listeners have asked since November 2016. And in this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, we’re going to explore some answers with Michael Klarman, author of The Founders’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2016). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/143

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A History of Abolition


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ben_franklins_worldMost 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.

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, 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 (Yale University Press, 2016), takes us through the early American origins of the the abolition movement. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/142

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Nathaniel Bowditch: 19th-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea


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ben_franklins_worldNathaniel 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.”

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, 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 (UNCPress, 2016), leads us on a detailed exploration of the life of Nathaniel Bowditch. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/140

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American Independence: A Declaration in Draft


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ben_franklins_worldThe 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 episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, we explore how the Second Continental Congress drafted the Declaration of Independence. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/141

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Uncovered Story: Indian Enslavement in America


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ben_franklins_worldIn 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 of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, 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 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), leads us on an investigation of this “other” form of American slavery. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/139.

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Frontier Politics in Early America


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ben_franklins_worldDid 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 of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Patrick Spero, the Librarian of the American Philosophical Society and author of Frontier Country: The Politics of War in Early Pennsylvania (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017), takes us through these invasions and reveals why Pennsylvania proved unable to defend its territory. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/138

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