Author Archives: Liz Covart

Liz Covart

About Liz Covart

Liz Covart is an independent scholar living in Boston. She holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Davis. Liz is writing her first book (tentatively titled) “America’s First Gateway: Albany, New York, 1614-1830.” For more information about Liz and her podcast visit elizabethcovart.com.

The Dutch Moment in the Atlantic World


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ben_franklins_worldThe 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.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, 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 (Cornell University Press, 2016), guides us through Dutch contributions to the Atlantic World.  You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/121

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A History of Mail Order Brides in Early America


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ben_franklins_worldHow do you build colonies without women?

Most of the colonial adventurers from England and France who set out for Jamestown, New France, and colonial Louisiana were men. But how do you build and sustain societies and spread European culture—in essence, fulfill the promises of a colonial program—without women?

You can’t. Which is why Marcia Zug, a Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina Law School and author of Buying a Bride: An Engaging History of Mail Order Matches (NYUPress, 2016),  joins us in this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast to explore one of the solutions that England and France used to build their North American colonies: mail order bride programs. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/120

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The Heart of the Declaration of Independence


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ben_franklins_worldOn June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia moved that the Second Continental Congress resolve “that these United Colonies are, and of right out to be, free and independent States…”

The Second Continental Congress adopted Lee’s motion and on June 11, 1776, it appointed a committee to draft a declaration of independence.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Steve Pincus, the Bradford Durfee Professor of History at Yale University and author of The Heart of the Declaration: The Founders’ Case for an Activist Government (Yale University Press, 2016), leads us on an investigation of the Declaration of Independence and the context in which the founders drafted it. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/119

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The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island


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ben_franklins_worldHow did the smallest colony and smallest state in the union became the largest American participant in the slave trade?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Christy Clark-Pujara, an Assistant Professor in the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island (NYUPress, 2016), joins us to explore the history of Rhode Island and New England’s involvement with slavery.

You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/118

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The Life and Ideas of Thomas Jefferson


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ben_franklins_worldThomas Jefferson wrote about liberty and freedom and yet owned over six hundred slaves during his lifetime.

He’s a founder who many of us have a hard time understanding. This is why we need an expert to lead us through his life, so we can better understand who Jefferson was and how he came to his seemingly paradoxical ideas about slavery and freedom.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor of history and legal history at Harvard University and the winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for her work on Thomas Jefferson and the Hemings Family, leads us on an exploration through the life and ideas of Thomas Jefferson. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/117

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Disease & The Seven Years’ War


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ben_franklins_worldWhen we think of the French and Indian, or Seven Years’ War, we often think of battles: The Monongahela, Ticonderoga, Québec. Yet, wars aren’t just about battles. They’re about people and governments too.

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, we explore a very different aspect of the French and Indian or Seven Years’ War. We explore the war through the lens of disease and medicine and how disease prompted the British government to take steps to keep its soldiers healthy.

Our guide for this investigation is Erica Charters, an Associate Professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Oxford and author of Disease, War, and the Imperial State: The Welfare of British Armed Forces during the Seven Years’ War (University of Chicago Press, 2014). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/116

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The Early American History of Texas


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ben_franklins_worldLike many states in the south and west, Texas has an interesting early American past that begins with Native American settlement followed by Spanish colonization.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore Texas’ intriguing early American history with Andrew Torget, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Texas and author of Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850 (UNCPress, 2015). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/115

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The History of Genealogy


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ben_franklins_worldHistory has a history and genealogy has a history. And the histories of both affect how and why we study the past and how we understand and view it.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore why it’s important for us to understand that the practices and processes of history and genealogy have histories by exploring what the history of genealogy reveals about the early American past.

Our guide for this exploration is Karin Wulf, a Professor of History at the College of William & Mary and the Director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. You can listen to the podcast here: benfranklinsworld.com/114

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Building the Empire State


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ben_franklins_worldAfter seven, long years of occupation, Americans found New York City in shambles after the British evacuation on November 25, 1783.

Ten to twenty-five percent of the city had burned in 1776. The British used just about every building that remained to billet officers, soldiers, refugees, and their horses. Plus more refugees and animals crammed into vacant lots, streets, and alleyways.

New York City stood in need of a lot of repair. Which raises the question: How did New Yorkers rebuild New York City? Where did they get the money to rebuild, improve, and encourage the economic development that would transform the city into the thriving metropolis and economic hub that it would be come?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Brian Murphy, an Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark, takes us through part of this amazing story with details from his book Building the Empire State: Political Economy in the Early Republic (Penn Press, 2015).

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Ben Franklin’s World: The Tea Crisis of 1773


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ben_franklins_worldOn December 16, 1773, the colonists of Boston threw 342 chests of English East India Company tea into Boston Harbor, an act we remember as the “Boston Tea Party.”

Have you ever wondered what drove the Bostonians to destroy the tea? Or whether they considered any other less destructive options for their protest?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Mary Beth Norton, the Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, takes us through the Tea Crisis of 1773. You can listen here: benfranklinsworld.com/112

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