On 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
How 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
Thomas 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
When 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
Like 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
History 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
After 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).
On 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
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 of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, 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 (UNCPress, 2016). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/111
History tells us who we are and how we came to be who we are.
Like history, genealogy studies people. It’s a field of study that can tell us who we are in a more exact sense by showing us how our ancestral lines connect from one generation to the next.
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we investigate the world of genealogical research with Joshua Taylor, President of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and a professional genealogist. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/110