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 the 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. [Read more…] about Celebrating the Fourth: Some History
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.
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Kimberly Alexander, museum specialist, lecturer at the University of New Hampshire, and author of Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018), joins us to help us better understand shoes and what they can tell us about the everyday lives of early Americans. [Read more…] about Shoe Stories from Early America
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 actions?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, 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 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), joins us to investigate the roles printers and their networks played in developing and spreading ideas of the American Revolution. [Read more…] about Revolutionary Print Networks: Printing the News, 1763-1789
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, 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. [Read more…] about An Early History of Delaware
In 1492, Christopher Columbus’ voyage across the Atlantic linked Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean. As Columbus’ sponsor, Spain became the first European Power to use the peoples, resources, and lands of the Americas and the 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? [Read more…] about Pearls and the Nature of the Spanish Empire
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, 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. [Read more…] about Biography And A Biographer’s Work
You sent these questions for Episode 200: Everyday Life in Early America. You also said you wanted to know more about transportation in early America. [Read more…] about Post and Travel in Early America
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.
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Stephen Brumwell, an award-winning historian and the author of Turncoat: Benedict Arnold and the Crisis of American Liberty (Yale University Press, 2018), joins us to explore the life and deeds of Benedict Arnold and Arnold’s stunning metamorphosis from hero to traitor. [Read more…] about Benedict Arnold and the Crisis of American Liberty
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?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, 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. [Read more…] about Motherhood in Early America
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. [Read more…] about Mixed-Race Britons & the Atlantic Family