The First Amendment

Title page, John Locke’s Treatises of Government from 1690 edition

This week Hilary and Geoff start a new series of episodes devoted to the Bill of Rights. We’re starting at the beginning and doing a deep dive into the First Amendment. Along the way we’ll discuss Prince John and the Magna Carta, the English Civil War, John Locke, the Glorious Revolution, and even the Virginia Declaration of Rights issued a month before the Declaration of Independence!

An Nation of Inebriates

Sign of the Hancock Tavern, Boston

Join us this week as we discuss how prevalent alcohol consumption was in the British Colonial period and the Early Republic. Hint: it was a lot! Rum, beer, whiskey, Madeira wine, each served important economic, social, and political roles in the early US history. How did early Americans function when alcohol was so widely available? Were there early critics of alcohol? How did early drinking patterns influence social reform movements? Find out on this week’s episode.

1919 is finally up!

Twenty one people were killed on Commercial Street in the North End when a tank of molasses ruptured and exploded. Boston Public Library via Wikimedia Commons.

So after some technical issues our latest episode is up! It may be the most important year in American history! Labor unrest, mail bombs, Anarchist plots, industrial accidents, mass deportations, rising racial tensions, and a government spying on its own citizens. The headlines from 1919 bear a striking resemblance to the present.  Prohibition began, women’s suffrage came one step closer to being a reality, and the nation was wracked with some of the worst racial violence since the Civil War. Join Hilary and Geoff for a discussion of the year that marked the end of the Progressive Era.

New Episode delayed! The Illuminati has gotten to us!

The eye is always watching!

Haha…We had a sleight technical glitch and we found one-half of our newest episode was basically trashed, audio-wise. We’re rerecording as soon as two-day shipping can save us. Watch for the 1919 episode to drop Monday evening or Tuesday morning. We’ll still be releasing our Alcohol in American History episode this coming Friday. Thanks for your patience.

1919, the most important year in US history! New episode dropping tomorrow.

NY Tribune – June 4, 1919

Bombs, race riots, massive strikes were all prominent in 1919, but so was the ratification of one amendment, prohibition, and the conveyance of another, women’s suffrage to the states for ratification. This was a pivotal year for the nation; one marking the end of one era and the beginning of another. It serves as a litmus test for what a truly fractured society looks like. Join us for a deep dive into the year 1919!

Episode 05 – Conspiracies!

4″x3″ slide depicting John Wilkes Booth leaning forward to shoot President Abraham Lincoln as he watches Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. 14 April 1865.

Join us as we discuss conspiracy theories throughout American history. Have we always been obsessed with alternative explanations of events? Was historian Richard Hofstadter correct when he pointed to an American form of governing characterized by paranoia? Hilary and Geoff move from the Early Republic to the Civil War to the Cold War and even the War on Terror as they discuss conspiracy theories and how historians address them.