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Versus History Podcast

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Versus History provide rigorous, stimulating & accessible 'versus' style debate on all aspects of History. Teachers Elliott. L. Watson (@thelibrarian6) and Patrick O'Shaughnessy (@historychappy) thank you for your ears! Both are experienced History Teachers dedicated to showcasing the architecture of historical argumentation, whilst drawing on the most recent and stimulating historiography and academia. Please visit or tweet us at @versushistory.

Versus History provide rigorous, stimulating & accessible 'versus' style debate on all aspects of History. Teachers Elliott. L. Watson (@thelibrarian6) and Patrick O'Shaughnessy (@historychappy) thank you for your ears! Both are experienced History Teachers dedicated to showcasing the architecture of historical argumentation, whilst drawing on the most recent and stimulating historiography and academia. Please visit or tweet us at @versushistory.
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Versus History provide rigorous, stimulating & accessible 'versus' style debate on all aspects of History. Teachers Elliott. L. Watson (@thelibrarian6) and Patrick O'Shaughnessy (@historychappy) thank you for your ears! Both are experienced History Teachers dedicated to showcasing the architecture of historical argumentation, whilst drawing on the most recent and stimulating historiography and academia. Please visit or tweet us at @versushistory.




Versus History #69 - Professor Kehinde Andrews

Kehinde Andrews (@kehinde_andrews) is the Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University. In addition, he is the founder of the Organisation of Black Unity (@OBU_BlackUnity) and co-chair of the Black Studies Association. As well as appearing frequently on national television and radio, his most recent book 'Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for 21st Century' is out now. Professor Kehinde Andrews discussed a wide range of issues with the @versushistory team. During our...


Versus History #68 - Dissolution of the Monasteries

Monasteries would have been a key feature of the English landscape until the late 1530s. They were situated across the length and breadth of England, performing religious as well as social and cultural functions. However, by 1534, King Henry VIII had declared himself Head of the English Church via the Act of Supremacy. In 1536, the Dissolution of the smaller Catholic monasteries begun. By 1541, all of England’s monasteries had been dissolved. This has been described by some as an act of...


Versus History #67 - Carrie Gibson & El Norte

Dr Carrie Gibson has recently released her new book in hardback in February 2019. These are the words of the New York Times book review: "'El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America' is the book that Americans, Anglo and Hispanic, should read as an education on their own American place or role ... Gibson takes on the task of accounting for the relevant and telling cases of our modern process of national formation and regional negotiations. This is a serious book of...


Versus History #66 - Mao's 'Great Leap Forward' in China

The 'Great Leap Forward' was an initiative of Chairman Mao in China, which took place between 1958 to 1962. In short, Mao and the Chinese Communist Party aimed to rapidly transform China from an agricultural and agrarian economy into an industrial powerhouse, fit to compete with the Western world. This was to be done through a process of rapid industrialisation and the collectivisation of agriculture, with a special emphasis on steel production. In this episode, Conal (@prohistoricman) and...


Versus History #65 - Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher a.k.a the ‘Iron Lady’ was the Conservative Party Prime Minister of Britain between 1979 and 1990. She was the first woman to lead a major political party in the western world and the first female Prime Minister of Britain. Moreover, she is one of the few British politicians to have an ‘ism’ named after her: ‘Thatcherism’. During her tenure, she ushered in a period of privatisation, rolling back the frontiers of the state, a reduction in the role of trade unions, Britain won...


Versus History #64 - History of Nottingham

The City of Nottingham is situated in the East Midlands of England. Approximately an hour and twenty minutes north of London by train, the City has much to offer and a rich and vibrant history. With two professional football teams and a cricket team within a short walk of the railway station, it has much to offer on the sporting front. However, what about Robin Hood? Sherwood Forest? The Castle? Rock City Nightclub? The Lace Market? The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent...


Versus History #63 - Weimar Republic 1918-1923

The period 1918 to 1923 was highly turbulent for the Weimar Republic. Following the armistice at the end of World War One, Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. With the Kaiser in exile, Germany experienced democracy for the first time. The new Weimar Government had a reparations bill of 6.6 billion GBP, carried the blame for having signed both the armistice and the Treaty of Versailles, suffered extreme hyperinflation, in addition to numerous rebellions from the...


Versus History #62 - Warfare. Longbows, Rifles & Nuclear Bombs

Warfare has been a feature of society for thousands of years. Human beings have been surprisingly adept at inventing new weapons and strategies to help gain an advantage in war throughout the course of history. Since WW1, the landscape of the battlefield has changed dramatically. Tanks, aeroplanes, missiles and drones are just some of the new inventions that have changed warfare in the recent past. However, significant inventions in warfare weaponry predate this conflict. In this episode,...


Versus History #61 - Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I - daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn - reigned from 1558 to 1603 as Queen of England. Elizabeth was not the first woman to rule as Queen in her own right, but she is perhaps one of the most historically significant English sovereigns of all time. Elizabeth never married, preferring instead to rule alone under the moniker ‘The Virgin Queen’, but she was linked to many potential suitors, both domestic and foreign. Elizabeth - a Protestant - reversed the Catholic religious...


Versus History #60 - King Richard III

King Richard III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1483 until his defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, to the forces of Henry Tudor (who became King Henry VII until his death in 1509). Richard III was the last king of the House of York and also the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, was the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, which ended the Middle Ages and started the Tudor dynasty, which would reign until 1603....


Versus History #59 - End of Year 2018 Summary

The Versus History Editors and Guests discuss the key achievements of 2018 and their favourite episodes and blog posts. A few jokes are thrown in along the way, along with the vision for 2019. Happy Holidays and all the best for 2019! Please visit for terms of use.


Versus History #58 - Gallipoli Campaign 1915-1916

The Gallipoli Campaign of 1915-1916 during World War One resulted in a defeat for Britain, France and the British Empire against the Ottoman Empire. The Allies sought to capture control of the Dardanelles, to weaken the Ottomans and ultimately open a supply route to Russia. The Allies launched a large naval attack, followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula, which was ultimately rebuffed by the Ottomans at the cost of many casualties and a severe blow to Sir Winston Churchill’s...


Versus History #57 - Blowing Up The Nazis

This special episode celebrates the launch of Co-Editor Elliott's (@thelibrarian6) new book, entitled 'Blowing Up The Nazis'. The book contains a treasure trove of historical information on the Nazis. Think you know everything there is to know about the Nazis? Think again. Do you know what a Beefsteak Nazi is? Were you aware that the Holocaust can be traced back to the murder of one German baby? Did you know that the Nazis were able to control Hollywood during the 1930's? Our ever-expanding...


Versus History #56 - Mary Rose

The Mary Rose is probably the best-known ship of the Tudor navy of King Henry VIII. She served for 33 years, performing a wide variety of roles, before sinking in battle in the English Solent in 1545. The Mary Rose was rediscovered in 1971 and was raised in 1982. She is currently on display in Portsmouth. As well as being a relic of the Tudor period, she has also provided an invaluable insight into the life of the sailors on board. In this episode, Conal (@prohistoricman) answers a wide...


Versus History #55 - Gossip Girl, New York and History

The TV series Gossip Girl is one of the most popular offerings on the Netflix platform. Set in Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side, Gossip Girl features characters such as the young, wealthy socialite Serena van der Woodsen and her similarly wealthy friend, Blair Waldorf. While many people will be familiar with the various trials and tribulations of the main protagonists in the show, perhaps fewer will be aware of the ways in which the rich and varied history of America and New York has...


Versus History #54 - Gaelic Games & the Gaelic Athletic Association

The history of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) dates back to 1884, as the organisation that codified the various Gaelic Games, including Gaelic Football and Hurling. However, the origins and roots of the various games go back much, much further and could not be more historically significant to the history of Ireland and its people. Today, Gaelic Football is widely popular in Ireland and is played around the world; wherever one finds Ireland’s ‘Wild Geese’, one can find Gaelic Football....


Versus History #53 - American Revolutionary War

British control of the Thirteen Colonies of North America formally ended in 1783. Evacuation Day on 25 November 1783 marked the departure of British forces from New York, following the Declaration of Independence in 1776. However, the American Revolutionary War started in 1775, with the ‘shot that rang around the world’ on Lexington Green, when a contingent of British Redcoats exchanged fire with the colonial militia outisde of Boston. The hostilities quickly escalted and all out war...


Versus History #52 - UK Garage History

The UK Garage scene is well known for its most famous stars. Craig David, So Solid Crew, Artful Dodger, DJ Spoony, Misteeq, DJ EZ, MJ Cole, DJ Luck and MC Neat can all be counted amongst those who became household names during the apex of UK Garage's popularity between 1998-2002. With its origins as a 'Sunday Scene' and as the soundtrack of pirate radio in the mid-late 1990s, UK Garage came a long way in a very short space of time. Indeed, it faded away from the musical limelight in the...


Versus History #51 - Henry VIII's break from Rome.

Henry VIII reigned from 1509 to 1547. He is well known for having six wives, breaking with the Roman Catholic Church in Rome and for dissolving the Catholic monasteries. Indeed, the passage of the 1534 Act of Supremacy meant that the incumbent English monarch - rather than the Pope in Rome - was now the Head of the English Church. However, what combination of factors ultimately resulted in Henry VIII's split from the Catholic Church? After all, Henry had been born, raised and largely...


Versus History #50 - Superman

Superhero characters are a key feature of many cinematic and cartoon productions. Perhaps none are more instantaneously recognisable than Superman, also known as Clark Kent and Kal-El. Originating from the planet Krypton, he first appeared in a comic back in 1938. Just as interestingly, Superman has a long and varied history, both as a character construct and in the ways that he has been depicted and portrayed over through time. In this episode, Elliott (@thelibrarian6) answers a broad array...