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History Unplugged Podcast | American History, World History, World War 2, US Presidents, Civil War

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History of the Civil War in 10 Battles, Part 2: First Battle of Bull Run

Abraham Lincoln believed that the Civil War would be over in a few months, with the Union Army marching on Richmond by late 1861. Both sides hastily assembled armies and Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell led his unseasoned Union Army across Bull Run against the equally inexperienced Confederate Army of Brig. Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard. The Confederates won a surprise victory, particularly due to the efforts of Stonewall Jackson, and routed the Union. Both sides dug in their heels for a long war ahead.


History of the Civil War in 10 Battles, Part 1: Background to the Civil War

The origins of the Civil War go back decades, even before the United States became an independent nation The federal union had always been precarious, ever since the framing of the Constitution, with the institution of slavery led to two distinct cultures and societies. In this inagurual episode of the History of Civil War in 10 Battles, Scott and James discuss the main social and political issues that sparked the Civil War


Special Announcement: A History of the Civil War in 10 Battles Begins Next Week

The Civil War pitted brother against brother and divided a nation. It also featured the most epic—and deadliest—battles in American history. From Shiloh to Vicksburg to Gettsburg, these battles resulted in higher casualty rates than any other armed conflict the United States has ever faced. But beyond that the Civil War did more to define and change the United States than any other event. It determine what kind of nation the United State would be. Next week we will begin a massive multi-part...


How a 1522 Battled Transformed Russia from a Minor Duchy into Earth's Largest Empire

The Russian Siege of Kazan in 1552 and the conquest of Kazan and Astrakhan by Muscovy can be seen as the birth of a Russian Empire. It had profound consequences for the steppe region and beyond, allowing Russian expansion eastwards, eventually as far as the Pacific. Today's guest is Carl Rylett, host of A History of Europe—Key Battles Podcast. He has put together a battle history podcast that shows how so much of the history of Europe was shaped by military forces.


The Most Famous Founding Father You’ve Never Heard of Was Hamilton's Arch-Nemesis and a Deficit Hawk

Alexander Hamilton had a nemesis… and it was not Aaron Burr. After Hamilton enacted a wide-scale spending program to build up America's military and infrastructure, and thus send it into debt, newly-elected President Thomas Jefferson chose a Secretary of the Treasury to dismantle his system—Albert Gallatin. Considered a “foreigner, a tax rebel, and a dangerously clever man,” the Geneva-born Gallatin was despised by Hamilton and the Federalists. During their political careers, these two...


Lost Civilizations, Part 3: European Visitors to the New World Before Columbus

Learn about cultures that came to America long before Columbus, suggesting that trans-oceanic voyages could be accomplished well back into the Bronze Age.


Lost Civilizations, Part 2: The Egyptian Pyramid Builders, the Nabateans, and the Aksumites.

Welcome to part two on our series on the greatest lost civilizations in history. Today we are looking at three groups: The Egytian Pyramid Builders, the Nabateans, and the Aksumites. These three groups are particularly beloved by believers in extra-terrestrials and religious myths. They ask questions like these: Did the builders of the pyramids handy craftsmen, whose method of transporting massive stones are still unexplainable, simply disappear or were they part of an advanced alien race?...


Lost Civilizations: Ancient Societies that Vanished Without a Trace, Part 1

A stock trope of literature is the king who believes that his kingdom will last forever, only to see it collapse under his own hubris (Exhibit A is Percy Bysshe Shelly's Ozymandias). But the trope is based on historical fact. Many great civilizations vanished without a trace, and why their disappearance still haunts us today. This episode is the first in a three-part series that will look atf the greatest lost civilizations in history. Some were millenia ahead their neighbors, such as the...


The Most Powerful Women in the Middle Ages, Part 3: Elizabeth of Tudor and Ottoman Queen Mother Kösem Sultan

This is the third in our three-part series on the most powerful women in the Middle Ages. To wrap things up we will explore the lives of two female rulers — one very famous, the other almost unknown. They are Elizabeth I of Tudor and Ottoman Queen Mother Kösem Sultan. Elizabeth I(1533-1603) is, with little debate, the greatest monarch in England's history. She is a key figure in the island's transition from the medieval to the early modern era. In her 45-year reign Good Queen Bess...


Teaser: Intro to Audie Murphy Series

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The Most Powerful Women in the Middle Ages, Part 2: Catherine of Sienna and Isabella of Castile

Female rulers dominated the Middle Ages. But it wasn't just the queens or empresses who wielded enormous power. This episode is the second of a three-part series at the lives of the most powerful women in the Middle Ages, and we will first look at the life of Catherine of Siena, the Catholic Mystic who almost single-handedly restored the papacy to Rome in the 1300s and navigated the brutal and male-dominated world of Italian politics. Then we will explore the life of Catherine was the 23th...


The Most Powerful Women in the Middle Ages, Part 1: Queens, Empresses, and Viking Slayers

The idea of a powerful woman in the Middle Ages seems like an oxymoron. Females in this time are imagined to be damsels in distress, trapped in a high tower, and waiting for knights to rescue them, all while wearing traffic-cones for a hat. After rescue, their lives improved little. Their career choices were to be either a docile queen, housewife, or be burned at the stake for witchcraft. But what if this image of medieval women is a complete fiction? It turns out that it is. Powerful female...


How the Vicksburg Siege May Have Turned the Tide of the Civil War—Samuel Mitcham

“Traitor!” “Failure!” “Bungling fool!” Southern newspapers hurled these sentiments at Confederate General John C. Pemberton after he surrendered the fortress of Vicksburg—the key to controlling the Mississippi River during the Civil War. But were they justified in their accusations? Today I'm talking with Dr. Samuel Mitcham, author of Vicksburg: The Bloody Siege that Turned the Tide of the Civil War. He argues that these newspapers—and history itself—have wrongly marred Pemberton’s legacy....


The Story of Malaria, The Killer of Half of Humanity

Long before Thanos snapped his fingers in Avengers: Infinity War, another villain successfully killed half of humanity. Malaria is a simple parasite, transmitted by a mosquito bite. But this deadly disease, which has been around as long as homo sapiens, has killed more than all wars and natural disasters combined. It has wiped out cities, destroyed empires, ruined colonies, and may be responsible for 50 billion deaths, among them Alexander the Great and Marcus Aurelius (allegedly). Malaria's...


An Archeologist Talks About the Discovery of a Civil War Surgeon's Burial Pit at Manassas Field

In August 1862, two Union soldiers were gravely wounded at the Battle of Second Manassas. They were brought to a field hospital, though both died as a result of their injuries. Their bodies were laid to rest in a shallow burial pit, intermixed with amputated limbs from other soldiers wounded in the battle. Then they were lost to history. But in 2014, the National Park Service (NPS) first encountered the remains during a utility project. With help from the Smithsonian Institution, the NPS was...


Why U.S. Political Elections Have Always Been Chaotic—David Severa from the Early and Often Podcast

You've heard it before: American politics have never been nastier or more divisive than they are today. Just witness the recent words of one recent front-runner candidate, who told told the media his opponent was a hermaphrodite, because he was too weak to be a man but too ugly to be a woman. The front-runner's hatchet men counter-attacked. They called his opponent a nasty low-life who was the vile offspring of a mulatto and an Indian. He was a bloodthirsty war-monger who wanted to trigger a...


The History of Slavery, Part 4: African Slavery in the New World, 1500-1865

Slavery predates European entry into the Atlantic world in the Age of Exploration, but the system that developed during the 16th and 17th centuries was an arguably more inhumane and racially tinged institution than anything that had previously existed before. The first English colonists in the Americas believed they could become wealthy through mutual trade with Native Americans. This system failed and was replaced by chattel enslavement of Africans to work on cash-crop plantations. American...


The History of Slavery, Part 3: Christian Slaves and Muslim Masters—Barbary Pirates in the Mediterranean, 1500-1800

As the trans-Atlantic slave trade from sub-Saharan Africa to the Americas flourished in the 1500s, there was another slave trade that operate on an even larger scale. It was the capture of Europeans by north-African Muslims. Barbary Pirates enslaved an estimated 1 million Europeans in the period from 1500 to 1800. Enslavement was a real possibility for anyone who traveled in the Mediterranean or who lived along the shores in places like Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, and even as far...


The History of Slavery, Part 2: The Medieval Slave Trade to Arabia

The image of the slave trade is a white slaver capturing African tribesmen, packing them like corkwood into a ship, selling them in the Antebellum South, and having a plantation owner work them to death. All of this took place on a scale of millions in the African slave trade to the New World. But such massive levels of slavery did not begin with European discovery of the New World. In the Middle Ages, Vikings went on numerous slave raids of England and Eastern Europe, selling those capture...