4) States' Rights: Then and Now
The concept of states' rights and the idea of state nullification of Federal laws is as old as the American Republic itself. In this episode we get into the beginnings of the sectional crisis in the 1820s, and trace these popular contemporary themes of conservative Constitutional interpretation to their ideological roots.
10 Dec 2013
6) Tocqueville's Tyranny of the Majority
"Democracy! Don’t you recognize that these are the waters of the deluge? Can’t you see them advancing ceaselessly with gradual but irresistible force?...Let us attempt, then, to foresee the future with open eyes and steady gaze.” -Alexis de Tocqueville In 1831, when Alexis de Tocqueville landed in New York, the United States was a country in transition. Caught somewhere in the evolution from an agrarian economy to commercial mercantilism, the young republic was a stage for competing and contradictory social paradigms. This episode explores the Frenchman's observations of early America, where he saw what has come to be known as the “soft despotism” of individuals in a democracy attempting to bend political power to their own benefit.
22 Dec 2013
5) Negotiation & Compromise
A broad discussion of the art of compromise in American politics, focusing on the Compromise of 1790 between Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton. Why are ideological arguments ill-suited to the compromise needed to govern?
10 Dec 2013
17) Cold War I: Welfare v Socialism
This episode begins a thematic approach to 20th century history as Dr. Mitton explores the emergence of the American superpower and the simultaneous development of the social welfare democratic state. -- And why these two themes are mutually reinforcing.
6 Feb 2014
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16) Pearl Harbor & American Leadership
What specific United States policy was Japan responding to when they attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941? How did the Depression lead directly to World War II? And why, after half a century as the largest economy on earth, did the U.S. finally decide to take up the mantle of world leadership in 1941?
3 Feb 2014
15) Great Depression- Interlude to War
Two themes dominate 20th Century world history: The emergence of the United States as a global superpower, and the simultaneous emergence of the modern Social Welfare State. This episode examines the roots of both in the Great Depression. Was the depression inevitable? Was it a result of gross mis-management of the economy, or a natural by-product of laissez-faire capitalism...or both?
27 Jan 2014
14) Wilson, WWI, & the End of Idealism
The U.S. has officially declared war just five times; yet American troops have been involved in hostile incursions on foreign soil a total of 272 times! In this episode Dr. Mitton begins a discussion of American in the world. Woodrow Wilson understood that, as the largest economy on the planet, United States had responsibilities in the global community. But the horror of World War I disabused most modernists of the ideological notions of a global order based on self-interested nation states. - Join the discussion of the ideas that shaped a generation...and likely led directly to the most destructive conflict in the history of humankind: World War II.
26 Jan 2014
2) Genesis of Partisan Politics in U.S.
Despite the fact that no mention of political parties can be found in the Constitution, bitter partisan divides have characterized U.S. politics since George Washington's administration. In this episode Dr. Mitton first explores the unique qualities of the American political system that guarantee an acrimonious two-party system. Then he guides us through the issues that divided the country and characterized the first partisan battles of the 1790s. -- Issues and principles which are remarkably similar to those we still fight about today.
20 Jan 2014
13) Progressive Era III-Jim Crow
Prof. Mitton discusses how Jim Crow laws were actually a progressive policy response to conditions in the South. And we begin a thematic approach to 20th Century American history with a brief outline of how we got from a deeply racist progressive Democrat in the White House (Woodrow Wilson) to a progressive African-American Democrat President just a century later.
13 Jan 2014
12) Progressive Era II- Dueling Memories
Was the American West built by rugged individualism or by massive Federal intervention? Much of today's partisan battles are rooted in the stories both sides tell about the history of this era of American history. But the truth often lies outside either party's interpretation of events. For instance, can you tell the story of how the settlement of the West by Anglo-Americans led to the passage of the 16th Amendment establishing the income tax? What is the connection between the Transcontinental Railroad and the cultural breakthrough of womens' suffrage? Join Dr. Heath Mitton as he explores these and other lasting impacts of the Progressive Era.
13 Jan 2014