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Ben Franklin's World: A Podcast About Early American History

Updated 6 days ago

Education
Society & Culture
History
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This is a show about early American history. Awarded Best History Podcast by the Academy of Podcasters in 2017, it’s for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world. Each episode features conversations with professional historians who help shed light on important people and events in early American history. It is produced by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

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This is a show about early American history. Awarded Best History Podcast by the Academy of Podcasters in 2017, it’s for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world. Each episode features conversations with professional historians who help shed light on important people and events in early American history. It is produced by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

iTunes Ratings

742 Ratings
Average Ratings
586
70
40
21
25

4 stars

By 123456SAF - Jun 14 2019
Read more
Interesting topics and guests, but why does the host sound like a robot?

Great podcast about early American history

By BigHaakDaddyAloha - Jun 08 2019
Read more
Excellent guests on this show. I always learn something.

iTunes Ratings

742 Ratings
Average Ratings
586
70
40
21
25

4 stars

By 123456SAF - Jun 14 2019
Read more
Interesting topics and guests, but why does the host sound like a robot?

Great podcast about early American history

By BigHaakDaddyAloha - Jun 08 2019
Read more
Excellent guests on this show. I always learn something.
Cover image of Ben Franklin's World: A Podcast About Early American History

Ben Franklin's World: A Podcast About Early American History

Updated 6 days ago

Read more

This is a show about early American history. Awarded Best History Podcast by the Academy of Podcasters in 2017, it’s for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world. Each episode features conversations with professional historians who help shed light on important people and events in early American history. It is produced by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Rank #1: 250 Virginia, 1619

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2019 marks the 400th anniversary of two important events in American History: The creation of the first representative assembly in English North America and the arrival of the first African people in English North America.

Why were these Virginia-based events significant and how have they impacted American history?

Cassandra Newby-Alexander, a scholar of African American and American History and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University, helps us find answers.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/250 Sponsor Links

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Aug 06 2019
1 hour 16 mins
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Rank #2: 004 Thomas A Foster, Sex and the Founding Fathers

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Did you know that most biographies about the founders of the United States reveal more about the Americans who wrote the biographies than about the true character of the founders themselves?

Thomas A. Foster, Professor of History at DePaul University, joins us to discuss his latest book Sex and the Founding Fathers: The American Quest for a Relatable Past, an exploration of how Americans have imagined and reimagined the founding fathers from the 18th century to the present.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/004

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Sep 30 2014
31 mins
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Rank #3: 200 Everyday Life in Early America

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What would you like to know about Early American History?

It turns out, you wanted to know about the establishment of schools, how the colonial postal service worked, and about aspects of health and hygiene in early America.

In this listener-inspired Q&A episode, we speak with Johann Neem, Joseph Adelman, and Ann Little to explore these aspects of early American history and to get answers to your questions about them.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/200

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Aug 21 2018
1 hour 25 mins
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Rank #4: 141 A Declaration in Draft (Doing History Rev)

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The Declaration of Independence stands first in a series of documents that founded the United States. It also stands as an early step in the long process of establishing a free, independent, and self-governing nation. Since 1776, more than 100 nation-states and freedom organizations have used the Declaration of Independence as a model for their own declarations and proclamations of independence.

Given the Declaration of Independence’s important place in the hearts and minds of peoples around the world, we need to go behind its parchment and explore just how the Declaration of Independence came to be.

In this preview episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution! Series, we explore how the Second Continental Congress drafted the Declaration of Independence.

Show Notes:https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/141

About the Series

The mission of episodes in the Doing History: To the Revolution series is to ask not just “what is the history of the American Revolution?” but “what are the histories of the American Revolution?”

Episodes in this series will air beginning in September 2017.

The Doing History series explores early American history and how historians work. It's produced by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Be sure to check out Doing History season 1, Doing History: How Historians Work.

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Jul 04 2017
1 hour 17 mins
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Rank #5: 053 Emerson W. Baker, The Salem Witch Trials of 1692

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Do you believe in the supernatural? In ghosts, zombies, or perhaps witches?

Today we celebrate All Hallows Eve with an exploration of the specters and witches that haunted 17th-century Massachusetts.

Our guide for this exploration is Emerson W. Baker, author of A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/053

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Oct 27 2015
44 mins
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Rank #6: 130 Paul Revere's Ride Through History (Doing History Rev)

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On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere rode to Lexington, Massachusetts to spread the alarm that the Regulars were marching. Revere made several important rides between 1774 and 1775, including one in September 1774 that brought the Suffolk Resolves to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

So why is it that we remember Paul Revere’s ride to Lexington and not any of his other rides?

Why is it that we remember Paul Revere on the night of April 18, 1775 and nothing about his life either before or after that famous ride?

Why is it that Paul Revere seems to ride quickly into history and then just as quickly out of it?

In this episode we speak with four scholars to explore Paul Revere’s ride through history.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/130

About the Series

The mission of episodes in the Doing History: To the Revolution series is to ask not just “what is the history of the American Revolution?” but “what are the histories of the American Revolution?”

Episodes in this series will air beginning in Fall 2017.

The Doing History series is part of a partnership between Ben Franklin’s World and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Be sure to check out Doing History season 1: Doing History: How Historians Work.

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Apr 18 2017
1 hour 31 mins
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Rank #7: 183 Douglas Bradburn, George Washington's Mount Vernon

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George Washington played three very important public roles during his lifetime. He served as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, the President of the Constitutional Convention, and as the first President of the United States.

In addition to these important public roles, Washington also played a role that was very important to him. He served as a farmer and agricultural innovator.

Douglas Bradburn, the CEO and President of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, joins us so we can explore the history of Washington’s storied estate and his agricultural practices. Plus, we’ll also discover all that Mount Vernon has to offer us as a historic site.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/183

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Apr 24 2018
1 hour 6 mins
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Rank #8: 203 Joanne Freeman, Alexander Hamilton

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Hamilton the Musical hit Broadway in August 2015 and since that time people all around the world have been learning about a man named Alexander Hamilton. Or, at least they’ve been learning about the musical’s character Alexander Hamilton.

But who was Alexander Hamilton as a real person?

Joanne Freeman, a Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, and one of the foremost experts on the life of Alexander Hamilton, joins us to explore this large question so we can discover more about the man who helped to create the United States.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/203

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Sep 11 2018
1 hour 1 min
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Rank #9: Bonus: Why Historians Study History (Doing History)

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History is about people, but what do we know about the people behind history’s scenes?

Who are the people who tell us what we know about our past?

How do they come to know what they know?

Today, we begin our year-long “Doing History” series with a special bonus episode about historians and why they do the work that they do.

Doing History Series

This episode is part of the "Doing History: How Historians Work" series. 

“Doing History” episodes will introduce you to historians who will tell you what they know about the past and reveal how they came to their knowledge.

Each episode will air on the last Tuesday of each month in 2016.

This series is part of a partnership between Ben Franklin’s World and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/historians

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Jan 22 2016
26 mins
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Rank #10: 238 Stephen Brumwell, Benedict Arnold

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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.

Stephen Brumwell, an award-winning historian and the author of Turncoat: Benedict Arnold and the Crisis of American Liberty, joins us to explore the life and deeds of Benedict Arnold and Arnold’s stunning metamorphosis from hero to traitor.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/238 Sponsor Links

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May 14 2019
1 hour 11 mins
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Rank #11: 117 Annette Gordon-Reed, The Life and Ideas of Thomas Jefferson

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Thomas Jefferson wrote about liberty and freedom and yet owned over six hundred slaves during his lifetime.

He’s a founder who many of us have a hard time understanding.

This why we need an expert to lead us through his life, so we can better understand who Jefferson was and how he came to his seemingly paradoxical ideas about slavery and freedom.

Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor of history and legal history at Harvard University and the winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for her work on Thomas Jefferson and the Hemings Family, leads us on an exploration through the life and ideas of Thomas Jefferson.


Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/117

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Jan 17 2017
46 mins
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Rank #12: Bonus: Listener Q&A About Religion in Early New England

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Douglas Winiarski answers your questions about religion in early New England with details from his book, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England.

Darkness Falls on the Land of Light is the story of how ordinary New Englanders living through extraordinary times ended up giving birth to today’s evangelical movement. Doug performed a close reading of letters, diaries, and testimonies to write this book and his outstanding scholarship in this book was recognized with a 2018 Bancroft Prize.

Download the FREE OI Reader app for Bonus Content and Sample Chapters from Darkness Falls on the Land of Light

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Mar 30 2018
9 mins
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Rank #13: 005 Jeanne Abrams, Revolutionary Medicine

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You likely know the names of George and Martha Washington, John and Abigail Adams, and James and Dolley Madison, as the names of a few of the founding mothers and fathers of the United States. 

You may have heard of some of their deeds and political accomplishments. But did you know that all of these couples endured tragic and sometimes frequent episodes with illness and disease?

Do you know what the founding fathers and mothers really understood about health and wellness? 

Jeanne Abrams, Professor at the University of Denver University Libraries, joins us to discuss the world of 18th-century medicine and her recent book, Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/005

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Oct 21 2014
36 mins
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Rank #14: 167 Eberhard Faber, The Early History of New Orleans

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The French established New Orleans and the greater colony of Louisiana in 1717. By 1840, New Orleans had become the 3rd largest city in the United States. How did that happen?

How did New Orleans transform from a sleepy, minor French outpost into a large and important early American city with a thriving, bustling port?

Eberhard “Lo” Faber, an assistant professor of history at Loyola University, New Orleans and the author of Building the Land of Dreams: New Orleans and the Transformation of Early America, leads us on an exploration of the early history of New Orleans.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/167

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Listener Meetup Details

Date: Saturday, January 6, 2018

Time: 5pm

Place: Open City Diner, Woodley Park

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Jan 02 2018
52 mins
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Rank #15: 222 Adam Costanzo, The Early History of Washington, D.C.

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Have you ever wondered how the capital of the United States came to be situated at Washington D.C.?

The banks of the Potomac River represent an odd place to build a national city, a place that would not only serve as the seat of government for the nation, but also as an economic, cultural, and intellectual hub. Still in 1790, the United States Congress passed the Residence Act and mandated that it would establish a new, permanent capital along the banks of the Potomac River. Why?

Adam Costanzo, a Professional Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi and author of George Washington’s Washington: Visions for the National Capital in the Early American Republic, joins us to consider questions of the national capital’s location and construction.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/222

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Jan 22 2019
1 hour 10 mins
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Rank #16: 077 Rinker Buck, The Oregon Trail

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Do you have what it takes to be a pioneer?

If offered the opportunity, would you undertake a journey across the Oregon Trail in a mule-pulled covered wagon?

Today, we explore the Oregon Trail past and present with Rinker Buck, author of The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/077

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Apr 12 2016
45 mins
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Rank #17: 235 Jenny Hale Pulsipher, A 17th-Century Native American Life

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What does early America look like if we view it through Native American eyes?

Jenny Hale Pulsipher, an Associate Professor of History at Brigham Young University and author of Swindler Sachem, is a scholar who enjoys investigating the many answers to this question. And today, she introduces us to a Nipmuc Indian named John Wompas and how he experienced a critical time in early American history, the period between the 1650s and 1680s.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/235

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Apr 23 2019
1 hour 3 mins
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Rank #18: 152 Origins of the American Revolution (Doing History Rev)

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What caused the American Revolution?

Was it the issue of ‘No Taxation without Representation?’ Was it conflict and change in the social order of colonial and British society? Or, was the Revolution about differences in ideas about governance and the roles government should play in society?

In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series, we explore one set of ideas about the origins of the American Revolution with Bernard Bailyn, a Professor Emeritus at Harvard University and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/048

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Sep 19 2017
51 mins
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Rank #19: 091 Gregory Dowd, Rumors, Legends, & Hoaxes in Early America

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Did you know that George Washington’s favorite drink was whiskey?

Actually, it wasn’t.

Washington preferred Madeira, a fortified Portuguese wine from the island of Madeira. Why the false start to today’s exploration of history?

Gregory Dowd, a Professor of History and American Culture at the University of Michigan, leads us on an exploration of rumors, legends, and hoaxes that circulated throughout early America.

Show Notes: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/091

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*Books purchased through this link will help support the production of Ben Franklin's World.

Jul 19 2016
42 mins
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Rank #20: 220 Margaret Newell, New England Indians, Colonists, & the Origins of American Slavery

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Did you know that one of the earliest practices of slavery by English colonists originated in New England?

In fact, Massachusetts issued the very first slave code in English America in 1641. Why did New Englanders turn to slavery and become the first in English America to codify its practice?

Margaret Ellen Newell, a professor of history at The Ohio State University and the author of Brethren By Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery, joins us to investigate these questions and issues.

Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/220

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Jan 08 2019
1 hour 14 mins
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