The AskHistorians Podcast
A podcast by history nerds for history nerds (and everyone else too).

Freedmanspatrol discusses the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, which gave us "Bloody Kansas" and paved the way to the Civil War. The focus is on the political (and geographic) landscape as well as the Washington DC wrangling over the deal. Along the way we also discuss the transcontinental railroad, the Second Party System of the Whigs and Democrats, and the ambitions of Stephen Douglas and men of the F Street Mess. (77min)

Read more from our guest at the blog Freedmen's Patrol: Exploring the Civil War Era.

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Direct download: AHP_72_KansasNebraskaPoliticsPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:07pm EDT

DryLaw discusses the society of early Colonial Mexico (aka New Spain), particularly the interrelations between American and European peoples. The focus is primarily on the historical writings produced by Nahua and Mestizo writers producing histories of thier own societies and lineages, as well as those works by Spanish friars focusing on indigenous culture and history. Major literary works by Tezozomoc, Ixtlilxochitl, are Chimalpahin covered and put into context, as are works by Sahagun and Duran. (59min)


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Direct download: AHP_71_IndigenousColonialWriters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26pm EDT

SunshineBag discusses the intersection of sport and nationalism, as we cover both the rise of Mussolini's Fascists and the growth of the sport of calcio in Italy. The ways the Fascists attempted to use football as a medium for building a national spirit and demonstrate Italian strength on the world stage is discussed, as is the backdrop of Italian national disunity and regionalism. (59min)


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Direct download: AHP_70_ItalianFascismCalcio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:22pm EDT

Alvise Falier discusses medieval communes, a term for a complicated and heterogeneous system of local rule in the 11th through 13th centuries. The focus is on the city of Milan, and northern Italy in particular, under the dominion of the Holy Roman Empire, but with a distinct political and cultural difference from that entity. In this conversation we trace the development of the communal system in Milan from the end of Charlemagne up through the end of the system with the establishment of the Duchy of Milan by the Visconti dynasty. Issues of Italian disunity, with local identification taking precedence over a singular national identity are discussed. (68min)

Direct download: AHP_69_CommunalItalyMilan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:16pm EDT

Historian of nuclear weapons and secrecy, Dr. Alex Wellerstein, discusses the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Specifically, the conversation focuses on the high level, and highly classified, debates over how best to employ these new weapons. From there, the episode segues into the inherent difficulties of doing historical research on classified materials and how that has shaped the historiography of the bombings. (75min)

Dr. Wellerstein is the author of Restricted Data: the Nuclear Secrecy Blog, where his NUKEMAP can also be found (among many other items of note). He and his work have also appeared NPR, FOX News, and The Daily Show, as well as in The New Yorker, where his article, "Nagasaki: The Last Bomb," can be found.

Direct download: AHP_68_HiroshimaNagasakiRestrictedData.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:32am EDT

Tim Byron (aka /u/hillsonghoods) drops in to discuss the popular music of the mid and later 20th Century, tracing the development of guitar driven rock and roll from its diverse origins on through to its musical dominance. Included in the conversation is the changing physical and technological environment of the mid-20th Century, as well as the significance of the Baby Boom. (85min)

Direct download: AHP_67_GuitarGroups.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

Falafel1066 discusses interactions between American communism (particularly the CPUSA) and Black workers against the Great Migration. The focus is on events in the Midwest, as Black workers and the CPUSA mobilized to claim labor rights, fight evictions, and obtain relief during unemployment. Special attention is paid to the role of women, both as laborers and as caretakers of the family. The episode concludes by tracing how a tradition of radicalism persisted through the early 20th into the 60/70s and on to modern day. (53min)

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Direct download: AHP_66_CommunismBlackRadicalism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:05am EDT

Jime Dorje discusses the founding of the modern state of Bhutan and its relationship to Tibet. The conversation covers the relationship between various sects of Buddhism, Mongol patronage, the political and economic role of monasteries, and ultimately the conflict which would lead the Zhabdrung to head south, putting in motion the events which would lead to the formation of Bhutan. (91min)


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Direct download: AHP_65_TibetBuddhismBhutan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:31am EDT

Apologies, but due to a personal loss, there will be no episode this week. We will be back next week (7/1) with JimeDorje discussing Bhutan.

Direct download: 000-NoEpisode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:52pm EDT

The conversation with AgentDCF continues, as pick up with talking about how milling and baking relates to the scientific revolution, before moving into to discussing the industrialization of mills and the connection to the golden age of microbiology. We then discuss adulteration and food purity and the role of The Lancet in reforming bakeries. The conversation concludes with a discussion of bread in the context of the British Imperial system. (60min)

Direct download: AHP_64_MillingBaking19thBritainPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:52pm EDT