With the Mayflower Compact in place, it is time to getting the pilgrims off the boat. This week we are going to spend our time looking at the founding of the Plymouth colony. We are going to discuss what those early days were like on the ground in New England, why the Plymouth site was chosen, and discuss the events of that first winter in North America for our newest settlers.
After failing to land near the mouth of the Hudson, as originally planned, the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower were forced to land up near Cape Cod. This caused serious issues for our colonists because they lacked the authority to set up camp there. Needing to improvise they decided that the survival of the group depended on there being some underlying agreement between all the people aboard the Mayflower. Out of this, the Mayflower Compact is born. This week we are going to explore the Compact. We are going to look at what it did in reality, the mythology that often surrounds the Compact, and then finally what caused the document to be elevated to such a high position of honor.
As our story moves to the New England colonies, we need to go back to Europe and meet that first group of settlers that head to Plymouth. The Pilgrims begin their story in England, before heading to the Netherlands for a few years, and then make their journey across the Atlantic on the Mayflower in 1620. So, who were these people? What were their reasons for wanting to leave England and establish a new colony in North America? This week we are going to answer those questions and more as we head back to England to meet the group that would become known as the Pilgrims.
This week we are going to follow Jamestown as they move towards the 1650s. While no longer the colony flirting with extinction that we saw during those early years, the colony will continue to struggle to become profitable. This eventually is going to lead to the collapse of the Virginia Company.
At the same time, the colony would evolve the first representative assembly in the North American colonies. This body would meet yearly and come up with laws to govern the colony, ultimately producing two sets of laws in 1619 and 1624.
We will wrap this week up with a quick tour of the Chesapeake and an overview of Virginia during the English Civil Wars. When we wrap up today we are going to be ready to leave Jamestown and move our story to the North.
Following the end of the first Anglo-Powhatan war, peaceful relations between the tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy and the Virginia settlers allowed the growth of the Virginia colony. However, following the death of Powhatan, the situation became far more dangerous. A surprise attack in 1622 would set the stage for decades of fighting, and ultimately the collapse of the Powhatan Confederacy.
Following the events of the Starving Time, the Virginia colony entered a period of relative stability. This is largely caused by the arrival of Thomas Dale who becomes the new Governor of the colony. With the colony under something now resembling martial law, discipline was on the rise. The tides would really turn however when the capture of Pocahontas led to the end of the first Anglo-Powhatan war. The peace that would spread throughout the colony would allow Jamestown to finally expand past its original borders and was the exact thing necessary for the cultivation of tobacco to begin to flourish.
During the winter of 1609-1610, the Jamestown colony is going to hit its low mark. During that winter, food shortages would become such a serious problem that nearly two-thirds of the settlers are going to die. Stories of cannibalism emerge from that winter, and eventually, it would lead to the temporary abandonment of the colony. This episode is going to look at the traditional story of that winter, examine if that telling is accurate, and finally, look at the long term effects of the starving time. Plus, if you check this weeks episode out, you’ll hear John Smith make an uncomfortable joke about cannibalism.
This week we explore the early years of the Jamestown colony and the struggles it faced right after its founding. From disease, starvation, troubles with the Powhatan Confederacy, a complete lack of farming knowledge, and a lack of good leadership, the Jamestown colony gets off to a rough start. We will discuss all these things this week as we set the stage for the famous winter of 1609-10 when the colony very nearly met the same fate as Roanoke.
This we give a formal introduction to the Powhatan Confederacy. Both the English and Powhatan have very specific ideas of what their relationship with the other will be like. As expected, however, both sides have vastly different expectations of how things will progress. This relationship is going to dominate life for the settlers for the next three decades, as the two groups swing between periods of cooperation and warfare. In this episode, we are going to begin laying the foundation for that relationship.
Jan 20th, 2019
It is finally time to head to Jamestown!
After spending our first 6 episodes bouncing around Europe, we are finally ready to move the party across the Atlantic.
This week we head into the first of several episodes looking at that first colony in Jamestown. We are going to spend this week with our focus on who the first settlers were, and why they decided to make Jamestown their new home.
We are also going to take a fun little detour this week and check out the often totally forgotten Popham colony, which was founded just a few months after Jamestown. It makes for an interesting, though maybe a bit anticlimactic, story that I think you guys are going to enjoy.
So far on our survey of 16th century Europe we have spent time looking at the political situation as well as the developing religious changes. This week our attention goes to the changing economy. During the 16th century, we see the economy continue through a long period of modernization. The feudal economy is giving way to early capitalistic systems, as the age of mercantilism is ushered in.
As a programming note, this is going to be our last episode of 2018. With the holidays coming, I’m going to be taking an extra week off, so the next episode is going to drop on Sunday, January 6th.
Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.
This week, as we continue our survey of Europe on the eve of the English colonies in North America, our focus turns to the Reformation, both in Europe in general and also the far more pragmatic case of the English Reformation. Changes in the religious structure of Europe are going to be profoundly influential when looking 100 years down the road at the English North American Colonies. Religion is going to come to dominate so much of the story of the United States, and those changes begin here.
This week we look at the events of the Anglo-Spanish war, specifically in respect to the battle of the Spanish Armada. The Battle of the Spanish Armada is portrayed as a being a turning point in English history and is often pointed to as being the victory that allowed the English to establish their North American colonies. The truth, however, is far more complicated. This episode is going to explore that famous battle and look at the long-ranging consequences that came out of the English victory.
This week we take a quick survey of the conditions in Europe during the 16th century. As the middle ages give way to the early modern period, a changing political environment spread throughout the continent. We will place our focus specifically on England during this era and will explore the reigns of both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. These two monarchs help create a modern England, and their decisions lay the
This is the first of two posts today, with the second one being the actual episode. However, I wanted to drop by and give some links to help make it easier to find the podcast. We are now a few weeks into this project and the show has been picked up by all the major players. You can choose to listen to the podcast directly off the webpage (which is probably the least flexible way to listen), you can search for the Political History of the United States wherever you get your podcasts, or you can click the links below.
Welcome to the Political History of the United States and our very first episode! Before we can jump into the action and start looking at 1607 Jamestown, we need to take some time to better understand the lead up to the English colonies in North America. In light of that, we are going to begin our story in 1492 exploring the Age of Discovery. By taking a quick survey of the Age of Discovery this week, we will be able to better understand the people who traveled to the New World and their motivations for doing so.
You can also now find us on Itunes (or Apple Podcasts) Google, and Stitcher.
Welcome to the Political History of the United States. This podcast is designed to story of the political developments and evolution of the United States. From the early days under British control, to the Revolution, the creation of the Constitution, the Civil War, and beyond. The United States has stood as an experiment in politics for the 250 years. Together we will move through that experiment, examine how it functions, and why it works the way it works. If this sounds interesting I encourage you to return on October 21st, 2018 for the launch of the Political History of the United States. Episodes will be available on iTunes, Google Music, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.