During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), which pitted a left-leaning Republic, suported by the Soviet Union, against right-leaning nationalists, supported by the Nazi, more than 35,000 people from more than 50 countries went to Spain to fight against fascism for the Republic.
Today’s guest, Lisa Kirschenbaum of West Chester University in Pennsylvania, talks about who some of those people were and what role the Soviet Union played in training them and welcoming them as exiles.
With the establishment of Manila as a Spanish trading port in 1571, one of the most important economic links in the pre-modern world was established. Spanish silver flowed from the mines of Potosí (in modern Bolivia) through Manila to Ming-dynasty China. The interplay between these two empires created a global financial system that linked far flung parts of the world in a way that mirrors the 20th century phenomenon that has become known as “globalization.”
Guest Ashleigh Dean just completed her doctorate in history at Emory University examining the impacts of this pre-modern trans-Pacific linkage whose far-reaching impact touched nearly every part of the globe.
Host:Joan Neuberger, Editor, Not Even Past and Professor, Department of History Guest:Ben Wright, Public Information Officer, Briscoe Center for American History, UT-Austin
What role did Texas play in the American revolution? (What–Texas? It wasn’t even a state yet!) And yet, Spain and its empire–including what is now the Lone Star State, did play a role in defeating the British Empire in North America. New archival work is lending light on the ways that Spain, smarting from its loss of the Floridas to Britain in the Seven Years War, backed the American colonists’ push for independence.
Ben Wright of UT’s Briscoe Center for American History has been working with the Bexar archives and documents how Spain’s–and Texas’s–efforts to divert sources of food and funding to the American troops helped to tip the balance of power in North American forever.
In the late 17th century, Native American groups living under Spanish rule in what is now New Mexico rebelled against colonial authorities and pushed them out of their territory. In many ways, however, the events that led up to the revolt reveal a more complex relationship between Spanish and Native American than traditional histories tell. Stories of cruelty and domination are interspersed with adaptation and mutual respect, until a prolonged famine changed the balance of power.
Guest Michelle Daneri helps us understand contemporary thinking about the ways that Spanish and Native Americans exchanged ideas, knowledge, and adapted to each others’ presence in the Southwest.
Host:Joan Neuberger, Editor, Not Even Past and Professor, Department of History Guest:Brian Levack, John E. Green Regents Professor in History, University of Texas at Austin
Stories of witches and witch-hunting in early modern Europe have captivated us for centuries. During the early modern period of European history, stretching from roughly 1450 to about 1750, about 100,000 people—most of them women—were tried for the crime of witchcraft. About half of these people were executed, in most cases by burning at the stake. But witchcraft is more than just a Halloween story–for the men and women involved it was a very real, very frightening aspect of daily life.
Guest Brian Levack explains that, at its heart, accusations of witchcraft and sorcery are based in the all too human need to explain the ordinary cycles of birth, death, sickness, wellness, and the constant struggle between rich and poor.
In the late 15th century, Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope and conquered the Indian Ocean, bringing the rich trade under the direct control of the crowned heads of Europe and their appointed Indian Ocean Trading Companies. Or did he? Did Europe ever really come to dominate the 90,000 year old trade, or did it become just another in a series of actors competing for attention in an antique system of exchanges and commodities?
Guest Susan Douglass offers a nuanced view of the last five hundred years of European encounters with a deeply established international economy, makes the case that the remarkable story of this resource rich region isn’t over just yet.
Host:Christopher Rose, Outreach Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies Guest:Sam White, Department of History, the Ohio State University
What do a failed war by the Ottomans against the Hapsburg Empire, a rural rebellion in eastern Anatolia, the disappearance of the Roanoke colony, and near starvation at Jamestown, Santa Fe, and Quebec City have in common? They all take place during a period of global cooling known as the Little Ice Age, which brought extreme climate conditions, drought, heavy winters, and contributed to rising fuel prices, failing crops and massive civil unrest in places as diverse as North America and the Middle East.
Guest Sam White from Ohio State University makes the convincing argument that environmental and climactic factors are as influential in human history as economic, social, political, and cultural factors, and suggests a cautionary tale for human history as it enters another period of climate change.
Between 1754 and 1763, Great Britain, France, and a collection of French-allied Native American tribes fought a brutal war over trading rights in colonial North America. This war, generally called the “French and Indian War,” or “The Seven Years’ War,” resulted in a British victory and a large acquisition of French territory across the eastern half of North America. So, faced with the task of how colonists would settle all of this land, King George III issued a Royal Proclamation in 1763 which attempted to reorganize the boundaries of colonial America, as well as the lives of its inhabitants.
Guest Robert Olwell describes the proclamation, its effects on the history of colonial North America, and ponders whether the Royal Proclamation is really the smoking gun that caused the American Revolution as some have claimed.
Southeastern Europe, or the Balkans, grabbed headlines in the 1990s after the collapse of communism with the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the bloody conflicts that followed. At the time, much was made of the region’s unique history, having been separated from Europe and languishing under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. But, was this really the cause of the conflict in the 20th century? What was life in southeastern Europe like under the Ottomans?
Guest Mary Neuburger walks us through current historical thinking about the five hundred year legacy of Ottoman rule in southeastern Europe, and gives us an alternate explanation for the turbulence of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Andrew Jackson’s presidency marked the introduction of a real maverick to the White House: a frontiersman from Tennessee, not part of the Washington elite, who brought the ideas of the people to the national government — or, at least that’s what his supporters claimed. But Jackson’s lasting political legacy instead comes from expanding the vote to all white males (not just landholder), and the tragic effects of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
Guest Michelle Daneri from UT’s Department of History helps us sort through the political forces that brought Jackson to office, and the long lasting impact of his presidency.
Host:Joan Neuberger, Professor, Department of History, and editor, Not Even Past Guest:Christopher Rose, Outreach Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies
The relationship between European, North African, and Southwest Asian nations that border the Mediterranean stretches back to antiquity and reflects a long tradition of trade, colonialism, and acculturation. Yet, by the end of World War II, Europe had come to dominate the region politically and militarily. When did this long-symbiotic relationship transform into one of imperialism and colonization?
In this first of a two part podcast, guest and co-host Christopher Rose from UT’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies walks us through the beginnings of European imperialism in the Middle East.
He’s been called Spanish America’s answer to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson combined, but Simón Bolívar was both and yet neither. An orphaned child shuttled between distant relatives, he was educated in the principles of the Enlightenment and cut his political teeth watching Napoleon take over most of Europe. He is revered as the Liberator of Spanish America, even though he held most of his compatriots in disdain and eventually declared himself dictator before dying a political failure on his way to exile.
Guest Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra from UT’s Department of History discusses the intricacies of Simón Bolívar, an enigma who is still revered and reviled two centuries after his death.
Host:Christopher Rose, Outreach Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies Guest:Natalie Arsenault, Director of Public Engagement, Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
The Haitian Revolution, which took place between 1791-1804, is significant because Haiti is the only country where slave freedom was taken by force, and marks the only successful slave revolt in modern times. A ragtag force of slaves managed to unify Haiti, defeat Europe’s most powerful army and become the first country in Latin America to gain independence, second only to the United States in the Americas as a whole.
Guest Natalie Arsenault from UT’s Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies discusses the Haitian Revolution and its significance within the narrative of the political revolutions of the 18th century.
The Spanish Inquisition has cast a long shadow in the public imagination, with Inquisitors playing the role of villain on stage and screen. But what was the Inquisition-really? Established in 1480 to deal with heresies under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, the Spanish Inquisition was a highly regulated institution with enormous political and legal power whose influence reached all the way to the Americas for over three hundred years.
Guest Miriam Bodian from UT’s Department of History separates truth from legend and reveals the intricacies of the Inquisition’s processes and inner workings.
Host:Christopher Rose, Outreach Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies Guest:Henry A. Wiencek, doctoral student, Department of History, and assistant editor, Not Even Past.
American political discourse refers a lot to the ideals of the Founding Fathers, but the Founding Fathers often found themselves at odds with one another with very different religious, political, and economic ideas. In this episode, we’ll examine some of the lesser known Founding Fathers, and examine the ranges of opinions they held about issues from slavery to states’ rights and their opinions on the form of the new American Republic.
Guest Henry A. Wiencek from UT’s Department of History walks us through an era of American history that, it turns out, isn’t so easy to summarize as it might appear.