April 28

Ep. 0059: The American Revolution Part II: 1775

 

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • Some thoughts on Great Man historical narratives
  • An overview of what was happening in terms of rising tensions in late-1774 and early-1775, much of which related to British attempts to limit colonists’ access to weapons and gunpowder
  • A fairly detailed account of the Battle of Lexington & Concord on April 19, 1775
  • The actions of the Continental Congress, including the appointment of George Washington as Commander of the new Continental Army, and its consequences for the war and the future of America
  • Ethan Allen & his Green Mountain Boys
  • Some other early battles
  • The situation as of the close of 1775

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April 17

Ep. 0058: The American Revolution, Part I: 1763-1774

Since this April is the 240th anniversary of the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, Prof CJ has decided to do a multi-part Dangerous History Podcast series on this conflict, trying to focus as much as possible on the dangerous parts of the story, and the deeper implications of it, that the Man would rather omit from the narrative.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  •  The state of affairs in the aftermath of the Seven Years War (aka French & Indian War)
  • The various ways the British government attempted to increase their tax revenues from the North American colonies, and the resulting resistance from some of the colonists
  • A look at the average, grassroots insurgents, including who they were and what motivated them
  • The little-known False Alarm incident of September 1774, in which a rumor spread throughout the northeastern colonies that the British Navy had destroyed Boston, and the resulting spontaneous mobilization of thousands of New Englanders to get revenge, which was aborted when the rumor proved false, but which showed how quickly ordinary people could and would mobilize

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August 25

Ep. 0024: The Second Seminole War

Last time, we covered the First Seminole War; this time, we get to the nastier sequel.

The Second Seminole war was the US government’s longest and most expensive Indian War.  It also had many parallels to later campaigns in harsh environments against determined guerrilla fighters, and many lessons which, unfortunately, were not learned, as the nation did its best to consign the conflict to the ‘memory hole’ soon after its end.  Long before the Philippines War, and even longer before Vietnam, there was this brutal war…

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The 1823 Treaty of Moultrie Creek, which tried to confine the Seminoles to a reservation in central Florida, requiring most of them to relocate, cutting off their access to the coasts, denying their freedom of movement, and requiring them to assist in the capture and return of escaped slaves
  • The election of Andrew Jackson as president in 1828, which would have disastrous consequences for Southeastern Indians, including the Seminole
  • The Indian Removal Act and subsequent attempts to bribe or dupe the Seminoles into relocating out West
  • The rise of Osceola
  • The beginning of violence in 1835 with the so-called ‘Dade Massacre’ and assassination of the US Indian Agent Wiley Thompson
  • How US General Thomas Jesup captured Osceola by betraying a flag of truce, something even most white Americans found dishonorable
  • Osceola’s captivity and death from illness within a few months
  • The brutal Battle of Lake Okeechobee on Christmas Day, 1837
  • Continued Seminole guerrilla operations and American countermeasures, which sought to grind them down
  • The cessation of fighting in 1842, by which time the Seminole population of Florida had been reduced by approximately 94% in 20 years due to death and deportation
  • A brief mention of the much smaller Third Seminole War (1855-58)
  • Some concluding thoughts about this war from historians who have written about it extensively, and from Prof CJ

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August 21

Ep. 0023: How the United States Acquired Florida (the First Seminole War)

This is the little-known story of how Florida became a part of Team America.  (Spoiler:  It wasn’t totally voluntary…)

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The background to the war:  what was going on in Florida leading up to the war, & who the Seminoles were, including the so-called ‘Black Seminoles’
  • Why the United States coveted Florida almost from day one of getting its independence
  • The destruction of the so-called “Negro Fort” by American forces in 1816
  • The immediate issues that led to fighting beginning in late 1817, culminating in Andrew Jackson’s invasion of West Florida in 1818
  • How Jackson exceeded his orders (which just allowed him to retaliate against hostile Indians), and went so far as to seize Spanish installations and execute two Brits who were found in the area
  • Secretary of State John Quincy Adams’ successful negotiation of a treaty in 1819 formally transferring Florida (East and West) to the US without provoking war or major retaliations from either Spain or Britain
  • How, even after the American takeover of Florida, Americans continued to see the Seminoles as a major problem, one that would be ‘dealt with’  beginning in the 1830s with the Second Seminole, which was much larger and costlier than the First, and which we’ll cover next episode
  • The troubling precedent set for the American Republic by Jackson’s actions in this undeclared war

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August 7

Ep. 0019: The First World War, Part 4 (A Very-Not-Happy Ending)

With this episode, we wrap up our overview of WWI and the incalculable damage it did to the world.  I’ll likely cover other topics related to this war in the future, but this four-part series is my basic overview of some of the war and its most conspicuous results, legacies, and byproducts.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • How the war (and particularly how a lot of British actions during it) sowed the seeds for the violence and instability that has characterized the Middle East ever since
  • The collapse of Russia and the Bolshevik takeover there — another effect of the war that still has negative repercussions today
  • The end of the war, including the Paris Peace Conference and the horrible Treaty of Versailles, which pretty much guaranteed a Second World War.  (In the 1920 political cartoon shown, British PM David Lloyd George aims a howitzer at the Germans and says, “Off with the spiked hat!  What d’you think we fought for if not to abolish militarism?”)
  • How the British continued their blockade against the German people even after the armistice ended the war, in order to keep pressure on the Germans at the negotiating table.  (The blockade probably killed over 750,000 German civilians, BTW — think that might have given them a grudge???)
  • The so-called “Spanish Influenza” epidemic that hit at the end of the war
  • War and the growth of state power
  • Estimated breakdown of military deaths
  • Why most Americans see war in general, and the world wars in particular, in a very different light than Europeans
  • Prof CJ’s closing thoughts and analysis on the war as a whole

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August 4

Ep. 0018: The First World War, Part 3: Enter Team America

In this episode, I’m primarily going to cover the effects of entering the war on the United States.  Long story short, it was not a good time for civil liberties or the Bill of Rights…

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The events leading up to American entry into the war
  • Woodrow Wilson’s speech, and how the reasons he gave for entering the war were B.S., and how the real reasons for US intervention were things for which few average Americans would have been willing to risk their lives
  • How most Progressives ardently supported the war
  • The government’s mobilization of the nation for total war by 1) seizing control of the economy; 2) implementing mass conscription; and 3) cranking out propaganda (including disseminating the government’s narrative and attempting to silence any competing, dissident narratives)
  • How bad the war was for civil liberties and the Bill of Rights
  • Some notable Americans who dissented anyway
  • A brief look at Wilson’s 14 Points (most of which were implemented only partially, or not at all)

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External links:

  • The hit American song “Over There” (by George Cohen, 1917), which was the WWI-era equivalent of “America, Fuck Yeah!”  (which came from the wonderfully satirical film Team America:  World Police.)  [By the way, the opening line of “Over There,” which is, “Johnny get your gun,” later inspired the title of Daltron Trumbo’s antiwar novel Johnny Got His Gun, which in turn inspired the Metallica song “One.”]

July 31

Ep. 0017: The First World War, Part 2

We continue our coverage of the unnecessary, freedom- and life-obliterating carnage-fest that was First World War.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The truth about the Lusitania
  • Propaganda, especially that of the Brits (who were the best at it) — even the royal family had to accommodate themselves to the Germano-phobic narrative
  • Two of the most notorious battles on the Western Front, both of which occurred in 1916:  Verdun & the Somme
  • Why Prof CJ thinks this type of slaughter is an inevitable consequence of the modern state, and that the state itself is the consequence of statist ideas

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External links:

  • Germany’s warning to America about traveling on the Lusitania
  • A collection of British propaganda posters from WWI (scroll down a little and you’ll see the first poster — just click on the poster to get to the next one, rinse & repeat.)
  • The Dropkick Murphys rendition of “Green Fields of France” (sometimes also called “Willie McBride,” and originally entitled “No Man’s Land,” a song written by folk singer Eric Bogle in 1976.)  This song seems to be about the Battle of the Somme.  I’m a big fan of DKM — you gotta love a band that incorporates bagpipes and other traditional Celtic instruments into aggressive punk rock!  This song, like “Christmas in the Trenches,” is another one that I think brings most decent people at least to the verge of tears.

July 28

Ep. 0016: The First World War, part 1

Since World War I officially began 100 years ago today (that is, July 28th 1914), I decided it would be an opportune time to kick off a multi-part series on this conflict.  (As of right now, I’m not 100% sure how many episodes this will encompass, but I think probably around 4.)

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • Why he thinks WWI is actually the single worst thing that ever happened in modern history
  • Origins of the war, in terms of immediate causes as well as long-term, deep-seated ones
  • The alliances, rivalries, and plans that made Europe a powderkeg just waiting for ignition
  • The spark that lit it, and how the dominoes fell until every Great Power of the time was at war
  • Some thoughts on why the war ultimately proved more costly than prior wars (the state’s software is actually more important than its hardware, Prof CJ thinks)
  • The Christmas Truce of 1914 and its implications
  • War against civilians in terms of illegal, total blockades (which the British, not the Germans, started first)

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July 3

Ep. 0009: The Philippines War, Part II

Here it is — part II of Prof CJ’s take on the American war against the Filipinos.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • How Americans had little to no sympathy for Filipinos
  • The ‘pacification’ of the island of Samar & the court-martial of Major Waller
  • How imperialists vilified their political opponents as unpatriotic traitors rather than principled dissenters
  • Characteristics of imperialists, including their youth & their Progressive ideology (in other words, Imperialists were Progressives & vice-versa – exhibit A being Teddy Roosevelt himself)
  • How the US declared victory in 1902 (even though fighting wasn’t quite done in some places)
  • Quotes looking back on the war from contemporary imperialists & anti-imperialists
  • Some closing thoughts and observations about this war and its troubling legacy, including Americans’ eagerness then (as now) to quickly self-induce amnesia in order to forget morally dubious wars
  • How unhappy truths are some of the most important truths with which one must come to grips, if one wishes to avoid future ills
  • In the words of Patrick Henry:  “For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it.”

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June 30

Ep. 0008: The Philippines War, Part I

I started off intending this to be a single episode, but after working on it for only a short while, I realized it was going to take two to get through everything I wanted to say about this war.

This is not a happy subject, but sometimes uncomfortable truths are among the most necessary to come to grips with.  Be warned:  My coverage of this war is brutally honest, and at times I’ll use some rough language (generally when quoting commentators of the time period.)

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The outbreak of fighting between Filipino nationalists and American occupying forces
  • How the Treaty of Paris passed & the United States ‘acquired’ the Philippines
  • Contemporary quotes both for and against keeping the Philippines
  • How American military leaders led the Filipino leaders (during the war with Spain) to believe that America supported Filipino independence, but then denied anything of the type once McKinley decided to keep the archipelago for the US – alienating and angering many Filipinos who initially regarded the US in a friendly, positive light
  • How the war against the Filipinos quickly turned nasty, characterized by war crimes & atrocities (including, but not limited to, the “water cure” depicted in the photo above)
  • The capture of Emilio Aguinaldo 1901, and how that seemed to signal the beginning of the end (though it really wasn’t)

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