In this episode, Michael Witgen, a Professor of History and a Professor at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University and a citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, joins us to investigate the story of the Anishinaabeg and Anishinaabewaki, the homelands of the Anishinaabeg people, with details from his book, Seeing Red: Indigenous Land, American Expansion, and the Political Economy of Plunder in North America (Omohundro Institute & Univ. of No. Carolina Press, 2022). [Read more…] about American Expansion and the Political Economy of Plunder
Trust Busting: William Jennings Bryan & Theodore Roosevelt
As control of the American economy became increasingly centralized in trusts located on Wall Street after the Civil War, and the wealth of men like J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller grew exponentially, there developed an increasing backlash against such concentrations of wealth. In the 1880s, through an investigation by a committee of the New York State Legislature, Americans became aware that Standard Oil secretly controlled a number of supposedly competing oil companies. By 1910 almost 90% of the world’s oil supply was controlled from the company’s headquarters at 26 Broadway in Manhattan. [Read more…] about Trust Busting: William Jennings Bryan & Theodore Roosevelt
Henry Hudson & The Founding of Albany
In 1565, the Spanish settled 600 soldiers and civilians at St. Augustine, Florida. In 1607, the English established their first settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, but after a series of floods, Jamestown was abandoned in 1699. Today Jamestown is a national park and archaeological site.
In 1602, the States General of The Netherlands granted a charter to a powerful group of Dutch merchants creating the Dutch East India Company and giving them the exclusive right to develop and conduct trade with the markets in the Far East which included the Spice Islands and China. Soon, these merchants began bringing exotic silk, clothing, ceramics, teas and spices back to the Netherlands. In their travels, the Dutch ship captains discovered the continent of Australia and named it “New Holland.” [Read more…] about Henry Hudson & The Founding of Albany
Humans In Zoos: A Long History of ‘Exotic’ People Exhibitions
Social Darwinism is an ideology that misapplied Charles Darwin’s ideas to the socio-political sphere. The theory proved fruitful to those who advocated the economic principle of laissez faire, and added an element of racial inequality as peoples were classified along an evolutionary scale.
The doctrine can be paraphrased in terms similar to these: “We (white men) belong to a superior race and civilization, be it in economic, military, or moral understanding. This primacy demands from us to direct and civilize the rest of humanity.” [Read more…] about Humans In Zoos: A Long History of ‘Exotic’ People Exhibitions
True Flag: TR, Twain, and the Birth of American Empire
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Revealing a piece of forgotten history, Stephen Kinzer looks back to the dawn of the twentieth century, when the United States first found itself with the chance to dominate faraway lands in his new book The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire (Henry Holt and Co., 2017).
How should the United States act in the world? No matter how often the question is debated, none of what we say is original. Every argument is a pale shadow of the first and greatest debate, which erupted more than a century ago. Its themes resurface every time Americans argue whether to intervene in a foreign country. That prospect thrilled some Americans. It horrified others. Their debate gripped the nation. [Read more…] about True Flag: TR, Twain, and the Birth of American Empire