Relevant History

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Relevant History

Relevant History

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In this bonus episode, Dan delves into the nitty-gritty of far-left politics and the history of various ideologies dedicated to the establishment of communism.

Then he asks the question: What if the best way to build an egalitarian utopia is via the power of capitalism?

Apologies for the constant birdsong in the background. It was a gorgeous day and I decided to record with the window open. Never again!

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQJPex4SmcO4a7c-p2sh7OEz0VaDlS1_oxinP_qlwWz5IhxwBgGnkyYw11LPKY6XxzmsdevibU40VYL/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

In the sixth and final installment on the French Revolution, Dan takes a deep dive into one of history’s most influential and controversial figures: Napoleon Bonaparte.

After winning victory for France in Northern Italy, the brilliant young general has the attention of the French Directory. A campaign in Egypt and victory in another war will put Napoleon in a position to become Emperor. But across the English Channel, Great Britain continues a naval blockade and a diplomatic campaign to unite Europe against the new French Empire.

To hold onto power, Napoleon will battle a series of coalitions, each time hoping it will be the last. Win or lose, one thing is certain: Europe – and the world – will never be the same.

NOTE: Because this is a very long episode, I have included timestamps for each chapter at the end of this description.

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSX7OwjHODNJxt3aNlynA1e2SPLsHaavqDrhe4RmhOWBJwB23UlY84yO6nIXdutScKLplri9xQVUIwi/pub
Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

CHAPTER TIMESTAMPS:
Introduction – 0:00:00
Chapter 1: The French Directory – 0:5:09
Chapter 2: The Invasion of Egypt – 0:33:03
Chapter 3: The Second Directory – 0:55:04
Chapter 4: Napoleon Takes Command – 1:10:32
Chapter 5: The War of the Second Coalition – 1:41:18
Chapter 6: The French Consulate – 2:20:01
Chapter 7: A Changing Continent – 2:47:07
Chapter 8: Emperor Napoleon – 3:08:54
Chapter 9: The War of the Third Coalition – 3:32:04
Chapter 10: Austerlitz – 3:52:41
Chapter 11: The End of an Empire – 4:13:22
Cha..

The Reign of Terror reaches a climax when the French Revolutionaries begin to turn on one another. Jacques Hébert and Georges Danton are executed, and Robespierre rules briefly as a dictator, verging on a god-king. After the Festival of the Supreme Being, he too will face the guillotine.

A new government takes power, ruled by men like the corrupt Paul Barras, who have survived the Reign of Terror. Meanwhile, a new generation of military commanders also takes the stage, led by an artillery commander named Napoleon Bonaparte. Will the republic survive, or will the French Revolution lead to another dictatorship?

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vRKfoIREpNFsjjY4mL3WX4yv8ILnwflsNzI9vVQwLk_mGDjyIFLpRpYXj7BwmwtNqAN175UbxTA_EvV/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

When the young French Republic declares war on the Netherlands, all hell breaks loose. Within a month, the French find themselves facing a coalition that includes Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, and most of Italy.

At home, a counter-revolution in the rural Vendee region threatens to tear the country in two, and smaller federalist revolts break out in several major cities. In Paris, Robespierre and the Mountain seize control of the government from the Girondins, and send a flurry of people to the guillotine.

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vRusOl_rHgnMfqWl2_2gfj95U_IWl5Jfqh8xm9edKVP5iOZ76DH9nk6QnqVSXwFKe9Xpk_3SDjhVsG6/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

After the Flight to Varennes, the Parisian public turns decisively against Louis XVI. The French constitutional monarchy teeters on the brink, reliant on a war with Austria to maintain public confidence. When the war turns against France, the French people turn against their government and overthrow the King for good.

A new legislature is formed, and the revolutionaries struggle to achieve their goals on the battlefield and in politics. Meanwhile, the French Revolution cannot move forward with a deposed King who sits in limbo. As 1792 comes to a close, Louis XVI is put on trial for his life.

***CONTENT WARNING***

Since we’re coming up on the Reign of Terror and a lot of people are about to get guillotined, the last portion of this episode is an addendum on the history of capital punishment. This addendum covers both the pre-modern and modern world, and I talk about both state and non-state actors. There are graphic descriptions of torture and execution, so proceed with caution.

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSyb6ZCzMdX7smyU089I2hTLvboZamoo7WXWBYlTRXAld0Tszm80D5g1_e2MYW8x0HwNAR_yNxRd71K/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

After the Storming of the Bastille, the French Revolution shifts into high gear. The Constituent Assembly quickly abolishes feudal reforms and promotes the foundation of a new government with a document: the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

1790 is a quieter year, but under the surface, divisions harden as the Paris political clubs metamorphosize into modern political parties. Meanwhile, the Assembly faces unexpected backlash when it passes the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, a law that converts all Catholic clergy into civil servants employed by the state.

All of this culminates in the famous Flight to Varennes, an ill-fated attempt by the royal family to escape France altogether. The consequences for France – and for humanity – are yet to be seen.

Dan’s interview with Ro Martin on the Stoned Genius podcast: https://spotify.link/wZdJiSEY4Db

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vRO_5dI2Ubxpe-wJOFRnZbWesgwAVzm_uIbxLho0pZOaHtm24okuTMexhjNIBmc5DUxBTZxka3qbMOY/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

The French Revolution is a watershed moment not just in the history of France, but for all of humanity. Old ideas of class, hierarchy, and the divine right of kings are being challenged. For the first time since the classical era, an urban proletariat is starting to demand its own voice in politics. But the Revolution doesn’t start that way.

What begins as a financial crisis for the French government requires a legislative body to sign off on new taxes. This body, the Estates General, calls for additional reforms, which provokes a reactionary response from the conservative faction of the government, led by Louis XVI’s Austrian wife, Marie Antoinette. The public backlash goes beyond the Estates General, culminating in a series of street riots that end in one of history’s most iconic moments: the Storming of the Bastille.

Dan’s interview with Ben Kitchings of The History Voyager podcast: https://open.spotify.com/episode/07xhGEgKsxnCdziyitLWBQ

What is the Third Estate? (Complete text): https://pages.uoregon.edu/dluebke/301ModernEurope/Sieyes3dEstate.pdf

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vTx_oaOfhi7aZmALI_W1Sy-d_sPnveEGE6zmtHEbLuDWRYb3pS5LCX7x7sKUHQFlNp9IuFaUSW94HFP/pub

What do the Kennedy assassination, the Martin Luther King assassination, and the Iraq War all have in common? Maybe nothing. Or maybe they were all orchestrated by a shadow government that has quietly taken over the United States.
In this bonus episode, Dan delves into the realm of conspiracy theory and asks whether everything we thought we knew about US history since 1960 was wrong.
CONTENT WARNING: This episode gets political, and Dan also talks about conspiracy theories. If you prefer a straight history podcast, best to skip this one.

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vRYkYM7zJi5IUkCOVui3KkAghBEBA21oJml6prwvBfA3TA05yJy0oQiWZJLw-ZJgXPWYLrxR1Q1LWy3/pub
Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

HELPFUL LINKS:
1947 National Security Act: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Act_of_1947#Provisions
1960 U2 Incident: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1960_U-2_incident
JFK assassination: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ltg2RgHlsQ
MLK assassination: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TA2AIuAuW8
RFK assassination: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVScM_9Tn-s
Article on RFK assassination audio forensics: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2018/06/06/the-bobby-kennedy-assassination-tape-were-13-shots-fired-or-only-8/
NATO expansion timeline: https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-business-world-war-ii-sweden-finland-240d97572cc783b2c7ff6e7122dd72d2
Some background on NATO-Russia relations, including as regards Ukraine: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/why-nato-has-become-flash-point-..

The British surrender at Yorktown isn’t the end of the American War for Independence, but it’s the end of the war in North America, and within another year the war overseas is also finished. With peace comes an end to the bloodshed, a chance to rebuild, and a turning point in many people’s lives.

But the end of the war is not the end of the American Revolution. Now that independence has been won, a new nation struggles to find its identity. In this episode, we’ll talk about the Constitutional Convention, George Washington’s presidency, and more.

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vRe4Yrdjcca4QDfc-Yx6AC2wZlnddMbmmbVEYUsKJe-pabERL3laolInY7oJvHR7ak-fMgdmLcb0pdm/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

PARTIAL BIBLIOGRAPHY:

An American Crisis: George Washington and the Dangerous Two Years After Yorktown, 1781–1783 by William M. Fowler: https://amzn.to/3IUV8IF
Spain and the Independence of the United States: An Intrinsic Gift by Thomas E. Chavez: https://amzn.to/40V0XN1
The American Revolution: A Global War by Richard Ernest Dupuy: https://amzn.to/3K8K8at
Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution by Dan L. Morrill: https://amzn.to/3KOJtwJ
100 Decisive Battles from Ancient Times to the Present, by Paul K Davis: https://amzn.to/3BBx1Ld
George Washington – A Military Life by Edward G Lengel: https://amzn.to/3Jc5kMs
General George Washington: A Military Life by Edward G. Lengel: https://amzn.to/3lowoQB
Valiant ambition : George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revoluti..

In 1780, the American War for Independence is at a stalemate. The British, eager to crush the rebellion once and for all, decide to change strategies and invade the American south. There, they will face not just the Continental Army, but also the backwoods militia who dominate the inland United States.

Meanwhile, the French and the Spanish will deal blow after blow to the British Empire, threatening not just Britain’s status in North America, but her dominance over world trade. With few friends on the world stage, Parliament faces a bitter truth: to save the Empire, they must sacrifice the Thirteen Colonies.

Map of the southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War: https://www.battlefields.org/sites/default/files/styles/wysiwyg_original/public/thumbnails/image/Southern-Campaign-Map-%28June-2020%29.jpg?itok=BHGUi5Z5

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vR_3pYtLMjmaO6VOaFPuVsoXKJZ1Rv71vxXrxbdM_xVoOAYweMlT7BmPdvOaEvO-r9QRlTzTKFgMZjY/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

PARTIAL BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Spain and the Independence of the United States: An Intrinsic Gift by Thomas E. Chavez: https://amzn.to/40V0XN1

The American Revolution: A Global War by Richard Ernest Dupuy: https://amzn.to/3K8K8at

Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution by Dan L. Morrill: https://amzn.to/3KOJtwJ

100 Decisive Battles from Ancient Times to the Present, by Paul K Davis: https://amzn.to/3BBx1Ld

George Washington – A Military Life by Edward G Lengel: https://amzn.to/3Jc5kMs

General George Washington: A ..

In this bonus episode, Dan discusses the trend of historical presentism – judging past figures by present-day standards. Should we hold yesterday’s figures to today’s ethical norms? Or does history require a broader approach? Dan breaks down the case against presentism, along with a few points in its favor.

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Is History History? - https://www.historians.org/research-and-publications/perspectives-on-history/september-2022/is-history-history-identity-politics-and-teleologies-of-the-present

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Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

In the years 1778 and 1779, the American revolutionaries work to keep the British army bottled up in New York City. At the same time, the British open a second offensive in the southern states, and encourage their Native American allies to open up a series of small frontier wars in the American West.
The American revolutionaries are also aided by new friends. For the first time, the French take an active role against the British. Sensing opportunity, Spain jumps on the bandwagon, hoping to retake their lost territory of Gibraltar. What began as a local uprising in the colonies is now an international war that threatens to bring the British Empire to its knees.

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Official website: https://bit.ly/3btvha4
Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vRzzs6to_BPTh0nNQ3VJlhjg4VW4R8tEHcA5ZS17YhHvmBM03v7aYitMponUurYQFg-vEFfyyN8rtuS/pub
Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

PARTIAL BIBLIOGRAPHY:
George Washington – A Military Life by Edward G Lengel: https://amzn.to/3Jc5kMs
Navies and the American Revolution 1775-1783 by Robert Gardiner: https://amzn.to/3yth7AW
The Conquest of the Illinois by George Rogers Clark: https://amzn.to/3l51NY6
General George Washington: A Military Life by Edward G. Lengel: https://amzn.to/3lowoQB
Valiant ambition : George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution
by Nathaniel Philbrick: https://amzn.to/3yLXmoe
Portrait of a General: Sir Henry Clinton in the War of Independence by William Bradford Willcox: https://amzn.to/3lhVKjf
The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an Americ..

In July of 1776, even as the ink on the Declaration of Independence is still drying, a British invasion force invades New York, forcing George Washington and the Continental Army to retreat into New Jersey and leave America’s largest port in British hands. By winter, the cause of the United Colonies appears lost.

But 1777 is a new year, and brings with it new opportunities. Will the colonists be able to turn things around and beat back the British? And if they win, what kind of country will they have created?

MAP OF NEW YORK CITY (MODERN): https://ontheworldmap.com/usa/city/new-york-city/

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Official website: https://bit.ly/3btvha4

Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vRzzs6to_BPTh0nNQ3VJlhjg4VW4R8tEHcA5ZS17YhHvmBM03v7aYitMponUurYQFg-vEFfyyN8rtuS/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

In the aftermath of the French and Indian War, Great Britain struggles to manage her enlarged North American holdings. In an effort to fund necessary garrison troops, Parliament levies a series of taxes on the 13 Colonies, who have previously held the right to manage their own taxes.

This leads to a series of protests and back-and-forth exchanges that culminates in an organized group of angry Bostonians pitching thousands of pounds worth of tea into Boston Harbor. When King George suspends the government of Massachusetts, it’s only a matter of time before violence breaks out.

In this episode, Dan delves into the origins and causes of the American Revolution, and how a trade protest turns into a full-blown war for independence.

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vR4RpvNWlKbI1Lo4hVVlsDs1mTc0gLvJ1qd5YyjHy59d297xt7_4cMhdbU9rxENDcUXv7zgBe2aTdCg/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

Dan dives into current events once again, with an update on the war in Ukraine. Here’s where things stand in December 2022, along with some warnings for the future.

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Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

At the dawn of 1761, Frederick the Great’s Kingdom of Prussia is on the brink of collapse. Under attack by the Russians and Swedish in the north and the Austrians in the south, it would take a miracle for Prussia to survive. Meanwhile, the war in the west spreads to the Iberian peninsula, where Spain joins France in a surprise attack on British-allied Portugal.

In the conclusion of World War Zero, Dan talks about the final stages of the Seven Years’ War, and the political fallout around the globe. From Europe to North America to the Indian Subcontinent, the ripple effects will spread to the present day.

MAP OF EUROPE IN 1759: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bf/Europe_1748-1766_en.png/1280px-Europe_1748-1766_en.png

FRONTENAC WITH NATIVE ALLIES:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1a/Frontenac_with_the_Indians.jpg

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSeKxq__lnUgyCzwIzrZGdnfgWsyfoVJSu3M_hTSQP1UyL51kNFXcv_jSsvYQmxrTGmiD1qX_KoTR6K/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

In 1759, Europe is in its fourth year of war. North America is in its sixth. There, a new British commander named Jeffery Amherst partners with Native American allies to take the fight to the French. If successful, Amherst can force the French out of Canada altogether.

In Europe, France and Britain fight to a stalemate. But British-allied Prussia is in grave danger as Frederick the Great tries to fight off the combined might of Austria, Russia, France, and Sweden. Will Prussia survive and maintain its position in Central Europe? Or will Austria regain her supremacy in Germany?

CORRECTION: At one point, I said that Gen. Wolfe led an attack on Montreal. Since I said “Quebec” every other time, I hope the error is obvious.

MAP OF EUROPE IN 1759: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bf/Europe_1748-1766_en.png/1280px-Europe_1748-1766_en.png

PARTIAL MAP OF NORTH AMERICA: MAP: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/French_and_Indian_War_map.png

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Episode transcript (90% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vTIvrQA45QmvijAZazSi3O27aTVyW5Aaj97oB0gVwx4oJKtXzq30syUBX4tMqRzWnIfSmOmeHl-dwg9/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

In 1756, the French and British war over North America spills over to Europe. Prussian leader Frederick the Great, a British ally, takes the opportunity to make a pre-emptive attack on French-allied Austria, Poland, Saxony, and Russia. Soon, Sweden joins the counterattack against Prussia, and virtually all of Europe is at war.

But the Seven Years’ War will continue to spread. The French and British fight battles in West Africa, and the French and British East India Companies struggle for dominance in India. In North America, fighting goes on, with the British assaulting key French forts along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, to cut them off from their inland colonies.

But who will dominate? The French alliance and their overwhelming land power in Europe - or the British alliance, with their sea power and financial might? At this phase of the war, it remains an open question.

MAP OF EUROPE IN 1756: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bf/Europe_1748-1766_en.png/1280px-Europe_1748-1766_en.png

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Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

In this episode, Dan traces the origins of the Seven Years’ War, starting with a seemingly-insignificant skirmish commanded by a young George Washington. This 1754 clash between British and French colonial forces will eventually turn into a global conflict.

But what are the stakes in North America? Why are the French and the British willing to risk a world war? And why will these far-flung events lead to a global war? Here’s how it all got started.

MAP: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/French_and_Indian_War_map.png

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Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

With the War of the Austrian Succession slowed to a crawl in Europe, the conflict spreads around the globe. In North America, French and British colonists fight in battles from Nova Scotia to Upstate New York. In the plains of east India, the French and British East India Companies wage a proxy war, aided by their nations’ warships.

Back in Europe, peace breaks out in 1748. But after eight years of war, politics, and intrigue, there’s just as much bad blood between allies as there is between former enemies. The next few years would give rise to a realignment called the Diplomatic Revolution, which would lay the groundwork for more conflict.

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Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

At the end of 1743, Europe is divided in two. On the one side, Austrian Archduchess Maria Theresa struggles to hold on to her ancestral lands, supported by her allies in Britain, the Netherlands, and Piedmont-Sardinia. On the other side, France and Spain are trying to conquer the old Habsburg lands, while Frederick the Great in Prussia continues to pose a real threat. Meanwhile, the French and Spanish are also trying to start a rebellion in Great Britain.

The War of the Austrian Succession is among the most chaotic in history. In this episode, Dan untangles the various threads of the war, and how it would change geopolitics forever.

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Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

The War of the Austrian Succession marks the beginning of the transition from dynastic politics to a more modern sense of nationalism. At the time, though, it merely seems like a calamity. What begins as a personal land grab by the young Prussian King Frederick the Great turns into a general European war, as multiple powers try to grab land from the vulnerable Austrian Archduchess Maria Theresa.

This war won’t remain confined to Europe. Thanks to the involvement of colonial powers, the war spreads throughout the globe. In the Caribbean, a British fleet under Edward Vernon terrorizes the Spanish Main in the War of Jenkins’ Ear. From the coast of South America to the mountains of central Europe, Prussian aggression shakes up the world’s geopolitical order.

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Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

At the mid-point of the first season, Dan takes a breather to recap what we’ve learned, and discuss nationalism more broadly.

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Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

Following Commodore Matthew Perry’s expedition to Japan, the floodgates to foreign trade are open. British, French, and even Russian merchants come to Japan, introducing foreign ways of life. Rebellious daimyos, worried about losing their way of life, resort to extreme measures; they overthrow the Shogunate and restore the Emperor of Japan to a position of real power.

When even the Emperor cannot eliminate foreign influence, restive samurai launch a series of rebellions. Can the new government maintain its authority, and bring Japan fully into the modern era? Or will the old ways continue to dominate?

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Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

In the year 1853, Japan is an isolationist, feudal society. By 1877, she’s a modern nation, with a centralized government and burgeoning national industry. This process, called the Meiji Restoration, is one of the most remarkable national transformations in all of history. But how does it happen?

In this episode, Dan discusses the first part of the story. We’ll start out with the Tokugawa Shogunate and its policy of Sakoku – isolation. Then we’ll talk about the Japanese experience in the 19th century, and how American Commodore Matthew Perry’s expedition changes Japan, and the world, forever.

Dan’s new interview with Ben from The History Voyager: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4EVcbeJhWQtnlp36jJI2L4

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Episode transcript: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQ_LZO-uyQSprOn-mKgPzYoULDrTkU0-ahVlGzkRqVEs8xTEHOv_mvZnrNelvy_Bq2EpIioDwlodo0g/pub

Music credit: Sergey Cheremisinov - Black Swan

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Created 3 years, 9 months ago.

72 videos

Category Arts & Literature

Ideas, innovations, and cultural trends all steer the course of history. That's what makes them relevant.