Tag Archives: Political History

Brexit and Nationalism

fish_chips_and_mushy_peasSo as I say in the first two minutes of the podcast – I somehow
recorded and even edited this podcast back in June when England voted to leave the European Union and then I failed to post it.  (And then I go on to say that I want to get through editing and posting fasted.  Ha!)  But anyway, the night of election 2016 here in the US seems like a plenty opportune time to post the same ideas since Trump’s campaign has often been compared to Brexit itself.  Although as I write this it is not really yet clear if the surprise Brexit victory will repeat itself. Continue reading Brexit and Nationalism

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A Visit to an Archive

Bocadillo_Español

This month (bi-month?  I’ve not been the most regular about getting something out even every other month!) I talk about one of my visits to the Cathedral archive in Spain.  Archives form the core of most (though not all) historical work.  Every major city or town has some form of archive with the documents and records produced in that place and for Europe, that means documents about the place often going back centuries.

 

Continue reading A Visit to an Archive

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Church and State in Early Modern Spain

It has been a while now, but I’m back with hopefully a string of new podcasts.  First off, I have a small, on-location, observation about the relationship between church and state power in Spain.  This is a topic that has lots of depth to it, and this little intro only scratches the surface, but standing between the Cathedral of Madrid and the Royal Palace seemed like a good place to at least contemplate the symbolic relationship between those two institutions, something that Spain has dealt with in several ways over the last few hundred years.  Much of Spanish history over the last five hundred years has been competition between centralizing forces and centripetal forces pulling away from centralized power.  Continue reading Church and State in Early Modern Spain

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Politics I-4 The Tenth Century

This is the fourth of the medieval history lectures.  In the run-through of politics, I cover major political and power questions from the end of Rome to the end of the fifteenth century.  This lecture talks about the breakdown of Carolingian power, control of land in the absence of centralized states, and the Vikings (and who doesn’t love the vikings…although honestly, I don’t talk that much about them.)  I spend at least some time at the end talking about the scholarly debate surrounding “feudalism” and what the hierarchy of society looked like during the tenth century. Continue reading Politics I-4 The Tenth Century

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Politics I-3 Northern Successors to Rome

This is the third of the medieval history lectures.  In the run-through of politics, I cover major political and power questions from the end of Rome to the end of the fifteenth century.  This lecture talks about the Western Roman Empire’s successor states.  I talk some about the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons in England and how their cultural heritage mixed with the Roman influences brought with Augustine of Canterbury.  The second half of the lecture gives the general story of the rise of the Franks and the transfer of power from the Merovingians to the first real attempt to revive an “imperial” power under the Carolingians and their most famous king, Charlemagne. Continue reading Politics I-3 Northern Successors to Rome

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Politics I-2 Byzantium and Islam

This is the second of the medieval history lectures.  In the run-through of politics, I cover major political and power questions from the end of Rome to the end of the fifteenth century.  This lecture talks a bit about the structures of the Eastern empire after Constantine – the political entity that we now call the Byzantine empire after the old name of the great city of Istanbul/Constantinople, originally called “Byzantium” by the greeks.  I also talk about the rise of Islam – I don’t discuss a lot about the Islamic empire after this point, as the course focuses, perhaps overly much on Western Europe.  At any rate, here’s something about these two incredibly important players in the Mediterranean throughout the history of medieval Europe. Continue reading Politics I-2 Byzantium and Islam

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Politics I-1 The End of Rome

This is the first of the medieval history lectures.  In the run-through of politics, I cover major political and power questions from the end of Rome to the end of the fifteenth century.  This lecture covers a little bit about late Roman politics, and focuses on the reigns of the emperors Diocletian and Constantine.  I also discuss something of the barbarian groups to the north, although this comes up more completely in a subsequent lecture. Continue reading Politics I-1 The End of Rome

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The Emperor Nero with Will Guast

This month on the History Cafe, we are talking about the notorious emperor Nero.  Perhaps most famous for “fiddling while Rome burned,” (and to be fair, when everything was pretty much burned down, Nero built one of the largest palaces ever constructed in Rome, complete with gardens, courtyards, and all the gold one might imagine necessary to such an enterprise), Nero’s actual legacy was cemented by successors who often wanted to portray a more negative image of their predecessors.  Within Nero’s life, there is some evidence that he took reasonable steps as emperor, returning to Rome to help fight the fire, supporting the rights of some of the provinces (he might have been particularly popular in the Eastern provinces), and generally working to consolidate power as any of his more famous predecessors (Julius Caesar, Claudius, and others) would have done equally. Continue reading The Emperor Nero with Will Guast

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