Professor Blight narrates some of the important political crises of the 1850s. The lecture begins with an account of the Compromise of 1850, the swan song of the great congressional triumvirate--Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun. The lecture then describes northern opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act passed as part of the Compromise, and the publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe's classicÂ Uncle Tom's CabinÂ in 1852. Professo...more
After finishing with his survey of the manner in which historians have explained the coming of the Civil War, Professor Blight focuses on Fort Sumter. After months of political maneuvering, the Civil War began when Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, in the harbor outside Charleston, SC. The declaration of hostilities prompted four more states--Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas--to secede. Professor Blight closes the lecture...more
Professor Freeman discusses colonial attempts to unite before the 1760s and the ways in which regional distrust and localism complicated matters. American colonists joined together in union three times before the 1760s. Two of these attempts were inspired by the necessity of self-defense; the third attempt was instigated by the British as a means of asserting British control over the colonies.
This lecture probes the reasons for confederate defeat and union victory. Professor Blight begins with an elucidation of the loss of will thesis, which suggests that it was a lack of conviction on the home front that assured confederate defeat, before offering another of other popular explanations for northern victory: industrial capacity, political leadership, military leadership, international diplomacy, a pre-existing political culture,...more
Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251)Professor Wrightson surveys the changing economic landscape of early modern England in the early sixteenth century. He notes that, throughout the period, population levels rose and, at the same time, inflation caused a rise in prices, and real wages fell. While many landowners were able to raise rents on their lands and profit from enclosing land, ...more
Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251)Professor Wrightson discusses local particularism and regionalism in early modern England and highlights the importance of local customs and economic patterns. He then focuses on the manner in which these local areas, while enjoying a measure of cultural, institutional, and economic autonomy, were simultaneously integrated into a larger national wh...more
How much does the average entrepreneur know about the history of Silicon Valley? Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Blank talks about how World War II set the stage for the creation and explosive growth of Silicon Valley, and the role of a single professor working with government agencies (including the CIA and the National Security Agency) to set up companies in this area that sparked the creation of hundreds of other enterprises.
The problematic question of when people in France began to consider themselves part of a French nation, with a specifically French national identity, has often been explained in terms of the modernizing progress of the French language at the expense of regional dialects. In fact, the development of French identity in rural France can be seen to have taken place alongside a continued tradition of local cultural practices, particularly in th...more
Having finished with slavery and the pro-slavery argument, Professor Blight heads North today. The majority of the lecture deals with the rise of the Market Revolution in the North, in the 1820s, 1830s, and 1840s. Blight first describes the causes of the Market Revolution--the rise of capital, a transportation revolution--and then moves to its effects on the culture and consciousness of antebellum northerners. Among these effects were a ri...more
Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251)Professor Wrightson reviews the consequences of the economic and population changes discussed in the last lecture. While economic shifts allowed some members of English society, especially members of the gentry and the land-holding classes, to increase their wealth, they also (coupled with an expanding population and price inflation) resulted in th...more