Key Battles of American History
Key Battles of American History
About Key Battles of American History
War has played a key role in the history of the United States from the nation’s founding right down to the present. Wars made the U. S. independent, kept it together, increased its size, and established it as a global superpower. Understanding America’s wars is essential for understanding American history. In the Key Battles of American History, host James Early discusses American history through the lens of the most important battles of America’s wars. James is an Adjunct Professor of History at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX. He has published one book and two scholarly articles. He is also the cohost (with Scott Rank) of the Presidential Fight Club, Key Battles of the Civil War, Key Battles of the Revolutionary War, and Key Battles of World War I podcasts.
In this episode, Sean and James discuss the 2002 BBC made-for-TV movie <i>The Gathering Storm</i>, which tells the story of Winston Churchill’s return to power after several years in the political “wilderness” and his efforts to warn Parliament and the British government about the threat posed by Adolph Hitler. Albert Finney stars as Churchill.
In 1923, Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister of Italy and the first fascist leader in Europe. He would not be the last. In less than two decades, many more nations in Europe would be taken over by fascist or semi-fascist leaders, including the most notorious of them all: Adolf Hitler. In this episode, Sean and James narrate the rise of fascism and militarism and the continent’s accelerated march toward war.
Paul Gill, Sr. was the Third Mate on the Liberty Ship SS Nathanael Greene which sailed to Archangel, Russia, with Convoy PQ18 in September 1942. Armageddon in the Arctic Ocean is Gill’s memoir chronicling his life from the Great Depression through his service in the US Navy during WWII and his later graduation from Harvard Business School. Along the way, readers will learn of Gill's enrollment in the Civilian Conservation Corps at age fifteen; how he joined the Merchant Marine and made eight passages to European ports as a sixteen-year-old; his riding the rails across the United States in search of work in 1938; his return to the Merchant Marine and ascension "up the hawse pipe" to become a licensed Merchant Marine officer; his participation in the biggest convoy battle of World War II; the destruction of the Nathanael Greene off the coast of North Africa by U-565; and more.
The roots of the Second World War in Europe lie within the First World War. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles formally ended the war between Germany and the western Allies, but the geopolitical situation it created was far from stable. Ten years later, the Great Depression made things even worse. In this episode, Sean and James discuss the unsettled state of Europe between 1918 and 1930 and the gradual fracturing of the uneasy peace that it enjoyed.
The Risorgimento was a period of political and social upheaval in Italy that lasted from the early 19th century to the mid-20th century. The movement aimed to unite the various states and regions of Italy into one unified nation. Pinocchio, the beloved children's story written by Carlo Collodi, can be seen as a metaphor for Italian unification through the character's journey from a wooden puppet to a real boy. And last but not least, let's talk about pizza. Italy's most famous export, pizza, is a symbol of the country's rich cultural heritage and culinary traditions. Whether you're a fan of traditional Margherita or a more unconventional topping, there's a pizza for everyone.
Some remember Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency as a time of peace and prosperity, but in reality, it was an era of constant global crises. In this episode preview from This American President, host Richard Lim explores how Eisenhower skillfully navigated the perils of the Cold War.
After the fight at Churubusco, the two armies rested for a couple of weeks, after which the Americans resumed the attack at Molino del Rey and Chapultepec. Eventually, Scott and his army fought their way into Mexico City as Santa Anna and his army retreated. After several months of negotiations, the two sides signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, a settlement that was highly costly for Mexico and highly beneficial to the United States. The war was over.
In March, 1847, an American army of 12,000 under the command of General Winfied Scott landed on the eastern coast of Mexico and laid siege to the city of Veracruz. After the city’s surrender, Scott marched his army westward toward Mexico City while Santa Anna used whatever troops he could find to try and stop the Americans. By September, Scott had reached the outskirts of the Mexican capital, where he and Santa Anna faced off at the bloody battle of Churubusco. If the Mexicans failed to halt the American advance there, the fall of the capital was sure to follow.
In a time-honored tradition in the Key Battles of American History Podcast, Sean and James push “pause” on the military and political narrative to give you a “ground up” view of the war. In this episode, you will find out what life was like for the common soldier (both regulars and volunteers) on both sides. What did soldiers eat? What did they wear? How did they cope with boredom, disease, and military discipline? What was combat like? Join us, and you will find out!
After the Mexican loss at Monterrey, Santa Anna took command of the Mexican army and marched a large force north to get revenge against Taylor and his army. The result was the bloody and consequential Battle of Buena Vista, the last major engagement of the war in Northern Mexico. Meanwhile, north of the Rio Grande, American forces attempted to conquer the Mexican provinces of California and New Mexico, while political opposition to the war increased in the United States.
In April 1846, the army of General Zachary Taylor, which President Polk had sent to the Rio Grande River, clashed with a Mexican force sent to drive the Americans away. Soon after, Taylor fought two brief battles (Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma) with the Mexicans, driving them across the Rio Grande. After a pause of a few months, the two armies clashed again at Monterrey. Meanwhile, an old “friend” re-entered the story.
Over 300 men were executed by the British Army for desertion and cowardice during the First World War. In this episode preview from Vlogging Through History, host Chris Mowery explores the process for executions and the stories of the men involved.
By 1844, the United States government had resisted the urge to annex the Republic of Texas for several years, but in 1844 that changed as President John Tyler and his successor James K. Polk brought Texas into the U. S. as the 28th state in 1845. How would Mexico react to this? Join us, and you will see!
For the entire history of the Republic of Texas, relations between Mexico and Texas remained tense. Both sides raided the other’s territory. Comanches and other Native American tribes raided both republics. Both republics experienced political and financial instability. And both wondered if and when the United States might add Texas to its ever-expanding territory. In this episode, Sean and James discuss the fascinating and chaotic story of the Republic of Texas, with an emphasis on its relationship with Mexico.
Alexander the Great’s death at 323 BC in Babylon marked the end of the most consequential military campaign in antiquity. He left behind an empire that stretched from Greece to India, planted the seeds of the Silk Road, and made Greek an international language across Eurasia, all in 13 short years. But what if he had not died as a young man? What if he had lived years or decades more? To explore this hypothetical scenario, host Scott Rank interviews Anthony Everitt, author of “Alexander the Great: His Life and Mysterious Death.” In this fascinating discussion, Scott and Anthony look at the life of the most influential person in the ancient world and explore the ramifications of his life having even more influence.
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