Tag Archives: American history

We Belong Here: Manifest Destiny, Immigration, and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

When we think of immigration we tend to think of people crossing over nation-state borders, from one country to another. These borders seem somehow solid in our collective mind, yet they normally only exist within treaties, maps, and in perceived ideas of community. But in many ways, borders are arbitrary distinctions, attempting to separate one from another but instead creating unique spaces, or borderlands that house a give and take, push and pull, amalgam of culture and people.

In this episode, we are going to be talking about how the United States’ southern border formed and how ideas of race and manifest destiny came to define what it meant to be an American or an immigrant.

Show Notes & Further Reading

Americo Paredes, With His Pistol in His Hand (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1958).

Rodolfo Acuña, Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, vol. 1 (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1972).

Laura E. Gomez, Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race (New York: New York University Press, 2007).

Reginald Horsman, Race and Manifest Destiny : The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981).

Raymund A. Paredes, “The Origins of Anti-Mexican Sentiment in the United States,” in Race and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Ages of Territorial and Market Expansion, 1840-1900, ed. Michael L. Krenn (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1998).

Arnoldo De Leon, “Initial Contacts: Redeeming Texas from Mexicans, 1821-1836,” in Race and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Ages of Territorial and Market Expansion, 1840-1900 (New York: Garland Pub., 1998).

Katherine Benton-Cohen, Borderline Americans: Racial Division and Labor War in the Arizona Borderlands, (Harvard University Press, 2011).

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Forced Migration

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Immigration and migration have been pretty hot topics lately. This week a particularly interesting question has been bouncing around just about everywhere: were the people transported during the Atlantic Slave Trade immigrants? This got us thinking about forced migrations. In this episode, join Averill and Sarah as they talk about two particularly powerful examples of forced migration: the Atlantic Slave Trade, and Indian Removal. Also, a little chat at the end about the work we do, both as podcasters and as professional historians.

 

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Show Notes & Further Reading 

Ehle, John. The Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation (New York: Anchor Books, 1988).

Equiano, Olaudah. The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African (London, 1789).

Inskeep, Steve. Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, And A Great American Land Grab (New York: Penguin Books, 2015).

Wheat, David.  The Iberian Roots of the Atlantic Slave Trade, from Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History 

Maiz, Jaime. The U. S. Government Imposes a “Civilization Plan,” National Parks Service

The Sequoyah Museum 

The Cherokee and the Trail of Tears, Learn NC

For more on the experience of the Atlantic Slave Trade, see this online roundtable of reactions to Sowande Muskateem’s Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage from Black Perspectives and the African American Intellectual History Society.

To see a digital representation of how land was seized from Native American peoples, see this interactive map.

And this map shows a time-lapse of the spread of cotton and the spread of slavery across the deep South. You’ll notice how it corresponds to the land seized from the Cherokee and other tribes.

For more on Cherokee culture, including lots of primary documents and information about the Cherokee people today, see the Cherokee Museum.

 

 

 

 

How America Got Its Bases

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It should come as no surprise that the American military has bases all over the world in strategically important places.  But how did we obtain them, especially those ones that exist in the middle of other sovereign nations?  Join Averill, Katie, and Dan as they discuss American base acquisition in this week’s episode of the History Buffs Podcast.

Show Notes and Further Reading

Diego Garcia:

Diego Garcia Islanders Displaced in U.K. Failure Hope to Return Home,” NPR, April 16, 2015

Scott Foster and Robert Windrem, “Tsunami Spares U.S. Base in Diego Garcia,” NBC News, January 4, 2005

Joshua L. Harris, “U.S. Military Presence in Diego Garcia: National Interests vs. Human Rights,” ICE Case Studies No. 120, December 2003

David Vine, “The Truth About Diego Garcia,” The Huffington Post, June 15, 2015

David Vine, Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia, Princeton University Press, 2011

Guantanamo Bay:

Copy of checks sent to Cuba

The United States, Cuba, and the Platt Amendment, 1901,” Office of the Historian

Agreement Between the United States and Cuba for the Lease of Lands for Coaling and Naval stations, February 23, 1903Yale Law School Avalon Project 

The Case for CLosing – and Keeping Open – Guantanamo,” NPR (6 Mar 2016)

Jess Bravin, The Terror Courts (Yale University Press, 2013) 

Philip Ewing, “Fact Check: Is Obama Handing Guantanamo Bay Back to Cuba?NPR (Feb 25, 2016) 

Alyssa Fetini, “A Brief History of Gitmo,” Time (12 Nov 2008) 

Jeannette L. Nolen, “Guantanamo Bay detention camp,” Encyclopedia Britannica (Updated 22 May 2013)

Michael J. Strauss, The Leasing of Guantanamo Bay (ABC-CLIO, May 14, 2009)


Featured image: Panorama showing 1st, 2nd & 3rd Regiments, U.S. Marines, Deer Point Camp, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, April 26, 1911 (Library of Congress)

Black Soldiers in the American Civil War

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A few months ago, we talked about the experiences of Civil War contraband, and mentioned the United States Colored Troops. Today, we dig a little more deeply into the history of that military organization. What motivated black men to enlist, and what was their experience in uniform? Join Averill and Sarah to learn more about black soldiers in the American Civil War.


Show Notes and Further Reading

 

Will Hickox, Remember Fort Pillow!, New York Times Disunion 

Richard Slotkin, The Battle of the CraterNew York Times Disunion 

Kevin Levin, The Myth of the Black ConfederateThe Daily Beast 

USCT, The Civil War Trust

Carole Emberton, “Only Murder Makes Men: Reconsidering the Black Military Experience,” Journal of the Civil War Era 2 (September 2012), 369-93.

Black Past, 54th Massachusetts

 

 

 


Feature image: United States soldiers at Camp “William Penn” Philadelphia, PA., 1863 | Library Company of Philadelphia / Flickr Commons

Insanity on Trial

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The criminal culpability of people with mental illness has long been hotly debated. Recently, the “insanity defense” has received particular scrutiny as John W. Hinckley, who shot President Ronald Reagan and members of his staff in 1981, has been released from the inpatient mental facility where he has lived since 1982. Many, including Reagan’s family members, think the insanity defense Hinckley used allowed him to get off without facing the consequences of his actions. This got us wondering: where did the insanity defense come from? Join Marissa, Sarah and Averill as they talk about crime, mental illness, and the law.

 

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Show Notes and Further Reading 

Asmar, Melanie. “What happens when accused killers plead insanity?” Westward, February 6, 2014. 

Data, Vivek. “When Homosexuality Came Out (of the DSM).” Mad in America 1 Dec 2014. 

Collins, Kimberly, Gabe Hinkebein, and Staci Schorgl (3Ls), “The John Hinckley Trial and Its Effects on the Insanity Defense.”

Ford, Dana. “Judge orders Texas teen Ethan Couch to rehab for driving drunk, killing 4,” CNN 6 Feb 2014. 

Greyhound Bus Killer Found Not Criminally Responsible,” CBC News. 

Hannah, Jim. “Teen won’t claim mental illness in murder trial.” Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, Ohio, 11 Jan 2011

Jewett, Brandi. “Finley woman accused of murder claims mental illness.” Grand Forks Herald  May 7, 2014. 

Kenneally, Thomas. American Scoundrel: The Life of Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles. New York: Anchor Books, 2003.

Lennard, Natasha.  “‘He is sane’: James Holmes’ trial showed that the insanity plea is a mess,Fusion.net  July 17, 2015. 

Lopez, Christina. “Mom Accused of Drowning Girl Wins With Insanity Defense; Now, Can She Re-Enter Society?”  ABC News  January 27, 2013.

Martin, John P. “The Insanity Defense: A Closer Look,” The Washington Post February 27, 1998. 

Matejkowski, Jason C. MSW, Sara W. Cullen, MSW, and Phyllis L. Solomon, PhD, “Characteristics of Persons With Severe Mental Illness Who Have Been Incarcerated for Murder,” J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 36:74 – 86, 2008

Parker, Sam. “Determination of Insanity in Criminal Cases,” Cornell Law Review Volume 26, Issue 3 April 1941. 

Rosenberg, Charles. The Trial of the Assassin Guiteau: Psychiatry and the Law in the Gilded Age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Saxton, Martha. Being Good: Women’s Moral Values in Early America. New York: Hill and Wang, 2003.

Utah law found excuses for homosexual institutionalization” 26 Oct 2012. 

U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Insanity Defense: Clark v. Arizona,” Treatment Advocacy Cente 


 

Feature Image: Modified by Averill Earls; Original image Harper’s Weekly engraving of the Dan Sickles murder trial in Washington, D.C., 1859.

The Travels of Cabeza de Vaca

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Join Averill and Sarah this week as they trace the journeys of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, an early Spanish explorer to the southern United States. His writings leave us with a rich picture of his travels, one that complicates the ruthless picture of the Spanish conquistadores that many of us have previously learned.

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Show Notes and Further Reading

The Treaty of Tordesillas

Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar Nunez. Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition. Penguin, 2002.

Gibson, Charles. The Aztecs Under Spanish Rule: A History of the Indians in the Valley of Mexico, 1519-1810. Stanford University Press, 1964.

Varon Gabai, Rafael. Francisco Pizarro and His Brothers: The Illusion of Power in Sixteenth Century Peru. University of Oklahoma Press, 1997.

ASGA: Utopianisms

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Seas of lemonade, four simultaneous lovers for every woman, and perfectly formulated communities of 810 men and 810 women. Charles Fourier was an idealist, who believed Perfect Harmony could be achieved, if only we better engineered our society. Join Averill, Sarah, and Marissa as they discuss the utopian movements of the 19th century in the U.S., the final installment of our American Second Great Awakening series.

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Show Notes and Further Reading

John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Perfectionists.”

The Amana Colonies.” Origin of the Amana

Benedict, Philip. Christ’s Churches Purely Reformed: a Social History of Calvinism. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.

Burden, Tom. “Utopia.” The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought. Blackwell Publishing, 2002.

Delano, Sterling F. Brook Farm: The Dark Side of Utopia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009.

French, David G and Elena French. Working Communally: Patterns and Possibilities. Russell Sage Foundation, 1975.

Gordon, Jessica. “Transcendental Idea: Social Reform.” American Transcendentalism Web 

Hansan, J. “The Amana Colonies: A Utopian Community.” The Social Welfare History Project

Hill, Christopher. The World Turned Upside Down; Radical Ideas During the English Revolution. New York: Viking Press, 1972.

Jennings, Chris. Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism. Random House Publishing, 2016.

Noyes, George Wallingford and Lawrence Foster. Free Love in Utopia: John Humphrey Noyes and the Origin of the Oneida Community. Urbana: University of Chicago Press, 2001.

Weishaupt, Adam. The Illuminati Phalanx. Lulu Press, 2013.

Whitney, Terri. “Hawthorne at Brooke Farm.” Hawthorne in Salem

 

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