Tag Archives: history

Bitter Sweet: Sugar, Slavery, Empire, and Consumerism in the Atlantic World

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Sugar has become ubiquitous in modern-day cuisine: it’s pretty much everywhere and in everything we eat.  But how did this White Gold earn its place in consumer culture?  Join Averill, Marissa, and Katie as they discuss the history of sugar cultivation and its relationship to empire and consumerism.

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Show Notes and Further Reading:

James Patterson Smith, “Empire and Social Reform: British Liberals and the ‘Civilizing Mission in the Sugar Colonies,’ 1868-1874,” Albion 27.2 (1995) 253-77

Philip D. Rotz, “Sweetness and Fever? Sugar Production, Aeses aegypti, and Dengue Fever in Natal, South Africa, 1926-27,” PSAE Research Series 12 (2014)

Bussa’s Rebellion,” UK National Archives 

Carol MacLennan, Sovereign Sugar : Industry and Environment in Hawaiʻi (University of Hawaii, 2014)

Alice G. Walton, “How Much Sugar Are Americans Eating?” Forbes (Aug 2012) 

Britain is built on sugar: our national sweet tooth defines us,” The Guardian (Oct 2007)

Karl Watson, “Slavery and Economy in Barbados,” BBC (2/2011) 

Barrie Cook, “Pieces of Eight,” History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC & British Museum) 

Emma George Ross, “The Portuguese in Africa, 1415-1600,” Met Museum 

Matthew Edel, “The Brazilian Sugar Cycle of the Seventeenth Century and the Rise of the West Indian Competition,” Caribbean Studies 9.1 (1969) 24-43.

Mark Johnson, “The Sugar Trade in the West Indies and Brazil between 1492 and 1700,” University of Minnesota Expansion of Empire Seminar 

Sidney W. Mintz, “The Culture History of a Puerto Rican Sugar Cane Plantation: 1876-1949,” The Hispanic American Historical Review 33.2 (1953) 224-251.

Heather Pringle, “Sugar Masters in a New World,” Smithsonian.com (January 2010)  

Feature image: Historia Naturalis Brasiliae (p51) modified by Averill Earls.

Tuberculean Chic: How the White Plague Shaped Beauty Standards in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Marissa and Sarah discuss Georgians’ and Victorians’ love affair with Tuberculosis and the tuberculean aesthetic in fashion and art. In Georgian London, some diseases started to seem fashionable, desirable even. Gambling was popular, elites were using snuff and drinking spirits, powdering their hair, whitening their faces with toxic creams, damaging their bodies with restrictive clothes and hairstyles. Ladies of fashion were perceived to be particularly vulnerable to disease and this made them even more attractive. This is the context where tuberculosis first began shaping beauty standards. The Victorians took this even further. Pre-Raphaelite painters, their models, and the discovery of the tubercle bacillus germ brought new classed and gendered meanings to the tuberculean chic.

A thank-you to Carolyn Day and Amelia Rauser whose work was invaluable in producing this episode.

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Show Notes & Further Reading

Brandt, Chris. “Tuberculosis And Its Impact On Medicine, Research, And Fashion Trends.University Herald. 

Byrne, Katherine. Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary Imagination. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Day, Carolyn A., and Amelia Rauser. 2016. “Thomas Lawrence’s Consumptive Chic: Reinterpreting Lady Manners’s Hectic Flush in 1794”. Eighteenth-Century Studies. 49, no. 4: 455-474.

Denoyelles, Adrienne. “Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free: Tuberculosis in Progressive Era New York City.” Nursing Clio. 

Dubos, René J., Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz, and Jean Dubos. The White Plague: Tuberculosis, Man, and Society. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1996.

Fleming, R. S. “Victorian Feminine Ideal; about the perfect silhouette, hygiene, grooming, & body sculpting.”

Goetz, Thomas. “When TB Was a Death Sentence: An Excerpt From ‘The Remedy,’” The Daily Beast. 

Helsinger, Elizabeth. “Pre-Raphaelitism.” The Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature. Felluga, Dino Franco, Pamela K. Gilbert and Linda K. Hughes (eds). Blackwell Publishing, 2015. Blackwell Reference Online. 07 April 2017.

Mullin, Emily. “How Tuberculosis Shaped Victorian Fashion.” Smithsonian Magazine. 

Rothman, Sheila M. Living in the Shadow of Death: Tuberculosis and the Social Experience of Illness in American History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.

 

 

 

Communists and Uteruses: How the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China Sought to Control Women’s Reproduction

There is something fascinating about the history of reproductive rights, contraception, and abortion in every country and ideology that we’ve looked at in our women’s reproductive rights series. This week we’re turning to the impact of Communism on these issues, particularly in China and the Soviet Union. Here we have the complete range of reproductive control extremes – from hyper pro-natalist policies and criminalization of birth control and abortion in both China and the USSR; to the Soviet Union’s provision and regulation of abortion while simultaneously paying for extensive maternal support programming; to China’s one child policy, which included forced abortion and sterilization in an attempt to get control over an overpopulation problem. Averill and Marissa discuss all of these nuances and more in this episode on the impact of Communism on uteruses.

 

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David M. Heer, “Abortion, Contraception, and Population Policy in the Soviet Union,” Demography, 2 (1965) 531-39

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Paula Michaels, “Motherhood, Patriotism, and Ethnicity: Soviet Kazakhstan and the 1936 Abortion Ban,” Feminist Studies 27, n2 (Summer 2001)

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Show Notes & Further Reading

Tomas Frejka, “Induced Abortion and Fertility,” Family Planning Perspectives v17 n5 (Guttmacher Institute, 1985) 230-234

Paula Michaels, “Motherhood, Patriotism, and Ethnicity: Soviet Kazakhstan and the 1936 Abortion Ban,” Feminist Studies 27, n2 (Summer 2001)

Yuliya Hilevych, “Abortion and Gender Relationships in Ukraine, 1955-70,” The History of the Family 20.1 (2015) 86-105

David M. Heer, “Abortion, Contraception, and Population Policy in the Soviet Union,” Demography, 2 (1965) 531-39

Jill M. Bystydzienski, “Women and Socialism: A Comparative Study of Women in Poland and the USSR,” Signs 14.3 (Spring 1989)

Scharping, Thomas. Birth Control in China 1949-2000: Population Policy and Demographic Development. Routledge, 2013.

Hemminki E, Z Wu, G Cao, and K Viisainen. 2005. “Illegal Births and Legal Abortions–the Case of China”. Reproductive Health. 2.

Nie, Jing-Bao, and Arthur Kleinman. Behind the Silence: Chinese Voices on Abortion. Lanham, Maryland [etc.]: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.


Feature image: “Glory to the Mother-Heroine!” 1944 propaganda poster on a Soviet mother’s duty to the state. (Boston University) & Carry out family planning, implement the basic national policy – 1986 poster of a painting by Zhou Yuwei. (SBS)

Mexican Immigration in the 20th century: Revolution, Welfare, and Braceros

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The Bracero Program began in 1942, and was an agreement between the United States and Mexico, which started the legalization and control of Mexican migrant workers along America’s southern border area. The US was recovering from the social and economic damages caused by the Great Depression, while also sending many of its potential laborers off to war in Europe. So there was a serious need for workers in the country. The program lasted until 1964, and it is estimated that in this 22 year period, approximately 4.6 million Mexican nationals came to work in the U.S. as braceros. In the first year of its creation, the Bracero program led to the US importing roughly 215,000 Mexican nationals to work as agricultural laborers and then another 75,000 would be sent to work of the Southern Pacific railroad along with 20 or so other railroads.

In this continuation of our series on immigration, Dan and Elizabeth focus on the Mexican-American experience within the United States: instances of racism, the importation of Mexican workers, and how Mexican-Americans were intentionally excluded from the welfare state.

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Show Notes & Further Reading

Zamora, Emilio. The World of the Mexican Worker in Texas. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2009.

Katznelson, Ira. When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America. Reprint edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2006.

Cohen, Lizabeth. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939. 2nd edition. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Fox, Cybelle. Three Worlds of Relief: Race, Immigration, and the American Welfare State from the Progressive Era to the New Deal. Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012.

Ngai, Mai. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Updated edition. Princeton University Press, 2014.

Feature Image: “Mexican Farm Workers Who have been Accepted for Farm Labor in the U.S. through the Braceros Program

Science, Reform, and Anti-Vivisection

Things have been pretty political around here lately, so we wanted to dig into something that’s just fascinating and, frankly, creepy: anti-vivisection, or the 19th century campaign to end scientific and medical experimentation on living animals. Join Averill and Sarah as they talk about the practice of vivisection and the efforts to stop it. Also, a word of warning: we use some nineteenth century language when reading quotes, and also describe some pretty graphic events. You might want to turn it down if you’re sensitive or listening with kids.

Sources & Further Reading 

A History of Anti-vivsection from 1800s to the Present: Part I (1800-1914).

Dissecting the Living: Vivisection in Early Modern England,” Chirurgeon’s Apprentice

Davis, Janet M. “The History of Animal Protection in the United States.” The American Historian. 

Johnson, Eric. “Charles Darwin and Vivisection Outrage,” Scientific American, October 6, 2011.

Frances Power Cobbe.

Markel, Howard. “Case Shined First Light on Abuse of Children,” New York Times, December 14, 2009.

McCurry, Justin. “Japan Revisits its darkest moments where American POWs became human experiments,” The Guardian, August 13, 2015.

McNeill, Leila. “Women, Animals, and the Poetry of Activism,” Nursing Clio. 

Prosecution at Norwich: Experiment on Animals,” The British Medical Journal, December 12, 1874.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 

Renaissance Anatomy.

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

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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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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)

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