Tag: American history

Why Conceal Weapons?

 

Despite not carrying a gun, I’m a 2nd Amendment extremist, which is to say I respect the US Constitution as written.

It says “the right to keep and bear Arms” — not the right to bear only “firearms,” nor only the right to “keep” arms in the home. The Constitution’s authors clearly meant the public carrying of weapons, as evidenced by plain language and history.

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John Marshall is one of the most consequential figures in the history of the United States, yet too little is known about him. In John Marshall : The Man Who Made The Supreme Court, journalist and author Richard Brookhiser seeks to help us know more about this man. In life Marshall was an unimposing character. Early […]

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The American Zeal for Punching Up

 

Red-blooded, real Americans are sick of America’s elites punching down on them. Authentic American politics, like authentic American comedy, roots for the underdog and punches up, not down. The problem with today’s elites is their down is up and their up is down: Our elites believe they’re signaling their superior virtue by “punching up” when they ridicule heartland America, but of course what they’re really doing is using their privileged social status to punch down on heartland America instead. Or that’s how it seems to many of us. For those unfamiliar with this punchy lingo, comedian Ben Schwartz explains,

“Punching up” and “punching down” are relatively new pop-political terms, often found not far from words like “mansplaining,” “problematic,” and “trolling.”

‘Turncoat’ Offers a Fresh Look at Benedict Arnold

 

Benedict Arnold has become synonymous with treason. Yet few today know his story. Turncoat: Benedict Arnold and the Crisis of American Liberty, by Stephen Brumwell is a fresh look at the man and his times.

Arnold was a brilliant general, probably only second to George Washington in talent. Next to Washington, he may be most responsible for the survival of the patriot cause. His dogged defense on Lake Champlain in 1776, and his spirited attacks in the Saratoga campaign in 1777, defeated Britain’s northern offensive and led France to enter the revolution on the American side. Absent Arnold, Britain would likely have won by 1778. Three years later, he tried to give Britain the war by betraying West Point to them.

Brumwell traces what led Arnold to switch sides. It was more complicated than many believe.

The War of 1812

 

The Korean War is often referred to as “The Forgotten War,” but in many ways, the War of 1812 is also forgotten. Sandwiched between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, most Americans’ knowledge of the subject is relegated to the burning of the White House, Francis Scott Key, and the Star-Spangled Banner, and, if you’re really knowledgeable, something about Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans. To be sure, there aren’t as many memorable battles in the War of 1812, but its consequences shaped the modern world in ways that very few realize.

In the years after the Revolutionary War, many in the British government held animosity toward the crown’s former colonies. They refused to abide by the Treaty of Paris and left troops behind in many of their North American forts. The interdicted American ships, interfering with trade and engaging in a practice known as impressment. In this practice, officers of a British ship would board an American ship, single out members of her crew, identifying them as British subjects and forcing them to serve in the British Navy. President James Madison entreated the British government to put an end to this practice, but his words fell on deaf ears. With Napoleon wreaking havoc on the European continent, Madison saw an opening to declare war on June 18, 1812.

In early 1812, Napoleon looked invincible. His troops won so many battles so quickly, it appeared that world domination was within his grasp. Toward the end of the year, he set his sights on conquering Russia, which most military experts thought would be accomplished easily. Once Russia was under his control, almost everyone felt he would turn his attention to the tiny island nation of England. Madison thought if he harassed the British enough, they would be quick to settle on neutral trade and impressment so they could turn their full attention to a defense against Napoleon. The American Navy, though small, won some early victories against the vastly superior British Navy which, at the time, was the most powerful navy the world had ever seen. Madison ordered an invasion of Canada, which ended up being a series of blunders and half measures. But after Napoleon’s retreat from Russia and eventual exile to Elba, the British government was able to turn its full attention to the American theater.

Unlikely General: “Mad” Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America

 

They called him “Mad” Anthony Wayne. The book Unlikely General: Mad Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America by Mary Stockwell tells his story. A flawed, often-despised man, Wayne rose above his weaknesses to save the United States.

Stockwell frames Wayne’s biography around Wayne’s greatest achievement: his 1794 victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. It permitted the United States to grow into a nation, which spanned the North American continent. Fought at rapids on the Maumee River, Wayne’s Legion of the United States defeated a coalition of Indian tribes battling to keep settlers out of today’s state of Ohio.

The stakes could not have been higher. The Indians got support from the British (then still occupying forts in the Old Northwest Territory the British had ceded to the United States at the end of the American Revolution). The Native Americans had defeated two previous United States armies, including a massacre of the last army sent into the Ohio Territory in 1791. Had Wayne’s army lost, the United States would likely have been constrained east of the Appalachians, with British-sponsored Indian nations controlling the lands between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River.

Jennifer Horn is a former state chair of the NH GOP, and current co-chair of the NH Log Cabin Republicans. She was kicked out of last week’s state convention in part because her fellow Republicans did not want to debate her proposal to change the state party platform over the issue of marriage equality.  She joins us on the BTBW podcast to make her case and to defend Gov. Chris Sununu’s decision to sign a bill banning “transgender discrimination” in the Granite State.

Speaking of marriage, we also talk Royal Wedding….

This is a special announcement on behalf of our friends at Wondery podcast network.

Introducing their new “American History Tellers” podcast:

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Just a heads up about a long-running project I came across: http://bandofbrotherswherearetheynow.blogspot.com/ Ross Owen of the Ross Owen Show acts as producer. Haven’t heard of Ross Owen? Neither had I. He has an interview show that features mostly actors, and I should mention he’s Welsh so you’re not surprised by his accent. Ross is also […]

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ACF Middlebrow#5 The Great American Christmas

 

It’s almost Christmas and here at the American Cinema Foundation, we have a surprise-podcast, part of the series on middlebrow. We’re talking about how American Christmas came to be. My friend — and fellow Ricochet member — Eric Cook has the story for you, I’m just along for the ride. He goes from the Dutch in New Amsterdam to the family bounty Christmas of the ’50s, from New England to Pennsylvania and to the South, and back to Europe, ancient, medieval, and modern to pick up all the strands needed to weave together to make for a Merry Christmas. Listen, comment, and please share!

In this special “Holiday Formerly Known As Columbus Day” edition of the podcast, Michael Graham explains why, yes, the progressives are absolutely right to use “Indigenous People’s Day” to remember the horrors of slavery and oppression. In fact, they have no idea just how right they are.

Also, historian J. Mark Powell of “Holy Cow History” notes some significant dates from history this week, including a key moment for fans of “nattering nabobs of negativism.” And the story of “The Jewish Cowboy” who became a movie legend.

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A few weeks after the election, a couple of friends now working in the Trump White House asked me to write a memo on what’s American about American art. They hoped to learn something themselves but also to show it to others. I taught American art history for years and was a museum director and […]

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(Click on the image above or here to view the full video) Across America today a debate is raging over the removal of confederate statues. Some say they are shameful reminders of a past best forgotten while others worry about the wisdom of erasing history this way and wonder where it will all end. In […]

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Everyone is familiar with the Klu Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and White Supremacists. They have been marching in rallies, trying to spread their hate for decades. They hide in the shadows, pull out their polyester hoods every once in a while to make a statement, and are largely ignored. But who made up the counter-protestors? The […]

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Recorded on July 20, 2017

How do you remedy Americans’ lack of historical knowledge? By picking up a copy of On This Date–from the Pilgrims to Today, Discovering America One Day At a Time. The book’s author, Carl Cannon, is the Real Clear Politics Washington bureau chief and Hoover media fellow. In the book he reflects on his favorite calendar dates and the current state of relations between the Trump White House and the DC press establishment.

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I am working through the Great Courses Series A History of the United States, 2nd Edition. Something that I didn’t realize / never thought about was how complex the political environment was before the Revolutionary War. The Loyalist population (in my wonderful education, both in material presented and retained) was little more than acknowledged.  Preview Open

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The American Dream by Russell A Baker is a book about Faith, Family, Friendships, and American history, all wrapped in a blanket of adventure.  The goal is to introduce the youth of America to their country’s exceptional history.  Check it out, www.theoconnorchronicles.com  Preview Open

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