A new episode of the Madison presidency series is now available!

Episodes

October 13, 2019

3.05 – Affairs, Foreign and Domestic

Year(s) Discussed: 1799-1801 The beginning of Jefferson’s administration coincided with changes in other parts of the world including France, Great Britain, Spain, and Saint-Domingue that would ultimately come to impact the United States. Meanwhile, as Jefferson continued to assemble his Cabinet, he and his administration also had to deal with a new round of negotiation with Napoléon’s government and appeasing an irate office seeker who threatened to expose the President to public scandal.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

September 29, 2019

3.04 – A Deadly Revenge

Year(s) Discussed: 1801 Literally and figuratively, the new President worked to get his house in order following his inauguration. With a limited number of positions available and plans to shrink the size of the federal government even further, Jefferson set ground rules for his new administration to determine whether to retain Federalist office holders or oust them in favor of Democratic-Republicans. Despite a nod towards non-partisanship, Jefferson’s decisions were criticized by members of both parties.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

September 15, 2019

3.03 – The Revolution of 1800

Year(s) Discussed: 1800-1801 As Jefferson assumed office and Democratic-Republicans took control of the federal government in March 1801, new leaders emerged while others exited the stage or moved to the periphery. The new administration would get its start still dealing with the aftermath of the recent contentious election, and the new President had to weigh, with his words and his first decisions, how to balance his obligations to his party and the best interests of the nation.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

September 01, 2019

3.02 – Jefferson Pre-Presidency Part Two

Year(s) Discussed: 1774-1801 Between the publication of “Summary View of the Rights of British America” and his assuming the presidency, Jefferson made a name for himself by drafting the Declaration of Independence, struggled to see his home state of Virginia through the Revolution as governor, experienced a devastating personal loss, and served the new nation at home and abroad. Though his rise in national prominence as the leader of the opposition would ultimately lead to him becoming the third President, not only his public record but also various facets of Jefferson’s personal life would pose challenges for the new administration before it even began.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

August 17, 2019

3.01 – Jefferson Pre-Presidency Part One

Year(s) Discussed: 1612-1774 From his birth in Albemarle County, VA, Thomas Jefferson’s personality and public career began to take shape through his education at William and Mary, and his introduction to the world of politics in colonial Virginia. Along the way, he would be influenced by family members and mentors and would in turn start to impact his own young family, his neighbors, those individuals he enslaved, and the course of events in British North America.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

August 07, 2019

2.26 – Adams Q&A

Year(s) Discussed: 1735-1848 I asked for your questions to wrap up our series on the second POTUS, and you sent in some great ones! In this episode, we discuss everything from Adams’s tenure as US Minister to the Netherlands to his relationship with his family members to his and JQA’s legacies to what kind of food he liked. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions! For those listening through a podcatcher, my apologies for the audio quality – I recorded it as a video and had to add in alternate audio later as I referenced what would be shown on the screen.

02 - John Adams

July 21, 2019

V004 – Interview with Zacharie Kinslow

Year(s) Discussed: 1795-1891 On the anniversary of James K Polk’s death, I spoke with Zacharie Kinslow of the President James K Polk Home and Museum in Columbia, TN about the 11th President and his wife Sarah Childress Polk. Zach also shares his research on the life of Elias Polk, an enslaved individual whose life after attaining freedom following the Civil War provides insight into life for African-Americans in the Reconstruction Era and the Gilded Age. Images used for this episode as well as links to Zach’s article on Elias and video of a presentation at a conference on Polk can be found at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com.

Interviews

July 04, 2019

2.25 – Adams Post-Presidency

Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1826 After leaving the presidency, John Adams searched for a path ahead. In the process, he dealt with emotions that had been building for years, rebuilt some bridges that had been burned in political battles, suffered numerous personal heartaches, and bore witness to a quarter century more of the nation’s history.

02 - John Adams

June 15, 2019

2.24 – The 36th Ballot

Year(s) Discussed: 1800-1801 The nation had little time to process the news that Adams was defeated in his bid for reelection as a constitutional crisis developed regarding who would succeed him to the post. Meanwhile, the outgoing president only had a few weeks remaining to secure the ratification of the Convention of Mortefontaine, get several federal judges confirmed including a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and get a new Treasury Secretary in place.

02 - John Adams

June 08, 2019

2.23 – The Double-Edged Sword

Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1800 As the new federal capital comes alive with government officials and newspaper publishers moving in to be on hand for the congressional session opening in November 1800, President Adams waits with the rest of the nation to learn the results of electors being chosen across the United States. His path to reelection however grows ever darker due to a dispute with his running mate’s brother and a pamphlet released by Alexander Hamilton.

02 - John Adams

May 26, 2019

V003 – Interview with Jared Cohen, Accidental Presidents

Year(s) Discussed: 1835-2009 In this episode, I talk with Jared Cohen, author of Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America, about the presidents who came to the office due to the untimely demise of their predecessor and how their becoming pr...

Interviews

May 19, 2019

2.22 – Enter the Federal City

Year(s) Discussed: 1799-1801 As President Adams and the federal government transition to the new federal capital, the next presidential election looms, and both Federalist and Democratic-Republican leaders work on behalf of their favored candidates to meet challenges to their prospects. While Federalists cope with an internal debate over exactly which candidate to support, Democratic-Republicans in Virginia work to cover up the involvement of French agents in Gabriel’s Rebellion. All the while, the US commission to France scrambles to conclude their work with a treaty in time for Adams and the Federalists to claim credit for winning the peace.

02 - John Adams

May 12, 2019

V002 – The Washington Presidency in Five (or So) Minutes

Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1797 In response to a question from Les, I attempt to do a summation of the Washington presidency from memory in five minutes. Though the full series is recommended for more detail, I think the result is rather entertaining.

May 05, 2019

2.21 – I am Gabriel, That Stands in the Presence of God

Year(s) Discussed: 1792-1801 The revolution in Saint-Domingue inspires enslaved people in the United States to seek their freedom in the 1790s at a time that the slaveocracy was becoming more ingrained in the American economy, society, and legal codes. With a focus on Virginia, this episode will explore the shifts in the American slave system in the late 1790s and the planned insurrection that has come to be known as Gabriel’s Rebellion.

02 - John Adams

April 28, 2019

V001 – Tammany Hall and the Presidencies

Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1967 In response to Jacob from The Podcast on Germany‘s question, I examine the relationship between the historically influential political organization of Tammany Hall and the presidents of the United States.

April 21, 2019

2.20 – A Proper Sense of Their Duty

Year(s) Discussed: 1799-1800 With the new members of the Adams Cabinet coming on board, the President travels south to inspect the work on the new Federal Capital as the US government begins its move from Philadelphia to Washington, DC. Meanwhile, Adams makes a decision on the fates of those convicted of crimes for their participation in Fries’s Rebellion while federal prosecutions under the Sedition Act continue and Democratic-Republicans gear up for the upcoming presidential election.

02 - John Adams

April 07, 2019

2.19 – Don’t Let the Door Hit You

Year(s) Discussed: 1799-1800 As the presidential election of 1800 looms and party leaders begin weighing their options, President Adams decides that the time is right to make a few changes in his administration. To the President’s detriment, though, Arch Federalists are scheming at the same time to remove him from his office. Meanwhile, new congressmen are making a name for themselves, and Toussaint L’Ouverture works to consolidate his power in Hispanola.

02 - John Adams

April 01, 2019

30.000 – Body by Calvin Coolidge

Year(s) Discussed: 1872-1933 How much do you really know about America’s 30th president? Did you even remember that he was a president? In this show Jess and Joe explore the little known facts of one our most overlooked presidents in history.

March 24, 2019

2.18 – New Year, New à Vous

Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1800 The French Directory falls, and the three US peace commissioners are left with many questions as to how to proceed before they even arrive in Paris. Meanwhile, the US government considers a change in its policy towards the Barbary States, and the USS Constellation engages French naval forces once more in the Caribbean.

02 - John Adams

March 10, 2019

2.17 – Some Awful Crisis

Year(s) Discussed: 1798-1799 In Trenton, Adams confronted his Cabinet as well as Gen. Alexander Hamilton over the peace mission to France before the government moved back to Philadelphia for one last winter. After the new session of Congress began in December 1799, news arrived which was described as a national tragedy and had many wondering what lay in store for the US as a new century dawned.

02 - John Adams

February 24, 2019

2.16 – High Noon in Trenton

Year(s) Discussed: 1798-1799 New unrest in the government of France in 1799 presented President Adams with an important decision as to whether to continue with his peace overtures. Meanwhile, competing agendas within his own administration prompt one of Adams’s Cabinet members to urge him to end his sojourn in Quincy as yet another yellow fever epidemic strikes Philadelphia.

02 - John Adams

February 10, 2019

2.15 – Hot Time, Summer in the Country

Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1799 John Adams makes a fateful decision that threatens his administration and its ability to react quickly to developing events. Meanwhile, General James Wilkinson’s past collusion with the Spanish is discovered by a government agent in the Mississippi Territory. Closer to home, Fries’s Rebellion comes to a close as harassment of Democratic-Republican newspaper editors ramps up.

02 - John Adams

February 07, 2019

A Humble Appeal

A brief, humble appeal from your friendly neighborhood podcaster for you to take a couple of seconds out of your day, each day from now through Sunday, February 17th, 2019 to support my personal mission of podcasting and history podcasting in general b...

January 27, 2019

2.14 – The Plausible Probability of Preserving the Peace

Year(s) Discussed: 1798-1799 Adams throws the American political landscape into a frenzy with a special message to Congress announcing that he was appointing a new Minister to France to negotiate peace. While exploring what this all means for Adams, his administration, and the nation, we also take a step back in this episode to look at the influence of American policy in Saint-Domingue and South America on the realities and future of Franco-American relations in 1799.

02 - John Adams