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

Episodes

September 09, 2018

2.04 – Hither and Yon: The News From Abroad

Year(s) Discussed: 1783-1797 In this episode, we get caught up on the international situation around the time of Adams’s inauguration and the various issues that conditions beyond its borders bring up for the United States. Britain is faced with attacks from both at home and abroad. The French Directory stumbles along as two leaders arise. Toussaint L’Ouverture contemplates the future of Saint-Domingue. Various European powers conspire to threaten American sovereignty west of the Appalachians.

02 - John Adams

August 26, 2018

2.03 – The New Sheriff in Town

Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1797 The election of 1796 results in John Adams becoming the nation’s second chief executive, but he quickly finds more questions than answers awaiting him on the path to taking the oath of office. Adams is immediately faced with the need to make decisions about who to keep from the previous administration, what if any policy changes to make, and even where he and his family will live. It’s a transition unlike any other in American history to that point, and with various pressing issues waiting on the desk, the honeymoon for the new President promised to be short-lived.

02 - John Adams

August 12, 2018

1.36 – Washington Q&A

I asked for your questions, and you sent in some great ones! As a part of the transition into a new presidency, we send George Washington off by addressing some lingering issues about his life and tenure including whether he thought of the Federalists as a political party, whether Hamilton would have become president if not for his affair with Maria Reynolds, did Washington really want to be called “His Excellency,” and what was up with the president tallying how many women he saw during his Southern tour. The answers to these questions and more can be found in this special episode of Presidencies!

01 - George Washington

July 22, 2018

2.02 – Adams Pre-Presidency Part Two

Year(s) Discussed: 1773-1797 As the Revolution against Great Britain kicks off, John Adams assumes office in the Continental Congress where he makes a name for himself with individuals from the various colonies before being sent to represent the United States in Europe. While dealing with family matters and tensions with new colleagues and contemporaries, Adams navigates through challenging diplomatic waters before finally landing in the Vice Presidency then being elected to succeed George Washington as chief executive.

02 - John Adams

July 04, 2018

2.01 – Adams Pre-Presidency

Year(s) Discussed: 1638-1772 A new series starts here! From his beginnings on a farm in Braintree, Massachusetts, John Adams set off on a path of learning that would take him through Harvard College and into the practice of law. During his quest for fame and adequate fortune, he would wed his “Dearest Friend,” Abigail Smith, and start a family while getting swept up in larger movements that would change the British North American colonies and the world forever.

02 - John Adams

June 24, 2018

1.35 – Washington Post-Presidency

Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1799 Washington envisioned a relaxing retirement at Mount Vernon with his family after leaving the presidency in March 1797, but it was not to be. Between personal issues and a return to public service, the last couple of years of Washington’s life prior to his sudden demise would be filled with business and breaches of trust and friendship.

01 - George Washington

June 10, 2018

1.34 – The Final(ish) Curtain Call

Year(s) Discussed: 1794-1797 After President Washington releases his Farewell Address, informing the nation that he would not seek another term, the 1796 election is carried out though, both domestically and abroad, there is much confusion about how exactly the United States would decide upon its next president. Meanwhile, the French plot to interfere with the election, the public attacks on Washington continue, and a military leader meets his untimely end.

01 - George Washington

May 27, 2018

1.33 – Race to the Finish Line

Year(s) Discussed: 1790-1796 Relations between the US and France deteriorate after the Jay Treaty goes into effect while Washington gets involved in the campaign to secure Lafayette’s release from his imprisonment in the Habsburg Monarchy, the administration takes care of business as the end of Washington’s second term draws closer, and the parties position themselves to launch into the 1796 presidential campaign as soon as Washington finally makes official his plans to retire (aka the worst kept secret in the 18th century).

01 - George Washington

May 13, 2018

1.32 – Samsons and Solomons

Year(s) Discussed: 1795-1796 Though finally managing to resolve his personnel issues, Washington and his Cabinet find themselves faced with a host of new problems including a new round of debate over the Jay Treaty and political maneuverings by the Democratic-Republicans as the next presidential election draws ever closer.

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April 29, 2018

1.31 – Runaway

Year(s) Discussed: 1773-1848 On May 21st, 1796, Ona/Oney Judge slips out of the President’s House in Philadelphia, PA in a bid to obtain her freedom from enslavement. The story of her being born into slavery at Mount Vernon, her being brought to work in the Washingtons’ household, and the Washingtons’ attempts at bringing Ona back into captivity is a narrative that brings much insight into the institution of slavery in the United States in the mid-1790s as well as a more complete view of George Washington’s legacy.

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April 15, 2018

1.30 – Under Pressure, Near and Far

Year(s) Discussed: c. 16th century-1795 Diplomatic representatives of the Washington administration navigate new waters as they seek a peaceful resolution to conflicts with the Barbary States and Spain while the President continues his frustrating search to find candidates willing to fill his vacant Cabinet offices. Meanwhile, the Senate throws the President a curve ball by rejecting one of Washington’s appointments.

01 - George Washington

April 01, 2018

1.29 – The Not So Dream Team

Year(s) Discussed: 1792-1796 With positions in his Cabinet to fill, Washington is finding it difficult to convince anyone to join his administration. Meanwhile, the son of his Revolutionary War comrade the Marquis de Lafayette shows up in the US and places the President in a difficult position as he’s forced to choose between personal loyalty and public duty. Around the same time, the disgraced Edmund Randolph makes his way up and down the east coast gathering evidence to clear his name.

01 - George Washington

March 18, 2018

1.28 – A Caesar, a Cromwell, and a Washington: The Betrayals of 1795

Year(s) Discussed: 1794-1795 Despite achieving a major diplomatic victory in the Northwest Territory, the administration is rocked by controversy as Secretary of State Randolph is confronted about allegations of collusion with the French while Washington himself is accused of improper use of public finances. Scandals and controversies abound in this episode!

01 - George Washington

March 04, 2018

1.27 – The Light of Burning Effigies

Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1799 While the construction of the nation’s new capital proceeds, the public battle against the Jay Treaty begins in earnest upon its publication by Benjamin Franklin Bache. Demonstrations and meetings go on up and down the Eastern seaboard, and even Alexander Hamilton has difficulty determining how to respond. Meanwhile, Washington has to fill John Jay’s position as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and deal with the last remaining member of his first Cabinet now looking to find a way out of his post.

01 - George Washington

February 18, 2018

1.26 – A Monument of Folly and Venality

Year(s) Discussed: 1794-1795 The Jay Treaty finally arrives in Philadelphia, but it turns out to be more of a curse than the blessing for which Washington and his administration were hoping. As Washington and Randolph scramble to figure out what to do with the treaty, the opposition makes preparations for a full-on attack on this treaty with the British. Meanwhile, the Administration learns of US Minister James Monroe’s “fraternal embrace” of the French and goes in search of a special envoy to send to Spain. Diplomacy and political intrigue abound at home and abroad in 1795.

01 - George Washington

February 04, 2018

1.25 – The Happy Course

Year(s) Discussed: 1772-1795 As Alexander Hamilton readies himself to depart from the administration at the beginning of 1795, I use this defining point of the Washington presidency to explore various points of domestic policy and foreign issues including the establishment of the Trans-Oconee Republic, the state of the Democratic-Republican faction, the first steps of the Thermadorian government in France, the Kościuszko Uprising in Poland, the influx of refugees from Saint-Domingue and the progress of the Haitian Revolution, and British intrigues in the Caribbean. Many issues face Washington and his new Cabinet secretaries as they enter the final two years of his second term.

01 - George Washington

January 21, 2018

1.24 – The Mvskoke and Mathews

Year(s) Discussed: 1783-1793 The development of white settlements in what was then the Southwest United States brings about conflicts with various Native American nations including the Mvskoke (commonly referred to as the Creek). Thus, the Washington administration finds itself in the position of having to police its own citizens while at the same time negotiating peace with native peoples in the region. Meanwhile, the threat of slave uprisings moves closer to the United States and causes some slaveowners to reconsider their approach to enslaved people and the institution of slavery as a whole.

01 - George Washington

January 15, 2018

36.005 – Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site

In remembrance of Dr. King, join me on a tour of the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site in Atlanta, GA. The site highlights the life of Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, as well as shares information about other social activists rela...

January 07, 2018

1.23 – Effigies and Efficacies

Year(s) Discussed: 1793-1794 James Monroe arrives in France as major changes are occurring in the governance of the nation – Robespierre is out, and the Thermadorians are in. Back in the US, Washington and Hamilton ride at the head of an army west to put an end to the Whiskey Rebellion once and for all, but they will be shocked by what they find as they draw nearer to Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, as we near the end of 1794, the longest serving member of Washington’s Cabinet considers his future.

01 - George Washington

December 24, 2017

1.22 – My, What Big Treaties You Have

Year(s) Discussed: 1793-1794 Developments on both sides of the Atlantic keep the administration busy in 1794. Prominent envoys are sent to both Britain and France in order to avert the US being drawn into conflict with a foreign power. General Wayne and his troops march into action in the Northwest Territory. Even Washington is getting into the action as he heads into the field to face the rebels in western Pennsylvania. Though only five years old, the new government under the Constitution is tested like never before.

01 - George Washington

December 13, 2017

1.215 – Martha Washington

Year(s) Discussed: 1731-1802 In this special episode, we take a closer look at Martha Washington, the woman who would serve as the nation’s first First Lady before the term was even crafted for the role. To help us better understand her life and her role in American history, I am joined in this episode by Presidential and First Ladies historian Feather Schwartz Foster who shares her knowledge and insights about Martha’s strengths and shortcomings, the Washingtons’ marriage, how Martha approached her public and household duties after her husband took the oath of office in 1789, and what impact Martha had on crafting the role of the First Lady.

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November 26, 2017

1.21 – The Bigger They Are

Year(s) Discussed: 1792-1794 The Washington administration is beset by various problems in the west while the British threaten American shipping interests in the West Indies, leading the two nations on the path to war. Though growing ever more tired of his position, President Washington must devise a plan to thwart attempts at rebellion in the west, decide upon an envoy to send east to London to seek out a diplomatic resolution, and begin work to build the US Navy. No rest for a weary President in 1794!

01 - George Washington

November 22, 2017

1.045 – A Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Year(s) Discussed: 1619, 1621, 1789 To mark the upcoming US holiday of Thanksgiving, I wanted to release this special episode to provide a few thoughts on the holiday and its history and legacy as well as share with you President Washington’s proclamation issued on October 3rd, 1789 calling for the first day of national Thanksgiving under the constitutional government.

01 - George Washington

November 12, 2017

1.205 – Randolph

Year(s) Discussed: 1753-1789 Though well known in his own day, Thomas Jefferson’s successor at the State Department is little known to modern audiences. Thus, I present this special episode in order to help you understand our second Secretary of State. His name has been brought up in the podcast previously as he was the first Attorney General, but there are a few key points that you’ll want to pay attention to about this Virginian’s story as they might just come to play in the not too distant future.

01 - George Washington