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

Episodes

January 13, 2019

2.13 – Destiny Written in the Stars

Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1799 Despite the wealth of evidence coming in of the sincerity of the French Directory in seeking peace, President Adams found himself at odds with his Secretary of State Timothy Pickering at the beginning of 1799 with Pickering continuing the push for war. Meanwhile, the US Navy proved its worth in protecting American shipping in the Caribbean just as relations with the British began a downward spiral once more.

02 - John Adams

January 02, 2019

2.12 – Ready, Aim, Fire!

Year(s) Covered: 1798 As the nation gears up for the possibility of war with France, President Adams is increasingly focused on the possibility of peace as he prepares his annual message to Congress. Meanwhile, a rising star in the French military suffers a major setback that imperils the French Republic’s position on the global landscape.

02 - John Adams

December 16, 2018

2.11 – The Opposition Strikes Back

Year(s) Discussed: 1798 With yellow fever raging in Philadelphia, the federal government has to move once more, adding to the headaches of Secretary of War James McHenry who had his position in the Cabinet already being undermined by General Alexander Hamilton. In Quincy, John Adams meets with Elbridge Gerry to learn more about the latest offer for diplomatic talks with the French while in Virginia, Vice President Jefferson and former Rep. James Madison plot how to oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts.

02 - John Adams

December 05, 2018

41.015 – An Important Mission: A Tribute to George H W Bush

Year(s) Discussed: 1974-1975 In memory of the late George H W Bush, this special episode takes a look at his tenure as US Envoy to China. In the wake of Watergate, George Bush’s future is uncertain until he receives an offer from the new President to s...

December 02, 2018

2.10 – Checkmate: Hamilton

Year(s) Discussed: 1798 Adams quickly comes to regret his naming George Washington as commander-in-chief of the US Army when Washington decides to appoint Alexander Hamilton as his second in command. As the threat of war looms, the President and his commanding general end up in a back and forth that threatens the preparedness of the Army. Meanwhile, Elbridge Gerry’s mission to France makes little headway as Talleyrand and Napoleon focus on plans to reestablish France as a major colonial power.

02 - John Adams

November 25, 2018

2.095 – Abigail Adams

Year(s) Discussed: 1744-1818 This special episode is all about the life and times of Abigail Smith Adams, the learned woman from Weymouth who became the second First Lady of the United States. Returning to the show to share her insight on Abigail is Presidential and First Lady historian Feather Schwartz Foster. Join us as we explore her fascinating life and discuss what legacy she leaves as First Lady and a historical figure in her own right.

02 - John Adams

November 18, 2018

2.09 – All Around and Away They Go

Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1799 As the events of the Haitian Revolution start to involve the US and the Army works to secure control of the Mississippi Territory from the Spanish, Adams and the Federalists work to determine a response to the XYZ Affair. However, as their power begins to consolidate, some in the party plot ways to use the situation to their advantage. Oh, and Adams goes to see a play!

02 - John Adams

November 04, 2018

2.08 – Have At Thee! The Response to XYZ

Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1798 As the Adams administration learns of the XYZ Affair and the President works to determine his next course of action, partisan bickering devolves to a fight on the floor of the House of Representatives while back in Paris, divisions start to form between the special envoys as Talleyrand increases his pressure on one of their number.

02 - John Adams

October 21, 2018

2.07 – One Hand Washes the Other: The XYZ Affair

Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1798 The three commissioners sent by Adams arrive in France to begin negotiations but find themselves beset with new characters and new circumstances following French victories in the field and a coup in the government. One figure in particular stands between the envoys and peace, and he’ll gladly get out of the way…if, of course, the Americans are willing to pay.

02 - John Adams

October 07, 2018

2.06 – Scandals and Observations

Year(s) Discussed: 1792-1797 Adams is joined in Philadelphia by his wife Abigail as he tries to balance war and peace with the first of the original six frigates of the US Navy being launched around the time that he appoints peace commissioners to France. Meanwhile, the US Senate is rocked by a scandal involving one of its leaders while news of Hamilton’s extramarital affair becomes public.

02 - John Adams

September 23, 2018

2.05 – Et Tu, France?

Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1797 News arrives in Philadelphia of the French government refusing to accept Charles Cotesworth Pinckney as the US Minister to France, and various individuals both inside and outside the Adams administration spring into action to try to gain control of US foreign policy. Meanwhile, Adams works to cultivate sources independent of the State Department to keep him informed of affairs in Europe, and forces conspire to launch an attack on one of the leading figures of the American political landscape.

02 - John Adams

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.

01 - George Washington

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.

01 - George Washington

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