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America at War

Explore the rich history of our past through the lens of our military institutions. From the settlement of North America to the present, this podcast not only encompasses traditional military history and goes the extra step to address the evolution of ideas and institutions. Join us!
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America at War
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Now displaying: Page 1
May 18, 2020

Fort Sumter, located at Charleston, South Carolina, became the epicenter for the secession crisis. When Lincoln took the oath of office, the immediate business at hand was dealing with the Fort. Unwilling to evacuate the fort, and hoping to buy some time to resupply the garrison, he was unable to alleviate the tension. After failing to meet the Confederate ultimatum, rebel batteries opened fire on April 12, 1861. After several days, the fort was evacuated. The Civil War had begun. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Thanks for listening!

May 2, 2020

With the election of Abraham Lincoln in November, 1860, the lower south reached a breaking point. Between Lincoln's election and his subsequent inauguration in April, 1861, the states of the lower south seceded from the union. In spite of attempts to find common ground, none was found. As the war began, Lincoln and Davis steered their respective ships of state. The historical reputations of Lincoln and Davis were therefore sealed in the crucible of the Civil War. This episode compares and contrasts the two men and explores how they succeeded and failed.

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Thanks for listening!

Apr 22, 2020
In this episode we continue the story of the origins of the Civil War. We begin with the decade of the 1850s and concentrate on the issues that created the conditions for war. Rather than stop the expansion of slavery, it continued. While Southern states were pleased, opinion makers in the North were not. As the decade progressed, attitudes hardened, making compromise impossible to achieve. In our next episode we will concentrate on the secession of the southern states and the opening months of the Lincoln administration. 
 

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Thanks for listening!

Apr 10, 2020

This is the first episode that speaks to the origins of the Civil War. Given the complexity and length of these events, this and subsequent episodes covering origins of the war will provide a broad overview of the run up to the war. In this episode we speak to the increasingly difficult path to compromise over the spread and regulation of slavery into the new western territories. While compromise was attained, by the decade of the 1850s, attitudes had hardened. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Thanks for listening!

Apr 4, 2020

We reached the American Civil War. This is the first episode of what will more than likely be many on the country's bloodiest conflict. This episode will provide a road map of where we are headed as well as some of the key concepts that guide my view of this important conflict. Please take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

 

Mar 21, 2020

On the eve of the American Civil War, the United States Army and Navy continued to play the roles that they had for the first half of the nineteenth century - the army garrisoned and patrolled the growing frontier and the navy protected American commerce overseas. While staying above the fractious sectional politics of the era, the army and navy had grown and matured. Unfortunately, that was all going to change with the coming of a civil war. Thanks for listening!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

 

Mar 4, 2020

In 1859, an American settler shot a pig rooting around a garden on San Juan Island. A group of Islands in what would become Washington State, the incident triggered the last border incident between the Great Britain and the United States. Rather than going to war, the two nations agreed to a joint occupation that, in 1871 was settled peacefully. It set the foundation for the 'special relationship' that would dominate the twentieth century.

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Feb 1, 2020

In the aftermath of settling the border dispute between British Canada and the United States in the Pacific Northwest, the United States moved to consolidate their hold over the region. Territorial governor Isaac Stevens quickly concluded a series of treaties with the Tribes of the region. Unfortunately, the tensions associated with this process lead to violence in eastern and western Washington. In a series of brief but violent skirmishes, tensions remained, but American hold over the territory was complete. 

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Jan 15, 2020

The capital of Mexico was in American hands. The war slowly wound down and the Americans got what they wanted - the northern provinces of Mexico and an international border that followed the Rio Grande River. It was not without a cost. President Polk's goals of a quick campaign were not met and the acquisition of new lands would ramp up sectional differences. We also take some time to set up the next part of our story - conflict in the Pacific Northwest. Stay tuned!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Jan 3, 2020

Here is a short New Year's message regarding where we have been and where we are going in 2020. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Dec 31, 2019

This is the final episode concerning the campaign to capture Mexico's capital. General Winfield Scott had marched from the coast and outmaneuvered his opponent, General Santa Anna. Santa Anna was determined to make an American assault on Mexico City. General Scott was able to, once again, outmaneuver Santa Anna's forces, unhinging his plan to defend Mexico City. It was a brilliant campaign, though not without some costs. We will finish up the Mexican-American War in our next episode. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

 

Dec 14, 2019

In this episode, we continue the narrative dealing with Winfield Scott's campaign to capture Mexico City. In the previous episode, we focused on  the capture of a base of operations at Vera Cruz, on the Gulf Coast. After securing the city, Scott began his advance through the highlands of eastern Mexico. General Santa Anna chose a place called Cerro Gordo to stop the American advance. Faced with a strong defensive position, in a bold flanking march, Scott unhinged the position, making an assault on Mexico City inevitable.

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Dec 1, 2019

General Winfield Scott's march on Mexico City was the crowning moment of the entire war with Mexico. Unable to compel the Mexican government to the negotiation table, President Polk approved Scott's plan to advance on Mexico's capital. It was a bold move, but fraught with risk. Nevertheless, after meticulous planning, Scott's forces besieged the city of Veracruz, capturing it at the end of March, 1847. Once this base was secure, Scott made preparations to march west, into the highlands and, ultimately, Mexico City. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Nov 20, 2019

In the aftermath of Zachary Taylor's capture of the city of Monterrey, Taylor's force became an army of occupation. Taking advantage of the lull, Santa Anna raised an army and at the beginning of 1847 attacked. The battle of Buena Vista was the only time the Mexican Army took the offensive. In spite of being outnumbered, Taylor prevailed. Unable to bring Mexican officials to the negotiation table, President Polk turned his eyes south. Enlisting General Winfield Scott, Polk began planning for a march on Mexico City. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Nov 6, 2019

As Zachary Taylor advanced across the Rio Grande river and fought the Mexicans at Palo Alto and Reseca de la Palma, other American columns advanced into what would become New Mexico and California. Stephen Kearny led a column from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to San Diego, an impressive feat. Kearny, in cooperation with the US navy, was able to defeat a rebellion and consolidate the American hold along the Pacific coast. Take a listen! 

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

 

Oct 14, 2019

We began our series on the Mexican-American War in our last episode, speaking to the origins of the conflict. In this episode we speak to the opening moves by Zachary Taylor in Texas. Mexican forces endeavored to push Taylor back by cutting his supply line; Taylor wanted to establish a bridge head on the Rio Grande. They clashed. The battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma ensued. Taylor won the day, triggering the formal declaration of war against Mexico and the mobilization of volunteers for service in Mexico. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

 

Oct 2, 2019

Until the opening of the Civil War, the United States' war with Mexico dominated the middle of the nineteenth century. President James Polk agitated for land concessions from not only Mexico in Texas, but from Great Britain in the Pacific Northwest. Not willing to fight a two front war, cooler heads prevailed in adjudicating the occupation of the northwest. Not so in Mexico. Polk's adoption of a bellicose and antagonistic policy toward Texas, made war nearly inevitable. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Sep 7, 2019

I have a special relationship with Davy Crockett. This short, bonus episode relates how my Grandfather, Thomas Wakefield Blackburn, created a cultural phenomenon.

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Sep 7, 2019

As we turn to the war with Mexico, it seems appropriate to set the stage with Texas' war of independence. After centuries of Spanish rule, Mexico won its independence. Struggling in the aftermath to create a civil culture, rather than provide a degree of autonomy to Texas, the country would instead be governed by central rule. Texas, led by Euro-American settlers, rebelled. While at first successful, the leader of Mexico, General Santa Anna thought otherwise. Various attempts to repulse the Mexican advance were defeated with disastrous results. Regardless, the Texans prevailed, setting up the circumstances for a clash with the United States. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Aug 12, 2019

One of the most infamous incidents of the pre-Civil War antebellum period was the removal of the Cherokees and other southeastern tribes to 'Indian Country' in present day Oklahoma. President Andrew Jackson wanted to free the trans-Mississippi west for the United States. Pandering to the southern states as well as exercising his executive authority, he was able to secure legislation that enabled the removal of the Cherokees from their homeland. While Jackson was stymied by the Seminoles in Florida, he largely got his way, creating a precedent that would continue until the end of the century. Please take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

 

Jul 25, 2019

In this episode we move away from reform to the Army's chief duty - policing the frontier. We speak to the Creek and Seminole clashes in the southeast and the so-called Black Hawk War in the upper reaches of the old northwest. The army's role as a police force would last for most of the nineteenth century and would define its role in the twentieth century. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Jun 17, 2019

In this episode we take a brief look at what the U.S. Navy. Propelled by its successes against British ships, the navy grew in the aftermath of the War of 1812. While this ardor for a larger navy was tempered by time, the officers and ships had established a solid reputation for professionalism and fighting spirit as the nineteenth century unfolded. The navy served American foreign policy by showing the flag around the world and aggressively pursuing American interests. In Central and South America, naval officers intervened when the circumstances called for gunboat diplomacy. The navy also struggled with the challenges of building a professional officers corps and the evolution of steam technology. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Jun 2, 2019

In this episode, we continue and conclude our discussion on the professionalization of the U.S. Army. As the nineteenth century progressed, we continue to see the development of a professional officers corps and the maturation of the U.S. military academy at West Point. By the beginning of the Civil War, the officers corps had, for the most part, a common identity. While the rise of Jacksonian democracy attacked the notion of a professional officers corps, it nonetheless survived. We also touch on the rise of the volunteer militia and a taste of what it was like to serve in the army during this time period. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 642-6535. Thanks for listening!

May 10, 2019

One of the key developments of the nineteenth century was the rise of the professional soldier. While the United States ha d a tradition of using citizen soldiers, the first decades of the nineteen century saw the rise of officers who could be recognized as professional soldiers. Educated at the military academy at West Point, the officers who started their careers in the decades after the War of 1812 exhibited all of the characteristics of a professional. In this episode, we explore this trend. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 642-6535. Thanks for listening!

Apr 18, 2019

Of the many developments that occurred in the post-1812 Army was the growth of a domestic arms industry. With the founding of the Republic in 1787, government arsenals in Springfield, MA and Harper's Ferry, VA, were established, providing the Army with a set of dedicated manufacturing facilities devoted to small arms. Entrepreneur and inventor Eli Whitney was able to introduce and refine his production system which manufactured small arms with machine tools, allowing for the standardization of parts and processes. It was an important time. Take a listen!

Have a question, comment, or compliment, contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 642-6535. Thanks for listening!

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