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Episodes

Chapter 26: Ending the Slave Trade

The practice of slavery was as old as the written word. But in the age of Europe’s global empires, it took a racist and even more sinister turn. Then, in the years between 1807 and 1819, with the rise of liberalism and industrialization, western powers began to end the transatlantic slave trade as a first step to ending slavery. In this episode, we’ll discuss how it happened in France, Great Britain, and the United States.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 25: Man Takes Flight

As chemistry advanced in the 18th Century, it was applied to perhaps the all-time greatest dream of humankind: Learning how to fly. In this episode, we meet the men who made it possible as “Balloonmania” took off in France, and then across the industrializing world.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 24: The Luddites

As capitalists invested in machine technology, they put many of their traditional competitors out of business, forcing them into the factories as de-skilled workers. Then, between falling incomes and rising prices, those began to strike back. And the Luddites – a shadowy network of militant 20-somethings, led by a man who probably never existed – went to war with the machines and their owners. This is their story.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 23: The Albion Mills

One of the world’s first coal-powered factories was the Albion Mills, smack-dab in the heart of London. Built by Boulton & Watt, it put the competition out of business. Its eventual destruction was a source of inspiration, not only for a burgeoning labor movement, but for one of Britain’s most important poets – and England’s unofficial national anthem.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 22: Industry on the Post-Napoleonic Continent

First came the French, led by Napoleon, ending feudal economic traditions across Europe. Then came the British, bringing their knowledge of new, industrial production methods and business practices. And as a result, the first Industrial Revolution spread to pockets of France, the Low Countries, Germany, and Eastern Europe.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 21: The French Revolution and Empire

If you compare the histories of Great Britain and France in the 16th through 18th Centuries, you see how they led to very different transitions into modernity. For Britain it was the Industrial Revolution. For France it was the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon. This is what Eric Hobsbawm called the “dual revolution.”

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Dave Broker
Chapter 21 Bonus: Gary Girod

Get caught up on French history before we get into the French Revolution and Napoleon next week! Dave has a stirring chat with Gary Girod, host of the French History Podcast. The food for thought in this bonus episode is excellent and abundant.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 20: America's First Great Debate

As the first President of the United States, George Washington appointed two cabinet secretaries who went to war with each other. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson fought on many fronts, but perhaps the most significant front was Hamilton’s economic agenda…

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Dave Broker
Chapter 18: Men of Faith (Part 2: Religious Upheaval)

In the late 18th Century, increasing religious freedom led to violent rioting in London and Birmingham. The Quakers, meanwhile, kicked a gun manufacturer out of their denomination. And without knowing it, Enlightenment thinkers started to develop a brand-new religion – a religion that most of the world believes in today.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 16: Men of Science

As the first Industrial Revolution was beginning to turn the world upside down, the Age of Enlightenment produced scientists whose breakthroughs helped shape that upside-down world. Today we discuss three of them: Antoine Lavoisier; Dr. Edward Jenner; and Sir Humphrey Davy.

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Dave Broker
Podcast Special: Dave’s AMA

In this special bonus episode, your host, Dave, answers all the questions submitted by supporters of the recent Kickstarter campaign – including questions about factory labor, environmentalism, patents, the universal basic income, the role of mothers, personal questions, and more.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 15: We Got Chemistry

The Industrial Revolutions were made possible thanks to the Scientific Revolution, which began centuries earlier as militaries needed to invest in new ways to gain an edge in battle. With it came the Scientific Method and advancements in chemistry. Starting in the mid-18th Century, a few individuals took those chemistry lessons out of the laboratory and applied them to industry. These are their stories.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 14: The Machine Makers

When Joseph Bramah hired Henry Maudslay to help him make locks, little did he know his assistant would go on to change the world. Maudslay hired and trained a new generation of engineers who gave us everything from standardized tools to the powerful industrial machines of the future.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 13: The Factory System

The principles of mass production at large worksites – through a combination of technological innovations and improved methods of organizing labor – was applied to a variety of industries in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 12: The Steamboat

Creating the world’s first vessels of powered transportation was no joke. Several competitive inventors put everything on the line to be the first to build profitable steamboats. For most of them, the pursuit ended in failure. It was the most unlikely one – an American painter – who got the job done, and in the process, changed the course of world history.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 11: Canal-Mania

From the 1760s to the 1830s, Great Britain went crazy for canals. America did too. These waterways helped speed up trade and fuel industrialization in the age before trains and highways. In the process, they created all kinds of new jobs and opportunities.

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Dave Broker