May 1872 Amnesty Act – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 424

Patrick from “Conspiracy You Can Believe In” returns to the show to talk with Bill about the Amnesty Act from 150 years ago this month that brought a younger generation of ex-Confederates back into elected office during Reconstruction.

Links and notes for ep. 424 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/AFD-Ep-424-Links-and-Notes-Amnesty-Act-of-1872.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Jan 30, 2022 – Late 19th Century Opiates in the US – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 410

Bill and Rachel discuss syringes, morphine, laudanum, the American Civil War, “women’s problems,” and the ongoing debate among historians today about how to understand opiate use and addiction in the late 19th century United States.

Links and notes for ep. 410 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/AFD-Ep-410-Links-and-Notes-Late-19th-Century-Opiates-in-the-US.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

American Money, Part IV: The Cross of Gold – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 398

The 4th part of our miniseries on money itself during the 2nd Industrial Revolution in the US. Bill and Rachel look at the political battles over silver coinage and the gold standard and why neither position makes sense in hindsight.

Links and noted for Ep. 398 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/American-Money-Part-IV_-The-Cross-of-Gold-Arsenal-For-Democracy-Ep-398.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

American Money, Part III: Store Credit, Installments, and Shadow Lending – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 397

The 3rd part of our miniseries on money itself during the 2nd Industrial Revolution in the US. Bill, Rachel, and Kelley look at the initial emergence of proto-consumer credit as well as sketchy and predatory small loans in industrial cities.

Links and notes for Ep. 397 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/American-Money-Part-III_-Store-Credit-Installments-and-Shadow-Lending-Arsenal-For-Democracy-Ep-397.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

American Money, Parts I and II: Antebellum Through Reconstruction – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 396

The first episode of our miniseries on money itself during the Second Industrial Revolution in the United States. Bill and Rachel pose philosophical questions on the nature of money and look at changes in US monetary policy from the Antebellum period through 1876.

Links and notes for Ep. 396 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/American-Money-Parts-I-and-II_-Antebellum-Through-Reconstruction-Arsenal-For-Democracy-Ep-396.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

[Preview] Apr 6, 2021 – General Averell’s Asphalt Empire – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 363

Full episode on Patreon: Bill and Rachel learn what asphalt is and how failed Civil War General William Woods Averell became an asphalt paving magnate by the end of the 19th century.

150 years later: A major victory or a minor peace?

150 years ago today, after four years of civil war, the United States achieved a momentary peace – with Robert E. Lee’s surrender along with 27,000 Confederate troops, after the Battle of Appomattox Court House, which triggered a general surrender – and thus appeared to end the war over the fate and direction of the United States.

But as the insurrection collapsed, in our haste to celebrate that illusory peace, we failed to finish the bigger job of conquering and re-making the South. The peace was won, but not kept and consolidated. Instead, in a demonstration of the perils of clemency for the rebellious recalcitrance of evil, almost everything was kept the same, and the South hardened into an even more unified, retrograde, aristocracy than before. Slavery was renamed and White Supremacy death squads were formed. The peace ended, but the country just looked the other way, to avoid going back to war and supporting necessary reforms by force.

The Southern bloc, once re-admitted and then re-taken by the Union’s opponents, re-committed itself to blocking every U.S. policy effort that didn’t involve going to war with other countries. Despite the lack of commitment from President Andrew Johnson and other compromisers, the failure to Reconstruct the South wasn’t entirely for lack of trying

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