The 19th century US economy and armed forces needed industrial production of explosives (and fertilizer), eventually reaching monopoly status, and in turn the economy and armed forces supported the overseas Guano empire necessary to obtain those materials.
100 years ago today, the US, Britain, Japan, France, and Italy signed the Washington Naval Treaty. Intended to de-escalate a battleship arms race, it ended up marking the dawn of the aircraft carrier age, which makes it very relevant even now. Bill and Rachel.
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.
A potential series on understanding the transition of the US economy in the Crisis of the 1970s: The episode on foreign exchange, gold convertibility, and the Nixon Shock of August 15, 1971. (A Bill solo episode recorded Jan 12, 2022.)