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15 Minute History is a history podcast designed for historians, enthusiasts, and newbies alike. This is a joint project of Hemispheres, the international outreach consortium at the University of Texas at Austin, and Not Even Past, a website with articles on a wide variety of historical issues, produced by the History Department at the University of Texas at Austin. This podcast series is devoted to short, accessible discussions of important topics in world history, United States history, and ...
 
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General Marshall had arrived early in 1946 with orders from Harry Truman to build a coalition government that included both Communists and Nationalists in China. Mao Tse Tung eagerly accepted Marshall’s intervention, continuing his public relations campaign to depict the Chinese Communist Party as kinder and gentler than its Stalinist counterpart i…
 
The raft floated in the midst of the River Niemen. On it were two beautiful pavilions, one for the Emperor of the French and the other for the Czar and Autocrat of All the Russias. In the French tent, Napoleon Bonaparte argued with his foreign minister, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, over how harsh the peace terms with the defeated Russians should …
 
In 1844, Philadelphia, a hub for Irish immigration to the United States, witnessed a series of violent Nativist riots that targeted Irish Americans and Roman Catholic churches. In our season finale, Zachary Schrag discusses the events leading up to the Philadelphia Nativists Riots of 1844, who was there, and how it fits into the broader history of …
 
Historians argue that several versions of the group known as the Ku Klux Klan or KKK have existed since its inception after the Civil War. But, what makes the Klan of the 1920s different from the others? Linda Gordon, the winner of two Bancroft Prizes and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, writes in The Second Coming of the KKK The Ku Klux Klan: of …
 
How do historians teach Environmental History in an age where climate catastrophe fills the headlines? Megan Raby and Erika Bsumek, both History Professors and Environmental Historians discuss what drew them to the field, how they talk about environmental history with their students, and the 2021 Institute for Historical Studies Conference, “Climat…
 
Twenty-one men sat in the dock awaiting their fate. Once the leaders of Europe's mightiest nation who had strutted proudly across the world stage arrogantly proclaiming the supremacy of the Aryan race, their faces remained defiant as their empire lay in ruins outside. Some showed open contempt for the victors who now sat in judgment over them. Othe…
 
Nineteenth-Century Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma) was home to a wide array of groups including Native American Nations, enslaved Indian Freed-people, African Americans, White settlers, and others. In a conversation on Black Reconstruction in Indian Territory, Alaina Roberts discusses what Reconstruction might have meant for Black people in …
 
The last landing was unique. It was a 100-foot cliff facing the English Channel, situated between Utah and Omaha beach. At the top of the cliff were 155mm guns with a range of 3.5 miles that could fire on both Utah and Omaha beaches and cause maximum casualties. The challenges facing these men were obvious, with the sheer rock face and no cover, an…
 
In the antebellum years, freedom and unfreedom often overlapped, even in states that were presumed “free states.” According to a new book by Kevin Waite, this was in part because the reach of the Slave South extended beyond the traditional South into newly admitted free and slave states. States like California found their legislatures filled with f…
 
For almost two decades, Edmund (Ted) Gordon has been leading tours of UT Austin that show how racism, patriarchy, and politics are baked into the landscape and architecture of the campus. According to the now digitized tour’s website, “What began as lectures about UT’s Black history turned into a more sustained research project about the broader ra…
 
In Great Britain calls for negotiations with Hitler were on the rise, with some leaders in the House of Commons outright promoting it. Churchill wouldn’t hear of it. “I have thought carefully in these last days whether it was part of my duty to consider entering into negotiations with That Man,” he said in an informal meeting with his Cabinet. “I a…
 
In recent years, conversations about the US-Mexico border have centered around the border wall. However, according to today’s guest, C.J. Alvarez, the wall is one of many construction projects that have occurred in the border region in the last 30 years. “From the boundary surveys of the 1850s to the ever-expanding fences and highway networks of th…
 
As stated by Andrew Roberts in his book, Churchill: Walking with Destiny, "Before the new MP had even taken his seat, he had fought in four wars, published five books, written 215 newspaper and magazine articles, participated in the greatest cavalry charge in a half a century and made a spectacular escape from prison. ‘At twenty-five, he had fought…
 
In 1814, as the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte crumbled from the onslaught of the Sixth Coalition powers, the people of Paris felt the ground shudder as cannon shells burst outside the city walls. A year later, the returned emperor's defeat at Waterloo had brought the Germans back to their beloved "City of Lights." In 1870, Paris was besieged by the …
 
Stereotypes of the 1950s family generally include a hardworking husband, a diligent housewife, their children, and a white picket fence. However, research by Lauren Gutterman and others suggests a much more flexible family system that could sometimes include same-sex relationships. In today’s episode, we talk to Dr. Gutterman about the postwar fami…
 
Around him lay the carnage of battle, men killed or nursing wounds. Smoke filled the air and burned the colonel's lungs. His depleted regiment had already repelled three attacks by rebels charging up the hill and was nearing the end of their strength. And yet the grey-coats kept coming. His superior's orders rang in his ears, "You must hold the lin…
 
In the Spring of 2016, protests concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline dominated national headlines. For many people, it was the first time they’d thought about the relationship between Indigenous peoples and environmental justice. However, what occurred at Standing Rock and the #NoDAPL movement was part of a long history of Indigenous resistance an…
 
The streets of Washington buzzed with the news. Now seven states had seceded from the Union, and the country stood on the brink. The White House saw streams of officials entering and leaving as the president summoned the Cabinet and members of Congress to find a solution to the country's plight. Most believed that his inaction the previous December…
 
The concept of moving water from one place to the other has been on the minds of humans since their creation. Conversely, the desire to move soiled water away automatically has – at times – been considered equally important. The means by which this could be done has evolved as civilizations have come and gone. In all of them, a basic pattern emerge…
 
It is very common throughout history to see periods of great innovation and artistic expression follow times of great turmoil and death. The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) were some of the worst years in the history of Europe, and in their wake, many artists, writers, philosophers, and common people took stock of what they had just endured. Join us as…
 
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