Show cover of Presidencies of the United States

Presidencies of the United States

This podcast is devoted to exploring presidential history from the founding of the office in 1789 on through the present day. I plan to take a systematic approach to both the people and the events that have shaped and reshaped each administration and the office in general.

Tracks

SATT 013 - Henry Dearborn
Tenure of Office: March 5, 1801 - March 4, 1809 Revolutionary War veteran, US Representative, Secretary of War, War of 1812 General, US Minister to Portugal - with that accumulation of offices, one would imagine that Henry Dearborn would be better remembered. With my special guest, Steve Guerra of the History of the Papacy and Beyond the Big Screen podcasts, we explore Dearborn's life and career to determine whether or not this key member of Jefferson's Cabinet is worthy of more extensive study. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
149:28 09/20/2022
4.10 - Yazoo v Yazoo
Year(s) Discussed: 1795-1810 For fifteen years, one controversy popped up time and again to disrupt the public arena - the Yazoo Land Controversy. From newspaper essays to debates in Congress, this issue involved some of the biggest leaders of the time including Alexander Hamilton, John Randolph of Roanoke, John Quincy Adams, and James Madison. Finally, in 1810, the Supreme Court took up a case that would look to settle the matter once and for all and, in the process, set an important constitutional precedent. Sources used for this episode can be found at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
38:15 09/04/2022
4.09 - Fear and Loathing in Napoleonic Europe
Year(s) Discussed: 1808-1810 Despite achieving a victory in the War of the Fifth Coalition, French Emperor Napoleon's hold on control over the European continent was looking increasingly shaky. This would make the reception received by the new US Minister to Russia John Quincy Adams a warm one as Russia was on the hunt for new allies. Meanwhile, wealthy American businessman and merchant John Jacob Astor set in motion plans to create a trading network across the globe that would also include trading posts across the North American continent including a key new settlement on the west coast. Sources used for this episode can be found at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
33:04 08/21/2022
SATT 012.2 - John Marshall Part Two
Year(s) Discussed: 1755-1835 As a follow-up episode focused more on John Marshall's lengthy tenure as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, I am joined by Ben Lovelace and Matthew Nichol of the John Marshall House for a discussion on his historical and legal legacy as well as to get a better sense of Marshall as an individual. Our conversation ranged across a variety of topics including his role in reshaping the Judicial branch of government, various key cases that set precedents being applied in the present day, and Marshall's influence, both personally and from the bench, on the expansion of slavery in the United States as well as the nation's relations with the native peoples of North America. More information can be found on the website at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
134:22 08/14/2022
SATT 012.1 - John Marshall Part One
Tenure of Office: June 13, 1800 - March 4, 1801 John Marshall is a name much better known for where his career led him after serving in the administration of John Adams, but there was still much to discuss with my special guest, Alycia from Civics & Coffee, about his brief tenure as Secretary of State. Join us as we explore Marshall's life and legacy and determine whether his impact at the State Department was enough to earn him a seat at the table of the Cabinet All-Stars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
153:27 08/07/2022
4.083 - Dolley Madison Part Three
Year(s) Discussed: 1817-1858 James and Dolley Madison left Washington, DC in 1817 anticipating a peaceful retirement in Montpelier. Little did they know what life had in store for them or that Dolley would end up returning to the social circles of the leading politicians in the nation's capital. Learn more about the triumphs and tribulations faced by the former Lady Presidentress in her later years and the legacy that she left by listening to this episode. Sources used for this episode can be found at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
75:59 07/24/2022
4.082 - Dolley Madison Part Two
Year(s) Discussed: 1768-1849 We continue our examination of the life and legacy of Dolley Madison with a discussion with Hilarie Hicks, Senior Research Historian at James Madison's Montpelier. In this episode, we talk about Dolley's role in the social circles of the nation's capital during James's presidency, her management of the household, her views on slavery, and whether she was responsible for saving the portrait of George Washington during the British invasion of Washington, DC. More information can be found on the website at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
58:07 07/10/2022
4.081 - Dolley Madison Part One
Year(s) Discussed: 1768-1809 Born in a Southern log cabin, the woman who would go on to be the center of social life in the nation's capital developed her skills of charm and entertainment through formative years filled with uncertainty, turmoil, and tragedy. Join me as I explore the early life of Dolley Payne Todd Madison up to her husband's election as the fourth President of the United States. Sources used for this episode can be found at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
46:03 07/03/2022
SATT 011 - Samuel Dexter
Tenure of Office: June 12, 1800 - March 4, 1801 (as Secretary of War); January 1, 1801 - May 13, 1801 (as Secretary of the Treasury) Samuel Dexter may have come into the Cabinet towards the end of John Adams's tenure as president, but there was still a good bit for my special guest, Shawn from the American History Podcast, and myself to discuss about his life and career. Join us as we determine just what sort of legacy this man from Massachusetts left for posterity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
70:29 06/20/2022
4.08 - Fussin', Fightin', and Carryin' On
Content Note: This episode mentions the topic of suicide. Year(s) Discussed: 1807-1810 The Madison administration experienced numerous setbacks and embarrassments in the latter part of 1809. The President's private secretary, Isaac Coles, committed an egregious breach of privilege while on official business. Around the same time, Dolley Madison's brother-in-law, Rep. John Jackson, got into an altercation with one of his colleagues in the House. Meanwhile, the administration had to find a new governor of the Louisiana Territory after the untimely demise of Meriwether Lewis. Sources used for this episode can be found at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28:08 06/12/2022
Interview with Peter Shea, In the Arena
Year(s) Discussed: 1812-2016 We often examine the lives and legacies of those select few who win the US presidential elections every four years, but what about their opponents? What might we learn from their unsuccessful campaigns as well as their overall careers? In this episode, I am joined by Peter Shea to discuss his book, In the Arena: A History of American Presidential Hopefuls. In our conversation, we examined candidates ranging from DeWitt Clinton to Michael Dukakis and the legacies of some of the also-rans in the larger scheme of American culture and history as well as considered how losing has the potential to make individuals stronger. Additional information can be found at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
59:17 06/05/2022
SATT 010 - Benjamin Stoddert
Tenure of Office: June 18, 1798 - March 31, 1801 A merchant and land speculator by trade, Benjamin Stoddert's path to becoming the first Secretary of the Navy was an unconventional one. However, did this unique background contribute to success while in office? With my special guest, Stacey Roberts of the History's Trainwrecks podcast, we explore the life and legacy of this Marylander to better understand his role in presidential history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
110:36 05/22/2022
4.07 - Dissension and Discord
Year(s) Discussed: 1808-1809 The arrival of the new British Minister to the US, Francis James Jackson, was not necessarily seen as a good omen by the Madison administration for the prospect of healing the rift between the United States and Great Britain, and the negotiations once they started proved to be quite contentious. Meanwhile, in Europe, US Minister to France John Armstrong grew ever more frustrated with the Napoleonic government, and a new Prime Minister took office in London under less than auspicious circumstances. Sources used for this episode can be found at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
38:22 05/15/2022
4.06 – Peace Interrupted
Year(s) Discussed: 1809 When the British government learned of the Erskine Agreement, it was not best pleased. In the summer of 1809, the Madison administration scrambled to deal with the ramifications of the British response while at the same time, two members of the Cabinet found themselves in opposition due to political infighting. Meanwhile, a similar row in the British ministry threatened to throw that government into turmoil. Sources used for this episode can be found at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com. Featured Image: “Samuel Smith” by Gilbert Stuart [c. 1795-1805], courtesy of Wikipedia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31:27 04/24/2022
SATT 009 – James McHenry
Tenure of Office: January 27, 1796 – June 2, 1800 James McHenry was the last individual appointed to the Cabinet of George Washington, but would being tapped to head the War Department by the esteemed first President lead to his tenure being viewed favorably by his contemporaries and by the annals of history? With my special guest, Kyle Väth of the Just Cincinnati podcast, we explore McHenry’s entire life and career along with the role he played in the Washington and Adams administrations to determine just what this signer of the Constitution brought to the table. Featured Image: “James McHenry” by H Pollock, courtesy of Wikipedia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
99:32 04/18/2022
4.05 – In the Arena
Year(s) Discussed: 1808-1809 A new congressional session provided an opportunity for the President and his wife to make their mark on the Washington political and social scene as they invited guests into the refurbished President’s House. Meanwhile, General James Wilkinson continued with his intrigues down in New Orleans, but rather than establishing a pseudo-dictatorship again, his affairs were more of a personal nature. Over in Europe, Austria rose up once more against the French Empire, and Napoleon had to scramble to avoid defeat. Sources used in this episode can be found at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com. Featured Images: “Portrait of Dolley Madison, First Lady of the United States” [c. 19th century], courtesy of Wikipedia and “George Canning” [pre-1827], courtesy of Wikipedia Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
35:56 04/10/2022
4.04 – East and West
Year(s) Discussed: 1808-1809 In the first couple of months of his presidency, Madison not only dealt with a domestic political dispute but also managed to negotiate an agreement with the British Minister to the US to resolve issues with Great Britain. Unbeknownst to him, however, the continued instability in Europe would keep peace and prosperity just out of reach for his administration. Sources used for this episode can be found at https://presidencies.blubrry.com. Featured Image: “David Erskine” by Richard Woodman [c. 1820], courtesy of Wikipedia Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31:37 03/27/2022
SATT 008 – Charles Lee
Tenure of Office: December 10, 1795 – March 4, 1801 Charles Lee served as legal counsel during some of the most notable trials of the Early Republic, but does that mean that his tenure as Attorney General is equally remarkable? With my special guest, Kenny from [Abridged] Presidential Histories, we explore his life and career to determine what he contributed to the Washington and Adams administrations as well as to American history in general. Audio editing by Alex Van Rose Featured Image: “Charles Lee” by Cephas Giovanni Thompson [c. 19th century], courtesy of Wikipedia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
69:11 03/20/2022
4.03 – The Call of My Country
Year(s) Discussed: 1809 Though James Madison was seen as being Thomas Jefferson’s successor, it became clear starting with his inauguration that his presidency would be different from his predecessor’s, for better or worse. While the public got to see a more festive social tone as set by Dolley Madison, behind the scenes, the president struggled to get political support for a key Cabinet nomination. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com. Featured Image: “James Madison” by David Erwin [c. 1809-1817], courtesy of Wikipedia Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
35:53 03/13/2022
4.02 – Madison Pre-Presidency Part Two
Year(s) Discussed: 1785-1809 After scoring some key political victories in Virginia, Madison decided to lead an effort to reform the government of the United States. However, he would find that getting the Constitutional Convention to agree on a new federal structure was only half the battle, and he would soon acquire some powerful enemies in the ratification campaign. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com. Featured Image: “Scene at the Signing of the United States Constitution” by Howard Chandler Christy [c. 1940], courtesy of Wikipedia Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
63:11 02/27/2022
SATT 007 – Oliver Wolcott Jr
Tenure of Office: February 3, 1795 – December 31, 1800 Oliver Wolcott, Jr had big shoes to fill when he assumed office as the second Secretary of the Treasury. With my special guests, Lucy and Michelle from Tudoriferous, we explore his life and career to determine whether this member of the Washington and Adams administrations was truly up to the task of running the largest Cabinet department in the early republic. Featured Image: “Oliver Wolcott Jr” by Gilbert Stuart [c. 1820], courtesy of Wikipedia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
113:50 02/20/2022
4.01 – Madison Pre-Presidency Part One
Year(s) Discussed: 1653-1785 As part of a family that had been on a steady rise in society since its earliest days in the Virginia colony, James Madison, Jr. was expected to do great things from the time of his birth, but his family could scarcely have imagined the heights to which he would rise. After an accelerated collegiate career and a few initial stumbles as a young man, Madison gradually worked his way into becoming a force in state and national politics. However, as someone not content with ignoring issues in the status quo, Madison would soon find his calling as a champion for innovation. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com. Featured Image: “James Madison, Class of 1771” by James Sharples [c. pre-1811], courtesy of Wikipedia Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
54:56 02/06/2022
SATT 006 – Timothy Pickering
Tenure of Office: January 2, 1795 – December 10, 1795 (as Secretary of War); December 10, 1795 – May 12, 1800 (as Secretary of State) Timothy Pickering’s tenure in the Washington and Adams administrations is arguably one of the most notorious in the early republic. Thus, I had to call on Eric and Matt from the Ranking ’76: The American West podcast to join me in exploring the life of this infamous historical figure and determine what sort of a legacy he left behind. Featured Image: “Timothy Pickering” by Charles Willson Peale [c. 1792/1793], courtesy of Wikipedia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
118:47 01/30/2022
3.41 – Jefferson Q&A
You asked, and I answered! As we wrap up our series on Thomas Jefferson’s presidency, listeners submitted questions ranging from Franco-American relations during Jefferson’s tenure to what pets he kept to how would I go about explaining Jefferson’s complex legacy to him. Listen in as I answer your final questions about the man from Monticello and his impact on American history. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com. Featured Image: “Thomas Jefferson Memorial,” taken by Djonesmhc on 24 May 2012 and shared on Wikipedia Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
37:29 01/23/2022
3.40 – Jefferson Post-Presidency
Year(s) Discussed: 1809-1826 After leaving the presidency, Thomas Jefferson found himself kept quite busy with both public business and personal matters. While striving to be a doting grandfather and fretting over his family’s life struggles, the former president worked in vain to escape the vicious cycle of debt in which he had become trapped. Meanwhile, he used his retirement to take on the task of improving public education in Virginia which inevitably landed him in the middle of political struggles once more. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com. Featured Image: “Thomas Jefferson” by Thomas Sully [c. 1821], courtesy of Wikipedia Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
64:59 01/09/2022
3.39 – Sunset and Sunrise
Year(s) Discussed: 1807-1809 As the end of Jefferson’s second term neared, the Embargo Act came under increasing criticism at home, Napoleon’s plans for conquest continued apace in Europe, and the nation chose the man who would become the fourth President of the United States. Though the clock had not struck on his presidency, his last months in office would find the man who had been a leader for decades take a step back as his thoughts turned increasingly to his life once he left the President’s House. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com. Featured Image: “Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States” by Pendleton’s Lithography [c. 1828], courtesy of Wikipedia Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
61:16 12/14/2021
SATT 005 – William Bradford
Tenure of Office: January 27, 1794 – August 23, 1795 Though William Bradford wasn’t Attorney General for long, he did have an impact on some key events in the Washington administration. With my special guest for this episode, we examine his life and career to understand what sort of a legacy Bradford left. Thanks so much to my special guest for this episode, Jacob from the Podcast on Germany, and special thanks to Alex Van Rose for his audio editing assistance! Featured Image: “William Bradford” by William E Winner [c. 1872], courtesy of Wikipedia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
69:35 12/05/2021
3.38 – Electioneering
Year(s) Discussed: 1806-1808 As the 1808 presidential election neared, the infighting in the Democratic-Republican faction was exacerbated by not one but two challengers to Secretary of State James Madison’s candidacy – Vice President George Clinton and former US Minister to Britain James Monroe. Meanwhile, Napoleon’s constant wars in Europe continued to impact US foreign policy, and the Jefferson administration began a new round of negotiations with British envoy George Rose to seek a resolution to the crisis precipitated by the Chesapeake-Leopard incident while working out how to effectively enforce the Embargo Act. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com. Featured Image: “James Madison” by Gilbert Stuart [c. 1805-1807], courtesy of Wikipedia Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
50:32 11/21/2021
SATT 004 – Thomas Jefferson
Tenure of Office: March 22, 1790 – December 31, 1793 We’ve spent a good amount of time in the narrative talking about Jefferson as the third US president, but in this episode, while also exploring his life and career as a whole, we focus in a bit on Jefferson’s tenure as Secretary of State in the Washington administration. Thanks so much to my special guests for this episode, Howard and Jess from Plodding Through the Presidents! Featured Image: “Portrait of Thomas Jefferson” by Charles Willson Peale [c. 1791], courtesy of Wikipedia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
141:17 11/07/2021
3.37 – O Grab Me
Year(s) Discussed: 1806-1808 With a diplomatic resolution to the Chesapeake/Leopard affair looking increasingly unlikely and the threat of war looming, President Jefferson and his administration worked in late 1807 to devise an alternative to war while also preparing for the nation’s defense. Meanwhile, James Monroe’s frustrations continued in London while there was a shift in power in Congress. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com. Featured Image: “O Grab Me cartoon” [c. 1807], courtesy of Wikipedia Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
54:02 10/24/2021