Should republics build empires? William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and the path to the Spanish–American War.
In our last episode, we discussed President Polk’s unlikely rise to the White House and his success in annexing Texas and settling the Oregon territory. But by late April 1846, he was leading his nation to war with its southern neighbor, Mexico. As a former dark horse candidate with no military experience, many wondered whether… Continue reading Ep. 11: The Great American Conqueror Part II (James K. Polk)
In this episode we continue the theme of expansion in early America, telling the story of the Mexican-American War and the president who, though largely forgotten and little understood, remains a giant in the annals of American history.
History often seems inevitable. When we look back at a historical event, we usually look at it with the outcomes or the results in mind. For example, when we think of World War II, we know that it ended in 1945. We know that the Allies won. Our entire view of that war is framed… Continue reading Ep. 9: The Art of the Steal (Thomas Jefferson)
We just lived through the first election in which a woman won the nomination of a major political party to be President of the United States and came close to being elected. To many, this was a sign of major progress . In fact, there are more women today in American government than ever before.… Continue reading Ep. 8: The Women Who Would Be President
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was a little-known politician running for president. In February of that year, he was in New York City to deliver a speech at the Cooper Union building. Just before his remarks, Lincoln stopped by the office of photographer Matthew Brady. There, Brady took a photo of Lincoln to mark the occasion… Continue reading Ep. 7: Perspectives: Bob Knudsen on Photographing the President
In the first episode of this two-part series on FDR, we explored the man, his times, and the unusual circumstances surrounding the 1944 Democratic Convention. We discussed FDR’s legendary poker face, his deteriorating health, the fact that his doctor warned him that he couldn’t survive a fourth term, and his dream to create the United… Continue reading Ep. 6: The Inscrutable Man Part II (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
If we were to do an episode on the entire life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it would have to be at least a 12 hour series. Instead, we will focus on a short period of his life that is one of the most fascinating—the end of it. This isn’t the FDR of the famous 100… Continue reading Ep. 5: The Inscrutable Man Part I (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
This week on This American President we interview author, public speaker, and former executive assistant to President Ronald Reagan, Peggy Grande. Peggy recently wrote a book titled The President Will See You Now: My Stories and Lessons from Ronald Reagan’s Final Years. It’s a wonderful book about her time serving President and Mrs. Reagan and how she… Continue reading Ep. 4: Perspectives: Peggy Grande on President Reagan
Historians have often noted that our Founding Fathers didn’t like democracy. Our second president, John Adams, once said, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” Our fourth president, James Madison, wrote, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention;… Continue reading Ep. 3: Fake News and Nasty Men (1876 Election)