Filed under: History and Historians, Our Glorious National Heritage | Tags: Andrew Jackson, College Humor, Too close to a Slate pitch for comfort, War of 1812
Or, A Modest (But Friendly!) Rebuttal
Joe Adelman raised an interesting point on Twitter today: should we commemorate the War of 1812? And if so, on what grounds? Joe’s ably summarized and commented on the conversation that ensued in a blog post here. Take a look!
Now, from that you’ll see that I placed myself firmly in the “War of 1812 isn’t worth commemorating” camp. It’s been a solitary experience.
Filed under: Knowledge Droppings, Our Glorious National Heritage | Tags: Fur trade, Ledyard, Muskrat, Yglesias
Or, America’s Continuing War on the Cute and Fuzzy
Also Known As: No Captain & Tenille Jokes Here, No Sirree
Everything old is new again. At least, so says Matt Yglesias. Slate’s economic analyst reports (base on an entertaining Wall Street Journal article) that muskrat pelts from the Upper Midwest are fetching record prices due to rising demand in China. Historically nimble as always, he notes that fur trapping was a key “motive for early (largely French) white exploration” in the former Middle Ground – and so this is yet more evidence that old patterns appear to be reasserting themselves: “Asian industrialization seems to be pushing America back to its roots as a natural resource extraction hub.”
He’s not wrong – but I think he misses an important historical trend line by stretching as far back to the heyday of the coureur de bois. Collecting furs was indeed a key part of French colonialism in North America, but the direct connection to Asian markets (specifically, Canton) was not made until the American Revolution.
Filed under: Found Historiography, Our Glorious National Heritage | Tags: Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton Mixtape, In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Or, thoughts on The Hamilton Mixtape by Lin-Manuel Miranda
I’ll be direct: Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius, as a musician, a writer, and possibly as an historian, too. Grand words, no? Admittedly, I tend toward hyperbole – but indulge me and watch the video above, and tell me if it doesn’t ring true.