Second Decade

Second Decade
Hosted by Sean Munger
This is a historical show examining the momentous events and interesting people of the second decade of the 19th century, the 1810s. From Jefferson to Napoleon, from Iceland to Antarctica, historian Sean Munger will give you a tour of the decade's most fascinating highlights.
Second Decade on EmailSecond Decade on FacebookSecond Decade on Twitter
Post Image
Second Decade

31: Bolivar, Part I

Simón Bolívar is one of the giants of Latin American history, with statutes, portraits and monuments to him everywhere from Panama to Tierra del Fuego, and even an entire country—Bolivia—bears his name. But how much do you really know about him? Where did he come from, what was Spanish America like at the time he arose, and how did he begin his incredible journey to liberate three-quarters of a hemisphere from one of the world’s oldest colonial powers? Although Bolívar clearly was the right man at the right time, the Spanish empire in the Americas was moribund and brittle by the beginning of the 19th century, with political, economic, social and racial tensions running deep. Into this complicated world came Bolívar, a man of wealth and privilege who claimed to speak for the forgotten man. He was also a passionate man, scarred forever by the premature death of his wife, and prone to flamboyant excess in both his personal and professional life.

In this episode, the first of a three-part series on Bolívar’s life and career, Dr. Sean Munger finally delves into one of the most important stories of the decade of the 1810s. You’ll learn about the history of the Bolívar family and how they made their money in New Spain; you’ll meet arrogant revolutionaries in exile, a passionate woman who made Bolívar a man at age 15, indecisive Venezuelan autocrats, and vengeful Spanish military captains intent on punishing treason against their king. This episode begins a colorful pageant of history that will ultimately take us the length and breadth of Latin America as Bolívar, sometimes right, sometimes wrong but always sure of himself, takes on an entire empire and rises to the height of power.

Show Notes & Additional Materials




32: Dawn of the Zulu

32: Dawn of the Zulu Second Decade

April 15, 2018 • Pressured by environmental change and the coming of European colonizers along the coasts, southern Africa in the 1810s was a complicated and dangerous place. Numerous small...

| April 15, 2018

31: The Great Iceland Road Trip

Second Decade

March 26, 2018 • Iceland was, in 1809, a very different place than we think of it today. It was still a picturesque, craggy island belching steam and lava from its many geysers and volcanic vents,...

| March 26, 2018

Second Decade Off Topic: The White House, Part II

Second Decade

March 5, 2018 • What was the White House really like in the early part of the 19th century? Always under construction, reconstruction, redecoration or renovation, the President’s house was like...

| March 5, 2018

30: The White House, Part I

Second Decade

March 5, 2018 • Originally built in the 1790s largely with slave labor, from the very beginning the White House was an eerie mirror of American society, including its original sin of slavery. But...

| March 5, 2018

29: Australia, Part II

Second Decade

February 12, 2018 • Though it started as a convenient dumping ground for Britain’s human refuse, the colony of Australia was not destined to remain a prison forever. Despite the grandiose plans of...

| February 12, 2018

28: Australia, Part I

Second Decade

January 29, 2018 • In the 1810s, the British penal colony of Australia, known then as New South Wales, was barely 20 years old. Already it had sunk into a morass of drunkenness, corruption and...

| January 29, 2018

Second Decade Off Topic: Benihana Nights

Second Decade

December 10, 2017 • This is an Off Topic episode, involving historical topics outside the scope of the main podcast. This episode spins off Episode 27 of the main podcast (“The Belle of...

| December 10, 2017

27: The Belle of Nagasaki

Second Decade

December 10, 2017 • In the Second Decade, Japan was the most exotic, unknown and isolated country in the world. Since the early 17th century the Tokugawa Shoguns had deliberately closed the country...

| December 10, 2017

26: The Queenston Hostages

Second Decade

November 20, 2017 • In October 1812, over 900 American troops surrendered to the British after the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Queenston Heights. Most of these P.O.W.s were exchanged...

| November 20, 2017

Second Decade Off Topic: The Sunn Also Rises

Second Decade

November 5, 2017 • This is the first in a projected series of bonus episodes called Second Decade: Off Topic, which examine historical topics outside the scope of the main podcast. This episode...

| November 5, 2017

25: The Man in the Buffalo Fur Suit

Second Decade

November 5, 2017 • You’ve probably heard of Daniel Boone and “Grizzly” Adams, the quintessential frontier mountain men who helped forge America’s frontier identity in the 19th century. But...

| November 5, 2017

24: New England’s Cold Friday

Second Decade

October 21, 2017 • Church steeples, horse-drawn sleighs, picket fences, snow-covered fields...is this what you think of when you picture an old-time winter in New England? The cultural and...

| October 21, 2017

Gather ‘Round, People: part II (FIXED)

Second Decade

September 11, 2017 • How we tell ourselves about our histories goes a long way to how we form our senses of identity. As societies and as individuals, we work through events and issues, and how we...

| September 11, 2017

23: Murder in Charleston

Second Decade

July 9, 2017 • You may not have heard of David Ramsay, but if you lived in Charleston, South Carolina in the second decade, you would probably know him—if you were part of the city’s rich...

| July 9, 2017

22: Old Ironsides

Second Decade

May 14, 2017 • The early months of the War of 1812 served up a relentless drumbeat of bad news for the United States: our untrained and ill-equipped forces, fighting a war they were unprepared...

| May 14, 2017

21: Frankenstein

Second Decade

May 8, 2017 • The image and concept of Frankenstein’s monster—most notably personified by Boris Karloff in the 1931 Universal horror film—are indelible in literature, cinema and popular...

| May 8, 2017

21: Frankenstein

Second Decade

May 8, 2017 • The image and concept of Frankenstein’s monster—most notably personified by Boris Karloff in the 1931 Universal horror film—are indelible in literature, cinema and popular...

| May 8, 2017

20: Second Decade on Film

Second Decade

April 23, 2017 • Since the beginning of film as a narrative and artistic medium, historical events and eras have been popular subjects for filmmakers. The decade of the 1810s, however, has not...

| April 23, 2017

19: Curious King George

Second Decade

April 9, 2017 • Despite being one of the longest-reigning British monarchs as well as wildly popular among his own people, King George III gets a bad rap as the “mad king who lost America.”...

| April 9, 2017

18: Let China Sleep

Second Decade

March 26, 2017 • Despite seeming to the West as if it was “sleeping,” China in the 1810s was in fact experiencing the crucial transition of the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty from its cultural and...

| March 26, 2017

Powered by Magazine Builder