History Talk from Origins

Leticia Wiggins and Patrick Potyondy

Smart conversations about today’s most interesting topics - a history podcast for everyone, produced by Ohio State's Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective.

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The Economy & Business
10:26 am
Thu August 15, 2013

European Disunion: The Rise and Fall of a Post-War Dream?

The euro serves as a common currency for most members of the European Union. Euro coins all have one side in common, while the obverse side (examples shown here) is stamped with a national motif. The tension between unity and sovereignty lies at the heart of the EU's history.

The economic crisis in Europe has had many predicting the end of the Eurozone and an end to the grand dreams of European unity. This month historian Donald A. Hempson III charts how the European Union and the Eurozone evolved out of a twin set of goals after World War II: to prevent European nations from going to war again and to foster economic prosperity across the continent. The current tensions are nothing new. Instability has long characterized the EU as it has expanded and integrated.

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Origins Podcast
10:15 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Aerial Torpedoes, Buzz Bombs, and Predators: The Long Cultural History of Drones

The modern drone has many technological and cultural precursors dating back to the turn of the century. Shown here is a Predator drone widely used by the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Air Force; originally designed for reconnaissance, it has now been outfitted with missiles and used in offensive strikes.

The use of unmanned drones for surveillance, for targeted assassinations, and for attacks more broadly seems to be the latest evolution in the technology of war. But as historian Kenneth C. Hough reminds us, the military use of drones goes back at least a century, as does the controversy they have generated over the morality and meaning of using such technology to kill.

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Origins Podcast
10:45 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: America's Love Affair with the Two-Party System

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: America's Love Affair with the Two-Party System

The American Founding Fathers were famously suspicious of political parties and warned repeatedly about the dangers of "factionalism." Americans, however, have long loved them. While much has been made since the November 2012 election about the "death" of the Republican Party, historian Marc Horger reminds us that there have been several major party realignments in American history. Parties may change their characters but the two-party system has proved remarkably durable.

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Origins Podcast
10:22 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Two Popes and a Primate: The Changing Face of Global Christianity

As three Christian Churches recently elected new leaders, they confront a world in which global Christianity may be poised for the third major reorganization of its history. Here, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis in March 2013.

While the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to head the Roman Catholic Church as Pope Francis received widespread international attention, in fact the last six months have seen the elevation of three Christian clerics to fill the top position in their respective churches. This month historian David Brakke examines the different processes involved in electing these figures and explains how the Christian world came to have two popes and a primate in the first place.

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Origins Podcast
10:16 am
Mon April 15, 2013

A New World Order? Africa and China

Modern relations between Africa and China commenced during the 1950s. This Cold War-era poster carries the slogan "Chairman Mao is the great savior of the revolutionary peoples of the world" and an illustration of African freedom fighters reading a copy of Mao's little book of quotations.

For many Americans, the “rise” of China over the past two decades is primarily measured in economic terms and is seen by many as an economic threat. For many Africans, however, the rise of China has meant investments, loans, and an alternative path to economic development than the one offered by Western institutions. This month historian Ousman Murzik Kobo looks at the long-term relationship between China and Africa, examines its origins in the Cold War, and questions whether these ties with China are good for Africa or simply another form of colonialism

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