28 episodes

AP European History

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    • Education
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AP European History

    Cesare Beccaria Brings Rationality to Crime and Punishment

    Cesare Beccaria Brings Rationality to Crime and Punishment

    How society: deters, investigates, prosecutes, and punishes crime is one of the most important sets of policies a government will enact. At its core, the decisions a government makes regarding criminal justice are meant to protect its citizens. 

    For too long society was marred by an arbitrary administration of justice. In fact, society grapples with these issues to this day. Mass incarceration and racial inequity spark protest movements, and prosecutorial decisions to seek (or not seek) the death penalty haunt politicians.

    Cesare Beccaria's seminal work On Crimes and Punishments remains staggeringly relevant over 250 years later. If I were to assign one book for this course, Beccaria's masterpiece would be the one.


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    • 27 min
    Fabrica, Sidereus, and Gutenberg

    Fabrica, Sidereus, and Gutenberg

    The man responsible for arguably the most important invention in modern history was a terrible businessman. He was taken advantage of by "partners" and left basically penniless. So, maybe there is something to this whole uomo universale thing. If Gutenberg was as savvy as he was inventive, maybe his great, great, great...great...great ancestors would be rich.

    Maybe they are, but not because he gave them any money though.


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    • 19 min
    It Was Actually 30 Years!

    It Was Actually 30 Years!

    I compare the Thirty Years' War and the English Civil War.


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    • 30 min
    Witchcraft Hysteria Through Multiple Lenses

    Witchcraft Hysteria Through Multiple Lenses

    When I hear the word witch-hunt, I immediately think of Salem in the 1690s. But this hysteria wasn't confined to the North American English colonies. Europe experienced similar episodes of fear and paranoia.

    It's easy to view those sinking into the mire of fear, manipulation, and conjecture with derision. After all, authorities in Salem arrested a five-year-old girl named Dorothy Good for witchcraft. Can you imagine the tweets if that happened today?

    Try to fight the impulse to judge (or judge quietly). A variety of factors went into these witch hunts. 

    And in case you were wondering, Dorothy Good was released without trial or punishment.


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    • 27 min
    Portugal: You're Going Where?

    Portugal: You're Going Where?

    Why did Europeans want to explore? Why were the Portuguese so successful? What on earth is mercantilism? 


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    • 45 min
    BONUS: Discovering the Discovered

    BONUS: Discovering the Discovered

    In this BONUS episode I point out a couple of pitfalls.

    First, the lands were already inhabited. 

    Second, Europeans had already made it to North America.

    I promise you, someone will call you out if you don't take these two bullet points into account.




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    • 4 min

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