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A history podcast covering the making of our modern world from 1206-1914. The first season will look at the Taiping Civil War, the largest civil war in history, in which Jesus’ younger brother tries to overthrow the largest empire on earth.
 
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Lin Zexu In 1839, Lin Zexu makes history’s largest drug bust when he secured more than 1,600 tons of opium from European traders in Guangzhou. At first it was a triumph against the plague of imported opium. But unfortunately for Lin & the Qing Empire, that opium was technically owned by Queen Victoria and the British government. In response to the …
 
“Canton Factories” in Guangzhou, c1830 Qing dynasty “foreign policy” operated quite differently than it is commonly understood today, or as it was understood by contemporary states in Europe and West Asia. Going all the way back to the Han, Chinese dynasties tried to fit what we think of as foreign policy into the principles of Confucian hierarchy …
 
This episode looks at the rise of the East India Trade Company through the triangle trade between British India, Qing China, and the British Isles. Opium fueled the Company’s rise. It took a combination of opium smugglers, Free Trade ideogues, and 19th century Christian missionaries working together to bring their reign in Guangzhou to an end.…
 
In the second episode of the “mini season” on the Opium War, we’ll look at how the highest officials of the Qing Empire debated the problem of opium in the 1820’s and 1830’s. Specifically, what was the best way to prevent trading of Chinese silver for foreign opium? Some advocated harsh crackdowns, while others wondered why not just legalize it?…
 
The name “Opium War” was first given to the war by a British newspaper opposed to the conflict. It was a derogatory label that implied the great British Empire, emancipator of slaves, was being lowered to doing the bidding of a bunch of British drug dealers selling opium mostly grown in British-controlled regions of India by a giant, private corpor…
 
In this episode, a young Hong Xiuquan fails the provincial exam in Guangzhou for the third time. The experience breaks him, and his family fears for his life. It’s then, as his family fears he might be dying, that a group of small children in golden robes, a host of angels, and a giant rooster come to whisk him away on a journey that will change hi…
 
The Qianlong Emperor This episode we’ll look at the rise of the Qing, China’s last imperial dynasty. We’ll look at some of the major decisions Qing rulers made in the dynasty’s first 150 years. The reigns of Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong will rule China for a combined 140 years, during which it was the most powerful and populous state on earth. B…
 
Aggggghhhh!! That is one big insect!! To answer this question we need clarification, how do you quantify “biggest”? Insects are very diverse and they come in many shapes which means that the longest is not the heaviest. So to answer the question of what is the “biggest” completely there are two answers. The longest insect is the Chan’s Mega Stick f…
 
Banded woolly bear - Photo by graftendno1 Never the less, there is a woolly bear caterpillar that does have a very interesting relationship with winter. It is called the Arctic woolly bear caterpillar. Although their names are similar and they superficially look alike, these two are very different. The banded woolly bear caterpillar is in the famil…
 
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