Thursday, January 10, 2008

The American Constitution's British roots - BTHP

The Binge Thinking History podcast (BTHP) claims to have been inspired by Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. Host Tony Cocks follows Dan Carlin's example in his relatively natural speech. He doesn't read from a piece of paper. Or if he does, he does it really well. He also follows Dan's example in combining history telling with analysis. His first project: showing the British roots of the American constitution.

Tony argues the American Constitution is thoroughly British in its origins and takes us in the first four podcasts through the political history of England and Britain to show this is so. Already before the Magna Carta, in the charter of liberties he finds the starting point for the political thinking and organization that will ultimately lead to the American Constitution as we know it. Hence, he three Brits to be added to the list of founding fathers.

His first nominee is Henry VIII. The king that founded the Anglican Church and thus caused the Americans to be Protestants. The second is Oliver Cromwell, who showed the head of state need not be in a hereditary line. The third and the first to star in the cast is Simon de Montfort (who actually has a plaque at the United States House of Representatives), who made a point that the state need not be lead by a king.

Has Tony succeeded in emulating Dan? In a way he has. He delivers a bit more history and thus founds his points more solidly. He also is an engaging speaker and delivers a good audio quality in his podcast. What is left to be desired is to prevent this cast from turning into a monologue podcasts, such as British History 101 and the podfaded Medieval Podcast. There are many of those and, as shown by the examples, ones that already cover British History. Monologue style is hard to pull off, even for talents like Bob Packett. Tony could invite a female voice on the podcast and dialog with her. He could record in front of an audience. He could try to keep the podcast short - 20 minutes or less.

From Dan Carlin's Hardcore History:
Meeting James Burke,
Succession in Macedon,
The Plague.

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