Episode 023: Early American History with the JuntoCast

Junto Feature

Have you ever wondered what happens when four historians get together to talk about early American history?

In this episode, we chat with three young and promising historians of early America: Michael Hattem, Roy Rogers, and Ken Owen. All three scholars discuss history at The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History and podcast as regular panelists on The JuntoCast: A Monthly Podcast about Early American History.


About the Show

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.

It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.

Each episode features a conversation with an historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.

Episode Summary

In this episode, we chat with three young and promising historians of early America: Michael Hattem, Roy Rogers, and Ken Owen.

Michael_HattemAll three scholars discuss history at The JuntoA Group Blog on Early American History and podcast as regular panelists on The JuntoCast: A Monthly Podcast About Early American History.

During our conversation, Michael, Roy, and Ken reveal the story behind The Junto blog and The JuntoCast, how they got started, and what types of articles and episodes you can expect to find; information about what aspects of early American history these three historians study; and the list of early American history books they recommend to all of their non-historian friends.


What You’ll Discover

  • What the academic titles of “doctoral candidate” or “Ph.D. candidate” and “Assistant Professor” mean
  • How The Junto blog began
  • What types of early American History articles and content you will find at The Junto blog
  • A brief assessment of the historical accuracy of the Assassin's Creed III video game
  • How The Junto blog and The JuntoCast received its name
  • Information about The JuntoCast
  • Early American history topics covered in The JuntoCast and information about how Ken, Michael, Ken, and their guests discuss those topics
  • Ken OwenHow The JuntoCast will help you develop your historical thinking skills
  • Information about Roy Rogers’ research on how the Anglican Church handled its disestablishment from the state after the American Revolution
  • Information about Michael Hattem’s research on “history culture” in colonial and revolutionary America
  • What “history culture” is and how it contributed to the historical memory of Americans who lived in revolutionary and early republic America
  • How Ken Owen, an Englishman born and raised, came to study the American Revolution
  • How English schools teach the American Revolution
  • Information about Ken’s forthcoming book, which explores how the participation of ordinary citizens in Pennsylvania town meetings, county committees, and nominating conventions allowed them to transmit their desires onto the more formal channels of government
  • What the founders and those involved in the discussion of a state religion thought about non-Christian religions and religious freedom in general
  • How Pennsylvania’s ethnic diversity affected the politics of the colony leading up to the Revolution
  • Whether the politics of the American Revolution united the ethnic factions of Pennsylvania
  • Why historians seem less-than-thrilled with the portrayal of the American Revolution in History Channel’s Sons of Liberty miniseries
  • Books about early American history that Roy, Ken, and Michael recommend
  • A sneak peek at future episodes of The JuntoCast


Links to People, Places, and Publications


Time Warp PlainTime Warp Question

What might have happened if Parliament and King George III had accepted and allowed official, voting representatives from its British North American colonies in Parliament? How would early American history be different?


Junto Recommended Reading List


Questions, Comments, Suggestions

Do you have a question, comment, or suggestion?

Get in Touch! Send me an e-mail, tweet, or leave a comment.



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  • This was really great! Thank you all.

    Not a critique, just a comment, but to hear “Junto” pronounced like that really takes some getting used to! haha

    • Thanks for listening! I am glad you enjoyed this conversation. We are all good friends so we may do it again. I am playing around with a live Q & A session that the gentlemen from The JuntoCast may be perfect for.

      • Please don’t take my comment the wrong way. I specifically said it wasn’t a critique. Sorry if I came off as an ass! I just made the comment because I am accustomed the Spanish pronunciation. Not trying to be the language police at all. Sorry.

        • I actually know what you mean. I, myself, have always pronounced it with the “h” sound. I actually wrote a piece about this for the blog in which I tried to uncover how people in the eighteenth century might have pronounced the word. Long story short, there appears to have been multiple pronunciations even then. Thanks for listening!!

  • I really enjoyed this one, particularly the Time Warp Question. I tend to agree with your guests, in that the Revolution would have happened anyway. “No taxation without representation” is the classic slogan, but it’s my opinion that the move from merely resisting various Parliamentary policies to actual rebellion only really came after the Coercive Acts were passed stripping Massachusetts of it’s ability to govern itself. This was a right held sacred by people in Massachusetts and the removal of it quickly radicalized people.

    Had Parliament granted some measure of representation to the colonies, it’s highly likely that they would have required some concessions from the colonies to that, and it’s not hard to see that one of the concessions would be much of the self-governance, something that would never have been agreed to.

    In addition, the key events which prompted the passage of the Coercive Acts weren’t reactions to specific policies. It’s hard for me to see how a small handful of representatives would have stopped the Tea Act. If the Tea Act passes, it seems to me that the rest of the events would have pretty much followed as they did in our time. Local resistance to the acts would have required boycotting the tea and turning back the ships. There would have been a Tea Party somewhere. Parliament would have reacted much the same way, and then the colonies would have reacted much the same way.

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