We’ve heard that the American Revolution took place during a period called “the Enlightenment.” But what was the Enlightenment?
Was it an intellectual movement? A social movement? A scientific movement?
Today, John Dixon, an Assistant Professor of History at CUNY-College of Staten Island, leads us on an exploration of the Enlightenment by taking us through the life of Cadwallader Colden, the subject of his book The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden: Empire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York.
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 a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
In this episode, John Dixon, an Assistant Professor of History at CUNY-College of Staten Island, leads us on an exploration of the Enlightenment by taking us through the life of Cadwallader Colden, the subject of his book The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden: Empire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York.
During our exploration, John reveals who Cadwallader Colden was and why he deserves our attention; An overview of the American Enlightenment; And, Colden’s contributions to both the American Enlightenment and the history of colonial New York.
What You’ll Discover
- Cadwallader Colden
- The Enlightenment
- Colden and the Enlightenment
- Radical and moderate Enlightenment views
- How Colden came to settle in New York
- The Enlightenment in New York City in the 1720s
- William Burnet
- Colden’s contributions to the Enlightenment
- How Americans participated in the Enlightenment
- How American participation in the Enlightenment differed from European participation
- Cadwallader Colden, Surveyor General of the Colony of New York
- Colden’s History of the Five Indian Nations
- Colden’s experiences as Lieutenant and Acting Governor of New York
- Stamp Act Crisis in New York City
- Cadwallader Colden’s legacy today
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- John Dixon
- John’s CUNY-Staten Island webpage
- The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden: Empire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York
- Cadwallader Colden, The History of the Five Indian Nations
- Episode 021: Eugene Tesdahl, Smuggling in Colonial America & Living History
- Episode 051: Catherine Cangany, Frontier Seaport: A History of Early Detroit
- Episode 082: Alejandra Dubcovsky, Information & Communication in the Early American South
- Episode 086: George Goodwin, Benjamin Franklin in London
- Episode 104: Andrew Lipman, The Saltwater Frontier: Europeans & Native Americans on the Northeastern Coast
Time Warp Question
In your opinion, what might have happened if Cadwallader Colden had not been appointed Surveyor General of New York? How would this lack of this political office with its decent salary have affected Colden’s contributions to the Enlightenment?
Questions, Comments, Suggestions
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