Tag: EMPIRE

EP057 FORWARD MARCH TO THE PASS

Welcome to the podcast! I’m recording this episode on the 1st Anglo Afghan War while dealing with selling my house and going through a divorce. The podcast is a great escape for me during these difficult times.

Quick housekeeping:

I’m pleased to welcome new patron Matt Anderson as a Loveable Chimney Sweep. Update on transcripts: I’ve been working on fully footnoted transcripts back to episode 32. Apple Podcasts now automatically produces transcripts for all episodes, which is great for accessibility. Today we’re continuing our series on the invasion of Afghanistan. If you haven’t listened to episodes 054-056 yet, start there first.

Prelude to the invasion:

The First Anglo-Afghan War is remembered as a great military disaster and a masterclass in bad political decision-making. I discuss how this war doesn’t fit neatly into typical frameworks like colonialism or imperialism. The British goal was to install a friendly king as a buffer, not to rule directly.

Different world views

I explore the concept of Orientalism and how it applied to British views of Afghanistan at the time. We look at quotes from British envoys and compare them to Roman descriptions of Germanic tribes, noting similarities in how “frontier” peoples were viewed. I discuss the Afghan perspective and capabilities, including their use of the jezail rifle.

The key British players introduced:

  • Lord Auckland (Governor General)
  • Sir William Macnaughten (Secretary to Governor General)
  • Alexander Burnes (British agent)
  • Sir John Keane and Sir Willaby Cotton (Generals leading the invasion force)

Professionals talk logistics

I detail the enormous logistical challenges of planning the invasion, including assembling troops, supplies, and animals. The invasion force had to take a longer desert route instead of the Khyber Pass, covering over 1,200km on foot.


Hunger and missed opportunities

The army starts to starve, and has to force the grim Bolan pass


Next episode:

We’ll follow the army as it pushes deeper into Afghanistan and attempts to put Shah Shuja on the throne.

If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it takes less time than making a coffee. You can also subscribe for free on most major podcast apps. To support the show on Patreon, either CLICK HERE or you can go to Patreon and search for Age of Victoria podcast or my name. Take care and bye for now.

EP056 INDIA SERIES 03 THE AFGHAN FRONTIER

SHOWNOTES:

EP056 INDIA SERIES 03 THE AFGHAN FRONTIER

Introduction

    • I discuss enjoying Easter treats like nut-free eggs and binge-watching Shogun.

    • Shout out to Two Broads Cider on the west coast of the U.S.

    • Note about using some AI voice clips in the previous episode

    • Welcome to new Patreon supporter Sean Spada

Main Topic: The Borders of Victorian India and Afghanistan

    • Victorian Views on Borders/Imperialism

    • Importance of defined borders to nation-states vs. historical blended territories

    • Empires tended to use geographic features like rivers/mountains as borders

    • Motivations for expanding empire borders: security, resources, preventing rival expansion

    • Debate around British motivations – security concern vs. aggression

Geography of Afghanistan

    • Overview of Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain and extreme climate variations

    • Significance of the Hindu Kush mountain range and Khyber Pass

    • Historical importance as a crossroads along Silk Road trade routes
    • Challenges the terrain posed for military movement/supply lines
Main topic: Afghan culture

    • Predominantly Muslim, but rich cultural diversity beyond Taliban stereotypes

    • Alignment between conservative Victorian and Muslim values in some areas

    • Debate around female dress codes and varying interpretations

    • Primacy of tribal/kinship affiliations over national identity

    • Ethnic groups like Pushtuns and history of conflicts with groups like Sikhs

    • Afghan Border Security Concerns for Britain

Main topic: Preventing Russian expansion from Central Asia into India

    • Recent history of Afghan rulers invading India (Mughals)

    • Unease over Russian/French intrigues to court Afghan allies against Britain

Main topic: The Adventures of Sir Alexander Burnes

    • Early life and join the East India Company’s military

    • Daring diplomatic missions mapping rivers and intelligence gathering

    • Writing bestseller “Travels into Bokhara” about his experiences

Main topic: Burnes’ Afghan Mission (1836-1838)

    • Dispatched to Kabul to monitor Russian influence

    • Built relationships with Afghan leaders like Dost Mohammad Khan

    • Recommended installing Shah Shuja as British-friendly ruler

    • Laid groundwork for the disastrous First Anglo-Afghan War

    • Views dismissed by Sir William Macnaghten in favor of war hawks

Main topic: British Decision to Invade Afghanistan

    • Fears over Dost Mohammad allying with Russia/Persia against Britain

    • Failure to reach terms protecting British interests

    • Plan to depose Dost and reinstate former ruler Shah Shuja

    • Overconfident manifesto expecting quick regime change

    • Inability to concede to Dost’s demands over Peshawar and Sikh rivalry

    • Declaration of War!

If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it takes less time than making a coffee. You can also subscribe for free on most major podcast apps. To support the show on Patreon, either CLICK HERE or you can go to Patreon and search for Age of Victoria podcast or my name. Take care and bye for now.

EP054 INDIA SERIES 01 THE BASICS

To become a patron on Patreon, CLICK HERE

Join me as I embark on a captivating journey through India’s vibrant history and cultural intricacies during the Victorian era. Join me as I start uncover the complexities of the Victorian’s in India.

Delve into some fascinating transformations of place names that shaped India’s identity during this era. Explore the reasons behind these changes and their enduring impact on the country’s cultural fabric.

I provide a succinct yet comprehensive overview of India’s history up to the Victorian era from cave paintings to the first great civilisation.

Explore the simmering tensions between Hindu nationalism and the Muslim population, dissecting the socio-political nuances that left an indelible mark on Victorian-era India and continue to resonate today.

Immerse yourself in the diverse geographical landscapes that define India, from the majestic Himalayas to the tropical coastlines. Explore how India’s geography intertwined with its history and Victorian experience

Finally discover an intriguing array of potential topics that will be further explored in upcoming episodes. From the East India Company’s influence to social reforms, industrialization, and cultural exchange, oh and of course sex and cricket.

If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it takes less time than making a coffee. You can also subscribe for free on most major podcast apps.

To support the show on Patreon, either CLICK HERE or you can go to Patreon and search for Age of Victoria podcast or my name. 

SPECIAL: DEATH OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II

The death of Queen Elizabeth II is a momentous event in modern British history. This special episode contains some facts about her life, reflections on events, thoughts about King Charles III, the Royal Finances, the constitution, national decline, the Commonwealth, and possibilities for the future.

This episode covers;

  • Intro 
  • Birth, coronation & television
  • WW2 & the ATS
  • Post war austerity, the Elizabethan rebirth, more television
  • The start of the Commonwealth & retreat from Empire
  • Famous friends, anecdotes and gin
  • Internationalism
  • Royal finances
  • Constitutional problems
  • Colonialism, anti colonialism, reparations and artefacts
  • The Koh-i-Noor
  • Troubled waters ahead.
  • A last note of hope?

If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it takes less time than making a coffee. You can also subscribe for free on most major podcast apps. To support the show on Patreon, either CLICK HERE or you can go to Patreon and search for Age of Victoria podcast or my name. Take care and bye for now.

EP040 ACROSS THE SEAS

An empire lives on the backs of people; its own or those it conquers. For the British, South Africa needed colonists to clear the forests, build the farms, and man the armies. But getting them from Britain to South Africa was no easy task. Learn about the hard start to a colonists voyage from the frozen Thames to the heat of the tropics to the far south, and for the unlucky, the horrors of being lost at sea.

This episode covers

Intro & reviews.

An insatiable need for manpower.

The horror of slavery in early South Africa.

The 1820 settlement scheme organisation and planning

The colonists; almost honest and upstanding.

The ships; HMS Weymouth.

What was the voyage like.

The horror of the Abeona.

Life aboard, and the people.

A glympse of the future.

Patreons special promo.

If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it takes less time than making a coffee. You can also subscribe for free on most major podcast apps. To support the show on Patreon, either CLICK HERE you can go to Patreon and search for Age of Victoria podcast or my name. Take care and bye for now.

EP039 BLOOD ON THE LAND

The story of the British Empire in South Africa continues. The first battles were being won, but the cost was blood on the soil, spilt by the British and shed by the native peoples as well as the soldiers in red. This episode covers

Intro & reviews.

Col Graham and the imperial mindset.

Warfare is a continuation of culture by other means.

The clash between British and Xhosa mindsets.

The problems perspectives on history can cause.

War, brutality, and the British establishment.

The New Men: Lord Somerset & Dr Barry.

What Florence Nightingale thought of the Doctor.

Well that is a mystery.

Lord Somerset has a plan.

Come settle me boyo’s, there’s land for all.

A new utopia.

History of Africa Podcast promo.

If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it takes less time than making a coffee. You can also subscribe for free on most major podcast apps. To support the show on Patreon, either CLICK HERE you can go to Patreon and search for Age of Victoria podcast or my name. Take care and bye for now.

EP038 A TOEHOLD IN AFRICA

The British Empire was vast, but it didn’t spring up over night. South Africa was a vital imperial staging post, then a fledgling colony. The story of how it got to be is intimately linked to the land and the people. Start the next series on empire, this episode covers

Intro and reviews

Why South Africa?

Mythbusting: Africa, a continent of cities and kingdoms.

The many African migrations throughout History.

South Africa: The land – beauty and danger.

Islands and ship wrecks.

The Dutch arrive, and the Napoleonic Wars.

Ours by right of conquest – the British take the Cape from the Dutch.

The Dutch Boer migrations begin.

The Xhosa & War.

The British decide to remove the Xhosa from the neutral zone.

Col Graham and the first British Imperial War in South Africa.

If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it takes less time than making a coffee. You can also subscribe for free on most major podcast apps. To support the show on Patreon, either CLICK HERE you can go to Patreon and search for Age of Victoria podcast or my name. Take care and bye for now.

EP037 INSIDE THE GATES OF HELL

Prison is never nice, but the Victorian prison of Port Arthur in Van Diemen’s Land combined starvation, deprivation, desperation, and isolation. It was considered a hell on Earth. This episode covers:

  • Intro & reviews.
  • Guest podcast promo’s
  • A vision of a better future.
  • Reality check – isolation and mental health
  • Narrowly avoiding prison
  • The problems of institutionalisation
  • Post release problems
  • A modern inmate speaks out.
  • Convict labour, exploitation capitalism, big companies, echos of slavery.
  • The convict melting pot
  • A dispossible labour force.
  • Convicts and convict ancestors – image and identity in Australia.
  • The unfortunate Hannah Herbert, an epitaph

If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it takes less time than making a coffee. You can also subscribe for free on most major podcast apps. If you want to support the show on patreon, or you can go to Patreon and search for age of victoria podcast or my name. Take care and bye for now.

EP035 THE UNFORTUNATE HANNAH HERBERT

How does it feel to be cast out? To lose everything you’ve ever known and be sent to the ends of the world? Want to understand what being a convict transported to Tasmania feels like? This show is for you. It covers;

– Intro & reviews.
– Introducing Hannah to the Court.
– How did it feel to be a convict?
– Her voyage.
– Another convict – Linus Wilson Miller.
– His feelings & has journey.
– The legal problems caused by convicts
– An uneasy melting pot.

 

If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. Or reach me on the Facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it takes less time than making a coffee.

If you want to support the show on patreon, click here, or you can go to Patreon and search for age of victoria podcast or my name. 

EP034 HOW TO BUILD HELL

The journey into Empire continues as we look at Tasmania, known as Van Diemen’s Land. Here the European settlers, the indigenous people, the convict system, the bush rangers, the lure of food, the battle for land, resulted in war, conquest and genocide. The birth pang of a new world was one of agony, yet the future of a unique culture and the amazing beauty of the island were in stark contrast to the declared British ambition of making it the ultimate penal hell. Join me for the complex and painful settlement of Tasmania, and its incorporation into the Empire.

  • This episode covers

  • Guest promo and thank you’s.

  • The brief history of Tasmania and the amazing geograph and ecosystem.

  • Settlement and strategic necessity – keeping the French out.

  • First contact goes wrong – the Risdon Cove Massacre.

  • Mad Tom loves a drink.

  • Governor Sorrell vs the outlaws.

  • The sad death of the Tasmanian Whisky Industry – murdered in 1839

  • The Black War begins – the stage is set for genocide.

  • Tools of the trade – muskets & raiding.

  • A terrible place for a soldier – why colonial Van Diemen’s Land was feared.

  • What was left after? A land of possibilities.

  • The forgotten – listening to the descendants.

Thanks for your listening. I hope you enjoy. If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes, it takes less time than making a coffee. If you want to support the show on patreon, just click here, or you can go to Patreon and search for age of victoria podcast or my name.

EP033 (PT2) WHO OWNS THE LAND?

The journey into Empire continues as we look more closely at the Australia’s, and the difficult issues of landownership, native rights, and how land can tie to identity. I also cover the culture clash between the Europeans and the Indigenous Peoples. This is part 2, which covers more of the background of Empire in the Australia’s, the First & Second Fleets, the impact of liberalism and the difference in world views between the Europeans and the Indigenous Peoples, the lure of food, the battle for land, the place of science and the timeline leading to the early Victorian Era in the Australia’s. If you haven’t listened to pt1 yet, I suggest you do that before listening to this.

Thanks for your listening. I hope you enjoy. If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes, it takes less time than making a coffee. If you want to support the show on patreon, just click here, or you can go to Patreon and search for age of victoria podcast or my name.

EP033 (PT1) WHO OWNS THE LAND?

The journey into Empire continues as we look more closely at the Australia’s, and the difficult issues of landownership, native rights, and how land can tie to identity. I also cover the culture clash between the Europeans and the indigenous aborigines. This episode then breaks and in part 2, it will cover more of the background of Empire in the Australia’s, the impact of liberalism and the difference in world views between the Europeans and the Aborigines, and the timeline leading to the early Victorian Era in the Australia’s.

This part covers

  • Thank you’s to Patrons, and listener reviews.

  • Elaboration on listener feedback/comments.

  • The complexity of ethnic identity in the UK.

  • The idea of conquest as a legitimate means of ownership

  • Indigenous rights as a concept

  • The culture clash between Europeans and the Aborigines at a high level

  • Terra Nulis and settlement.

  • To whom the law applies

  • The first steps to human rights

  • Break for end of part 1.

Thanks for your listening. I hope you enjoy. If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes, it takes less time than making a coffee. If you want to support the show on patreon, just click here, or you can go to Patreon and search for age of victoria podcast or my name.

EP032 PHILOSOPHY OF EMPIRE – THE VALUE OF LIFE?

To understand the past, sometimes we need to examine our values and subject them to philosophical analysis. The British Empire was a complex, varied entity that stretched across the world and changed over the centuries. How do we understand the mindset of those people in the C19th who created it, or lived in it? This episode is designed to get you thinking and analysing big questions and unpleasant moral problems. Ultimately the answers will be down to your judgements. Be warned some material is upsetting and contains references to genocide, racism, slavery, the holocaust, abortion and critiques of religion. I hope you find it stimulating.

Topics
  • Thank you’s to Patrons, and some listener reviews.

  • The complexity of Empire, and the settler empire.

  • How common were empires?

  • Are people innately warlike and violent?

  • Is life important; the need for philosophy.

  • Is life important; what would God do, and does that make it ok?

  • Is life important; building a moral framework for atheists.

  • The worst pub bore ever – drunken philosophy.

  • The economic value of life.

  • If your people are starving, is it immoral not to invade another country?

  • The right to liberty and freedom to do what you want except when you can’t.

  • Heuristics, mental shortcuts, and cognitive biases; how bad decision making affects empires.

  • The power and danger of othering.

  • Look him in the eyes as he dies.

  • Gengis Khan, and how to turn genocides into hero worship.

  • The dangers of anarchy, law and order.

  • Some impacts of Empires; feeding the hungry, and killing other people.

  • Final thoughts.

Thanks for your listening. I hope you enjoy. If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes, it takes less time than making a coffee. If you want to support the show on patreon, just click here, or you can go to Patreon and search for age of victoria podcast or my name.

EP025 The industrial revolution & shattering the energy ceiling.

Forged in fire, the new era is born. The British unlock a new energy source and create the industrial revolution. Humanity around the world is transformed; no longer limited by our own muscles or the plodding of animals or the slow harnessing of wind and wave. Instead the British unleashed a revolution that allowed humanity to surpass all of its previous limit. Without this moment, nothing in the modern world would have been possible.

This show has

  • An outline of key concepts of energy sources and management.

  • The application of energy to useful tasks.

  • The early pioneers.

  • The great ripples of change.

  • Triumph of industry

  • Poverty in the midst of plenty.

  • Angry authors & a cultural shift.

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Support the show on Patreon, and get an exclusive patrons only episode plus other goodies.

MINI011 VICTORIAN GIN – EMPIRE & RUIN

Roll up your shirt sleeves, push back your top hat, and throw open your coat tails. It’s time to grab a bottle of gin, and seek riches or ruin as you learn about the history of gin in the Victorian era. Truly the drink of Empire…..or your personal ruin.

  1. Intro What is gin?
  2. Bombay Sapphire visit
  3. Manufacturing, propaganda and the British vs Dutch origins debate
  4. Invention is the mother of gin
  5. Ah a night out in London with Dickens
  6. Ruin and Empire.
  7. Gin, Tonics and the growth of the cocktail.
  8. Class matters – first last and always.
  9. What did I make?

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MINI010 VICTORIAN FISH AND CHIPS

Summer heat wave is here, so it’s time for Fish & Chips. You love em. I love em. The Victorians invented them. Don’t scoff, instead join me for a gallop through the history of Victorian fish and chips. Learn why Dickens was the key as always, and how fish and chips fuelled the industrial revolution. Listen to one of Queen Victoria’s daily menu’s – not for the faint of heart or the approval of Prince Albert.

Subscribe for free on iTunes so you can learn on the go at the gym or on the commute, or listen via the website.

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