Brian DeLay, associate professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley, discusses how the backwater of western Europe emerged from the devastation of the fourteenth century to generate the power, wealth, knowledge, institutions, and energy to initiate and develop a worldwide expansion.
Gordon Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History at Brown University and the author of The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin. Wood presents an unusual portrait of this celebrated American folk hero, tracing Franklin’s evolution from an ardent supporter of the British Empire to a pivotal leader in the American fight for independence.
Duke University historian Laurent Dubois discusses slavery, culture, and ideology in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, which upon the triumph of its revolution in 1804 became the nation of Haiti—the first and only nation established through a slave rebellion. He explores the widely divergent notions of freedom that developed in Haiti and the United States, and compares their deeply distinct declarations of independence—the first two such documents in world history.