In which John Green teaches you about the election of 1860. As you may remember from last week, things were not great at this time in US history. The tensions between the North and South were rising, ultimately due to the single issue of slavery. The North wanted to abolish slavery, and the South wanted to continue on with it. It seemed like a war was inevitable, and it turns out that it was. But first the nation had to get through this election. You'll learn how the bloodshed in Kansas, and the truly awful Kansas-Nebraska Act led directly to the decrease in popularity of Stephen Douglas, the splitting of the Democratic party, and the unlikely victory of a relatively inexperienced politician from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln's election would lead directly to the secession of several southern states, and thus to the Civil War. John will teach you about all this, plus Dred Scott, Roger Taney, and John Brown.
In which John Green teaches you about the presidency of Andrew Jackson So how did a president with astoundingly bad fiscal policies end up on the $20 bill? That's a question we can't answer, but we can tell you how Jackson got to be president, and how he changed the country when he got the job. Jackson's election was more democratic than any previous presidential election. More people were able to vote, and they picked a doozie. Jackson was a well-known war hero, and he was elected over his longtime political enemy, John Quincy Adams. Once Jackson was in office, he did more to expand executive power than any of the previous occupants of the White House. He used armed troops to collect taxes, refused to enforce legislation and supreme court legislation, and hired and fired his staff based on support in elections. He was also the first president to regularly wield the presidential veto as a political tool. Was he a good president? Watch this video and draw your own conclusions.
Gases are everywhere, and this is good news and bad news for chemists. The good news: when they are behaving themselves, it's extremely easy to describe their behavior theoretically, experimentally and mathematically. The bad news is they almost never behave themselves.
In this episode of Crash Course Chemistry, Hank tells how the work of some amazing thinkers combined to produce the Ideal Gas Law, how none of those people were Robert Boyle, and how the ideal gas equation allows you to find out pressure, volume, temperature or number of moles. You'll also get a quick introduction to a few jargon-y phrases to help you sound like you know what you're talking about.
Table of Contents
Ideal Gas Law Equation 0:50
Everyone But Robert Boyle 1:35
Ideal Gas Law to Figure Out Things 6:16
Jargon Fun Time 7:46
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In which John Green teaches you about America's "peculiar institution," slavery. I wouldn't really call it peculiar. I'd lean more toward horrifying and depressing institution, but nobody asked me. John will talk about what life was like for a slave in the 19th century United States, and how slaves resisted oppression, to the degree that was possible. We'll hear about cotton plantations, violent punishment of slaves, day to day slave life, and slave rebellions. Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, and Whipped Peter all make an appearance. Slavery as an institution is arguably the darkest part of America's history, and we're still dealing with its aftermath 150 years after it ended.
In which John Green teaches you about founding father and third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson is a somewhat controversial figure in American history, largely because he, like pretty much all humans, was a big bundle of contradictions. Jefferson was a slave-owner who couldn't decide if he liked slavery. He advocated for mall government, but expanded federal power more than either of his presidential predecessor. He also idealized the independent farmer and demonized manufacturing, but put policies in place that would expand industrial production in the US. Controversy may ensue as we try to deviate a bit from the standard hagiography/slander story that usually told about old TJ. John explores Jefferson's election, his policies, and some of the new nation's (literally and figuratively) formative events that took place during Jefferson's presidency. In addition to all this, Napoleon drops in to sell Louisiana, John Marshall sets the course of the Supreme Court, and John Adams gets called a tiny tyrant.
John Green teaches us about some of the colonies that were not in Virginia or Massachussetts. Old New York was once New Amsterdam. Why they changed it, I can say; ENGLISH people just liked it better that way, and when the English took New Amssterdam in 1643, that's just what they did. Before the English got there though, the colony was full of Dutch people who treated women pretty fairly, and allowed free black people to hold jobs.
John also discusses Penn's Woods, also known as Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania was (briefly) a haven of religious freedom, and William Penn dealt relatively fairly with the natives his colony displaced. Of course, as soon as Penn died, the colonist started abusing the natives immediately. We venture as far south as the Carolina colonies, where the slave labor economy was taking shape. John also takes on the idea of the classless society in America, and the beginning of the idea of the American dream. It turns out that in spite of the lofty dream that everyone had an equal shot in the new world, there were elites in the colonies. And these elites tended to be in charge. And then their kids tended to take over when they died. So yeah, not quite an egalitarian paradise. In addition to all this, we get into the Salem Witch Trials, the treatment of women in the colonies, and colonial economics.
John Green covers relations between the early English colonists and the native people the encountered in the New World. In short, these relations were poor. As soon as they arrived, the English were in conflict with the native people. At Jamestown, Captain John Smith briefly managed to get the colony on pretty solid footing with the local tribes, but it didn't last, and a long series of wars with the natives ensued. This pattern would continue throughout US history, with settlers pushing into native lands and pushing the inhabitants further west. In this episode, we learn about Wahunsunacawh (who the English called Powhatan) his daughter Pocahontas, King Philip's (aka Metacom) War, and the Mystic Massacre.
So, what is chemistry, anyway?
Hank does his best to convince us that chemistry is not torture, but is instead the amazing and beautiful science of stuff. Chemistry can tell us how three tiny particles - the proton, neutron and electron - come together in trillions of combinations to form ... everything. In this inaugural episode of Crash Course Chemistry, we start out with one of the biggest ideas in chemistry ever - stuff is made from atoms. More specifically, we learn about the properties of the nucleus and why they are important to defining what an atom actually is.
John Green kicks off Crash Course US History!
Why US History, and not more World History, or the history of some other country? Well, the reasons are many. But, like it or not, the United States has probably meddled in your country to some degree in the last 236 years or so, and that means US History is relevant all over the world.
In episode 1, John talks about the Native Americans who lived in what is now the US prior to European contact. This is a history class, not archaeology, so we're mainly going to cover written history. That means we start with the first sustained European settlement in North America, and that means the Spanish.
The Spanish have a long history with the natives of the Americas, and not all of it was positive. The Spanish were definitely not peaceful colonizers, but what colonizers are peaceful? Colonization pretty much always results in an antagonistic relationship with the locals. John teaches you about early Spanish explorers, settlements, and what happened when they didn't get along with the indigenous people. The story of their rocky relations has been called the Black Legend. Which is not a positive legend.
In which John Green examines JD Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye. John pulls out the old school literary criticism by examining the text itself rather than paying attention to the biographical or historical context of the novel (that's for next week). Listen, words matter. The Catcher in the Rye has managed to endure without a movie adaptation because a lot of its quality arises from the book's language. Find out how Holden's voice, his language, and his narrative technique combine to make the novel work. Also, Thought Bubble gives us a quick rundown of the plot, in which Ikea Monkey may or may not appear.
Love or Lust? Romeo and Juliet Part II: Crash Course English Literature #3
In which John Green returns to William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to explore the themes of true love, lust, and whether Romeo and Juliet were truly, deeply in love, or they were just a pair of impetuous teens. How exactly did Romeo manage to go from pining for Rosaline to marrying Juliet in 36 hours? Maybe they were impetuous teens who were ALSO deeply in love. John looks into how the structure and conventions of society in medieval Verona led to the star-crossed lovers' downfall. Along the way, you'll learn about courtly love, medieval responsibility to church, family and society, Chipotle burritos as a metaphor for true love, and even learn about literary sex. We may even tie in trapeze artists and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. You'll have to watch to find out.
Community Ecology II: Predators - Crash Course Ecology #5
Hank gets to the more violent part of community ecology by describing predation and the many ways prey organisms have developed to avoid it.
John Green examines Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare, delving into the world of Bill Shakespeare's famous star-crossed lovers and examines what the play is about, its structure, and the context in which it was written.
Have you ever wanted to know what iambic pentameter is? Then you should watch this video. Have you ever pondered what kind of people actually went to see a Shakespeare play in 1598? Watch this video. Were you aware that wherefore means "why?" Whether you were or not, watch this video.
In Shakespeare's time, entertainment choices ranged from taking in a play to watching a restrained bear try to fight off a pack of dogs. Today on YouTube, our entertainment choices are just as wide-ranging. So you can either choose to watch the modern equivalent of bear baiting (another cinnamon challenge) or you can be edified and entertained by John and Crash Course. So wherefore are you reading this description instead of watching the video?
John Green kicks off the Crash Course Literature mini series with a reasonable set of questions. Why do we read? What's the point of reading critically. John will argue that reading is about effectively communicating with other people. Unlike a direct communication though, the writer has to communicate with a stranger, through time and space, with only "dry dead words on a page." So how's that going to work? Find out with Crash Course Literature! Also, readers are empowered during the open letter, so that's pretty cool.
The Reading List!
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare: http://dft.ba/-shakespearerj
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: http://dft.ba/-fitzgeraldgg
Catcher in the Rye: http://dft.ba/-catcher
Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson: http://dft.ba/-dickinson
Some of these are available from gutenberg.org as free ebooks. You should check that out.
Globalization II - Good or Bad?: Crash Course World History #42
Posters and t-shirts at http://www.dftba.com/crashcourse
In which John asks whether globalization is a net positive for humanity. While the new global economy has created a lot of wealth, and lifted a lot of people out of poverty, it also has some effects that aren't so hot. Wealth disparity, rising divorce rates, environmental damage, and new paths for the spread of disease. So does all this outweigh the economic benefits, the innovation, and the relative peace that come with interconnected economies? As usual, the answer is not simple. In this case, we're living in the middle of the events we're discussing, so it's hard to know how it's going to turn out.