Episode 1: Sword of the Wilderness (Part One)

Stream or download it for free on iTunes, or at http://inwardempirepodcast.podomatic.com/

Inward Empire is a podcast about American history, and in these first two episodes, we’re exploring a crucial period of the colonial past: the story of English/Indian relations in New England, from 1620 to 1676.

Part One begins in the early 1600s, at a time of upheaval and apocalyptic fears in England. In the midst of economic disaster, poverty, crime, and ever-worsening religious and political repression, a fundamentalist movement called Puritanism dreams of spiritual and national regeneration. A splinter group of Separatists transplants itself to the shores and forests of New England. They believe they have a God-given mission to redeem themselves, and mankind; they believe the cost of failure will be annihilation.

But  New England is not, as the Puritans would like to believe, a tabula rasa or a virgin land. It is already inhabited by tens of thousands of Indians, with their own ways of work, war and worship. Their world, too, is a place of upheaval and uncertainty, ravaged by disease and profoundly changed by the presence of Europeans. The survivors must answer two questions: how will they survive in this rapidly changing world? and will they seek to accomodate the English – or fight them?

Inward Empire theme by Stephen Spencer.

new england map



Bernard Bailyn, The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America – The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675. New York: Vintage Books, 2012.

Alfred Cave, The Pequot War. Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996.

William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England. New York: Harper Collins, 1983.

Francis Jennings, The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1975.

Daniel Richter, Facing East from Indian Country. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.

Richard Slotkin, Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the Frontier, 1600-1860. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1973.

Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settling of North America. New York: Penguin Books, 2001.

Alden Vaughan, New England Frontier: Puritans and Indians, 1600-1675 (Third Edition). Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.


William Bradford, Of Plimouth Plantation. Boston: Wright & Potter Printing Co., 1898.

Charles Orr (ed.), History of the Pequot War: The Contemporary Accounts of Mason, Underhill, Vincent, and Gardener. Cleveland: The Hellman-Taylor Company, 1896.

John Smith, A Description of New England. London: Humphrey Lownes, 1616.

John Winthrop, Journal – “A History of New England”, vol. 1: 1630-1649. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1908.


2 thoughts on “Episode 1: Sword of the Wilderness (Part One)

  1. Pingback: The Best Podcasts to Listen to This Thanksgiving - Nikki's Podcasts

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