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Chris Calton

Chris Calton



Articles by Chris Calton

The Battle of Shiloh, Part 1: I “Would Fight Them If They Were A Million”

5 days ago

Season 3, Episode 49 Following the victories at Forts Henry and Donelson, Grant’s commanding officer still wanted to remove him from command. During this time, he formed a strong friendship with William Tecumseh Sherman. As the Union army was amassing troops at Pittsburg Landing, the Confederate forces in the West were concentrating at Corinth. The …

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The Battle of Pea Ridge, Part 2: Elkhorn Tavern

6 days ago

Season 3, Episode 48 While Confederates were facing disaster at Leetown, General Van Dorn and his Confederates at Elkhorn Tavern were fighting the Union forces with more success. But after pushing the Union forces back on the first day of fighting, they found out that they would not be reinforced by General Ben McCulloch’s 7,000 …

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A History of Asset Forfeiture

26 days ago

In 1991, Maui police officers showed up at the home of Frances and Joseph Lopes. One officer showed his badge and said, “Let’s go into the house, and we will explain things to you.” Once he was inside, the explanation was simple: “We’re taking the house.” The Lopses were far from wealthy. They worked on …

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The Emergence of Grant, Part 4: Unconditional Surrender

26 days ago

Season 3, Episode 46 After Grant pushes the Confederates back to Fort Donelson, the southern leaders had to decide whether to attempt escape or surrender. Ultimately, the surrender was carried out in a way that created scandal for the Confederate leaders who did manage to escape, and it gave Grant the opening to earn his …

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The Emergence of Grant, Part 3: Fort Donelson

February 21, 2019

Season 3, Episode 45 The Battle of Fort Donelson would take place over several days. Waged from two fronts, the land and the river, the battle would seem to be turning in favor of the Confederates. While Ulysses S. Grant was off the battlefield consulting with the naval commander, Captain Foote, the Confederates would push …

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Eliminating Racism Won’t Eliminate Police Corruption

February 14, 2019

At 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 24, 1927, Sam Faulkner was already asleep in his parents’ Los Angeles home. The Faulkners were African-American, and they lived in the segregated black district of the city. Sam’s parents were sitting in the living room while their son slept. Their home was owned by their daughter, Clara Harris, …

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The Emergence of Grant, Part 2: Fort Henry

February 14, 2019

Season 3, Episode 44 By taking Fort Henry, Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew Hull Foote gained access to the Tennessee River. This waterway gave them access to the Confederate heartland, and by taking the Fort, they were able to probe deep into Alabama. This earned the Union a bounty of new supplies, and also struck …

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The Emergence of Grant, Part 1: Finding the Gateway

February 7, 2019

Season 3, Episode 43 As Lincoln grew impatient with his generals, he sent an order demanding action. In the West, Ulysses S. Grant was eager to comply, while other Union generals dithered and delayed offensive operations. Confederate forces were building forts on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers – Forts Henry and Donelson – and they …

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The Beauty of Consumer Reviews

January 31, 2019

F. A. Hayek’s most famous contribution to economics is probably his “knowledge problem,” which refers to the observation that knowledge in society is diffuse and free exchange allows people to benefit from knowledge they don’t personally possess. The derivative insights to this problem are enormous, and often underappreciated. These insights include recognition of how product …

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The Battle of the Ironclads, Part 5: Iron versus Iron

January 31, 2019

Season 3, Episode 42  On March 9th, 1862 – the day after the ironclad Merrimack destroyed two Union warships – the Confederate navy would meet its match in battle against the USS Monitor. Both sides would claim victory in the battle, but the true legacy would be the transformation of naval warfare across the globe. Chris …

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The Battle of the Ironclads, Part 4: Building the Monitor

January 24, 2019

Season 3, Episode 41  John Ericsson’s design for the Monitor was only a skeleton when he was awarded the contract to have it built. In a race to match the feared Merrimack, Ericsson had to quickly construct a working, combat-ready iron ship that would receive its first test in combat. If the ship proved a …

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The Battle of the Ironclads, Part 3: Inventing the Monitor

January 17, 2019

Season 3, Episode 40  The Union’s response to the Confederate ironclad was an iron warship of its own. Unlike the Merrimack, the USS Monitor was a tremendous technological innovation, nearly single-handedly designed by a Swedish engineer named John Ericsson. This episode details his incredible life and the many failures that would culminate in the successful …

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The Battle of the Ironclads, Part 2: Wood versus Iron

January 10, 2019

Season 3, Episode 39  On March 8, 1862, the ironclad Merrimack — renamed the CSS Virginia — was tested in battle against three of the Union’s most powerful wooden ships. The outcome of the battle would usher in a new age of naval warfare, in which wooden ships would be rendered entirely obsolete. Chris Calton …

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Ending the War on the Non-Drug Known as Hemp

January 9, 2019

With the recent legalization of hemp in the United States, one may ask the question of why it was ever illegal to begin with. Being a non-psychoactive form of cannabis, its uses were entirely industrial. One need not be a libertarian to recognize that the prohibition of hemp ranks among the most absurd and pointless …

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The Battle of the Ironclads, Part 1: Building the Merrimack

January 3, 2019

Season 3, Episode 38 To combat the superior size of the United States Navy, the Confederate believed that it’s best strategy was to build a technologically superior — if much smaller — Navy. The cornerstone of this strategy was to recover the USS Merrimack and plate it with iron, making it the first ironclad warship …

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The Burnside Expedition

December 27, 2018

Season 3, Episode 37  Early in 1862, General Ambrose Burnside conquered the North Carolina coast, providing an important — but often overlooked — strategic victory for the Union. Chris Calton recounts the controversial history of the Civil War. You may support this podcast financially at Mises.org/SupportHC. Subscribe today at Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, or via RSS.

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The Anatomy of a Government Shutdown

December 23, 2018

Thomas Sowell used to ask his students to imagine a government bureaucracy that had two functions. One function was to provide medicine to sick children, and the other function was to construct statues of Benedict Arnold. He would then ask his students that if the bureaucracy suffered budget cuts, which function would the bureau stop …

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1861 in Review

December 20, 2018

Season 3, Episode 36  In this mini-episode, Chris Calton briefly reviews the important themes and takeaways from the first year of the war. Chris Calton recounts the controversial history of the Civil War. You may support this podcast financially at Mises.org/SupportHC. Subscribe today at Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, or via RSS.

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Building a Blockade

December 13, 2018

Season 3, Episode 35  In this episode, Chris Calton details how technological innovations changed the course of naval warfare. By taking advantage of this new technology, the Union Navy was able to easily capture Hatteras Inlet and Port Royal Sound, which would prove strategically important in the establishment of their blockade. Chris Calton recounts the …

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What the Fake History of Guns Can Teach Us

December 8, 2018

In 2000, Emory University history professor Michael Bellesiles published the book Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture. The central argument of the book was that the culture of American gun ownership does not date back to the colonial era and, instead, emerged in the middle of the nineteenth century when technological advances …

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The Anaconda Plan

December 6, 2018

Season 3, Episode 34  At the outset of the war, Winfield Scott came up with his “Anaconda Plan” to blockade the entire southern coast. This looked to be easier said than done, as the Union had a very small navy. The Confederates, by contrast, had no navy at all. This episode details the ways that …

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Indians and the Confederacy, Part 3: The Trail of Blood on Ice

November 30, 2018

Season 3, Episode 33  With many of the Civilized Indians wishing to remain neutral in the Civil War, a Muscogee leader named Opothle Yahola led a group of thousands of fugitives to Kansas. As they fled, Confederate soldiers, along with their Native American allies, gave chase, fighting a series of battles known as the Trail …

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Let There Be Light: The Documentary the Army Suppressed

November 29, 2018

At the end of the second World War, filmmaker John Huston got a commission from the US Army to produce a documentary of new treatments for psychiatric casualties of the war. This occurred when experimental treatments such as hypnosis or injections of sodium pentothal were being introduced into psychiatric therapy. The army wanted to produce …

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Indians and the Confederacy, Part 2: The Cherokee Nation

November 22, 2018

Season 3, Episode 31  After being forced to move west during the Trail of Tears, the Cherokee Nation was bitterly divided into two factions. Although they remained officially unified, the factionalism remained through the Civil War and reemerged as a division between the Cherokee who favored the Union, or at least neutrality, and those who …

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How the Nazis Converted German Agriculture to Socialism

November 20, 2018

In Human Action , Ludwig von Mises identified two patterns for the realization of socialism. The first, which he called “the Lenin or the Russian pattern” is “purely bureaucratic. All plants, shops, and farms are formally nationalized.” The second pattern, Mises said, is “the Hindenburg or German pattern,” and Mises claims that this was the …

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Indians and the Confederacy, Part 1: “Civilizing” The Five Nations

November 16, 2018

Season 3, Episode 31. In 1861, the Five Civilized Tribes — the Cherokees, Creeks, Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Seminoles — would be faced with the decision of staying neutral or choosing a side in the Civil War. To understand their decision, Chris Calton takes a look at the long history of Indians becoming, in the eyes …

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How Capitalists Created a “War on Waste”

November 9, 2018

Perhaps the most commonly referenced historical image invoked by people who wish to demonstrate the need for government interventions to protect the environment from private industry is that of the Chicago River in the nineteenth century. By the end of the Civil War, Chicago had the largest stock yard in the country, the Union Stock …

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Union Diplomacy, Part 2: The Trent Affair

November 8, 2018

After months of growing tension between the United States and Britain, a single event nearly plunged the two countries into war. When a Union naval officer illegally boarded a British mail ship and arrested two Confederate diplomats, many British leaders saw it as a deliberate provocation, engineered by William Seward, to provoke Britain into a …

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Gustavus Swift: Capitalist Hero

November 6, 2018

My favorite tradition as a Summer Research Fellow at the Mises Institute is what we affectionately call “Steak Sunday.” Every Sunday evening, we fire up a grill and cook steak (or, for at least one of us, asparagus). In preparation for our weekly tradition, we make the customary trip to Kroger where we can select …

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