Video Lectures

US Declaration of Independence

In this tutorial Walter Isaacson walks Sal through the United States Declaration of Independence. In doing so, they discuss the philosophical underpinnings of the American Revolution and the United States in general. Walter Isaacson is the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. He is the former CEO and Chairman of CNN and Managing Editor of Time Magazine. He has written best-selling biographies of Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Henry Kissinger.

French Revolution

"Let them eat cake!" "No, how about we cut your head off instead!" The French Revolution was ugly, bloody and idealistic. This tutorial covers the beginning of the end of the Bourbon rule (actually doesn't really go away for 60 years) and birth of France as a Republic (which will really take about 80 years).

Napoleon Bonaparte

A man with such a huge "Napoleonic complex", that they named it after him. A military genius with a ginormous ego, some people consider him a hero or a tyrant or both. France has successfully overthrown Louis XVI in 1789. It has gone through a many-year period of bloodshed and instability. The monarch's of Europe are not happy about this "overthrow-your-king" business. A 5'6'' Corsican establishes himself as a strong military tactician during the wars with other European powers and soon comes to power in France. This tutorial covers the rise and fall of one of the most famous men in all of history: Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I).

France's many revolutions and republics

Unlike the American Revolution which fairly cleanly transitioned the United States from British rule to a republic, France's process of democratization was much longer and more painful. This tutorial gives a scaffold of that (and gives some context for the book/musical/movie "Les Miserables").

Haitian Revolution

Yes, you are right. Haiti is not in Europe. We put the tutorial here because it was a French colony and its own revolution is closely linked to that of France's. Possibly one of the saddest histories that a nation can have, this tutorial tries to give as much context as possible for the birth of Haiti.

Life of Benjamin Franklin

In many ways, Benjamin Franklin is the "Founding Father" of the United States of America that best represent many ideals of the country. In this series with Walter Isaacson, we go into the life and philosophy of Franklin.