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When people do great and really terrible things

6 videos

The Renaissance: Was it a Thing?

VIDEO 11:02 minutes
In which John Green teaches you about the European Renaissance. European learning changed the world in the 15th and 16th century, but was it a cultural revolution, or an evolution? We'd argue that any cultural shift that occurs over a ...

The Columbian Exchange

VIDEO 11:44 minutes
In which John Green teaches you about the changes wrought by contact between the Old World and the New. John does this by exploring the totally awesome history book "The Columbian Exchange" by Alfred Cosby, Jr. After Columbus "discovered" ...

The Atlantic Slave Trade

VIDEO 10:42 minutes
In which John Green teaches you about one of the least funny subjects in history: slavery. John investigates when and where slavery originated, how it changed over the centuries, and how Europeans and colonists in the Americas arrived at ...

The Spanish Empire, silver, & runaway inflation

VIDEO 10:10 minutes
In which John Green explores how Spain went from being a middling European power to one of the most powerful empires on Earth, thanks to their plunder of the New World in the 16th and 17th centuries. Learn how Spain managed to destroy the ...

The Seven Years War

VIDEO 11:36 minutes
In which John teaches you about the Seven Years War, which may have lasted nine years. Or as many as 23. It was a very confusing war. The Seven Years War was a global war, fought on five continents, which is kind of a lot. John focuses on ...

The amazing life and strange death of Captain Cook

VIDEO 10:03 minutes
In which John Green teaches you about the life and death of one of history's great explorers, Captain James Cook of the British Navy. He charted large swaths of the Pacific ocean, laid claim to Australia and New Zealand, and died a bizarre ...