Dr. Linda Colley is a leading expert on British imperial and global history, among other topics in British history. Dr. Colley is the M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University, here today to discuss her newly published book, The Gun, The Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World, which explores the complex interrelationship between the rise of modern warfare and the rise of modern constitutionalism worldwide. After introducing Dr. Colley, and discussing the themes of her book, we launch into a conversation about what drove her to research and write about the topic of constitutions across the globe. Hear about the brief period during 1653 when Britain had its own constitution, before Dr. Colley unpacks the role of printing press technology and the spread of literacy, and explains why building the French navy helped the American revolutionaries, but not the French monarchy. We address Toussaint’s two purposes for the constitutions, which unfolds into a discussion about the extent to which constitutions are not just a domestic tool, but serve an international purpose, with Tunisia as one of our examples. Hear how Japan’s constitution has worked to concede certain rights for its people, learn about James Beale’s vision for governance and modernization, and much more. Tune in for an in-depth discussion on the ever-evolving role of this fascinating type of document today.
Key Points From This Episode:
• Today’s guest, Dr. Linda Colley, expert on British imperial and global history.