Hank's History Hour



Hank Nelson provides weekly European history lessons in a story telling style while following the Advanced Placement for European History curriculum


  • Ch. 30: Post WWII Era and the Cold War


    After WWII, Western Europe was in ruins. The nations of this devastated continent had crumbling economies, turbulent political reshuffling, and changing national identities. However, through a new series of alliances (and a little help from the US), these countries bounced back from the brink and became the nations we recognize today. We will also talk about that charming period of American and Soviet militarization known as the Cold War. We will discuss how Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and popular culture helped create a passionate (in the "let's riot" kind of way) youth movement. And finally, we will talk about the most badass of French badasses: Charles De Gaulle. In this episode I am also joined by Kyle Sheridan, a good friend of mine. Kyle is a gentleman and a scholar and kindly offered to assist me on this, the second to the last Podcast in Hank's History Hour. I hope you enjoy it, and good luck on your tests!

  • Ch. 29 WWII and the Rise of the Dictators


    In this Podcast, we will discuss some of the vilest, most despicable, and most influential men of the 20th century:Mussolini, the would-be emperor of a revitalized Rome who was rumored to be afraid of cats.Stalin, the former seminary student who would purge and “disappear” as many as 20 million of his own people.Hitler, probably the most well-known dictator of all time, and a man who probably suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, syphilis, or both while he lead his country to ruin.

  • Ch. 28 Age of Anxiety


    After WWI, all of Europe was, for lack of a better phrase, freaking out. Paranoid, sneaky, and deceitful, the European leaders had their own agendas to make their country the top dog. Fortunately, there was great literature and some great (and some stupid) art to save the masses from the thoroughly depressing reality.

  • The Russian Revolution


    Ah, the Russian Revolution. The Russian people get a bit of freedom and democracy after centuries of toil under the czars, only to lose that freedom to another near-century of toil under the Bolsheviks. You will hear about Rasputin, one of the weirdest and creepiest men in Russian history (and that’s saying something), the fall of the czars, and the rise of Lenin and communism.I highly suggest you check out the song “Rasputin” by Boney M. It is basically a 70’s disco song about what a pimp Rasputin was, and it is hilarious.

  • WWI - The End of a Shaky Peace in Europe


    So we finally come to it: the war to end all wars. Well, not really. We still have WWII, the Cold War, the Bosnian Conflict, etc. However, WWI may take the cake for the most brutal conflict of the century. A combination of new technology (including the dreaded gas artillery shells), stagnant fronts, and intense nationalism made WWI one of the bloodiest conflicts in history. At the Battle of the Somme alone over 1,000,000 men lost their lives. You will hear all about this new kind of warfare, the fatal wrong turn that ignited the conflict, and why Germany was pissed off and desperate enough twenty years later to throw their support behind a crazed Austrian painter named Adolf Hitler.

  • ch. 26 Imperialism


    Hey, I know this is not in the right order, but I wanted to try to catch up to everyone. I will probably go back and do the missing 2 after I finish with the rest. So, this is imperialism, a time when European nations colonized the rest of the world and didn’t care what cultures they destroyed to accomplish their goals. You will hear about the massacre at Khartoum, the cruel King Leopold, and the Boxer Rebellion.

  • Ch. 20 Agricultural Revolution


    The most boring (and thankfully shortest) chapter. It is only about 15-20 minutes, so just push through it. Industrial Revolution is slightly more interesting. I promise.

  • Chapter 19C Napoleon!


    The last part of Ch. 19. Finally. The subject is Napoleon, a man whose rise and fall was so impressive that he may be one of the most interesting people in history. You will hear about how Napoleon seized power, how he maintained and expanded it, and how he eventually lost it in one of the greatest military blunders of all time.

  • Chapter 19B French Revolution Part 2


    The French Revolution is well under way throughout this Podcast. Learn about the megalomaniac Robespierre and why he killed tens of thousands of his countrymen, Marat and his disgusting skin disease, and the ironically named “Committee of Public Safety”.

  • Chapter 19A The Beginning of the French Revolution


    The French Revolution is one of the most important events that you will learn about in AP Euro. It completely changed the politics in France and would lead to 20 years of nearly continuous conflict in Europe. Today you will learn about the events that lead to the French Revolution and the first few events of the upheaval.

  • Chapter 18 Part 2: The Enlightenment


    While the scientific minds of Europe were expanding, so were the social reforms and the enlightened musing of its rulers and educated class. You will hear about Voltaire's caffeine addiction, Soldier King's hydrophobic son, and a couple of small wars.

  • Chapter 18 Part 1: The Scientific Revolution


    Finally, the Europeans stop believing in superstition and embrace science. You will hear about the beginning of the modern scientific and mathematical era and the strange habits of Sir Isaac Newton.

  • Chapter 17: Eastern Europe


    n this next chapter, we will take a sharp u-turn from the progress of Constutionalism and talk about the total dictatorships of Austria, Prussia, and Russia. Be prepared for kings who throw enemies to ravenous dogs and emperors who cripple clumsy servants, because this is EASTERN EUROPE!

  • Chapter 16 Part 2: Constitutionalism


    The second Ch. 16 Podcast. Constitutionalism is the basis for the American governmental system, but our system didn’t begin with a ruthless, Christian-fundamentalist dictator seizing power, beheading the King, and creating a police state. All hail Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England.

  • Chapter 16 Part 1: Absolutism


    & Alas, another long chapter. This one has been split into Absolutism and Constitutionalism. This Podcast is on Absolutism, definitely the most badass of the 2. You will mostly hear about the Louis XIV, the pompous, overweight, love machine (?) of France.

  • Chapter 15 Part 2: The Age of Exploration


    Hey everyone…here is the second Podcast for chapter 15: The Age of Exploration. You will learn about all of the great European explorers, their conquests, and the terrible diseases that they unleashed on the native population. Don’t worry, the Native Americans got their revenge. Hint: Al Capone died from it…

  • Chapter 15 Part 1: The Religious Wars


    This is the first huge chapter, so I have divided it into 2 podcasts. The chapter begins with the religious wars: the War of Three Henry’s, the Dutch Revolt, and, my personal favorite, the 30 Years War. This was one of the most tumultous times in the history of the world. The 30 Years War, as you will see, was basically the first World War, with basically every country in Europe fighting against one another. You will see the forming of much of modern Europe, and you will analyze whether or not the religious wars were actually religious or not. Hint: They Weren’t.

  • Chapter 14 The Reformation


    The second podcast. I actually really like this one, even though it concerns one of, in my opinion, the most boring topics in European History: the Protestant Separation from the Catholic Church. Not that it was a boring time, but the chapter itself is pretty dull. You will hear about more corrupt popes, good old Henry “Chopped off my wives’ heads” VIII, and some pretty corrupt political dealings. Somewhat religious, and definitely bizarre, this is the Reformation…

  • Chapter 13 The Renaissance


    Well, here it is, my first podcast ever. Please, don’t judge me too harshly from this: I was very nervous when I recorded it. This chapter discusses the culture and politics of the Renaissance in both Italy and the Netherlands. You will hear about the emerging middle class, the new artwork of the period, and the political alliances of the time.