Spanish History

Ferdinand and Barbara, Married Mad Royals

Despite ascending to power in a court filled with intrigue, juggling relations with Britain and France, and both likely having mental health conditions, the reign of Ferdinand VI of Spain and his wife Barbara was surprisingly stable.

Six Impossible Episodes: Evacuating Children

All six of today’s topics are mass evacuations of children and youth because of a war or other unrest, and include Kindertransport, Operation Pedro Pan, and Operation Babylift. 

Catalina de Erauso, the Lieutenant Nun

Despite growing up in a convent and coming very close to taking religious vows as a nun, Catalina de Erauso wound up living a life of danger and adventure. A lot of today's episode falls into the general category of "exploits."

Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 2

In this second part of our series, Juana has become her mother's unlikely heir. Just a few years after inheriting Castile, she is declared insane and imprisoned. But was she actually mad? And why didn't her son free her when he came to power?

Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 1

Juana of Castile has gone down in history as "Juana la Loca." But Juana's mental state was likely not as bad as it seemed. Was she instead the victim of conniving relatives? In this episode, we discuss Juana's youth, her marriage and more.

Some historians think Phillip V of Spain was mad, but why? Listen in as Sarah and Deblina recount the strange rule of Phillip V, who abdicated the throne for several months in 1724.

Driven by visions of unimaginable riches, Spanish explorers subjugated the cultures of South America and exploit the resources for their masters in Europe. Chief among these visions was the hallowed El Dorado, or the City of Gold. Tune in to learn more.

During the golden age of Caribbean piracy, people from all walks of life set sail in search of gold. Yet you may be surprised to hear that some of the pirates were Sephardic Jews. Tune in and learn more about the lives of Jewish pirates.

La Reconquista and the Alhambra

In the early 8th century, Moors occupied most of the Iberian peninsula. During the Reconquista, Christians rallied to conquer the land. Listen in and learn more about this epic conflict, which spans some of the most formative times in Spanish history.

A Conspiracy Starring Aaron Burr

After Aaron Burr slew Alexander Hamilton in the duel of 1804, his legislative career was over. In March of 1805, Burr left the political sphere and moved west -- but his story doesn't end there. Tune in more about Burr's later adventures in this podcast.