Sept. 12, 2023

Season One Trailer: The Crisis

Season One of Worlds Turned Upside Down, "The Crisis," follows the stories of American colonists, Indigenous peoples, and Europeans as they grappled with the revolutionary consequences of Great Britain's victory in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763)....

Season One of Worlds Turned Upside Down, "The Crisis," follows the stories of American colonists, Indigenous peoples, and Europeans as they grappled with the revolutionary consequences of Great Britain's victory in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763). After celebrating Britain's triumph over the French in the war, Americans began questioning British new policies in its wake, while Indigenous and enslaved people struggled to make sense of their own place in Britain's enlarged American empire. 

Season One begins September 26, 2023.

Narrated by Jim Ambuske.

Worlds Turned Upside Down is a production of R2 Studios at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Learn more about all our shows by visiting 




Worlds Turned Upside Down

Season 1 Trailer: “The Crisis”

Published 9/12/2023


  • Jim Ambuske, Ph.D. | George Mason University
  • Fred Anderson, Ph.D. | University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Christian Ayne Crouch, Ph.D. | Bard College
  • Maeve Kane, Ph.D. | University of Albany
  • Julie Flavell, Ph.D. | Independent Scholar
  • Patrick Griffin, Ph.D. | University of Notre Dame
  • Shira Lurie, Ph.D. | St. Mary’s University
  • Wendy Bellion, Ph.D. | University of Delaware
  • Jon Kukla, Ph.D. | Historian and Author
  • Mary Beth Norton, Ph.D. | Cornell University
  • Serena Zabin, Ph.D. | Carleton College


JIM AMBUSKE:  In the aftermath of a global war, a crisis was brewing in North America.

FRED ANDERSON: The American Revolution, in the period between 1763 and 1775, is all about dealing with the aftermath of the Seven Years War, which was the greatest imperial victory in English history. Because the British didn't understand what they had done.

CHRISTIAN AYNE CROUCH: The British are willing to pour resources into their war effort that the French simply cannot match.

MAEVE KANE: The Haudenosaunee are the other large military power on the continent. They had been pivotal in the Seven Years War. Why aren't they subjects of the British king?

JULIE FLAVELL: Britain came out of this war with huge new possessions in India, the Caribbean, and of course, North America. The British had taken Canada from the French.

PATRICK GRIFFIN: It amplified the size of empire beyond what anybody could have possibly have imagined. Now, the British are kind of the Overlords of one of the greatest territorial empires that the world had ever seen.

CHRISTIAN AYNE CROUCH: And ultimately, this will bite the British at the end, because this is of course, what leads to all of the problems with the cost of the war.

SHIRA LURIE: For most of the 1760s, and into the early 1770s, most white Anglo Americans would define the British Empire as an Empire of Liberty. This is how they viewed it, the freest empire in the world. But then, of course, that changed

WENDY BELLION: It's hard though to understand liberty in this time period without thinking about enslaved people of African descent.

JON KUKLA: If he can establish a Stamp Tax, then he can tax us for anything.The Americans get wind of this, and they go, Oh, my God, this is a dangerous precedent.

MARY BETH NORTON: The radical Americans said these policies the British are adopting are unconstitutional, because they're not the way things have always worked.

SERENA ZABIN: They feel pretty betrayed. They think of themselves as people who gave a lot to the Seven Years War, who committed deeply to the Empire, who are very loyal subjects. They saw themselves sometimes as partners in a marriage, and all of a sudden, they're being told that they are barely the bootblack.

FRED ANDERSON: And that's the end of the British Empire in North America. It's a divorce. It's an empire that fell apart in the bitterest of divorces.

JIM AMBUSKE: I’m Jim Ambuske, and this is Worlds Turned Upside Down, a podcast about the history of the American Revolution, coming September 26th, from R2 Studios at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

JIM AMBUSKE: Subscribe to Worlds on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. Learn more about the show at



Fred Anderson, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Fred Anderson, Ph.D.

Professor of History Emeritus | University of Colorado-Boulder

Fred Anderson received his B.A. with Highest Distinction from Colorado State University in 1971 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1981. He taught at Harvard and at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His publications include Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 (2000) and, with Andrew Cayton, The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America,1500-2000 (2005).

Shira Lurie, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Shira Lurie, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History | St. Mary's University

Shira Lurie is an Assistant Professor of U.S. History at Saint Mary's University. She is the author of "The American Liberty Pole: Popular Politics and the Struggle for Democracy in the Early Republic" with UVA Press. Her writing has been published in The Journal of the Early Republic, the Washington Post, the Toronto Star, and Inside Higher Ed. She received a PhD in History from the University of Virginia.

Serena Zabin, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Serena Zabin, Ph.D.

Professor of History | Carleton College

Serena Zabin is a Professor of History and Chair of the History Department (since 2020) at Carleton College; she is also President of the Society of the History of the Early American Republic. Professor Zabin is the author of the prizewinning The Boston Massacre: A Family History (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020), which was also named an Amazon Editor’s Choice for History in 2020. The research for this book covers four countries and was supported by numerous grants, including the National Endowment for the Humanities (twice) and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Wendy Bellion, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Wendy Bellion, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for the Humanities and Sewell Biggs Chair in American Art History | The University of Delaware.

Wendy Bellion is Associate Dean for the Humanities and Sewell Biggs Chair in American Art History at the University of Delaware. She is the author of several books and many articles about art and material culture in the early national United States, including Iconoclasm in New York: Revolution to Reenactment (2019). Her research explores the intersections of visual culture and political culture within the British Atlantic World.

Julie Flavell, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Julie Flavell, Ph.D.

Independent Historian

I was born in the United States and grew up in Massachusetts, where I acquired a life-long interest in the American Revolution. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, I gained my PhD in history at University College London. I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1999. I now live in Scotland with my husband, who is British. I have lectured in American history at Dundee and Edinburgh Universities, where I specialized in the Revolutionary era. My first book, "When London Was Capital of America", explores the period just before the American Revolution through the experiences of individual colonists in London. "The Howe Dynasty" (2021) was a Finalist for the 2022 George Washington Book Prize, and a New York Times Editor's Choice, August 2021.

Patrick Griffin, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Patrick Griffin, Ph.D.

Madden-Hennebry Family Professor of History | University of Notre Dame

I am a professor of history at Notre Dame. Before that I taught at the University of Virginia. I have earned degrees from Notre Dame, Columbia, Northwestern, and Oxford. I have published five solo-authored books and edited a few more. Last year, I was Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford. This year I was admitted as an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Jon Kukla, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Jon Kukla, Ph.D.

Historian and Author

After completing my PhD residence in the 1970s my day jobs involved executive leadership in libraries, publishing, archives, and museums - but after defending my dissertation in 1980 I continued to publish scholarship and reviews in the major history journals like my contemporaries in degree-granting institutions.

I've been interested in Early American and British history since college. I'm passionate about seeing things fresh from extensive research in primary sources - as a result many of my articles and books have, as they say, broken new ground.

Christian Ayne Crouch, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Christian Ayne Crouch, Ph.D.

Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of History and American and Indigenous Studies | Bard College

Christian Ayne Crouch is Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of History and American and Indigenous Studies at Bard College. She is the author of the award-winning Nobility Lost: French and Canadian Martial Cultures, Indians, and the End of New France (Cornell 2014). Her scholarship has considered topics in Atlantic military culture, French imperial legacies, intersection in Native and African-American history. Her current book project, "Queen Victoria's Captive: A Story of Ambition, Empire, and a Stolen Ethiopian Prince," explores the human and material consequences of the 1868 Mandala Campaign in Ethiopia in Atlantic context.

Mary Beth Norton, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Mary Beth Norton, Ph.D.

Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History Emerita | Cornell University

Author of six books about Early America, including In the Devil’s Snare (Salem witchcraft), 1774 (coming of the American Revolution) and Liberty’s Daughters (women in the Revolution). Retired after teaching for 49 years, primarily at Cornell university.

Maeve Kane, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Maeve Kane, Ph.D.

Maeve Kane is an associate professor at the University at Albany, SUNY, where she teaches Indigenous and early American history. Kane received her BA from Macalester College and her MA and PhD from Cornell University. Her first book, Shirts Powdered Red: Haudenosaunee Gender, Trade, and Exchange Across Three Centuries (Cornell 2023), argues that Haudenosaunee women used clothing and material culture to maintain an enduring Haudenosaunee identity in the face of American colonial pressures to assimilate and disappear. Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humantities, the Mellon Foundation, the New-York Historical Society, the Newberry Library, and the American Philosophical Society. Her other writing has appeared in the journals Ethnohistory and The Journal of Early American History, and she is the co-author of a forthcoming American women's history textbook covering the peopling of the Americas to 2021, American Women: A New Narrative (Wiley-Blackwell 2024).