The Unfinished Nation Series

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52 videos in this collection

From Days Before Time
Early human habitation of the North American continent. The civilizations of the North and South and tribal cultures. The journeys of Christopher Columbus. Exploration and exploitation of the west by…
Turbulent Virginia: Pirate Base...Royal Colony
Incentives for English colonization. French and Dutch presence in North America. British attempts to establish a base at Roanoke and the outcome. Subsequent Virginia Company settlement at Jamestown. The people…
Saints and Strangers
Discontent of Puritan Separatists; their journey to Plymouth. The Mayflower Compact; life once off the ship. Experience with Irish influences attitude toward Native Americans. Massachusetts Bay Company as structure for…
The Lure of Land
English interest in colonization hindered by Civil War and rise of Oliver Cromwell; resumes under Charles II. Expanded list of immigrants find home in middle colonies. Agricultural interests take hold…
Coming to America: Portrait of Colonial Life
Immigration has been a key to American history. Contrasting experiences of different groups. The challenges of indentured servitude; their contributions. Family groups in New England; roles within the family unit.…
Divergent Paths
Contrast between large scale agricultural operations in South vs. small family farms and commercial operations in North. Emergence of cities; absence of rigid class differences of Europe. Distinctly American form…
Strained Relations
Symbiotic relationship between the colonies and the British government in the 1750s. French and Indian War alters British holdings in North America, spawns questions related to cost of colonial defense…
Not Much of a War
Colonists ill equipped for armed conflict with Great Britain. Meetings of Continental Congress; Declaration of Independence. British response to incidents of hostility in northeast and mid-Atlantic states. Leadership of George…
A Precarious Experiment
Peace Treaty (1783) with Great Britain negotiated by Richard Oswald, John Jay, and Benjamin Franklin. Uncertainties facing young country. Effects of war on new nation's people, politics, and economy. Difficulty…
Vision for a Nation
Delegates meet in Philadelphia, May 1787 to "create a government with sufficient power to govern vast territory." The convention, closed to public, chaired by George Washington. Controversy over basis for…
Rivals and Friends
Election of 1796, first contested presidential election, won by John Adams. His opponent, Thomas Jefferson becomes vice-president. Adam's difficult relationship with cabinet, congress, and Jefferson. Struggle with France on the…
Best Laid Plans...
Republican desire to minimize national government and encourage small town/ agrarian lifestyles overtaken during Jefferson's presidency by economic vitality and growth of cities, beginnings of industrialization, the Louisiana Purchase, expansion…
Pressures From Within
War of 1812 magnifies need for internal improvements and stronger national government. Distinct patterns of American growth and expansion: areas of fur trading, plantations, and farms. Monroe elected president; "Era…
He Brought the People with Him
The controversial presidency of John Quincy Adams. Changing party politics ushers in "Age of Jackson." Struggles between the establishment and the Washington outsider. South Carolina's Nullification challenge, and Jackson's response.
Legacy of an Autocratic Ruler
President's Jackson's policy related to Native Americans. The Trail of Tears. Henry Clay's introduction of bill to renew charter of Bank of United States as ploy prior to presidential election…
Revolution of a Different Sort
Growth in population and surge in transportation and technology which occurs during the first half of the 18th century. Rising immigration, and incidence of nativism. Growth of canal system, emergence…
Worlds Apart
Changes in social order in first half of the nineteenth century. The wealthy class as an derivative of industrial success; contrast with the very poor. Emergence of the middle class.…
Master and Slave
Southern life and the differences in class and culture that arose. Plantations not all pillared mansions with hundreds of slaves. Life of poor white families. The slave family in agricultural…
Voices of Reform
Emergence of romanticism in literature and art. The transcendentalists and utopian societies. Reform movements that emerged from the Second Great Awakening. A closer look at the temperance movement, the abolitionists…
Manifest Destiny?
American expansion into the west. Tensions between Mexico and the United States over Texas. The Mexican War and its aftermath. Discovery of gold in California in 1848, and the rush…
Decade of Discord
Sectional tensions over slavery subside with the Compromise of 1850; resurface as western states seek territorial and then state status. Railroad expansion plans ignite bloodshed in Kansas and Missouri. Parties…
House Divided
Election of Abraham Lincoln spawns secession of seven states led by South Carolina. Confederate States form provisional government before Lincoln is inaugurated, take over two southern forts. Neither side believes…
Battle Cry
South needs support of England and France to win war; North needs to maintain status quo. North needs to win militarily; South needs to avoid defeat. Most of American West…
Final Stages
1863 pivotal year in determining outcome of war. Decisive battles at Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and Chattanooga. Ulysses S. Grant named Commander of Western Theater for Union after victory at Vicksburg. Material…
What Price Freedom
Reconstruction plans discussed long before war's end, with little agreement. Lincoln's assassination brings Johnson into office. New president grants amnesty to thousands of former Confederates: plantation owners, politicians, generals. Angers…
Tattered Remains
White Southerners consider Reconstruction vicious and destructive; former slaves see it as small step toward gaining economic and political power. Improvements occur in Southern public education; blacks rebuild family structures.…
The Meeting Ground
The American West--a place of convergence. Contrasting experiences of Native American tribes; Spanish-speaking communities of Mexican Americans in New Mexico, Texas, and California; Chinese immigrants, and African Americans. The impact…
The Legendary Frontier
Economic development of the West. Impact of mining, cattle ranching and farming. Allure of the West; reality of lingering images and myths. Clashes with Native-American tribes; U. S. government's dispersal…
A New Corporate Order
1864 pivotal year in determining outcome of war. Decisive battles at Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and Chattanooga. Ulysses S. Grant named Commander of Western Theater for Union after victory at Vicksburg. Material…
The Age of the City
Industrialization shifts economic power and population to cities. Increase in immigration and ethnic neighborhoods; nativist reaction. City planning and infrastructure; urban transportation. Housing for wealthy, middle class, poor families. Threat…
Political Stalemate
Equilibrium, party loyalty final decades of 19th century. Patronage and kickbacks system vs. need for skilled government officials. Presidential politics; election battles. Significant regulatory legislation. Depression of 1893 and the…
Imperial Ambition
Stirrings of imperialism. Arguments for and against joining the imperial race. American interest in the Caribbean; determination to maintain hegemonic power in hemisphere. Spanish-American War and role of the press.…
The Progressive Era
Causes and varieties of progressive reform efforts in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Settlement house movement. Women seeking professional status and the vote. Efforts to combat government corruption. African…
Warrior to Priest: Presidents of the Early 1900s
Theodore Roosevelt, the "accidental" president, in perspective. His relationship with the press, big business and reform efforts, conservation, his own political party. Contrast of Taft's style and tenure in office.…
The Road to War
Complex system of alliances/rivalries that leads Europe into armed conflict in 1914. Initially, Wilson and U. S. walk neutrality tightrope. Election issues in 1916. Ties to Great Britain, and incidents…
To End All Wars?
Before U.S. troops arrive in Europe, Germany defeats Russia and moves toward Paris. Labor unrest at home. Allies push German troops back to border; high casualties. Wilson's Fourteen Points. Short-…
The 1920s…Beyond the Glitter
The culture of the 1920s. America's economy and the labor force. Prosperity and consumerism vs. abject poverty. Political and cultural conflict: immigration legislation and Prohibition. Harlem Renaissance, the Scopes trial.…
Hard Times
Events leading to the stock market crash and Great Depression. How the Depression affects various population segments. Unemployment and relief efforts. Herbert Hoover's attempts to alleviate the Depression. Election of…
A Chaos of Experimentation
The presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. New Deal legislation. Agencies created in response to crises. Changes to programs resulting from criticism of New Deal. The effect of policies on various…
Between the Wars
American policies of neutrality, isolationism, and internationalism in decades after World War I. Depression and the world order. Rise of totalitarian regimes in Europe and Asia; their expansionist ambitions. American…
A Nation at War
American mobilizes for World War II. Strategies employed on both the Pacific and European fronts. U. S. becomes arsenal of allies; residual effects of economic boom. War, the American people…
Taking the Offensive
Roosevelt runs for fourth term; survives only a few months in office. An unprepared vice president--Harry Truman--takes office. The liberation of Europe and defeat of Germany. The Pacific offensive. The…
The Collapse of Peace
The aftermath of World War II and the origins of the Cold War. Soviet-American tensions during WWI and Yalta Conference. Truman succeeds Roosevelt as president. Failure of Potsdam and China…
Fallout
Election of 1948. Fair Deal revised. The Korean War. The crusade against subversion: Alger Hiss, the Rosenberg Case, McCarthyism.
The Way We Were
Sources of economic growth: government spending, suburban development, rise of the West. Capital, labor, and the new economies. Expansion of science and technology. The consuming nation. The family--changing roles and…
The Other America
People on the margins: rural and inner city poverty. Civil Rights movement: Brown v. Board of Education, expansion of the movement. Eisenhower's Republicanism: the welfare state, the decline of McCarthyism,…
Restless Society
Election of 1960. Kennedy's thousand days in office; his assassination. Johnson's succession: assault on poverty, Great Society. Battle for racial equality: expanding protests, urban violence, black power.
A Nation Torn
Diversifying foreign policy. Confrontations with the Soviet Union. The agony of Viet Nam. The traumas of 1968: the Tet offensive, King and Kennedy assassinations, political turmoil.
Determined to be Heard
Patterns of social and cultural protests in the 1960s and 1970s: the New Left, countercultures. The mobilization of minorities: Native American fight for civil rights, Latino activism, gay liberation. The…
Crisis of Authority
Nixon, Kissinger, and the escalation of the Vietnam War. Multi-polar approach to maintaining stable relationships among major powers. Nixon Doctrine and Third World countries. Domestic policies: dismantling the Great Society,…
Right Turn
Politics and diplomacy after Watergate. The Ford custodianship. The trials of Jimmy Carter. Camp David Accord. Human rights and national interests: Iranian hostage crisis. The rise of the new American…
World of Uncertainty
Resurgence of partisanship: launching the Clinton presidency; the Republican resurgence. Election of 1996. Clinton, triumphant and embattled: impeachment and acquittal. Election of 2000. Economic growth in the 1980s and 1990s,…

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