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Ken Burns: The West- 1868 to 1874

Ken Burns; Burns, Ken; Kanopy (Firm)
Format
Video; Streaming Video; Online
Summary
I see over my own continent the Pacific railroad surmounting every barrier.I see continual trains of cars winding along the Platte, carrying freight and passengers. I hear the locomotives rushing and roaring...- Walt Whitman. It had taken the bloodshed and sacrifice of the Civil War to reunite the nation, North and South. But when the war was over, Americans set out with equal determination to unite the nation, East and West. To do it, they would build a railroad. Its completion would be one of the greatest technological achievements of the age -- signalling at last, as nothing else ever had, that the United States was not only a continental nation, but on its way to becoming a world power. And when the railroad was finally built, the pace of change would shift from the steady gait of a team of oxen, to the powerful surge of a steam locomotive. The West would be transformed. Overnight, the railroad would turn barren spots of earth into raucous boom towns -- North Platte and Julesburg, Abilene, Bear River, Wichita and Dodge. The railroad would allow Civil War veterans, poor farmers from the East and landless peasants from Europe to have a farm they could call their own. There they planted foreign strains of wheat in rich, matted prairie soil that had never known anything but grass. Railroads would carry hundreds of thousands of western longhorns to eastern markets -- and turn the dusty, saddle-sore men who herded them into the idols of every eastern schoolboy. And railroads would bring onto the Great Plains the buffalo hunters -- who would drive a magnificent animal that symbolized the West to the brink of extinction -- and with it a way of life with roots reaching back before recorded history. The railroad would do all of that. But first, someone would have to build it.
Director
Ken Burns
Release Date
1996
Language
English
Notes
Title from title frames.
Published
[San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2015.
Recording Info
Originally produced by PBS in 1996.
Publisher no.
1137164 Kanopy
Related Resources
Cover Image
Description
1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 86 min.) : digital, .flv file, sound
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Technical Details
  • Staff View

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    a| I see over my own continent the Pacific railroad surmounting every barrier.I see continual trains of cars winding along the Platte, carrying freight and passengers. I hear the locomotives rushing and roaring...- Walt Whitman. It had taken the bloodshed and sacrifice of the Civil War to reunite the nation, North and South. But when the war was over, Americans set out with equal determination to unite the nation, East and West. To do it, they would build a railroad. Its completion would be one of the greatest technological achievements of the age -- signalling at last, as nothing else ever had, that the United States was not only a continental nation, but on its way to becoming a world power. And when the railroad was finally built, the pace of change would shift from the steady gait of a team of oxen, to the powerful surge of a steam locomotive. The West would be transformed. Overnight, the railroad would turn barren spots of earth into raucous boom towns -- North Platte and Julesburg, Abilene, Bear River, Wichita and Dodge. The railroad would allow Civil War veterans, poor farmers from the East and landless peasants from Europe to have a farm they could call their own. There they planted foreign strains of wheat in rich, matted prairie soil that had never known anything but grass. Railroads would carry hundreds of thousands of western longhorns to eastern markets -- and turn the dusty, saddle-sore men who herded them into the idols of every eastern schoolboy. And railroads would bring onto the Great Plains the buffalo hunters -- who would drive a magnificent animal that symbolized the West to the brink of extinction -- and with it a way of life with roots reaching back before recorded history. The railroad would do all of that. But first, someone would have to build it.
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    a| Mayer, Frank d| 1850-1954.
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    a| Frontier and pioneer life v| History y| 1886-1874 z| Western United States.
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    a| First Transcontinental Railroad y| 1863-1869 v| History z| United States.
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