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1.

Ancestors in the Americas: Coolies, Sailors, Settlers

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The untold story of how Asians--Filipino, Chinese, Asian Indian--first arrived in the Americas. Film crosses centuries and oceans from the 16th century Manila-Acapulco trade, to the Opium War, to the 19th century plantation coolie labor in South America and the Caribbean.
VHS
1997; 1996
Ivy (By Request)
2.

Revolution [electronic resource]

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While the American colonies challenge Britain for independence, American slavery is challenged from within, as men and women fight to define what the country will be. In the upheaval of war, 100,000 black people escape their bondage and threaten the institution of slavery as never before. Initially, George Washington refuses to allow black volunteers into his army, but when the British Governor of Virginia promises freedom to slaves who will fight for England, the American high command is forced to reconsider. As the 18th century comes to a close, America hopes to walk a dangerous tightrope between property rights and human rights.
Online
2005; 1998
3.

Seeking the First Americans [electronic resource]

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Archaeologists from Texas to Alaska search for clues to the identity of the first people to tread the North American continent - the early hunters who between 11,000 and 50,000 years ago crossed the Bering Strait in pursuit of game.
Online
2005; 1980
4.

New World Encounters [electronic resource]

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After introducing the team of historians who have created the series, Professor Miller reviews the beginnings of American history from west to east, following the first Ice Age migrations through the corn civilizations of Middle America and the explorations of Columbus, DeSoto and the Spanish.
Online
2000
5.

Unearthing Secret America [electronic resource]

This edition of PBS Scientific American Frontiers delves into the secrets of America's past - as archeologists investigate three tremendous discoveries: unique finds that bring our history to life like never before. Unearthing Secret America shows how the Jamestown fort offers clues to the struggles of the colonists and how slave quarters at Monticello and Williamsburg expose a secret world for the first time: revealing economic shifts that altered the experience of enslaved and free people in ways we are just beginning to understand. A story told with rich detail, it is a fresh and up-close look at life in America from the colonial period up through the 19th century.
Online
2002
6.

New York, 1609-1825 [electronic resource]: The Country and the City

This episode of New York: A Documentary Film begins by identifying the key themes that shaped New York's history: commerce and capitalism, diversity and democracy, transformation and creativity. Filmmaker Ric Burns charts the development of the city founded by the Dutch as a purely commercial enterprise, first as New Amsterdam, a freewheeling enclave of trade and opportunity; then as the British colony of New York, bestowed as a birthday gift upon the Duke of York by his brother, King Charles, and fueled by slavery; soon after as a strategically pivotal locale in the American Revolution; and ultimately as the city of New York: the nation's first capital and the place destined to define urban life in America - and American ideals.
Online
2003
7.

How the States Got Their Shapes [electronic resource]

Is it just a fluke of history that Illinois, not Wisconsin, contains the city of Chicago? Whatever happened to the state of Jefferson? And why is Texas too big to mess with? This program uncovers the political, cultural, and geographical forces that shaped the map of the United States. From the original thirteen colonies to the jigsaw puzzle of today's 50 states... from the nooks and crannies of the east to the rigid boxes of the west... from the Atlantic to the Pacific, viewers learn how America was carved out of the landscape and how the forces that sculpted our country still influence it today.
Online
2010
8.

Origins [electronic resource]

This program begins with the arrival of 20 enslaved Africans brought to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619 and examines the impact of slavery on African Americans. C. Eric Lincoln, professor of philosophy and religion at Duke University and a noted authority on African-American religion, explains why African roots are important to African Americans and shows how the African cultural heritage-music, dance, art, blues, and storytelling-manifests itself in American life.
Online
2012
9.

The War That Made America Part 1 [electronic resource]: A Country Between

This episode focuses on George Washington, a pivotal figure in the start of the French and Indian War, a conflict that pitted England against France in the New World. Caught between were the Indian nations, whose leaders struggled to protect their people's interests. After a resounding defeat in his first full-scale battle at Fort Necessity, Washington became an aide to General Edward Braddock, who had been sent from England with a large force to evict the French. Braddock was overwhelmingly defeated and died of his battlefield wounds. Britain then sent additional troops, setting the stage for the next phase of the war.
Online
2005
10.

The War That Made America Part 2 [electronic resource]: Unlikely Allies

As the war moved to upstate New York, relationships among the French, British, Indians, and colonial settlers become increasingly tense. This episode tells how Indians saw the war as an opportunity to regain control of their territory. While French and English officers perceived the Indians as barbarians, they were forced into uneasy alliances with them. Interesting characters emerged, like British general Andrew William Johnson, an Irish fur trader with an exceptional ability to bridge the cultural divide, and his friend, the Mohawk Chief Hendrick. As the front lines stretched from North Carolina to Canada, it was far from clear who the victors would be.
Online
2005
11.

The War That Made America Part 3 [electronic resource]: Turning the Tide

In this episode, the tide has turned, and the British have started to tighten the noose on the outnumbered French forces. Although British Major-General James Abercrombie was defeated by the Marquis de Montcalm at Fort Ticonderoga, France no longer supplied the resources for victory. The British dispatched General John Forbes to conquer Fort Duquesne at the Forks of the Ohio, where the French had been entrenched since Braddock's defeat. An Eastern Delaware chief named Teedyuscung helped secure victory for Forbes. Washington was almost killed by "friendly fire," and wondered if Providence had spared him for a higher purpose.
Online
2005
12.

The War That Made America Part 4 [electronic resource]: Unintended Consequences

This final episode describes how the British push north into Canada and lay siege to the hilltop fort at Quebec. General James A. Wolfe orders his troops to launch a surprise attack that defeats the French at last. Aided by the Iroquois, the British bring the war, and French influence in Canada, to an end. In the aftermath of victory, the British treasury is drained, and Parliament imposes taxes on the colonies. George Washington, now a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, chafes at British control. With the Stamp Act and the Tea tax, the time arrives to declare independence, and Washington takes command of the Continental Army.
Online
2005
13.

A Son of Africa [electronic resource]

The Interesting Narration of the Life of Olaudah Equiano created a sensation when it was published in 1789. Written by ex-slave Equiano, the autobiography vividly described the horrors of being kidnapped from Africa, the Middle Passage, and life in captivity, and fueled the growing abolitionist movement. This program employs dramatic reconstructions of this slave narrative, archival material, and interviews with scholars such as Stuart Hall and Ian Duffield to explain the social and economic context of the 18th-century slave trade.
Online
1996
14.

Down in the Old Belt [electronic resource]: Voices From the Tobacco South

The tobacco farmers of the Old Belt of Virginia represent a history and a way of life that began with the founding of Jamestown and the colony of Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay. But tobacco farmers in Southside Virginia, like coal miners in Appalachia, have come upon hard times. Declining quotas, production moving overseas, society's changing attitudes, and the 2004 tobacco buyout have radically altered the cultural landscape of the Old Belt, the birthplace of Bright Leaf tobacco. This program traces the history and culture of tobacco in Virginia, providing a basis for studying past and ongoing socioeconomic changes, from the era of slavery to the present. Combining extensive archival materials with interviews and oral histories conducted with several Old Belt tobacco farming familie [...]
Online
2005
15.

German Lineage in Modern Dance [electronic resource]

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In this performance documentary dancer/choreographer Betsy Fisher performs solos from pieces by the originators of the German Expression Dance (Ausdruckstanz) and American exponents of the movement, which began in Germany prior to World War I. Fisher also provides narration describing the creation and the historical context of each work.
Online
2012
16.

Howard Zinn: The People's Historian: Part 1 a Nation in Development (1492- 1787) [electronic resource]

Historian and author of A People's History of the United States Howard Zinn presents a moral perspective on early America, citing events and movements rarely covered in U.S. history textbooks. In this interview, he discusses Columbus' atrocities against indigenous tribes in the Caribbean, slavery and Abolitionist Movement, colonial massacres against Native Americans that marked the beginning of Westward Expansion, Civil War Indian Removal policies, and the class conflict that shaped the Revolutionary War through army mutinies and veteran's uprisings. A common thread throughout our history is the gap between American ideals of freedom and democracy, and the reality of social divisions, economic inequality, and grassroots organization for constitutional reform.
Online
2014
17.

Traces of the Trade [electronic resource]: A Story From the Deep North

Katrina Browne was shocked to discover that her distinguished Rhode Island forebears had been part of the largest slave-trading dynasty in American history. Once she started digging, Browne found the evidence everywhere-in ledgers, ships logs, letters, even a local nursery rhyme. This film documents one family's painful confrontation with their ancestors' involvement in the slave trade, and in so doing, reveals the pivotal role slavery played in the growth of the American economy. Browne invited two hundred descendants to join her on a journey to explore their past, retracing the route from their ancestors' Bristol cemetery to the slave castles of Ghana and the ruins of a family plantation in Cuba.
Online
2008
18.

Pocahontas [electronic resource]: Her True Story

As the tale goes, Pocahantas, age 12, saved the gallant John Smith from the "savages" in her tribe. The relationship blossomed into love, and Pocahontas went with Smith to London, where British society undoubtedly perceived her as an exotic creature. This program holds that legend up to historical scrutiny by examining questions such as: How gallant was John Smith? Who were these so-called "savages"? How could Pocahontas, from a culture with strict hygienic standards, possibly have tolerated Smith's Elizabethan aversion to bathing? And, what of her marriage to John Rolfe? Interviews with Pocahontas' descendants provide a new perspective on the life and times of this revered Native American heroine.
Online
1995
19.

The Multi-Cultural History of the United States: Part 1. Through 1699

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This program takes us from the earliest settlements of North America through the arrivals of the Vikings, Europeans and Colonial America. Learn about European roots and how America was different before Europeans arrived and ask the question -- 'What was Christopher Columbus looking for?'
Online
1998
20.

The War of 1812

"The War of 1812" is a two-hour documentary looking at this important historic event from several perspectives: the American, Canadian, British and Native American. The program will have some limited but very well done reenactments and major historians, authors and experts.
Online
2018; 2011