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Industries — United States — History
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The Rise of Capitalism [electronic resource]

Features the ideas of Adam Smith, the efforts of entrepreneurs in New England and Chicago, the Lowell Mills Experiment and the engineering feats involved in Chicago's early transformation from marsh to metropolis.

America at Its Centennial [electronic resource]: 1876

As America celebrates its centennial, five million people descend on Philadelphia to celebrate American technological achievements. In their assessment of where America is in 1876, Professor Miller and his team of historians perceive that some of the early principles of the Republic remain unrealized and the question of race in America has become a major divisive force.

Industrial Supremacy [electronic resource]: 1875 - 1906

Features steel and stockyards at the end of the 19th century. The effects of the American Industrial Revolution in New York and Chicago is epitomized in the lives of Andrew Carnegie, Gustavus Swift and the countless workers on the packinghouse and factory floor.

Into the Machine Age

Highlights the progress of the industrial revolution in the United States: improvements in iron work and copper mining; invention of the steel skyscraper; development of the railroad; discovery of oil in Pennsylvania; and the flood of immigrants in the U.S. Describes Henry Ford's early factories, showing archival film footage of early assembly lines. Shows the Wright brothers with their early airplane. Tells how the U.S. gradually became a world leader in industry. Kim Clark of Harvard discusses current issues in industry and technology.
Ivy (By Request)

By River, by Rail [electronic resource]: History of the Black Migration

In the early 20th century, blacks moved north in hope of a better life with little more than a prayer and the shirts on their backs. In this program, poet Maya Angelou, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, and a host of other African-Americans recount the story of the migration, of separated families, and of the hardships, prejudice, and struggle for acceptance in the North that resulted in disillusionment. Black luminaries include James Cameron, author of A Time of Terror; Jacob Lawrence, artist and creator of The Black Migration series; and Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the Back to Africa movement of the 1920s.
2006; 1994

Amendment 17 [electronic resource]: Elections of U.S. Senators

The U.S. Constitution is the world's oldest written charter of government in continuous effect. Much of the success of this document can be attributed to the way the Constitution has changed to meet the needs of the American people. The framers of the Constitution wisely anticipated the need to make changes to the Constitution as the world itself changed. Between 1787, when the Constitution was written, and the present time, thousands of proposed amendments have been introduced in Congress. But in that time, only 27 of those proposed amendments have been ratified. These 27 amendments tell some of the most important stories in American political, social, and cultural history. They tell the story of the founding principles of the American nation, and how that nation has changed. This c [...]
2007; 1998

Sacred Spirit [electronic resource]: Lakota Sioux, Past and Present

This poignant collage features members of the Oglala Lakota Sioux living on and off the Pine Ridge reservation who present their unself-pitying yet pointed observations on Lakota history and modern-day Lakota life. Their creation myth and their attitudes toward Mother Earth and the concept of time contribute insights into their worldview, while footage of a major powwow and a tepee-raising offer glimpses of the people's cultural heritage. Wounded Knee and the extermination of the buffalo are discussed. Gang violence, alcoholism, lack of employment, and housing and health problems are also addressed, as well as the many faces of subjugation.
2005; 1999

The Biggest Jewish City in the World [electronic resource]

From the Czarist persecutions to those of Hitler, America provided a haven for Jews. Their influx made New York the world's most densely populated city. They went on to become one of the most influential immigrant groups in America.
2007; 1976

T.R. And His Times [electronic resource]

Theodore Roosevelt-cowboy, soldier, explorer, hunter, historian, reformer, naturalist, and last but not least, President of the United States. He led America exuberantly into the 1900s, but for all his unswerving patriotism and over-brimming confidence, his tenure as Chief Executive was as laden with complexity as the new century itself. In this program, Bill Moyers joins Roosevelt biographer David McCullough at T.R.'s summer home at Oyster Bay, Long Island. Together they explore the foremost Rough Rider's incendiary career, which, politically speaking, ended not with his presidency but at the conclusion of World War I.
2010; 1984

Out of the Depths [electronic resource]: The Miner's Story

Danger has always surrounded the coal miner's profession, but in the early years of the Colorado coal fields, it was almost as risky for a worker to stay above ground and face the wrath of the company as it was to toil in the tunnels below. This Bill Moyers program presents the memories of the people who worked those mines, freeing the rocks, metals, and minerals on which much of 20th-century American industry was founded. The depths of their struggles are revealed as they recall the deplorable conditions in which they labored and the events which led to the legendary 1913 United Mine Workers' strike as well as the infamous 1914 Ludlow Massacre.
2010; 1984

Thomas A. Edison [electronic resource]: The Wizard of Menlo Park

American inventor, scientist, and businessman, this episode of A&E Classroom profiles Thomas Alva Edison, dubbed 'The Wizard of Menlo Park' for his creation of the long-lasting electric light bulb, the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the sound recording. Edison originated more than 1,000 U.S. and international patents for devices that greatly influenced communication around the world.
2011; 1996

The Orphan Trains [electronic resource]

Eighty years ago, Elliot Bobo was taken from his alcoholic father's home, given a small cardboard suitcase, and put on board an "orphan train" bound for Arkansas. Bobo never saw his father again. He was one of tens of thousands of neglected and orphaned children who roamed the streets of New York in search of money, food, and shelter. Beginning in 1853 a young minister named Charles Loring Brace founded the Children's Aid Society - an organization that sent orphans west to begin new lives with farm families. His program would turn out to be a forerunner of modern foster care. But as The Orphan Trains, from the PBS American Experience collection, so poignantly reveals, even those for whom the journey ultimately was a triumph found the transition from one life to another almost always [...]

Division [electronic resource]

America became a nation just as a revolution in commerce and industry swept the Western world. This program explores the economic growth of the United States in the context of rising friction between the North and South-over the moral issue of slavery, but also over the differences between industrial power and an agricultural economy focused on cotton. With the election of Abraham Lincoln, Civil War was inevitable.
2011; 2010

Civil War [electronic resource]

The War Between the States rages. In 1863, the Confederate Army seems poised for victory. Following the bloody battle of Antietam, President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation. Former slaves join the Union army in droves. With superior transportation (railroads), communication (telegraph lines), and battlefield technology, the Union prevails and America is on track to become a global superpower.
2011; 2010

Heartland [electronic resource]

In 1869, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of America became linked through a massive implementation of rail technology. The Transcontinental Railroad connected Americans in new ways and altered the entire ecology of the continent. The vast Plains, where buffalo and Native Americans had once roamed, were remade by land speculators and industrialists. In less than a quarter of a century, the West was transformed.
2011; 2010

Cities [electronic resource]

In 1871, Chicago burned to the ground, and from the ashes of the old city a new kind of metropolis rose up. This program shows the restless spirit embodied in the skyscrapers of American cities (as well as in the Statue of Liberty) but it also addresses new social problems, such as poverty and organized crime, that came with growing urbanization. Worker uprisings, immigration, and the expansion of mass transportation are covered.
2011; 2010

Boom [electronic resource]

Henry Ford's Model T and assembly line, together with the discovery of abundant oil reserves, opened up a new way of life for Americans in the early decades of the twentieth century. This episode looks at those developments and traces the significance of World War I, prohibition, African-American migration from the South to northern cities, and the origin and growth of the Hollywood film industry.
2011; 2010

New York, 1865-1898 [electronic resource]: Sunshine and Shadow

In this episode of New York: A Documentary Film, Ric Burns turns to the period when greed and wealth fueled an expanding metropolis, even as politics and poverty defined it. Now the spotlight shines on the growth, glamour, and grief of New York during America's giddy postwar "Gilded Age." Exploring the incomparable wealth of the robber barons and the unabashed corruption of political leaders, such as Tammany Hall boss William M. Tweed, the episode examines the era when the expansion of wealth and poverty - and the schism between them - built to a crescendo. The program ends as the city itself dramatically expands its boundaries, annexing Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island into a single massive metropolis - Greater New York.

New York, 1898-1918 [electronic resource]: The Power and the People

In this episode of New York: A Documentary Film, filmmaker Ric Burns follows the city into the 20th century in the wake of an extraordinary wave of immigration and the birth of the skyscraper. As New York spilled into the new century, the extraordinary interplay of capitalism, democracy and transformation surged to a climax. During a single generation, over 10 million immigrants arrived in New York. The city itself became an even more dramatic lure with the construction of the first subways and skyscrapers. And arising from the plight of New York's most exploited citizens came landmark legislation that would eventually transform the lives of all Americans.

The Statue of Liberty [electronic resource]: A Film by Ken Burns

This episode of American Stories by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns presents the history of one of our greatest icons. For over a century, she has stood on Liberty Island, a gift from France created by sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi. Torch eternally aloft, Lady Liberty has been the symbol of hope for generations of immigrants. Interviews with ordinary Americans reveal the statue's great significance. Nominated for an Oscar and an Emmy, this documentary explores both the history of the Statue of Liberty and the meaning of Liberty itself.