A Precarious Experiment
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series

A Precarious Experiment
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Coming to America: Portrait of Colonial Life
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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. The emergence of a slave society in North America. Upsurge in Scotch Irish and German immigration.
Divergent Paths
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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 of communities: the plantation society of the South, the tightly knit New England towns governed by town covenants. Witch trials…
Not Much of a War
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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 Washington. Support of the French government. Defeat of British forces at Saratoga and Yorktown. Destiny now in colonists' hands.
Best Laid Plans...
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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 to the west. Jefferson's embargo in response to Napoleonic Wars hurts economy of northeast. Election of James Madison in 1808;…
He Brought the People with Him
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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 of 1832. Jackson's veto of bill and reelection victory. Jackson's attempts to deplete power of bank after election. Van Buren,…
Master and Slave
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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 and city settings. The contrast in living conditions; the harshness of slave laws. The rich culture built by slaves: religion,…
Manifest Destiny?
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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 for riches. How the gold rush changed lives of the Californios and Native Americans, the Chinese workers and those lured…
Decade of Discord
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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 sectionalized; Whigs disappear, Republicans emerge. Lincoln-Douglas debates foreshadow future Harper's Ferry Raid convinces South they'll never be safe in the…
House Divided
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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 there will be war, but attack on Fort Sumter by Confederate forces signals beginning of conflict. Both sides mobilize quickly.…
Battle Cry
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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 removed from fighting. Lee appointed commander of Army of Virginia; takes war into Northern territory. Union forces have parade of…
Final Stages
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
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 superiority of North begins to make a difference. South devastated by Sherman's march through Georgia. Grant and Meade pursue Lee…