The Unfinished Nation, Part II
A survey of political and social developments in American history from the Reconstruction period (1865) to the present.
All videos are closed captioned.
Lessons 27 - 39
Lesson 27 - 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 of the Homestead Act and the experiences of native cultures.
Lesson 28 - 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 policy. Rise and decline of traditional agriculture. Introduction of commercial farming techniques.
Lesson 29 - A New Corporate Order
Explosion of U. S. industry after Civil War, and factors which motivate unprecedented growth. Power and wealth amassed by corporate magnates. Recruitment of labor force. Women and children in the workforce. Workers attempts to organize for better wages and working conditions. Measures used to stifle worker discontent.
Lesson 30 - 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 of poverty, fire, disease. Growth of political machines, bossism. Consumerism. New leisure pastimes.
Lesson 31 - 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 emergence of the Populist Party. Gold-silver controversy.
Lesson 32 - 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. “Glorious little war” in Cuba vs. experience in the Philippines. Territorial acquisitions.
Lesson 33 - The Progressive Impulse
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 Americans and reform; the Temperance crusade and prohibition; immigration concerns. Socialist efforts; the Industrial Workers of the World. Attempts to regulate big business.
Lesson 34 - Three Presidents and the Office
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. Progressive Roosevelt challenges both Taft and Wilson in 1912. Wilson solidifies presidential power, walks path between Progressive and Democratic ideals. Foreign policy highlights of the three administrations.
Lesson 35 - 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 on high seas lead U.S. into conflict in 1917. Creating a fighting force and economic/industrial support for war effort. Intolerance of divergent ideas on the home front.
Lesson 36 - A Truce, Not Peace
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- and long-term fallout from Paris Peace talks. Turbulent times for country: racial and labor unrest, Red scare.
Lesson 37 - The New Era
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. The three conservative Republican presidents of the era: Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover.
Lesson 38 - The Great Depression
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 Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Lesson 39 - 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 groups, including women and minorities.
Lessons 40 - 52
Lesson 40 - 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 response to war in Europe. Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.
Lesson 41 - America 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 and their culture: minorities, women, and labor. Internment of Japanese Americans.
Lesson 42 - 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 Manhattan Project, dropping of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; lingering debates over its use.
Lesson 43 - 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 problems. The Containment Doctrine; the Marshall Plan. Mobilization at home and creation of NATO. American society and politics after the War: GI bill, Fair Deal, Taft-Harley Labor Act .
Lesson 44 - The Cold War II
Election of 1948. Fair Deal revised. The Korean War. The crusade against subversion: Alger Hiss, the Rosenberg Case, McCarthyism
Lesson 45 - The Affluent Society
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 expectations.
Lesson 46 - 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, and the Cold War continued.
Lesson 47 - 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.
Lesson 48 - 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.
Lesson 49 - The Crisis of Authority I
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 new feminism. Environmentalist efforts.
Lesson 50 - The Crisis of Authority II
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, changes in the Supreme Court, troubled economy, problems with OPEC. Watergate crisis; Nixon’s resignation.
Lesson 51 - From the “Age of Limits” to the Age of Reagan
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 right: the sunbelt and its politics, religious revivalism, tax revolt. The campaign of 1980. The “Reagan revolution: “supply-side” economics, fiscal crisis, international relations, election of 1984. Waning of the Cold War. The Bush presidency; the Gulf War.
Lesson 52 - The Age of Globalization
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, downturn in 2000s. Globalization and its perils. Changing society A new era?.