The following is for owners of the DVD Edition of THE AMERICAN TESTIMONY.
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The American Testimony – Westward Expansion and the Roots of Sectionalism (1824-1850)
1. DAYS OF PROSPERITY AND RESTLESSNESS (20 minutes, 11 seconds). Explores the origins of slavery in the southern regions of the United States, plus Christianity's role in launching the abolition movement. The segment also covers the beginnings of industrialization in the northern cities, the westward migration of farm families, the expansion of trade in the west, the development of interstate roads, the construction of the Erie canal, and the birth of American literature; concluding with the hotly contested presidential election of 1824.
2. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS AND "KING ANDREW" (16 minutes, 15 seconds). Examines social reform amidst ideological divisiveness, encompassing events during the presidency of John Quincy Adams, such as Indian and states' rights controversies. The segment proceeds with the election of Andrew Jackson and his employment of a "spoils" system in making federal appointments. The Webster-Hayne Debate is also reviewed here.
3. UPHEAVAL (15 minutes, 21 seconds). Covers Jedediah Smith’s western travels, as well as the government persecution of Cherokee Indians, culminating in the "Trail of Tears," the forced expulsion of Cherokees from Georgia to Oklahoma. The segment also examines the changing religious landscape of the nation, and concludes with the chilling effect of the Nat Turner revolt on the slavery debate.
4. JACKSONIAN DEMOCRACY (14 minutes, 12 seconds). Covers Andrew Jackson’s abandonment of the centralized banking system and his stand against South Carolina’s 1832 threat to secede from the union. This is followed by Henry Clay’s tariff compromise, the assassination attempt on Jackson, and the publication of “Democracy in America.” The segment concludes with the war between Mexico and Texas. (This is a chronology that begins with Mexico’s sale of Texas land to the Austin family; its later attempt to drive American settlers out of the region; the ensuing Battle of the Alamo in 1836; further American defeats; Sam Houston’s turnaround victory at the Battle of San Jacinto; and the founding of the Republic of Texas as an independent nation.)
5. "MANIFEST DESTINY!" (17 minutes, 36 seconds). Segment begins with the financial panic faced by President Martin Van Buren after his predecessor, Andrew Jackson, issued the economically devastating Specie Circular before leaving office. Also included is the killing of abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy, the proposal for gradual emancipation, and the brief presidency--and untimely death--of William Henry Harrison, followed by John Tyler’s ascendance to the presidency. The segment concludes with Tyler's rejection Whig Party policies, renewed hostilities between the Brits and Americans at the Canadian border, the 1844 election of James K. Polk, and the annexation of Texas as a state (prompting a declaration of war from Mexico).
6. THE WAR WITH MEXICO (10 minutes, 48 seconds). Provides a chronology of the war, from the Battle of Palo Alto to the invasion of Mexico City, plus the subsequent Guadalupe-Hildago Treaty, and the development of the Popular Sovereignty approach to slavery in the newly acquired territories. The segment also includes the California gold rush.
7. ELUSIVE HARMONY (12 minutes, 39 seconds). Examines milestones in progress and inventiveness (including McCormick’s reaper, Howe’s sewing machine, Mann’s education reform, Morse’ telegraph system, advancements in mental health care, plus overall city street improvements, rail construction, etc.) in contrast to religious and political rifts over slavery. Also covers the Zachary Taylor presidency, California statehood, and the Missouri Compromise of 1850.
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