This guide contains links to readings for the course as well as library resources targeted to a greater understanding of the initial contacts between European explorers, colonists, Native Americans, and displaced Africans.
Bubonic plague, starvation, maybe even cannibalism—such were the miseries of life in England’s Jamestown settlement, circa 1609. Four centuries later, this program explores the colony’s story with the help of dramatic reenactments and information on recent historical discoveries. Sophisticated forensics and archaeological methods reveal the contents of Jamestown graves, producing shocking evidence of hunger and disease as well as political intrigue and espionage. Viewers also learn how the Church of England has allowed the attempted exhumation of 17th-century remains—female bones that could hold clues to the Jamestown struggle and to the contributions of an unsung hero named Bartholomew Gosnold. A National Geographic Production. (51 minutes)
The story of the American nation begins with the founding of the Jamestown and Plymouth colonies, interactions with Native American peoples, the hardships and dangers that faced the colonists, the origins of the slave trade and a slave-dependent economy, and the tensions that developed between Britain and her New World territories as the colonies grew stronger and more self-sufficient. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. Part of the series America: The Story of Us. (60 minutes)
"Upon the boundless plains of the West I have viewed man in the innocent simplicity of nature," said George Catlin of the Indians. This program follows the path of Lewis and Clark, revealing the new lands through the eyes of artist-explorers George Catlin, Karl Bodmer, and Alfred Jacob Miller. Canvas and notebook in hand, they scoured the wilderness and returned East with the first glimpses of the frontier that would soon capture the world’s imagination. (57 minutes)
The drama of America’s unstoppable growth continues with wagon trains and cattle barons headed westward, confronting Native American Indians as well as the interests of the Spanish and French. Resulting increases in Westward migration and the discovery of gold and other natural resources are covered in this program, along with the rise of the steamboat and a new era of commerce and industry. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. Part of the series America: The Story of Us. (60 minutes)
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