48 TURNING POINTS
30 MINUTES PER LECTURE


1617 The Great Epidemic
1619 Land of the Free? Slavery Begins
1636 Freedom of Worship—Roger Williams
1654 Yearning to Breathe Free—Immigration
1676 Near Disaster—King Philip's War
1735 Freedom of the Press—The Zenger Trial
1773 Liberty! The Boston Tea Party
1776 We're Outta Here—Declaring Independence
1777 Game Changer—The Battle of Saratoga
1786 Toward a Constitution—Shays's Rebellion
1789 Samuel Slater—The Industrial Revolution
1800 Peaceful Transfer—The Election of 1800
1803 Supreme Authority—Marbury v. Madison
1807 On the Move—Transportation Revolution
1816 One Man, One Vote—Expanding Suffrage
1821 Reborn—The Second Great Awakening
1831 The Righteous Crusade—Abolition
1844 What's New? The Communication Revolution
1845 The Ultimate American Game—Baseball
1846 Land and Gold—The Mexican War
1862 Go West, Young Man! The Homestead Act
1862 Terrible Reality—The Battle of Antietam
1868 Equal Protection—The 14th Amendment
1872 Open Spaces—The National Parks
1873 Bloody Sunday—Ending Reconstruction
1876 How the West Was Won and Lost—Custer
1886 The First Red Scare—Haymarket
1898 The End of Isolation—War with Spain
1900 The Promised Land—The Great Migration
1901 That Damned Cowboy! Theodore Roosevelt
1903 The Second Transportation Revolution
1909 The Scourge of the South—Hookworm
1917 Votes for Women! The 19th Amendment
1919 Strikes and Bombs—The Year of Upheaval
1933 Bold Experimentation—The New Deal
1939 Einstein's Letter—The Manhattan Project
1942 Surprise—The Battle of Midway
1945 The Land of Lawns—Suburbanization
1948 The Berlin Airlift and the Cold War
1950 Tuning In—The Birth of Television
1960 The Power to Choose—The Pill
1963 Showdown in Birmingham—Civil Rights
1968 Losing Vietnam—The Tet Offensive
1969 Disaster—The Birth of Environmentalism
1974 An Age of Crisis—Watergate
1975 The Digital Age—The Personal Computer
1989 Collapse—The End of the Cold War
2001 The Age of Terror—The 9/11 Attacks

These are just four of the many turning points in the relatively short history of the United States—landmark movements that irrevocably altered the direction of the nation and signaled the dramatic start of a new historical reality.

Whether they took the form of groundbreaking political and philosophical concepts, dramatic military victories and defeats,
nationwide social and religious movements, or technological and scientific innovations, these and other turning points are the veritable backbone of the American experience. They forever changed the character of America politically, socially, culturally, and economically. Sometimes the changes brought about by these events were obvious; sometimes they were more subtle. Sometimes the effects of these turning points were immediate; other times, their aftershocks reverberated for decades.

Regardless, these great historical turning points demand to be understood. Knowing what these events are, how they came about, and their dramatic effects is essential to grasping the full story of this great world power. It may even offer you vital clues as to where America is headed in the coming years and decades.

Turning Points in American History is your chance to relive the most powerful and groundbreaking moments in the fascinating story of the United States of America. These 48 lectures, delivered by masterful historian and dynamic Professor Edward T. O'Donnell of College of the Holy Cross, offer you a different perspective on the sweeping narrative of U. S. history. Spanning the arrival of the first English colonists to the chaos of the Civil War to the birth of the computer age and beyond, this course is a captivating and comprehensive tour of those particular moments in the story of America, after which the nation would never be the same again.

DESCRIPTION OF TURNING POINTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY

The following comes from the Teaching Co. website (click to go there)

1777: The colonial victory over British troops at the Battle of Saratoga persuades France to provide financial and military support that will prove vital to the success of the American Revolution.

1862: The Homestead Act makes more than 600 million acres of land available to be settled, sparking the largest migration of Americans in the nation's history.

1933: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal launches a series of unprecedented laws and programs that will relieve the stress of the Great Depression and reshape American society.

2001: The 9/11 terrorist attacks spark a complex and controversial war against terrorism both domestically and internationally.

My Teaching Company Courses

DESCRIPTION OF AMERICA IN THE GILDED AGE AND PROGRESSIVE ERA

The following comes from the Teaching Co. website (click to go there)


America stands at a dramatic crossroads:

Massive banks and corporations wield disturbing power.
The huge income gap between the 1% and the other 99% grows visibly wider.
Astounding new technologies are changing American lives.
Conflicts over U.S. military interventionism, the environment, and immigration dominate public debate.

Sound familiar? You might be surprised to know that these headlines were ripped, not from today’s newspaper, but from newspapers over 100 years ago. These and other issues that characterize the early 21st century were also the hallmarks of the transformative periods known as the Gilded Age (1865-1900) and the Progressive Era (1900-1920).

Welcome to one of the most colorful, tumultuous, raucous, and profoundly pivotal epochs in American history. Stretching from the end of the Civil War in 1865 to roughly 1920, this extraordinary time was not only an era of vast and sweeping change—it saw the birth of the United States as we and the world at large now know it.

Before the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, America was a developing nation, with a largely agrarian economy; sharp divisions between North, South, and West; and virtually no role in global affairs. Yet by 1900, within an astonishing 35 years, the U.S. had emerged as the world’s greatest industrial power.

During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the U.S. went from “leading by example” and maintaining an isolationist foreign policy to become a major participant in international events, showing itself as a nascent superpower in the Spanish-American War and World War I.

Numerous other events came together during these same periods to create the U.S. that we know now. In a time rife with staggering excess, social unrest, and strident calls for reform, these remarkable events characterized the Gilded Age and Progressive Era:

Industrialization directly gave rise to a huge American middle class.
New and voluminous waves of immigration added new material to the “melting pot” of U.S. society.
A mainly agrarian population became an urban one, witnessing the rise of huge cities.
The phenomenon of big business led to the formation of labor unions and the adoption of consumer protections.
Electricity, cars, and other technologies forever changed the landscape of American life.

To delve into the catalytic events of these times is to see, with crystal clarity, how the U.S. went from what we now might consider Third World status in the mid-19th century to become the major power it is today. Knowledge of these pivotal eras also provides insightful perspectives on conflicts that dominate our contemporary headlines—from fears surrounding immigration and income inequality to concern for the fate of the environment—and how they were meaningfully addressed in past times.

Now, in the 24 lectures of America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Professor Edward T. O’Donnell of the College of the Holy Cross leads you in a sprawling, multifaceted journey through this uproarious epoch. In taking the measure of six dramatically innovative decades, you’ll investigate the economic, political, and social upheavals that marked these years, as well as the details of daily life and the critical cultural thinking of the times. In the process, you’ll meet robber barons, industrialists, socialites, crusading reformers, inventors, conservationists, women’s suffragists, civil rights activists, and passionate progressives, who together forged a new United States. These engrossing lectures provide a stunning and illuminating portrait of a nation-changing era.

24 LECTURES
30 MINUTES PER LECTURE


1.  1865: "Bind Up the Nation's Wounds"
2.  The Reconstruction Revolution
3.  Buffalo Bill Cody and the Myth of the West
4.  Smokestack Nation: The Industrial Titans
5.  Andrew Carnegie: The Self-Made Ideal
6.  Big Business: Democracy for Sale?
7.  The New Immigrants: A New America
8.  Big Cities: The Underbelly Revealed
9.  Popular Culture: Jazz, Modern Art, Movies
10. New Technology: Cars, Electricity, Records
11. The 1892 Homestead Strike
12. Morals and Manners: Middle-Class Society
13.  Mrs. Vanderbilt's Gala Ball
14.  Populist Revolt: The Grangers and Coxey
15.  Rough Riders and the Imperial Dream
16.  No More Corsets: The New Woman
17.  Trust-Busting in the Progressive Era
18.  The 1911 Triangle Fire and Reform
19.  Theodore Roosevelt, Conservationist
20.  Urban Reform: How the Other Half Lives
21.  The 17th Amendment: Democracy Restored
22.  Early Civil Rights: Washington or Du Bois?
23.  Over There: A World Safe for Democracy
24.  Upheaval and the End of an Era