< Return to DVD Main List

Home   |   Historical Documents   |   Video Resource Guides   |   Contact Information

The following is for owners of the DVD Edition of THE AMERICAN TESTIMONY. 

The New Nation and Its Constitution (1787-1824)


1.        THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION (14 minutes, 41 seconds).  Reviews the problems that called for a more effective government, and covers primary events that took place within the Constitutional Convention of 1787, with insights into the role of federal government under the Constitution.

2.       RATIFICATION (10 minutes, 41 seconds).  Recounts the difficulties in getting states to approve the Constitution, leading to the authoring of the Federalist Papers and the drafting of the Bill of Rights.

3.        THE WASHINGTON ADMINISTRATION (17 minutes, 56 seconds).  Examines George Washington’s development of the executive branch of government and Alexander Hamilton’s solution to the nationwide financial crisis, amidst Thomas Jefferson’s efforts to limit the powers of federal government.  Also included is the impact of the French Revolution on American foreign policy (culminating in Jay's Treaty with Great Britain and Pinckney's Treaty with Spain).  The segment concludes with the federal government's handling of domestic fights, such as the Whiskey Rebellion and the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

4.       RATIONALISM AND REVIVAL  (14 minutes, 14 seconds).  Recounts the presidency of John Adams, including the XYZ Affair, the quasi-war with France, the Alien and Sedition Acts, the transfer of the nation’s capital from Philadelphia to Washington City, the stormy election of 1800, and Adams’ “midnight appointments” to the federal judiciary.  This is followed by the election of Thomas Jefferson, occurring at a time of philosophical change and spiritual revival (via the Second Great Awakening).

5.       THE JEFFERSON YEARS  (17 minutes, 41 seconds).  Encompasses such events as the Marbury v. Madison case, the Barbary War, the Louisiana Purchase, the Hamilton-Burr duel,  the Aaron Burr trial, the Lewis and Clark expeditions, and the journeys of Zebulon Pike.  Also presented in this segment are the Yazoo land controversy, France’s war with Great Britain, the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, British “impressment” of American seamen, and the beginning of the anti-slavery movement.

6.        JAMES MADISON AND THE WAR OF 1812  (18 minutes, 47 seconds).  Covers the diplomatic betrayal by France's Napoleon Bonaparte,  the Indian revolt in the Louisiana Territory, the Battle of Tippecanoe, the escalation of British troops at the Canadian border, and America’s declaration of war against Great Britain.  A chronology of the War of 1812 follows, including the Constitution-Guerriere sea battle, the defeat of the USS Chesapeake,  British occupation of Detroit and Fort Dearborn (Chicago), and the Battle of Lake Erie, the British capture of Fort Niagara, the Battles of Plattsburg and Horseshoe Bend, Andrew Jackson’s capture of Pensacola, the British invasion of Washington, DC  (with the burning of the White House and Capitol), the American defense of Fort McHenry (where Francis Scott Key penned “The Star-Spangled Banner”), and the Treaty of Ghent.

7.        THE MORAL VICTORY (14 minutes, 43 seconds).  Provides an account of Andrew Jackson’s overwhelming victory over British forces at the Battle of New Orleans, as well as the defeat of Barbary Pirates; followed by the postwar "Era of Good Feelings" in America, facilitated by the growth of textile industries, the development of steamboat travel, the demilitarization of the US-Canadian border, the Transcontinental Treaty (in which Spain ceded Florida to the US), the issuance of the Monroe Doctrine against further European interference in the Americas, and the rapid addition of new states to the union.

< Return to DVD Main List

Home   |   Historical Documents   |   Video Resource Guides   |   Contact Information