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

Secession, Civil War, and Reconstruction (1850-1877)


1.        MISGUIDED NOTIONS AND POLITICAL DIVISION (12 minutes, 45 seconds).  Covers the role of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in shaping public opinion toward slavery, the 1852 election of Franklin Pierce, Commodore Perry’s journey to Japan, and the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico.

2.       “BLEEDING KANSAS” (17 minutes, 35 seconds).  Examines the consequences of the disastrous Kansas-Nebraska Act, the formation of the Republican Party, the disputed election and ensuing guerrilla warfare in Kansas, and violence in the Senate.  The segment also encompasses the presidential election of James Buchanan in 1856, the Dred Scott case, the constitutional crisis in Kansas, and the bank panic of 1857.

3.        THE RISE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE SECESSION OF THE SOUTH (13 minutes, 1 second).  Covers the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown’s assault on Harper’s Ferry, Abraham Lincoln’s presidential victory in the election of 1860, the secession of the southern states, the formation of the Confederate States of America, the election of Jefferson Davis as the Confederate president, and Lincoln’s stand against secession.

4.       THE WAR BEGINS (13 minutes, 14 seconds).  Covers the Union loss at Fort Sumter, Lincoln’s suspension of constitutional rights, the Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), the split of West Virginia from Virginia, the failed union naval blockade of southern ports, diplomatic issues with Great Britain, and the Union capture of Port Royal Sound.

5.       1862 (17 minutes, 17 seconds).  Chronicles such 1862 events as: the Union victories at Forts Henry and Donelson, the Confederate victory at Shiloh, the battle between the iron-clad warships Virginia (nee Merrimac) and the Monitor, the Union dominance of Mississippi River, the Battle of Seven Pines, Congress’ passage of the Homestead Act, the Confederate victory at Second Battle of Bull Run, the Union’s turnaround victory at Antietam, Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, the paradoxical participation of blacks and Cherokee Indians in the Confederate Army, the creation of the Underground Railroad, and the Union defeat at Fredericksburg.

6.        THE TURNING TIDE (12 minutes, 58 seconds).  Covers Lincoln’s implementation of a temporary income tax to finance the war, dissention in the Confederate government, anti-war protests in New York, the costly Confederate victory at Chancellorsville, the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg, the Union victories at Chickamauga and Lookout Mountain, the organization of field hospitals, the successful Union campaign at Vicksburg, and the Union occupation of Chattanooga.

7.        THE FALL OF THE SOUTH (18 minutes, 30 seconds).  Recounts  Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address,  General Sherman’s march to Atlanta, the military standoffs at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania, the southern stand at Cold Harbor, the siege of Richmond, the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, the fall of the Confederacy at Petersburg,, and General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.  The segment also presents  Lincoln’s second inauguration, his assassination, Andrew Johnson’s Amnesty Proclamation, the Congressional persecution of former Confederate states, the establishment of Freedmen’s Bureaus for former slaves, Republican passage of the first Civil Rights Act (1866), America’s military assistance to the Juarez regime in Mexico, the implementation of retaliatory reconstruction acts on southern states, and the impeachment--but not removal--of Andrew Johnson.

8.        RECONSTRUCTION AND CORRUPTION  (12 minutes, 43 seconds).  Covers the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, Seward’s purchase of Alaska, the election of Ulysses S. Grant, the arrival of “Carpetbaggers” in the former confederacy,  the “Black Friday” economic crisis in 1869, the Tweed Ring scandal, the financial panic of 1873, the Whiskey Ring Fraud, the disputed presidential election of 1876, and the end of Reconstruction.

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