Video Details

Biography of America, A

Grade Levels: 9 - 13+
Core Subject(s): Social Studies
Next Airing: Sat, Apr 27th, 2019 at 2:30 PM on UEN-TV

Availability information for this program

A Biography of America presents history not simply as a series of irrefutable facts to be memorized, but as a living narrative. Prominent historians -- Donald L. Miller, Pauline Maier, Louis P. Masur, Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Douglas Brinkley, and Virginia Scharff -- present America's story as something that is best understood from a variety of perspectives. Thought-provoking debates and lectures encourage critical analysis of the forces that have shaped America. First-person narratives, photos, film footage, and documents reveal the human side of American history -- how historical figures affected events, and the impact of these events on citizens' lives. To view all the episodes in this series for free, and on demand, go to http: //


  • New World Encounters

    Professor Miller introduces A Biography of America and its team of historians. The program looks at the beginnings of American history from west to east, following the first Ice Age migrations through the corn civilizations of Middle America, and the explorations of Columbus, DeSoto, and the Spanish.

    Next Airing: Sat, Apr 27th, 2019 at 2:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:27:10
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021
  • English Settlement

    As the American character begins to take shape in the early seventeenth century, English settlements develop in New England and Virginia. Their personalities are dramatically different. Professor Miller explores the origins of values, cultures, and economies that have collided inthe North and South throughout the American story.

    Next Airing: Sat, May 4th, 2019 at 2:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:26:40
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021
  • Growth and Empire

    Benjamin Franklin and Franklin's Philadelphia take center stage in this program. As the merchant class grows in the North, the economies of southern colonies are built on the shoulders of the slave trade. Professor Miller brings the American story to 1763 with the Peace of Paris and English dominance in America.

    Next Airing: Sat, May 11th, 2019 at 2:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:27:10
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021
  • Coming of Independence

    Professor Maier tells the story of how the English-loving colonist transforms into the freedom-loving American rebel. The luminaries of the early days of the Republic -- Washington, Jefferson, Adams -- are featured in this program as they craft the Declaration of -- and wage the War for -- Independence.

    Next Airing: Sat, May 18th, 2019 at 2:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:26:37
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021
  • New System of Government

    After the War for Independence, the struggle for a new system of government begins. Professor Maier looks at the creation of the Constitution of the United States. The Republic survives a series of threats to its union, and the program ends with the deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson on the Fourth of July, 1826.

    Next Airing: Sat, May 25th, 2019 at 2:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:26:38
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021
  • Westward Expansion

    At the dawn of the nineteenth century, the size of the United States doubles with the Louisiana Purchase. The Appalachians are no longer the barrier to American migration west; the Mississippi River becomes the country's central artery; and Jefferson's vision of an Empire of Liberty begins to take shape. American historian Stephen Ambrose joins Professors Maier and Miller in examining the consequences of the Louisiana Purchase -- for the North, the South, and the history of the country.

    Next Airing: Sat, Jun 1st, 2019 at 2:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:26:41
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021
  • Rise of Capitalism

    Individual enterprise merges with technological innovation to launch the Commercial Revolution -- the seedbed of American industry. The program features the ideas of Adam Smith, the efforts of entrepreneurs in New England and Chicago, the Lowell Mills Experiment, and the engineering feats involved in Chicago's early transformation from marsh to metropolis.

    Next Airing: Sat, Jun 8th, 2019 at 2:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:26:54
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021
  • The Reform Impulse

    The Industrial Revolution has its dark side, and the tumultuous eventsof the period touch off intense and often thrilling reform movements. Professor Masur presents the ideas and characters behind the Great Aw akening, the abolitionist movement, the women's movement, and a powerful wave of religious fervor.

    Next Airing: Sat, Jun 15th, 2019 at 2:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:26:53
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021
  • Slavery

    While the North develops an industrial economy and culture, the South develops a slave culture and economy, and the great rift between the regions becomes unbreachable. Professor Masur looks at the human side of the history of the mid-1800s by sketching a portrait of the lives of slave and master.

    Next Airing: Sat, Jun 22nd, 2019 at 2:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:26:57
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021
  • Coming of the Civil War

    Simmering regional differences ignite an all-out crisis in the 1850s. Professor Martin teams with Professor Miller and historian Stephen Ambrose to chart the succession of incidents, from 'Bloody Kansas' to the shots on Fort Sumter, that inflame the conflict between North and South to the point of civil war.

    Next Airing: Sat, Jun 29th, 2019 at 2:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:26:39
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021