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US History

Playlist: US History (1 of 15)

How Lincoln Changed the World in Two Minutes

Doug Douds

Why do Lincoln's iconic words at Gettysburg still matter to each and every one of us? Professor Doug Douds of the Army War College explains.

Garry Adelman

No American led a more eventful life than Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States and the Union Army's most celebrated general. Garry Adelman, director of history and education at the Civil War Trust, tells Grant’s amazing story in this inspiring video.

John Rhodehamel

There would have never been a United States of America without George Washington. John Rhodehamel, author of "George Washington: The Wonder of the Age," details how Washington successfully guided the budding nation through war and nurtured her in peace.

This video was made in partnership with the American Battlefield Trust. Learn more about the George Washington and America's Battlefields at battlefields.org.

Allen Guelzo

The period immediately following the Civil War (1865 -1877) is known as Reconstruction. Its promising name belies what turned out to be the greatest missed opportunity in American history. Where did we go wrong? And who was responsible? Renowned American history professor Allen Guelzo has the surprising answers in this eye-opening video.

This video was made in partnership with the American Battlefield Trust. Learn more about the Reconstruction at Battlefields.org. http://bit.ly/2NzppkE

Timothy Sandefur

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery, but through his own heroic efforts became one of the most influential advocates for freedom in American history. His journey, a tale both agonizing and inspiring, should be known by everyone. Timothy Sandefur, author of "Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man," guides us through Douglass’ amazing life.

This video was made in partnership with the American Battlefield Trust. Learn more about Frederick Douglas at Battlefields.org.

Carol Swain

Is racism enshrined in the United States Constitution? How could the same Founding Fathers who endorsed the idea that all men are created equal also endorse the idea that some men are not? The answer provided in this video by Carol Swain, former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, may surprise you.

Larry Schweikart

Was America once socialist? Surprisingly, yes. The early settlers who arrived at Plymouth and Jamestown in the early 1600s experimented with socialist communes. Did it work? History professor Larry Schweikart of the University of Dayton shares the fascinating story.

Joseph Tartakovsky

Alexander Hamilton: You know the name, but what do you know about the man? Joseph Tartakovsky, senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, details how Hamilton took a country with no past and envisioned its future.

Larry Schweikart

Religious tolerance is a given in the West. But it's a historical aberration -- an ideological revolution created by the Puritans and pre-1776 Americans. What was it that led to the religious tolerance revolution? Was there something unique in Protestantism and Americanism? Or would tolerance have eventually arisen elsewhere, perhaps in Europe? Larry Schweikart, best-selling author and professor of history at the University of Dayton, explains.

Brian Kilmeade

In this video, author Brian Kilmeade sheds light on the largely and unfortunately overlooked War of 1812. Kilmeade explains how this war got started, the daunting odds against a nation in its infancy, and the unlikely hero who secured America’s young nation’s future by pulling off one of the greatest upsets in military history.

Lee Ohanian

A new history of the Great Depression is emerging. One that acknowledges the role that government played in causing and prolonging it, and the constructive role that free enterprise could have played, if it were given the chance. In this video, UCLA economist Lee Ohanian explains how Herbert Hoover, widely misunderstood as a champion of the free market, actually turned what should have just been a recession into a depression due to his mistrust of the market.

Lee Ohanian

Did FDR help end the Great Depression? Did his New Deal improve an otherwise hopeless economy? Lee Ohanian, Professor of Economics at UCLA and consultant to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, explains.

Amity Shlaes

Americans today place enormous pressure on presidents to "do something"...anything, to get the economy going. There was one president, though, Calvin Coolidge, who did "nothing" -- other than shrink government. What happened? America's economy boomed. Is there a lesson to be learned? Award-winning author, historian, and biographer Amity Shlaes thinks so.

Peter Caddick-Adams

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in northern France. Their goal: to liberate Western Europe from Nazi tyranny. From a distance, it might seem that victory was pre-ordained, but no one felt that way at the time. British military historian Peter Caddick-Adams tells the incredible story of what happened on that monumental day.

Father Wilson Miscamble

In recent years, many academics and others have condemned President Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as unnecessary and immoral. Yet this interpretation relies on a poor understanding of history that both lacks perspective and ignores context. Dropping the bomb shortened the war and saved countless lives -- both American and Japanese. In five minutes, Professor of History at Notre Dame, Father Wilson Miscamble, explains.

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