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  • Funding the American Civil War: A Revolution in Government Finance 1861

    Historical Spotlight examines the revolutionary financial methods employed by the Federal government in 1861 to fund the Union army during the American Civil War. We explore how a new monetary system was created, and the implications of borrowing, taxation, and money printing.

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  • Shays’ Rebellion: The American Revolution’s Final Battle

    Shays’ Rebellion: The American Revolution’s Final Battle

    From 1786 to 1787, only three years after the Revolutionary War, the state of Massachusetts was gripped by an armed rebellion as Daniel Shays and Luke Day led a revolt against the local government. Shays’ Rebellion has often been dismissed as a small and insignificant uprising by a rabble of poor indebted farmers, but historian Leonard L. Richards’ in his book Shays’s Rebellion: The American Revolution’s Final Battle presents a very different thesis. Following the rebels’ defeat, each man was […]

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  • Shays’ Rebellion: Epilogue to the American Revolution

    Shays’ Rebellion: Epilogue to the American Revolution

    Was Shays’ rebellion an uprising by indebted farmers trying to get their debts extinguished or was it a legitimate tax revolt? This video will explore what really happened in western Massachusetts between the years 1786-1787 and reveal how Shays’ Rebellion was instrumental in bringing about the U.S. Constitution.

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  • The Wealth of Nations: A Case for Free Markets

    The Wealth of Nations: A Case for Free Markets

    Adam Smith’s Revolutionary Economic Theory in Wealth of Nations In 1776, Adam Smith penned An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in order to discover the best economic policy a nation should follow. Ultimately, he concluded that a free-market system (in which the government had limited intervention in the marketplace) would lead to the most productive nation. Developing such revolutionary theories as the division of labor, the invisible hand, and freedom of trade, Smith successfully challenged mercantilist ideas […]

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  • The American System: Tariffs Part 1

    The American System: Tariffs Part 1

    The third plank of Henry Clay’s American System, and probably the most controversial was the protective tariff. This video will explore the economic, constitutional and political issues associated the tariff policy in the Unites States from 1789-1859.

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  • The American System: Tariffs Part 2

    The American System: Tariffs Part 2

    The third plank of Henry Clay’s American System, and probably the most controversial was the protective tariff. This video will explore the economic, constitutional and political issues associated the tariff policy in the Unites States from 1789-1859.

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  • Plunkitt of Tammany Hall

    Plunkitt of Tammany Hall

    “He Seen His Opportunities, and He Took ‘Em” The Blessings and Curses of the Urban Political Machine William L. Riordon’s Plunkitt of Tammany Hall compiles numerous talks that New York Senator George Washington Plunkitt gave in defense of his political career in the 1800s as a ward boss in the political machine known as Tammany Hall. While progressive reformers decried this urban political machine as a cancer on American democracy, Plunkitt presents the thesis that the machine’s existence is justified because it […]

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  • Benjamin & William Franklin: Father and Son, Patriot and Loyalist

    Benjamin & William Franklin: Father and Son, Patriot and Loyalist

    Sheila L. Skemp’s Benjamin and William Franklin attempts to disprove the opinion that because Loyalists and Patriots during the Revolutionary War had divergent political views, they can simply be categorized into two distinct parties: “good guys and bad guys.” Using the accounts of Benjamin Franklin (a Patriot) and William Franklin (a Loyalist), Skemp demonstrates how the distinction between the two parties was not so black and white.

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  • The Battle of Gettysburg: 9 Reasons Why the Confederates Lost Part 1

    With their loss at Gettysburg, the high water mark of the Confederacy was reached and hopes of an independent country were dashed. The question that historians always seem to ponder is how did an army flush with success and with momentum on their side lose this battle? Relying heavily on General E. Porter Alexander’s Fighting for the Confederacy, this video will attempt to answer that question.

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  • The Battle of Gettysburg: 9 Reasons Why the Confederates Lost Part 2

    With their loss at Gettysburg, the high water mark of the Confederacy was reached and hopes of an independent country were dashed. The question that historians always seem to ponder is how did an army flush with success and with momentum on their side lose this battle? Relying heavily on General E. Porter Alexander’s Fighting for the Confederacy, this video will attempt to answer that question.

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  • The Battle of Gettysburg: 9 Reasons Why the Confederates Lost

    The Battle of Gettysburg: 9 Reasons Why the Confederates Lost

      Historians have called the Battle of Gettysburg the turning point of the America Civil War. Since the end of the war, scholars have studied this battle looking for clues to reveal exactly what happened and why. One of the best ways of answering these questions is through examining the primary accounts of the men who fought there. Fighting for the Confederacy by E. Porter Alexander is acknowledged as one of the finest accounts of the Civil War. A Confederate […]

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  • The American System Part 4: The 2nd Bank of the U.S.

    The establishment of a national bank was a key part of Henry Clay’s American system. This video explores the controversial beginnings of the 2nd Bank of the U.S. to its final death at the hands of Andrew Jackson and his allies. The bank’s constitutionality and economic impact will be highlighted. Historical Topics Covered: Alexander Hamilton’s American System National Bank Bill 1791 Henry Clay’s 1811 Opinion on National Bank’s Constitutionality 2nd Bank of the U.S. Inflation and Deflation of Money Supply […]

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