America The Story Of Us

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by cheesesteak, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

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    Anybody else watching this?

    I never cared about history as a kid. Now that I'm an old fart, I can't get enough of this stuff.

    I was surprised that tobacco was such a huge cash crop at Jamestown.


    We always hate it when the other side resorts to guerrilla warfare but it's interesting to see that our "patriots" resorted to it to defeat the Redcoats.

    I didn't know about the prison ships or the smallpox outbreaks during the Revolutionary war.

    Von Steubon was gay?
     
  2. sieglinde

    sieglinde Active Member

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    For some bizarre reason, I knew that von Steubon was gay. I liked history so I knew about the Triangle trade. Tobacco, slaves were part of it.
     
  3. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    I enjoyed it, but I've always been a history buff. My one problem with the show is that they really jumped from the early settlements to the seeds of the war very quickly. And it looks like:

    In the coming attractions they seem to be skipping past the creation of the Constitution into the development of the frontier. I also heard the do very little on post World War II history, which perhaps the producers take for granted most people know.
     
  4. luvmyhd

    luvmyhd New Member

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    Don't believe everything you see on the History Channel.
     
  5. sieglinde

    sieglinde Active Member

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    They are skipping the Constitution? hmph. Glad I decided not to watch this.
     
  6. DeDondeEs

    DeDondeEs Well-Known Member

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    Well then don't watch CSPAN for that matter either :D jk

    I enjoyed the show. It seemed to focus more on individual stories of key people, and small lesser known details of the big picture. So the show sort of assumes you have a general knowledge of US history.
     
  7. jschuur

    jschuur TV-holic, improving

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    Well, in their defense, the Constitution didn't come into existence until 1786-7, and the second hour of the show just ended at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. For all we know, the process of transitioning from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution might get some coverage in the next episode (although the preview and episode guide don't suggest that).

    I suspect though (based on the tagline 'A story of us'), that they're skipping some of the more obvious events and public figures for individual stories, much like Zinn's a People's History of the United States. Franklin, Jefferson and Adams all barely get a few mentions e.g..
     
  8. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    You're probably right....and that's cool. It just seems a bit odd that it's probably the next KEY part of American History. And with all the discussion about what is Constitutional these days it would have been interesting to have a bit about it. But they still may.

    In last week's they completely skipped over the French and Indian War, which played a HUGE role in setting up the revolution. One of the King's reasons for starting to increase the tax load on the colonists was to pay for the war, that in theory, was fought to protect the colonists interests. Not a single mention of this fact.

    Of course the show is probably not intended for someone who knows a lot of details about American History but to those who are into interesting stories about how we got here.
     
  9. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

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    I kind of accept that they're jumping around and trying to make you connect with certain people they call out by name.

    But would it have killed them to have show half compentant red-coats?
    Not the fact that they got chased back to Boston, obviously that's history. But I doubt any British army would be so sloppy as to stand strung out with random spacing firing such ragged attempts at volleys. (Smoothbore musket battles had a lot to do with moral and a good tight volley with everyone firing together, sounding like a sharp crack of thunder, demoralises your opponents and give confidence to your soldiers. There's so much gunsmoke you can't really see anything so sound really all a common solder perceive)


    Or to clarify how they catigorized 9/11 as a bigger attack than a 400 ship armada? Possibly the death toll was higher, but that's not usually how you catagorize attack sizes.
     
  10. BK89

    BK89 New Member

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    Yeah, I thought the call out to September 11th was unneccesary. "It was the largest attack on New York until September 11th, 2001"!!! :eek:
     
  11. wendiness1

    wendiness1 WiiMomma

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    Likewise, I didn't care a bit about history when I was high school. Today my history teacher would be astonished.
     
  12. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    Why?
     
  13. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

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    Because unlike "the biggest British fleet until D-day" it wasn't a useful point of reference.
    There were lots of British fleets, and a number of invasions, between New York and D-day (but the same can't be said for attacks on NYC) so "largest invasion" helps give you a sense of the scale of the thing.

    It sounded weird and out of place to say 400 ships and thousands of soldiers were smaller than a pair of mid-sized jetlinerliners.
    (Again they may have meant in terms of casualties, or cost of property damage, or pychological damage, or something else; they should have phrased it clearly so you knew what the point of the comparison was)
     
  14. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday I finished watching the 1st and 2nd episode and I have a few more nitpicks.

    They implied that rifles were an American invention and failed to mention why the British still equipped their soldiers with smoothbores (possibly leaving the impressing that all the American forces were equiped with rifles, which was incorrect.)
    The Contenental Army was equiped with smoothbores for exactly the same reasons and the British. They could be reloaded many times faster. Rifles (pre minie-ball, pre-breachloader) required that you hammer the ball backwards down the rifling grooves taking lots of time and effort.

    Not a big deal for a hunting weapon, or a skirmishers weapon, where accuracy and range are much more important than rate of fire. But a crippling drawback on an open field of battle where rate of massed fire ruled the day.


    And in the 2nd episode how did they manage to miss the entire war of 1812 and give the impression that the US Army attacked Mexico in retaliation for the Alamo?

    It's interesting, but they're skipping so much stuff it's pretty misleading.
     
  15. latrobe7

    latrobe7 Fine for real TCF Club

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    It's a 12-hour series, people. There is not enough time to include everything; in order to give depth to any of the stories their telling, other stuff will be left out. They couldn't give a full and complete picture of the entire Revolution, for example, if they dedicated the entire 12 hours just to that.
     
  16. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

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    Little things intrigue me like the mention of Washington's spy network in occupied New York, the huge bounty on Harriet Tubman's head, how the invention of the cotton gin expanded the slave industry, the trail of tears...
     
  17. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

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    And a lot of that I more or less accept. Or at least try to ;)

    I think the ones that really bug me are like the rifle, where in the same amount of coverage, they could have (much more correctly) described it as Americans adopting tactics to get the best advantage from their hunting weapons, rifles. (And put as a tactics thing, rather than a superior technology thing, I wouldn't have minded their omision of the cons of the rifles)

    Same for the footage of the redcoats at Lexington. It would have taken more off camera prep time to get the actors practiced enough to hold an acceptable line and fire a clean volley, but it wouldn't take more of the 12 hour run time.
     
  18. Supfreak26

    Supfreak26 Go Cowboys!

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    This is what I'm enjoying. I didn't realize how important the cotton gin was until watching this. I mean I knew it was a big deal but the impact really didn't hit me until now.

    This show makes me want to watch more History Channel for deeper stories on this stuff. Too bad all History shows is Pawn Stars and stuff like that these days. :(
     
  19. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

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    The History International channel is where they dump all of their realy history related shows. Even then, half of them are about Nostradamus or the Freemasons. :)
     
  20. tewcewl

    tewcewl New Member

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    I haven't watched the series yet, but I'm REALLY confused by some of the show times. Are all the episodes 2 hours? If so, why are some of them 1 hour long? Just want to make sure I'm recording it correctly so I can sit through and not miss anything.
     

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