Programs

Remarkable History. On Demand.

Preview the finest collection of classroom-focused video content designed exclusively for social studies educators.

Glimpse the Broad View of History

THE BIG PICTURE

THE BIG PICTURE is seminal events that created changed, sparked movements, and influenced the course of events that followed. It is top-notch history in bite-sized portions—edgy and inspiring and created for today's most critical audiences.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. When the bus reached its third stop, Ms. Parks was asked to surrender her seat to a white passenger. She refused and was arrested. The event inspired the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the first mass protest of the Civil Rights Movement. In turn, the Montgomery protest became the spark that lit countless torches throughout the South and beyond during the 1950s and 1960s.

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When Marian Anderson Sang

In 1939 the great contralto Marian Anderson was denied the right to perform at Washington's Constitution Hall because of the color of her skin. The snub gave rise to an outpouring of support and activism that drew attention to the racial inequities in the nation's capital and throughout the country. Ms. Anderson's Easter Day concert is remembered as a historic milestone in the pre-Civil Rights era and inspired future leaders, including Martin Luther King.

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The Negro Leagues

Jackie Robinson shattered the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947. But long before Jackie pulled-on Dodger Blue, black baseball players of the historic Negro Leagues were striking out Jim Crow. During the era of segregation, lengendary athletes like Josh Gibson, "Cool Papa" Bell, Satchel Paige, and countless others thrilled fans and paved the road to integration in professional sports and all of American society.

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The Fourteen Points

Following America's entry into World War I, in 1917, President Wilson sought to define the country's war aims and develop a plan for peace that would prevent future conflicts. His idealistic vision was outlined in a speech called the Fourteen Points, which he delivered before Congress in January 1918. It was a bold statement of American optimism that reverberates to this day.

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Securing the Republic

In the early years of the republic, partisan political infighting as well as external threats imperiled America’s experiment in democracy. Jefferson’s first election was called the “revolution of 1800”—while a real war (against an old foe) exploded in 1812. The United States survived and thrived during the era, adding to its territorial coffers and opening the vast unexplored land to the west.

Presented in eight video chapters:

  1. Federalists and Republicans
  2. President Thomas Jefferson
  3. Louisiana Purchase
  4. Lewis and Clark
  5. Prelude to War
  6. Tecumseh's War
  7. War of 1812
  8. Winners and Losers

Democracy in America

President Andrew Jackson’s 1828 election was made possible by a groundswell in popular democracy. While white male suffrage spread throughout the states and into the newly developed territories. At the same time, women, free African-Americans, and American Indians were disenfranchised. The era witnessed the further organization of political parties, and with it, such innovations as political conventions and party platforms.

Presented in seven video chapters:

  1. Era of Good Feelings
  2. Missouri Compromise
  3. John Quincy Adams
  4. Andrew Jackson
  5. Constitutional Crises
  6. VanBuren, Harrison, and Tyler
  7. Indian Removal

Expansion and Reform

Advances in manufacturing and transportation spurred a great economic expansion in the early 1900s. This fascinating process helped forge a national identity, but fueled growing regional tensions. The turbulent transformation spurred one of the greatest burst of reformism in American history. Countless reform movements reflected the compulsion of Americans to restore order to their increasingly complex world.

Presented in four video chapters:

  1. Transportation
  2. Economic Expansion
  3. Social Reform
  4. Abolition Movement

Manifest Destiny

In the first half of the 19th century, Americans pushed westward across the Appalachians, the Mississippi River, and the Rocky Mountains, en route to the Pacific Ocean. The frontier experience shaped the American character. At the same time, land hunger, gold fever, and the pursuit of “Manifest Destiny” resulted in the removal of many American Indian nations, acquisition of vast swaths of Mexico through the Mexican-American War, and a painful debate over the expansion of slavery.

Presented in three video chapters:

  1. Westward Migration
  2. Texas Revolution
  3. Mexican-American War

Growth of a Nation

From the dawn of the republic to the eve of civil war..Growth of a Nation is an all-new four-program series that chronicles the individuals and events that combined to make 1800–1850 a pivotal era in American history.

The series’ twenty-two video segments explore the formation of political parties, Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark expedition, War of 1812, expansion of popular democracy, social reform movements, Mexican-American War, and much more.

High-definition visuals—period paintings, engravings, primary source documents, early photographs, and graphic animations—cogent narration, dramatic music and striking sound effects combine for a powerful and engaging effect. Growth of a Nation establishes a new benchmark for video programs documenting this transformative period. It is unique in its breadth and quality and provides an invaluable instructional resource for teachers and students alike. 

Remarkable history

Brought to you by the those who shaped it.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson, whose Declaration of Independence sparked the American revolution, came to the presidency in the Revolution of 1800. So deemed because the contentious election resulted in history's first peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another. Featured in Securing the Republic.

Dorothea Dix

Dorothea Dix

Ms. Dix was a tireless crusader for the rights of the mentally ill and indigent. Lobbying before state legislatures and the United States Congress, Dix painted a stark picture of life in early 19th century prisons. Her efforts led to the creation of the first generation of American mental asylums. Featured in Expansion and Reform.

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in 1797 in upstate New York.  1797 as Isabella, a Dutch-speaking slave in rural New York. In 1826 she walked to freedom and become a noted abolitionist, exposing the cruelty and injustice of slavery. Sojourner Truth is featured in the program, Expansion and Reform.

Henry Clay

Henry Clay

Henry Clay forged a reputation in Washington D.C. as "Mr. Compromise." A skilled negotiator, Clay worked across the aisle time and again in an effort to prevent disunion and civil war. Henry Clay is featured in Securing the Republic, Democracy in America, and Expansion and Reform.

The Landmark survey of late United States history

America in the 20th Century

Eleven programs. Seventy-one video segments. More than eleven hours of potent classroom-focused content. America in the 20th Century is a standards-based tour de force, exploring the United States' exhilarating rise to world superpower. 

America Becomes a World Power

The United States was a devastated union at the close of the Civil War. But within forty years the nation would rise from the ashes to become a unified world power. From controversial expansionism, through war in the Caribbean and Pacific, tumult in Asia and troubles at home, the country experienced radical change on a course to world leadership.

Presented in seven video chapters: “Expansionism,” “Opening Trade with Japan,” “Purchasing Alaska,” “Annexing Hawaii,” “The Spanish-American War,” “The Open Door Policy,” and “Foreign Policy.”

The Progressive Era

At the turn of the century, America was a world economic and military power. Fostered by the fruits of the industrial revolution, it was a heady time for the wealthy class. For many others, life was fouled by poor working conditions, political corruption and social unrest. But slowly the populace began to demand the change, equality and reform that led to the birth of the Progressive Era.

Presented in four video chapters: “Early Voices of Reform,” “Progressives’ Programs,” “Progressivism at the National Level,” and “Limits of Progressivism.”

World War I

World War I was sparked by nationalism and a web of military alliances. Soldiers in Europe fought the first modern was as industrial-age ingenuity sparked terror in the guise of warplanes, flamethrowers and chemical weapons.

Presented in four video chapters: “Roots of War,” “The European Conflict,” “America Joins the Ranks,” “Supporting the War” “Civil Rights and Civil Liberties,” “Fear on the Home Front,” “Peace, Diplomacy, and Reparations,” and “Wilson’s Last Days.”

The Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties was a decade of startling contrasts. World War I was over, women got the right to vote, cut their hair and their skits, alcohol was outlawed, so speakeasies and bootlegging filled the void; Babe Ruth was king of the ballpark while Charles Lindbergh ruled the air; and just about everybody who would afford it went to the movies.

Presented in five video chapters: “Road to Recovery,” “Boom Times,” “Post War Intolerance,” “The Moral Question,” and “The Jazz Age.”

The Great Depression

It was called “Black Tuesday” - the day the bottom fell out of the stock market ushering in the Great Depression. Soon, soup kitchens and breadlines replaced the flappers and speakeasies of the Roaring Twenties. When the nation looked for leadership, they found it in the indelible character of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a bright and shining light in the darkness of despair.

Presented in four video chapters: “Black Tuesday,” “Welcome to Hooverville,” “The New Deal,” and “The Second New Deal.”

World War II

The seeds of World War II were sown in the dark days of depression following the first world conflict. While the United States chose a course of isolationism, escalating aggression in Europe and Asia threatened world stability. Without warning, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor pushed the reluctant nation into war. The bloody conflict would span the globe and trigger political, social and military repercussions that would resonate through the twentieth century.

Presented in nine video chapters: “The Rise of Nationalism,” “The Clouds of War,” “American Isolationism,” “War Comes to Europe,” “The Path to Infamy,” “America Joins the War,” “Achieving Victory in Europe,” “Achieving Victory in the Pacific,” and “After the War.”

Post-War Years

1945 marked the end of World War II and the beginning of the power, politics and prosperity of the Post-War years. The Presidency passed from Truman to Eisenhower and millions moved out of the city and onto the Interstate Highway System. The Cold War loomed, babies boomed, and the suburban family became the bull’s-eye of the mass market. Americans turned-on their televisions and tuned-in their car radios to hear the latest music fad: rock ‘n roll..

Presented in three video chapters: “Truman,” “I Like Ike,” and “Boom Times.”

Vietnam

Vietnam was the longest war in America’s history and the most divisive in more than a century. Even today, long after the fall of Saigon, U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia remains misunderstood, misinterpreted and misrepresented. “Vietnam” explores the genesis of America’s “quagmire” in the region - from the roots of Vietnamese nationalism, through a century of French colonialism and the First Indochina War, to the final tragic moments in the Spring of 1975.

Presented in four ten chapters: “Indochina,” “Two Vietnams,” “Quagmire,” “America’s War,” “In Country,” “Home Front,” “Tet 1968,” “Peace with Honor,” “Fall of Saigon,” and “Ghosts of Vietnam.”

Cold War

The Communists and Capitalists were united in World War II to crush the Fascists. But in 1945, with Hitler’s Germany defeated, the allies became adversaries. The world’s two great superpowers locked in a dramatic showdown over ideology, vision and freedom that would persist for five decades. Under the omnipresent threat of nuclear holocaust, the Cold War became the defining conflict of the twentieth century.

Presented in eleven video chapters: “From World War to Cold War,” “Containment,” “Red Star Rising,” “Reds Under the Bed,” “Confrontation or Coexistence,” “Cracks in the Curtain,” “Third World Wars,” “Kennedy and Crises,” “Detente´,” “The Evil Empire,” and “The Wall.”

The Sixties

In the 1960s, Americans embraced the liberal promises and programs of two presidents: John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Kennedy, the East Coast blue blood; Johnson the rough-and-tumble Texan, could not have been more different. Yet each embraced the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt and sought to reshape the New Deal into their own world vision. For Kennedy, it was the New Frontier; for Johnson, the Great Society. Each had its triumphs and failures, but together they redefined the role of the federal government in American life and culture.

Presented in two video chapters: “JFK,” and “LBJ.”

The Civil Rights Movement

In the middle of the twentieth century, oppression and racism were challenged by courage, leadership and a dream. The crusade for freedom promised to unite the nation and threatened to tear it apart. “The Civil Rights Movement” explores the dramatic quest for African-American equality in vivid detail, from post-Civil War Reconstruction through the revolutionary 1960s and the subsequent rise of Black Power.

Presented in ten video chapters: “Reconstruction to Redemption,” “The Road to Brown,” “Integration,” “Bending Toward Justice,” “Shock Troops of the Revolution,” “Freedom Rides,” “Confrontation 1963,” “March on Washington,” “Civil Rights to Selma,” and “Black Power.”

         

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Almost Painless guide to U.S. Civics

Newly updated and as candid an clever as ever... Co-narrators Harlan and Marie reveal the inner-workings of the federal government in a manner that is both informative and painless....or at least almost painless.

Five installments cover the three branches of government, the United States Constitution, and the election process. Harlan and Marie's playful banter establishes the perfect tone—spirited and engaging, yet concise and authoritative—that will undoubtedly delight students (and their teachers, too!)

Each twenty-minute program is packed with information and incorporates our almost painless review and a ten-question video quiz.

The Executive Branch

The executive branch is considered along with the legislative branch and the judicial branch to examine how each checks the others to create a balance of power. The program looks at the United States Constitution as the foundation of federal government and the concept of “We the People” as the ultimate authority. The system of checks and balances is examined in detail with various graphic and video examples provided. Additionally, the program explains how power is divided between state and federal governments. The creation of the executive branch and the office of the President is studied along with the powers and responsibilities that the office entails. We also look at the requirements of the Presidency, how he is elected, the process of impeachment, and the role the Vice-President plays in the executive branch.

The Legislative Branch

The legislative branch is considered along with the executive branch and the judicial branch to examine how each branch checks the others to create a balance of power. The program looks at the United States Constitution as the foundation of federal government and the concept of “We the People” as the ultimate authority. The system of checks and balances is examined in detail with various graphic and video examples provided. Additionally, we see how power is divided between state and federal governments. The creation of the legislative branch and the offices of Senator and Representative are examined, along with the powers and responsibilities that their offices entail. We also look at the requirements of their positions, how they are elected, the concept of a bicameral legislature, and the “great compromise.” The law-making process is also considered in a step-by-step analysis.

The Judicial Branch

The judicial branch is considered along with the executive branch and the legislative branch to examine how each branch checks the others to create a balance of power. The program looks at the United States Constitution as the foundation of federal government and the concept of “We the People” as the ultimate authority. The system of checks and balances is examined in detail with various graphic and video examples provided. Additionally, we see how power is divided between state and federal governments. The creation of the legislative branch and the offices of Senator and Representative are examined, along with the powers and responsibilities that their offices entail. We also look at the requirements of their positions, how they are elected, the concept of a bicameral legislature, and the “great compromise.” The law-making process is also considered in a step-by-step analysis.

The U.S. Constitution

The program examines the inception of the Constitution as it succeeded the Articles of Confederation. It discusses the importance of the Constitution as the foundation of a federal system of government and the concept of “We the People” as the ultimate authority. The articles of the Constitution that defined the three branches of government are discussed, as is the concept of “checks and balances.” The Preamble is explored in depth, as are the first ten amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments to the Constitution.

The Election Process

The program explores the qualifications needed to vote or become a candidate, including the concept of citizenship and how it applies to running for political office and voting eligibility. It explains political parties and their diversity and usefulness in presenting candidates to the public. Time is also spent detailing platforms that were significant in United States electoral history, such as suffrage. The 15th, 19th, and 26th amendments, and how they expanded voting rights, are explained in detail. The significance of the different types of elections are covered – including general, primary, initiative, and recall elections. The purpose of the electoral college and its role in electing the president is also clarified. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the involvement of citizens in each step of the process, such as grass roots campaigning and citizen involvement.

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The American Industrial Revolution

The American industrial revolution of the late 19th century helped to create the modern America that exists today. Industries such as railroads, steel-making, and oil fueled an economic expansion, while the rapid population growth of many cities, from rural areas and overseas, literally changed the face of the nation. Inventions such as electricity provided modern conveniences, while innovations in agriculture and mining opened up the west. Problems associated with rapid growth, such as pollution and overcrowding were recognized for the first time.

Presented in nine video chapters: “The Railroads,” “Steel Industry,” “Oil, Industry, and Invention,” “Agriculture,” “Mining,” “The Cattlemen,” “Urban Transformation,” “The Price of Progress,” and “Impact of an Era.”

Even More Programs

If it doesn't fit within a series, you'll find it here. Check back often as we add new programs to our standards-based collection.

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Media Rich Learning makes history and social studies programs for K-12 and post-secondary classrooms. We aspire to help students develop an understanding of historic events and connect them to larger themes. Our Streaming Room™ offers a curated collection of premium educational content.
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