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Clive Emsley, Lecturer in History, looks at the 13 colonies in America on the eve of the war of Independence and attempts to assess how "democratic" were their institutions. The film was ...shot on locations in the USA. Clive Emsley visits Lexington, Massachussette, where the first shots of the war were fired; Plymouth Foundation, a reconstruction of the puritan settlement established by the passengers on the Mayflower; Williamsburg, the magnificent eighteenth century capital of Virginia, and Fallsington, a small Quaker community in Pennsylvania. With the help of contemporary portraits and prints, he gives us a picture of each of the four main groups of colonies. Animated maps are used to show the relationship of the colonies to each other and the spread of immigration. Clive Emsley concludes with a summary of the forces that divided the colonies from each other and those that tended to unite them.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A202, The age of revolutions
Item code: A202; 01
First transmission date: 1972
Published: 1972
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:13
Note: There are 2 versions of this programme, the library holdings are indeterminate.
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Producer: Peter Scroggs
Contributor: Clive Emsley
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Democracy; Fallsington; History; Plymouth Foundation; Williamsburg
Footage description: Shot of map of Atlantic, South and North America. Shot of statue of American rebel. Clive Emsley, outside 'Buckraan Tavern' introduces the programme. Map of Atlantic seaboard of North America. Clive Emsley with the aid of the animated map indicates the normal division of the 18th century colonies into four groups. Shots of the facsimile 'Mayflower'. Shots of reconstruction of the Plymouth colony shortly after its founding. Contemporary descriptions are read over film. Over contemporary illustrations Clive Emsley describes the style of life and the commercial and industrial activities of the New England colonists. Shot of Plymouth court house (1750); Shots of Plymouth graveyard showing tombstones of 'Mayflower' passengers. Clive Emsley discusses the political legacy of the Puritans to present day America. Shot of map showing the southern coastal colonies; map of the state of Virginia. Clive Emsley describes the colonies briefly, principal characteristics of trade and commercial activity. Contemporary illustrations are shown. Shots of James River. Clive Emsley explains the predominance of the plantation society and describes it. Shots of Westover, large plantation ca. 1730. The planter's lifestyle is described. Clive Emsley describes the work force required to maintain the plantations; slavery is discussed and Patrick Henry quoted. Contemporary prints of slave activities are shown, voice over. Clive Emsley describes the dominance of plantation society-in political matters. Shots of Williamsburg. Using film and quotations from 18th century descriptions of Williamsburg the style of life of the plantation society is described. Clive Emsley describes Virginia's social and political pre-eminence amongst the colonies. Shots of the Capital Building. The political structure of Virginia is described. Shots of interior of the House of Burgesses. Clive Emsley now discusses the Middle colonies. Shots of Delaware River and of early buildings in Fallsington. The dominance of the Quakers in political life is described. Shots of Philadelphia in 18th Century illustrations. Clive Emsley describes the mixture of population in Pennsylvania and the friction between Quakers and Irish and Scots. He describes the conflicting attitudes of Quakers and frontiersmen. Shot of reconstructed log cabin. Clive Emsley carries on to describe the differences and similarities between the colonies at the time of the rebellion against England.
Master spool number: 6LT/70292
Production number: 00521_2302
Videofinder number: 2509
Available to public: no