The U.S. and the Union of Canada II

Lead: U.S. efforts to annex Canada in the 19th century helped focus the minds of Canadian politicians, often at odds on other matters, on the need to create a single nation state able to assert and maintain Canada as an independent and sovereign nation.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1867 Canadian statesman Thomas D'Arcy McGee said, "they [the Americans] coveted Florida, and they seized it; they coveted Louisiana, and purchased it; they coveted Texas, and stole it... The acquisition of Canada was the first ambition of the American Confederacy, and never ceased to be..." He was not wrong to be so concerned. Throughout the 19th century until the establishment of the Dominion of Canada, there was a real and present danger that the United States with its superior military, financial resources, and population might reach out to absorb Canada into the growing colossus of North America.

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The U.S. and the Union of Canada I

Lead: During the 19th century Canada gained its virtual independence from Great Britain and established a Dominion of the provinces. This drive to Union in no small part was compelled by threats, real and imagined, from the colossus to the south.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The United States and Canada have always had what could be described as a love/hate relationship. Particularly as the U.S. has grown in size, population, confidence, and some might say, hubris, Canadians of all languages and political sentiments have cast nervous glances southward to gauge the mood of their ever-increasingly large and powerful neighbor. Their desire was to protect Canada’s cultural and political independence. They were not wrong in doing so.

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World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea II

Lead: In the May 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea, Allied naval forces halted the Japanese southern advance on New Guinea and Australia, but not without severe losses, including that of the Lady Lex.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the great disappointments to the Japanese after Pearl Harbor was that the surprise attack failed to catch the aircraft carriers, Enterprise, Lexington, and Saratoga, which were at sea. This failure would return to bite them badly in the Coral Sea six months later, yet in the heady days following the initial success in late 1941 Tokyo decided to expand its ambitions by moving south toward Australia. The most immediate target was Port Moseby in southeastern Papua New Guinea.

World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea I

Lead: In what may have been the first truly `modern naval engagement, Japanese and American carrier aircraft fought over the Coral Sea in May, 1942. No surface ship in either navy sighted the enemy.Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Japanese forces sought to take advantage of Allied confusion and their own stunning success in the early days of the war in the Pacific. They upgraded their Strategic Plan to include strikes toward the central Pacific island of Midway and south toward New Guinea and Australia. Midway in June 1942 would prove to be perhaps the decisive defeat for the Japanese Navy in World War II, but the Coral Sea engagement a month earlier, even though it has been considered a draw, stopped the southern advance of the Japanese juggernaut and laid the foundation for the subsequent U.S. victory at Guadalcanal the following winter.

House Divided (Civil War): That Peculiar Institution III

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By 1850, slavery so dominated the national conversation that few national matters of policy could be discussed without reference to this peculiar institution. To mollify Southern demands, The Compromise of 1850 included a much more severe fugitive slave regime. Rejecting Northern attempts to provide basic rights such as habeas corpus or a jury trial, the law put the onus of proof on the accused escapee and then gave the slave no mechanism for proving their status. The law established Federal commissioners before whom slavers could bring fugitives to circumvent uncooperative anti-slavery local courts. If a commissioner decided for the slave he received five dollars, if he decided for the owner, he received ten dollars, presumably to facilitate the paperwork needed to remand the slave back South.

House Divided (Civil War): That Peculiar Institution II

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Constitution was clear. Slavery was a permitted and permanent fixture in American life. According to Article IV, escaped slaves even had to be delivered up for their owners. As each decade passed the South demanded and Congress delivered ever increasingly effective fugitive slave laws. Those opposed to slavery suspected, with some justification, that those in pursuit were none too scrupulous about correct identification of slaves, often grabbing free blacks instead or even bothering always to bring them before northern local courts to press their claims. In a reversal of the normal regional preference for federal intervention, Northern states began to resist the work of slave catchers and their federal enablers, passing personal liberty laws. These laws gave escaped slaves legal rights and set up barriers to prevent easy capture and return.

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House Divided (Civil War): That Peculiar Institution I

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the history of the American Republic, there is nothing that compares to slavery. It divided the infant nation, at least in part provoked and sustained the greatest war in U.S. history, philosophically poisoned the national charter, retarded the economic development of one of great America’s regions and probably skewed that of all others, and dominated the national conversation for seven decades. It also complicated and excavated one of the important fault lines running through the American experience: the great debate over federal and state power.

Massachusetts Colored Regiment II

Lead: The opportunity for blacks to serve in the Federal armed forces during the Civil War was a novel idea and resisted by skeptical and prejudiced whites. Many minds were changed on the deadly slopes of Battery Wagner.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Getting official permission for blacks to fight for the Union was one thing, making it happen was much harder. Massachusetts formed the 54th Colored Regiment, in early 1863 but the Commonwealth did not have enough resident African Americans to fill it. The Governor, a committed abolitionist, issued a national call for volunteers and led by activist Frederick Douglass, who contributed time and energy as well as two sons to the regiment, the ranks of the 54th gradually filled. They were led by a white man, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who turned down the Governor’s offer at first but later accepted and was glad he did.

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