Andrew Jackson and the Bank I

Lead: In 1832 President Andrew Jackson vetoed the bill renewing the charter of the Second Bank of the United States. His act was driven by principle and by pride.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the great dividing issues in United States history has been the proper role of the federal government in national financial affairs. It is difficult to imagine in the twenty-first century, when the Federal Reserve System is considered such a natural and essential part of the economic life of America, that there was a time when central banks, such as the Reserve, were the subject of violent opposition.

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Alexis de Tocqueville II

Lead: After touring America for nine months in the early 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville returned to France and wrote one of the most influential books ever written on American society and politics.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Democracy in America, Tocqueville’s most famous book, was published in two parts in 1835 and 1840. He believed the spread of democracy was inevitable. He hoped his story would help his French countrymen understand the democratic system. The book was based on Tocqueville’s interviews, observations, and personal thoughts. His was a brutally honest account acknowledging both good and bad parts of American democracy.

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Amistad III

Lead: Accused of mutiny and murder, the passengers of the slave ship Amistad faced a formidable array of opponents, not the least of which was the President of the United States.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After overwhelming their captors off the coast of Cuba in the summer of 1839, the slaves on Amistad sailed their ship north to New England. They were arrested and held for trial. Political pressure from all sides almost immediately began to engulf them. Abolitionists adopted them as a cause, supplied their legal counsel, and began teaching them English and seeking their conversion to Christianity. The Spanish government wanted them returned to Cuba for trial. This would have meant almost certain execution. President Martin Van Buren was up for re-election and needed the votes of pro-slavery Southerners. He wanted the case to go away. In the meantime, the prisoners with their powerful leader Cinque, had become a national sensation, provoking an outpouring both of sympathy and disdain.

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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.

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Construction of the Panama Canal II

Lead: After decades of delay, railroad cars carried tons of dirt. Steam shovels once again creaked to life. The digging had begun on the Panama Canal.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By 1905, head engineer and former railroad executive John Frank Stevens had eliminated the threats of disease and constructed a world-class railroad to carry men to the job and dirt away from the site. He had the whole operation running at peak efficiency, but he faced the political problem of Congressional inaction.

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Convicts Arrive at Botany Bay II

Lead: Beginning in 1787, Britain began transporting convicts from overflowing prisons 10,000 miles to Sydney Cove in eastern Australia. A modern state was built on convict labor.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Crowded prisons was just one reason why Britain chose the Southern Pacific colony of New South Wales. After rejecting West Africa, Jamaica and Nova Scotia as impractical, the government settled on Australia after considering the description of a visit to the island continent by Captain James Cook eighteen years before. The mild climate, good soil and well-protected harbors seemed ideal for permanent settlement. In addition, Australia had the benefit of providing Britain with a strategic outpost in a region where it had had little military presence.

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Andrew Jackson and the Bank III

Lead: With his veto of the charter renewal of the Bank of the United States in 1832, Andrew Jackson delayed the establishment of a U.S. central bank until the early 20th century.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The battle over the bank was emotional, constitutional, but above all, political. Jackson’s political enemies, Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, thought the Bank’s survival was a winning issue in their attempt to defeat Jackson in the election of 1932, but he outfoxed them. The bank was popular with many businessmen, North and South, but among a majority of Jackson’s supporters it represented an assault on the old Jeffersonian idea of states’ rights. Also, the bank issued bank notes or paper money which was considered fake when compared to gold and silver, but most of all the Bank, headed by blue-blood Philadelphian Nicholas Biddle, was thought to concentrate too much power in the hands of rich, aristocratic, big city easterners.

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Nat Turner Slave Rebellion III

Lead: In the summer of 1831, Nat Turner, a religious mystic convinced that God had called him as a prophet, led a group of followers on a bloody rampage through south-side Virginia in the most serious slave rebellion in U.S. history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Nat Turner was a gifted and powerful, mesmerizing slave preacher. Nearly all his life Nat Turner could read and write. His owners from the early days encouraged him to read those portions of the Bible that tell slaves to live lives of dutiful and submissive obedience. Yet, he also read subversive portions of the scriptures that gave him hope that one day he might achieve freedom. By the mid-1820s, Nat Turner was attracting large groups of slaves to his preaching services on Sundays near Cross Keys in Southampton County or down near the North Carolina border.

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