American Revolution: Organizing the Continental Army III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: As he attempted to shape the Continental Army into a fighting force capable of engaging the British Army that was locked up in Boston during summer 1775, George Washington faced a series of vexing problems. His men were ill-equipped and poorly trained, but as citizen soldiers on temporary duty in this the first great crisis of the Revolution, they were resistant to the order which characterized a regular army. Troops and their officers talked to British soldiers they faced across lines separating the two armies, many slept away from their units, often they abandoned their duty before being relieved, latrines were allowed to overflow, the camps were messy, food served the men was often rancid and noxious, and soldiers were given furlough freely which meant that units were almost always undermanned.

American Revolution: Organizing the Continental Army II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In July, 1775 George Washington arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts to take over command of the Continental Army. He was concerned that the fighting ability and physical condition of his troops would prove inadequate against the British Army, representing arguably the world’s most powerful military force. He revered the way in which this enemy, indeed all European armies were organized and employed, but his experience with the Virginia militia had convinced him that he would never have such an army and his pragmatism led him to conclude that he would have to fight with the army bequeathed him. He could improve their discipline and supply, but could not turn them into the ranks of human machines British officers had at their disposal.

American Revolution: Organizing the Continental Army I

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: George Washington arrived in Massachusetts in early July 1775 ready to take charge of the Continental Army. He found a militia-based army that was poorly led, poorly trained, and poorly disciplined. While he was generally pleased with the American performance at Breed’s Hill, he and his troops faced a British Army numbering 5000 that was fully equipped, well-fed and competently led. It may have been surrounded and confined in Boston but it was still a large, threatening force.

Mr. Watt’s Slight Innovation

Lead: There was not much of an Industrial Revolution until a slight improvement by the Scottish inventor, James Watt.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Industrial progress is marked by long series of bottlenecks overcome by small but clever innovations. For centuries the main product of England was wool. First in raw form, cut from English sheep and shipped to the factories of the Netherlands, and later fabricated in English shops into simple woolen clothing. By 1700 the added popularity of cotton clothing created an opportunity. Already the machinery had been invented which could take raw cotton and wool and make cheap clothing for the mass market, but to operate those machines required energy. Primitive factories used water wheels turned by swiftly moving streams and rivers but there were just so many usable water sources around. Perhaps it was thought this first great modern energy crisis could be resolved by steam power.

Matthew Brady II

Lead: During the Civil War the images of Matthew Brady and his associates lent vivid reality to the horror of conflict.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having made his reputation photographing notable figures in the prewar generation, when conflict broke out in 1861, Matthew Brady went to war. Determined to make a complete record of the war, he hired more than a dozen photographers and sent them out as field operatives to mark the passage of the fighting. They used the collodion "wet-plate" process which fixed the image on a thick glass negative. This method required the subject to pose for only a brief period, but still could not capture action or physical movement.

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Scott Joplin II

Lead: Having reached maturity as a composer and fully established as a ragtime musician, Scott Joplin produced what some consider the first great American opera.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: By the first decade of the 20th century, Scott Joplin had become a celebrated composer and performer. His compositions were sold and played widely and his reputation as a performer was on the rise. During that decade he was also putting his hand toward his original opera, Treemonisha (1911). The themes of this work are loosely autobiographical though the story is unique. Living in a small rural community of former slaves, Monisha and Ted discover an abandoned infant under a tree and raise her as their own giving her the name memorialized in the opera. Like Joplin, her parents arrange for her to be educated by a white family in exchange for manual labor. The girl emerges from childhood to take a place of leadership in the community.

Scott Joplin I

Lead: Born during Reconstruction, Scott Joplin became a role model for talented black musicians as the Ragtime era blended into the Age of Jazz.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Joplin was born in northeast Texas in 1868 to a laboring family suffering the abuse that was the lot of blacks at the hand of whites humiliated by the loss of the civil war and the Reconstruction regime imposed by the Federal government. He grew up in Texarkana. His parents were musically inclined and insured his exposure to church music. This aroused in him an early hunger to perform, eventually mastering guitar, cornet, and piano. His constant practicing enhanced Joplin’s natural talent which was only enriched by his German-born teacher Julius Weiss, who was so impressed with Joplin’s prospects that he gave him free lessons in advanced harmony, sight-reading, and musical theory. Though he was being schooled in the music of Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin, his first love was in the syncopated rhythms of ragtime.

American Revolution: Stamp Act Crisis III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The author of the Stamp Act (1765) and the Sugar Act (1764) was George Grenville, but his time as chief minister was cut short. Apparently he embarrassed and thus displeased King George III in a Parliamentary dispute over the Queen Mother’s membership in a Regency Council set up to conduct royal affairs in the case of the King’s death or incapacity. His replacement was Lord Rockingham, ably assisted by his secretary Edmund Burke, member from Bristol whose sympathy for the Americans was well-known. The Rockingham ministry enjoyed weak support in the House of Commons, but perhaps its greatest accomplishment was the repeal of the Stamp and Sugar Acts.