John Wesley – I

Lead: In 1738 a little known and skeptical Anglican clergyman, freshly returned from a failed mission to America, encountered what he later described as divine assurance of salvation. From that point, John Wesley’s life was changed.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: John Wesley’s father was a pastor, rector of the small congregation at Epworth not far from the town of Doncaster in east central England. He was the ninth of thirteen children.  Educated at the Charterhouse School in London and Christ Church College, Oxford he assisted his father for several years and entered the Anglican priesthood in 1728. The following year he returned to Oxford to teach and there with his brother Charles and two companions formed a religious study group, which came to be known as the Holy Club. Their methodical approach to study and piety also earned them the uncomplimentary name, “methodists.” The group studied the Bible, visited and counseled prisoners in the castle jail, and distributed food and clothing to the poor. For this activity their fellow students hounded them, but under John Wesley’s leadership the group had modest growth.

History’s Turning Points: Ambitious Corporal I (Bonaparte)

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: the ambitious corpora1.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: French historian and romantic author, Francois-René Vicomte Chateaubriand, wrote of Napoleon Bonaparte, “the mightiest breath of life which ever animated human clay.” He can be forgiven a flight of hyperbole, but for the first decade of the 19th century there is little doubt that Bonaparte straddled the wide continent of Europe virtually unimpeded. He was the Corsican corporal whose ambition made him Emperor of the French and whose military genius and daring shattered all before him. Yet, perhaps it was not his conquests which were fleeting or his empire which faded at his fall which set Napoleon firmly astride one of history’s great turning points. It was the system of aristocratic rule that he wounded, the legal system that he established wherever his armies conquered, and the dark and vicious concept of nationalism that lingered long after its author perished on St. Helena. Those things transformed him from transitory tyrant to a figure whose influence approaches the eternal.

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John Wesley – II

Lead: John Wesley returned from America in 1737 deeply dissatisfied with his performance as a clergyman and missionary. He was seeking something deeper and said he found it in a heart strangely warmed.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Wesley was a typical orthodox, apparently devout Anglican clergyman in 1737, but his purely intellectual commitment to Christianity and his failed performance as a missionary to the colony of Georgia in the previous two years, awakened in him a powerful sense of despair and spiritual collapse. While in Georgia he had a chance meeting with a group of Moravians, a pietistic sect founded by German Count Nickolaus Zinzendorf. When Wesley returned to London he began to meet with the Moravians and in 1738 during a meeting in Aldersgate Street, had a spiritual encounter he later described as transformative. He recalled his intellectual conviction of the faith confirmed by a strangely warmed heart and a personal religious experience of grace.

Trial of Henry Ward Beecher II

Lead: Part of a famous family of educators, clergymen and activists, Henry Ward Beecher was charged with adultery in 1875.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Henry Ward Beecher was perhaps the most famous American clergyman of his generation. After pastorates in the Midwest, he served as minister of the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York for twenty-five years. Employing a casual, yet animated preaching style that drew large crowds to the church week after week, Beecher built a reputation as a powerful advocate of liberal causes such as opposition to liquor and slavery and the advocacy of women's rights.

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Trial of Henry Ward Beecher I

Lead: Religion was important in nineteenth-century America. Its influence was in no way better demonstrated than in the prominence of the Beecher family.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Religion has played a vital role in the shaping of the American experience. While the Founders created a secular state, it was in many ways the only choice they had. So prevalent was religion in its various forms that only a government that was neutral could possibly deal fairly with all the churches and sects that had established themselves in America even by the 1780s. The Founders were determined that no state church would encumber the tender consciences or drain the pocketbooks of those of the unwilling. The Founders were also painfully aware of the scars that remained on the European landscape after three centuries of religious warfare and intolerance. However, this official secular bias or lack of bias did not mean Americans were irreligious. In fact, the history of the United States is replete with examples of the powerful influence of religion over political, social, and economic life. Even in the late twentieth century church attendance and participation in America outstripped that of any other developed country.

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Gambling Comes to Nevada

Lead: Mired in the Great Depression, to create jobs the state of Nevada legalized gambling.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

 Content: Nevada was the last area of the continental United States to be explored by Europeans. In the early 1800s British and American fur traders crossed the territory and then returned to trap along the Humboldt River the late 1820s. After gold was discovered in California in 1848, thousands of people crossed Nevada on their way to the Pacific Coast. Acquired from Mexico by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, Nevada became a separate territory after a dazzling silver strike, the Comstock Lode, near Virginia City. The discovery brought thousands seeking a bonanza some of whom stayed and helped make Nevada a state in 1864.

 

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Samuel Tilden and Tammany Hall II

Lead:  The power of the Tammany political organization in New York City was broken when one of its former allies, Sam Tilden, joined the forces of reform.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Samuel J. Tilden rose to prominence as one of the first great corporation lawyers in America. He made a fortune representing railroad interests in New York and his ambition carried him to the chairmanship of the New York State Democratic Committee, a term as governor of New York, and to the threshold of the White House.

 

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Samuel Tilden and Tammany Hall I

Lead: Sam Tilden, who lost the most controversial election in United States history, made his reputation helping destroy the power of Tammany Hall.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content:  In 1876 Samuel J. Tilden won the popular vote in the Presidential election but lost the Electoral vote after furious maneuvering in the Congress. He got to that pinnacle by helping to clean up corruption in New York. During the middle decades of the nineteenth century, Empire State politics was dominated by Tammany Hall. The Society of Tammany was a working class political club in the City of New York and had been a force in that state's politics since the years just after the American Revolution. Tammany helped promote the political ambitions of Aaron Burr who rose to be Vice-president of the United States but fell in disgrace after he shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel. By 1860 Tammany had enormous power over political elections and patronage in New York. The organization was dominated by William Marcy Tweed and his associates who were known as the Tweed Ring.

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