The second episode of this series was entitled Westward. Here is what the description on the History Channel website says about it:
“Trailblazing pioneers set out to conquer the vast continent west of the mountains, but find the land already claimed. Wagon trains meet danger and hardship on the road to unprecedented riches in California's golden hills. Along the Mississippi, the steamboat ushers in a new era”.
I enjoyed this subject matter more than the previous episode – probably because it focused on more of the events I knew less about and are not over played in every history class you take. Some of the stories covered were:
• The Donner Party (which I had actually never learned about before – but I have a book coming up to read!)
• Lewis & Clarke
• Daniel Boone
• The Alamo
• and the California Gold Rush
I think this episode did really well at leading into next week’s Civil War. It did a decent job at covering some of the plight of slavery and the reasons it took off and the drama between North and South. I am particularly looking forward to the Civil War episode as I have generally skipped over this period because I hate reading about battles, but seeing it on TV might give me some new knowledge.
My few gripes this week have less to do with this particular episode and more to do with the series in general. First off, these Bank of America commercials think they are witty by taking a look at the history of banking, and initially I thought they were good, but they are starting to become overkill. I just can’t stand them constantly going on about how they were here and there and everywhere, when I’m pretty sure they weren’t. (And if my Aunt is reading this she will kill me for saying that!) Another thing I am noticing is that during this whole period of time we have covered so far, they have only mentioned presidents Washington and Lincoln. Again, I know it is needing to be brief, but it would be cool if some others were mentioned. They are looking some of the lesser known events and players, so why not spotlight some presidents that did good things while being less famous? Also, in continuing my rant on the choices of “experts”, I have only 2 words…P. Diddy? Honestly?
Don’t forget to watch Civil War this Sunday. Someone remind me please?
Here is a link video clip from one of my favorite sections, on the building of the Erie Canal.
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