Films: 1800 - 1900
Browse the entire American Experience series featuring over 250 films. Watch full films online, download teacher’s guides, go behind the scenes, and learn more about your favorite films.
An African American civil rights leader, Ida B. Wells was born into slavery before becoming a journalist in Memphis.
In the White Man's Image : 1 hr
Schools taught Native Americans to imitate white men in a liberal "civilizing" mission in 1875.
Insanity on Trial : 1 hr
The trial of Charles Julius Guiteau, who assassinated President James A. Garfield, turned into a public battle over the meaning of insanity.
The 300-year saga of the American whaling industry.
Begun during the Civil War, the transcontinental railroad employed 20,000 men, mostly immigrants, who built the iron road with their bare hands.
Jesse James : 1 hr
America's Robin Hood who robbed not only the rich but the poor and defenseless as well, always saving the treasure for himself. Part of the Wild West collection.
Murderer, martyr, hero - John Brown's violent crusade against slavery would divide the nation and spark the Civil War.
The Johnstown Flood : 1 hr
When an earthen dam broke without warning, a small city in Pennsylvania was swept away in a wall of water over 30 feet high.
Journey to America : 1 hr
Between 1890 and 1920, 12 million people emigrated from Europe arriving in New York Harbor and Ellis Island.
In the decade after the Civil War, former slaves sing their way into a nation's heart with spirituals, the religious anthems of slavery.
Kit Carson : 90 mins
The ultimate frontiersman, Carson inspired popular novels before being associated with the "Long Walk" of the Navajo people.
Originally settled as a mail stop, Las Vegas changed from an Old West vacation town, to a mafia haven, to the "Atomic City" and "Sin City."
The quick battle with no white survivors that pitted Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse against General George Custer, told from both sides.
John Wesley Powell's epic journey into the unknown Grand Canyon was filled with adventure as his team mapped the Colorado River for the first time.
General Douglas MacArthur led American troops in World Wars I and II before being fired by President Harry Truman during the Korean War.
The first officially formed regiment of northern black soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
The Mormons : 2 hrs
From Joseph Smith's discovery of gold tablets to persecution, migration, and settlement in Utah, the film explores the history of the most American of religions.
Accused by a janitor, a respected Harvard professor was hanged for the murder of Dr. George Parkman, one of Boston's richest citizens, in 1849.
From Reconstruction to the 1960s, this film offers a portrait of New Orleans that reflects the best and the worst in America.
Engineered by William Barclay Parsons, the 21-mile, four-track route of the New York City Subway was the largest public works project in history.
The history of New York City and the people and forces that have shaped it over the past 400 years is told in a seven-part 14.5-hour series.
Between 1854 and 1929 more than 100,000 abused or orphaned children were sent by train to the Midwest to begin new lives in foster families.
Panama Canal : 90 mins
The most daring and innovative accomplishment at the turn of the 20th century.
The stories of ordinary people in the tumultuous years after the Civil War, when America struggled to rebuild the Union.
In the early 1830s, Texas, ruled by Mexico, held 20,000 U.S. settlers and 4,000 Mexican Tejanos, forcing residents to pick sides.
A look at the poor Scottish emigrant boy who built a fortune in telegraphy, railroads and steel, and then began systematically to give it all away.
Robert E. Lee : 90 mins
Robert E. Lee, the leading Confederate general of the American Civil War, remains a source of fascination and, for some, veneration.
The Rockefellers : 2 hrs
Head of the most powerful family in America, billionaire John D. Rockefeller's vast philanthropy changed his family's reputation.
Men and women, black and white, risked their lives to carve an elaborate network of escape routes out of slavery.
Engineer James Eads tamed the mighty Mississippi, turning New Orleans into the second largest port in the nation.