The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents

Season 1 Episode 3

A House Divided 1849-1865

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Aired Unknown Jan 16, 2013 on
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A House Divided 1849-1865
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America by the mid-1800s was triple its original size thanks to bold and controversial decisions by Presidents such as Jefferson, Jackson, and Polk. But with new territory came old confrontations. America by the mid-1800s was triple its original size thanks to bold and controversial decisions by Presidents such as Jefferson, Jackson, and Polk. But with new territory came old confrontations. Slavery--the question that had been avoided since the country's birth--now had to be answered. Some leaders pinned their hopes on compromise, until one used the Presidency to defend freedom and the Union--at any cost. America after the Civil War was a traumatized country in desperate need of leadership. The President who'd seen the nation through its most divisive conflict was dead, leaving no road map for peace. Over the next three decades, a series of weak Presidents lacked any vision for the future and showed little interest in real leadership. Each successive man took a back seat to Congress and to captains of industry--and the Presidency hit rock bottom.moreless
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