America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era [TTC Video]

America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era [TTC Video]
America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era [TTC Video] by Professor Edward T. O'Donnell
Course No 8535 | .M4V, AVC, 2000 kbps, 640x360 | English, AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 10.86 GB

America stands at a dramatic crossroads:

  • Massive banks and corporations wield disturbing power.
  • The huge income gap between the 1% and the other 99% grows visibly wider.
  • Astounding new technologies are changing American lives.
  • Conflicts over U.S. military interventionism, the environment, and immigration dominate public debate.

Sound familiar? You might be surprised to know that these headlines were ripped, not from today’s newspaper, but from newspapers over 100 years ago. These and other issues that characterize the early 21st century were also the hallmarks of the transformative periods known as the Gilded Age (1865-1900) and the Progressive Era (1900-1920).

Welcome to one of the most colorful, tumultuous, raucous, and profoundly pivotal epochs in American history. Stretching from the end of the Civil War in 1865 to roughly 1920, this extraordinary time was not only an era of vast and sweeping change—it saw the birth of the United States as we and the world at large now know it.

Before the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, America was a developing nation, with a largely agrarian economy; sharp divisions between North, South, and West; and virtually no role in global affairs. Yet by 1900, within an astonishing 35 years, the U.S. had emerged as the world’s greatest industrial power.

During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the U.S. went from “leading by example” and maintaining an isolationist foreign policy to become a major participant in international events, showing itself as a nascent superpower in the Spanish-American War and World War I.

Numerous other events came together during these same periods to create the U.S. that we know now. In a time rife with staggering excess, social unrest, and strident calls for reform, these remarkable events characterized the Gilded Age and Progressive Era:

  • Industrialization directly gave rise to a huge American middle class.
  • New and voluminous waves of immigration added new material to the “melting pot” of U.S. society.
  • A mainly agrarian population became an urban one, witnessing the rise of huge cities.
  • The phenomenon of big business led to the formation of labor unions and the adoption of consumer protections.
  • Electricity, cars, and other technologies forever changed the landscape of American life.

To delve into the catalytic events of these times is to see, with crystal clarity, how the U.S. went from what we now might consider Third World status in the mid-19th century to become the major power it is today. Knowledge of these pivotal eras also provides insightful perspectives on conflicts that dominate our contemporary headlines—from fears surrounding immigration and income inequality to concern for the fate of the environment—and how they were meaningfully addressed in past times.

Now, in the 24 lectures of America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Professor Edward T. O’Donnell of the College of the Holy Cross leads you in a sprawling, multifaceted journey through this uproarious epoch. In taking the measure of six dramatically innovative decades, you’ll investigate the economic, political, and social upheavals that marked these years, as well as the details of daily life and the critical cultural thinking of the times. In the process, you’ll meet robber barons, industrialists, socialites, crusading reformers, inventors, conservationists, women’s suffragists, civil rights activists, and passionate progressives, who together forged a new United States. These engrossing lectures provide a stunning and illuminating portrait of a nation-changing era.

A Republic Transforms

In Professor O’Donnell’s description, “The Gilded Age’s amazing innovation and wealth created the conditions—and mobilized the masses—for the Progressive Era’s social reforms.” Across the span of the lectures, you’ll witness this historical progression through subject matter such as:

  • The Industrial Age and the Rise of Big Business: Follow America’s epic industrial ascent in the 19th century, the emergence of vast corporations and trusts, the making of industrial magnates such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, and the transformation of the nation into a consumer society.
  • Revolutionary Technologies and Social Culture: Grasp how steel, electrical power, mass transportation, and recorded sound radically changed American life. Learn about the conspicuous excesses of the new super rich, the lifestyles of the exploding middle class, and the phenomena of American music, spectator sports, and stage entertainment.
  • The Dark Side of Progress: Take account of the devastating social problems that followed advances in industry and technology: extreme income inequality and poverty, graft and political corruption, severe exploitation of industrial workers, rampant labor violence, and the ills of urban crime, squalor, and disease.
  • The Crusade for Rights: Observe how the clash of progress and poverty spurred far-reaching efforts to secure legal rights for the disenfranchised. Study historic activism for workers’ rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, and the rights of consumers, and uncover the early and often overlooked struggle for African–Americans’ civil rights.
  • The New American Woman: Track significant changes in the lives of American women, such as major increases in women in the workforce, new public roles for women, the dynamic presence of women in reform initiatives, and the remarkable story of the women’s suffrage movement.

The Many Faces of Reform: Study the astonishing spectrum of reform movements that defined the Progressive Era, encompassing:

  • the dramatic unfolding of labor organizing, labor/capital conflict, and reform;
  • urban reforms, from regulation of deplorable tenements to sanitation and social work;
  • historic political reforms, from the ballot initiative to the civil service system;
  • the “busting” of powerful trusts and banking conglomerates; and
  • the conservation of wilderness and the world’s first national parks.

A Fascinating Window on Momentous Times

In his teaching, Professor O’Donnell demonstrates an extraordinarily comprehensive and penetrating knowledge of the eras in question, together with a flair for bringing the human realities of the times alive through powerful storytelling. Among numerous impactful episodes, you’ll witness the monumental moment in 1880 when electric arc lighting first lit American streets, causing men to fall on their knees before what seemed to be “lightning brought down from the heavens.” You’ll relive the events of the heartrending Bread and Roses strike of 1912, the wealth-flaunting gaudiness of Mrs. Vanderbilt’s ball of 1883 (which cost six million dollars in today’s currency), and the storm of suffragist picketers who besieged the White House in 1917.

And you’ll encounter great personalities, whose vision and dynamism symbolized and transformed the temper of their times. In addition to luminaries such as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, you’ll meet the likes of saloon-busting reformer Carrie Nation, African-American rights activist Ida B. Wells, muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens, suffragist leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton, environmentalist John Muir, and Theodore Roosevelt, whose accomplishments in conservation and economic regulation made him one of the greatest reformers of the times.

In America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, you’ll contemplate profound shifts in American society that marked what is arguably the most significant period of change in our history. These compelling lectures vividly reveal the thinking, the struggles, the conquests, and the triumphs that made the United States the global force it is today.


  1. 1865: "Bind Up the Nation's Wounds"
  2. The Reconstruction Revolution
  3. Buffalo Bill Cody and the Myth of the West
  4. Smokestack Nation: The Industrial Titans
  5. Andrew Carnegie: The Self-Made Ideal
  6. Big Business: Democracy for Sale?
  7. The New Immigrants: A New America
  8. Big Cities: The Underbelly Revealed
  9. Popular Culture: Jazz, Modern Art, Movies
  10. New Technology: Cars, Electricity, Records
  11. The 1892 Homestead Strike
  12. Morals and Manners: Middle-Class Society
  13. Mrs. Vanderbilt's Gala Ball
  14. Populist Revolt: The Grangers and Coxey
  15. Rough Riders and the Imperial Dream
  16. No More Corsets: The New Woman
  17. Trust-Busting in the Progressive Era
  18. The 1911 Triangle Fire and Reform
  19. Theodore Roosevelt, Conservationist
  20. Urban Reform: How the Other Half Lives
  21. The 17th Amendment: Democracy Restored
  22. Early Civil Rights: Washington or Du Bois?
  23. Over There: A World Safe for Democracy
  24. Upheaval and the End of an Era

The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World [TTC Video]

The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World [TTC Video]
The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World [TTC Video] by Professor David W Ball
Course No 1227 | M4V, AVC, 2000 kbps, 640x360 | English, AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 11.01GB

Matter is the raw material of the universe. Stars, planets, mountains, oceans, and atmospheres are all made of matter. So are plants and animals—including humans and every material thing we have ever produced. Amazingly, this immense variety is generated by a limited number of chemical elements that combine in simple, well-defined ways.

Consider carbon, a relatively common atom with many faces:

  • Diamond: When one carbon atom bonds to four others in a cubic structure, repeated many times, the result is diamond, a form of pure carbon that is the hardest known mineral.
  • Graphite: In a different geometric arrangement, carbon atoms bond in a flat lattice that is among the softest known substances, graphite, which is used in pencil leads and lubricants.
  • Nanotubes: Loop a sheet of graphite, one atom thick, into a cylindrical shape and you get a carbon nanotube, a material 300 times stronger than steel with remarkable electrical properties.
  • Life: You would not be reading this if carbon were not an atom of surprising versatility, able to combine with other elements to create the complex chemicals that are the basis of life.

And carbon is just one element among roughly 100 that are the basic, indivisible constituents of all normal matter. They are the ingredients of our universe, and the science of chemistry tells us how elements combine and why the resulting compounds have the properties they do.

This physical picture of the world has taken centuries to assemble, but its insights are now available to anyone. No scientific background is needed to appreciate such miracles of everyday life as the bounce of a rubber ball or water’s astonishing power to dissolve. Moreover, the study of matter has led directly to such inventions as semiconductor circuits for computers, new fabrics for clothes, and powerful adhesives for medicine and industry. These discoveries were hard-won by scientific sleuths, but we can all sit back and enjoy the details—just as we delight in the solution to a good detective story.

The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World deciphers the mystery of matter in 24 engaging and enlightening half-hour lectures that are geared toward anyone with a curious mind; there are no other prerequisites. Your guide is Professor David W. Ball of Cleveland State University, a noted researcher, textbook author, and award-winning teacher, who has a gift for making chemistry beautifully accessible and engaging.

How the World Works

Starting with the fundamental components of the universe—matter, energy, and entropy—you quickly build your conceptual toolkit to include atoms and the different ways they bond to each other, forming molecules and other compounds. Plentiful graphics and animations help make these ideas crystal clear, launching you into the crucial mission of chemistry: explaining how matter behaves. In The Nature of Matter, you investigate the principles behind a fascinating array of substances, including some very familiar products:

  • Teflon: Discovered by accident, this long chain of molecules, called a polymer, is chemically unreactive and very slippery, giving it a multitude of uses—from non-stick coatings to leak-proof tape for pipe fittings.
  • Cotton textiles: Cotton towels and clothes are absorbent and comfortable because cotton fibers act as tiny capillaries, wicking away moisture by a phenomenon known as adhesion.
  • Soap: If oil and water don’t mix, then why does soapy water remove oil? The reason is the long hydrocarbon chain of a soap molecule, which is attracted to water at one end and oil at the other.
  • Gasoline: Liquid gasoline doesn’t burn easily, contrary to many movie explosions—but gasoline vapor does. It evaporates at a relatively low temperature, making it an ideal fuel for internal combustion engines.

You’ll discover that chemistry is a truly practical science, for after hearing the many examples that Professor Ball presents, you’ll be able to make informed decisions in such areas as nutrition, dental care, and recycling. This knowledge is even relevant to issues in the news like environmental pollution and climate change.

Delve Deep into Matter

Professor Ball takes you deep into the details of his field, explaining how to read the periodic table of the elements (which he calls “the most important, one-page tool in all of science”), why the electron shells in an atom are like a house, and the differences between a compound, a solution, a composite, and other arrangements of matter. Armed with this background, you’ll find that a number of life’s ordinary enigmas suddenly make sense:

  • Why does salt melt ice? In the lecture on solutions, you learn how particles of salt (the solute) interfere with the formation of crystals in water ice, giving it a lower freezing point and causing it to melt.
  • How do you tell a vitamin from a mineral? Vitamin and mineral nutrients illustrate an important division in chemistry: vitamins are typically covalent compounds, while minerals are usually ionic compounds.
  • Is car wax necessary? Water beads rather than pools on a waxed car, inhibiting the formation of rust. In chemical terms, the adhesion between water and wax is much lower than the cohesion within bulk water.
  • How do lizards climb up walls? Solved only recently, this mystery involves tiny hairs on the lizard’s toes, which stick to the wall through intermolecular forces, a phenomenon that has inspired new adhesives.

You’ll also study some extraordinary enigmas, such as superconductivity, which is the flow of electricity with zero resistance. Long thought to be achievable only at temperatures close to absolute zero, this phenomenon has been observed at higher temperatures in certain ceramics and other materials, raising the possibility of power transmission with perfect efficiency.

Why Matter Matters

Since prehistoric times, knowledge of materials has driven the development of civilization. The Stone Age was succeeded by the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the industrial age, and now the age of silicon—the element that is the basis of the semiconductor revolution.

What’s next? Professor Ball devotes his final lecture to future trends in the science of matter. Speculation about the future often feels unreal. But after absorbing the previous 23 lectures of The Nature of Matter, you will know enough to form your own opinions. Is nanotechnology around the corner? Will 3-D printing take off in spectacular new directions? Can we adapt the secrets of spider silk, barnacle glue, and other remarkable biomaterials for our own uses?

It all depends on how we manipulate the raw materials of the world. Professor Ball notes that the “fun part about being a chemist is that we still have lots of combinations of these raw materials to explore.” And the joy of this course is learning from an outstanding teacher who is part of this exciting quest.


  1. Matter, Energy, and Entropy
  2. The Nature of Light and Matter
  3. A New Theory of Matter
  4. The Structure of Atoms and Molecules
  5. The Stellar Atom-Building Machine
  6. The Amazing Periodic Table
  7. Ionic versus Covalent Matter
  8. The Versatile Element: Carbon
  9. The Strange Behavior of Water
  10. Matter in Solution
  11. Interactions: Adhesion and Cohesion
  12. Surface Energy: The Interfaces among Us
  13. The Eloquent Chemistry of Carbon Compounds
  14. Materials for Body Implants
  15. The Chemistry of Food and Drink
  16. Fuels and Explosives
  17. The Air We Breathe
  18. Materials: The Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages
  19. Again and Again: Polymers
  20. Recycling Materials
  21. Resistance Is Futile: Superconductors
  22. Resistance Is Useful: Semiconductors
  23. Out of Many, One: Composites
  24. The Future of Materials

History of Freedom [TTC Video]

History of Freedom [TTC Video]
History of Freedom [TTC Video] by Professor J Rufus Fears
Course No 480 | AVI, XviD, 547 kbps, 640x432 | English, MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.49 GB

It can be argued that one simple idea—the concept of freedom—has been the driving force of Western civilization and may be the most influential intellectual force the world has ever known. But what is freedom, exactly? Join historian and classical scholar J. Rufus Fears as he tells freedom's dramatic story from ancient Greece to our own day, exploring a concept so close to us we may never have considered it with the thoroughness it deserves.

  • Delve Into the Meaning of Human Freedom
  • What did freedom mean to Abraham Lincoln—or to Robert E. Lee? To Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, or Martin Luther King?

What does it mean to us today?

Indeed, to consider freedom is to ask questions. Many questions.

  • What does it take to be free, to have and to hold liberty?
  • What moral questions did freedom raise for our forebears?
  • What questions does it raise for us?
  • What role do the liberal arts and the world of the intellect play in the life of a free society or a free individual?
  • What does democracy have to do with freedom?
  • Can a democratic politician be a statesman?
  • How should we understand the relationship among freedom, religion, and morality?
  • Is there a dichotomy between public and private morality in a free society?

You ponder these questions and more in this moving and provocative course, brought to you by a teacher whose 15 awards for outstanding teaching include three-time recognition as University of Oklahoma Professor of the Year.

Professor Fears combines a fine actor's captivating presence, superb timing, and feel for the telling anecdote with the broad and humane learning of a seasoned classics scholar.

A History of Real People and Real Events

A firm premise of the course is that history is made by great individuals and great events, not by anonymous social and economic forces.

In fact, Professor Fears opens the course not with a dry presentation of liberty's philosophical requirements but by plunging you into the chaos of the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C.

This was the seminal event in the history of freedom, with 9,000 citizen-soldiers of Athens defeating the much larger and better-equipped army of the Persian king Darius and thwarting his attempt to subjugate Greece.

This battle highlights dramatically the contrast between the political liberty of the Greek city-states and the absolutism of the monarchies of the ancient Near East.

It also highlights Professor Fears's approach to this course, as he focuses your engagement with the history of freedom on six seed times of liberty, along with the great people and events that helped shape the character of each.

Six Crucial Epochs, Revealed in Riveting Detail

With Professor Fears guiding and informing your thinking, you explore:

  • the birth of the idea of freedom in Greece and the story of the world's first democracy the Athens of Pericles, Socrates, and Sophocles
  • the status and meaning of freedom in both the Roman Republic and the Empire, and the new forms of liberty that flowered from the Roman legacy
  • the role of Jesus, Saint Paul, and Christianity in that flowering of freedom, and the Christian view of the true meaning of human liberation
  • the American colonies' resistance to British rule and their decision to declare their independence
  • the debates about freedom that informed the framing and ratification of the United States Constitution and its awful testing on the battlefields of the Civil War
  • the struggles of free peoples against domestic injustices and foreign dictatorships during the 20th century and the questions about freedom we still face as we enter the 21st .

Informed by Thousands of Years of Thought

To illustrate thought-provoking accounts of freedom's triumphs and travails, Professor Fears draws on Sophocles, Aristotle, Cicero, Paul, the English common-law tradition, Machiavelli, Lincoln, and the American Founders.

And he includes such towering intellectual champions of English-speaking liberalism as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Lord Acton.

To clothe this impressive framework of analysis with the stuff of real history, Professor Fears brings to life critical episodes within each key period, explaining what was at stake each time.

  • You witness the outnumbered Greeks charging the Persians at Marathon, the Minutemen challenging the redcoats at Lexington, and Lee and later Lincoln surveying the great battlefield of Gettysburg.
  • You compare the trials of Socrates and Jesus, witness the signing of the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence, and study the debate over the U.S. Constitution.
  • You recapture the confidence and buoyancy of Franklin Roosevelt's swift response to the Great Depression.
  • And you thrill to Winston Churchill's bulldog defiance as he and his island nation stand alone defending freedom and humanity against Hitler's war machine.
  • To cap this extraordinary series, Professor Fears steers your thoughts to the Cold War and the remarkable march toward freedom witnessed by the last decade of the 20th century.

A Look Ahead—and a Cautionary Note

Professor Fears closes with a look at the future and a word of warning.

"Americans entered the 21st century convinced that we are the only superpower and that the innovations of science, technology, and industry have opened a new era of individual liberty, prosperity, and peace. It should be remembered that Europeans entered the 20th century under similar delusions.

"This course of lectures ends on a cautionary note, one that was already voiced in the Athenian democracy of the 5 th century B.C.

"Excessive individualism is not liberty but, rather, license. There can ultimately be no separation between public and private morality. A democratic society can survive only if its citizens have a shared set of moral and political values.

"Excessive prosperity can lead to that public apathy about politics which is the death knell of liberty.

"In the end, the true test of a free society is its ability to produce leaders of ability, vision, and moral character."

These lectures invite you to look at our nation's most formative idea from a fresh perspective.

Accept the invitation with enthusiasm and intellectual anticipation. Your perspective on politics, society, and history—or your place in them—may never be the same.


  1. The Birth of Freedom
  2. Athenian Democracy
  3. Athens—Freedom and Cultural Creativity
  4. Athenian Tragedy—Education for Freedom
  5. Socrates on Trial
  6. Alexander the Great
  7. The Roman Republic
  8. Julius Caesar
  9. Freedom in the Roman Empire
  10. Rome—Freedom and Cultural Creativity
  11. Gibbon on Rome’s Decline and Fall
  12. Jesus
  13. Jesus and Socrates
  14. Paul the Apostle
  15. Freedom in the Middle Ages
  16. Luther and the Protestant Reformation
  17. From Machiavelli to the Divine Right of Kings
  18. The Anglo-American Tradition of Liberty
  19. The Shot Heard ’Round the World
  20. The Tyranny of George III
  21. What the Declaration of Independence Says
  22. Natural Law and the Declaration
  23. Miracle at Philadelphia
  24. What the Constitution Says
  25. The Bill of Rights
  26. Liberty and Lee at Gettysburg
  27. Liberty and Lincoln at Gettysburg
  28. FDR and the Progressive Tradition
  29. Why the French Revolution Failed
  30. The Liberal Tradition
  31. Churchill and the War for Freedom
  32. The Illiberal Tradition
  33. Hitler and the War Against Freedom
  34. The Cold War
  35. Civil Disobedience and Social Change
  36. Freedom and the Lessons of History
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