How The World Was Won — Episode 2: Reason and Revolution
A Teleplay for a Four-Hour Episode of a TV Miniseries
Episodes dramatizing the life-and-death struggles of everyday people around the world bring to life the turning points of history, like the classic How The West Was Won, in this epic three-night miniseries.
- Episode 1: In the Beginnings
- Episode 2: Reason and Revolution
First Draft: December 9, 1989. Registered WGAw No. 424733.
- Episode 3: Challenges of the Century
Seq. 7: The Renaissance and Age of Exploration
NARRATION: With re-enactments, matte paintings, stockfootage, etc., we review the thriving medieval African city of Timbuktu and other Muslim empires (of the Ottoman Turks, the Persians, and the Moguls — builders of the Taj Mahal); the exploits of the Mongols, the tales of Marco Polo, and the isolation and prosperity of China; the growth of European trading cities in the late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance, the fall of the feudal system (especially with gunpowder), the emergence of national states, the persistent power of the Church, the re-emergence of troubles (as for Joan of Arc and from the bubonic plague), and the re-birth of classical thinking — the birth of Modern Times — in the city-states of Renaissance Italy.
STORY: In Venice, Antonio Pigafetta, a handsome young gondolier, falls in love at first sight with the golden-haired Maria, fiancée to the rich, older merchant, Lorenzo, unaware of their mutual attraction.
After transporting them to the docks at the Piazza of Saint Mark, Antonio escorts Maria on a shopping trip, as Lorenzo goes to settle a labor dispute. Browsing through the rich stocks of wares in the Venetian shops, Maria feigns indifference to the overtures of brash Antonio, who challenges her fiance’s condescension towards craftsmen and such lowly citizens as himself. Antonio takes great pride in his having educated himself in the arts and sciences of the day. Maria does appreciate his trying to better himself, and Antonio praises talent over money. Maria, however, defends such rich and powerful men as Lorenzo, for their supporting scholarship and the arts and making Venice the showcase that it is. Maria dismisses Antonio’s notions as unpragmatic romanticism. Antonio counters, asking if all Lorenzo’s money can buy her love. Alone in a vacant shop, Maria cannot dismiss the feelings he reminds her they both felt when their eyes first met. They kiss. Antonio asks her to go away with him, to start a new life; but Maria’s “spell” is broken as the church bell tolls — she hurries off to meet the unsuspecting Lorenzo on the steps of the Cathedral of Saint Mark, where, with a tear, she leaves Antonio. Speaking to one of the winged lion sculptures on the front of the cathedral, Antonio swears he will one day have Maria; but because he is no assassin, he knows he will have to wait. He decides to go off to Spain, where a bold mission is being prepared to go “beyond the New World.” Racing off, Antonio sends the pigeons in the piazza flying.
STORY: Antonio is among the crew of Ferdinand Magellan’s 5 ships, leaving Spain.
The course of the expedition will be followed via a computer-animated map.
In the Atlantic, the Spanish captain of one of the ships challenges the authority of the Portuguese Magellan and his loyal lieutenant, Sebastian del Cano. Magellan defends his navigational skills and strict discipline, condemns the Spaniard’s bigotry, defends his honor (despite the Portuguese king’s refusal to back Magellan’s expedition), and has the insolent captain arrested.
In their winter port in the wilds of South America, Magellan and his loyal men — including Del Cano and Antonio — confront a mutiny: Many of the Spanish men resent Magellan’s leadership and doubt that they will find a passage to the west before their food runs out or the South Atlantic storms sink their ships. Especially with the help of the Spanish Del Cano, Magellan’s loyalists are able to overpower the mutineers. In front of the hanged body of the head mutineer, Magellan vows to press ahead and find a passageway west next spring, even if they have “to eat the leather rigging”!
In 1519, Magellan’s 4 ships (One has sunk in a storm.) enter the Strait of Magellan — the men cheer. Soon, however, they are nearly lost in a violent storm. On a dark night, Magellan and his men, including Antonio, take in the eerie lights (from Indian campfires, unbeknownst to them) in Tierra del Fuego — one of his ships turns back. Finally, the 3 remaining ships exit the strait and enter the Pacific. Although some of the men want to go back to Spain, Magellan leads a celebration, stating that the “pacific” ocean before them will be but a small obstacle to cross to reach the riches of the Orient.
After 3 months at sea, Magellan’s men are in desperate shape. There is no land in sight; food and water are running low; and scurvy is ravaging the men, who are too weak to mutiny. Later, just before dawn, Magellan speaks with Antonio, writing in his diary, as he has since they left. The Portuguese and the Italian, among this mostly Spanish crew, share their feelings. Antonio praises Magellan’s navigation, even though the voyage is longer than anyone had anticipated, and tells of a woman left behind. When asked what keeps HIM going, Magellan tells of how this voyage is the culmination of a lifelong dream. He grew-up with tales of the sea; and as a young man, he served with the Portuguese fleet in the Indian Ocean. His friend Francisco Serrao wrote him about the location and beauty of the Spice Islands — a paradise Magellan swore to one day reach. Although he even sustained an injury to his leg in service to his country in Morocco, the Portuguese king, because of personal jealousies, did not fund Magellan’s proposed expedition to the Spice Islands. Studying, Magellan discovered the islands to actually have been awarded by treaty to Spain, whose king he did convince to fund the expedition, via a westward route, which, however, has not turned-out to be the shortest route, as hoped. As Antonio relates the decreasing power of his city, Venice, in trade with the East, the sun rises; and the sailor in the crow’s nest cries, “Land ho!” To the joy of the feeble sailors, the island of Guam has appeared on the horizon.
STORY: In a seaside village in the Philippines, Antonio and the rest of Magellan’s men recuperate with the friendly and colorful natives.
Looking up from his diary, Antonio is enchanted to see the lovely Cebu, who places a pearl necklace over his head. Although she does not speak (They have different languages.), Cebu takes Antonio’s hand and leads him off inland. They walk together past a rice paddy and up to the top to the terraced hillside, where Antonio can see their ships anchored in the natural harbor and the countless other islands of the Philippines nearby. Cebu leads Antonio into the high mountain jungle, lush with exotic plant and animal life. They come across a waterfall and pool hidden in the jungle; and Cebu drops her clothing, dives in, and offers Antonio a gardenia. He catches a glimpse of a serpent in a tree of this paradise; pauses; and declines her offer, saying, “You are indeed as lovely a creature as I could ever hope to be close to. But my heart has been smitten by another. Though I will most likely never be with her again, I have sworn to the Creator of all the beauty around us — the One who has spared my life — to be true to my soul ... I have never truly known what love is until this very moment. Thank you, Cebu. That is a gift I shall prize even more than these pearls.” Although she cannot understand his words, Cebu smiles knowingly at his meaning. Startled by the roar of a tiger in the distance, they leave.
By the time they return to the village it is nighttime, and Magellan and the village chief lead a disturbing meeting of villagers and sailors around the campfire. Antonio learns that two fishermen from the village have been ambushed and killed, their pearls taken, by the natives on the nearby island of Mactan. Although the chief is reluctant to take revenge, Magellan offers his men, with “God on their side,” to punish the wrongdoers. The Christianized chief agrees.
On April 27, 1521, Magellan leads his men, including Antonio and Del Cano, in battle against the warriors on Mactan. Although Magellan’s men have superior weapons, the natives have superior numbers and send the Europeans back to their ships. In the surf, Magellan is struck dead.
The heretofore-friendly chief turns on Magellan’s men, denouncing their God as weak and their actions as provoking the Mactan warriors to later retaliate against his village. Exchanging a few shots and spears, Del Cano — now in charge — leads his men away in long boats: Antonio and Cebu each shed a tear. Later, Antonio reads back to Del Cano from his now-official log: The two remaining ships (One has been scuttled.) have taken on loads of cloves in the Spice Islands. One is attempting to sail back across the Pacific; but the “Victoria,” with Del Cano and Antonio, will return via the Indian Ocean — God willing.
After one more double-exposed montage — of the miniature of the ship at sea and the animated map of the voyage — the “Victoria” returns to the same Spanish harbor it left from, almost three years earlier: The ship and the men are worse for the wear, but surviving. Antonio remarks, “My God, the world IS round!” and the crew laughs heartily.
In a Venetian graveyard, Maria lays flowers at Lorenzo’s mausoleum. Antonio approaches her. Although she does not at first believe his tale of going around the world, he shows her his diary, published by the King of Spain! Maria admits that she was a fool to have thought that her dear Lorenzo’s money could have bought her happiness.
Antonio sits Maria down on a garden bench and reads to her from Petrarch’s ode to the love he waited for, “during the odyssey of HIS life”: “In what ideal world or part of Heaven/Did Nature find the model of that face/And form, so fraught with loveliness and grace,/In which to our creation she has given/Her prime proof of creative power above?/What fountain nymph or goddess ever let/Such lovely tresses float of gold refined/Upon the breeze, or in a single mind/Where have so many virtues ever met,/E’en though those charms have slain my bosom’s weal?/He knows not love, who has not seen her eyes/Turn when she sweetly speaks, or smiles, or sighs,/Or how the power of love can hurt or heal.”
Antonio puts the pearl necklace he got in the Philippines around Maria’s neck. They kiss. Fade out.
NARRATION: Double-exposed with a computer animated map, a montage of stockfootage and re-creations [supplemented with identifying graphics] presents the sights and peoples discovered and conquered in the voyages of the Great Age of Exploration — to West Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, India, East Africa, the Spice Islands, China, Japan, South Africa, the West Indies and South America, the Isthmus of Panama, Mexico, Peru, Florida and the Gulf Coast, the Southeast and the Mississippi River Valley, the Southwest, California, Canada, the Eastern North American Seaboard, the Northwest Passage and the Northeast Passage, New Zealand, Australia, Antarctica, Hawaii and the Pacific, and Alaska.
With a brief scene of Blackbeard and another of a rich Marseille marketplace, the risks and rewards of such adventures are considered, as is the spirit of discovery that lies behind them — the spirit of the Renaissance.
STORY: After briefly considering the humanism of the Renaissance — with reference to the beauty of the Mona Lisa; the inventiveness of Gutenberg; and the lives and ideals of Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, and Erasmus — we receive, in split-screen, a “performance” by Shakespeare, onstage at the Globe Theatre, and Cervantes’ Don Quixote (with “Sancho Panza”), in front of a windmill in the Spanish countryside: Utilizing some of their most famous quotes, the two contemporaries impart a bit of entertaining wisdom, such as “Comparisons are odious.” (Don Quixote) and “Comparisons are odorous!” (Shakespeare). Then, the offscreen voices of the two continue the “conversation,” utilizing more of their famous quotes, to complement visual presentations of the masterworks of other Renaissance geniuses: The naturalistic paintings of Giotto; the bold paintings of Raphael; the powerful architecture, sculpture, and paintings of Michelangelo; the lifelike paintings, detailed sketches, clever inventions, and personal insights of Da Vinci; the anatomical probings of Vesalius; the astronomical theories of Copernicus; and the experimental discoveries of Galileo.
NARRATION: We consider how Galileo was forced to renounce the solar-system theory of Copernicus — which placed mankind away from the “centerstage” of Creation — because of threats from the Inquisition of the Church. We briefly enter the torture chamber of Tomas de Torquemada, in the Spanish Inquisition. Then, we consider the complaints Martin Luther nails on the door of the church in Wittenburg, Germany, and the battles that would ensue throughout Europe, during the Reformation. After a consideration of Henry VIII and his Church of England, we see how Protestants, too, could be unforgiving: The progressive-thinking friend of the king, Sir Thomas More, goes to the chopping block, with a dignity typifying the Renaissance — cut to black.
Seq. 8: The Age of Reason and Revolution
NARRATION: After briefly considering the superstitions of witchcraft trials, as in Salem, Massachusetts, we are introduced to the Age of Reason’s Scientific Method, as demonstrated by Benjamin Franklin and his kite.
Throughout these scenes of Age of Reason science, the scientists will speak directly to the camera — directly to the audience at home (somewhat a la “Mr. Wizard”).
Sir Isaac Newton explains simply his calculus and his three laws of motion, as “unknowingly” demonstrated by a heavy schoolboy and skinny schoolgirl near and on a lake. Newton also introduces us to his theories of magnetism and gravity — theories supported not only by his observations through the telescope he designed but also by his studies of the occult!
With his invention of the battery, Italian Count Volta demonstrates some of his electrical experiments — electrolyzing water, gold-plating metals, electromagnetizing iron bars, and causing the legs of a dissected frog to move.
Robert Boyle champions physical, over metaphysical, explanations for the phenomena he demonstrates — magnetism, friction, reversible chemical reactions, gas pressure, sound, combustion, and respiration.
Under the influence of laughing gas, Joseph Priestley giggles his way through demonstrations of soda water, combustion, and respiration.
The Father of Chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier, explains combustion and respiration, both involving oxygen; demonstrates his chemical equations, creating a “cookbook” of organic chemistry; demonstrates his monumental law of the conservation of mass; and introduces us to the chemical elements that make-up everything, including you and me!
William Harvey tries to convince a skeptical operating-theatre audience of the truth of his theory of blood circulation (from a tasteful vantage point).
Anton van Leeuwenhoek reveals for us the microscopic world — invisible but all around, and within, us.
Edward Jenner, with the help of a brave, young volunteer, proves the value of his smallpox vaccine.
And Carolus Linnaeus brings reason to the wilderness, by cataloguing all the life he can lay his hands on.
STORY: Accompanied by their portraits, 12 of the greatest thinkers of the Age of Reason, or any other age, are introduced by their offscreen voices: Sir Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Benjamin Franklin, the Baron de Montesquieu, Henry Fielding, Denis Diderot, Francois Voltaire, and Jean Jacques Rousseau. Then, in a series of montages for this Age of Reason, close-ups exploring fine art are accompanied by appropriate excerpts from classical music and brief quotes from the offscreen philosophers (“MTV-like” graphics will identify “Painting (or Drawing) by:/Music by:/Words (or Sentiment) by:”).
Close-ups of William Hogarth’s six plates of A Harlot’s Progress are accompanied by an excerpt from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor and various opinions on morality and religion.
Close-ups of four of Caprices by Francisco Goya are accompanied by an excerpt from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute and various opinions on superstition, fear, and understanding.
Close-ups of Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy and other portraits and landscapes are accompanied by an excerpt from Johann Sebastian Bach’s 2-Part Invention in F-Major and various opinions on liberty, society, and human nature.
Close-ups of Jean Antoine Watteau’s The Embarquement for Cithera are accompanied by an excerpt from a string quartet by Franz Joseph Haydn and various opinions on pursuing happiness.
Close-ups of Sir Joshua Reynolds’ portraits, including of children, are accompanied by an excerpt from the “Hallelujah Chorus” of George Friderick Handl’s Messiah and various opinions on responsibilities and rights.
Close-ups of Goya’s The Maja Clothed are accompanied by an excerpt from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and various opinions on determination, ambition, material well-being, and the price of liberty.
Close-ups of various paintings by Rembrandt are accompanied by an excerpt from the “Lacrimosa” of Mozart’s Requiem and various opinions on involvement in the affairs of state, the separation of powers, freedom, war and peace, the nobility of democracy (and opposition to such change), freedom of speech, and “Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!”
NARRATION: Dollying down the corridor of a stately English hall, we view the candlelit portraits of several English rulers and hear briefly of their place in the momentous events unfolding and about to unfold, in this Age of Reason AND Revolution.
King Charles the First loses his bitter dispute in Parliament and his very head on the chopping block.
“Lord Protector” Oliver Cromwell, who had overthrown King Charles in the English Civil War, maintains foreign and domestic tranquility; but as soon as he dies, his strict Puritanical laws are overturned and his body, exhumed and hanged.
Richard Cromwell, his son, soon resigns as “Lord Protector.”
Charles II, although personally corrupt, allows Parliament to establish a constitution, limiting his powers and affirming civil rights.
James II, a Catholic, tries to take powers away from Parliament and give them to the Pope, in Rome.
William and Mary, Protestants, are called to the throne by popular demand, in the “Glorious Revolution.” In return for support in a personal vendetta against France, William allows Parliament to increase its powers with the modern English constitution, including a Bill of Rights establishing the citizens’ right to revolt — which would have enormous consequences.
Queen Anne continues war against France and oversees rising English prosperity and culture, although by now it is Parliament that wields most of the power.
George I, a German prince, takes little interest in England, allowing the Parliamentary Whig Sir Robert Walpole to become the first powerful Prime Minister of Great Britain.
George II, like his father, leaves most of the affairs of state to Parliament, as Britain battles to become one of the world’s greatest colonial powers.
George III, unlike his father and grandfather, decides to reign actively over the now mighty empire, including the American colonies and the North American lands taken from the French. However, faced with the difficult task of governing that faraway land and of paying off the debts of the costly wars, the young, well-meaning but increasingly mentally ill King George — on the advice of his Tory Prime Minister, Lord North — takes steps that alienate his otherwise loyal American subjects. “The independent-minded American colonists would react in ways George had never anticipated, and England — and the world — would never again be the same.”
STORY: (Note: In this story and in the stories in the next two acts, 13 semi-fictional characters represent the 13 American colonies: In this act, life without the Bill of Rights and the grievances of the colonies are shown “up close and personal,” as are the battles and turning points of the Revolutionary War in the next two acts.)
In Virginia, Jubal Dinwiddie argues with Redcoats searching and seizing his wagon on unfounded grounds. He defends his freedom to grow and sell tobacco and the freedom of his buyers to consume it, even though these Redcoats point out how the users of this “poison” elsewhere in the world are prosecuted and even killed. But as Dinwiddie points out, “The Crown needs the tax money!”
In Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire, Fitzjohn Kinkaid argues with Redcoats searching his boat, trying in vain to find molasses smuggled in from the French or Spanish West Indies. Kinkaid decries how the Sugar Act had threatened their vital Triangle Trade: “That, no doubt, is why Parliament repealed the Sugar Act, which crippled this delicately balanced system — some tax is better than no tax for the Crown.” Although his ship is “clean,” the Redcoats promise to “be back tomorrow and the next day.”
In New Haven, Connecticut, Armstrong Beecher protests to Redcoats searching his warehouse for goods imported from other countries. The Redcoats accuse the colonists of not being loyal to Britain, by violating the Navigation Acts; but Beecher points out how ludicrous they are, as by requiring ships coming from one American port to travel all the way to England and then back across the Atlantic before they are legally allowed into another American port. His protests, however, fall on deaf ears, especially as the Redcoats uncover a crate marked in Dutch: Beecher is struck to the ground, his warehouse is seized, and he is put out of business.
In a Harvard, Massachusetts bookstore, Professor Rufus Bulfinch, among students, confronts Redcoats confiscating books. The Redcoats deny his assertion that they are trying to withhold ideas from the students, insist that the books are simply in violation of the Stamp Act, and ask why the colonists object to paying this tax that even people in England pay. Bulfinch asserts, “we are indeed no better than any other Englishmen, sir; but then again, we are indeed no worse:” Taxation without representation is very un-British. The students cheer and the Redcoats leave.
In a New Jersey town square, Molly Holland gives a glass of water to her husband giving a speech to cheering villagers. He, too, denounces taxation without representation as tyranny; he decries Parliament trying to manage the colonies from such great distance; and calling upon the examples of ancient Greece, the Magna Carta, and tribal American customs, he propounds democratic freedom. However, the cheering assembly is violently dispersed by Redcoats.
In a Providence, Rhode Island church, the Reverend Ambrose Williams praises the spirit of independence in America as distinctly brighter than that in England. He calls for the Mother Country to show more tolerance of peaceful American self-determination. Bursting through the doors of the church, Redcoats haul off Williams, telling him: “There is sedition in your words, if not in your heart, Preacher. Just be quiet.”
In Maryland, Sister Elizabeth Peabody and a Catholic priest confront Redcoats padlocking their church. Although the Redcoats claim they are only trying to shut-down a nest of conspirators, their religious prejudices show through.
In a New York City courtroom, Moses Solomon must answer to a biased judge and prosecutor — with guards but no jury, defense counsel, or spectators. He has not been informed of the charges against him. He is being tried for the second time on a matter on which he was previously found not guilty. He has been denied contact with his family as well as with his attorney. He is subjected to implicit anti-Semitism. He is denied the right to subpoena the court-appointed accountant who before had cleared him of the charges. He is denied the prospect of a jury trial for several months and is urged to incriminate himself. Finally, giving up, Solomon pleads guilty and is forced to pay a fine and court costs. Under his breath he cries, “Pharaoh.”
In North Carolina, Hugh Gaston tries unsuccessfully to keep Redcoats from quartering themselves in his barn and slaughtering his livestock for food. His loyalties suspect because of his French accent, Gaston affirms he is an American: His people fled persecution in Catholic France because they were Protestants. The Redcoats say he should be thankful for their protecting him from the Indians. He counters that with treaties and a militia, the locals have kept the peace without the intrusion of soldiers, who seem to be more interested in holding frontier lands for the Crown than protecting citizens in larger settlements. The Redcoats tell him that with their presence, he won’t be needing his gun anymore; and at the point of theirs, they take away his. Disgruntled, he grabs a fur trap and trods off into the forest.
In an Ottawa Indian camp in Pennsylvania, William Smith and other Quaker men, escorted by Redcoats, make the peace by exchanging wampum belts with the Indian chief and council members. Although Smith and the chief trust each other’s word, the Redcoat leader wants more assurances, especially because many on the tribal council would prefer to take revenge on the British for recent losses. The chief smiles, as Smith tells the Redcoat leader that Indian democracy is unanimous, not majority rule — the issue of revenge has been dropped because not everyone agreed on it. In their canoes on the way home from the Indian camp, the Redcoat leader chides Smith for the Americans’ continual encroachment on Indian lands. Smith counters that the Crown wants Americans to stay along the Atlantic coast not out of some concern for Indian land rights but out of fear that, once away from ports offering British goods, Americans will manufacture their own: He accuses the British of stifling fledgling American craftsmanship. When the Redcoat mentions, “I thought you Quakers were supposed to just go along peaceably and not make trouble,” Smith replies, “Most of us are not fighters; but then again, few of us are fools!”
In a Delaware schoolyard, Jacob Carothers, a black Quaker teacher, breaks-up a fight between a Quaker boy and a Quaker retarded boy, as other black and white Quaker children look on. Carothers gets to the cause of the fight — a simple misunderstanding — and gets the boys to become friends. He points out that you cannot judge a book by its cover — neither he nor the retarded boy — and he decries bullying, as by many of the authorities nowadays: “Might does not make right — never did, never will.” He continues with a bit of Quaker insight: “Let our patient example prove that God’s Inner Light can shine in each of us — man or woman, individual or conformist, prisoner or freeman, sane or insane, smart or slow, black or red or white. Let us get back to class and make the most of whatever brainpower God has seen fit to give us.”
On her South Carolina plantation, Julia P. Rutledge is being driven in a carriage by an aristocratic Redcoat officer past her black slaves and white overseers. He compliments her extensive holdings of land, which she, as an orphan, has inherited. After some niceties of mutual admiration, he stops the carriage, gets down on one knee, and proposes marriage. She is about to accept when he adds that by marrying him they can be “creating a noble lineage of lords and ladies, for all the commoners to bow down before.” She vigorously retorts: “Sir, I may be a lady; but I am an AMERICAN lady. My honor is not some chattel, to be handed down or bought and sold — that would make me no better off than a slave. If my children are to receive respect, they will have to EARN it, NOT inherit it!” She races off, leaving the shocked Redcoat in the dust.
Finally, in Georgia, Margaret Habersham and her 10- year-old son, Ty — both wearing poor black clothing — stand over the grave of her recently buried husband. When the boy asks how they will pay off the debts his pa left them with, she tells of how her father had been an indentured servant, sent to the colonies from Debtor’s Prison in England: “But he made out; and so will we, Lord willin’. With hard work almost anything’s possible ... in America.” They hug and walk to the sunset. Fade out.
STORY: (Note: The following 13 stories, in this and the next act, of the 13 colonists fighting for freedom, should be accompanied by the stirring Revolutionary era music of Chester and introduced by graphics, stating place and date.)
On King’s St., in Boston, on the night of March 5, 1770, a Redcoat tries to keep his demeanor as he is pelted with snowballs by Ty Habersham (of Georgia) and Boston boys. About 30 other Redcoats arrive and slap around the boys, who rush off crying. At the docks, Margaret Habersham (of Georgia) is haggling with a merchant over goods — her trip up north was to no avail, because of the Townshend Acts. The giant black-Native American Crispus Attucks and other sailors and Boston men drink, sing, and curse the Crown. In run Ty and the other boys crying. After hearing that it was Redcoats who struck them, Attucks leads a club- and rock-carrying gang downtown. Ty, accompanied by protective Margaret, and the other boys point out the Redcoats, whom Attucks and the others confront. After exchanging harsh words, Attucks and his men come threateningly close. The Redcoats fire; and Attacks and others fall, in this Boston Massacre.
In Carpenter’s Hall, Pennsylvania, on September 5, 1774, Ambrose Williams (of Rhode Island) addresses the members of the First Continental Congress, John Adams presiding. After his praise for the moderate resolutions, including a boycott of English goods as long as the Intolerable Acts remain in force, Patrick Henry takes the podium and resoundingly states: “I know not what course others may take; but as for ME, give me LIBERTY, or give me death!” The Congress erupts in heated controversy.
In a dream, sleeping Rufus Bulfinch (of Massachusetts) remembers having taken part in the Boston Tea Party, on December 16, 1773. Suddenly, he and his sleeping wife are awakened by the cry of Paul Revere, galloping through their village of Lexington: “The British are coming! The British are coming!” Bulfinch quickly gets on his clothing and loads his musket — he is indeed a Minuteman. Early the next morning, Captain John Parker commands Bulfinch and the other Minutemen, facing the numerically superior ranks of Redcoats in the Lexington village green. A huge flurry of shots and clouds of smoke fill the green and Bulfinch and others fall. Later that day, a trio — playing Yankee Doodle and looking like “The Spirit of ’76” — rally apparently hundreds of (repeatedly matted-in) Americans, from all walks of life, in an ambush on the Redcoats, marching to Concord. With computer animation of the Earth, we hear “the shot heard ’round the world.”
In May of 1775, Colonel Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys are aided by the still-loyal Colonel Benedict Arnold and his American Army Regulars, including Armstrong Beecher (of Connecticut), in their attack on Fort Ticonderoga. Before the battle, Beecher and a comrade-in-arms consider their awesome task — taking on the British Empire, the greatest power on Earth! In the successful siege — with ladders and battering-rams — Beecher is wounded.
One night in September of 1776, Nathan Hale accepts a written message from Moses Solomon (of New York), under the candlelight in a schoolroom. After Moses assures Nathan that the troop movements he has recorded are accurate — he almost got his head blown off in this service for General Washington — a pounding is heard at the door. Nathan quickly gives Moses the message back, pushes him in a cloakroom, throws a chair out the window, and yells out it as the Redcoats burst in — they fall for the trick and fire out the window, thinking it Moses’ escape route. On September 22, 1776, as Moses watches tearfully from afar, Nathan Hale faces the gallows, stating: “I only regret that I have but one life to give my country.”
On June 7, 1776, in Independence Hall, Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, makes a motion before the Second Continental Congress, John Hancock presiding: “The United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.” The motion meets with mixed responses. On July 2, 1776, John Adams stands and debates with a member reluctant to break with the Mother Country: Adams champions the cause of freedom, citing England’s own history, condemning tyrants, and praising “the people.” On July 4th, 1776, before the assemblage, including proud Thomas Jefferson, William Smith (of Pennsylvania), the clerk of the Congress, is directed to read (excerpts from) that most stirring of American documents, the Declaration of Independence. Later, after the (implied) vote, the somber delegates anxiously prepare to sign the Declaration. Trying to cut through the tension, Benjamin Franklin admonishes: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Although the delegates laugh sheepishly, it takes John Hancock to get them to loosen up, stating as he holds his huge signature up for all to see: “There! I guess King George will be able to read THAT!” Later, outside Independence Hall, Philadelphia men, women, and children celebrate — singing, dancing, drinking, raising a liberty pole, and shooting off muskets and cannons and firecrackers. With a bit of dramatic liberty, the Liberty Bell is shown tolling in the tower, as Smith merrily pulls the rope. Suddenly, the bell cracks; the sound “warps”; and all go silent. One man asks Tom Paine what his Common Sense has to say about this — Paine replies: “These are the times that try men’s souls. ... Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” Smith resumes tolling the off-sounding bell, and the crowd resumes celebrating this first Independence Day.
One night in December of 1776, George Washington and his army cross the Delaware: With poetic license, it is shown as in the famous painting, although the man rowing Washington’s boat is Jacob Carothers (of Delaware).
One night during the winter of 1777-1778, American officers lament the lost battles of the last year and the desperate condition of the army now, in Valley Forge. With wooden teeth chattering, Washington is at a loss for a solution to their problems; however, a little voice comes to him almost subconsciously — that of Sister Elizabeth Peabody (of Maryland), serving the men stew. When she asks, “What would Martha say?,” George responds by giving his men a most stirring speech (from an actual quote); and when she asks, “What would George do?,” Washington calls for Baron von Stueben, who “mercilessly” drills the soldiers into shape.
STORY: On a New Jersey battlefield in 1778, Molly Holland (of New Jersey) — like the legendary Molly “Pitcher” — dodges musket- and artillery-fire to carry a large pitcher of water back and forth from a well, across the field, to those among patriot soldiers who are exhausted from the heat or are wounded, as Jon Holland and others man cannons and fire their muskets across the field at the Redcoats. Suddenly, her husband falls from heat-exhaustion: Molly briefly inspects him (He’s still moving.); pulls him to the safe shade of a nearby tree; and then, takes his place, loading a cannon, which pummels the British.
On February 25, 1779, Lt. Col. George Rogers Clark commands his Virginia militiamen to drive Redcoats and Indians out of the frontier French village of Vincennes. Hugh Gaston (of North Carolina) speaks to a Redcoat prisoner he marches off. The Redcoat warns that as long as American settlers take lands from the Indians, the British will have determined allies in their fight. Gaston counters, telling him not only that the territories of Tennessee and Kentucky are coming more and more under American control but also that because of the Americans’ convincing victory in Saratoga and the skilled diplomacy of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, the French — to whom he is related — are on the American side. Although the Redcoat remarks that the French monarchy has no interest in American democracy, Gaston notes that the French welcome a chance to give the British Empire a kick in the britches — as Gaston kicks the Redcoat in the stockade.
On the night of September 23, 1779, Captain John Paul Jones leads his crew — including Fitzjohn Kinkaid (of New Hampshire) — of the Bonhomme Richard to fight the British captain and crew of the Serapis at close quarters in the North Sea. In the heat of the battle, the British captain cries, “Give-up the fight. ... You haven’t got a prayer!,” to which Jones replies: “I have not yet BEGUN to fight!” Although heartened by this defiance, Kinkaid is stabbed, falling with his white shirt stained with red blood near the tattered red, white, and blue American flag.
With computer animation, we view the Revolutionary War troop movements of 1780, with an offscreen narration by that American military genius, Major General Nathanael Greene, whom we join, with his officers, in the sitting room of the Charleston mansion of Julia P. Rutledge (of South Carolina). Greene’s plan is simple — to attack the British forces in the South and lure them north, to Virginia, where they will be exposed to the combined American and French forces, from land and sea. After offering some of her Southern hospitality and affirming her loyalty — she’s “no Benedict Arnold,” who was a tragic case in Greene’s estimation — Rutledge and Greene consider the risks of this strategy ... and its potential rewards.
On October 19, 1781, at Yorktown, Virginia, ranks of American and French soldiers, including Jubal Dinwiddie (of Virginia), oversee the laying down of arms by marching Redcoats. When the procession stops momentarily, Dinwiddie is amused to see ahead of him the Redcoat who had earlier searched and seized his wagon. Jubal chides the Redcoat, who says they aren’t wrong just because they lost. “I’ll give you that,” Dinwiddie says, “Might don’t make right; but it don’t necessarily mean we’re wrong, neither. Say, what’s that song your band’s a-playin’, anyway, Redcoat?” The Redcoat replies, “The World Turned Upside Down.” As the Redcoats resume marching by, Dinwiddie laughs heartily, throwing back his head. He sees a bald eagle flying overhead, screeching proudly. From the eagle’s P.O.V., we see an animated matte painting of the vast stream of defeated Redcoats marching between vast ranks of American and French soldiers.
NARRATION: In computer animation, we view the 13 original states, mapped-in against a deep blue background. Coming out from each state, in its order of admission; speaking the state motto; and then, moving to a position to form, with the others, a circle around the map are XCUs of each of the major characters, representing each of the 13 states.
The circle of 13 XCUs around the map dissolves to a circle of 13 stars on a field of blue, on the original U.S. flag. Then appearing, with his face framed by the circle of stars, is George Washington, who — as we slowly zoom-out to reveal him standing in front of the flag (a la Patton) — delivers quintessentially American quotes from his Farewell Address: It is no wonder the Father of Our Country was “first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.” After Washington walks down from the stage, leaving just the original U.S. flag, the scene dissolves to the modern flag atop the White House. With this and other appropriate stockfootage, we very briefly consider the structure and functions of the three branches of federal government, established — with checks and balances — by the U.S. Constitution, whose preamble the offscreen voices of the 13 colonists recite together.
Panning across the globe to France, we review the spread of revolution in 1789.
Wretched, skinny French peasants work the poor fields, as we learn of their heavy burdens of taxation.
A merchant has only beggars in his store, not customers: The middle class, too, is heavily taxed.
However, King Louis XVI and his Queen Marie Antoinette stroll with their entourage and guards through the magnificent gardens of the palace at Versailles, as we learn of their support for taxes on the commoners, to pay off war debts, and their contempt for constitutional limits on their powers.
With a film clip from the spectacular 1989 French production The French Revolution, we see and hear of the storming of the Bastille.
In 1791, Maximillian Robespierre reads to the National Assembly from the stirring Declaration of the Rights of Man.
With another film clip, we take in the mob scene of the guillotining in a Paris square (from a tasteful vantage point, hopefully).
In 1795, after the Reign of Terror had consumed its own, radical leaders, rioting by a mob of poor and again powerless Parisians is broken-up by but “a whiff of grapeshot” from the artillery of a rising star in the French military, Napoleon Bonaparte.
With a montage of Napoleon on horseback leading his men against foreign armies double-exposed with a computer-animated map of his battle movements throughout Europe and the Mideast, we hear of Napoleon’s loves, strategies, wins and losses, and contributions to French government and society. However, his most lasting legacy for the world is the battlecry his men spread throughout Europe: “Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!”
With computer animation, we view the changing map of Europe, as national movements for democratic reforms sweep the continent in the 19th and early 20th Centuries.
With a view of Simon Bolivar leading Peruvian patriots to victory over a Spanish Army double-exposed with computer animation of the changing map of Latin America, we take in the independence movements in the New World.
“The Age of Reason had indeed become the Age of Revolution!”
Seq. 9: The U.S. Westward Expansion, The Industrial Revolution, and Russian Challenges
STORY: (Note: It might be possible to present the story of the U.S. Westward Expansion with a montage of film clips (accompanied by the stirring theme music) from the popular, monumental How The West Was Won (after which How The World Was Won is unabashedly styled). This profitable film’s Oscar-winning screenplay (1963) consisted of five approximately half-hour adventures, linked by narrated sequences, dramatizing the epic struggles of ordinary people during turning points of history: The sequences were “The Ohio River Valley,” “The Covered Wagon and Gold Rush,” “The Civil War,” “The Transcontinental Railroad,” and “The Southwest.” I have available the original souvenir booklet, which includes copious production notes and also pictures from the film.)
NARRATION: In a British home, in the 1700s, a grandma pulls fibers, mother cuts them, and sister combs them. A toddler plays with a dog; and a merchant discusses this cottage-industry business with father, smoking a pipe. Against this backdrop, we consider the background of supply and demand leading into the Industrial Revolution.
Against the backdrop of an animated matte painting of a British ironworks by a river, the growth and impact of manufacturing is introduced.
With a montage of the six basic machines at work — a lever, wheel-and-axle, pulley, inclined plane, wedge, and screw — we are introduced to the inventive spirit of the Industrial Revolution.
Accompanied by the pulsing Fifth Symphony of the contemporary Ludwig van Beethoven, we view a montage of working models, etc. of the lively inventions of the Industrial Revolution, through the 18th and 19th and into the early 20th Centuries.
Accompanied by a brief reprise of the Fifth Symphony, a similar montage presents inventions by women, who overcame considerable prejudice in developing their ideas.
With an animated matte painting of an industrial city slum (as on the front cover), we consider the poor working conditions of laborers.
With a matte painting of St. Petersburg, Russia, in the spring of 1904, we consider the widely reported grandeur and opportunities of such industrial cities as Russia’s “Window to the West.”
With a helicopter shot over the Russian steppes, flying opposite the direction of a steam-locomotive-pulled train (ca. 1904), we consider how thousands of eager job-seekers were drawn to industrial cities from across the countrysides: Although life in the rural villages — such as a Russian village celebrating May Day, 1904 — might have seemed idyllic, “life on the land could be as harsh as in the slums,” as we see when the Russian winter sets in on the village.
STORY: In a log cabin isolated on a Russian steppe being buffeted by the howling winds of the bitter winter of 1905, Ivan, a middle-aged farmer, gets drunk on vodka, as his wife, Anna, comforts the ragged, fearful children.
Ivan complains about the winter, but Anna laments that some things are just beyond our control.
Ivan blames God for the bad harvests, and Anna decries his blasphemy.
Ivan cries that the farmers in the rest of Europe and in America have the benefit of modern machinery, while Russia’s farmers are kept ignorant and their stores, empty.
Although Anna says he should not covet the good fortune of others, Ivan clamors for an industrial army to modernize agriculture.
Anna says she will pray for their future, but Ivan revolts against the Orthodox Church telling him to just accept his fate with humility: He has more faith in the “social revolutionaries” — “At least THEY encourage us to act like MEN and REVOLT for change!”
Anna warns, “It is dangerous to put too much faith in men. Only in God can we trust;” but Ivan dozes off, singing a sad song in praise of “Mother Russia.”
Under the subdued electric arc light in a St. Petersburg study, Alexandra, a beautiful Russian scholar, about 30, and Vladimir, a handsome Russian military man, also about 30, sit laughing together and viewing stereographs. In the bookcases are books by such authors as Chekhov, Gogol, Lermontov, Pushkin, Dosteovsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Freud, Einstein, Darwin, Mendel, Dickens, Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, Whitman, Twain, (Henry) James, (Stephen) Crane, and Shelley (Frankenstein). On a gramophone — next to a stack of recordings by such composers as Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Berlioz, Bizet, Offenbach, Saint-Saens, Liszt, Wagner, Brahms, Mahler, (Johann) Strauss (Jr.), Verdi, Puccini, Borodin, Gilbert & Sullivan, Dvorak, and Sibelius — is a long-playing record of a work by Tchaikovsky (perhaps The Nutcracker — this is January 1905, around the holiday season.). On the wall are prints of works by such artists as Rembrandt, Raphael, Impressionists (Manet, Monet, Renoir, et al.), Cezanne, Renoir, Gaugin, Van Gogh, Degas (ballerinas), Toulouse-Lautrec, Rousseau, Eakins, Homer, (Matthew) Brady, and Picasso (the “rose period”). On a table are cups of tea and plates of half-eaten salmon and caviar. On a nearby table is a chessboard, with players, although at this time it is covered.
Vladimir and Alexandra lovingly remember their adventures together in the rich culture of St. Petersburg.
Alexandra is thrilled not only by their love but also by the exciting times in which they live: “Freud is exploring the psyche; the Wright Brothers, the sky; Darwin and Mendel, the origins of life; and Einstein, the very nature of nature herself.” Vladimir wonders, however, “if we do not go too far: Are we playing God? Creating Frankenstein monsters beyond our control?”
After expressions of mutual reassurance, they play a game of chess, which will operate on three levels (as any good Russian story should): It will indeed be a chess game; it will vent the give-and-take passions of this intense couple; and it will in some ways mirror the history of their beloved Mother Russia, which they will discuss to some length — she is quite a civilian scholar, and he is quite a military scholar.
Vladimir relates Russia’s early history and ends-up by praising the modernizations of Peter the Great.
Alexandra praises the shrewd Catherine the Great, not only as the leader of Russia but also as a strong role model for women — Alexandra goes into all that women can indeed do as well as men.
Vladimir laments that Catherine did not solve Russia’s most vexing problem — what to do about the serfs. He points out that it was a man, Alexander the Second, who finally freed the serfs, about the time the American President Lincoln emancipated the African American slaves, whose accomplishments he praises.
Alexandra counters by pointing out that the black people in America still face massive oppression, just as women’s movements worldwide do and as the reform movements in Russia do: Alexandra has little faith in the czars.
Vladimir admits that he is losing faith in Czar Nicholas the Second — the economy is depressed and the inferior forces of Japan have handed Russia a humiliating defeat: Vladimir is in favor of stronger action. At this point, Vladimir is threatening Alexandra’s queen, on the chessboard.
Alexandra propounds that the solution is to replace the rule of the czar with a Western-style parliamentary government (She is a “liberal constitutionalist.”).
Vladimir protests, “You go too far!”
Alexandra responds, “I go only as far as need be;” and with that, her queen checkmates Vladimir’s king!
He is amazed: She has taken only 4 moves (in an actual game-winning strategy).
“Never underestimate the power of a woman!” she remarks.
“Hmm,” he adds, “So what shall we do with the rest of the evening?”
From XCUs of their smiling eyes, the scene fades out.
STORY: In a dark, dirty, noisy factory in St. Petersburg, a child is chained to a machine. He and other children and other factory workers — including 70-year-old Igor and 30-year-old Boris — tend to their monotonous labors, carrying huge loads of materials or operating quick and dangerous machinery, manufacturing unspecified industrial equipment. In the background, huge furnaces are stoked with coal.
Suddenly, a blood-curdling scream is heard; and the workers stop what they are doing and run to the bloodied input rollers on a huge machine, where a uniform cap is all that is left of a fellow worker.
Suddenly, 50-year-old Dmitri, the factory owner, strides in and tries to break-up the crowd: “I am not paying you to socialize: Get back to work!”
Although he is taken back a bit to learn of the accident, he claims such things are unavoidable. Boris shouts that they are all doomed to such a fate. Dmitri threatens to replace him, with one of the many unemployed. Although Igor tries to keep him quiet, Boris protests the inhuman working conditions and long hours. Dmitri says their fathers on farms and in cottage industries worked longer; but Boris says their fathers had their dignity, whereas even their women and children must be slaves in the factories. When Dimitri asks why they hire them out, Igor says, “We need the extra money.” Boris speaks out for public education, which Dmitri says will destroy the family.
Boris condemns the factory system as all-too-often putting workers out in the cold, but Boris says such things are just supply and demand — beyond anyone’s control. Igor wonders if too many workers are being displaced by machines, but Dmitri reminds him that such machines make possible the mass production of all the consumer goods they have to choose from.
Boris condemns the poor quality of life for working people and Igor points out how prices rise as fast as wages. Although Dmitri says that they all share in the profits, Boris condemns the unequal distribution of wealth — between those who labor and those who manage — and calls for a classless society, made possible by heavily progressive income and inheritance taxes on the rich industrialists, merchants, and financiers: “From each according to his ability [to pay], to each according to his needs.”
Dmitri praises capitalists, risking money to create industry and jobs — the middle-class capitalists were not born into the privileged upper class.
Igor wants regulations for the common good; but Dmitri trusts only the “unseen hand” of the marketplace, not government controls, no matter how well-meaning. Boris points out that the government already looks out for business interests, so why should it not for the “proletarian” common people as well?
When Boris says there will always be risks, Igor decries needless suffering; and when Dmitri says that “if we pamper ourselves, we become lazy,” Boris counters by asking, “Then why is it that those who succeed the most in our society work the least, while those who work the most, succeed the least? I will tell you why: Greed.”
But Dmitri praises self-interest as the most powerful motivation an economy can have. Igor laments, “Must the world be but a place of selfishness and suffering?” Boris points out that selflessness can be far wiser for all, as in public sanitation, forest conservation, and decent wages — keeping money in circulation in the economy.
When asked by Dmitri where he gets such “naive” ideas, Boris produces his copy of the Manifesto of the Communist Party, which makes Dmitri squirm. Igor does not believe two German writers can solve all their problems, but Boris says that is the whole point — it will take cooperation to solve their problems, so they must centralize power.
Although Dmitri condemns centralization as unworkable, Boris points out that that is what the capitalists themselves do with the factory system — centralize power over machinery and labor. Boris says the Communists simply want to center all agricultural, industrial, and financial powers in a government run by the workers themselves.
Igor remarks that “the rich will not give up their power without a fight.” Boris says that’s why the workers must revolt against the “bourgeoisie.” Although Dmitri cries, “Treason!” and Igor says there must be another way, Boris says the conflict of the classes has been made inevitable by the march of history, as the wealth of the world has been concentrated into fewer and fewer hands: “Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!”
Fearing the cheers of the workers, Dmitri points out how the Communist Manifesto also calls for making women communal property and doing away with religion — neither of which sets well with Igor and others; and Dmitri also stirs up fear of a Socialist dictator and hatred of the other ethnic groups involved in this Communist “brotherhood.”
But Igor cannot stand to see the workers bigoted against one another, because of their variety of ethnic backgrounds: “Enough! I do not care about ‘capitalism’, or ‘communism’, or any other ‘ism’. I do care that we workers are conquered if we are divided. Let us stand together and be counted. ... If we strike together and get others to strike with us, there will not be enough workers, let alone skilled workers, to take our places. Come, let us take our case for better working conditions, wages, and benefits to Czar Nicholas himself: We have EARNED that right!”
The workers cheer and follow Igor, somewhat to the dismay of Boris, who does follow. Dmitri is left fuming.
Carrying an old Russian flag (not the hammer and sickle), Igor leads apparently thousands of (repeatedly matted-in) unarmed workers through the snowy streets of St. Petersburg, gathering more as he goes (Perhaps “Glasnost” and Russian patriotism and archives could produce the costumed extras, a la France’s successful 1989 production, The French Revolution.). Soon, Alexandra, the liberal scholar, and other spectators fall in behind.
Igor leads the workers into the huge square, with central monument (not unlike Tian an men Square), in front of the HUGE, dark-red, Baroque Winter Palace of the czar. To their shock, the workers find themselves facing across the square apparently thousands of (repeatedly matted-in) armed soldiers, including Alexandra’s Vladimir, headed by a general. Alexandra and the other spectators file in to the sides. All stop, silently.
After a series of XCUs, Igor proclaims, “We, the united workers of Saint Petersburg, demand to air our grievances before Czar Nicholas the Second.”
The general commands, “Disperse this unlawful assembly immediately and get back to work.”
Igor replies, “Stand aside and let us pass: We are your brothers — we speak for you, too.”
The general shouts to his soldiers, “Shoulder your weapons” and raises his sword. He issues his final warning: “The Czar answers to no one but God.”
Igor states, “Then let us go with God!” and boldly leads the workers forward.
The general gives the command; and after the briefest of hesitations, the soldiers fire. The square fills with smoke. Hundreds of the workers fall. The others and the spectators run for cover.
After a brief series of XCUs, Alexandra rushes through the chaos to Igor, sees that he is dead, pauses, then grabs the flag and rallies many of the workers and spectators by waving it high.
The general shouts, “Go home or there will be more of the same, I warn you!”
Alexandra replies, “We will leave, but because of hope, not fear: We leave to live, to strive again another day for freedom for our Mother Russia!”
She rallies the remaining workers and spectators to march off defiantly, singing a patriotic song, on this “Bloody Sunday.”
NARRATION: With a montage of newsreels from ca. 1905 to 1939, accompanied by the International Workers’ Song, we recount the fall of the czars and the rise of Communism in Russia, up to the Soviet Union’s entry in World War II (presented in Episode 3).
With archival film and socialist “realist art,” we review the successes and failures of Communism in the Soviet Union; and with a close-up of the Soviet flag, we consider that the Communist experiment in the Soviet Union would inevitably necessitate further challenges and reforms.
Seq. 10: The Third World
NARRATION: With montages, especially of archival photographs, accompanied by The Maple Leaf Rag, we consider life in Turn-of-the-Century America: Factories and mines; slums, labor movements, and child labor; Socialist “utopias”; The Jungle; political cartoons and scandals; “captains of industry and finance”; prosperity, as in the Sears Wish Book; educational, economic, and political opportunities; suffragettes; Klansmen, as in The Birth of a Nation; small-town life and big-time sports heroes, such as Cy Young, Ty Cobb, and Jim Thorpe; horse-and-buggy cities; and the influx of immigrants.
Then, accompanied by a medley of European national anthems, we consider Europe’s “Wonderful Century,” with montages of Imperial ballrooms, exposition halls, and royalty; ocean-going steamships; and colonialism, as in Africa, India, and the Far East.
With a montage of archival photographs, accompanied by The Stars and Stripes Forever, we consider America’s imperialism, with territories taken in the Spanish/American War and plantations exploited in Latin America.
And finally, on a computer animated globe we view the transition of colonial empires into independent, Third World nations in the 20th Century.
STORY: This story takes places “somewhere in the Third World” (perhaps South Asia), “sometime in the Twentieth Century” (in the Postwar years). (Note: For generic effect, all names of people and places should be omitted; and for dramatic effect, appropriate excerpts from The Rite of Spring should form the musical background, as noted, of this stark and brief sequence of stark choices and revolutionary change.)
Accompanied by the pastoral introduction to The Rite, a farmer guides his ox pulling a plow, cultivating the field, as his wife and eldest son use digging sticks to uproot individual weeds and their young son and daughter run and play together.
Accompanied by the first disturbing music of The Rite, a warlord and his machete-wielding thugs confront the farmer in his hut at night, as his family looks on helplessly in the candlelight: The farmer is coerced, by threats to his wife, to sell his ancestral land to the warlord, who will develop it as part of a plantation for an international concern.
Not willing to say on as but a hired hand, the farmer takes his family out into the jungle, where, accompanied by trying music from The Rite, they encounter a band of rebels, who promise them hope. However, with appropriately threatening music from The Rite, the rebels try to make the grower into a killer and indoctrinate his children into atheists with no family ties.
Accompanied by an ominous but restful interlude of The Rite, the family comes to a hilltop overlooking a gleaming city, which gives them hope.
However, accompanied by oppressive music from The Rite, the family ends-up having to scavenge with other poor people in a garbage dump (with a collection of designer-shoe boxes).
In the shantytown that is now their home, the family almost gives up hope; but — accompanied by increasingly stirring music from The Rite — a demonstration leader and his marching following sweep-up the family and other poor people with their repeated chant, “Fairness! Lands! Take our lives in our hands!”
In the shopping district of the Third World city, the ranks of the apparently thousands of (repeatedly matted-in) demonstrators are swelled by disgruntled middle-class merchants and customers, who join the chant.
Finally, the demonstrators reach the square in front of the Presidential Palace, guarded by soldiers. The demonstration leader shouts through his bullhorn at the palace, “The voice of the people is clear and strong! Relinquish power! Your government is a corrupt failure!”
Inside, looking out through the balcony at the (matted-in) crowd in the square, the dictator of the country and his wife are surrounded by their aides and generals. One general says they risk a mutiny if they fire on the demonstrators, and one aide says they risk the pullout of international investors and the collapse of the economy if they stage a massacre: The dictator and his greedy wife agree to just “take the money and run!”
Accompanied by the pastoral conclusion of The Rite, the family once again farms their land, which the wife notes they are fortunate to have gotten back. The eldest son worries about how their village and country will pay back their massive debts, because the dictator and warlords have raided the treasury. The father, however, reassures them that the village council has decided to devote half their produce to repay their debts to foreigners — as long as they don’t interfere again in the country — and the other half to meet their own needs. The mother points out that their land has been ravaged and their children’s schooling has been neglected.
And as a tank carrying the dictator, with revenge on his lips, leads others onto a bridge over a “bottomless” gorge, the father (offscreen) laments that every fiber of their nation has been abused and neglected. The bridge gives out; and with the crashing finale of The Rite of Spring, the dictator and his tanks fall into the gorge.
As the farmer and his family hug each other and look at the sun setting over their beautiful land, the wife remarks, “There will always be problems, but moments like this make life worth living.” Fade out.
NARRATION: With a montage of excerpts from this Episode 2 double-exposed with computer animation of the globe, the narration concludes that “ever since the Renaissance, the birth of truly Modern Times, the peoples of our world have come in closer contact — for better or worse. In the Industrialized World in the 20th Century, Western — and world — Civilization would come face-to-face with the greatest accomplishments as well as the greatest evils our all-too-human nature has to offer ... as we shall see tomorrow night, in the concluding episode of How The World Was Won!”