Now on DVD, History's Turning Points is a thirteen part series on decisive moments in world history.
Each turning point in history has behind it a story and a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events.
How would the development of one of the world's greatest civilizations, China, have been different without the ruthless ambition of its first emperor, Chin? Would the British have won Quebec in the eighteenth century without the tenacity and devotion to duty of General John Wolfe? New facts, often from indigenous sources, have emerged to add to our understanding of these crucial events and these, together with the latest historical research and documented first-hand accounts, bring each turning point vividly to life.
Exclusive dramatizations carried out at the actual sites of the events, History's Turning Points provides a fascinating and intriguing new perspective on the significant moments that have changed the world.
English Subtitled for the Hearing Impaired.
- Disk 1
THE BATTLE OF SALAMIS-480 BC
At Salamis Bay, the Golden Age began when the Greeks expel the Persians, sinking 200 Persian ships while losing only 40 of their own. Themistocles not only was not rewarded for his victory, but was removed as Athen's leader for being too arrogant.
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA-221 BC
To seal off his empire from marauders, Chin commanded the building of the Great Wall. Three hundred thousand were employed, and thousands, especially the scholars, died and were buried within the wall. Called "the world's longest graveyard", it was his greatest accomplishment and his greatest tragedy.
- Disk 2
THE BATTLE OF ACTIUM-31 BC
If the battle of Actium had been won by Cleopatra and Antony, there would have been no Roman Empire. Yet Octavius Caesar's victory in 31 BC created an absolute dictatorship that sparked one-of the greatest imperial and cultural expansions the world has ever known.
THE CONQUEST OF SPAIN-711 AD
By the 8th century, the rise of the Muslim Empire spread Arab rule over the Middle East, Egypt, and North Africa. After appointing a Berber, Tariq, to invade Spain, the Arabs enslaved the Visigoth Kingdom. Seven centuries of their Moorish rule brought accomplishments in mathematics, architecture, and science.
- Disk 3
THE BLACK DEATH-1347 AD
When a plague-ridden ship landed in Venice in 1347, it was immediately put into quarantine...but no one could stop the rats from corning ashore. Within three years, a third of Western Europe's population was dead. It was the greatest calamity in history.
THE SIEGE OF CONSTANTINOPLE-1453 AD
In 1204 crusaders sacked the city, then renamed Constantinople. For the next thousand years, the Byzantine Kings hid safely behind the massive walls of Constantinople. Then in 1453, with the Turkish Ottoman Empire encircling the city, Sultan Mehmet brought the newest technology of the 15th century, the cannon, and finally brought down the walls of the world's most impregnable fortress.
THE CONQUEST OF THE INCAS-1532 AD
When Pizarro, 170 soldiers and a friar arrived, The Inca, scornful of the scruffy Spaniards, invited them to stay in the town. They kidnapped the Inca, collected a ransom and killed him. But the plunder had only begun. The Spaniards diseases wiped out 90% of the Incas.
- Disk 4
THE MARRIAGE OF POCAHONTAS-1614 AD
On the land of the Algonquins, 150 English settlers had built a trading post called James Town. And though Captain John Smith promised the Indians the colony was temporary, they saw it as a lie. He was captured and about to be stoned, when 13 year old Pocahontas, the favorite among Chief Pohantan's hundred children, intervened.
THE BATTLE FOR CANADA-1759 AD
In the first half of the 18th century, British and French interests in North America increasingly overlapped. British war minister William Pitt ordered an invasion up the St. Lawrence. Racing winter, British forces scaled the cliffs near Quebec City at night, with no retreat possible.
ZULUS AT WAR-1879 AD
After diamonds were discovered at Kimberley and gold in the Transvaal, British colonization stepped up. Charged with stopping Zulu attacks, 5000 British soldiers invaded Zululand, setting camp at Isandalwana, they more than 1300 Brits died.
- Disk 5
THE BATTLE OF TSUSHIMA-1905 AD
In 1902, the Japanese attacked the Russian city of Port Arthur. Using the teaching of his model Admiral Nelson, Admiral Togo defeated the corrupt Russian navy, with aristocrat-officers and brightly painted ships. Russia surrendered South Manchuria to the Japanese, changing the balance of power in Asia forever.
THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION-1917 A.D.
Both Lenin and Kerensky were driven to overthrow the Czar. From similar backgrounds, they were both fervent revolutionaries. Lenin wanted the rich to be poor; Kerensky wanted the poor to be rich. Lenin, a charismatic workaholic, won because he would not compromise.
THE ATOMIC BOMB-1945 AD
Without doubt, the Second World War was the most momentous event in U.S. history. Few single instants have marked so great and historic watershed as 9:15 a.m., August 6, 1945. Traditional war as an instrument of international policy ended completely, and future relations between nations changed drastically afterward.
Clip Length: 2 minutes 23 seconds
"Thirteen pivotal historical events, ranges across the centuries and the continents. Excellent production. Excellent series...brings immediacy to the towering moments of world history."- Booklist