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You say you want a revolution? [TV Series on French&Indian War Alert]
The Arlington Advocate ^ | January 12, 2006 | Jennifer Mann

Posted on 01/12/2006 5:24:59 AM PST by Pharmboy

When reflecting upon the momentous battles that shaped America as a country, most go no further back than the Revolutionary War.

The French and Indian War, or what British and Canadians refer to as the Seven Years' War, is often relegated to a smaller place in U.S. history.

But an upcoming four-part dramatic documentary, Episodes 1 and 3 of which were written, produced and directed by Arlington resident and filmmaker Eric Stange, intends to change perceptions of the 1754 to 1763 struggle.

Titled "The War That Made America," the documentary premiering on PBS Jan. 18 and 25 explores how the effects of the 18th century war charted the course for the nation, starting with the eviction of the French from North America.

Stange said he likes to refer to it as, "Why we don't speak French," but acknowledges the implications of the war went far beyond setting the country's future language.

"If things had gone differently - if the French had won - this would have been a very different continent," he said.

According to the filmmaker, the French and Indian War, for which the British also played a major role, set the stage for many tensions between the colonial settlers and Britain - and that strain ultimately resulted in the run up to the Revolutionary War.

"I think the surprising thing is the story of America does not begin with the Revolution," he said. "The Revolution was in many ways the end of this period, not the beginning. This is the war that laid the groundwork for the American Revolution. This is the war that got the wheels rolling."

Stange said "it is also a very sad story," in that the struggle marked the end of a period by which the Native American population had influence and was a force to be reckoned with on the newly settled continent.

"Our goal is for 'The War That Made America' to significantly reframe how early American history is understood," said Deborah Acklin, executive vice president and general manager at WQED Multimedia.

To bring the production to television, the Pittsburgh public broadcaster has paired with French and Indian War 250, a public-private partnership heading the national commemoration of the war's 250th anniversary. Boston filmmaker Ben Loeterman also contributed in writing, directing and producing two episodes of the documentary.

Stange said he was recruited for the project in fall 2002, partly because of his work on "Murder At Harvard," which aired in 2003 on PBS's American Experience, using documentary and drama to explore an 1849 Boston murder.

The Arlington filmmaker is one of four members of Spy Pond Productions, which is a documentary film, television and multimedia production company that has won prestigious awards for its work, including "Murder At Harvard."

Stange said like the previous film, the current project is unique in the way it combines drama, through spoken dialogue and actors, to a documentary-style format. He added "The War That Made America" presented a more formidable task, because it required a look further back in history to an event that has in many ways not been chronicled.

"The real challenge here was to bring alive this pre-photographic period and tell the story of a war that most Americans don't know anything about," he said.

The filmmakers met with historians and dug through a mass of journals, documents and historical accounts from the period to bring accuracy and color to the film. Scenes were also shot on location in southwestern Pennsylvania, where key portions of the battle actually occurred, and costumes were designed with materials of the time.

Additionally, reenactors of the Civil and Revolutionary wars, who were brought in for battle scenes, were asked to go through a week-long boot camp to learn the 18th century battle style.

Adding to what Stange called one of his "most ambitious" projects was the incorporation of technology to recreate battlefields and forts. The film was also shot in wide-screen High Definition, which the filmmaker said presents new possibilities for his trade.

The result is a rich tale of history that also delves deeply into character portrayal - one of which is George Washington, who Stange laughingly described as "a bumbling, over-ambitious 22-year-old" militiaman at the time, who unwittingly started the war with an ambush on an encampment of French soldiers.

"People are always interested in other human beings, and if you can make that character come alive, then you can tell the story," he said.

"The War That Made America" premiers Wednesdays, Jan. 18 (Parts 1 and 2) and 25 (Parts 3 and 4), from 9 to 11 p.m. on PBS. More information can be found at www.thewarthatmadeamerica.org. Information on Arlington-based Spy Pond Productions can be found at www.spypondproductions.com.


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: americanhistory; braddock; colonelwashington; colonialhistory; frenchandindianwar; frenchindianwar; godsgravesglyphs; revwar
This gets all of this list's interests: the RevWar, colonial history and Gen. Washington. Although I do not like to help out PBS, this series is a must see...next Wednesday night is the start.
1 posted on 01/12/2006 5:25:02 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: indcons; Chani; thefactor; blam; aculeus; ELS; Doctor Raoul; mainepatsfan; timpad; ...

The Washington Family Coat of Arms

RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list

FreepMail me if you want to be placed on or taken of the list

2 posted on 01/12/2006 5:28:53 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Pharmboy
I'll be watching.

I'd also highly recommend a visit to the Heinz Regional History Center in Pittsburgh where a special exhibit Clash of Empires: The French & Indian War will remain on display through April. It was done in conjunction with the Smithsonian to mark the 250 Anniversary of the War which began in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Some of the displays are amazing including original letters written by the young George Washington.

3 posted on 01/12/2006 5:34:43 AM PST by Ditto ( No trees were killed in sending this message, but billions of electrons were inconvenienced.)
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To: Pharmboy
"If things had gone differently - if the French had won - this would have been a very different continent," he said.

True, we'd all be speaking German.--:o)

4 posted on 01/12/2006 5:37:51 AM PST by ladtx ("It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it." -- -- General Douglas MacArthur)
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To: ladtx

LOL!!


5 posted on 01/12/2006 5:40:59 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Ditto

Thanks, Ditto. I will make that trip--an exhibit I definitely want to see.


6 posted on 01/12/2006 5:43:00 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Pharmboy

Find it strange they had to train civil/revolution reenactors for the F&I parts, there is an entire subculture of F&I living history participates.

http://www.fort-ticonderoga.org/reenactors/grand_encampment.htm

http://r.webring.com/hub?ring=thefrenchindianw%5C%22

http://www.uwgb.edu/wisfrench/PHOTOS/HERITAGE/REENACT.HTM

http://dir.yahoo.com/Arts/Humanities/History/By_Time_Period/18th_Century/Military_History/Seven_Years__War__1756_1763_/Living_History/

Above are just a few from Google hit.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=french+and+indian+war+reenactors&spell=1


7 posted on 01/12/2006 5:47:33 AM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis

Good point...they probably did not look that hard. This helps makes the argument that the F&I is truly below the radar.


8 posted on 01/12/2006 5:51:10 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Pharmboy
This gets all of this list's interests: the RevWar, colonial history and Gen. Washington.

But what about Pontiac's Rebellion?

The F&I war is interesting because Washington basically instigated it, setting into motion the war whose debts would lead to the onerous taxation that led to the American Revolution which led to Washington being the first President. >[? SD>{?

9 posted on 01/12/2006 6:15:44 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: Pharmboy
According to the filmmaker, the French and Indian War, for which the British also played a major role, set the stage for many tensions between the colonial settlers and Britain - and that strain ultimately resulted in the run up to the Revolutionary War.

Sure was, because England had the nerve to make us pay for protecting us. Damn Stamp Act.

Thanks for the heads-up, Pharmboy. I'll be watching this.

10 posted on 01/12/2006 6:24:31 AM PST by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: Pharmboy

Wow, something worth watching on TV. Thanks for the heads up.

BTW, I don't think you're "helping" PBS unless you give'em money.


11 posted on 01/12/2006 6:52:34 AM PST by confederacy of dunces (Don't forget the cheese!)
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To: Pharmboy

Thanks for the heads-up.


12 posted on 01/12/2006 6:59:40 AM PST by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: SoothingDave
Yep...you got that right. A few other interesting tidbits that I've picked up along the way:

--During the F&I War, the Crown's headquarters was NYC. When the war ended, the Crown left in 1763, causing a major economic depression in NYC. That's why the New Yorkers were so up in arms about the Stamp Act and the Stamp Act Congress was held there.

--Washington felt slighted by not gaining a commission in the regular British army and traveled to Boston in 1758 to complain to Gen. Shirley in person. It is said that he gained a lifelong enmity for the Brits because of this.

13 posted on 01/12/2006 7:05:13 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Pharmboy
I'll tune in for this, though I'm a litle worried about the PBS part.

A great book on the French and Indian wars is A Few Acres of Snow: The Saga of the French and Indian Wars by Robert Lecki. It tells it like it was, without the revisionism that taints so many history books today.

It'd probably be a great counterpoint to read while watchingthe PBS series.

14 posted on 01/12/2006 7:07:35 AM PST by Red Boots
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To: Pharmboy
You'll really enjoy it. Here's one of the items on display -- the original surrender document from Fort Necessity, signed by the 22 year old George Washington.

Let me know when you are visiting. Perhaps we can meet up there.

15 posted on 01/12/2006 7:11:08 AM PST by Ditto ( No trees were killed in sending this message, but billions of electrons were inconvenienced.)
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To: Ditto

Will do...would like to drive out in the spring and visit Braddock's grave, Jumonville Glen, etc.


16 posted on 01/12/2006 7:15:30 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Pharmboy
Will do...would like to drive out in the spring and visit Braddock's grave, Jumonville Glen, etc.

Nice spots and beautful country side. The have recently redone the visitors center at Fort Necessity (only a mile or two from Braddock's Grave) but I haven't had the opportunity to vist as yet. According to the web site the Heinz exhibit is scheduled through April 15, 2006 when it will move to Canada for a while and then on to The Smithsonian in DC.

17 posted on 01/12/2006 7:39:15 AM PST by Ditto ( No trees were killed in sending this message, but billions of electrons were inconvenienced.)
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To: Pharmboy; All
The result is a rich tale of history that also delves deeply into character portrayal - one of which is George Washington, who Stange laughingly described as "a bumbling, over-ambitious 22-year-old" militiaman at the time, who unwittingly started the war with an ambush on an encampment of French soldiers.

How about assault or attack?

ambush wait in hiding to attack
the act of concealing yourself and lying in wait to attack by surprise
still-hunt: hunt (quarry) by stalking and ambushing wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

An ambush is a long established military tactic in which an ambushing force uses concealment to attack an enemy that passes its position. Ambushers strike from concealed positions such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops. The tactic is generally used to gather intelligence or to establish control over an area. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambush

18 posted on 01/12/2006 9:00:55 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

YEs...you are quite correct. It was NOT an ambush at all.


19 posted on 01/12/2006 9:18:58 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Pharmboy
I remember visiting the Plains of Abraham in Quebec a few years back, and was disappointed with just how small the actual battle area was. There is a park that preserves some of the green, but most of the battle site has been developed over the past two centuries. The Brits built a fort on the site of the battle which is still there and worth visiting.

Probably the most brutal act of the Brits during the war was their forced expulsion of the French Acadians from the maritimes, when all who refused to leave were shot. I've talked to folks in Louisiana who STILL harbor bitterness towards the Brits to this day.

20 posted on 01/12/2006 1:27:04 PM PST by Clemenza (Smartest words ever written by a Communist: "Show me the way to the next Whiskey Bar")
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To: Red Boots

Book recommendation bump. Something tells me "rebuttal" might be closer to the mark.


21 posted on 01/12/2006 2:22:43 PM PST by NonValueAdded (What ever happened to "Politics stops at the water's edge?")
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To: Pharmboy; All
Thanks!!

Anyone seen the exhibit in Pittsburgh at the Heinz Regional Cultural Center on the French & Indian War?

My husband and I want to drive over and see this.

It will complement our visit to Ft. Necessity,the site of Braddock's mortal wound, etc. ..the summer of '04.

22 posted on 01/13/2006 7:58:22 AM PST by Molly Pitcher (We are Americans...the sons and daughters of liberty...*.from FReeper the Real fifi*))
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten; 75thOVI; Adrastus; beebuster2000; Belasarius; bert; BJClinton; ...
To all: please ping me to threads that are relevant to the MilHist list (and/or) please add the keyword "MilHist" to the appropriate thread. Thanks in advance.

Please FREEPMAIL indcons if you want on or off the "Military History (MilHist)" ping list.

23 posted on 01/14/2006 7:13:22 AM PST by indcons
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To: NonValueAdded

For some good reading on this era try Allen W Eckerts books. Exhaustive detail but hard to put down if you are interested in this period of American history.


24 posted on 01/14/2006 7:32:11 AM PST by Adrastus (If you don't like my attitude, talk to some one else.)
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To: indcons; Pharmboy

The best part of your new ping lists, I generally don't have any "Thoroughly Modern Miscellany" topics, other than Nick (nickcarraway)'s Shakespeare topics and the like. Thanks, it helps me in ways I can't explain. :')


25 posted on 01/14/2006 10:56:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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To: SunkenCiv

LOL! And don't forget the "Thoroughly Colonial Miscellany"...


26 posted on 01/15/2006 5:28:11 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Pharmboy

I'd probably go with something like, "Thirteen".

Not a bad idea for a Fox TV show -- "Thirteen", about the PreRevolutionary period...


27 posted on 01/15/2006 7:41:34 AM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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To: SunkenCiv

You should try and sell the idea to the producers of "24."


28 posted on 01/15/2006 7:44:26 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Pharmboy

Why all the talk about a war Americans no nothing about? Is the F&I War no longer taught in High School history?


29 posted on 01/16/2006 9:31:22 AM PST by colorado tanker (I can't comment on things that might come before the Court, but I can tell you my Pinochle strategy)
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