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Sweet Land of Liberty Memorable Moments in American History The 19th Century DVD Review by Lisa McKinney

Marshall Publishing & Promotions, Inc.
1075 Bradford Court
Elgin, IL 60120

Sweet Land of Liberty- America in the 19th Century DVD is a great tool for parents, teachers, homeschoolers, and history buffs alike to explore in more detail what the 1800’s were like. Over the course of 50 minutes, the DVD focuses on six key big moments during the 1800’s in America: The Louisiana Purchase, America’s Industrial Revolution, The Battle for Texas, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, The Great Westward Expansion, and Immigration and the Gilded Age. Each of the moments is discussed using a mixture of old photos, video recreations, movie clips, maps, and other graphics. The video segments range from approximately 6 to 12 minutes in length. There is a narrator who explains why each event is important to American History and what changes it brought with it. The DVD can be played continuously, or you can jump to any specific moment you wish to study. The DVD can be used in unit studies or as chapter summaries for the middle and high school grades. Sweet Land of Liberty-America in the 19th Century DVD is available for $19.95 and is part of a larger series including DVD’s with memorable events for the 18th and 20th Century as well.

This DVD worked great for us as we concluded our studies of the 1800’s in America. Each of the memorable events on this DVD were events that we discussed this year in our own history course for homeschool. Many of the images were even the same. While my oldest (6th grade) is the one I got this for, my youngest (2nd grade) enjoyed watching the video too. I plan on showing it to him again as his own studies in American History shift into the 19th century. Because both of my boys are very much visual and auditory learners, this DVD was perfect for them.

While we are homeschooling family ourselves, I would not say that this DVD is only useful for homeschoolers. This DVD is very appropriate for all teachers and students studying American history. The DVD reminded me very much of the shows that my own history teachers showed me when I was in public school. That is actually one of the cons I have for it. It didn’t seem updated enough to be a more recently made DVD. I was expecting something a bit more modern in regards to how to put it was put together. But that is personal preference, more than a fault of the DVD. The only other con that I have is that it didn’t work in my DVD player. My player said “Cannot play” when I tried to watch it. Fortunately, it worked perfectly in my laptop. I plugged my laptop into the TV and we were able to watch it on the big screen. At first it had issues on the first chapter and kept getting stuck, but I was able to jump ahead and move it forward to the next chapter. I was also able to go back and watch the first chapter again later. I didn’t see anything on the DVD saying that it wouldn’t work in a normal DVD player, so I am unsure as to why it had issues.

Sweet Land of Liberty- America in the 19th Century DVD is a great resource for anyone studying America during the 1800’s and helps bring to life what a textbook cannot; yet even though I recommend it as being a good resource, I honestly wouldn’t be interested in buying it for myself. I see it as more of a classroom resource rather than a single-family use, especially if the family only has one or two students. I would however, purchase it for a homeschool co-op situation or if I was a teacher of history in public school. Students will remember far more from seeing the DVD than just learning from books alone.

-Product review by Lisa McKinney, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2018