The Civil War: Season 1, Episode 1

The Cause (1861) (23 Sep. 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | History | War
8.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.5/10 from 90 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Slavery began to flourish in the U.S. at the end of the 18th century with Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin. Whereas it would take one person a day to produce a pound of clean ... See full summary »

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 10000 titles
created 27 Feb 2011
 
a list of 1291 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Cause (1861) (23 Sep 1990)

The Cause (1861) (23 Sep 1990) on IMDb 8.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Civil War.
1 of 9 Episodes | Next Episode »

Videos

1 video »
Edit

Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David McCullough ...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
...
Himself - Writer
Barbara Fields ...
Herself - Historian
Ed Bearss ...
Himself - Historian
...
...
Mary Chestnut (voice)
...
...
Paul Roebling ...
Joshua L. Chamberlain / Sullivan Ballou (voice)
...
Walt Whitman (voice)
George Black ...
Robert E. Lee (voice)
...
...
Pvt. Elijah Hunt Rhodes (voice) (as Chris Murney)
Charles McDowell ...
Pvt. Sam Watkins (voice) (as Charley McDowell)
Horton Foote ...
Jefferson Davis (voice)
Edit

Storyline

Slavery began to flourish in the U.S. at the end of the 18th century with Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin. Whereas it would take one person a day to produce a pound of clean cotton, the cotton gin could produce 1000 lbs per day. Business boomed and the demand for slaves to work new cotton fields rose accordingly. Serious objections to slavery began as early as 1831 and the abolitionist movement in the North grew quickly. There was particular concern about whether new States entering the Union would be free or slave States. Some, like John Brown, added religious zealotry to the cause and his raid on the federal at Harper's Ferry in 1859 ended in failure. The Southern States were genuinely concerned that the Union would outlaw slavery altogether. There were 21 million people living in the North compared to only 9 million in the South, which included 4 million slave. The turning point came in the election of 1860 which essentially became a referendum on slavery. The South ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

photo montage


Edit

Details

Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1990 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Shelby Foote: It was because we failed to do the thing we really have a genius for, which is compromise. Americans like to think of themselves as uncompromising. Our true genius is for compromise. Our whole government's founded on it. And, it failed.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lots Of Info To Start This Series Off
12 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This first segment in this 9-part television series looks at the beginnings of the American Civil War: how the South felt and why it seceded from the Union; President Abraham Lincoln's election, and the beginning battles of this famous war.

This, being the longest episode of the series at 100 minutes, had a lot of facts presented. To those not well-versed on the war (such as I), this was like taking a course in American history. There are so many facts to learn and names to remember - if I want to keep up with this series -it gets taxing on one's brain. However, the program is presented in such a format that it is usually interesting. Filmmaker Ken Burns went on to use this format in his other projects, such as the series on baseball. He shows a lot of black-and-white pictures of the era, throws in some modern day color shots (which are beautiful) and adds narration to everything. The latter is in the form of letters written by witnesses of the war, or in biographies or in comments by modern-day historians. The voices are provided by a host of people, from history writers and commentators to Hollywood actors.

Those quoted most often in this opening show are two of the most eloquent men in U.S. history: Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, the black leader of his day. Also, at the end of this segment, we hear quite a bit about George McClellan, a man who got the Union armies in shape to fight.

Overall, there were too many bits of information to recall them all here.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ken Burn's 'The Civil War' total greatness john_chris2006
Civil War II 2004RedSox
Shelby Foote memphistim2001
Does Burns avoid controversy in this documentary? mlovmo-2
Which 2 states? crosseyedsheep
Voices catplace88
Discuss The Cause (1861) (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?