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The World Turned Upside Down: 1778-1783 



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Episode credited cast:
Sara Scott
Benjamin Franklin
Peter Donaldson ...
John Adams
Alexander Hamilton
John Dickinson
General Charles Cornwallis
Philip Vickers Fithian
Narrator (voice)
King George III
Jehu Grant
Ambrose Serle
George Washington (voice)
General John Burgoyne
James Madison
Abigail Adams


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History | War




Release Date:

25 November 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

The British move South....and the show makes a few blunders.
29 May 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Like all the previous episodes, this one is exceptionally well made--and also NOT 40 minutes but approximately 53 minutes.

Episode 5 "The World Turned Upside Down" is about the war in the South as well as the final battles of the war. After the British were defeated in New England and the war became a stalemate in New York, the British decided to engage the rebels in the South. Using Loyalists, the British are somewhat successful. They've captured the cities and win most of the battles, but the countryside becomes firmly anti-British and the rebel army grows. Ultimately, a combined force of the Northern Continental Army (under Washington) as well as the French forces move South to Yorktown, Virginia in a pincer move. Combined with the Southern army, the British are overwhelmed and the last MAJOR battle of the war ends. However, the war lingers on for two more years as the peace treaty is hammered out--though many history books and show seem to portray Yorktown as THE final battle. In fact, the Brits STILL control several major cities and they mostly just sit and wait....

This is a very good episode. However, as a retired history teacher, I did notice one HUGE omission. While the combined American and French forces defeated the British at Yorktown, the British ultimately surrendered because the war had become a world war. While we Americans like to say 'we beat the British in the Revolution', this isn't really the case. The British simply could not afford to keep ALL their colonies and chose to abandon America since we were a lot of trouble AND the French, Spanish and Dutch were fighting the British for control of India. Simply, the Brits felt India was so important that they gave up trying to keep it AND America.

Another omission is the discussion of the peace process. The show breezes through this, but it wasn't that simple. The French did everything they could to hinder the peace process. After all, they hated Britain and didn't like America very much. It got so bad that eventually the American delegation met secretly with the British to hammer out the treaty and sign it! This is an odd thing to not even mention.

Because these are HUGE omissions, I am knocking a few points off an otherwise excellent episode.

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