The United States of America was a bold invention of enormous risk. An 8-year war of independence, followed by intense political debate produced a government of, by and for the people. This democracy in a world ruled by Kings and Emperors was a new experiment with three branches--a Court, a Congress and an Executive--all sharing power; a precarious balancing act purposely left open to interpretation.
The era of the Founding Fathers is coming to an end. Over the next 25 years, six presidents will reflect the country's sometimes uneasy transition from old traditions to an expansion of land, influence, and opportunity.
By the mid-1800s, America is triple its original size thanks to bold but controversial decisions by presidents such as Jefferson, Jackson, and Polk. But the question of slavery must be addressed.
The Civil War ends and America desperately needs leadership. The president who'd seen the nation through its most divisive conflict is dead, leaving no road map for peace.
Since the end of the Civil War, Congress and the deep pockets of Big Industry have dictated the course for the nation, but one president fights for the common man, just as a grisly international fight begins.
After the first global war ends, the economy begins to boom; America crashes into depression.
At the end of the devastating second global war, America emerges as a superpower; the Cold War.