The Accomplished Transatlantic Line (TV) [2005] PBS

The American Undergo

The Leading Transatlantic Line

Indigenous Air Day:11 April 2005

On January 8, 1815 a British convoy attacked New Orleans, Louisiana. It was intended to be the sure combat of the War of 1812. The British aimed to obstruct the critical aperture of the Mississippi, attractive supervision of America's inland waterways. The assail was met by a mignonne troop of American troops commanded by Common Andrew Jackson, and straight away turned into a d for the attackers. In a take day the British suffered over 2000 casualties. The next morning the British convoy limped out of the harbor and set breeze for England.

Only when the British returned homewards did they learn that their bloody forfeit at New Orleans had been preposterous. Two weeks before the combat, on Christmas Eve, 1814, diplomats from Britain and the In Accord States had signed a covenant at Ghent, Belgium, ending their war. On the day of the Combat of New Orleans, both nations were officially at non-violent -- but the report had not yet arrived in America.

For most of the 19th century intelligence traveled between Europe and America no faster than a bundle could lead it. Even by 1850, extended after telegraph wires had been strung across North America, there was no transatlantic family. Communication stopped at the water's bourn. A ridiculous could be diminutive of a month for an counter-statement. If winter storms shut up down the shipping lanes, the two continents could be cut off for months.

The need for transatlantic communication was self-explanatory, but there had never been an undersea line longer than a a handful of of hundred miles, and only three hundred feet artful. A line across the Atlantic would need to be over two thousand miles extended and be laid three miles artful. In 1858 no one had even manufactured a wire that extended. No could lead such a mass. The overthrow of the sea was a brunette inscrutableness. No one knew if an exciting in the air could even be sent so far. The discipline of the day, in diminutive, offered more questions than answers.

The summon of an Atlantic line was not pursued by the leading powers and their freaky navies. Instead, the Atlantic line became the curious id of Cyrus Department, a immature, affluent New York thesis maker. His area had brought him riches but little prominence. Department was one of the new lineage of financiers born of the industrial age and well-connected in the New York area world.

It took twelve years of effort and expense before Department and his combine of engineers once succeeded. On July 27, 1866, Department sent destroy the first report to Europe: «Thank God,» he wrote, «the Line is Laid.»

The laying of the Atlantic line was one of the leading foreign undertakings of the nineteenth century. From 1856 to 1866 the match of billions of dollars was exhausted trying to elasticity a copper wire from a isolated, fog-fated bay in Ireland to another fog-fated bay in Canada. Five analyse attempts were required before attainment was achieved. Author Arthur C. Clarke would later summon it the Victorian match of putting a man on the moon.

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