In “The Rebels” we meet one of the colonies' first entrepreneurs, a shrewd farmer who defied Spain’s grip on tobacco seeds and changed Jamestown from a ghost town into a boom town. For the next century and a half, tobacco was our largest single export. Donald Trump interrupts the re-enactments and CGI with a brief statement about success and luck with a brief tribute to the hard-working colonists. Throughout the series noteworthy Americans offer comments and opinions about our country and what it means to be an American. Perhaps it is a good time for us all to stop and ask ourselves what it means to us to be Americans.
The History Channel has announced that this series will launch its “largest ever educational outreach initiative to date.” In addition to numerous contests, seminar/web casts, and print materials, THC will donate the entire 12-hour series on DVD to every single school and accredited college in America. DVD and Blu-ray versions will be available from Amazon on August 10, 2010. A project of this magnitude is sure to attract attention. If our students do indeed watch it and learn from it, what will they do as a result? What this program motivates us to do both individually and collectively will be as interesting to watch as the series.