Season 1, Episode 2 Order and Disorder (1825-1865)

First Aired: November 18, 1999

“Order and Disorder: 1825-1865” (Part 2 of seven) recalls a period of tremendous growth (New York was “one gigantic construction zone,” says writer John Steele Gordon) and ferment. Most of the new arrivals were Irish immigrants (100,000 by 1842---and that was before the potato famine), and the subsequent overcrowding led to the construction of Central Park (1857-58). But that didn't quell the ferment, which exploded in 1863 with the racially charged draft riots. “It was the largest incident of civil disorder in U.S. history,” notes historian Mike Wallace. “It was the devil's own work,” wrote Walt Whitman.

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  • Premiered: November 14, 1999
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Premise: A seven-part history of the world's `undisputed cultural and economic capital' from 1609 to the end of the 20th century, told in dramatic readings and interviews with historians. An eighth chapter, titled `The Center of the World,' was added following the… (more)

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