The American West – Ep 1 Sneak Peek
Spanning the years from 1865 to 1890, The American West, shows how, in the aftermath of the Civil War, the United States transformed into the “land of opportunity.”
The 8-episode series chronicles the personal, little-known stories of American Western legends such as Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull.
The west was won in the 40 years between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the century. From the Civil War veterans first heading out into the unknown, to the final gunshot that closed the Frontier, the west would come to define American identity. But the land didn’t come without a fight. As the borders expanded further and further, outlaws ruled the land, and in this lawless territory, the only justice was power.
Executive Producer Robert Redford’s knowledge and passion for this period is apparent in each of the eight episodes, as well as appearances from Ed Harris, James Caan, Kris Kristofferson, Mark Harmon, Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds and Kiefer Sutherland.
The Civil War ends in 1865, and America looks to the West to repair the nation. As unrest in the South continues, rebel fighter Jesse James becomes a politically minded outlaw fighting to rekindle the flames of the Confederacy.
President Ulysses S. Grant comes into office and imposes Reconstruction policies to keep the South in check, but out West, conflict with the Sioux Indian leaders ‘Sitting Bull’ and ‘Crazy Horse’ threatens America’s continued expansion. For centuries, America’s Indian tribes have been pushed further and further West… and now, ‘Crazy Horse’ makes his stand against the U.S. military at “The Battle of 100 Slain.” After Crazy Horse’s victory, Grant and General William T. Sherman turn to fellow Civil War hero Lt. Colonel George Custer to fight the Indian tribes on the Plains. ‘Custer’s reprisal only further embroils the county in yet another war..