History's Turning Points

History's Turning Points

1997, History  -   26 Comments
Ratings: 6.59/10 from 17 users.

History's Turning PointsHistory’s Turning Points is a thirteen part series (here we have only 7) on decisive moments in world history. Each turning point in history has behind it a story and a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. How would the development of one of the world’s greatest civilizations, would the British have won Quebec in the eighteenth century without the tenacity and devotion to duty of General John Wolfe?

New facts, often from indigenous sources, have emerged to add to our understanding of these crucial events and these, together with the latest historical research and documented first-hand accounts, bring each turning point vividly to life. Exclusive dramatizations carried out at the actual sites of the events, History’s Turning Points provides a fascinating and intriguing new perspective on the significant moments that have changed the world.

Episodes included: 1. The Battle of Actium, 2. The Battle of Salamis, 3. The Black Death, 4. The Siege of Constantinople, 5. Conquest of the Incas, 6. The Battle For Canada, and 7. The Zulus at War.

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9 years ago

I saw the title and was interested, but was disappointed (though not surprised), to see that most of the turning points considered here were military in nature.

I'd suggest that the biggest turning points in history have much more to do with technological advancements and societal change rather than military conquest. I mean taking the Battle for Canada as an example, would North America really be that different a place if the French were victorious rather than the English? Sure Quebec has a somewhat different culture to the rest of Canada, but we all shop and watch hockey.

Off the top of my head I can list a number of historical events which have arguably had more significance than the wars noted above: how about internal combustion engine, or the Internet, or universal suffrage to name a few.

9 years ago

They're ok but not great. The title is also misleading, ive never really thought of the battle for Canada as being one of histories 7 or even 13 turning points.

11 years ago

Not impressed, a poor attempt at providing even basic knowledge on the subjects, disregarding these documentaries on the basis of bias is irrelevant. They are simply much too short to provide a decent analysis of the issues and rather, are a cheap way of filling air time, no doubt made at a very low budget, at the expense of a profit driven t.v company. Not really educational but may be entertaining by laughing at the crappy re enactments.

12 years ago

this is soo helpful for anyone who needs this information

12 years ago

this is good information

12 years ago

Nikola Tesla should be in History’s Turning Points

Everyone gives Edison all the credit for being the pioneer in this area, but in my opinion, Tesla was the real genius. Many of his ideas were either stolen or suppressed, in this era of big business and modern marketing.

Nikola Tesla is directly responsible for the modern era as we know it.
He is a true pioneer and visionaire.

You can watch who is he at History Channel Modern Marvels_Nikola Tesla-Mad Electricity\Tesla Electricity

12 years ago

How far back in history do you want to go to serve penitence for.??

Religions of all kinds have always, in the name of God, have denied science, killed non-believers, and attempted to destroy other societies. Lets get rid of all the people that are religious just to even things out.

Egypt has a long history of waring and enslavement of others.

Romans conquered many lands and enslaved them, even killed people for sport..... should Italy be torn down ??

Muslims conquered and enslaved many peoples and later, they were conquered, should they be eliminated or is the world supposed to aqueous to their demands today ??

Briton nearly controlled the known world at one time, killing many along the way, lets get rid of Briton....

American Indians attacked one another, also took slaves and territory...

The Spanish were known to be very vengeful in many areas besides the 'new' world, or was the inquisitions just a spectator sport ??

Incas and the Aztecs killed there own people and others no matter how advanced they were. Playing a soccer like game with the human heads of their conquests is not exactly a peaceful pursuit....it doesn't matter if wars were ritual or not..

Vikings pillaged and raped just about everywhere they went.

The Irish and the Scots were war like mostly with each other and the Brits.

Chinese and Japanese also are not so innocent nor was the Vietnamese. The Great Wall wasn't put up as a decoration.

I guess Gingus Khan was just a sweet pussy cat that was misunderstood.

Alexander the Great was just on a hiking trip to see the view ??

African tribal societies have been trying to conquer, control, or eliminate each other since time began. Maybe many of them were called warriors for that reason. Just as many street gangs of today, many of these warriors had to kill someone from another tribe in order accepted as a complete warrior. In a lessor form, it is still going on today. [ Necklacing is a term used to describe tying a rubber tire around the neck of the victim and setting the tire on fire while turning the now burning person loose to run around while he/she is on fire.. must be a ritual of some kind..] In earlier times, tribes sold their own people and people from raids on other tribes into slavery. The Portuguese were exceptionally adept at raiding black tribes and killing blacks that were not suitable for sale in the slave trade..

The point being that every society or group on earth from the beginning of time has at one time or another been involved in some kind of atrocity besides western societies. If you are going throw stones, make sure that you hit all targets instead of the 'I hate all things western' bias.

My ancestors came from the Netherlands. In fact, in the 1800s, the first of my ancestors to come to America came as slaves. White slaves !!! Yes, the Netherlands sold many of their own into slavery. The polite term was indentured servants but they were slaves none the less, subject to re-sale, beatings, and death. The only advantage was that when white slaves escaped, it was easier to disappear. The Netherlanders were not exactly angels either, [look up the Dutch West Indies Company..] but other than gather their victims before me and slit my throat with a dull razor , there is not much I can do.....unless you have some more immediate suggestions.

12 years ago

John, I find your comment to be quite ignorant and insulting. Saddened is quite right and Matt has a very valid point.

And to make the analogy of the lion and zebra was the most offensive statement I've heard in a long time regarding the conquering and brutal genocide of indigineous peoples. Even to suggest it seems to says that it is the natural order of things and therefore it's ok. You're actually saying the western world are the conquering lions and the indigenious peoples are the weak defenceless zebras who are by natures way going to be eaten and dominated by the lions. This analogy is high naive and childish and without any thought. The differnce between lions in the wild and the western conquerors is that lions run on instinct and the western conquerors are humans that can make decisions for themselves and they choose to slaughter and take advantage of peoples who were peaceful and far more advanced in their own ways that didn't include effeciency of muder.

I hope you simply used a bad analogy for what you were saying but still the implied statement is appauling enough on it's own.

12 years ago

I am utterly disappointed with these documentaries. They show the turning points in the history of West and not the world. The name of this series is really deceptive to the World audience and serves the interest of the Euro-centric world.
Really shameful *sigh*

12 years ago

Saddened,you live in a fairytale world,i think you watched Avatar too many times.
And Matt,it wasn't you and certainly not YOUR ancestors and genes that conquered those places,so it's not up to you what will happen.Do you even know what implies that your saying?The lion should let himself get eaten by zebras?

12 years ago

i disagree matt. although your point is a good one. i believe that as all we have inherited (society, economy, culture etc) has come from our ancestors, that we also inherit the the right to right our wrongs. there have been certain ideas and things that took thousands of attempts to create and get right, if after a hundred or so attempts these things were given up they wouldn't be here today. So i say instead of just handing over everything, let us work as one together, as earth.

12 years ago

It's a shame thateven after so many failed attempts, we continue to think that we westerners, being inherrantly shot thru with corrupt and irredeemably evil intentions, still seem to think that we can somehow tell a truthfull narrative regarding our dealings with the myriad indigenous societies we destroyed. Until we just admit our unsalvageably bad idea's won't work, step back from our positions of power, and simultaneously hand the reins over to those we have wronged and submit ourselves to their will that we may begin our lengthy penance to them, our half way, luke warm overtures toward "equality" will remain utterly worthless. We must turn over all our possessions to those we've wronged, and start over with US on the reservations, so we may learn humility by living in a 14th century type lifestyle, while letting them take over technical society, we canot right our wrongs.

12 years ago

great! this is really nice to watch! :) I'm studying the history of greece now. :D

Confused Audience
12 years ago

Some other turning points ... Britain colonizing India ... formation of china some 2000 years back ... India gaining freedom that sets off a chain of freedom for all the colonized countries (that's a big turning point) ... how can you neglect East if we are trying to find turning points of history

13 years ago

V I think it is actually happening :) You should not forget about pandemics like AIDS hiv, SARS and flu.

13 years ago

Whilst these documentaries were interesting, I have to say I was very disapointed that they were largely based on the views of the victors re: "the victors always write the history".

I was initially looking forward to watching them based on the fact that the overview stated that they had taken into account the views of the indiginous people...unfortunately this was limited to how western cultures translate the meanings of indiginous cultures in the same context as their own.

Very sad that this was not quite updated enough to include the more cutting edge research that has been carried out on the destruction of the native people and the effects that eurocentric philosophy and psychology has when it blames the victims.

For example, in order to play down their bloodthirsty murderous pasts, the conquistadors were seen as having superior weaponry and therefore able to conquer!

If we look at this in the context of the culture, warfare within the inca nation was not about killing and fighting, more about spiritual ritual.

Rulers were not seen as 'in charge' more 'servants' of the people. As the more aware members of society know, the culture of the government spreads through the people. The Incas lived in equal societies. (no need for war, or battle for leadership in the western context)

So basically, the conquistadors were not 'lucky' or 'skilled' just murderous heathens let loose among spiritual 'children'.

Shame...could have been more sensitively done and then they might have been very powerful docs indeed!

13 years ago

We are accustomed each others diseases V, that's why. If we are to be wiped out by disease now it has to be a new disease arising from mutation, not from being brought in contact with another formerly geographically separated group of people.

13 years ago


13 years ago

Wow... I have always thought how crazy lucky the Spanish conquistadors were... and how naive the Inca were. A entire continent conquered in the 1500's? Entire civilizations wiped out by disease - and then just a few hundred men take over an empire? Just tragic.

Looking at the genocide of the American peoples- one can't help but think how contagious disease could once again destroy civilization. Why it hasn't happened already in this age of biological weapons - who knows.

Greg Carr
13 years ago

The video Fahrenhype 9/11 would be a good addition.

Charles B.
13 years ago

Vlatko: Are there any more of these "Turning Point" documentaries that you know of? These are great, and are a nice length to watch in the evening. Surely there are more turning points in history than just these seven! :-)

Charles B.
13 years ago

Vlatko: I have to start my finals prep classes, and two young babies that always need my attention, but you keep adding more and more documentaries that I want to watch faster than I can watch them! What's a busy family man to do?... that's right! Take a nap and worry about it later. I still haven't made it through all of the David Attenbourgh docs yet, but I'm chipping away at them one by one. :-)

13 years ago

Awesome!!! Please find the others!