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Arts & Culture

The Battle For North America

"The Battle For North America" host Dan Snow.
Courtesy of the BBC
"The Battle For North America" host Dan Snow.

Airs Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Over two centuries ago, Britain and France fought a battle that would change the world. Now largely forgotten, the Battle of Quebec was once a story every schoolchild in the U.K. would have known. At stake was the future of North America and the fate of the British Empire.

Britain used its growing industrial strength and a new scientific approach to fight a campaign unlike any that had gone before. It launched a fleet of 200 ships carrying 20,000 men on a deadly mission through uncharted waters.

In "The Battle For North America," Dan Snow, an expert in this period of history having recently written a book about the expedition, sets sail up the magnificent St. Lawrence River following the route taken by the British.


He heads out into the wilds surrounding Quebec, takes to the air, and trains as an 18th-century infantryman to get a true idea of what the campaign and battle would have been like for the men involved.

This period in history is best known as the setting for the Hollywood blockbuster "Last of the Mohicans." Yet the events of that year, 1759, helped create the modern world and define Britain's place in history.

Follow Dan Snow - @thehistoryguy on Twitter

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