How to Build a Nation in 15 Weeks show

How to Build a Nation in 15 Weeks

Summary: Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry Sandick along with Jon Hatch and colleagues at Patterson Belknap revisit the hottest topics from each week in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, tracking their current place in our legal and political landscape.

Join Now to Subscribe to this Podcast

Podcasts:

 Bill of Rights, Part 3: Military Amendments | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 42:58

The Patterson team discusses the English and colonial antecedents of the Second Amendment, the fear of standing armies motivating its proposal, and the Congressional modifications before ratification. We then examine every federal appellate case interpreting the Third Amendment. (It doesn’t take long.)

 Bill of Rights, Part 2: Religion and Expression | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:02:39

Early colonists try to balance religious liberty with established state churches. John Peter Zenger goes to trial and suffers a pyrrhic loss. The murky origins of the free speech clause. James Madison slyly tweaks proposals from the state ratifying conventions. Federalists and Democratic-Republicans battle over the Sedition Act in the shadow of the new First Amendment. Thomas Jefferson proposes a radical fix that nearly undoes the Constitution.

 Bill of Rights, Part 1: Drafting and Ratification | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:16:34

Federalists and Anti-Federalists debate the necessity, danger, and efficacy of amendments. Madison takes charge and persuades Congress to go along, eventually. The Senate ditches state restrictions and a strict separation of powers. Congress sends 12 amendments to the States. 10 are quickly affirmed and become the Bill of Rights. One is rejected due to micromanagement and bad math. One takes the long way round to become the 27th Amendment.

 Mini-episode: 19th Century Constitutionalism and the Republic of Indian Stream | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:37

A riverine ambiguity leads the locals to return to first principles, and draft a constitution. The citizens borrow some rights, expand some others, delve into equal protection and equal obligation, reject separation of powers, and graft an executive, legislative, and judicial council onto a town meeting. A hardware store debt leads to an international incident, and Daniel Webster removes the devil from the details.

 Judiciary Acts, Part 2: Midnight Judges and Missing Commissions | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:45

The Patterson team debates whether the 1789 Act is pro-debtor or creditor. The Federalists giveth to the Midnight Judges, and the Democratic-Republicans taketh away. Marshall and Chase contemplate a strike. Marbury v. Madison establishes judicial review—or does it? The justices resume circuit riding, and fold in Stuart v. Laird. Concern over civil rights slowly opens the door to expanded federal jurisdiction, until the railroads kick it down.

 Judiciary Acts, Part 1: Hang Like a Bat to Every Particle | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:20:08

The First Congress picks up where Article III left off. Oliver Ellsworth gets possessive. The justices are told to make like post-boys and get on their horses. Congress tries to avoid amendments, and omits federal question jurisdiction and appeals from criminal trials or pro-federal decisions. The Rules of Decision Act is added at the last moment, leading to countless litigation over a provision that may not have applied in the first place.

 Bonus Episode: Professor Michael Klarman (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:09:41

On this bonus episode, we spoke with Professor Michael Klarman, author of the excellent book the Framer’s Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution, about how the Framers designed the Constitution to be less democratic than the existing state governments, how the Federalists managed to ratify the Constitution over strong opposition, the mistakes of the antifederalists, and whether we should mythologize the Constitution and its founders.

 Ratification, Part 4: The Anti-Federalists’ Last Stand | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:04:56

The Federalists face a 46–19 disadvantage in New York and adopt a strategy of delay. The Anti-Federalists don’t sweat New Hampshire, but word of Virginia’s ratification sways their resolve. Melancton Smith is persuaded by argument. The namesake of Great Jones Street makes a proposal that leads to New York’s ratification. Sick of being lumped in with Rhode Island, North Carolina relents. Rhode Island joins the Union kicking and screaming.

 Ratification, Part 3: The Anti-Federalists Strike Back | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:04:36

New Hampshire makes nine. The Anti-Federalists belatedly get their act together and put up a fight. Patrick Henry blusters and bullies his way through the Virginia convention. George Mason and Edmund Randolph each offer up their limbs. John Marshall makes promises that the Supreme Court is absolutely not going to back up. James Madison conquers his weak constitution with a strong Constitution. Virginia ratifies, but things still look rough in New York.

 Ratification, Part 2: Eight is Almost Enough | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:01:12

Delaware quickly ratifies, and Pennsylvania Federalists convene, imprison a few delegates, and force a quick ratification. New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut quickly ratify to grab equal Senate representation. The Massachusetts Federalists show flexibility and deploy a few rumors, John Hancock gets coy, and everyone goes home happy after ratifying. Martin overplays his hand in Maryland. South Carolina uses some creative allocation. New Hampshire decides to delay.

 Ratification, Part 1: Monarchy Men, Military Men, Aristocrats, and Drones | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:01

The Patterson team explores the differences between Federalists and the Federalist Party, and fail to come up with an alternative name for the anti-Federalists, The Constitution goes public. The Federalists press their urban advantages, and their advantages in the press. Richard Henry Lee tries to kill the Constitution in the Articles Congress, but Madison maneuvers for a unanimous vote. Anti-Federalists develop their arguments.

 Season 2: Renovations | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:05

We’re back! The Constitution has been drafted—but how did it overcome anti-Federalist opposition to get ratified? And how did the omissions and mistakes in the original draft get fixed (or not)? Join the Patterson team for a new season of How to Build a Nation in 15 Weeks, including further details on ratification, the Bill of Rights, the Judiciary Act of 1789, the 11th and 12th Amendments, and more.

 Bonus Episode: Interview with Professor Michael Klarman | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:08:38

On this bonus episode, we spoke with Professor Michael Klarman, author of the excellent book the Framer’s Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution, about how the Framers designed the Constitution to be less democratic than the existing state governments, how the Federalists managed to ratify the Constitution over strong opposition, the mistakes of the antifederalists, and whether we should mythologize the Constitution and its founders.

 Conclusion: “A republic, if you can keep it.” | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:09

The end of an 18-week journey. Thanks to our colleagues, our producers, and the Firm. Reflections on the Convention, including the question of authorship, the past and current quality of political dialogue, the guiding design (or lack thereof) of the Constitution, the fear of corruption, the value of compromise, and the Notes as literature. Plans for season two, including ratification, the Bill of Rights, and more.

 Week 16, Part 2: Get the People to Sign Off | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:31

The Constitution goes public, and Congress sends it to the states for consideration. Adams and Jefferson react, and confirm that the delegates probably should have added a Bill of Rights. The Federalists and Anti-Federalists square off. The states ratify and create a new nation, though North Carolina and Rhode Island miss opening day. The delegates go on to lead the republic they helped create. The Patterson team covers 15 years of American history in 15 minutes.

Comments

Login or signup comment.