Tag: History and Military
Posted on 2011-05-26. By anonymous.
The T-ac-ing Company | 2007 | Course No. 4878 | 12 lectures | 30 minutes / lecture
AVI, XviD, 640x480, 29.97 fps | MP3 VBR, 2 Ch, 48.0 kHz | ~ 6 hrs | 2.25 Gb
Language: English | Genre: eLearning, History, Politics
"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, ..."â€”U.S. Constitution
While those words were written over 200 years ago, recent years have seen an explosion of interest in and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Its authority and stature are routinely invoked by voices from every point on the political spectrum who seek to defend their views on issues ranging from separation of powers to the proper role of the Supreme Court to legitimate interpretations of the Bill of Rights, with frequent references to the Founding Fathers and their true "intent."
But how much do most of us really know about that intent?
The fact is, as Professor Thomas L. Pangle makes clear in The Great Debate: Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution, many of those Founding Fathersâ€”men who had been signers of the Declaration of Independence, leaders of the American Revolution, or delegates to the Continental Congressâ€”were highly critical of the new Constitution and staunchly opposed it when it was first put forth for ratification by the states as a replacement for the Articles of Confederation.
Learn Which Founders Opposed the New Constitution ...
Thomas Jefferson, for example, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, was highly skeptical of the proposed constitution and was not among the Federalists who were urging ratification, although his reluctant support for it was eventually won by his good friend James Madison.
Patrick Henry, whose declaration "Give me liberty or give me death!" is arguably the most iconic quote of the American Revolution, was an eloquent voice against ratification, his oratorical skills a potent weapon of the Anti-Federalist side in his native state of Virginia.
And John Hancock, the Declaration's first signer, was still another opponent of the new constitution, but later joined with fellow critic Samuel Adams to lead the effort at compromise through which Massachusetts approved ratification, but with many substantial amendments recommended.
Joined by a chorus of notable essayistsâ€”writing, in the style of the day, under the pen names "Agrippa," "Brutus," or "Cato," meant to evoke the ideals of Classical Republicanism they favoredâ€”the Anti-Federalists formed a potent opposition.
Which Founders Led the Battle for It ...
On the other side of the argument, an equally distinguished chorus of voicesâ€”led by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jayâ€”was raised in support of the proposed constitution.
They urged that its innovative structureâ€”a structure the Anti-Federalists considered frightening and dangerousâ€”ought to be passed without any substantial amendments. And in The Federalist, the extraordinary collection of polemical papers organized by Hamilton, they presented their side's answer to the objections raised by the proposed constitution's opponents.
The debate that ensuedâ€”even while some states ratified the document and others rejected itâ€”raged for the better part of two years. Each side argued to prove and persuade others to their position. And beneath its rhetorical flourishes lay not only the longest and most profound civic argument in our nation's history, but also a civics lesson that deserves to endure for all time.
And How Both Sides Helped Define the Result!
It was an argument that would result in not only the ratification of the Constitution but also of what that Constitution would becomeâ€”and the finished document was a testimonial to the contributions of the "victorious" Federalist side and the "losing" Anti-Federalists as well.
Why were the nation's planners so divided? What were the concerns that caused so many passionate defenders of American independence to take such different views? And why are the answers so important to us today?
In addressing these issuesâ€”including fervently presented renditions of the great debate's most illustrious writings and speechesâ€”Professor Pangle brilliantly revives "the great controversy out of which our Constitution was born, so that we ourselves can begin to re-enact, in some degree, the debates and thus the choicesâ€”and, more importantly, the arguments for the choicesâ€”that were made by the founding generation."
In an era when contemporary arguments on the national stage so often mirror the same conflicts debated by the Founders, our own reenactment of that original debate can enrich our ability to be active and participating citizens.
"By listening to the original critics of the Constitution," Professor Pangle notes, "and by seeing how the defenders are responding to those critics, we will have better access to the age-old, deeply puzzling problems in the very nature of Republicanism with which our founders were wrestling and trying to solve. We can see precisely what dangers this new Constitution was meant to combat and what it was designed to achieve.
"But also, and equally important, we can see what our constitutional system was not designed to achieve, what alternative concerns and goals of political life were abandoned or subordinated, what costs were consciously paid, what limitations were accepted in opting for this ... new system."
Lecture 02: Classical Republicanism
Lecture 03: The Anti-Federalists' Republican Vision
Lecture 04: The Argument over National Security
Lecture 05: The Deep Difficulties in Each Position
Lecture 06: Debating the Meaning of "Federalism"
Lecture 07: The Madisonian Republic
Lecture 08: The Argument over Representation
Lecture 09: Disputing Separation of Powers, Part 1
Lecture 10: Disputing Separation of Powers, Part 2
Lecture 11: The Supreme Court and Judicial Review
Lecture 12: The Bill of Rights
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