Today, the US Constitution is the oldest, continually-operating instrument of government in the world. But to think of the Constitution as a fully-formed, canonical document is to miss out on an honest, well-rounded grasp of American history. Now, more than ever, any well-informed citizen should understand how the Constitution lives, breathes, and endures.
In collaboration with Smithsonian, these 36 lectures are a deep dive into the creation of the US Constitution as it actually happened - and the remarkable men who played their own unique role in the creation (and survival) of American democracy. Designed to be enjoyed in chronological order, they take you from the closing days of the American Revolution to the opening decades of the United States under the newly created US Constitution. Told like a dramatic story, each lecture uses a Founder as a doorway through which to examine the process involved in crafting the Constitution.
You'll encounter fresh perspectives on familiar Founders including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton, as well as people not necessarily considered Founders, including James McHenry, Secretary of War under John Adams; and Alexis de Tocqueville, author of the insightful Democracy in America. While detailed, the lectures are highly accessible for all learners, high school students and history buffs alike.
Less a biography of individuals, Professor Guelzo's lectures are instead a composite biography of one of the greatest political documents in history.
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