Quick Course

Quick Course | Constitutional Convention – Introduction

In this six-part lecture series, historians Paul Gilje and Kevin Butterfield examine the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. Gilje and Butterfield pay close attention to the detai...

Quick Course | Constitutional Convention – Lecture 1

Lecture 1: Why was there a Constitutional Convention? In an effort to explain why there was a Constitutional Convention, this lecture first challenges the traditional discussion of the weaknesses of the Articles of...

Quick Course | Constitutional Convention – Lecture 2

Lecture 2: Organizing the Convention In this lecture, Butterfield will look at the most basic question of all: what kinds of rules and procedures did the delegates to the Constitutional Convention agree upon? Fully...

Quick Course | Constitutional Convention – Lecture 3

This lecture asks why James Madison, often consider the mastermind of the Constitution, was disappointed in its outcome.  Madison had drawn up the Virginia plan which included a stronger national oversight for the sta...

Quick Course | Constitutional Convention – Lecture 4

In its first week, the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was confronted with a motion by James Wilson “that the executive consist of a single person.” From that moment forward, there were heated debates about whether ...

Quick Course | Constitutional Convention – Lecture 5

This lecture offers two contrasting answers to the question: Was the Constitution the Culmination of the Revolution?  First, by arguing that the Constitution was a conservative coup d’etat, this lecture suggests that ...

Quick Course | Constitutional Convention – Lecture 6

On July 4, 1854, the antislavery activist William Lloyd Garrison publicly burned a copy of the U.S. Constitution, condemning it as "a Covenant with Death, an Agreement with Hell.” Was he right that the Constitution, a...

Understanding the Second Amendment, Ep. 1 – Introduction

Kyle Harper, Director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage, introduces the series and explains why understanding the Constitution is so important for the Second Amendment debates.

Understanding the Second Amendment, Ep. 2 – Interpreting the Second Amendment

Professor Lindsay Robertson explores the current landscape of Second Amendment jurisprudence.  He introduces the basic interpretive methods used by different Supreme Court justices to understand the text of the Second...

Understanding the Second Amendment, Ep. 3 – The Ideological Origins of the Second Amendment

Professor Robert Shalhope takes us back to the 18th century and evokes the ideological context of the Founding Fathers.  He describes the different strands of political ideology which influenced the founding generatio...

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