(26:00) Explores the origins, outbreak, and outcome of the American Revolution, the major political texts which grew out of that struggle, and their ongoing significance. Topics include the heavy British taxation that helped spark the Revolution; the spirit and structure of the Declaration of Independence; the short-lived Articles of Confederation; the drafting and ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; and their implications for U.S. government as we know it today.
(30:00) An account of the events leading up to the creation of the Constitution. The program puts key events into historical perspective by examining the pressures faced by Loyalists, Patriots, and average colonists. It explores a mix of individuals, political philosophers, and social issues of the day. Dramatized sections provide insights into what actually went on at Independence Hall while the document was being written.
(26:40) After the War for Independence, the struggle for a new system of government begins. Professor Pauline Maier looks at the creation of the Constitution of the United States. The Republic survives a series of threats to its union, and the program ends with the deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson on the Fourth of July, 1826.