Constitutional Convention


Federalists vs. Antifederalists: Great American Debates

Ep. 201803
75 minute listen

How could we enshrine and protect the ideals of 1776 within a national (and federal) government?

The second of’s Great American Debates webinar series took place on Saturday, 8 September, focusing on the Federalist-Antifederalist debates that took place most obviously from late 1787 through 1788, when the Constitution was being considered for ratification throughout the 13 states. Our program took a serious look at the ideas of both sides, considering them as ideas expressed and debated at the time, and looking at how some of these issues have been alive as points of contention throughout American history. Would the new government be national or federal? Would the states be obliterated as sovereignties, or would they continue to drive policy? How would America solve its fiscal and economic problems in the wake of the Revolution? And how would the spirit and ideals of 1776 be enshrined, protected, and promoted for future generations? Questions as these drove those who fought as brothers in the Revolution to different sides of a debate that formally lasted from 1787 to 1788, and yet in many ways has not ended, even to today.

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