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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

Two Revolutions and the Constitution

00:00 38:33
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The United States is fraught with angst, fear, anger, and divisiveness due to our current political climate. How did we get here? And where are we headed?

Before the American Revolutionary period, Americans thought that the British constitution was the best in the world. Under the British system and their colonial charters, free Americans already enjoyed greater liberties and opportunities than any other people, including those in Britain.
Once they declared independence in 1776, the former British colonies in America needed their own rules for a new system of government. They drafted and adopted State constitutions. They needed cooperation between the States to fight the British, so the new States tried a confederation. It was too weak, so eleven years after declaring independence, the Framers devised a revolutionary federal and national constitution—the first major written constitution of the modern world.

The new State and federal constitutions and the system of law were deeply influenced by the British system, but with brilliant and revolutionary changes.

Today’s guest is James D.R. Philip, author of the book “Two Revolutions and the Constitutuion.” He describes how Americans removed the British monarch and entrenched their freedoms in an innovative scheme that was tyrant-proof and uniquely American. It was built on the sovereignty of the American people rather than the sovereignty of a king or queen.

So, as well as describing the American Revolution and the development of the American constitutions that came before the final Constitution, we discuss the revolutionary development of the English system of law and government that was a foundation of the American system.
October 14, 2021
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
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