PODCAST: HISTORY UNPLUGGED
J. Edgar Hoover’s 50-Year Career of Blackmail, Entrapment, and Taking Down Communist Spies

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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.

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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.

Episode Transcription:

It’s a fundamentally different revolution from, say, the Russian Revolution or the Chinese revolution, which seek to displace all the people who are in charge, eliminate private property, replace it with a form of an entirely new system built on entirely different aspirations, if you like. You don’t have any of that in America. And this is not surprising because remember at the beginning and in the declaration they’re saying, you, the British have infringed the system here. We just want continuity of the system. And what they do is they publicize an American eyes, the British system, and it’s a revolution, I think, of political science, sovereignty of the people, the innovations in the way the federation and structure, it’s a revolution in political science, but it’s not a revolution in the sense of seeking to entirely turn the world upside down and start with a clean sheet of paper. And that, of course, is one of the reasons that it’s been so successful. History isn’t just a bunch of names and dates and facts. It’s the collection of all the stories throughout human history that explained how and why we got here. Welcome to the history unplug podcast where we look at the forgotten, neglected, strange, and even counterfactual stories that made our world what it is. I’m your host, Scott rank. Before the American revolutionary period, colonists of the Americas 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 confederation. It was way too weak, so 11 years after declaring independence, the framers devised a revolutionary federal 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 DR Phillip, author of the book two revolutions on the constitution. He describes how Americans remove the British monarch and entrench 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 we describe the American Revolution and the development of the American constitutions that came before the final constitution, we also discussed the revolutionary development of the English system of law, government that was the foundation of the American system. So if you enjoyed this discussion with James Phillip. James, welcome to the show. Thanks, wonderful to be here. Well, you’re book topic on some of the origins of the American Revolution that many take for granted. It’s always useful to take a step back and when we talk about this revolution, it really is a rupture in history. At the recording of this interview, it’s during the tragic fall of the government in Afghanistan to the Taliban, but if we really zoom out from world historical perspective, the fact that we’re lamenting the fall of democracy in Afghanistan really shows you how far democracy has gone and the victory is almost complete in a sense. China isn’t in other places and some would say there’s creepy and authoritarianism in the 21st century. But first just a frame things with understanding what a revolution it was for the American Revolution. If there were a time traveler who went from, say, 1500 to the year 1800, and saw that a constitutional republic exists, what do you think would shock him if he saw this and he came from the Middle Ages? Well, thanks, Scott. That’s a great question. That’s a great way to frame the book, because one of the reasons that I think this topic is so interesting is that the American revolution and the American constitution really does represent as you’ve alluded to the Americans turning their back on the vestiges of the medieval world and embarking on what we would recognize as the modern world with a pluralistic economy and a pluralistic system of government. So the direct answer to your question is this. I suppose 1500, it obviously depends where, but let’s take England as an example because it’s pretty relevant to America’s story. You’ve still got what you don’t yet have the reformation. It’s about to burst.

So you’re dealing with a largely almost entirely Catholic Europe. You’re dealing with a world in which the Pope has some authority, but then kings and aristocrats have most of the economic power and political authority. You’re dealing with a world which is still very much stuck in the vestiges of feudalism and the medieval world. There are some exceptions to that, of course, the chartered cities are very important. You know, Venice is at that time what in the 7th hundredth year of an oligarchic republic, some of the city states in Germany. You’re getting the beginnings of modernity, particularly in the Netherlands. But still, that’s generally the world you’re living in as sort of a medieval world with concepts like hereditary monarchy and hereditary aristocracy in the ascendant. And then you come to 1800 and not in much of the world at that time, but in a few places and particularly in America, of course, you see this fundamentally different system where the government claims it’s legitimacy based on the people who were previously more or less just assets of the monarch and the aristocracy, not politically empowered. So you’ve got government claiming of legitimacy by representing the people. You’ve got elections, elected legislatures and elected executive. You’ve got judges presuming to tell the rulers what they what the limits of their authority are. And you have economic pluralism because it’s very important because the two probably go hand in hand and it has probably has something to do with what’s happening in Afghanistan as well. You’ve got to decentralize economic power as well. Lots of people out there pursuing businesses of different sorts with some degree of economic power, not everything controlled by the monarchy in the aristocracy. So you really are looking at the early modern world, if you like. Exactly where you draw that line is always a matter for discussion. And you’ve certainly put the medieval world behind you in America and by that time. Well, jumping to the system that you noted that by analogy Britain is good to use. And that’s the main point of your book that of course these institutions and concepts that the United States uses are built upon that at the time in the colonies Americans saw that the British constitution was the best in the world. Something they have worked very hard in this podcast is to understand medieval terms that many of us think we understand, but really don’t. You noted titles and aristocratic titles that today I’d argue that titles, inflation has really taken hold. Not to knock sir Richard Branson after all, he did go to the edge of space, not many of us can claim that. But many would think it’s very strange that him or Elton John or other people are just getting titles left and right, or that the vestiges of monarchy are relegated to waving at parades or family members appearing in tabloids. But what were these institutions that you think are the most important to understand that Americans built off of? And as they were looking at the British and their constitution and other things as well to frame these points in your book. Yeah, well, that’s obviously a vital question. And it does go to the heart of the purpose of my book if you like, because many wonderful books have been written about the revolutionary period and the constitution. But it’s a bit astonishing, actually, I can’t find another book that really answers in the way that mine seeks to answer the question. Well, the revolution was about Americans protecting their political rights, as you know, the declaration itself is about 70% charges against George the third for allegedly infringing Americans constitutional rights.

So when did those rights come from? If you just start with the revolutionary period, you can’t really answer their question. Why at the beginning of the revolutionary period did Americans have the perceptions that they did have about what their political rights were. And what’s really interesting about this is a lot of people probably assume they probably don’t know much about the 1600s of England, but they probably assumed that it was all sort of, it was all kings and aristocrats. But it wasn’t at all. It was a revolutionary century. And this is very, very important. So you basically have two English revolutions in that century. The first one is extremely important. There’s a Civil War between people who represent the rights of parliament and the rights of the king. The parliamentarians win, they imprison the King Charles the first. They charge him with tyranny in language, as I point out in the book, which is very similar to the language which Jefferson and others used in the Declaration of Independence. They charged him with tyranny. They find him guilty. They cut off his head and they establish a republic. Now, does that sound like it has some echoes in the American Revolution? It certainly does in the declaration itself. And in the concept of getting rid of the monarch and establishing the republic, it obviously also has a very loud echo. And importantly, if you think of what the politically active Americans were like, at the time of the revolution, they were pretty much like the parliamentarians were in England in 1649, they included Puritans, they included agricultural entrepreneurs, they included merchants, financiers, manufacturers. There’s a sort of a class or economic interest that’s very similar between characteristics that are very similar between the parliamentarians in England in the middle of the 1600s and the American revolutionaries in the late 1700s. And then you have the second English revolution, if you like, or the one that’s usually called the glorious revolution or the English revolution of 1688, 89. And at that time, just to be clear about how strong the influence of that was in America, the New England colonies all rebel, New York rebels, Maryland rebels, and they will basically say no to the system that the James the second, the previous English king and imposed on them. And establish their own governments or and colonies in the case of the New England colonies, which had been consolidated by James the second into a single colony. And at the end of that revolution, you have a Bill of rights and the American Bill of rights has strong echoes of that bill of rights. And you have really the principle of the law and parliament and the law being superior to the king established at the end of the English revolution. So you can see all those things are massively important for the sort of political ethos and culture of British America, which is really what we’re talking about at the end of the 1600s. And what really happens through the 1700s is the Americans don’t let go of that stuff. They don’t submit to the reassertion of increased royal and British power in the late 1700s. And they said, no, actually, we have these rights.

They come from our founding and they come from the revolutionary 1600s, and we’re holding on to them. And something you note here is, of course, that this doesn’t happen all in one fell swoop. I mean, you explained that the concepts gleaned from the British constitution and their revolutions are incorporated into how America goes about its revolution, but then it’s also a continual process, but sort of like, I guess, Apple designing their latest iteration of the iPhone that they didn’t come up with the idea of a phone. They looked at what Motorola was doing and thought, okay, their bread box phone is, I see where they’re going for, but these possibilities aren’t fully exploited or looking at Nokia later on. But then the first iPhone is basically a glorified iPod that you can make phone calls on. There are no apps or anything else. At some point, of course, this analogy is going to break down, but with the United States, they’re looking at previous examples by analogy, coming up with their first constitutions or state constitutions, many of these fail, their first attempts to federate fail. So tell me about this process, this iterative design that leads to their drafting of the final constitution. Yeah, that’s so important. And there are sort of take that in two parts if I can and if I remember them both one is the general process of sort of historical building and development through this period and the second is more specifically on the state constitutions and the Articles of Confederation. Look, I was actually surprised and it’s almost sounds like a contrived comment, but it’s across my heart. It’s true. When the one of the people who was first kind enough to comment on my book, professor Carol birkin, who wrote a very successful book on the convention of Philadelphia where the constitution was drafted, commented that my book was for the sort of reason you mentioned because it treats the process as one historical development, but also with great innovation, not seeking to take anything away from the founders and framers in their insightfulness and innovation. But it does treat it as to a significant degree of question of historical development. And she said, you know, this is a robust to American exceptionalism. Bravo. And I didn’t really set out to do that. And I certainly didn’t integrate the founders or framers. But in a sense, I can see where she’s coming from. The idea that used to be sort of propagated a bit as part of American myth making that it was a more or less sort of handed down to these people of genius in a room of Philadelphia and had no historical anti semitism is obviously incorrect. I just said about really wanting to tell the truth as I saw it, particularly to explain some of that stuff, which is a little known by most people about the revolutionary 1600s.

I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me if many of your listeners are not aware that the English tried a king for tyranny, cattle, his hidden established a republic in the middle of the 1600s, for example, it’s just not as well known as I think it should be. So the book does look to, in a sense, put in place the building blocks that led to the revolution and the constitution all the way from the foundation of the colony in Virginia and then obviously Massachusetts all the way to the revolution and it seeks to do that in a concise way as you know the book’s only 60,000 words on. And I think that it does make sense that I wasn’t quite sure how the book would pan out like that when I was writing it, but it does make sense largely I think it’s the same as I made a true statement. There is this process of building with different blocks throughout that period. And then of course, as you say, the process is really accelerated at the time of the revolution when the Americans sort of sacked George the third. And they say, okay, well, if our governments are now no longer founded on royal authority, what are they founded on? And they say, well, they found it on the principle of sovereignty of the people in effect. And they go about trying to develop constitutions just to provide an appropriate non maniacal system of government for the states. And then they have to put an overlay on that of the articles confederation, which I’ll mention in a minute. And the nature of those constitutions varies enormously. The first out of the blocks is actually in New Hampshire and in 940 words long. And it actually precedes the Declaration of Independence and it largely this is okay. We don’t have a royal governor anymore. We’ll continue with an elected assembly and we’ll have an appointed governor and so that’s relatively simple constitution drafted for the exigencies of the moment. It’s later replaced to the very, very thoughtful virginian constitution, which reflects a lot of thinking and learning about the nature of Republican constitution and includes a Bill of rights. And then the very radically democratic, if you like, Pennsylvania and constitution, which only has one house in religious liter and annual elections. So you have a lot of experimentation going on and you have defects being seen and strings being seen so that by the time you get to the Philadelphia convention in 1787, the people involved in that process have a lot of recent experience or experience and insights into how Republican constitution and the American context might be drafted obviously than anyone had had in at any moment in prior history. And over the top of this, this is very important because it goes because we’re talking about the book is about the constitution of the United States. So over the top of that, you have the Articles of Confederation, which really established this very loose structure, which is really just sort of an agency of the states. It doesn’t really have any independent power of authority. And one of the most shocking examples of that is, at the beginning of the early in the Revolutionary War, the Congress established by the Articles of Confederation requisition 75,000 troops and a year later the Continental Army and he has 28,000 troops, the most of the states just don’t provide the troops.

They just sort of making the minimal level of contributions. They think they can make to this agency arrangement without the whole players falling apart. And the country is not really a country. The idea of a Federated or confederated America is largely falling apart by the time you get to 1787. And do you have a group then of really assertive leaders who take the initiative and put in place this radical new constitution, largely because to fill the void that’s being created by the failure of the articles. Hey everyone, Scott here. We’re going to take a very short break for a word from our sponsors. I think this gets to an interesting question. And when we’re looking at the failure of the Articles of Confederation in for most schools in the American education system, part of the catechism is that you are taught as you described correctly that the Articles of Confederation failed because the system of government was simply too decentralized to adequately handle the challenges that the United States had to say nothing of waging a war as the United States grew and continued to grow. It would have been unsustainable. But there are many people, especially in the libertarian political persuasion that argue that the period of the Articles of Confederation was a lost golden age, and simply because they were a place doesn’t speak to their lack of efficacy, they very well could have worked but another system simply came in and dominated it and to say that it dominated because it was superior is just presentism and looking what happened saying that there’s no other way that could have happened and what about counterfactuals. I’m not saying they agree I’m just saying that’s the argument. And this line of thought is persisted and you see it in all sorts of interesting places like in 1950s or 1960s counterculture that was in some ways very libertarian or books like Robert Heinlein, the science fiction author, he wrote a book called the moon as a harsh mistress and imagines a lunar society that’s a libertarian Paradise built on these ideas. So the question is, why did it fail and can you see any way that the Articles of Confederation could have succeeded? So the second part of that question first, because it’s a one word answer. The answer is no. Okay. So let me explain. Libertarians, of course, would be tempted to have a dream like that. I wasn’t actually aware of what you just said. But it doesn’t surprise me because of course libertarians don’t want government to be to be powerful. And many of them would see the current federal national government of America as being too powerful. So they would have a romantic propensity to imagine a weaker federal national government. And I can understand that some sympathy with that view. But the problem is that libertarians, of course, also depend upon the exercise of liberties within a functioning society, which has, in particular, property rights and the rule of law. And the articles pretty much were that week. So let me explain a bit more dysfunctional and honest.

Explaining one aspect of that is that with the British recognized American independence formally at the Treaty of Paris in 1783, they don’t sign a treaty with the United States of America. They signed a treaty with the 13 states. If you read the preamble to the constitution, it talks about the United States of America, viz, and then lists the 13 states. So they met the British are basically saying, you don’t have the separate political entity being the United States. That is simply a collective term for the 13 independent states. And as a legal matter, so as a practical matter, that’s pretty right. Because the United States really is just sort of an agency arrangement. And the problem with the agency arrangement is that the states more or less participate in it and contribute to it as they choose, which generally means not very much. So not only did they not properly resource the Continental Army. Either with people or with money, you have in the period of the articles, the states which have good deep water ports, imposing unfair tax regimes if you like on the neighboring states which need access to those ports. You don’t have a single national market, which has been so important to the development of Americans given them such a huge advantage over pretty much anywhere else in the world, I would say. You have no enforcement mechanism if the national government says we need to do something and we need to raise some tax revenue and it states that more or less says, well, that’s interesting. And ignores it. There’s no way for the national government to enforce that. So it basically can’t raise revenue and ends up as you’re probably, as I’m sure you know, issuing these things called continental dollars, which become so worthless that the phrase not worth a continental and as the American colloquial language, it just wasn’t working. And I think the argument of the libertarians would be better framed as a weaker federal national government than the one they have rather than to specifically invoke the Articles of Confederation, because on any measure that I can see, it was a failing system. And that’s how these sort of political entrepreneurs who met in Annapolis and had met a few times before that were able to get a mandate from Congress to look at changes to the articles and in fact then hold a convention which totally replaced modest, ignored the articles and said, how should this be done? That wouldn’t have been possible if there was a widespread perception amongst the people who were there in the room at Philadelphia that the system was working and could be reformed and improved. Well, I’d like to address one of the points of your book. You note that Americans remove the British monarch and entrench 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 here’s a question. Considering the American Revolution in, again, like the broad sweep of history, I really do rank it up there with one of an event that succeeded against all reasonable expectation, kind of like the crusades or it happens, but there are many things like this in history that look similar but didn’t happen. Revolutions are quite common. They almost always go for the worse, military dictatorship, autocracy comes to power, I talked about this with the guest on the Russian Revolution that the same energies that would allow you to overthrow a previous order are the same energies that could lead to radicalization and the most radical rising to power. So it’s very hard to channel those energies into something that would actually restrict power so why did the revolution and not just a revolution but then a constitution being written? Why did it work? Great question. And the answer to that question, partly demonstrates why this approach that I’ve taken of the building blocks that got the revolutionary generation to where they were. So important. Because if you think of it in terms of a system of law, there was continuity through the revolution. The same law courts applying substantially the same law. English law was dominant and it was kept. It was obviously slowly replaced by American law, but there was no attempt to ignore that. The English legal system was kept the representative assemblies were kept. They were changed. Governors appointed by the British government were replaced by governors elected or appointed by the American people. So there’s a lot of continuity. There is a book that will turn upside down or something like that about the revolutionary period. And of course, you can frame things narrowly enough to form that view. But if you think about the continuity, the economic system continues, it’s a fundamentally different revolution from, say, the Russian Revolution or the Chinese revolution, which seek to displace all the people who are in charge, you know, eliminate private property, replace it with a form of let’s give them some credit and assume they won’t completely sneak all tyrants from the beginning. But an entirely new system built on entirely different aspirations, if you like, which, sadly, ended up in tyranny.

You don’t have any of that in America. And this is not surprising because remember at the beginning and in the declaration they’re saying, you, the British have infringed the system here. We just want continuity of the system. And what they do is they publicize an American eyes, if you like the British system, and it’s a revolution, I think, of political science, sovereignty of the people, the innovations in the way the federation and structure of the fact that the government is partly national, partly federal, all these things. It’s a revolution in political science, but it’s not a revolution in the sense of seeking to entirely turn the world upside down and start with a clean sheet of paper. And that, of course, is one of the reasons that it’s been so successful because it turns out that if you try to replace the existing arrangements, not just with the sovereignty of the people, but the dictatorship of the proletariat, or whatever, which in both Russia and China might really more sort of effectively meant the dictatorship of the peasantry, but didn’t really mean that because they weren’t politically empowered. It really just meant the dictatorship of the party, the party bosses, and with devastating consequences. That’s not the case in America, America remains pluralistic. It becomes more pluralistic through the process. So it is a very unique and very wonderful revolution in that way. And if you’re the sort of person who thinks the status quo is always anathema and that the world should be turned upside down every now and then. Then maybe you would like it so much. But if you’re the sort of person who believes in continued improvement and sees a lot of continued improvement in the establishment of the American republic, then that’s really something to celebrate. I’m curious too about what makes a revolution of the intellectual sort work when others don’t work because of the generation after the founding fathers in the United States getting into the 1820s, 1830s of the antebellum period, you have transcendentalism, the romantic period. And there are some who are sort of taking the energies of the revolution and many are thinking, well, ideas that harken back to the ancient world, Athenian democracy were studied by the founding fathers. They knew history of the Greek city states, the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire, and applied them to a modern context, and it worked. So some are thinking, well, why don’t we take some other dusty ideas from the past and apply them to the modern world. So in my home state of Iowa, there were a number of utopian communities, people trying to create the sort of new order in the sense reprogrammed the human experience, many of them fail. Some terribly, since intellectuals make for very poor farmers and working on farm communes, but others work well, like the amana colonies that was based on communitarian living principles, it was also a religious movement as well, so there were a number of elements tied in together. But sometimes these revolutionary ideas harkened to the past, but also a rupture with the immediate past, many times they fail, that’s littered throughout the United States and these smaller type of movements that are taking their cues from the revolution. But the revolution itself didn’t, so I mean, you already discussed why it succeeded, but do you have any other ideas on what makes let’s say a one quote unquote utopian movement fail in another one succeed? Well, that’s a topic I don’t. That’s not something I touched on in the book. And I haven’t I’m not sure I have a good answer to it, but let me give you an attempt. So utopian movements will always fail in my view because the world isn’t like that. And the reason the world isn’t like that is that people aren’t like that. And particularly people once they gather together and seek to form a functioning society that will bring out some of the worst characteristics in people as well as some of the best. But importantly, the constitution didn’t have anything like that level of ambition. And this is again where the myth making is interesting. Let me be very clear about this. I finished my book pretty much with the ratification of the constitution, even before the Bill of Rights, okay? So I’m just talking about the core constitution. I’m not even talking about the Bill of Rights when I’m making these comments, although I think they probably applied to the Bill of Rights as well. If you look at those, what are only one on that big parchment, there’s big parchment sheets, only four and a half pages long. What is established is actually a series of mechanisms. The constitution doesn’t tell people what their political values should be. It doesn’t tell people what how they should live their lives. It’s not utopian in that sense.

The way in which it’s highly innovative and you might say a bit utopian is it says it provides a mechanism by which a free people can govern themselves. And in a way, in the late 18th century, of course, that’s a very radical notion, as we’ve discussed. But it’s not I’m not sure it’s a utopian notion. And then the framers have seen the experience of the state constitution and the articles. And they had seen some of the bad behavior that had gone on in some of the states. And they weren’t seeking to draft a document in my opinion, which was utopian in that way. They were trying to establish a mechanism by which free people could govern themselves. So if you like, I would say that the short answer to the question is, because it did have a sort of a visionary, you know, a purpose behind it that a free people should be able to govern themselves. But that’s not really utopian. And the reason it succeeded wasn’t utopian. And if you think about it, just to put some flesh on that, what are the checks and balances about? Well, they’re all about recognizing that each of these different branches of government will potentially tend towards tyranny or self empowerment and seeking to assert itself over the others. That’s why you have chicks and balances. That very notion embodies the recognition of the fact that people in political society crave power. And that craving for power needs to be managed. And that’s a long way from a utopian notion that’s a very realistic notion. So if you think of the constitution as both providing these mechanisms and then providing checks and balances on each limb of the mechanism right there, you’ve got an on utopian framework of government. So to title these things in together, what do you hope people get out of your book as their relearning the importance of constitutional republic? Because I think it’s something that a lot of people, especially if they live in one can very easily take for granted and today there’s I think dangerous for encroachments on this of lots of discussions about censorship, labeling things as misinformation. And I get that, but then some people just casually say, well, you know, you can’t shout fire in a crowded theater, and I’d say, well, of course you can. If the theater is really on fire, I mean, that’s why we have slander was or saying things with malicious intent. So by people reexamining how constitutions are put together the importance of constitutional republics, what do you hope people get out of it?

Well, I didn’t write the book with a political purpose. And I’d say that it’s a politically neutral book. I hope it is. And the fact that I’ve got very favorable comments from people from different parts of the political spectrum or I assume they’re from different parts of the political spectrum suggests that I might have done that. What I want to do is just sort of tell the truth. It might sound facile, but I was trying to see what I think has happened around the revolution and the constitution is by having this excessive emphasis on sort of exceptionalism, if you like. It’s made it easier for the people who then come along and say that it was all evil. And it makes it easy to have this sort of polarized view that with people in the exceptionalist corner and it’s all evil caller. And neither is right. Of course the early republic had good and bad because it’s a society of human beings. So what I hope is that people can reframe this a bit can see it as a product of great innovation, but also as part of the bigger journey with historical continuity from tyranny and oppression towards freedom and to take up the challenge, if you like that, as you know, was issued just after the constitution was drafted. This is you now have a republic if you can keep it. It’s up to the American people. And I think that part of what I’d say is sort of re centering the American policy because it’s become too polarized and leading to terrible cultural and political problems in my opinion is to raise hender the American party and that hopefully small contribution to that might be paid by people if they have said if they took a non exceptionalist and a non demonized perspective and said look what this is all about is a system of mechanisms that enable us to govern ourselves, how do we choose to do that and is shouting and throwing rocks at one another really the best way to go about that. Very common sense.

There’s a lot more to look at this topic and for listeners want to check it out. The name of your book is two revolutions in the constitution. James, thank you for joining us. Thank you so much, Scott. Okay, well, that wraps things up for today’s episode. Thank you so much for sticking with me to the end. Once again, I want to start things off by thinking the spymasters of history unplugged. I’ll explain what that is in a second. Or spymasters include Bill ivy, moon doggy from Ohio, Tom from Ohio, Ryan gillan, rob from Chicago, Nick Brooks, Michael from New York, Carl from Norway, Josh Reddick, Jennifer French Lee, Jay Carrington, McRae’s Salvador Sanchez, David Santee, Chris C and baron frieza. If you’d like to support the show, there’s some very easy ways to do so. First, go to the site half price history dot com. I’ve worked out an arrangement with a lot of the authors who’ve appeared on this show, and you can go there and get their books from 50% off. All you have to do is go to half price history dot com and enter the promo code unplugged at checkout. Second, please leave a review and subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast player of choice, whether Apple podcasts, or Spotify, or whatever. Third, join our Facebook group. You can go to Facebook and search for history unplugged. There, you can talk with other fans of the show about recent episodes, what you liked, what you didn’t like. Also, I have exclusive content there, such as live streams where I do live versions of podcast episodes where you can leave feedback as I’m talking, and I will address it on air. Last, and I think this is the best, is to join our membership program, the rangers. Though Nelson’s rangers were George Washington’s spies during the Revolutionary War, but it’s also the name of the membership program for history unplugged. If you go to Patreon dot com slash unplugged, you can join the membership program at three levels. If you joined at the scout level, you’ll get all 400 episodes of history plugged absolutely ad free and early access to new episodes. If you join in the second level, the intelligence officer level, get all the stuff that scouts get, along with bonus episodes. There’s currently about 40 of them, including series on Audie Murphy and operation long jump about the Nazi attempt to assassinate FDR Churchill installing in 1943. Finally, if you joined the spymaster level, you’ll get a shout out to you and or your business at the end of each episode. You get a three pack of hardcover history books, and you can find out what those are. If you go to Patreon dot com slash unplugged, finally, you can ask me a question about history on absolutely any topic on earth. And I will research it and devote an entire episode to your question. Probably about 30% of the questions in the archive for the show have been based on these sorts of questions. So there you go. Go to Patreon dot com slash unplugged to learn more. All right, well that is all for today’s episode. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next time.

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"Two Revolutions and the Constitution" History on the Net
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April 13, 2024 <https://www.historyonthenet.com/two-revolutions-and-the-constitution>
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