The founding documents of the United States of America

There wasn’t any email or SMS in the 1700s when the founders of America sent letters and drafted the documents that became the blueprint for American democracy. The documents of the founding of America tell the story of issues being grappled with and personalities discussing moral and ideological differences.

The Constitution of the United States

7:37
The Constitution and the Constitutional Convention
In this video, historian Joe Ellis and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson discuss the Constitutional Convention and the replacement of the Articles of Confederation, the Virginia Plan and national government vs. states rights.
8:04
The Constitution and democracy
In this video, historian Joe Ellis and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson discuss the Constitution and democracy and different forms of government.
6:41
The Constitution and the role of the President
In this video, historian Joe Ellis and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson discuss the Constitution, Article 2, and the role of the President.  There was great discussion on the executive role.
4:58
The Constitution and slavery part 1
In this video, historian Joe Ellis and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson discuss the Constitution and the ideological divide around slavery in addition to the Three-Fifths compromise.
5:34
The Constitution and slavery part 2
In this video, historian Joe Ellis and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson continue the discussion of the Constitution and slavery and what compromise meant at the Constitutional Convention and George Washington's involvement with slaves.
5:20
The Constitution and proportional representation
In this video, historian Joe Ellis and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson discuss Article 3 of the Constitution and proportional representation.
4:31
The Constitution and "We, the People of the United States"
In this video, historian Joe Ellis and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson discuss the beginning of the Constitution and the term "We, the People of the United States" and what that means.
6:42
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights: Amendments 1-3
In this video, historian Joe Ellis and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson discuss the Constitution's Bill of Rights, Amendments 1-3.
5:25
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights: Amendments 4, 5, 10
In this video, historian Joe Ellis and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson discuss the Constitution's Bill of Rights, Amendments 4, 5, and 10. 
Exercise
Framing, Ratification and Amendment Quiz