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Current time:0:00Total duration:7:37

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so in annapolis when that little conference fails we have Alexander Hamilton telling us we need a convention of all of the states as a constitutional convention I'm Walter Isaacson to the Aspen Institute and i'm here with a popular surprise winning historian Joe Alice professor Ellis Ellis what does Madison want and motors Hamilton want when they call this convention hey little Jamie Madison who signs himself at this time James Madison jr. he said science junior until he's 50 years old he's a little guys 5 220 pounds but he is he is all mind and no matter if you will he has been thinking about what they ought to do in Philadelphia the convention reading David Hume reading the history European histories and he is concluded that not just revision of the articles is necessary but replacement a radical change and what he mainly objects to is the fact that they're all these separate states and he was one national government he wants sovereignty to reside at the federal act rather than the state level that's a coup that's not exactly what that was that was not doing right it's it's a violation or let's say it's an enlargement of their mandate because they would just call together to like figure out terrorism taxes right that's what most people thought that they would probably say that you would find some way to cooperate in terms of treaties or mercantil things now that how they're going to pass taxes i don't know how they would have done that within the cut the confines of the state system but everybody expected some kind of reform instead of some kind of radical replacement like they're you got Madison saying we need to be radically we need to replace the entire article with a centralizing where did they gather Philadelphia when they got to Philadelphia they the Virginia delegation met was there about 15 days before there was a quorum there were heavy storms in New England virtually none of the New England states got represented the first month of the convention in that time when the Virginia delegation was there but no business was being done by the foci constitutional convention they caucus it several caverns the city tavern is the big one they brought in a few other like-minded nationalist will sound wilson in $YEAR in Pennsylvania and Google tomorrow's also from Pennsylvania so these are the people that I wanted to do something really radical just created the radicals gathered and caucus ah so they got together first and they were 23 cooking this game that's exactly what they communicate with each other they obviously didn't have email so that's actually a hard question for me to answer but once they got to Philadelphia they just all sat down and drink wine together now one of the interesting things is when they finally do decide to meet in a real full-fledged convention they get most of the states represented there they use the exact same building in the exact same room ah of the Declaration of Independence right i think that that should not be overlooked and it often is namely that when you visit that place you're visiting both the place where the Declaration of Independence was written and where the Constitution Hall the Statehouse and but now called independent alright but it's also making a statement about the continuity between the two founding moments 76 when we declare independence 87 when we declare nationhood and so they were consciously saying let's do it the same place we did the declaration of independence so it doesn't look like we're doing something radically different i think that continuing I think that's that was whether that was the original reason it certainly was a reason another reason was it's a central location more people can get to it more easily than any other place it's accessible by water blah blah blah don't tell me the main issue of a national government versus what we had which was a confederation how did Madison define what we need to do to change that Madison thought that in order for that to work two things had to happen that the there should be a bicameral legislature the articles was a single house legislature but both of the houses need to be elected proportionally in other words they were representing the people not the separate state correct that's way proportional representation says its operating on the people and not on the state's that's what we don't have in the house of representatives not quite no but what do we have in the house of representatives right but we don't have it in the Senate and we'll we'll get right on but the other thing he wants is a veto a federal veto of all state legislation wow that really makes the national government it does and we don't have not even today necessary that one was what they called dead on arrival and so a lot of these things with it basically you have this radical caucus that presents the Virginia Plan which is Madison Virginia Plan then dominates the agenda and sets the agenda for the whole congress but it's not fully adopted we ended up compromising on the issue of national and federal is that right that's correct they dominate the the radicals the nationalist dominate the agenda however a procedural decision is made with no opposition that the voting in the convention will be by state so in other words that force is compromised because each of the smaller states in particular can say we don't like them they can block it and then you end up in some ways compromising on the question are we won national nation government or we a collection of states to sovereignty roadside with the national government or their states rights and sovereignty designs will resides with the states and in the end because of this thing you talk about which is each state has a vote we end up compromising on that right ambiguous that they were forced into the compromise Madison if he had gotten what he wanted namely proportional representation in both houses in a federal veto the document would have never been ratified so all throughout our history we have lived with this tension of states rights versus the national central government's rights was that a good thing or a bad thing that we kind of left ambiguous i think in the end it was a good thing i think that it creates an situation situation in which republican form of government with a democratic base confronts separate issues and allows the arguments about state or federal authority to occur in specific contexts now there's one rather large occasion where that doesn't work we call that the Civil War but we are still the oldest during Republican world history and the stability that made possible by this willingness to argue and the built-in ambiguity what we initially Madison thought this ambiguity was horrible when he left Philadelphia in September 87 he was all upset he failed about letters to Jefferson is a failure it won't last more than 13 months and then he starts to realize when he starts to write some of the Federalist Papers oh my God if I got my way wouldn't work in what we've discovered is a wholly new idea multiple sovereignties and it did work not just for 13 years but for more than two centuries absolutely thank you