History

Constitution USA with Peter Sagal

Peter Sagal, host of NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!" travels across the country to find out where the U.S. Constitution lives, how it works and how it doesn't, how it unites us as a nation, and how it has nearly torn us apart.

Built to Last

52m 40s

In this last episode, Sagal travels to Iceland, where after the country’s economic collapse, leaders decided to create a new constitution, looking to the U.S. Constitution for inspiration. This prompts Sagal to consider why our own founding document has lasted more than 225 years.

Episodes

  • Built to Last: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Built to Last

    S1 E4 - 52m 40s

    In this last episode, Sagal travels to Iceland, where after the country’s economic collapse, leaders decided to create a new constitution, looking to the U.S. Constitution for inspiration. This prompts Sagal to consider why our own founding document has lasted more than 225 years.

  • Created Equal: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Created Equal

    S1 E3 - 53m 11s

    The high ideals of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” didn’t make it into the Constitution in 1787. It took three-quarters of a century, and a bloody civil war, before the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868 made equality a constitutional right and gave the federal government the power to enforce it.

  • It's a Free Country: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    It's a Free Country

    S1 E2 - 53m 10s

    Ask Americans what the Constitution’s most important feature is and most will say it’s the guarantees of liberty enshrined in the Bill of Rights. In this episode, Sagal explores the history of the Bill of Rights and addresses several stories — ripped from the headlines — involving freedom of speech, freedom of religion and right to privacy.

  • A More Perfect Union: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A More Perfect Union

    S1 E1 - 53m 10s

    Breathing new life into the traditional civics lesson, Peter Sagal (host of NPR’s “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me”) travels across the country on a Harley Davidson to find out where the U.S. Constitution lives, how it works and how it doesn’t; how it unites us as a nation and how it has nearly torn us apart.

Extras + Features

  • Built to Last? - Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Built to Last? - Preview

    S1 E4 - 30s

    Consider the systems that have kept the Constitution healthy for more than 225 years.

  • It's a Free Country - Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    It's a Free Country - Preview

    S1 E2 - 30s

    Examine what most Americans consider the Constitution’s most important feature: the Bill of Rights.

  • What does separation of church and state mean?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    What does separation of church and state mean?

    S1 - 45s

    University of Notre Dame Professor Rick Garnett talks about separation of church and state -- and why he believes the founders intended that phrase to mean "freedom to practice your religion openly" rather than "freedom from religion in the public sphere."

  • What are the duties of the U.S. president?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    What are the duties of the U.S. president?

    S1 - 1m 26s

    Historian Rick Beeman shares some insight behind the creation of the office of U.S. President and explains why the role's duties are hardly touched upon at all in the Constitution.

  •  Battles of School Prayer: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Battles of School Prayer

    S1 - 7m 41s

    What exactly does the First Amendment say about religion? Learn more about the separation of church and state.

  • Equal Protection - part I: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Equal Protection…part I

    S1 - 3m 14s

    Does the 14th Amendment protect the right to same sex marriage? Legal scholar Robert George explains his thoughts.

  • Does privacy still exist?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Does privacy still exist?

    S1 - 2m 6s

    Private Investigator Efrat Cohen explains why there really isn't any privacy anymore -- and what the government is legally allowed to do with information you publish online.

  • The Big Bang Theory: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Big Bang Theory

    S1 - 4m 9s

    Akhil Amar explains his view on the founding and how it is the significant moment in our history.

  • Who should change the Constitution?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Who should change the Constitution?

    S1 - 1m 1s

    Professor Kurt Lash talks about why he believes any changes to the Constitution should be made by legislators or the people instead of judges.

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