Segments in this Video

A New System of Government (01:22)


Historians discuss the challenges of creating an American Constitution in this opening segment.

American Republic: An Experiment (05:29)

Maier quotes Adams who describes what it is like to participate in the crafting of a new American system of government. Maier describes other transformations that the revolution brought.

American State Constitutions (03:04)

Maier describes South Carolina's transition from a royal governed to a self-governed body. This experience became universal throughout the states.

Massachusetts' Constitutional Convention (03:24)

A balanced government was an important component of early state constitutions. Massachusetts' constitution, drafted by Adams, was separated into articles based on three branches of government.

Articles of Confederation (01:41)

Maier describes the purpose of this document. Lack of a central government impeded the ability to give national support during Shay's Rebellion of 1786.

Journey of the Constitution (03:58)

Delegates who assembled at Philadelphia in May 1787, created a new federal government from scratch. Washington agreed to serve as the nation's first president.

Constitution Compromises (03:35)

Washington and his administration came under attack from a group led by Hamilton. Tensions decreased as Adams became president and Jefferson vice-president.

Thomas Jefferson (02:45)

The Declaration of Independence took on new life as a statement of rights that the established government had to honor and protect. Maier talks about the deaths of Jefferson and Adams.

Credits: A New System of Government: Episode 4—A Biography of America (00:28)

Credits: A New System of Government: Episode 4—A Biography of America

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A New System of Government: Episode 4—A Biography of America

Part of the Series : A Biography of America
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



After the War for Independence, the struggle for a new system of government begins. Professor Maier looks at the creation of the Constitution of the United States. The Republic survives a series of threats to its union and the program ends with the deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson on the Fourth of July, 1826.

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL111496

Copyright date: ©2000

Closed Captioned

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