Debating the Constitution, Then and Now

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During the months leading up to the current end-of-campaign-season frenzy, it’s become commonplace for politicians and passionate Americans to invoke the Founding Fathers and the original Constitution. But as recent debates and high profile interviews have demonstrated, a lot of these same people don’t necessarily know the rights and responsibilities that the Constitution secures.

Historian Pauline Maier thinks this is a shame. For the past decade, she’s been researching the history of how the Constitution was framed and ratified. Her research culminated in a book, “Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution 1787-1788.”

Professor Maier shares some of the highlights from the Constitution's history, and tells us if she thinks it could ever be ratified today.