In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Stephen Fried, an award-winning journalist and author of Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father (Crown, 2018), joins us to explore the life and deeds of one founder we don’t always talk about, Benjamin Rush.
New York State’s 243rd Birthday is coming up on April 20.
That is the day that the convention of representatives, an outgrowth of the New York Provincial Congress, approved the first state constitution in 1777, at Kingston. (Some people say the appropriate date is actually two days later, April 22. On that day, the convention’s secretary Robert Benson, read the new constitution aloud to Kingston citizens in front of the court house. In effect, Benson’s dramatic reading proclaimed the new state into existence.) [Read more…] about 4-20: New York State’s Forgotten Birthday
History is an important tool when it comes to understanding American law. History is what the justices of the United States Supreme Court use when they want to ascertain what the framers meant when they drafted the Constitution of 1787 and its first ten amendments in 1789. And history is also the tool we use when we want to know how and why the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution and its amendments have changed over time.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution doesn’t always make headlines, but it’s an amendment that undergirds foundational rights. It’s also an amendment that can show us a lot about the intertwined nature between history and American law.
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, the third in our 4th Doing History series, we explore the early American origins of the Fourth Amendment with Thomas Clancy, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Mississippi School of Law and an expert on the Fourth Amendment.
[Read more…] about Creating the Fourth Amendment
In the United States, we use the Constitution and Bill of Rights to understand and define ourselves culturally. Americans are a people with laws and rights that are protected by the Constitution because they are defined in the Constitution. And the place where the Constitution defines and outlines our rights is within its First Ten Amendments, the Bill of Rights. [Read more…] about Bill of Rights: Creating the First Ten Amendments
This episode begins our 4th Doing History series. Over the next four episodes, we’ll explore the early American origins of the Bill of Rights as well as the history of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment will serve as our case study so we can see where our rights come from and how they developed from the early American past. [Read more…] about How The Bill of Rights Developed
Early Americans asked and grappled with these questions during the earliest days of the early republic. [Read more…] about Birthright Citizenship
The handwritten manuscript draft of New York State’s 1777 state constitution, adopted in Kingston on April 20, 1777, will be on public display on the 11th floor of the Cultural Education Center, 222 Madison Avenue, Albany, from Monday, April 15 through Saturday, April 20 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The display marks the 242nd anniversary of the state constitution and the establishment of New York as a state. [Read more…] about Handwritten Draft of NY’s First Constitution in Albany April 15-20
In the 21st century, we are all creators and users of content. We take original photos with our smartphones, generate blog posts, digital videos, and podcasts. Some of us write books and articles. And nearly everyone contributes content to social media.
Given all of the information and content we generate and use, it’s really important for us to understand the principles of copyright and fair use, principles that have an early American past. [Read more…] about Copyright & Fair Use in Early America