Podcast: Hamilton and the Clashes over the Constitution

Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes that Shaped a Nation


To commemorate the opening of a the National Constitution Center’s new Alexander Hamilton exhibit, Jay Cost, Nancy Isenberg, and NCC President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen discuss the Founders’ debates over the Constitution on the “We the People” podcast. Jeffrey Rosen is also a JMC fellow.

Listen to the podcast here: 


The NCC’s new exhibit, Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes that Shaped a Nation explores Hamilton’s fraught relationships with James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Aaron Burr. Examining the personalities and constitutional debates that shaped America – including the scope of the national government, the establishment of a standing army, the creation of a federal banking system, and more – the exhibit provides an intimate look into Alexander Hamilton’s enduring role in the constitutional and political arguments that continue to create sparks to this day.

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Jeffrey Rosen is a Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School. He is also the President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, a Contributing Editor of The Atlantic, and a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Rosen is a graduate of Harvard College, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. His new book, Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet, will be published on June 1, 2016, the 100thanniversary of Brandeis’s Supreme Court confirmation. His other books include The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America, the best-selling companion book to the award-winning PBS series; The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America; The Naked Crowd: Freedom and Security in an Anxious Age; and The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America. Rosen is coeditor, with Benjamin Wittes, of Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change. His essays and commentaries have appeared in The AtlanticThe New York Times Magazine, on National Public Radio, in the New Republic, where he was the legal affairs editor, and in The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer. The Chicago Tribunenamed him one of the ten best magazine journalists in America, and the Los Angeles Times called him the nation’s most widely read and influential legal commentator.

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Nancy IsenbergNancy Isenberg is the T. Harry Williams Professor of History at Louisiana State University. She received her Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990, studying with Gerda Lerner. Her first book, Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America (University of North Carolina Press, 1998), examines the origins of the women’s rights movement. It was awarded the annual prize of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) in 1999.

Her second book, Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr (Viking, 2007), undertook to correct the many biased accounts across two centuries that have too easily portrayed as a villain Thomas Jefferson’s vice president and the victor in the duel that ended Alexander Hamilton’s life. Fallen Founder received critical acclaim, was a Main Selection of the History Book Club, won the 2008 Oklahoma Book Award for non-fiction, and was a runner-up for the Los Angeles Times book prize in biography.

Her third book, Madison and Jefferson (Random House, 2010), coauthored with Andrew Burstein, has also been widely praised, and was a New York Times bestseller among electronic books. It was named one of top five non-fiction titles of 2010 by Kirkus.

Professor Isenberg has been featured on C-SPAN2 “Book TV,” and on various NPR programs over the years. She and Andrew Burstein are regular contributors to Salon.com, where they write history-accented pieces about modern political and cultural affairs.

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Jay Cost has been a top political analyst for over a decade. He started writing about politics with the “Horse Race Blog,” which used a data-driven approach to forecast the 2004 election. In 2005 he began working for the premier political website RealClearPolitics. Since 2010, he has been a senior writer at the The Weekly Standard.

He is the author of two books. Spoiled Rotten traces the history of the Democratic Party from its founding under Andrew Jackson until the presidency of Barack Obama. A Republic No More is a history of political corruption from the founding of the country to the present day. He is currently writing a book about James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, which will be released in May 2018.

Jay received a B.A. with High Distinction in Government and History from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.

See articles from Jay Cost >>


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