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Streaming Video in the Cuyamaca College collection
This narrative story of the settlement and early days of the colonies culminates in the fight for independence and the evolution of a constitutional framework of government for the new United States. Comments of scholars are interwoven with excerpts from writings of those who were on the scene. Length 26:40 minutes
A look at the Constitution in contemporary terms reveals a short document—7,000 words long—shorter than every state constitution except Vermont’s. Only thirty-three of the more than 11,000 amendments that have been proposed have been approved by Congress and submitted to states. Twenty-seven have been ratified. Nevertheless, the Constitution is an unfinished work that has evolved through less formal methods of change—congressional legislation, presidential actions, judicial review, custom and use. Length 26:40 minutes
Bill Moyers examines the vitality of our nation's most important document by listening to people who interpret and teach it, as well as people whose lives have been changed by it. Moyers' purpose in this series was "to hear a variety of opinions whose sum total will show that the Constitution is a living, if conflicted, force in contemporary lives, even as it shaped the generations before us. It is our common bond to the past and our legacy to the future." Featured in the series are Supreme Court Justices O'Connor and Powell, and former Justices Brennan and Blackmun; historians Forrest McDonald, Michael Kammen, and Olive Taylor; former Court of Appeals Judge Robert Bork; former Attorney General Edwin Meese; legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin; author and educator Mortimer Adler; and citizens whose battles for their rights went all the way to the Supreme Court. In the final program, Moyers examines contemporary issues such as drug testing, computer dossiers, and presidential war powers, and how they test the Constitution.11-part series, 60 minutes each.