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tv   Book Discussion on Madisons Hand  CSPAN  February 15, 2016 8:30am-9:31am EST

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commissioner mignon clyburn, is it difficult to regulate an act that is 20 years old? >> guest: it's a challenge but it is one that i welcome because it recognize at its core that if we put the framework in place, that if we allow innovation to thrive, that the sky is the limit. there are always pressures to update but there are always, always there is always a realization foundation of it, at the very core of this act is a desire to have more options, more competitions, advanced communications services that are affordable and accessible to all and that will never be outdated. >> host: thank you, ma'am. john mckinnon, "wall street journal" thank you as well. >> thank you. >> you're watching booktv on
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c-span2, with top non-fiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> well, good morning. i'm mike gerhardt. scholar in residence at the national constitution center. a great privilege for me to be able to do that. i normally teach at constitution law at unc chapel hill, which is not that far, at least by airplane. and it is terrific to be here today with mary bilder to talk about her terrific new book, which is called, "madison's hand, revising the constitutional convention." so i'm going to talk to mary for
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roughly an hour but, you will also have the chance to write down questions. there will be people coming through giving you a chance to jot down questions on index cards. just as a little bit of background, mary is a professor of law and distinguished solar -- >> louder, please. >> yes. sorry. it is also micked which, hopefully will carry throughout the room. we're here with mary sarah bilder, with her new book, "madison's hand, revising constitutional convention." she is at boston law school and property trusts and estates and american legal and constitutional history. in case you missed it, i'm mike gerhardt, scholar and resident at ncc and law professor at unc.
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but back to mary which is more important, mary has been visiting professor at both columbia and harvard law school and she is a member of a number of distinguished places including the american law institute and a fellow of the american foundation and her 2004 book, the transatlantic constitution colonial empire was awarded an award from the american historical association. i expect great things about the book which we'll talk about now which is a remarkable study about madison's relationship with his notes. now that may seem a little dull but i can tell you it's knots. >> hopefully not. >> because they are one the primary ways we understand the american constitution. and maybe one of the best places to begin, mary, just tell us why do people think of madison as the father of the constitution?
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>> so, james madison outlived everybody else. if you live the longest you get the last word. that historian called him last of the fathers in another wonderful book on madison. and and by the time he was, he died when he was 85 years old and, as he got he older he usedo keep track of who was left from the convention. young men came to visit him and ask him about the convention and could you publish your notes? he said, i don't know, let me think about it. people would write, we think you're the last one. no. this person is still there. this person is still alive. by the end of his life he was really the only remaining person who had participated in the philadelphia convention that wrote the constitution and because of that, sort of outliving everybody, he got to be the most important and also
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he left this remarkable set of notes. it's the only sustained account of what happened at the convention that wrote the constitution. so he sort of doubled the importance. >> madison is a very competitive fellow as we're going to discover in a minute and turns out to be quite a constitutionally-significant way. how did it come about he was taking those notes? >> so let me backtrack because people might think like, no, whatever. the notes are held by the library of congress and they're considered a top treasure of the american people. they're probably one of the most important manuscripts held bit library of congress, the book argues that he took those notes originally as a diary. he was particularly interested in keeping track of the proceedings for thomas jefferson. we tend to sometimes think thomas jefferson was at philadelphia but he wasn't.
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he was in france and he missed the whole thing. like a big party and he thought the party was in europe you about the party was back in the united states. and he actually doesn't come back until after the constitution's ratified. so madison, i argue in my book, took the notes for himself but also very much so that he could share with thomas jefferson upon thomas jefferson's return or in letters what had happened that summer. >> yes. in fact the notes sometimes are given in authoritative status in the construction of the united states constitution which of course we're going to be now looking at, whether or not they either have that sat the does, more importantly what that, what that status may aloe for or mean. how did you discover that madison revised his notes? >> every, there are hundreds and hundreds books written about the constitutional convention and every single one of them tells the story that madison tells in his notes because it was the
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only version of what happened that makes it seem like an exciteing drama and play and only account we have. when i began to write this book. i have little kids, i thought i would write, my first book took a lot of research, so i thought my second book i should sit in my office and i would read the notes and tell the story of madison's version in the notes and i became very interested in what the notes probably looked like on the day he finished writing them in 1787. when the notes were finally published by dolly madison, she mentioned they were revised. everybody has known they were revised. i was interested, what did they look like on the day he left the convention? as i went back to try to reconstruct that, more and more mysteries began to be apparent. the manuscript we had taken as having been written that entire summer probably hadn't been
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written during that entire summer. the book argues that madison actually never finished his manuscript that summer but he finished it somewhat later. >> as a matter of fact, if you want to think of it this way almost like a detective story because we're going to discover the notes were not just revised but they may have been revised with a very important purpose in mind. and to take us back a little bit more towards the beginning, in what capacity did madison come to the constitutional convention? >> he came, madison was in his mid 30s when he went to the constitutional convention. we think of him as famous. this is the picture my publishers put on cover. nice, beautiful picture of madison we tend to think of him as, the picture i wanted, and they were right, picture in the middle of the book but he looks like a kid. he looks like 14 years old. and i wasn't. this is couple years before the
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convention. and i thought that was a great picture. actually a beautiful portrait of him. but he was very, he was quite young. he was in his mid 30s. he looked even younger. he actually wasn't famous yet. he wanted to be famous. he thought he was really smart. but when showed up at the convention there were people like benjamin franklin, george washington, other people who had already made their reputations. so part of the story i tell in the book is about a different madison than we sometimes we think we know. a madison who's in some way trying to figure out who he is and trying to persuade everybody to agree with what he thinks is the right newfound dyings for the country. >> he is also part of the virginia delegation. it turns out to be a very significant delegation there at the convention. >> so madison -- the constitutional convention was actually the second effort to write a national constitution. madison had been very involved
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in an effort previous year in annapolis that had failed because not all the state had shown up. and the virginians persuade congress to thor a second convention, the convention we know as the philadelphia convention and the virginians were the major movers. they get to philadelphia early. they decided to hold the second convention in philadelphia, the people who they thought were other really important players, the pennsylvania delegation could just roll out of their houses in the morning, they wouldn't be late. that would be a good idea. so the virginians put together a very important delegation that includes edmund randolph and george washington very importantly and think come to philadelphia and everybody else is late. and so they, because they're there ahead of time they spend a lot of time figuring out what plan they should advance and from the beginning of the convention the virginians present a plan.
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and if you, i'm a lawyer and if you do any kind of lawyering, you know that one of the most important things is to sort of get your plan as the foundation. then everybody else is arguing against your plan. that is really what the virginians are able to do. and then they sit around and wait and wait and wait and madison's extremely aggravated that nobody else is on time for the convention. so the convention starts over a week late while they're waiting for enough other delegations to begin. when he takes his notes his first day he writes the date the convention was supposed to start and says it doesn't start till, then on the next line he finally writes, may 25th when enough people finally showed up in town to begin. so he is part of this important virginia delegation that writes the very first planned draft for our new constitution. >> was the reporter or was there a reporter for the convention? >> yeah. there was a reporter, william
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jackson, who kept an official record of the convention and the national archives holds that record today. and that's the official record that was kept but the way you were supposed to write an official record was you just wrote down motions and the votes. you didn't write down what everybody side. no one at this time thought you ought to have a verbatim record. a number of members of the convention took notes themselves during the convention and madison took quite extensive notes. then he wrote his notes up twice a week. that is the manuscript we have today. >> so he took notes during the convention but notes he took turn out to be not necessarily the notes we've got? >> right. >> so, how, how extensive are the notes he took during the converges and what did he end up doing with those notes? >> yeah, so, i, when you teach
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all of your students to basically transcribe superfast on their computers, madison was obviously writing with a quill pen and he didn't know shorthand. in fact the kind of shorthand people took wouldn't have been able to keep up with the speaker. so madison took a set of rough notes during the convention itself use a abbreviations and then on wednesday night when he wrote his correspondence and then on sunday he turned those notes into a more finished product. anyone who has ever tried to figure out notes a couple days later knows that you have to do some creative interpretation. so even as madison took the record that we now have he was obviously figuring out what he meant and he also knew what happened, right? he is writing only twice a week. so he, his notes reflect often
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what happened. what was really fun writing this book, once it became obvious he was writing twice a week it solved a major mystery. people who speak on saturdays in madison's notes always give great speeches. people said, wow, saturday speeches were really great. it wasn't that the saturday speeches were really great. there was no convention held on sunday, so madison had a whole day to write notes up just from the day before. so it is not surprising that if you looked at the notes the saturday speeches are dominant. >> of course the people giving the speeches or talking to the convention they know madison is taking the notes but don't necessarily realize the notes he is taking will take on iconic status. >> right. many of them were taking notes also. in fact we have a lot of different notes from the convention. he was not only note taker. >> some of the folks talking at the convention may have turned
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out if they know better would have realized somebody that didn't necessarily respect them or agree with them was going to end up the with authoritative notes. talk a little bit a couple of other folks who are speaking but madison is one in a sense transcribing what they're doing, hamilton and pinckney, for example. >> right. madison's notes, historians and law professors and judges have tended to think that when madison took notes he was taking them the way we would think a reporter would take notes but he wasn't. he was taking them for himself and thomas jefferson. so he focused on people who were either allies of the virginians or were his archenemies or were people who said things that he thought were interesting. there is a lot of people who don't ever show up in madison's notes. who knows they might have said things but madison didn't write them down. a couple people loom very large in the notes. madison was fascinated by
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alexander hamilton and so alexander hamilton who wasn't there for the entire convention but his speeches loom very large. madison was, i argue, found charles pinckney from south carolina extremely annoying. pinckney, only way -- pinckney was about madison's age. he was, there is these letters in the library of congress, that pinckney wrote madison and pinckney had this big handwriting. it was sort of floral and it was huge. after the convention pinckney actually writes madison this letter that sort of says, here i am. i'm married, having a fine time. i gather you're still a bachelor. which was pretty much in your face. and pinckney and madison were
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staying at the same house together and there was a lot of competition between them. pinckney actually introduce as plan also at the convention at the beginning and madison doesn't record it. in fact madison basically leaves pinckney out almost entirely through the beginning of the, of his notes. when we read the notes it looks like pinckney never ever even had a plan. historians believe pinckney had a plan, that was a quite interesting plan. >> tell us about a few other plans that were sort of introduced. >> yeah. so the virginians had a plan, the virginians thought that the problem with the government under the document, the articles of confederation that had been set up at the time of the revolution was that the states were too powerful. and they thought we didn't have a great national government and we needed a great national government to defend the country and to impress the european powers and to have the kind of
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economic power that the european countries would lend money to the united states and george washington thought it was an enormous problem. washington's soldiers hadn't been paid for various reasons. the virginians want ad strong national government, a very strong national government. pinckney also want ad pretty strong national government and there were another group of states, states with delegates where there were very small population, small boundaries, what we tend to think of as the small states and they were very worried about these plans where the large states they felt would dominate. so everybody could came to the convention came, trying to figure out who would actually run the national government. and the large states wanted the population to be largely determinative. they would basically run the government. the small states very much wanted to keep the state
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representation that had existed under the articles of confederation because they then wouldn't be completely dominated by the large states. >> so, turns out that madison of course is not just revising his notes at the time more or less at the convention but later. tell us more about the times when madison actually was, literally revising his notes. >> so one of the really wonderful things about writing this book was eventually the library of congress which is just wonderful decided i wasn't a complete nut. for a long time they thought i was a crazy person and they took a lot of pictures for me. i was writing now, can you take a picture of this. eventually they decided i was not crazy, they would let me see the manuscript which is in a vault. the manuscript is in a big vault. we went down to the conservator's lab. one of the things i wanted to do
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was have manuscript put on light table, see the water marks how the paper changes. it was very exciting for me. it was a wonderful opportunity and one of the really incredible things about the manuscript is the manuscript is quite small. madison, was not a very large person. he was about my height and was thinner than me so he is quite a small person. he had this tiny little handwriting. the manuscript is only about this big but it is covered with revisions. and you can see the revisions. the library congress has a lot of images up on its website of the revisions and there is pictures in the book. the book argues that madison finished the manuscript about 2/3 of the way through in august and he got sick and started to serve on committees and never finished the manuscript two years later when thomas jefferson is returning to the united states madison promised
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jefferson that he could read the manuscript of the convention but it is not finished. manson tries to finish and secretly borrows from washington the official journal which he wasn't supposed to see and he make as secret copy of the journal. he uses that secret copy of the journal to finish his notes. can you imagine two years after you have taken abbreviated notes you have no idea what they mean any longer. the end of madison notes bear marked resemblance to the official journal. madison then was he was fitting everything in from the official journal he realized he hadn't written down important notions or things at beginning of his note because he was just interested in he and his friends and archenemies was saying. he wept back to and rewrote the beginning adding in the white spaces extra little notes. he started running out of space
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and he pasted little pieces on top of them all. he presents that to thomas jefferson. i think thomas jefferson never read all of it. that is just my own guest. what thomas jefferson immediately turned to the part involving alexander hamilton. hamilton had given this big speech where he argued maybe the united states should have an elective, basically like an elective monarch, a person who would live forever. trying to make the virginians looked moderate. thomas jefferson flipped to that part. there are people trying to create a monarchy. from that moment on jefferson is convinced alexander hamilton is enormous danger to the united states and he is secretly trying to have a monarchy. madison started thinking, gosh there are things i wrote in the notes, i gave some speeches i sounded suspiciously all these things jefferson thinks is a bad
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idea. the book argues that madison took those pages and the speeches and rewrote the pages leaving out the dangerous conclusion he had made so thomas jefferson would not realize he had been more with the hamilton crowd than jefferson thought was advisable when he came back. madison and jefferson become very, very close when jefferson comes back. >> it turns out, the revision, this may be a little bit of an overstatement, the revisions are not just occurring well after the convention but they tend to sort of happen in a couple of different areas. and i want to zero in on a couple areas revisions are being made. first one what we call federalism, relationship between the national government and the states. tell us a little bit about those changes. >> so madison went to the convention, we would think of him as a nationalist. he wanted enormous power in the
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national government. he wanted to make sure the states did not get to vote as a state. he wanted in both the senate and house of representatives states to be given votes based on population. his idea for the government that the states have no representation as states in the national government. the small states kept counting votes. they realized the virginians would win under any version of this. virginia is way bigger than we remember. it includes west virginia which is separated at time of the civil war. it also included kentucky. so virginia is enormous. every time they run the vote count virginia has all these delegates. they worry about the power of virginia, in part just because of that power but in part because virginia's interests were not seen as the same on
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important issues with a number of states. probably the most significant one is slavery. virginia held the largest number of enslaved people at the time of the convention and, and in the north states like massachusetts had already abolished slavery. other states were moving to abolish it. the line about the the future of slavery is very important. madison wants national power to protect slavery. other people wants the states to basically continue to be represented. >> so tell, let's talk about slavery a little more. turns out maybe madison's positions on slavery, let's call them enlightened or what we plight think of as modern. might even surprise some of the folks here to discover what madison's positions were. >> madison has been interesting. madison of the framers is the has been largely not focused on with respect to his position on
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slavery. this is curious. people may know george washington held a huge number of people enslaved but freed them at his death and that his, at his wife's death. thomas jefferson didn't free anybody except the people that sally hemings children. madison freed no one. madison was the son of a plantation owner. the plantation held about 100 people enslaved. at his death madison frees no one. in fact his secretary was so shocked by that, that he thought maybe the will was a forgery. but in some respects madison, madison had a very deep ambivalence about slavery. he understood that slavery violated the principles of the revolution. he says that on a number of occasions but he couldn't imagine a world where slavery didn't exist and couldn't imagine a world where african-americans were free. and in fact the profits he
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thought would be made from the sale of the notes were going to be given to the american colonization society which madison supported. the american colonization society thought the way to solve the problem of slavery was african-americans would be freed and then sent to africa and liberia is founded out of the american colonization society's efforts. madison was very comfortable with slavery and the book argues that madison is so comfortable with slavery that originally when he wrote the manuscript there were no comments against slavery in the manuscript. openly two years later when he goes to revise the ending for thomas jefferson and finish it does he insert two comments suggesting that slavery was against the ideas of the founding. but that those comments were
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written two years later. they didn't reflect madison in 1787. >> in fact not just two years later but i gather it is even after a longer delay including after his presidency, madison comes back and still is tinkering with the notes? >> madison, madison boxes with the notes his entire life. he never comes to the decision to publish them. thomas jefferson wanted them published in the 17 '90s and suggests to madison you should go ahead and publish them. madison says, maybe not. madison says i think we sudden read them very carefully because jefferson never read of them to figure out what people will make of them. madison says i'm basically worried other notes will come out, which he knew because a lot of other people had notes. he and jefferson, he finally refuses to publish them. he only publishes them after his death. then the notes become very much
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part of the myth that the constitutionalists founded on compromise over slavery. that there were no other options available than the way that slavery is embead bedded in our -- embedded in our constitution. >> is there a way to figure out the accuracy of his revisions? that is to say, one thing that might be thought is that, well, he is revising them later just for his own sakes, to service his own ends. how can we say that they're servicing his end as opposed to saying he is just trying to make them more accurate or align better with what actually happened? >> yeah. i don't know that you could ever say or you could ever know. i think he revised them as he changed his own understanding of the constitution. i don't think he was completely out to do something nefarious. i think mostly he was interested in the constitution and the
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convention grew in importance as time went on. in 1787 i don't believe they realized they were writing the constitution. in fact i brought along, i often bring my james madison bobblehead but i was traveling by airplane and tsa is convinced the james madison bobblehead looks highly suspicious in the luggage. you probably get it in the gift store. this is, a small one. you can get the whole constitution on a set of playing cards. do you have these in the gift store? probably. . .
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only over time slowly does it become apparent that what they did that summer was enormously important. madison gradually begins to realize that he participated in something really important. and not only that but he has these complete notes. one thing i think we often don't realize is that the day they are celebrating today, the bill of rights day, she will a very important part of that story. madison is singularly responsible for the bill of rights. he gets elected on a campaign promise that people push through the amendments that include the
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we noted as the bill of rights. i think is one of the few imac and politicians who fulfill his campaign promise. because he gets speeded that's a pretty big promise. >> he gets to the first caucus and everybody tells them we don't need to do that. we don't need to get those amendments done. the constitution wasn't condition on those amendments. we need to do more important things, set the government up, get the judiciary started, and madison unless everybody by saying no, we need to amend the constitution. the whole for somebody pushes to the constitution amended. when he wanted to amend the constitution he wanted the right to be interwoven into the original document. that is come he thought the way you ought to do is patch would look at the constitution and to actually revise it, cross out the parts you didn't agree with and put a new language in. we need proposed the amendments he told everybody which part
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they were going to be. roger sherman stands up and says i think that's a terrible idea. he says, it will be confusing to people. they bicker back and forth and roger sherman wins. and roger sherman persuades everyone that the way they will amend the constitution is the way we continue to amend it. they will be the text of what was written in 1787 impact but the amendments within the just listed at the end and that's the way we see the constitution today. i believe until they did that it wasn't obvious that what happened in 1787 would be so important. it we continue to amend the constitution by writing the text in, what people have died in 1787 versus what had changed later would not be so obvious. partly it's the main thing with the bill of rights to take the constitution move so importantly. >> how different are the notes near the end of his life, after look at the time he was taking
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them? >> as he got older and older, they realized words had changed. one of my favorite is the very first day of the notes he says, that very first day, in philadelphia and he says because we are going to revise the federal constitution. because he thought the articles of confederation was a constitution, and who's going to revise the federal constitution. once you call that thing on this point part of the constitution you can't say constitution with respect to the old. 's we cross it out constitution because that's confusing an edit button system of government. that's a late change. madison makes his notes read as if it was a system of government and and it was a constitution and that's why we call this the national constitution center. we don't call it a national
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second constitution center or something confusing because madison realizes 1787 was this radical break in american history. he makes a number of those changes. one of the things that haunts him at the end of his life was the virginians who are in an extremely bad mood in the middle of july. voted for a president without tenure. the idea was you would elect the president and the president would serve until he was impeached. figure out like that, timmins on who your president is. the virginians voted for that. that's kind of think he don't love on the record but he couldn't change it because he knew there was a vote count out there. he start writing explanations, that this was just a procedural thing. he replaces that page and he writes an explanation and footnotes. as he gets older he writes another explanation. then he writes an explanation on
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the margin. then at the point where his handwriting was so shaky as an elderly man that he couldn't write himself, he has his wife's brother add another explanation to the explanation. so that page out of all the pages is just literally curves around like this would explanation upon explanation. that they didn't really want a king, but it just seemed at the time to be a good idea. >> madison isn't a good loser. what are some of the things he lost? what are some of the things he was vindicated on or he won on? >> he thought the senate the way we have it conceded it was a disaster. he left, he wrote come he was so sad the state to equal representation. it just devastated him. he thought the state wasn't
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implement concept, and he thought it was a terrible idea and he really thought it was a terrible idea. even after he had repeatedly lost he thought it was a terrible idea. everybody, he recorded in his notes, the connecticut delegation which had been counting and the british of the senate would end up representing the states said don't push this too far. madison county saying i don't care, i'm pushing the short or. he was devastated by the states people so much. he very much comes around to the. he decides that the current federal system isn't such a bad idea. he also desperately wanted congress to be able to veto all the laws of the states. we call that a negative in the concept that fell out over the british model, and he thought that if you couldn't veto all the laws of states, it would be hard to be a national government because that states could up
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whatever laws they wanted and they wouldn't all be uniform. he wanted congress to be given that power. the convention originally agreed with him and to decide it was a bad idea, and the power to do is held by the supreme court. but madison thought that was a disaster that the states would be completely out of control and you left the convention very sad that that piece wasn't formed. he was quite happy with the fact that the national government had been given power in areas where he wanted uniformly. he was delighted with that, but he lost and lost, he was kind of a poor loser and he's only 35, 36. give them a little bit of a break. but as he got older he became very much a great supporter of the constitution. >> given the fact his notes at the most comprehensive, are there people perhaps who had a
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bigger role in shaping the constitution that his notes reflect? who in a sense are the losers because of his notes? >> so i think they're sort of a good person and i suppose a person complicated. a complicated person would be charles pinckney who is a huge slaveholder determined that slavery would be just completely embedded in the constitution. his cousin general painting, only speaks to ensure that that slavery -- general transport us back slavery lives for ever and madison black those out so completely that you can't read them. ever, ever get a second chance at the library of congress, they have equipment that could read those. me because conversely the library to use their special technology and refills. but pinckney was given a much smaller role than he had. person was also given a small role that i think is more
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unfortunate is governor morris of pennsylvania. morris fascinated madison. morris was a fascinating figure in all sorts of respects, but he spoke passionately against slavery. he's a person who probably spoke the most passionately against slavery, and he actually in some ways predicts the civil war. he says that this division between north and south, between places in slavery and not having slavery, that is a fundamental problem. madison writes that speech down but doesn't give morris a lot of credit along the way. late in his life in his 80s, madison grew more understanding of what had happened at the convention. and madison eventually says that the person who really wrote the
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final constitution was morris. the last draft of the constitution looks the way we understand the constitution with seven major articles, but the draft before that had 22 articles. the constitution didn't look anything like how we understand it. madison late in his life says it was morris who basically took all these disparate sections and recruit them into the way we understand the constitution. >> we tend to think of the folks at the constitution convention as the framers. did they have a view on whether or not the note, innocents the transcription of the convention, should be kept confidential or private for ever or not? did they have a consensus on that? >> this is one of the things i completely disagree with. it is a great myth that the convention was supposed to be secret for ever, and it was,
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they didn't allow the public in at the time. that actually wasn't unusual. when the senate opens its doors in the new government, the senate doesn't let anyone to come in either. and only in the 1790s does it finally changed its view that actually people should be able to hear its deliberations. i argue in the book that no one at the time at the convention records should be secret for ever. they just thought they should be secret that summer in order to allow people to deliberate without it being reported in the press all the time. the notes themselves, the official record, the official journal, i think a number of people assumed it would be published shortly there after. it becomes controversial between madison and jefferson and washington about the official journal because it involves, they have disagreements about what the convention thought in terms of treaties. in the 1790s in the midst of
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an enormous fight between president washington and jefferson and madison with hamilton, washington on one side and madison, jefferson on the other, washington takes the official journal and he goes down and deposits it in the state department. and then on after it's been deposited in recorded and precisely how many pages and that one page was loose, but washington go and say i have deposited the official journal faithfully in the government archives. madison writes to jefferson, what's he doing a? this is crazy. but then because of that the government owns the journal and the government, the journal is eventually published but at the time did manage to keep it quiet. quiet. >> we have questions of the audience. as a law professor i can tell you they are incredibly legible to want to thank all of you for that. unlike madison's notes themselves. so here's one. talk about the relationship
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between madison and hamilton. >> yes. i know sort of hamiltons revenge begets the musical and madison doesn't. i think at the convention they were fascinated with each other. they both were incredibly interested in the major problem that young political leaders thought was pristine. they to tell the united states was going to be a very large country, but they couldn't figure out could you govern a large country using a republican structure your were both interested in debt. all of the great european thinkers since the time of greek and roman said that would work, that would not be successful, that if you made the republic very large it would collapse. madison hambleton were both fascinated with the idea how would you create a very, very large country using what we
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think of as a democracy, what they would of thought of as republic and have a supply. they were deeply, deeply faceted with each other. madison records things that i think have hamilton known what is going to do with them he would not have allowed them but i think they were both at the convention. the mid-jefferson gets back, madison joins jefferson in disliking hambleton intentionally, and fully becomes very swept up in j j jefferson t obsessed with hamilton. there's a great set of secret notes that jefferson kids were spends all his time recording how he was trying to tell washington how sneaky hamilton was. and any records washington responsive. he feels about the washington because he's president. he's got all these people in his cabinet, and jefferson keeps showing up, hamilton said this,
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and hamilton is like no, i didn't. i didn't say that. there are all kinds of -- everyone's very close and the not so close. >> maybe it's a good thing he gets a musical because he may lose the $10 bill. >> madison is not on any major point so he wins again. >> here's another question from the audience. originally there were more unlimited than 10. what were some of the others and why were they not adopted? >> there's great trivia about the constitution. so one thing that not everybody realizes is that, madison had a lot. they were winnowed down to be 12 and they're set up to the states as 12 amendments, which means that what we think of as a first amendment was actually the third amendment. you can figure out whether you think it would be as important that it was the third amendment, like i have a third and in the
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right to speak. that doesn't sound so good. the third amendment is quartering soldiers. may be the third amendment is doomed space in vietnam. the first two amendments dropout. they both involve congress to one of them is eventually we ratified hundreds of years later so. so we only get the 10 amendments. what's very interesting is, as although we think of it as the bill of rights, a lot of people who write on this now have shown that at the time they didn't call it the bill of rights. the amendments would only begin to be thought of as the bill of rights in the last hundred years. and so our notion that the first 10 amendments belong together is very much a product of the 20th century. >> what were some of the other options on slavery that madison
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-- >> madison had a completely crazy idea. slavery is embedded five times in the constitution, never once using the word slave. two of those involve compromise, the notion that people who were held, and slade would give white people from the state more political power of a ratio of three to five. i madison suggested that one house represent three inhabitants and one house represent basically all the population, including all the enslaved people on a one-to-one ratio. this would have not only embedded slavery just completely deeply into american government, but it would have given the virginians power beyond anything you can imagine. the virginians held almost 300,000 people in slavery to the
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antiwhite population of virginia was about 450,000. it would've been significantly altered the ways that the government worked. >> they still of course dominate the president early on. >> right. the geek out who runs who is the president, it's like washington, virginia. and for brief moment the state i live in now massachusetts gets it right with adams and then goes back down to the virginians. if you look at a study of the early presidents and supreme court and leaders of congress, basically a sudden slaveholder was president i think something like two-thirds of the time for head of the supreme court. so that southern slavery block really does dominate early. >> another quick question. uk knows of his conflict with madison on major issues? >> yes. one of the really fun things that i do when i teach this is i
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have people look at a different set of notes and we compare them. other people, i personally think other people wrote more fun notes. madison converted, he was almost like scared of emotion or something. all of the notes have emotion and other people's votes are often written in the first person and they described when people get mad. you can take places where people sit very crazy met things in other people's nose and you can go read madison's notes and they sound like everyone is only debating things. they disagree on that. they often disagreed about what madison wrote about himself. madison wrote his own speeches. it's very hard to take notes while you were talking. for example, if i were to take notes on what i said today, first of all i would've said on the brilliant things and they would all be completely coherent and they would have no
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hesitation. madison we created his speeches after the fact and they bear some resemblance to what other people recorded that they are always much more coherent, very thoughtful. they follow nicely. and so his own version of himself and what others heard were quite different. >> how about edmond randle, his place at the convention? >> edmund randolph is very close to madison. they were very tight. randolph in jefferson fathers had both died so that both come into possession of plantations. madison's father didn't die. madison father but for a very long time, i think up an 1801. madison's mother lived into her 90s and guys just shortly before medicine. so madison, he never really can grow up an interesting wa point
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somewhat jefferson offers to sell some land so they can have his own house and medicines is no, i don't need that. i.t. and randolph are very close, and randolph is very tall, good looking. in the book i argued madison probably wanted to give a great speech introducing the plane, but everybody looks at medicine and randolph and they decide randolph is going to give a speech. randolph gives a great speech. but randolph drives medicine crazy. he thought it was bad of a single president, and so randolph wanted, like the romans had, he wanted a triumvirate. madison thinks that's a nonstarter and he can't understand why randolph is insisted on over the course of the convention they grew apart and at the end of the convention randolph refuses to sign the constitution, much to madison's frustration. >> did he ended of his life i gather from your book medicine is beginning to rethink the relevance of the notes.
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so talk about that. >> when madison was redoing the notes for jefferson, he realized he had not written down randolph's speech. randolph gives this great speech explaining why the constitution needs to be written and everybody else recorded, you know the way to record the first great speech is something. and madison writes two lines about. first of all the new and secondly i think he was annoyed it was randolph getting to stand up and give a speech. when jeffersons coming back he realizes like he doesn't have randolph's speech so he writes to randolph, hey, can you write your speech you give him the first at the convention two years ago so i can put in the notes and then it will be there? randolph writes back, no, i can't do that because that was two years ago and i would mix everything up. but randolph sends in this notes so randolph inserts the notes from that day in.
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as he grew older, madison became more and more persuaded that the country needed to have a record of the notes. this is an interesting aspect. he wanted the country to have a record, but he was a curiously ambivalent about the record. for somebody who is going to leave as these notes, madison had an ambivalent reaction to posterity. is what my favorite stores to madison. people they know another useful piece of trivia, the john adams and thomas jefferson died on the same day. so they faith -- they both died 50 years on july 4 after the declaration of independence. i personally think this is incredibly suspicious and don't understand why there isn't a major american motion picture about the fact but they both died at exactly the same day, happen to be july 4.
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i should write a book. anyway, 10 years later in 1836 madison is dying. his family and friends, it's a late june and he's dying and they wanted to live long enough so he, too, can die on july 410 years later. you can kind of see the temptation. dolley madison's grandniece writes back madison refuses to take the necessary tim lincecum which would've been opened to allow his body to live long enough so he could immediately die on the same day. instead he died on june 28. you can sail frustrating that was. in a way that ambivalence about his own role from his ambivalence about posterity mark madison so relationship to the convention. >> let's come back to jefferson for a moment. what role did he have? >> i think jefferson thought the
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notes would be a great political document. he thought he would to anyone how secretly evil hamilton was and would destroy hamilton. madison kept thinking everybody is still alive and then they will know that i actually was pretty close to hamilton at the convention. jefferson would know i was close to hamilton at the convention. jefferson keeps pushing madison to revise the notes and publish them. madison refuses. them throughout his life madison refused and eventually madison says underscored have been published posthumously. >> i want to also focus a little bit on alexander hamilton. not just because he's got this wonderful musical, but because even in your talk today and as
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we know from constitutional history the figure of hamilton, perhaps justifiably, looms rather large. people were obsessed, fascinated with them. talus more about alexander hamilton as a founder. >> one of the things, the book focuses a lot on a decade after the convention, those first years, edited one thing that people sometimes don't understand is how close these enormous egos can destroy the country. maybe it was inevitable that when you get that many big brains in one room you're going to have problems, but very quickly around washington on one side, hamilton fell come and on the other side when jefferson returned, efforts and madison are all in the same administration. and hamilton was more controversial -- comfortable with the british model. he thought they were problems with the british model but i think he admired the
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nation-state status of the british government, and he thought if you're going to be a nationalist government in utah that kind of power, particularly for example, the bank. and jefferson thought that was a disaster, that the states should be supreme. he was dubious about national power and he lived in france in those years right before the french revolution and was very taken by sort of that spirit of rhetoric about liberty and equality, and he worried about monarchy. and those two different visions just completely alive. as i mentioned, port washington was left to do with all. as long as washington was alive, everybody had enormous respect for washington. is one of the people who you can't find anybody who says anything negative about whatsoever. and as long as washington was there, the system kind of hell. once washington retired then
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things really fell apart. what's quite remarkable is the country, it's quite remarkable the country survived. >> we have time for a couple of questions. let me let one of them be taken from the audience. are you aware of any supreme court decisions which cite the new dimension to vote in support of decisions is made? give decisions the supreme court may have relied on some of the provisions that were made let's say later than the event itself. >> the supreme court for most of its history has been quite careful not to cite directly to the notes. they tend to cite to the the federalist papers which they like a lot more of which were written by madison and hamilton during the period when they are very close. i don't think this book will change specific issues. i think what this book will cause some difficulty for people is that people who believe on the court on the originalism may
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have some pause. originalism is sometimes misunderstood. it's not the idea that you use the interpretation. that's always been important part of how we interpret the constitutioconstitution but oris the claim that the only legitimate way to read the constitution is what people in basically 1787 who wrote the document or the people who ratified it there after thought the constitution meant, that no other minis are acceptable. i think for that group of people the sense of how difficult it was even at that moment for people to understand what the constitution meant, how many disagreements that are at that moment will be a little bit complicated. >> with time almost kind of want to come back to almost my original question about madison oftentimes thought of as the father of the constitution. after looking at those revisions and what he did in terms of


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