62 episodes

In Constitutionally Speaking, Jay Cost and Luke Thompson make the case that all Americans should study the Constitution. They both think that for citizens to get the most out of their government, it is important for them to understand how the Constitution works. And their hope is that this podcast can serve as a nonpartisan (and fun!) source of information for people of all political persuasions.

Note: The most recent ten episodes of this podcast are available on this feed. Full archives are available to NRPLUS subscribers at NationalReview.com.

Constitutionally Speaking National Review

    • History
    • 4.8, 508 Ratings

In Constitutionally Speaking, Jay Cost and Luke Thompson make the case that all Americans should study the Constitution. They both think that for citizens to get the most out of their government, it is important for them to understand how the Constitution works. And their hope is that this podcast can serve as a nonpartisan (and fun!) source of information for people of all political persuasions.

Note: The most recent ten episodes of this podcast are available on this feed. Full archives are available to NRPLUS subscribers at NationalReview.com.

    Episode 62: One-Term Wonders: John Quincy Adams, the Last Jeffersonian?

    Episode 62: One-Term Wonders: John Quincy Adams, the Last Jeffersonian?

    Like his father in so many ways, JQA was a man of immense talents, a statesman of vast achievements, a brilliant political mind, and -- like his father -- a one-term president. JQA may, still, be the most qualified person ever to reach the presidency. And yet from the outset, his presidency was a failure. His political angling to get the presidency, the so-called “Corrupt Bargain” between Adams and fourth-place finisher Henry Clay, pitched Adams into the presidency via the House of Representatives. Even though this conformed to the formal constitutional method of selection, it offended the political sensibilities of most Americans and limited Adams’s effectiveness. Jay and Luke trace Adams’s policy priorities, his role in advancing what became the American System, and how his administration paved the way for the Jacksonian era.  

    • 1 hr 34 min
    Episode 61: The Decline, Fall, and Peculiar Afterlife of Federalism [The Federalists, Part 3]

    Episode 61: The Decline, Fall, and Peculiar Afterlife of Federalism [The Federalists, Part 3]

    The Adams administration saw the rapid, shocking collapse of Federalism as an organized force in American political life. The regnant faction that had forced through ratification, secured America's diplomatic position, and stabilized the public credit, disappeared utterly from the national stage. How did this happen? And if Federalist policies were so essential to American success, where did they go? Jay and Luke trace the ideological and personal divisions within Federalism, which led to its political weakening, the passage and deployment of the Sedition Act, and its complete collapse in the election of 1800. However, they also show how events and John Marshall conspired to preserve a species of Low Federalist ideology that, in the end, Jefferson's Republicans incorporated into their agenda and made their own. 

    • 1 hr 31 min
    Episode 60: The Federalist Agenda: Foreign and Domestic Policy [The Federalists, Part 2]

    Episode 60: The Federalist Agenda: Foreign and Domestic Policy [The Federalists, Part 2]

    Foreign policy became a key divide between Federalists and the emerging Jeffersonian Republicans, all the more so as Britain and France escalated a rolling series of continental wars. At the same time, domestic polarization around Hamilton's plan of public finance and its successor policies, contributed to a roiling base of political support for Jefferson's growing opposition. Despite Washington's unanimous reelection to the presidency, the divisions between Federalists and Republicans that would eventually doom the former were already at work.

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Episode 59: The Age of Federalism [The Federalists, Part 1]

    Episode 59: The Age of Federalism [The Federalists, Part 1]

    Welcome to our three-episode miniseries on Federalism. We're taking a deep dive into America's first political party, which governed for the first twelve years under the Constitution, then collapsed entirely. Who were the Federalists? What did they believe? Why were they so dominant and then so completely destroyed? Our first episode takes a big picture look at their ideas, their coalition, the policy challenges they faced, and some of the novel solutions they developed for facing them. We look at Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Marshall, and other lesser-known Federalists and try to understand American politics at the end of the 18th century.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Episode 58: Alexander Hamilton on Impeachment

    Episode 58: Alexander Hamilton on Impeachment

    No Founding Father thought more deeply about the presidency than Alexander Hamilton. He was an enthusiastic supporter of a strong chief executive and believed the president had a central and vital role to play in American government, both at home and abroad. Hamilton was also a realist when it came to the nature of politics and, unlike some of his contemporaries, did not shy away from the fact that politics can be a rough business. As a result, Hamilton jumped at the chance to define what impeaching the president would mean in The Federalist. We are still working within the parameters of the impeachment system as he understood it. This talk explains what Hamilton thought and how his ideas can shed light on the recent impeachment. This talk was given at the Down Town Association in New York City, with support from the St. Andrew's Society, the First Families of New York, and the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society.

    • 45 min
    Episode 57: George Mason [The Virginians, Part 7]

    Episode 57: George Mason [The Virginians, Part 7]

    In this final episode of the Virginians miniseries, Jay and Luke discuss George Mason, the godfather of Virginia republicanism. Mason was instrumental in writing the Virginia Constitution in 1776. He was the primary author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, upon which James Madison relied heavily for writing the Bill of Rights. Yet though Mason was a constructive participant at the Constitutional Convention, he eventually opposed the Constitution in strident and bitter terms because he thought it a bad deal for Virginia. Mason thus represents the competing instincts of the Founding Era — embodying a broadminded nationalism but also parochial prejudices. 

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
508 Ratings

508 Ratings

Streetee ,

Great New Series Idea!

I’m so glad this podcast is back!

Albundegas ,

You know, like

Well, uh, ya know these guys have such a poor command of, um, the language, that, that, well uh, listening to them demonstrates totally, right, that their thinking is unorganized and out and out disjoint. These two sound like, right?, a pair of high school , you know, well read kids who through out factoids like, you know like they have them on note cards and rattle them off randomly. Like, so, anyway, this crap insults the listeners' intelligence.

Mister_Orange ,

The Place to Start

If you’ve got an opinion on politics local, state or federal - this series will help you to confirm & validate that opinion or, turn it on it’s head and have you rethink your position. There’s no greater construct for government than our own Constitution. Tune into Jay and Luke and listen to why our Constitution is written the way it is, what it was trying to solve for and how it’s stood the test of time.

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