A Child of Fortune: A Correspondent's Report on the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the Battle for a Bill of Rights

A Child of Fortune: A Correspondent's Report on the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the Battle for a Bill of Rights

A Child of Fortune: A Correspondent's Report on the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the Battle for a Bill of Rights

A Child of Fortune: A Correspondent's Report on the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the Battle for a Bill of Rights

Synopsis

A follow-up to the author's CONSTITUTIONAL JOURNAL, this is an account of the ratification of the American Constitution in the style of contemporary journalism. It was an exciting occurrence that still reverberates throughout our world and that will continue to do so throughout the new century and beyond. But not, alas, on the lips of narrator Riggenbach, who drones through the whole thing as if in a hurry to get home.

Excerpt

Combining his skills as a journalist with a knowledge of history, Jeffrey St. John has produced another hook that will enhance the knowledge of its readers—students and adults alike—about what every American should know—that it was a monumental task to secure the Constitution under which we have lived for more than 200 years. Here, Mr. St. John employs the same approach he used in Constitutional Journal, with its simulated day-by-day coverage of the Constitutional Convention. He gives to the ratification process in the thirteen States what modern journalism tries to do for presidential primary campaigns. It differs in that this book is written with restraint, born of a sense of history, that is the luxury of a writer free of the pressure of newspaper deadlines.

Few Americans, even those who are otherwise well read and well informed, understand that we almost did not get the Constitution that was drafted in 1787 and ratified in 1788—and that we were at first a nation of eleven, not thirteen, States. Perhaps no part of our history is so little understood. Almost everyone studies something about this in school. But how many appreciate the difficulty of ratifying the Constitution even in the state of Virginia where it survived by a mere ten-vote margin, 89 to 79? How many remember that even the leadership of George Washington, James Madison, and the young John Marshall had great difficulty overcoming the opposition of Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Monroe?

The debate over ratification of the Constitution was the second, and most important, debate over the basic principles that brought new concepts of government into operation. the Federalist, nationalist concepts evolved by Washington, Hamilton, and others eontended against the Anti-Federalist philosophy later adopted by the Jeffersonians. the debate was fierce but we must remember that . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.