Framework for Democracy Series

Framework for Democracy Series
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26 videos in this collection

American Heritage
American politics today cannot be understood apart from the nation's heritage. Government does not begin over again with each generation; it builds on the past. In the case of the…
The American Experiment
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…
The Living Constitution
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…
A Question of Sovereignty
One national government; fifty state governments; town, city, and county governments...international visitors are often overwhelmed by the complexity of the U. S. system of government. There are various ways of…
The Most Basic of Rights
Without government, people live in a state of anarchy. With unbridled government, men and women may live in a state of tyranny. The civil liberties imbedded in the Bill of…
Rights of the Accused
The United States has one of the highest violent crime rates in the world. It is not surprising, therefore, that many citizens have strong opinions about the rights of the…
The Struggle for Equality
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal... The struggle for equality is never easy. When these words from the Declaration were written in 1776,…
Frames of Reference
The United States is a country marked by divergent political views. Political attitudes formed early in life seldom change dramatically, however the basic framework is etched and refined by life…
Voice of the People
Americans attach great significance to the right to vote. But the privilege of voting, so basic to democratic government, is a right that took many Americans centuries to achieve. In…
Party Politics
The patterns of party politics in the United States provide a fascinating platform from which to view American political history. Divergent interests, seeking to strengthen their voice, join with others…
Campaign Trail
Today, party organizations are alive and well in America, but they are no longer the driving force in contemporary campaigns. Much of what transpires is more accurately described as candidate-centered…
Pressure Politics
Alexis de Tocqueville observed in 1834 that "no country of the world has the principles of association been more successfully used or applied to a greater multitude of objectives than…
The Fourth Estate
On a daily basis, more Americans connect to politics through the news media than through the activities of parties or groups. The press brings events and problems into public view,…
The First Branch
The founders of the American republic believed that the bulk of power exercised by a national government should be in the hands of the legislature. Article I of the Constitution…
Government By Committee
Most of the actual work of legislating is performed by the committees and subcommittees within Congress. This division of legislative labor has emerged as a means of responding to the…
The Glorious Burden
The writers of the Constitution had a basic idea of what they wanted in a president: a national leader who would carry out the law of the land, a statesman…
Leader For A Nation
The president operates within a system of separate institutions that share power. Without congressional authorization and funding, most presidential proposals are nothing but ideas, empty of action. Theodore Roosevelt longed…
The Federal Workplace
Modern government would be impossible without a bureaucracy. The government's enormous administrative capacity makes it possible for the United States to have such ambitious programs as social security, environmental protection,…
The Power Imperative
Although agencies are subject to scrutiny by the president, Congress, and the judiciary, bureaucrats are able to achieve power in their own right. They often develop an "agency point of…
The Rule of Nine
The writers of the Constitution were determined that the judiciary would be a separate branch of the federal government but, for practical reasons, did not spell out the full structure…
Legal Precedent
In recent years the judiciary has become an increasingly powerful policymaking body. Although judicial decisions are constrained by applicable constitutional law, statutory law, and precedent, the courts have considerable discretion…
Balancing Act
This episode focuses on the economic role of government: its promotion and regulation of economic interests, its fiscal and monetary policies, the politics of economic decision making, and the management…
The Nation's Welfare
Poverty is a large and persistent problem in the United States, deeply affecting about one in seven Americans, including many of the country's most vulnerable groups: children, female "head of…
Health of the Nation: Health of the Planet
Despite attempts to provide an equitable baseline of healthcare for Americans, an estimated 44 million people in the United States do not have health insurance, public or private. This episode…
Global Politics
In the world of the 21st century, the basic tools of diplomacy are not far different than they were at the country's inception. The primary goal of United States foreign…
Preserve, Protect and Defend
It was a sparkling September morning in New York City. The familiar cacophony of taxi horns and street vendors greeted commuters as they emerged from the subway. No one anticipated…

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Social Gospel and the Public Good
Intersecting lives of two prairie politicians, JS Woodsworth and William Aberhart.
Vote for Me Series
What is it like to actually run for office? To organize campaigns? To get out the vote? To produce negative ads? To build legislative coalitions? All this and more is part of Vote for Me: Politics in America, the Peabody Award-winning four -hour public TV series that travels across the…
Ronald Reagan: The Great Speeches
Relive the authentic thoughts and words of the legendary President Ronald Reagan. This historical compilation features highlights of some of the greatest moments in American political history.
Ronald Reagan - The Life and Legacy
Examine the life and times of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan. This eight-part series follows the amazing true story of a small-town boy from the Mid-West who rose from the shadows of an alcoholic father to become one of the most influential figures of the…
Nerd Prom: Inside Washington's Wildest Week
Most Americans might think that the most important event each year in Washington, D.C. - arguably the world's most important city and one built on public service - would resemble, say, a political rally, a bill signing or some compelling Capitol Hill testimony that moves lawmakers to action. Nothing could…
Hijacking Catastrophe - 9/11, Fear & the Selling of the American Empire
The 9/11 terror attacks continue to send shock waves through the American political system. Continuing fears about American vulnerability alternate with images of American military prowess and patriotic bravado in a transformed media landscape charged with emotion and starved for information. The result is that we have had little detailed…
The Billionaires' Tea Party - How Corporate America is Faking a Grassroots Revolution
In the summer of 2009, shortly after Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress swept to power promising a new era of hope and change, a citizens protest movement emerged out of nowhere threatening to derail their agenda. Some said this uprising was the epitome of grassroots democracy. Others said it…
Constitution U.S.A.
PBS
Does the Constitution have what it takes to keep up with modern America? Join Peter Sagal as he hits the road to find out. Traveling across the country by motorcycle, Sagal is in search of where the U.S. Constitution lives, how it works and how it doesn't... how it unites…
Robert F. Kennedy: The End Of An American Dream
Part of the Series: Political Assassination Series
It was June 1968 and senator Bobby Kennedy was running for President of the United States. The people adored him, but the political establishment and big business saw him as a threat. He had championed the poor and exploited, and wanted America out of the Vietnam War: so he had…
The 17th Amendment: Democracy Restored
Sweeping progressive reforms changed the face of American politics. Observe how initiatives at the city level began the eventual transformation of urban political machines into players in political reform. Examine major political reforms at the state and federal levels, culminating in the civil service system, popularly elected senators, and voting…
Eleanor Roosevelt
Part of the Series: American Experience
She was the nation's conscience, a tireless advocate for the disadvantaged, a woman who influenced American social policies for decades and pushed through the first international charter on human rights. Eleanor Roosevelt survived a painful childhood and a difficult marriage to become one of the most admired women in America.…
The Choice 2012
Part of the Series: Frontline
It's been called the starkest choice in years, between two men with sharply different backgrounds, views, and prescriptions for fixing the country's problems. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to tell their own stories, but in The Choice 2012, FRONTLINE goes far beyond the…