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Ben Franklin's World

290 EpisodesProduced by Liz CovartWebsite

This is a show about early American history. Awarded Best History Podcast by the Academy of Podcasters in 2017, it’s for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world. Each episode features conve… read more


259 The Bill of Rights & How Legal Historians Work (Doing History 4)

Law is all around us. And the basis of American Law comes not only from our early American past, but from our founding documents.

This episode begins our 4th Doing History series. Over the next four episodes, we’ll explore the early American origins of the Bill of Rights as well as the history of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment will serve as our case study so we can see where our rights come from and how they developed from the early American past.

In this episode we go inside the United States National Archives to investigate the Constitution and Bill of Rights. During our visit we’ll speak with Jessie Kratz, First Historian of the National Archives, and Mary Sarah Bilder, the Founders Professor of Law at Boston College, to better understand our founding documents and the laws they established.

Show Notes:


About the Series

Law is all around us. The Doing History: Why the 4th? series uses the Bill of Rights and the Fourth Amendment as case studies to examine where our rights come from and how they developed out of early American knowledge and experiences. It also uses the history of the Bill of Rights and the Fourth Amendment to explore the history of law as a field of study and how this field of study differs from other historical subjects and how historians and lawyers use and view the history of the law differently.

The Doing History series explores early American history and how historians work. It is part of Ben Franklin’s World, which is a production of the Omohundro Institute.

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