If I thought I could fulfill the duty which I owe to myself and my constituents, to let the subject pass over in silence, I most certainly should not trespass upon the indulgences of this house.” He would state plainly. “But I cannot do this; and am therefore compelled to beg a patient hearing to what I have laid before you.”
The air hot and heavy, the crowds would look on as James Madison rose to the floor of Federal Hall in New York to address the House of Representatives. The galleries full, yet the seats of North Carolina and Rhode Island still empty, he would look down to the notes scribbled on a piece of paper and begin to speak, offering up his amendments to the Constitution.
This week on Fragile Freedom we continue our ongoing series on the history of the Bill of Rights as the Father of the Constitution, a man who once argued that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary, presented his amendments to the body. For Madison it would not be an easy or a simple road, but it would be one that he knew he had to take. After all, in his mind, government derived its ability to govern from the consent of the people, and, as such, the will of the people could not be ignored. This was what they demanded and this would be what he would fight for as he stood firm, tirelessly crafting the proposals he would present as he poured over the amendments offered up by the state ratifying committees.
Join with host Wyatt McIntyre as he explores the rich history of this great charter of individual rights and freedoms, and how, amidst political divides and battles, it finally came into existence.