Episode I - A More Perfect Union

One of the most revolutionary aspects of the Constitution is “federalism,” the innovative system which created a strong national government while at the same time preserving much of the independence of the states. This delicate balance of power, seemingly hard-wired for disagreement and conflict, has served America well for more than two centuries. But it has also led to tensions throughout American history and still sparks controversy today.

Peter Sagal travels across the country and meets many who believe that the federal government has grown too big, and assumed more power than the framers intended. He’ll talk to a Montana gun rights advocate, who believes federal firearms regulations are taking away his constitutional rights, and to the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland which is legal according to the state of California, but for which he could be subject to the death penalty according to federal law.

On the flip side, Peter will meet passionate advocates who point to the central contributions that can only be made from a strong central government, like the construction of dams and interstate highways, protection of food and drugs, and maintaining clean water and air. He’ll learn how, in times of crisis like the battle over integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, it was the federal government that dramatically stepped in to make a difference.

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