Welcome to Inventing America: Conversations with the Founders!
At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia an elderly woman approached Benjamin Franklin as he was leaving the Pennsylvania State House. "Tell me, Dr. Franklin," she said, "do we have a republic or a monarchy?" Dr. Franklin replied: "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."
If our Founding Fathers could come back, what would they think about our country today? Would they turn over in their graves, or would they be astounded that our republic is still alive? George Washington, who presided at the 1787 convention, predicted it wouldn't last 20 years, so take a guess.
In the three-part program on this website we take you behind the scenes of the creation of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. You will see how these are not just old dusty parchments stored away in a museum, but how they define us as Americans and serve as a beacon of freedom to the world.
Filmed before a live audience at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, the program features our Founders portrayed by noted historical actors in a TV talk show format. While imagined and presented as a retrospective, the conversations are based on fact, using the Founders' actual words. Each episode runs 56 minutes and may be viewed at home or in the classroom. Resource materials for middle school and high school educators are included and may used at the college level as well.
Enjoy the program!