Constitution USA – Episode I: A More Perfect Union (Federalism)

Lesson Duration

Part I or a four-part series hosted by Peter Sagal. Viewers are introduced to some of today’s major constitutional debates. For “each contemporary story, Sagal dives into the history behind it and talks to prominent legal scholars, historians and public figures, finding out what the Constitution says, the dramatic historical events and crises that defined the Constitution, and why all this matters. Each one-hour episode of Constitution USA vividly illuminates a central theme essential to the Constitution.”

Episode I: A More Perfect Union

“Peter explores the Constitution’s most striking and innovative feature: its resilient brand of federalism. The framers created a strong national government while at the same time preserving much of the power and 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 over medical marijuana, gun control, and Obamacare.”


Find video clips of this program on PBS LearningMedia:

The National Constitution Center has developed educational materials for each episode of Constitution USA which addresses a theme related to the Constitution.

For High School or Middle School educational materials, go to:


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