With all the talk nowadays about the Constitution and arguments about what is and isn’t constitutional, we looked to a review prepared by EPL Judy who completed the Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land video series.
“‘Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land’ is a twenty-three lesson video course produced by the National Center for Constitutional Studies. This course covers the twenty-eight Principles of Liberty upon which our founding documents were based, the history of the Declaration and the Constitution, and a thorough discussion of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rest of the amendments.
“The twenty-eight principles provide a foundation upon which the Declaration and Constitution were written. These principles span a broad variety of topics including morality, religion, property, and debt. They emphasize not only the structure of the government, such as Principle 16 which calls for three branches of government, but also the heart and character of the governed. For example, Principle 2 states, ‘A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong;’ based on this principle the Founding Fathers asked the question, ‘Are we good enough for freedom?’
“One of the most interesting sessions to me was Lesson 14 titled, ‘The Miracle At Philadelphia.’ This lesson gave brief biographical sketches of many of those at the Constitutional Convention as well as some of the history of the Convention. I enjoyed learning about some of the lesser-known participants as well as hearing some of the original writings expressing the thoughts and feelings of the convention delegates.
“The detailed explanation of the Constitution includes a methodical examination of each of the powers of congress, the judiciary, and the president. I think it would surprise most people today to know how very limited and explicit the Founders made these powers and how they have been changed throughout the history of our country. For example, the Founders believed that laws should be enacted by congress and gave the president very limited ability to make law by executive order; however, while George Washington issued only 8 Executive Orders, President Theodore Roosevelt issued over 1000 Executive Orders during his administration.
“This video series is comprehensive in its information. The over 14 hours include valuable information presented in terms a layman can understand. While I would give high marks to the content, the production value is low. It consists of one man sitting at a desk and speaking into the camera. There is an optional study guide which can be purchased to go along with the lessons. The lecturer constantly refers to the guide and indicates where blanks should be filled in so it might be helpful to have.
“I would recommend this video series to those who would like to gain a greater understanding of our founding documents and the principles behind them. The brilliance and foresight of the men who wrote these documents is truly amazing and reconnecting with their thought processes is both informative and inspirational.”