Constitution Alive (Vol. 1 – 4)
Join David Barton and Rick Green, Constitutional experts and advocates for the original intent of our country’s founding documents, in this one-of-a-kind course on the meaning and purpose of the Constitution. You’ll go article by article through the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and learn about executive orders, recess appointments, the Electoral College, the powers of Congress and the President, and freedom of religion. Shot on location in the amazing WallBuilders library of original documents and in Independence Hall, “Constitution Alive” is a great film for celebrating the 225th anniversary of the Constitution.
“Constitution Alive” is a wonderful four-DVD set, which features Historian David Barton and former Texas House of Representatives politician Rick Green. It brings the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and a world of information to life. Each DVD focuses on a different aspect of the Constitution, on which Barton and Green elaborate. Watching this video series is just like taking a course on these important topics, with many of the lessons taught at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia. The paintings, quotations from the founding fathers, and the scenes from Independence Hall make this an enjoyable and informative viewing experience.
Disc One features Section One, Introduction: Our Purpose and Approach; Section Two: The Seeds of Liberty; and Section Three: A 30,000 Foot Overview. These sections delve into the role of George Mason (the Father of the Bill of Rights) and the principles of war. Barton also offers a challenge to the viewer to read, study, and teach the Constitution.
The documentary examines the background of the signing of the Declaration of Independence: Fifty-six men signed it, and the group consisted of poor men, wealthy men, farmers, and political figures. Twenty-nine of the 56 had college degrees. Interestingly, one fourth of them were homeschooled. Barton also notes that the average life span at this time was 33 years, and it’s now in the 80s. The film also discusses Benjamin Rush’s contribution to the Constitution, as well as the differences in goals of the public school system then and now. The goal back then was to honor God in schools, which has become a controversial issue in our time. As Washington said, “You can’t have morality without religion.” The documentary is also not without some humor. At one point in the film, Barton says, “Some judges are so open-minded, their brains fall out!”
Disc One also has sections on Identity Rights, the Electoral College, an exposition on the meaning of the Constitution, and historical comments about the French and Indian War. Barton and Green also examine the branches of government, jurisdiction, and taxes.
Disc Two includes sections on the Congress, the articles, and the presidents. The two teachers expound on the differences between limited government and small government, jurisdiction lines, and the topic of marriage. Interestingly, a quote from the court in 1913 says, “Marriage was not originated by human law…” and it makes it clear that God defined marriage. The documentary also addresses the General Welfare Clause and how it could be abused. Rick Green addresses questions in a question-and-answer session in Independence Hall, and finally, examines the concept of duty.
Disc Three features sections on the Four Judicial Myths, First Amendment: Freedom of Religion, and the Bill of Rights. Rick Green’s three sons and his daughter teach small segments throughout the series, which often takes place at Independence Hall. The third disc includes lessons on impeachment, inalienable rights, Jefferson’s definition of separation of church and state, and questions from the audience. It concludes with a look at each of the Bill of Rights.
Disc Four, the final disc, teaches how amendments go through the process of becoming ratified. Interestingly, 10,900 amendments have been proposed, but only 27 amendments have been added to the Constitution. The final sections examine “The Amendment Process” and “Duty of the Citizen.” Discussions also include that of possible amendments, such as a balanced budget, human life, marriage, and political term limits.
This series is very educational and well presented. Teachers could utilize it as a classroom tool or an entire course on the Constitution of the United States. We recommend it for ages 12-plus, although some parents may be fine with showing it to younger children. Parents should consult the content listing. We award it our Faith Friendly 12+ Seal. Every American should watch this series.