2019 CCS Constitution Week

The Founders Divided

The 2019 CCS Constitution Week Conference focused on the strong disagreements, which eventually led to the formation of America’s first political parties, which rent the Founding generation in two.  Within only a couple years of James Madison’s and Alexander Hamilton’s joint effort in The Federalist Papers to urge ratification of the new Constitution, they were opposing one another in disputes about the new nation’s finances, its relations with France, and the interpretation of key clauses of the Constitution.  Their parting of ways reflected a broader, and often quite heated, ideological split in the 1790s that involved nearly all of America’s Founding Fathers. Many joined us to hear leading scholars explore this less-flattering and still-controversial side of America’s Founding.  The conference also featured discussion of a new book on James Madison, and of the abiding issue of Federalism.

September 17th: The Divide of the 1790s

10:00-11:15am | CB 101B | Lecture: “A Fire Not to Be Quenched: the Baneful Effects of Party Spirit” | William B. Allen

11:30am- 12:50pm | Lakeview Room | VIP Luncheon | Kirk Ellis (By Invite Only)

1:00-2:30pm | FL 120 | Panel: "The Divide of the 1790s" | Jeremy Bailey, Carson Holloway, and Andrew Shankman

7:30-9:15pm | Ragan Theater | "A Meet-the-Screenwriter Viewing of HBO miniseries John Adams, Episode Five" | Kirk Ellis and John Newman


September 18th: James Madison's Central Role

9-10:30am | Ragan Theater | Panel: "A Fresh Look at James Madison" | Rodney Smith, CCS Director and author of James Madison: The Father of Religious Liberty, Stephanie Barclay, Nicholas Cole, and William B. Allen 

11:00am-12:15pm | Ragan Theater | Panel: "Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Washington During the Divide of the 1790s" | CCS Directors


September 19th: Federalism, the Founders, and the Commerce Clause

10-11:15am | CB 101B | Lecture: "Federalism and the Founders" | Troy Smith

2:30-3:45pm | CB 510B | Panel: "Understanding Federalism" | John Eastman and other distinguished guests