Podcasts Constitutionally Speaking

Episode 57: George Mason [The Virginians, Part 7]

Detail of portrait of George Mason, undated (Gunston Hall/National Archives)

In this final episode of the Virginians miniseries, Jay and Luke discuss George Mason, the godfather of Virginia republicanism. Mason was instrumental in writing the Virginia Constitution in 1776. He was the primary author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, upon which James Madison relied heavily for writing the Bill of Rights. Yet though Mason was a constructive participant at the Constitutional Convention, he eventually opposed the Constitution in strident and bitter terms because he thought it a bad deal for Virginia. Mason thus represents the competing instincts of the Founding Era — embodying a broadminded nationalism but also parochial prejudices.

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