Liberty of Conscience – Virginia Part 1
Virginia – Part 1
Of all the states that – even for a fleeting moment – thought that they might be able to go their own way and reject the Constitution, Virginia is probably the only one that really had a chance of success. But Virginia is also the center of The Enlightenment in America; it is her leaders who have the nation’s confidence. So much so, that James Madison almost won’t make it home in time to be elected to the Virginia Convention, because he is busy conducting the Nations business which is entrusted to Virginia.
It is here that the most eloquent Anti-federalist of all, Patrick Henry, will probably join forces with George Mason, a man who attended the Philadelphia Convention but refused to sign the final document. Together, they look to face down the Federalists. If they succeed, Virginia will not ratify and it will be likely that other States remaining to consider the Constitution will follow her example.
Patrick Henry will take the lead. He has a long history of being a defender of the individual, particularly religious conscience, and States rights. He has opposed Madison and Jefferson before; this time he means to pull out all of the stops to prevent what he sees as a usurpation of power from the people. Mason has become surprisingly (one might say, Samuel Adamsish) passive. Madison, having just made the convention, faces the most important task of his life…
Posted on June 2, 2016, in Constitution, Dave, Podcast, Ratification Debates and tagged 1st Amendment, George Mason, James Madison, Partick Henry, Ratification Debates, religious Freedom, State Sovereignty, Thomas Jefferson, Virginia. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.