tv The O Reilly Factor FOX News July 31, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
and this is my world. news is the first draft of history. it is immediate and takes place in real time. legends take longer to develop and are sometimes based on myth. this fox news series looks at the truth behind the legend. >> we are an independent nation, gentlemen. now for us to kill the king. >> our next objective is north carolina. they must be crushed. >> they may have the numbers, but we have something to fight for.
>> you have fought and triumphed together. >> where is lord cornwallace? >> he is under the weather, sir. >> general lincoln here will accept the sword. [ shouting ] >> open the door! >> what is this? >> gentlemen, our nation is on the verge of collapse because we are not truly one nation. our current congress can achieve nothing because every state, no matter how small, has an equal vote. we must have a congress whose members are proportional and
elected by direct vote. >> yes. >> yes! >> of course, virginia would propose such a plan. the larger states will hold all the power. we fought to preserve the sovereignty of the various states. congress must remain as a single body with one representative per state. >> yes. >> i would rather have a monarch again than a tyranny of the states. >> open the damn door! [ shouting ] ♪ my country 'tis of thee
sweet land of liberty ♪ ♪ land where my fathers died land of the pilgrims' pride ♪ ♪ from every mountainside let freedom ring ♪ pushed to their limits by an oppressive empire, a determined group of rebels unites under the cause of liberty. their quest for freedom will unify a people, ignite a revolution and forge a new system of government. in time, these brave men and women will come to be known as
the american patriots. george washington, the nation's foremost founding father and its first president, a battle-weary and debt-ridden general ready for retirement. but behind every president stands a man, and behind every legend lies the truth. >> go on. he's expecting you. >> property may be seized immediately in order to satisfy these debts. >> living this news, it presses hard upon me, sir.
>> have i truly fallen this low that i no longer command the title of respect i once did? or is that being reclaimed as well? >> of course not, sir. i mean, your excellency. my apologies, general washington. >> three years after the end of the revolutionary war, the articles of confederation are simply not holding up. the founding document that precedes the constitution does not provide a way for the states to work together on trade, borders or national defense. it requires congress to reach a unanimous vote to pass laws, and there is no president to enforce those that do. with the economy collapsing, it's clear the united states needs a stable federal government to unify it. once again, george washington will preside as the country takes on its next battle, states' rights versus a strong, centralized government.
>> after the costly revolutionary war, americans are left with enormous debt, and not even george washington was immune. without a standard currency, national bank, or centralized government, the young nation is in economic free fall. >> gold and silver only. no paper money. >> the u.s. government under the articles of confederation had borrowed a lot of money and had issued a lot of i owe yous and had run the economy poorly. >> currency collapsed and inflation spiraled out of control to the point where it cost $150,000 to buy a horse. >> get down here and eat this! eat it! >> some people in britain predicted this would happen.
if we can't defeat the americans on the battlefield, okay, let's give them their independence and they'll probably fall apart on their own and they might very well fall back into our laps. >> out of the chaos comes daniel shays, a revolutionary war veteran who served bravely at ticonderoga and bunker hill. >> sir, are you all right? >> now a farmer, like many of his countrymen, shays faces bankruptcy and debtors' prison. desperate, he decides to take radical action. >> how many of us have fought and died for freedom only to have our own freedoms revoked? for bad debt? unpaid taxes? springfield, the armory, that is where we will find the freedom you all deserve. >> hear hear! >> we will find here muskets, ammunition, cannon and more! then we will once again fight
for freedom. they cannot take the rights from us that we so hard fought for! >> daniel shays and many veterans of the revolutionary war have an uprising, leading a group of farmers preventing judges and sheriffs from coming in to make foreclosures on their farms. >> all right, men, step lively. armor's not far ahead. we'll have it by nightfall. >> shays plans to overthrow the massachusetts government by marching his rag tag rebels to springfield, capturing the national armory where most of the military's weapons are manufactured and stored. shays expects to find the armory undefended. >> the continental congress could not get the states to put up any money to support the troops. they had to actually ask the
states to voluntarily provide soldiers. the massachusetts state legislature is able to raise a militia against shays' rebellion. >> men who once fought for freedom from britain are now in open rebellion against their own government. the threat of a nation divided has america once again bracing for war. ♪ when kevin jorgeson needs light, he trusts duracell quantum because it lasts longer. ♪ (duracell slamtones)
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>> four years after winning independence, the american government, under the four years after winning independence, the american government, under the articles of confederation, is weak and ineffective. the collapsing economy leads to a desperate rebellion led by revolutionary war veteran daniel shays.
>> though shays' rebellion ends in defeat, it will have a huge impact on the young united states. >> many of the founding fathers looked at this and said, all that we fought for, all that we risked in the war against great britain is now being undermined by these individual state-based interests. we've got to do something about this. we need to reform the articles of confederation. [ shot ] >> leading the charge for reform is james madison, a virginia lawmaker and a close friend of thomas jefferson. madison believes america needs a strong national government or shays' rebellion will be just the first of many bloody revolutions. >> if you had to say that there was a single father of the u.s. constitution, you would definitely say it was james madison. a bookish kind of guy. he wasn't a speaker, he wasn't
dynamic, but he did his research. always the best prepared guy in the room. >> violence in massachusetts will continue and spread to other states without a true national government, we shall have anarchy. congress has called a convention in philadelphia to amend the articles of confederation. i intend to conceive an entirely new constitution. >> you do understand that many will see this as an act of treason. >> not if you're involved. >> james madison visits george washington to try to encourage washington to come out of retirement. the american public needed to see that he was on board with the new founding document. and moreover, he was convinced that the country itself needed washington and needed his leadership. >> tell me you'll attend.
>> do i have any choice in the matter? >> while the articles of confederation have become inadequate, the challenge in replacing them is convincing the public and lawmakers that a constitutional convention will not result in a return to monarchy. many fear the father of the country could soon become its king. [ shouting ] >> the delegates who assemble in philadelphia for the constitutional convention are among the greatest minds of the day. >> it's dr. franklin! >> once more into the beach. >> including 81-year-old benjamin franklin and washington's former aide, alexander hamilton of new york, who is more determined than anyone to drag the nation into
the future. >> hamilton understands complexities that a lot of other people don't understand. and one of the problems with hamilton is that he's not shy in letting you know how brilliant he is. ♪ >> we are a secret society then. >> why is the door being locked? >> gentlemen, we are gathered here to decide forever the fate of republican government. we must be able to debate ideas
freely, without fear that our words will touch off a firestorm. >> they did what we would call a media blockout. nobody talked to the press, nobody take any notes, because we want everybody to feel comfortable. if you want to get up and say, "i think we should have a king," then we want you to do that. >> prior to proceedings of other business, we must select a president of this convention. >> there is but one choice, general george washington. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> mr. president?
>> i see no prospect of a speedy return to mt. vernon, for contrary to my wish, i am made by a unanimous vote president of the convention. >> gentlemen, the floor is open. >> though washington doesn't want to be in charge, only he has the authority to hold these fractious delegates together and guide them toward creating a new government, but even washington's leadership might not be enough.
>> washington was a master of silence. the fact that washington presided over the constitutional convention but did not engage in the debate really helped. he was above it all. >> philadelphia is suffering through its hottest summer in 40 years. yet, to keep the proceedings secret, the delegates are locked inside with the windows shut. outside, angry protesters demand answers, fearing the convention is naming a new king. >> does anyone have an idea as to how we should govern this damn country? >> one of the great myths in american political life right now is the myth of original intent of the constitution. there was no original intent. 55 guys show up, and they had like 55 different opinions about what should happen in the course of this summer.
some were going there to reform the existing articles of confederation. some are going in there to tear the whole thing up and come up with a whole new constitution. >> our nation is on the verge of collapse because we are not truly one nation. we must replace the articles of confederation with a unified national government. >> hear hear. >> under madison's plan, less populated states will have reduced power in government, and so will their representatives, like new jersey's william paterson. >> this convention has but one articles of to amend and confederation, not to replace them. >> i may have but one leg, but even that is a more stable foundation than the one upon which this country is built. let us hear the virginia plan. >> it wasn't thought of as a
single country. they were these 13 sovereign entities unto themselves, and they loathed to give up the attributes of sovereignty. >> we must have a congress whose members are proportional and elected by direct vote. >> of course, virginia would propose such a plan. the larger states would hold all the power. >> gentlemen, i would rather have a monarch again than a tyranny of the states. >> open the damn door! >> george washington now faces his greatest challenge since defeating the world's most powerful army -- he must keep the convention and the country from falling apart, but the fight over representation will only become uglier as the delegates turn to the issue of slavery.
that big states, populous states like virginia would end up with a greater degree of authority and power in the legislature. >> we must find a way to persuade these narrow-minded politicians who oppose a strong and energetic government. >> the stalemate threatens to derail the convention, leaving the country without a constitution or a working government. >> well, the virginia/pennsylvania caball plotting the destruction of states' rights, the very bedrock of this country. >> no, it is you who would destroy this nation with your foolish adherence to a useless confederation.
>> mr. paterson, without compromise, we cannot be secure or respect abable both here and abroad. >> precisely. >> new jersey would welcome a true compromise. >> it was politics hard at work with different groups advocating their particular positions, but there was also understanding that in politics, you don't get everything you want. and what emerged was a compromise. >> the great compromise breaks the impasse among the states, creating a congress with two houses, the senate, where all states have equal power, and the house of representatives, where representation is based on population. but the deal gives slaveholding states an opportunity to hold the convention hostage.
>> gentlemen, a call to vote. virginia. >> aye. >> new york. >> aye. >> pennsylvania. >> aye! >> new jersey. >> aye. >> north carolina. >> nay. >> this will not work! >> in order to get southern states to agree to this compromise, they need to appease those states somehow. southern states insist that
their slaves be counted towards that population to determine how many representatives they would have in the house. and so we get the three-fifths compromise. >> the three-fifths compromise is a concession that forever stains the constitution. while slaves have no rights, they are still counted toward representation, but only as three-fifths of a free person. that agreement gives slave states 30% more representatives than they would otherwise have. the balance of power has shifted towards slavery supporters. but language is included in the compromise that will eventually make the constitution a tool to end slavery altogether. >> gentlemen, gentlemen, a call to vote. >> here's the key language here, too -- all other persons, not property, but all other persons will be counted three of every five for the purpose of
representation. and within american's african dissent community, men like prince hall, they see this as an attribute, that one day you will be able to abolish slavery using the constitution as a weapon, that it is a weapon against the slaveholders. >> after nearly four months, the final draft of the constitution, a combination of high-minded ideals and painfully pragmatic compromises, is presented to the delegates. >> we, the people of the united states, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice -- >> the idea that men gathering in philadelphia during one summer could create a government, it was a novel concept. it had never happened before. no one knew if it was going to work. >> and secure the blessings of liberty. >> what you've got is a balance between the big states and the small states, but you also have a balance between the three
classical forms of government -- monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy -- each of which the architects of the constitution understood to have flaws, but if you could somehow combine those three forms into one, you could use them to check the flaws of the other. >> done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present and of the independence of the united states of america the 12th. >> please join me in affixing your name to our constitution. there are parts of this constitution which at present i do not approve, but i consent to this constitution because i do not expect better.
but i am not sure that it is not the best. >> the constitution is signed, but the new congress needs to establish an executive branch and choose a president. all eyes are on a man who doesn't even want the job. >> there was skepticism that any single individual ought to be given very much power, but there was also a feeling that the weakness of the articles of confederation was that there was no execution authority. there was nobody who could actively enforce the laws. to allay the suspicions of those skeptics, the supporters simply pointed to george washington. >> in many ways, the office of president was designed with him in mind. and his friends, his colleagues are telling him that he can expect to be elected president. >> i have often looked at that behind the president's chair without being able to tell whether it is rising or setting.
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>> in the years since the revolution, the united states has weathered economic crisis, deadly rebellion, and contentious debate to create a constitution. as the new federal governmen in the year since the revolution, the u.s. has faced deadly revolution, rebellion and debate to create a new constitution. as the government begins to take shape, there is only one choice for the highest position. >> washington being the first president is critical in making this new government respectable in the eyes of the people. if they know george washington's president, that's enough for them.
>> long live george washington! >> but washington doesn't share the public's enthusiasm. >> my movements to the chair of government will be accompanied with feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution. i do solemnly swear to faithfully execute the office of the president of the united states and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states. >> it is done! long live george washington, president of the united states.
>> while george washington is the trusted head of the powerful federal government, he will not be in power forever. men like james madison and thomas jefferson worry that a new leader could constrain individual rights. for them and their fellow democratic republicans, it's vitally important that personal freedoms are not simply implied but expressly written into the constitution as the bill of rights we so value today. >> well, the genesis of the bill of rights is several states being suspicious of the power of the new central government. and several states said, if we can add individual rights to this document, then we'll sign on and support it. >> it's james madison who sits down and writes those first ten amendments, which we know as the bill of rights. >> one -- congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or abridging the
freedom of speech or of the press. >> our country is in danger. the measures taken by our congress must be steadily pursued. >> two -- a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. >> fire! >> four -- the right of the people to be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated. ten -- the powers not delegated to the united states by the constitution are reserved to the states respectively or to the people. >> hear hear! >> the constitution defines the power of the american government, and the bill of rights defines the inalienable rights of american citizens, but
the clash between government power and the people's liberty will soon test the limits of george washington's leadership. >> the only offer now is to declare our independence! >> america is at war, dr. franklin. >> welcome home. >> for more revealing stories on these and other patriots featured in "legends & lies," feature the companion book at billo'reilly.com. unlike the bargain brand, new depend fit-flex underwear is now more flexible to move with you. reconnect with the life you've been missing. get a free sample at depend.com.
>> with the bill of rights and the supreme court in place, the individual rights of americans are protected. with the bill of rights and the supreme court in place, the individual rights of americans are protected, but the country's massive war debt threatens its very survival, and washington's solution will ignite another revolution. >> your plan, colonel hamilton, is the first step on the road to monarchy. >> what is the national government for if not to lift the states out of this crisis? >> washington entrusts his treasury secretary, alexander hamilton, with fixing america's broken economy, but hamilton's methods are too extreme for secretary of state thomas jefferson. >> one of george washington's strengths is his ability to step aside and let his trusted
lieutenants take charge. while some believe alexander hamilton forces his own economic plan upon the country, washington is in full support of a national bank. he wisely allows hamilton to exert his will while washington maintains the dignity of his office. >> if we give the government this power, how much more will it take? i know you wish for a national bank and excise taxes. >> these, these are the very things that we declared independence from in 1776. i would prefer anarchy to you turning america into another great britain. >> hamilton wants to create a national bank, sell bonds to pay off the war debt, and raise taxes, a plan based on britain's economic system. >> this causes great hardship with thomas jefferson, who believes that alexander hamilton and his financial schemes in the treasury department are throwing america back into the hands of
stock-jobbers in great britain. >> jefferson insists on believing that hamilton is engaged in some type of nefarious plot to restore aristocracy and royal government to the united states. >> gentlemen, you know what i want. surely, there must be something you want just as badly. >> virginians jefferson and madison want the nation's capital to be in the south. in exchange for the national bank, a 100-square-mile plot along the potomac is set aside, a small price for hamilton to pay. >> i question your method of paying the wartime debt. >> your thinking on this issue, mr. madison, is somewhat antiquated. we are no longer a conglomeration of states but one body. when the right hand is wounded, does not the left rise to bandage it? >> i was duped by the secretary of the treasury and made a tool for forwarding his schemes. and of all the errors in my political career, this, this is
an occasion of the deepest regr regret. >> hamilton gets his way, but as the federal government exercises its power by taxing whiskey, pennsylvania farmers who share jefferson's views see this as tyranny. >> whiskey was a major source of income for farmers. so, the idea there's going to be a tax on that whiskey would cut right into their profits. demand response to this, a number of them got together and rose up in rebellion. >> you wish to enforce tyranny? we enforce a higher law! this is what we think of your whiskey tax! >> angry farmers come out in force, attacking tax collectors. some are tarred and feathered, while others have their homes
set upon >> it's a privilege, your -- your excellency. >> the honor is mine. >> to defend the authority of the constitution and the presidency, george washington once again takes command of an army, only this time, his opponents are his fellow americans. esurance does auto insurance a smarter way, which saves money. they offer a claim-free discount. because safe drivers cost less to insure, which saves money. they let you pay your bill electronically, which saves postage, which saves money. they settle claims quickly, which saves time, which saves money. and they offer home and auto insurance, so you can bundle your policies,
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>> in a move that's nearly impossible to imagine today, george washington, the sitting president, leads military troops into the field himself, though, instead of a foreign enemy, washington must face his fellow americans, putting down the whiskey rebellion, as he asserts the authority of the new constitution and the federal government it creates. >> washington marches into western pennsylvania with over 13,000 troops. but hoping to prevent a battle, he meets with the rebellion's representatives. >> i have a warrant for this man. >> i'd like to see you serve that warrant. >> gentlemen! >> serve it! we're only defendin' our rights, what we fought for in the war! >> a war we fought to unify our country under the flag of the united states, not under the demands of a group of rebels. unless you and your compatriots submit to the laws of our country, i will restore order at the point of the bayonet.
>> washington puts down the rebellion without firing a shot. his presence is enough to convince the rebels to give up. >> a number of the ringleaders get brought up on trial. they get convicted. they get condemned to death. but washington pardons them. it was important for him to use his powers as president to pardon, to show mercy, to get people to believe in the legitimacy and credibility and faith in the presidency and the federal government. again, the genius of washington. >> with patience and foresight, president washington guides the united states through a tumultuous time. he maintains peace at home and abroad and sets the standard for every president since. but at the end of his second term, washington is ready to
gracefully step aside and let others continue the grand experiment in democracy. >> every day, the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. so let me warn you against the spirit of party, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people. and now, i anticipate the sweet enjoyment of good laws under a free government and the happy reward of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers. >> i wouldn't change a thing, your excellency.
>> the inauguration of john adams is the last public appearance washington plans [ applause ] his actions on the way out of the presidency will resonate through the rest of american history. >> one of the most important moments in the history of the american republic was the first peaceful transfer of power from one president to another. this did not happen. once you got power in those days, you kept it. >> i do solemnly swear. >> i, john adams, do solemnly swear that i will faithfully execute the office of the president of the united states. >> there's a story about napoleon. in the waning years of napoleon's life, he makes the comment, "they wanted me to be another washington. and i couldn't do it." >> and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect... >> and defend the constitution of the united states.
>> george washington exemplifies true patriotism and honor as he calmly steps aside for john adams to become president. instead of desperately holding on to power, washington relinquishes it, trusting the constitution to keep the country on track and setting the definitive example to the world of the peaceful transfer of power. >> unfortunately, despite their brilliance, the men who come after him are not george washington. their ambitions and vengeance threaten to destroy everything the father of the country has worked for.
i'm chris wallace. >> clinton hits the road on a bus tour of battleground states and then sits down with us for the first time in this campaign. you say you're the real change agent. you're offering tweaks, not a dramatic shift. americans know what they think of you. two-thirds of them don't trust you. and the e-mails. >> yes. >> it is