Freedom Triumphant: Law, Liberty, and the U.S. Capitol Dome Statue of Freedom | BRIdge from the Past
What does the U.S. Capitol dome reveal about the relationship between laws and liberty? In this episode of BRIdge from the Past, Mary examines images of the United States Capitol in Washington, DC and the majestic statue that adorns the top. The well-known dome that we know today was erected in 1850, and shortly after, the statue, featuring a robed woman holding a laurel wreath and sheathed sword, was placed atop it in 1863. What do the individual parts that make up the Capitol dome and statue represent? How do they work together to showcase freedom?
The Constitutional Powers of Congress
The national legislature created by the Articles of Confederation lacked sufficient powers to govern the country properly. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 created a stronger Congress with adequate powers to govern. The legislative powers were enumerated, or listed, in Article I, Section 8, whereas Article I, Section 9 enumerated powers which Congress was constitutionally restricted from exercising. Article VI made constitutional congressional laws and treaties part of the supreme law of the land. During the 1787-1788 ratification debate over the Constitution, the Federalists defended the strengthened, though limited, legislative branch and its relationship to the executive and judicial branches. The Anti-Federalists were critics of the Constitution including the Congress because they argued that it had unlimited powers and would destroy liberty.
Democracy Through Design: Pierre L’Enfant and Mapping Washington, D.C. | BRIdge from the Past
Why is Washington, D.C., laid out the way it is today? In this episode, Mary examines the original design plans for our nation’s capital and how they changed over time. How did Pierre Charles L’Enfant design Washington, D.C., to reflect the values of American democracy? How is compromise at the core of the planning of Washington, D.C.?