Thursday, December 25, 2014

Viewing Guide to Movies About the History of the US Constitution

With this blog post, I’d like to look at the past, present and future of the United States Constitution as depicted in movies and television.  There has been a huge output of such movies and television depicting this history in recent years.  Some of these movies are clearly focused on the issues in the Constitution, in others the constitutional issues figure more peripherally.

Because this is a blog about shared earning and shared parenting families, there are two aspects of the US Constitution and its history to which I’m going to give special focus: 

  1. The concept that the constitution sets a boundary on the power of the leaders, whether they be monarchs or elected or appointed leaders, rather than the leader being an authoritarian source of law or holding absolute power, including the power to unilaterally change a constitution.
  2. The use of the term “person", in the US Constitution and in the British constitutional antecedents in the articulations of fundamental rights and responsibilities, rather than the terms "man" or "woman" which are still used today in the French Constitution, the Irish Constitution, the Italian Constitution, and many Latin American Constitutions, with specific allocations of rights to men and responsibilities to women.  In 1688 and later, the words "man" or "woman" no longer appear in British or U.S. constitutional documents as operative language; only the word "person" is used.
I haven't had a chance to see all the many movies or shows, so I am sure I am missing some.  If you know of one I've omitted or if you disagree with my assessments or can expand on my interpretations, please let me know. 

To read the detail on each movie, click on the link to it below.

Scottish Independence, William Wallace edition

4.   Braveheart (US film, 1995): set in 1280 and subsequent years

The War of the Roses: Lancaster and York and Cognatic Descent (Round Two):

5.  The White Queen (BBC miniseries, 2013): 1464 and subsequent years

The Tudors and the Age of Elizabeth

6.  The Tudors miniseries [To be completed]

7.  The Other Boelyn Girl movie

Cromwell: Not a Monarchist; Not A Constitutionalist [To be completed]

9.   The Devil's Whore (British miniseries, 2008): set in 1638-1660

The Glorious Revolution and the English Bill of Rights of 1689: [To be completed]

10.   [Needs a good depiction]

11.  Outlander (Starz series, 2014): set in 1740s 

American Revolution and the Founding of the United States:[To be completed]

12. 1776 movie

13.  John Adams miniseries

Abolition of Slavery in Britain and the US: [To be completed]

14. Belle movie

15.  Amazing Grace movie

16. Lincoln movie

Abolition of Discrimination Against Women in Voting and In
Holding Equal Rights in Britain and the US:

17.  Orlando movie [to be completed]

18.  Downton Abbey series [to be completed]

20.  Wizard of Oz movie [to be completed]

Contemporary Issues [To be completed]

21.  Endgame movie

22.  Justified series

Depictions that Compare and Contrast the British-US constitutionalization with Roman Empire-legacy and Other Political Economies

23.  Spartacus miniseries [to be completed]

24.  Rome miniseries [to be completed]

26.  DaVinci Code movie [to be completed]

27.  Game of Thrones [to be completed]


Finally, I'll look at where the next stage of the constitutionalization process may be headed and 
some movies and television series that presage this.

What do you think of this list so far?  Any movies I missed?  Agree or disagree with my assessments?


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