The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government

Written by:
Fergus M. Bordewich
Narrated by:
Sean Runnette

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
May 2016
13 hours 1 minute
The First Congress was the most important in U.S. history, says prizewinning author and historian Fergus Bordewich, because it established how our government would actually function. Had it failed-as many at the time feared it would-it's possible that the United States as we know it would not exist today.

The Constitution was a broad set of principles. It was left to the members of the First Congress and President George Washington to create the machinery that would make the government work. Fortunately, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and others less well known today, rose to the occasion. During two years of often fierce political struggle, they passed the first ten amendments to the Constitution; they resolved bitter regional rivalries to choose the site of the new national capital; they set in place the procedure for admitting new states to the union; and much more. But the First Congress also confronted some issues that remain to this day: the conflict between states' rights and the powers of national government; the proper balance between legislative and executive power; the respective roles of the federal and state judiciaries; and funding the central government.
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Keith K.

Great book for those who love American history. It was so interesting to read how many issues decided in this first session set president for future congresses. It's also weirdly interesting how nothing has changed over the past 225 years. Politicians were just as divisive then as they are now. The narrator was good in his presentation. I just was distracted by what sounded like a few "sh" sounds from his dentures.

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Larry P.

a great listen if you want to understand how the US came to be....the personalities, the compromises, the world powers at that time. Great quotes and citations. Well written and well narrated.

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