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Playlist: Civics 101 Specials

Compiled By: New Hampshire Public Radio

 Credit: Sara Plourde, NHPR
Image by: Sara Plourde, NHPR 

Broadcast specials from NHPR's Civics 101.

Are We A Democracy Or A Republic?

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101: 2024 Election Toolkit series | 51:32

Is the US a democracy or a republic? And why do we only have two dominant political parties?

Logo_small Civics 101 has a tagline: we’re a show about the basics of how our democracy works. And there’s a complaint we get pretty often around here, that our tagline contains the word "democracy," but the United States is actually a republic. So...do we need to make a change? We dig into that question, and talk about how our two-party system compares to other countries. 

Gerrymandering

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101: 2024 Election Toolkit series | 51:30

The line between fairly splitting a state into voting districts, and purposely grouping voters to give one party an advantage.

Logo_small The word gerrymandering has become synonymous with weirdly-shaped maps of electoral districts, nefarious political maneuvering, and partisanship. But when did gerrymandering become the norm? Civics 101 explores the complicated history of the gerrymander, and how states draw their district maps. We also talk about the recent Supreme Court case Moore v Harper.

How Secure Are Our Elections?

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101: 2024 Election Toolkit series | 51:31

A wave of recent legislation across the country promised to make our elections "more secure." Where did this suspicion of our voting process come from? How do these laws work in practice?

Logo_small Be it suspicion of voter fraud, fear of hackers or the general belief that something is amiss, dozens of states have recently passed laws promising to make elections more secure. So how secure are our elections? We search for the answer to this question, and what these laws mean for voters.

Disinformation, Misinformation, and Propaganda

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101: 2024 Election Toolkit series | 57:30

In preparation for the upcoming election, we’re going to talk about lies, manipulation, and confusion.

Logo_small In preparation for the upcoming election, we’re going to talk about lies, manipulation, and confusion. We dive into the difference between misinformation and disinformation, and how to avoid it. We’ll also talk about our government’s history with propaganda. 

Civics 101: The History of Labor Policy

From New Hampshire Public Radio | 57:29

The modern day workplace is the product of a centuries-long battle for fair wages, reasonable hours and safe conditions. Civics 101 tells the story of labor policy in the United States, and explains the government's role in your retirement.

Logo_small The modern day workplace is the product of a centuries-long battle for fair wages, reasonable hours and safe conditions. Civics 101, NHPR's show about how our democracy works, tells the story of labor policy in the United States, and explains the government's role in your retirement. 

The Declaration Does Not Apply

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101 series | 51:31

The founders left three groups out of the Declaration of Independence: Black Americans, Indigenous peoples, and women. This is how they responded.

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The founders left three groups out of the Declaration of Independence: Black Americans, Indigenous peoples, and women. This is how they responded.

A few years ago, Civics 101, New Hampshire Public Radio's podcast about the basics of how our democracy works, did a series revisiting the Declaration of Independence, and three groups for which the tenants of life, liberty, and property enshrined in that document did not apply. We bring you all three parts of that series today.

Part 1: Byron Williams, author of The Radical Declaration, walks us through how enslaved Americans and Black Americans pushed against the document from the very beginning of our nation’s founding.

Part 2: Writer and activist Mark Charles lays out the anti-Native American sentiments within it, the doctrines and proclamations from before 1776 that justified ‘discovery,’ and the Supreme Court decisions that continue to cite them all.

Part 3: Laura Free,  host of the podcast Amended and professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, tells us about the Declaration of Sentiments, the document at the heart of the women’s suffrage movement.

Roe v Wade: Facts of the Case

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101 series | 51:31

In light of the news regarding the leaked draft US Supreme Court opinion that strikes down Roe v Wade, NHPR's Civics 101 explains this landmark opinion. From its ruling in 1973 to its potential overturn in 2022, we have told a story about Roe v Wade. But what are the actual facts of the case? Then, an exploration of the "shadow docket" in the Supreme Court.

Civics101_roewade_social_small Mention of Roe versus Wade can silence conversation or incite heated debate. Candidates campaign on protecting it and getting it overturned. Your opinion of the case can define your politics. Ever since its ruling in 1973, we have told a story about Roe v Wade. But what are the actual facts of the case and what of that infamous opinion still stands today? Renee Cramer of Drake University and Mary Ziegler of Florida State University find the facts in the moral fable.

Then, we explore the "shadow docket," the growing number of Supreme Court rulings that can have no opinion, argument, or signatures, and are often handed down late at night.

Civics 101: The Politics of the Olympics

From New Hampshire Public Radio | 51:34

The Olympics are about more than feats of athletic glory - they are the multi-billion dollar stage on which politics and sport collide.

Civics101logo_lgwithbg_small The Olympics are about more than feats of athletic glory - they are the multi-billion dollar stage on which politics and sport collide. 

The Olympics take years of planning, negotiation, and money to stage.. Civics 101, the refresher course on American Democracy from New Hampshire Public Radio, looks at how the games are used by the United States and other governments around the world: what the games do for a nation, what it takes to host, and what it means when you refuse to attend. Welcome to the Olympics.

In this special, we talk with Jules Boykoff, professor of government and politics at Pacific University and author of several books on the politics of the Olympics, and Nancy Qian, Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences at Northwestern University.

Constitution Day Special: The Constitution & The Bill of Rights

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101 series | 51:32

In honor of Constitution Day, Civics 101, the podcast refresher course on how our democracy works, shares the story of the two most important documents for the foundation of the United States: the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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After just six years under the Articles of Confederation, a committee of anxious delegates agreed to meet in Philadelphia to amend the government. The country was in an economic crisis — citizens couldn’t pay their debts, the government couldn’t really collect taxes, and rebellions were cropping up in states across the nation. The existing government had the potential to drive the country to ruin. So fifty-five men gathered to determine the shape of the new United States.

The document that emerged after that summer of debate was littered with masterful planning, strange ideas and unsavory concessions. The delegates decided they'd be pleased if this new government lasted fifty years. It has been our blueprint for over two centuries now. This is the story of how our Constitution came to be.

And: The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to our Constitution. Why do we have one? What does it 'do'? And what does it really, really do?

Our guests are Linda Monk, Alvin Tillery, David O. Stewart, Woody Holton, David Bobb, and Chuck Taft.

Loving v Virginia & Obergefell v Hodges

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101: Civil Rights series | 51:30

The story of marriage equality in the United States, told through two Supreme Court cases.

Brown_v_board_audiogram__2__medium__1__medium_small The story of marriage equality in the United States, told through two Supreme Court cases. 

Part 1: 

Mildred and Richard Loving were jailed and banished for marrying in 1958. Nearly a decade later, their Supreme Court case changed the meaning of marriage equality in the United States — decriminalizing their own marriage while they were at it. This is the story of Loving.

Our guests are Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui of the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C. and Farrah Parkes and Brad Linder of The Loving Project.

Part 2:

It’s the most recent landmark case in our Civil Rights SCOTUS series, the decision that said the fundamental right to marry is protected under the 14th Amendment. How did it come about? What was the status of marriage before June of 2015? And why is the government so involved in the marriage business anyways?

This episode features the voices of Melissa Wasser from the Project on Government Oversight and Jim Obergefell, the named party in Obergefell v Hodges.

Korematsu v United States & Japanese American Internment

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101: Civil Rights series | 51:30

The story of Japanese-American internment during WWII, and the Supreme Court case that challenged it.

Brown_v_board_audiogram__2__medium__1__medium_small The story of Japanese-American internment during WWII, and the Supreme Court case that challenged it. This is a broadcast-friendly hour long special, and the second of a four part series on SCOTUS and civil rights. The episode can standalone, or be aired as part of the series, and is free to carry.

Part 1:

Is it Constitutional for the government to remove and relocate American citizens to remote camps without due process of law? In 1944, SCOTUS said yes.

In 1942, approximately 120,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans were ordered to leave their homes. They were sent to internment camps in desolate regions of the American West. Fred Korematsu refused to comply. This is the story of his appeal to the Supreme Court and what happens when the judicial branch defers to the military. Our guides for this story are Karen Korematsu, Lorraine Bannai and Judge Wallace Tashima.


Part 2:

Japanese American internment, or incarceration, spanned four years. Over 120,000 Japanese Americans and nationals, half of them children, were made to leave their homes, schools, businesses and farms behind to live behind barbed wire and under armed guard. There was no due process of law, no reasonable suspicion keeping these individuals locked away. 


What does this injustice mean to our nation? To the inheritors of that trauma? Our guides to this troubling period of American history are Judge Wallace Tashima, Professor Lorraine Bannai and Karen Korematsu.


Plessy v Ferguson & Brown v Board of Education

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101: Civil Rights series | 51:31

The Supreme Court case that said racial segregation was constitutional, and the landmark decision that, decades later, overturned it.

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The Supreme Court case that said racial segregation was constitutional, and the landmark decision that, decades later, overturned it.

This is a broadcast-friendly hour long special, and the second of a four part series on SCOTUS and civil rights. The episode can standalone, or be aired as part of the series, and is free to carry. 

Part 1: 

We examine the decision of Plessy v Ferguson. Steven Luxenberg, Kenneth Mack, Keith Plessy and Phoebe Ferguson walk us through the story of Homer Plessy, the Separate Car Act of 1890, an infamous opinion and a famous dissent.

We're talking about an event that was not just an individual act of protest, an arrest that was anything but coincidental, and contrary to what I've learned beforehand, a decision that did not establish the separate but equal doctrine, Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896.

 

Part 2: 

Five cases, eleven advocates, and a quarter century of work; Brown v Board of Education of Topeka addressed this question: does racial segregation in schools violate the 14th amendment?


Walking us through the long journey to overturn Plessy v Ferguson are Chief Judge Roger Gregory and Dr. Yohuru Williams. They tell us how the case got to court, what Thurgood Marshall and John W. Davis argued, and how America does and does not live up to the promise of this monumental decision.

The Supreme Court & Dred Scott v Sandford

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101: Civil Rights series | 51:26

The Supreme Court is considered by some to be the most powerful branch of US government. So what happens when the Court gets it wrong? Civics 101 from New Hampshire Public Radio looks at what happens when the law of the land decides Black Americans are not Americans.

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The Supreme Court is considered by some to be the most powerful branch of US government. So what happens when the Court gets it wrong? Civics 101 from New Hampshire Public Radio looks at what happens when the law of the land decides Black Americans are not Americans.

This is a broadcast-friendly hour long special, and the first of a four part series on SCOTUS and civil rights. The episode can standalone, or be aired as part of the series, and is free to carry. 

Part 1: The Role of the Judicial Branch 

The Supreme Court, considered by some to be the most powerful branch, had humble beginnings. How did it stop being, in the words of Alexander Hamilton, "next to nothing?" Do politics affect the court's decisions? And how do cases even get there?

This episode features Larry Robbins, lawyer and eighteen-time advocate in the Supreme Court, and Kathryn DePalo, professor at Florida International University and past president of the Florida Political Science Association.


Part 2: Dred Scott v Sandford

In 1846, Dred and Harriet Scott were living in St. Louis, Missouri with their two daughters. They were enslaved and launched a not uncommon petition: a lawsuit for their freedom. Eleven years later Chief Justice Roger B. Taney would issue an opinion on their case that not only refused their freedom but attempted to cement the fate of all Black individuals in the United States. Taney would ultimately fail and the Reconstruction Amendments would dash Taney’s opinion in Dred Scott v Sandford, but not before the case was forever cast as a Supreme Court decision gone wrong.

The Scotts’ great great granddaughter, Lynne Jackson, is joined by Chief Judge John R. Tunheim of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota to tell the story of the Scotts and their case.


Civics 101: How Should We Teach Civics?

From New Hampshire Public Radio | 57:30

Civics and social studies education are getting a lot of attention these days. How do we teach about our democracy?

Logo_small Have we ever agreed upon a narrative for our nation that we can teach students? How has US history and democracy been taught over the years, and what is the state of civics education today? 

Civics 101: The True Story Of Reconstruction

From New Hampshire Public Radio | 51:30

Reconstruction has long been taught as a lost cause narrative. We talk about what that narrative leaves out.

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Reconstruction has long been taught as a lost cause narrative. The true story is one of great force. The great force of a powerful activist Black community that strived to establish a multiracial democracy and achieved great successes and political power.

The great force of a violent white community that exploited, abused and murdered those of that Black community who would assert their civil and human rights. The great force of a federal government that was there and then wasn't. This episode is your introduction to that true story.

Our guides to this era are Dr. Kidada Williams, author of "I Saw Death Coming" and Dr. Kate Masur, author of "Until Justice Be Done."