The State's Rights Episode

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Since the founding of the United States, Americans have been arguing about the correct balance of power between the federal government and the governments of the individual states. Many today still invoke the idea of "states' rights" as they claim that state governments should retain exclusive power over numerous aspects of public policy, from gun control, to same-sex marriage, to healthcare. The call for "states' rights" has also infiltrated the bitter debate over abortion and reproductive healthcare in twenty-first century America. In this episode, guest presenter Grace Mallon talks to Gary Gerstle (Cambridge) and Mary Ziegler (Florida State) about where the call for "states' rights" came from, why it persists, and how the activities of the state governments continue to shape American lives today.

Download this episode here.