Part one of a BBC documentary about the origins and challenges of America's democratic system.
An exploration of the unending friction between the federal government and the states. Thirteen colonies became thirteen states, then linked to form a national government with a United States Constitution to guide them. Debate continues to this day about how much power should reside with the states, and how much with the federal government.
The documentary, "America: Laboratory of Democracy," was produced for the BBC by Cambridge University American history professor Gary Gerstle.
To listen to the program, click the audio player above.