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Confounding Father

Confounding Father:  A Contrarian View of the U.S. Constitution is a classroom friendly documentary that tells the story of the constitutional convention from the contrarian viewpoint of anti-federalists. It serves as a timely reexamination of the U.S. political system and features Luther Martin, a Maryland delegate to the 1787 constitutional convention who:

  • Opposed the continuation of the slave trade and the three-fifths clause
  • Feared the unlimited taxing power of the national government
  • Thought many framers of the constitution were seeking an American empire
  • Drank too much, talked too much, and annoyed the famous founding fathers


  • Gloria Browne-Marshall -  Constitutional Law Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Murray Dry - The Complete Antifederalist (Co-Editor)
  • Paul Finkelman - Slavery & the Founders
  • Woody Holton - Unruly Americans & the Origins of the Constitution
  • Bill Kauffman - Forgotten Founder Drunken Prophet: The Life of Luther Martin
  • Pauline Maier - Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788
  • Gordon Wood - The Radicalism of the American Revolution (Pulitzer Prize)


  • Articles of Confederation
  • The Convention Begins
  • The Virginia Plan
  • The New Jersey Plan
  • Luther Martin’s Objections
  • What is an Antifederalist?
  • Compromises and “Other Persons”
  • Article I - Congress & Taxes
  • Domestic Tranquility & Standing Armies
  • Article II - The Executive
  • The Convention Ends
  • Ratification
  • Bill of Rights
  • The Constitution in the 21st Century

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The Confounding Father includes the following titles:

Confounding Father  - Episode 1 - imageConfounding Father - Episode 1

Episode one introduces the series, then covers the Articles of Confederation, the beginning of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, the introduction of the Virginia Plan, & the New Jersey Plan counterproposal.

Nerds Make Media | 2020 | 27 minutes
Confounding Father - Episode 2 - imageConfounding Father - Episode 2

Episode two examines Maryland delegate and gadfly Luther Martin's objections, the ideas of opponents of the constitution, and concludes with an in-depth look at slavery and the founders.

Nerds Make Media | 2020 | 33 minutes
Confounding Father - Episode 3 - imageConfounding Father - Episode 3

This episode examines congress and taxing power, then demystifies “domestic tranquility.” The episode concludes with a look at the Presidency, “standing armies”, and the end of the Convention.

Nerds Make Media | 2020 | 30 minutes
Confounding Father - Episode 4 - imageConfounding Father - Episode 4

The final episode details the 1787-1788 ratification battle, reasons for the Bill of Rights, and the constitution in the 21st Century. An epilogue tells the story of Luther Martin's post-convention career.

Nerds Make Media | 2020 | 28 minutes

Visit the title page to preview any of the titles above.