Ten days following the Constitution was finalized on Old Philadelphia State House, an anonymous op-ed starred in this new York Journal. Finalized by «Cato,» it cautioned readers for the brand new Constitution to take it with a grain of salt. Perhaps the wisest of males, it warned, can make errors. This launched a public debate that could last months, pitting pro-Constitution «Federalists» against Constitution-wary «Anti-Federalists.» It had been a battle for ratification, also it triggered a glimpse into the minds of our Framers — and a concession that will come to determine United states identity.
Our guides through the minds of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists are Claire Griffin and Cheryl Cook-Kallio.download transcript
If you wish to just devour every moment associated with Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist debate, at once over to TeachingAmericanHistory.org for the entire collection. You are able to track the battle and discover just what James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay may have told you in the event that you challenged them to spell out the Constitution.
Fun Fact! Thomas Jefferson, the guy who authored the Declaration of Independence, had been serving as U.S. minister through the Constitutional Convention so he wasn’t around to provide his thoughts in Philadelphia. But he still was able to play a major role in designing the brand new federal government by means of letters to his other framers. And, despite the fact that he would arrive at phone the Federalist Papers the “best commentary in the concepts of federal government which was ever written,” he leaned more states liberties, fear-of-tyranny than his peers. He also lobbied hard for a Bill of Rights. You may get a gander at a number of his writing from the time through Library of Congress.
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This script was created using a mixture of device and human transcription. There could be discrepancies or typos.
CPB by Adia Samba-Quee: [00:00:00] Civics 101 is supported in part by the organization for Public Broadcasting. Hey.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:00:04] Nick did you ever need to compose those types of what I did over my summer time holiday essays in grade school.
Nick Capodice: [00:00:10] All the time.
[00:00:12] actually my finest summer vacation had been playing Sam Gamgee in an eight hour production Lord regarding the Rings.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:00:18] Ok I becamen't expecting that. That is that is actually that is committed. But nevertheless your thing isn't since ambitious as designing a new system of federal government.
Nick Capodice: [00:00:29] Yeah nowhere near as ambitious as that.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:00:31] No right. Because that's completely insane you cannot pull that off in four months. Yet that is how we got our current system of federal government a lot of guys in stifling heat in Philadelphia within airless space with all the windows nailed closed in the summertime composed our Constitution in four months and then they stepped outside and showed the entire world there. You know what used to do on my summer time Vacation essay.
Nick Capodice: [00:00:58] By essay you mean the Constitution.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:01:00] I Actually Do.
[00:01:05] The delegates towards the meeting publish their constitution and papers through the entire 13 states as well as had been most likely hoping for a fairly good response but that is maybe not whatever they got a mere ten days following the constitution is signed. I am talking about the ink is scarcely dry on this thing. Some guy called Cato writes this op ed fundamentally saying i understand that it's actually exciting that new constitution was signed by people like George Washington. But simply be cautious about any of it. It could never be all it is cracked as much as be exactly what somebody's.
Nick Capodice: [00:01:38] Already constitution bashin' what performs this Cato man understand who is Cato anyways?
[00:01:44] Has even read the Constitution.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:01:45] Well he's got. Nevertheless before we get into that introductions i'm Hannah McCarthy.
Nick Capodice: [00:01:52] And I'm Nick Capodice.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:01:52] which is Civics 101 now we're diving into one of the most high stakes eloquent intense public battles in reputation for the United States.
[00:02:03] The battle that pitted the pro Constitution federalists up against the anti constitution anti federalists. Therefore appears like the whole lot started with this guy named Cato. It did certainly the op ed that launched 1000 ships in terms of who Cato is and exactly what he really understands. We're perhaps not completely sure about this. It is almost certainly George Clinton the governor of the latest York but it could also be this ny politician John Williams whoever its.
[00:02:32] He most likely couldn't go to the Constitutional Convention.
Nick Capodice: [00:02:37] Appropriate therefore Cato is a pseudonym.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:02:38] Correct. It's discussing a politician in ancient Rome who killed himself because he don't desire to inhabit Julius Caesar's new federal government. Cato was exactly about defending the Roman Republic.
Nick Capodice: [00:02:51] That is somewhat regarding the nose. Cato saying he'd instead perish than live under this brand new constitution.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:02:56] Bingo. At the time most educated guys would have picked up regarding symbolism with this. The name Cato had actually been always critique the British federal government previously.
Nick Capodice: [00:03:06] Okay so the framers had been a bunch of classics nerds. I am able to appreciate that. I do believe it's kind of endearing but why ny. This essay gets published in ny. It's compiled by a fresh York politician. New York, what is your harm?
Hannah McCarthy: [00:03:19] perfectly ny is not super pleased with the newest Constitution of three delegates they send towards the Constitutional Convention to go out. Just Alexander Hamilton remained at the rear of but he is pretty thrilled aided by the Constitution. Plenty of ny congressmen do not feel the same manner. They don't wish to understand states consolidated under that one powerful main federal government and so they don't genuinely believe that the Constitution can guarantee equal and permanent liberty like its proponents claim.
Nick Capodice: [00:03:53] who's Cato writing the op ed for precisely.
[00:03:57] the complete Cato Roman Republic metaphor seems like pretty inside baseball like your average farmer probably doesn't know what's being referenced here.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:04:04] you understand the average farmer isn't who Cato is talking to. Right now the Constitution is only a piece of paper with a number of a few ideas. It generally does not carry any real energy and Cato would like to stop that energy from taking place altogether. Okay.
Nick Capodice: [00:04:19] So he is conversing with the people in charge.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:04:21] Yeah politicians delegates.
Claire Griffin: [00:04:23] White literate males. Naturally those will be the people who have been during the Constitutional Convention. Those were the ones who had been likely to be the ratifying conventions.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:04:32] That Is Claire Griffin. She's a previous federal government and history instructor and a consultant in civic education. Like she stated the Cato page is addressed to your those who will soon be voting on whether to ratify the constitution. 9 from 13 states need certainly to ratify to enable the Constitution to enter impact and also the Cato page is the to begin many numerous op eds criticizing the Constitution.
Claire Griffin: [00:04:55] Well these people were a few about 150 articles compiled by quite literally dozens of opponents on Constitution. They were posted not only in ny however in New York Pennsylvania Connecticut Maryland once more form of the same time frame September of 1787 through December of 1788 and their function would be to dissuade the delegates to the ratifying conventions from supporting the constitution.
Nick Capodice: [00:05:27] Also it was not just Cato.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:05:28] No they had a Brutus a Centinel.
[00:05:31] that they had a vintage Whig then that's Whig with an «h» — collectively these writers were referred to as anti federalists and these were actually smart men with effectively informed a few ideas.
Nick Capodice: [00:05:44] All right so being an anti federalist does not prompt you to unreasonable or against a government of any sort fundamentally.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:05:52] never.
Claire Griffin: [00:05:52] Before we carry on i ought to very nearly apologize for calling them anti federalist because nobody really wants to be called anti any such thing and that title anti specialist really originated in the federalist to explain their opponents. And because history can be written by the victors the title anti federalists has stopped and will utilize that in our conversation. They'd have called themselves pro Republicans Republican with a small R.
Nick Capodice: [00:06:25] just what does she suggest by that tiny are Republicans.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:06:28] Oh what she means can be as in opposition to the big R or Republican Party small r Republicans are only in favor of a republic which most essentially is a federal government where power rests with the individuals. They truly are anti federalists because they're perhaps not thrilled with strict federalism that will be basically a centralized federal government that works with smaller state and local governments. The anti federalists would like a government nearer to the Articles of Confederation having its really weak central government and a good amount of state energy.
Nick Capodice: [00:07:02] nevertheless the guys who are writing that which we call the anti federalist documents they mightn't have really called themselves into federalist right.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:07:09] No not a way. Their opponents gave them that label that is in fact a pretty strong PR move. Calling an organization anti such a thing it just means they are appear negative plus in this situation one other band of dudes calls by themselves the federalists the anti federalists probably would have called them the anti small are Republicans.
Nick Capodice: [00:07:30] when do the federalists actually enter the battle. Thus far we have simply got this op ed by Cato.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:07:35] Yeah is in reality some time prior to the anti federalists make their move. The small r Republicans have actually posted 21 statements by the time we hear from pro Constitution guys that we discovered pretty astonishing because when we learned all about now duration in school we learned all about the federalists the federalists were this big deal this option who explained the Constitution and I also'm almost sure that i did not read an individual anti federalist paper in those days. Yet they certainly were the people whom kicked everything down. We would not have the Federalist Papers even as we understand them today without the anti federalists.
Nick Capodice: [00:08:17] I'm guessing the professional Constitution framers reach a spot in which they're as with any right sufficient. We can't let this go anymore. This option are killing united states with bad press.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:08:26] Exactly. And they're not only in nyc anymore. Cato inspired critics in other states and. Nevertheless the soon to be money F federalists aren't simply sitting there twiddling their thumbs while all this is going on. They are making plans and then October 27th it occurs. 1st federalist essay hits the presses of a new york paper.
Claire Griffin: [00:08:51] Number one the initial one written by Alexander Hamilton in which he is laying out the truth for a fresh constitution one thing to restore the Articles of Confederation.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:09:04] Federalist 1 otherwise known as Publius one.
Nick Capodice: [00:09:09] Publius?
Hannah McCarthy: [00:09:10] Yes it is a ridiculous sounding name Pubilius was a man in ancient Rome whom assisted to overthrow the monarchy and produce the Republic of individuals.
Nick Capodice: [00:09:19] That is an inspired move by Hamilton Right. Because Cato kicked things down within the title that's in protection associated with Republic and then Hamilton comes home at him like No way guy. You got this all incorrect. I'm the man who establishes a representative federal government. I am the guy that provides capacity to the folks. You should be the other guy.
Claire Griffin: [00:09:37] the things I love about Federalist number one is that Hamilton identifies the fact that the American individuals are in possession of a chance to make decisions to generate a federal government centered on expression and option not accident and force.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:09:57] Meanwhile an anti federalist calling himself John DeWitt posts in Massachusetts. He checks out the times and what he sees is this permanent document which will never ever alter. He basically states do not let them fool you. That amendment clause is useless. Congress is never gonna make that happen three fourths bulk they're discussing because that could need a lot of visitors to concur. He calls it an absolute impossibility.
Nick Capodice: [00:10:26] It is interesting because we realize your Constitution does end up receiving amended. But back then there should have been so much anxiety about this brand new system of government. How could they perhaps understand it absolutely was going to exercise the anti federalists are just saying hey we can not take this gigantic radical jump into a brand new system particularly one which tosses united states into a stronger federal government. We simply escaped a stronger government.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:10:50] Right. Together with federalists had been saying look we've got to beef up the federal government as the means that it is now's an emergency. We first got it wrong we went past an acceptable limit toward a government of this individuals. It's too divided. So the first anti federalist drops in late September Pew one comes about a month later therefore claims okay so we've heard some concerns.
Cheryl Cook-Kallio: [00:11:17] we intend to compose a few essays that will answer all your questions regarding the brand new constitution.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:11:25] That Is Cheryl Cook. Kallio she actually is a previous teacher and previous council user in Pleasanton, Ca.
Cheryl Cook-Kallio: [00:11:31] after which he and John Jay and Madison methodically went through each and every thing which was concerning and attempted to answer those concerns in 85 essays 85.
Nick Capodice: [00:11:45] just how are we gonna get through eighty five essays in one single episode.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:11:48] Actually it's most likely a lot more than 85 because when you swelling inside anti federalists and a few other activities written during the time you are actually considering closer 200 and forty plus articles. But don't despair. The point with this episode is to find a feeling of just what this fight really looked like. Just what were the arguments pros and cons this country changing document and exactly how did the federalists approach to these op eds assist their game.
Cheryl Cook-Kallio: [00:12:15] They were place in an assortment plus they started initially to disseminate that collection through the colonies. Once again in comparison to the anti federalists which were very much specific essays that have been now written in defense of these place.
Nick Capodice: [00:12:33] therefore the federalists will work together and dudes like Cato and Brutus and old Whig are just coming at it from their own specific views.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:12:41] The anti federalists were undoubtedly sharing their views with one another nonetheless it wasn't a unified front side. The way in which it absolutely was with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison and John Jay Jay by the way was not within Constitutional Convention but he was a powerful brand new Yorker and Secretary of Foreign Affairs beneath the Articles of Confederation. Therefore whilst the anti federalists comprised over several different authors and pseudonyms those three federalists published only as publics. There were definitely other pro Constitution people composing op eds. But it was Publius who shone the brightest.
Nick Capodice: [00:13:17] you think that is part of the good reason why the federalist ended up achieving success you know I think yes and I also base this on.
Cheryl Cook-Kallio: [00:13:24] On two things. One usually Hamilton and Madison in particular were planners. That they had written down their justifications for particular things even before they would get into the constitutional convention. They might have the ammo they needed to help something. Also I think Madison James Madison in particular is a pragmatist. He knew there would have to be another sort of federal government. He knew that beneath the Articles of Confederation the government had been too poor to endure in which he was prepared to do just what he needed to do to get a new framework set up.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:14:06] Let me reveal another agreed upon favorite that sheds some genuine light.
[00:14:09] this is through James Madison and in actual fact a lot of the favorites are by James Madison.
Cheryl Cook-Kallio: [00:14:15] I do like Federalist 10. I do believe that Madison ended up being right when he said that factions are bad but they're inescapable which the only method to mitigate these factions is always to balance them out.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:14:30] Madison published Federalist 10 on November 22nd. This really is after anti federalists like Cato indicated issues about it central Congress with so many different unique passions. Basically he had been saying exactly how could be the government gonna get such a thing finished with this system. It will likely be a home split. It will be worthless just a bunch of factions. Madison has to show that the new system of government is obviously the easiest method to handle factions. But what did Madison really mean by factions like governmental parties. Well back the day theU.S. don't really have the party system the way that it appears today. So that it'd be less celebration factions and much more like opposed special interest groups and Maddison's biggest concern had been throughout the unique interest groups that would combat the thing that was best for everyone. An example in those days might have been servant owners versus abolitionists. Here's Claire again.
Claire Griffin: [00:15:25] he is authoring some great benefits of a large Republican republic with a tiny r where individuals choose their elected representatives. Political philosophers before Manison had been pretty sure the republic would only work with a small geographically little area with a reasonably homogeneous population and Madison states simply the opposite he said. The general public is best suited whenever territory is big and expand it so when there are many passions and crude he utilized the term faction that the various interest teams offset both. No minority is persecuted against no bulk ever has complete sway.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:16:15] Madison additionally centers on the economy in Federalist 10 as well as this time ever sold theU.S. economy is really perhaps not doing so hot. He defines the same home distribution with people having everything and some individuals having absolutely nothing. And this he says can create factions to your wealthy versus poor people. Their large republic where you have a Congress representing the countless scattered views of the typical individuals will continue to work to balance this down.
Nick Capodice: [00:16:42] it looks like Madison and other federalists will have an answer for each concern the anti federalist placed their means. Yeah he essentially do.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:16:52] And a big section of protecting the Constitution is describing the Constitution. Lequan anti federalist Brutus argues your Supreme Court is quote exalted especially other energy in government and at the mercy of no control. And Hamilton is much like OK allow me to break it straight down for you personally.
Claire Griffin: [00:17:12] quantity seventy eight. Alexander Hamilton once more is authoring the significance of the separate judiciary and I also'm uncertain whether or not he really thought it but he stated that the three branches the judiciary would be the weakest he said. They will have neither the force associated with the sword nor the pen. The concept being they will have no way to enforce exactly what their judgment is. In which he additionally emphasized that they were contacted to exercise judgment about laws and regulations but not will. As in they are not the law makers. When you hear talks about activist judges or judicial overreach if not questions regarding judicial review today Hamilton are raising those questions back in 1788.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:18:05] and there is the president the anti federalists looked over Article 2 and they were not pleased with whatever they saw.
Nick Capodice: [00:18:11] i'd suppose anti federalists are looking at the role of the president in thinking this appears mighty familiar.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:18:18] Yep however the federalists believe that there is a good basis for this executive power.
Claire Griffin: [00:18:24] quantity 70 compiled by Alexander Hamilton. This is how he writes about the significance of power in executive branch. The right of this Constitution. We are looking at the recent times history as soon as we were governed beneath the Articles of Confederation. One of the major weaknesses associated with the government in articles there was no leader. And so Hamilton who some have actually called a monarchist that we think is unfair. Hamilton had been arguing for a powerful professional person and a very good executive branch.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:19:03] and executive branch that is laid out inside Constitution doesn't say all that much about placing a check up on this new administrator.
[00:19:10] The anti federalists feared that between veto power and pardon power you had end up getting a president who could fold the world to his will.
Claire Griffin: [00:19:24] Well in the event that you look you understand throughout American history we have had some quite strong professional. And often it's in times during the crisis. However it is a powerful executive. The most effective for the nation together with epicenter folks would state you know no that is not such recommended. You understand the federalists were arguing generally in support of a sizable government or about a government bigger than whatever had existed prior and certainly big government can perform great and wonderful things but the anti felt but more state not so fast. Maybe we don't desire an enormous federal government bureaucracy therefore it is sort of interesting you might say that the Federalist more success. You understand they got their desired result.
[00:20:16] The Constitution had been ratified as well as the Federalist Papers have grown to be built-in to your knowledge of our founding. But in the event that you go through the anti federalists given some of the concerns and concerns that which they raised they're nevertheless around today. We possibly may determine that in the end they ended up obtaining the final laugh.
Nick Capodice: [00:20:40] that's an extremely interesting point. The federalists won. So's the history that counts right. And we check out the Federalist Papers to better understand the Constitution. And that means they are a phenomenal resource. Nonetheless it does appear to be the anti federalists are raising legitimate points.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:20:59] Definitely. And remember the anti federalists are posing a real hazard. To start with these essays are public. So if you can read while don't like everything you're reading relating to this proposed constitution you may just give your representative an earful down during the tavern or from the street or after church. After which there's the fact that some of these anti federalists are going to be voting on if to consider the constitution. So they really have a tremendously genuine state in the future of the nation. As well as on top of your Constitution only needs the support of nine states become ratified. Right. But that means that as much as four states could select not to ever ratify and possibly also sever ties using the new country. Therefore you can forget union union over therefore the nation ultimately ends up being the failure that many framers were anxious to stop.
Nick Capodice: [00:21:53] therefore the federalists do have to listen to the anti federalists.
[00:21:56] To a level and not simply to relax their fears or do harm control with anti fed op eds.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:22:02] Right the Constitution is up for a vote in ratifying conventions in the united states and some states like Delaware Pennsylvania and nj-new jersey. They're quick to ratify. They are doing it in December of 1787 but the OP eds cannot stop the Federalists and anti federalists continue to be fighting it down to the spring after which into the summer of 1788 because there are a great number of very noisy dissenters arguing your Constitution is unlawful in Articles of Confederation it's a document compiled by wealthy upper course people to benefit unique passions so it deprives states of their specific liberties in support of this big main government.
Nick Capodice: [00:22:42] Yeah how can the federalists reconcile that problem. It appears like anti federalists are all about states having sovereignty and looking out because of their own and making unique alternatives. Just how can the federalists make this big government from another location attracting them.
Cheryl Cook-Kallio: [00:22:56] Well Madison does dig into that by explaining just how in broad terms this government is going to work. Listed here is Cheryl once again.
[00:23:03] as he's wanting to explain it among the things he states and this is an estimate from federalist 39 in its foundation it is federal not nationwide in sources that the ordinary abilities of government are drawn. It's partly federal and partly nationwide inside operation of these abilities. It really is national perhaps not federal in the level of those again it really is federal perhaps not national. And finally in authoritative mode of presenting amendments its neither wholly federal or wholly nationwide. Since's sufficient to create anyone's eyes cross two or three times. It appears like dual speak.
Nick Capodice: [00:23:45] Yeah I really hardly understand why Madison is talking about is he canceling out his own argument. And just what does he mean by federal versus nationwide are not your same thing when you deconstruct the paragraph.
Cheryl Cook-Kallio: [00:23:56] It really does illustrate the character of federalism. Often the states have been in fee sometimes the nationwide governments in control and quite often the government that is the mixture of two is responsible and these things change with regards to the scenario. However then carry on to express this is truly a check this notion that you have state energy it doesn't belong the us government a good example of this is certainly police capabilities. That is a state energy. There's a number of things like that and sometimes the lines are blurred and sometimes aren't.
Nick Capodice: [00:24:33] Okay. Therefore easily put Madison says look this strong federal government isn't made to deprive states of most power. Often the states get to determine and sometimes the us government gets to determine. Sometimes they decide together.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:24:50] Appropriate. He's saying this document isn't because extreme since these anti federalists are making it away to be.
[00:24:56] never worry you will retain some states liberties.
[00:25:03] obviously that does not deal with the small dilemma of the government staying at the top of the foodstuff string as well as the anti federalists are like we're afraid of tyranny. Remember this constitution does not say any such thing about protecting the little guy. You can't simply sort of vaguely state never worry individual residents you're going to be fine. The anti federalists want this in writing.
[00:25:27] okay. I have been awaiting this. Here is the big ole glaring omission within the Constitution of 1787 and we're referring to the Bill of Rights. In which's that Bill of Rights.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:25:38] which what the Anti-federalists say. Where may be the Bill of Rights? It may look like a pretty wise solution for people but during the time the federalists had been like No no no we don't must include such a thing to your Constitution. It is overkill it's redundant.
Claire Griffin: [00:25:53] the final Federalist Paper which is probably significant for just what it argues against maybe not for what it contends in favor of is quantity 84 where Hamilton contends against a bill with the right.
[00:26:08] Now today for us in twenty-first century a Bill of Rights is sacrosanct. It is right up here with all the statement as well as the Constitution. Its among the founding document. It's difficult for people to know just how could we not have a Bill of Rights.
[00:26:23] But if you look at Hamilton's arguments they could be pretty persuasive.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:26:28] Hamilton's primary argument ended up being that there is security types of built into the Constitution currently. The government just has got the powers which are presented into the Constitution. And also this idea of making a listing of what the government isn't allowed to do to individuals or to states. Well Hamilton states in the event that you begin detailing them at all you've got to record them all. And by the manner in which you're bound to forget one thing assuming it doesn't wind up regarding list well the government could have the ability to impose it.
Nick Capodice: [00:26:57] All right. And so I understand you've been saying the anti federalists lost the war but.
[00:27:02] They did win this battle.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:27:04] big style by the end associated with the Federalist anti federalist saga. We intend to have a constitution. But first the anti federalists need a little. In fact they want 10 small somethings 10 somethings which will replace the course of history and come to suggest every thing towards US individuals. In a final ditch effort to truly save the Union. Our civil liberties will soon be born. But how does it happen. Just how in Sam Hill does it take place, Nick?
Nick Capodice: [00:27:35] discover the next occasion on civics 101.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:27:43] Thanks for joining united states for another installment of our foundational document series here on civics 101. This episode ended up being generated by me personally. Hannah McCarthy with Nick Capodice.
Nick Capodice: [00:27:52] Our staff includes Jackie Helbert, Daniela Vidal Allee and Ben Henry. Erica Janik is our executive producer.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:27:58] Maureen McMurry is the fact that other glaring omission through the U.S. Constitution.
Nick Capodice: [00:28:02] we're able to only cover numerous federalist and anti federalist thoughts within episode but we've got links to plenty more on our website civics 101 podcast.
[00:28:11] Dot org.
Hannah McCarthy: [00:28:11] Music within episode by Quincas Moreira,
[00:28:14] Blue dot sessions and Jahzzar.
Nick Capodice: [00:28:16] Civics 101 is a manufacturing of NHPR. Brand New Hampshire Public Broadcast.