The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are the three most important documents in American history. They express the ideals that define “We the People of the United States” and inspire free people around the world.
Constituting Liberty: From the Declaration to the Bill of Rights, on display in the George H.W. Bush Gallery, explores how each document influenced the next in America’s ongoing quest for liberty and equality. America’s three founding documents have different purposes. Still, all have preambles. All were drafted by people of similar backgrounds, generally educated white men of property. Most importantly, the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are based on the idea that all people have certain fundamental and inherent rights that governments are created to protect.
The Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are, in many ways, fused together in the minds of Americans because they represent what is best about America. They are symbols of the liberty that allows us to achieve success and of the equality that ensures that we are all equal in the eyes of the law.
Constituting Liberty was written by Jeffrey Rosen and David Rubenstein.