Americans have certain inalienable rights, which we all should know, celebrate, and defend. When these rights and shared understandings are threatened by elected officials or any other power, we must expose and resist that threat.
They began from the Declaration of Independence. You can read the transcript and learn more about it on the National Archives site.
The Declaration of Independence states the principles on which our government, and our identity as Americans, are based. Unlike the other founding documents, the Declaration of Independence is not legally binding, but it is powerful. Abraham Lincoln called it “a rebuke and a stumbling-block to tyranny and oppression.”
The Constitution defines the partnership of the United States. You can read the transcript and learn more about it on the National Archives site.
The Constitution acted like a colossal merger, uniting a group of states with different interests, laws, and cultures. Under America’s first national government, the Articles of Confederation, the states acted together only for specific purposes. The Constitution united its citizens as members of a whole, vesting the power of the union in the people. Without it, the American Experiment might have ended as quickly as it had begun.
The Bill of Rights further defines and clarifies the Constitution. You can read the transcript and learn more about it on the National Archives site.
The Constitution might never have been ratified if the framers hadn’t promised to add a Bill of Rights. The first ten amendments to the Constitution gave citizens more confidence in the new government and contain many of today’s Americans most valued freedoms.