Constitution's Bicentennial

A few words about Litwack's piece:

While his facts and his comments on the value of criticism and questioning are inarguable, a more positive interpretation of American history is possible.

Rather than view the last 200 years as a mockery of the principles the Constitution pronounced, the history of our federal system can be seen as the slow, painful widening of democracy to include those initially left "out in the cold": the unpropertied, the immigrant, the ethnic minority. The process has been gradual, and is not complete, and there are powerful counterforces, but the triumph of democratic principles is almost certainly assured.

What Lincoln said about the Declaration of Independence holds true for our Constitution. The document was intended to set up principles ". . . which would be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere."



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