As the US Congress finalizes the details on a $700 billion dollar bailout for the US financial system and as we, American citizens, make up our mind about who will be the next President of the United States, I thought it appropriate that we all reflect on our rights as US citizens.
The foundation of these rights (and structure and purpose of our government) is found in the US Constitution, a document signed by America’s forefathers on Sept. 17, 1787.
This document was by no means perfect when it was signed. After all, at the time of its signing there was still slavery and women could not vote. But there was something “perfect “ about the document found in its Preamble.
In the Preamble are the words, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…”
What makes these words perfect is that the American forefathers knew they themselves were not perfect. They knew that future generations of Americans would have to make America better than it was when they signed the Constitution.
In fact, it was those words that made it possible for future generations to add 17 additional amendments, after the Bill of Rights, to the Constitution. Amendments 13 and 19 among them, which ended Slavery and gave women the right to vote. Those words also made it possible for the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The American forefathers understood that this would be a journey. And the journey continues…
Today, we face more tough choices as we “make our union more perfect”.
As we face these challenges, I thought it would be helpful for all of us to have a clear understanding of the document that forms the foundation of American society.
To help you quickly and efficiently understand the components of the US Constitution, I’ve created a US Constitution mindmap. In addition to a brief overview of the Articles and Amendments, I’ve also included full descriptions under the Notes Icon for each Article and Amendment. In order to use the Notes functionality and see the full descriptions you will need to: 1) Download the free MindManager Viewer and 2) Download the US Constitution mindmap from Biggerplate.com.
Click on mindmap image below to enlarge: