Digital Trip to the National Archives

Digital Trip Reflection

The digital trip to the National Archives to view the Founding Documents Gallery revealed a lot of information on the founding principles of the US democracy and bill of rights. Specifically, the focus of the visit was on the constitution and the declaration of independence. The pictures of the two documents that are found in the gallery are shown below.

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Constitution of the United States

This document is a summary of the ideals of justice, tranquility, defense, welfare, liberty, and prosperity of the US. This document forms the primary colossal merger for different interest groups and cultures making up the US (National Archives, 2017a). The document acted as the uniting factor for the American experiment with the We the People declaration.

The constitution of the United States of 1776.
Picture 1: The constitution of the United States of 1776.

Declaration of Independence

This document outlines the primary principles of governance and the identity of the Americans. Despite having no legal binding nature, the document remains a very powerful statement that controls the potential oppression of tyrannical rule. This is because its content is inspirational in the fight for equality and freedom (National Archives, 2017b). The images below are stone engraving made in 1823 and the actual document.

The stone curving image of the declaration of independence of 1823.
Picture 2: The stone curving image of the declaration of independence of 1823.
Actual image of the declaration of independence of 1776.
Picture 3: Actual image of the declaration of independence of 1776.

Origin and Context of the Documents

The declaration of independence and the constitution of the United States documents were created after the independence of 1776. There was a general need to create a binding and legal declaration that would ensure the united American experiment would not fail. Besides, there was a general need for identity documents that would create a path for freedom and tranquility among the Americans (National Archives, 2017b). Since the young independent state had many interest groups from different cultures, it was necessary to create documents that would merge these interests to create a unique identity to ensure that the push for unity does not collapse. These needs informed the actions of the founding fathers of the United States of America to come up with the above documents. For instance, the declaration of independence document cemented the urge for equality and freedom while the constitution document addressed potential justice, tranquility, defense, welfare, liberty, and posterity needs of the then young nation (National Archives, 2017a).

Relation to Class Work

The textbook describes different factors influencing the creation of national documents and their content for a complete and sustainable application. For instance, the bill of rights must define the scope, nature, and applicability of different rights for sustainable cooperation, especially in an environment with different cultural and social dynamics. About the above documents, these content and scope factors were included since there was a need to forge a united front among the Americans to ensure that the found independence does not integrate the society based on different cultural orientations. Besides, the need for a more inclusive system of governance necessitated the approach used in creating the above documents as discussed in the textbook.

Influence of the Documents on Contemporary Cultural Patterns

The declaration of independence has continued to define and dictate the precepts of the fight for freedom and equality within American society because of its comprehensiveness. On the other hand, the We the People tag in the constitution document has influenced the tenets of the continued fight for justice, posterity, tranquility, liberty, and welfare needs among the Americans of different cultural orientations.

References

National Archives. (2017a). America’s founding documents: The constitution of the United States. Web.

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National Archives. (2017b). America’s founding documents: The declaration of independence. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Digital Trip to the National Archives'. 19 February.

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