Women of Washington

Communicating America’s Founding Principles

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CONSTITUTION CORNER - Article 58

WE THE PEOPLE…

By Judy Leithe

The dream of freedom from tyranny was deeply ingrained in the hearts of our remarkable ‘national’ ancestors.  Our forefathers and mothers routinely faced dangers and hardships which almost defy description. From the Pilgrims of the 1600s to the Colonists and their Revolutionary War with England in the 1700s, our founders understood that freedom was worth fighting for.  In 1776, the very act of writing the Declaration of Independence meant certain ruin or death to its signatories, but they and the Colonists stood their ground.

The character and leadership of George Washington had a profound impact on his countrymen.  As Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, he won independence from England and he played a key role as President of the Continental Congress during the writing of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.  He then went on to serve two terms as the first President of the United States of America.

The United States is a very young nation.  On a 5,000-year timeline of major civilizations, our country’s 240-year history is brief, indeed.  Even though our towns and cities are fully built with paved roads and skyscrapers, there is still much to learn from these extraordinary patriots whose lives of sacrifice and commitment to self-governance can still inform the modern reader.  

The United States is truly an exceptional country because it is the only country in history based on the principles of peace, prosperity, and freedom for its citizens.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
  • Ronald Reagan

This article concludes the Constitution Corner Series.  Thank you for joining us on this journey through our early U.S. history.