Constitutional Amendments and the American Union

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Throughout more than two centuries of the grand experiment in democracy known as the American union, a time marked by the rise and fall of empires, the technological transition from plough horse to combustion engine, and even mankind's first steps into the frontier of outer space, a single document has stood as the defining feature of our nation's ideals and purpose. The Constitution of the United States, including the Bill of Rights which grants every citizen certain unassailable liberties, and the subsequent amendments made to reflect society's slow progression, is undoubtedly one of history's most significant and substantive texts. Just as it did during the uncertain years following our forefather's successful revolution, today the Constitution establishes societal boundaries and provides structure to the uniquely uninhibited way that American lives are led. Epitomizing the values of a true charter of supreme law, the U.S. Constitution has since become the model for other emerging democracies, as countries such as Mexico and the Philippines have adopted similar measures within their own national charters. Indeed, during the 1987 bicentennial celebration of the Constitution's first signing, TIME Magazine reported that "of the 170 countries that exist today, more than 160 have written charters modeled directly or indirectly on the U.S. version" (Liptak, 2012), illustrating the extensive influence this essential document has exerted on global affairs. Known as the
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