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American Democracy

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Social Studies

In conjunction with the Smithsonian Institutions Traveling Exhibition Services - American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith exhibition

More than just waging a war of independence, American revolutionaries took a great leap of faith and established a new government based on the sovereignty of the people. It was truly a radical idea that entrusted the power of the nation not in a monarchy but in its citizens. Each generation since continues to question how to form "a more perfect union" around this radical idea.

The Bloody Massacre

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Constitutional Convention

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Declaration of Independence Desk

National Museum of American History

Signing of the Declaration of Independence

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Painting of Benjamin Franklin

National Postal Museum

Honorable Abraham Lincoln, 16th President

Smithsonian American Art Museum

President Richard Nixon

National Museum of American History

Clinton Inauguration 1993

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Maryland, 1 2/3 Dollars, 1775

National Museum of American History

Constitutional Post cover

National Postal Museum

Republican Banner for 1860

National Portrait Gallery

Portrait of Abraham Lincoln

National Museum of American History

Lincoln, the Campaigner, (painting)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Abraham Lincoln

National Portrait Gallery

Campaign ribbon

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Ulysses S. Grant Campaign Badge

National Museum of American History

Franklin D. Roosevelt

National Portrait Gallery

Presidential Campaign Advertisement, 1920

National Museum of American History

Placard for 2008 Obama presidential campaign

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Woman Suffrage Stamp, 1915

National Museum of American History

Woman Suffrage Postcard, c. 1915

National Museum of American History

Photograph: Suffragist with banner

National Museum of American History

Vote

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

ERA Charm Bracelet (I)

National Museum of American History

Voting machine used in the 2000 Presidential election

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Burroughs Machine for Vote Tabulation

National Museum of American History

button, Voting is for Everyone...

National Museum of American History

37c 1965 Voting Rights Act single

National Postal Museum

Ticket stub for Washington, DC to Montgomery, AL for Selma-Montgomery March

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Pinback button for a Freedom Ride organized by CORE

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Pinback button stating "We Shall Overcome"

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Pinback button of Malcolm X

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Poll tax receipt for Lee Carr from Hardin County, Texas

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Pinback button of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Arrest of Martin Luther King Jr., Montgomery, Alabama

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Martin Luther King, Jr.

National Portrait Gallery

March on Washington

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Digital print of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Chicago Freedom Movement rally

National Museum of African American History and Culture

NBC "Fireside Chat" Microphone

National Museum of American History

Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky

National Portrait Gallery

Watergate Breaks Wide Open

National Portrait Gallery

Gay Rights March

National Museum of American History

Boycott Grapes Protest Button

National Museum of American History

Order to Report for Induction

National Museum of American History