Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom
The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom is the permanent home of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and Bill of Rights. These three documents, known collectively as the Charters of Freedom, have secured the rights of the American people for more than two and a quarter centuries.
- The Declaration announced to the world on July 4, 1776, that thirteen British colonies in North America were leaving Great Britain to form a separate nation, called the United States of America. In justifying the revolution, the Declaration asserted a universal truth about human rights.
- The Constitution, drafted in 1787 after a hard-won victory in the War for Independence, codified the spirit of the Revolution into an ingenious practical scheme of government to promote the welfare of all its citizens.
- The Bill of Rights, added to the Constitution in 1791 as the first ten amendments, explicitly protected freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, and of assembly, among many other rights.