Washington, D.C. School Trip to the National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with the preservation and documentation of government and historical records. It is also tasked with increasing public access to those documents which make up the National Archive. It is a must see when planning a trip to Washington, D.C.
- Declaration of Independence
- Bill of Rights
Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence states the principles on which our government, and our identity as Americans, are based. Unlike the other founding documents, the Declaration of Independence is not legally binding, but it is powerful. Abraham Lincoln called it “a rebuke and a stumbling-block to tyranny and oppression.” It continues to inspire people around the world to fight for freedom and equality.
Bill of Rights
The Constitution might never have been ratified if the framers hadn't promised to add a Bill of Rights. The first ten amendments to the Constitution gave citizens more confidence in the new government and contain many of today's Americans' most valued freedoms.
The Constitution acted like a colossal merger, uniting a group of states with different interests, laws, and cultures. Under America’s first national government, the Articles of Confederation, the states acted together only for specific purposes. The Constitution united its citizens as members of a whole, vesting the power of the union in the people. Without it, the American Experiment might have ended as quickly as it had begun.
Students can participate in hands-on document-based programs and visit the exhibitions.
When planning a Washington, D.C. school trip to the National Archives, make sure to become invested with all of the history that these documents represent to our way of daily life. It's a great experience and one students will never forget.