This customized five-frame set contains our United States Constitution as well as Bill of Rights which followed soon after. They are designed to hang on the wall and come with –
- parchment paper
- wood frames (9 ¼" x 14 ¾" each)
- glass panes
They contain the same words, spelling (and occasional misspellings), punctuation, capitalization, etc., as the original four- and one-parchment documents, respectively. They've just been carefully reformatted into a modern font (versus old-style calligraphy) to make them easier to read. They have the identical signers in the same columns or positions as the originals—they're just italicized names instead of signatures to easily identify who signed them.
The layouts have been stylized to reflect the look of the originals, with all the more calligraphic elements retained such as in the Constitution's preamble and closing endorsement where more ornate lettering was used. Even the last line of each page of the Constitution has been deliberately formatted to correspond to the last line on the original parchment pages.
Of note, the original Bill of Rights document never actually contained the words "Bill of Rights." It simply outlined 12 "proposed" amendments to the Constitution as "Article the first.....," "Article the second.....," "Article the third.....," etc., for the states to consider ratifying. But the first (revising the math on the number of members in the House of Representatives) was never ratified and the second not till 1992 when it became the 27th Amendment. So "Article the third....." was relabeled "Amendment I," "Article the fourth.....," "Amendment II" and so on to precisely correspond to the first ten constitutional amendments representing our present-day Bill of Rights. This was the only modification to the text of the document.
The Americans won the Revolutionary War, and a promising nation was born. But George Washington soon observed the states seemed bound together by a "rope of sand," and others like Alexander Hamilton agreed. For the battle not to have been in vain, for the new republic's "great experiment" in free self-governance to last, a stronger frame of government was needed. To that end, a group of men gathered for a "Constitutional Convention" in 1787 presided over by Washington and comprised arguably of some of the wisest, most intelligent, educated and experienced statesmen ever assembled. Though imperfect, they shared a common vision and resolve to "form a more perfect union" and understood clearly the magnitude of what needed to be done. James Madison drafted the general framework, and through a series of animated debates, revisions and compromises, a workable document emerged, some say miraculously, in just four months that is our present-day Constitution.
Bill of Rights
In the Constitutional Convention's push to strengthen the federal government to preserve the union, some felt the pendulum swung too far by not explicitly safeguarding individual and state rights. Acutely mindful of the recent struggle to "throw off" tyrannical government, many states would not ratify the Constitution without the assurance of a Bill of Rights. In response, James Madison set out to correct this oversight by drafting one which included provisions for the freedom of religion and speech, the right to bear arms, the right to due process and a speedy trial before an impartial jury and so forth. Approved by the very first United States Congress and submitted to the states as promised, ten constitutional amendments became ratified in 1791 commonly known today as the Bill of Rights.