Button on a blue background with words, American Democracy, A Great Leap of Faith

American Democracy

A Great Leap of Faith

On View 2 West Linda and Pete Claussen Hall of Democracy

What happens when a people decide to govern themselves? America’s national treasures come to life in this compelling exhibition that examines the bold experiment to create a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith explores the history of citizen participation, debate, and compromise from the nation’s formation to today. Through objects such as Thomas Jefferson’s portable desk, used to draft the Declaration of Independence; the inkstand Lincoln used to draft the Emancipation Proclamation; and the table on which Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments, the exhibition focuses on the changing political ideals and principles of the nation, citizenship in a pluralistic society, and political participation and engagement.

Exhibition Website

Can't visit the museum to see American Democracy? Explore the historic objects and dive into the history on the exhibition website (coming soon).

Companion Book

Explore the exhibition at home with a companion volume to the museum exhibition.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by Linda and Pete Claussen; the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation | Sue Van; the Theodore Craver Family, in memory of Frederick Craver; the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation; The Pew Charitable Trusts and many generous donors.