...that is flexible enough and general enough for change. It's very sparseness, in a sense, has made it possible for us to adapt it to our own time. That is the explanation for its longevity. Some people think because these men were so brilliant, they could predict everything we would need in the twenty-first century. Of course they couldn't.
CHRISTOPHER COLLIER, HISTORIAN: Flexibility and durability. Durability because of flexibility. But its had a huge international impact over the years. There's virtually no national constitution written over the past 200 years that doesn't reflect the US Constitution in either major ways like slavish copying in some cases. In some cases, just traces.
AKHIL REED AMAR, CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR: I can’t think about who I am in the most basic ways without thinking about the United States Constitution because it makes me who I am and what I am—a citizen on the day of my birth even though my parents aren’t citizens at the time. They’re just med students at the University of Michigan. So when I look at that Constitution, I really see a great gift to myself and my family and, ultimately I think, to the world because before the US Constitution, democracy doesn’t exist very many places on the planet. After the US Constitution, democracy is on the move. Today, it has swept half the planet including India because of the example of the American Constitution. The American Constitution bends world history. Democracy is the future.
Video of Earth from space courtesy Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center.