"From the earliest days of the Republic, this nation's Founders believed that the United States had a special mission in the world. George Washington spoke of it on April 30, 1789, moments after taking the oath of office as first President of the United States. "The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people." The success of their experiment, these early Americans hoped, would hasten the spread of liberty around the globe.
In the first century following the Declaration of Independence, movements in France, Belgium, Poland, Norway, Switzerland, as well as in Venezuela, Mexico, and Argentina drew both inspiration and practical lessons from the American Revolution and its landmark documents. During the nineteenth century, the adoption of written constitutions often accompanied changes in governments in Europe and Latin America.
In 1917, there were approximately a dozen democracies in the world. Today, there are more than one hundred, and most of them have written constitutions. While the charters of many of these nations vary greatly from the U.S. Constitution, its endurance and stability has surely lent encouragement and credibility to the cause of freedom-loving people everywhere who have labored to throw off tyrannical regimes and devise for themselves a system of self-determination and government based on the consent of the people!"