The United States Bill of Rights and its International Significance
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The Bill of Flights was added to the United States Constitution in 1791, two hundred years ago. It was not the first bill of rights in history. It was not a perfect instrument even for its time in the United States itself. It may not be sufficient to our time, even for the United States itself. • But the. Uni ted States Bill of Rights, has been crucial to life in the United States and of major.significance for the world. It represents the first, lasting commitment by any country to the idea of human rights as. supreme law. For 200 years it has been at the heart of a political system ,committed to constitutionalism, now recognized as the hallmark of legitimate government. The Bill, of Rights has inspired and provided a model for national constitutions and for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other, international human rights instruments which have given expression and reality,to the; human rights idea in our century. The two hundredth anniversary of the Bill of Rights is an appropriate, occasion to celebrate its history, note its content, and ponder its international significance.