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In 1776, many colonists made a great leap to a new idea: maybe they could do without monarchy and aristocracy. If they could unite with one another, “the common people” of the colonies might form a more equal society and government. American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, examines the continuing evolution of America’s experiment in a government “of, by, and for the people.”

The exhibition will be on view at The Historic New Orleans Collection from June 17, 2023, to October 8, 2023. Admission is free.

Drawn from the permanent exhibition of the same name at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, American Democracy explores the challenges and triumphs that generations of Americans encountered as they sought to create a government based on the sovereignty of the people. It explores the history of citizen participation, debate, and compromise from the nation’s formation to today.

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