They gave the world its first constitutional government, later completed with a Bill of Rights the guarantees necessary to protect individual liberty.
Nearly 226 years later, events again test that Constitution. Public opinion polls find a majority of the public has lost faith in Congress, the president and the Supreme Court. The division between rural America and its cities, as well as the divide between the coastal areas and the heartland, strain the unity of this nation.
The hubris of liberals, when they assumed control of the executive branch of the government in addition to their control of the legislature, widened the gap between conservatives and liberals.
Passage of Obamacare without Republican input doomed that legislation. Three years later, the law remains as unpopular as the Stamp Act.
Arguments rage over the administration's attempt to override the separation of powers and push the boundaries of executive power into new territory.
Progressives are fuming over people's attempts to thwart their agenda. Conservatives see this agenda as trampling on the rights of the governed.
These divides among people are natural. The Constitution allowed for a way to debate and settle them.
Yes, settling arguments this way is slower than settling arguments the authoritarian way - without regard to what other people think.
That is in fact the genius of the American system and the source of its superiority.
Too many in Washington are impatient, even contemptuous, of limits on their power. Too many voters don't guard their liberty fiercely enough.