Creating the Declaration of Independence
Despite great uncertainties, America's founders pressed forward to independence and the creation of a federal republic. The Declaration of Independence became a lasting beacon for those seeking justice, human dignity, and self-government throughout the world.
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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness.
Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
Creating the United States Constitution
America’s search for a plan of national government was a slow, difficult process. Compromise, cooperation, and creativity were required as the Americans moved from a patriarchal monarchy to citizen-leaders in a representative republic.
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We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union. . . .
United States Constitution, 1787
Creating the Bill of Rights
In 1789 Congress passed proposed amendments to the Constitution as one of its first orders of business. Viewed as unnecessary by many and a mere diversion by others, the first ten amendments, which became known as the Bill of Rights, became the bedrock of individual rights and liberties. Read more about Creating the Bill of Rights »
The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added.
Preamble to the Bill of Rights