We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution, Level 3
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Howard Chandler Christy, Signing of the Constitution, Architect of the Capitol, House wing, east stairway
Unit 5 Primary Sources

A resolution of House of Commons, 1669

A resolution of the House of Commons in 1669 guaranteeing the right to petition the lower house of Parliament.

Abolition of Star Chamber

The Star Chamber was a court that heard criminal and civil cases against prominent Englishmen, who, it was believed, would not receive a fair trial in the regular courts. In 1641, it was abolished by Parliament after controversial incidents with religious dissenters.

Act of Supremacy 1533

From Wikipedia: The first Act of Supremacy granted King Henry VIII of England Royal Supremacy which is still the legal authority of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Royal Supremacy is specifically used to describe the legal sovereignty of the civil laws over religious ones, which validated Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn.

Airline Passenger Bill of Rights

An airline passenger bill of rights would guarantee that certain conditions are met at various stages of airline travel.

An Apology for Printers by Benjamin Franklin (1731)

Franklin believed in the trade of printing as indispensable to his highest goals for society: the spread of knowledge and ideas necessary to self-governance. He laid out these views in his essay "An Apology for Printers."

Bill of Rights (1791): The original 12 proposed amendments

James Madison originally submitted 17 amendments to become the Bill of RIghts. All were passed by the House of Representatives, but only 12 were passed by the Senate and the states ratified 10 of them.

Bill of Rights, as submitted for ratification

The Bill of Rights as it was submitted to the states for ratification. It included a preamble and ten proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Blackstone Commentaries on the Laws of England

From Wikipedia: The Commentaries on the Laws of England are an influential 18th century treatise on the common law of England by Sir William Blackstone, originally published by the Clarendon Press at Oxford, 1765-1769.

Constitution of South Africa

From WIkipedia: The Constitution of South Africa is the supreme law of the country of South Africa. It provides the legal foundation for the existence of the Republic of South Africa, sets out the rights and duties of the citizens of South Africa, and defines the structure of the Government of South Africa.

Constitution of the State of Alaska 1956

The Constitution of the State of Alaska is the basic governing document of the State of Alaska, which was ratified in 1956 and took effect in 1959 when Alaska became the 50th state to join the United States.

De Libellis Famosis (1606)

From Wikipedia: The crime of seditious libel was defined and established in England during the 1606 case De Libellis Famosis by the Star Chamber. The case defined seditious libel as criticism of public persons, the government, or King.

English Bill of Rights 1689

Act passed by the British Parliament in 1689 enumerating rights of British subjects and residents.

English Translation of Magna Carta

English translation of Magna Carta

Equal Access Act of 1984

From Wikipedia: The Equal Access Act is a U.S. federal law passed in 1984 to compel federally-funded secondary schools to provide equal access to extracurricular clubs.

Federalist No. 80

From Wikipedia: Federalist No. 80 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton. Its title is "Powers of the Judiciary," and is the third in a series of six essays discussing the powers and limitations of the judicial branch.

Federalist No. 84

From Wikipedia: Federalist No. 84, titled, "Certain General and Miscellaneous Objections to the Constitution Considered and Answered," was written by Alexander Hamilton and asserted that the Bill of RIghts was not a necessary component of the proposed constitution.

Habeas Corpus Act 1679

The Habeas Corpus Act 1679 is an act of the English Parliament defining and strengthening habeas corpus, by which a detainee who has appealed to the judiciary must either be set free or have a charge brought against him.

James Madison - Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments

James Madison's thoughts on the separation of church and state.

James Madison Speech to Congress on the Proposed Bill of Rights

Madison's speech proposing a Bill of Rights and the text of the proposed rights.

Jefferson to Edmund Pendleton 1776

A letter from Thomas Jefferson to Virginia Convention president Edmund Pendleton on August 26, 1776.


John F. Kennedy's famous speech on church and state given in Texas while he was campaigning for president.

Magna Carta

From Wikipedia: Magna Carta, is an English legal charter, originally issued in 1215. Magna Carta required King John to proclaim certain rights, respect certain legal procedures, and accept that his will could be restricted by the law.

Maryland Toleration Act, 1649

The Maryland Toleration Act, passed by the assembly of the Maryland colony, mandated tolerance for Christians who did not practice Anglican Christianity.

Massachusetts Body of Liberties, 1641

From Wikipedia: The Massachusetts Body of Liberties was the first legal code to be established by European colonists in New England.

Miranda Warning

From Wikipedia: A Miranda warning is a warning given by police in the U.S. to criminal suspects in police custody, or in a custodial situation, before they are interrogated.

Montesquieu--The Spirit of Laws, 1748

In this political treatise Montesquieu advocates the idea that political and legal institutions ought to reflect the social and geographical character of each particular community, that governments need not be permanent.

Ohio Constitution of 1803

From Wikipedia: The Ohio Constitution is the basic governing document of the State of Ohio, which in 1803 became the 17th state to join the United States.

Patient's Bill of Rights

From Wikipedia: A patient's bill of rights is a statement of the rights to which patients are entitled as recipients of medical care.

Petition of Right

From Wikipedia: The Petition of Right is a major English constitutional document, which sets out specific liberties of the subject that the king is prohibited from infringing.

The Constitution of Massachusetts 1780

The Massachusetts Constitution provided the framework followed by the United States Constitution.

Tocqueville--Democracy in America, 1835, 1840

A review of American representational government in the 1830s, focusing on the reasons for success in America versus attempts and failures in other places.

United States Bill of Rights

From Wikipedia: In the United States, the Bill of Rights is the name by which the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known. They were introduced by James Madison to the First United States Congress in 1789 as a series of articles, and came into effect on December 15, 1791, when they had been ratified by three quarters of the states.

United States Constitution

The supreme law of the United States that provides the framework for the government. The Constitution outlines the nation's institutions of government and the most important rights of the people. The document was created in 1787 during the Philadelphia Convention. The government created by the Constitution took effect on March 4, 1789.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

From Wikipedia: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The Declaration arose directly from the experience of World War II and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are respectfully entitled.

Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom

From Wikipedia: The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson to place a separation between church and state. In 1786, the Virginia General Assembly enacted the statute into the state's law.

Virginia Declaration of Rights

Virginia Declaration of Rights

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