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 6 Primary Sources

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

From Wikipedia: Civil Disobedience (Resistance to Civil Government) is an essay by Henry David Thoreau first published in 1849. It argues that people should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that people have a duty to avoid letting the government make them the agents of injustice.

Emile, or On Education by Rousseau

From Wikipedia: Emile, or On Education is a treatise on the nature of education but also on the nature of man, written by Rousseau. It tackles fundamental political and philosophical questions about the relationship between the individual and society.

Some Thoughts Concerning Education by John Locke (1693)

Some Thoughts Concerning Education is a 1693 treatise on education written by the English philosopher John Locke.

The Prince by Machiavelli

From Wikipedia: The Prince is a political treatise by the Italian public servant and political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli. It was originally written in 1513, but not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death. The Prince was one of the first works of modern philosophy, in which pragmatic ends, opposed to teleological concepts, are the purpose.

Alabama Literacy test in 1965

Alabama's Literacy Test in 1965. Such tests were used as a requirement to register to vote until restrictions in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 made them all but illegal.

Aristotle--Politics, 350 BCE

Aristotle's work on such topics as the political community, economics, property rights, citizenship, leadership, constitutions and the ideal state.

Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation were, in effect, the first constitution of the United States. Drafted in 1777 by the same Continental Congress that passed the Declaration of Independence, the articles established a "firm league of friendship" between and among the 13 states.

Atlantic Charter, 1941

From Wikipedia: The Atlantic Charter was the blueprint for the world after World War II, and is the foundation for many of the international treaties and organizations that currently shape the world.

Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, 1949

From Wikipedia: The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany serves as the constitution of Germany. It was formally approved on May 8, 1949, and, with the signature of the Allies, came into effect on May 23, 1949, as the constitution of West Germany.

Cicero--De re publica (The Republic or On The Commonwealth), 54-51BC

Cicero's theories of constitutions, education, and citizenship.

Constitution of May 3, 1791 (Constitution of Poland), 1791

From Wikipedia: The Constitution of May 3, 1791 is generally regarded as Europe's first and the world's second modern codified national constitution, following the 1788 ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

Debate between Justices Scalia and Breyer, 2005

The 2005 debate between Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer largely centered around the examination of foreign case law in interpreting U.S. cases.

Declaration of Independence (1776)

The Declaration of Independence is a proclamation passed by Congress on July 2, 1776, and issued on July 4, announcing the separation of the "United Colonies" from Britain and the formation of a new nation, the United States of America. The document listed reasons for the separation and a philosophical argument in defense of the action.

Declaration of Independence 1776

From Wikipedia: The United States Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American Colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states, and thus no longer a part of the British Empire.

Detente with the USSR 1969-1980

Detente with the USSR policy from 1969-1980.

Federalist No. 39

From Wikipedia: In No. 39, James Madison argues that the operation of the government will be republican but the principles of that operation will be democratic.

Federalist No. 43

Federalist No. 43, written by James Madison and titled, ""The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered," continues Federalist No. 42 on ratification.

French Constitution of 1791

From Wikipedia; The short-lived French Constitution of 1791 was the first written constitution of France. One of the basic precepts of the revolution was adopting constitutionality and establishing popular sovereignty, following the steps of the U.S.

Hamilton's response to Jefferson's message to Congress, Dec. 17, 1801

Hamilton's response to Jefferson's message to Congress on Dec. 17, 1801 in which he criticizes the requirement of Congressional approval to declare war.

History of the Peloponnesian War

The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Greek historian Thucydides in 431 BCE.

International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights 1976

From Wikipedia: The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from March 23, 1976. It commits parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.

International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976)

From Wikipedia: The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from January 3, 1976. It commits parties to work toward the granting of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) to individuals, including labor rights and rights to health, education, and an adequate standard of living.


Jefferson's message to Congress informing them that his authority was limited because of lack of a declaration of war.


President Johnson's speech to the full Congress asking for their support to pass a voting rights bill guaranteeing that right to African Americans.

Letter from Birmingham Jail -- Martin Luther King Jr.

From Wikipedia: The Letter from Birmingham Jail or Letter from Birmingham City Jail, is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King Jr., written from the city jail in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was confined after being arrested for his part in the Birmingham campaign.

Marshall Plan, 1947

The Marshall Plan, officially the European Recovery Program, was the U.S. policy of granting large amounts of aid to western European countries following World War II.

Monroe Doctrine, 1823

From Wikipedia: The Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. policy introduced on December 2, 1823, which said that further efforts by European governments to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed by the United States as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention. In return, the United States would not interfere with existing European colonies nor in the internal concerns of European countries.

Oregon Death with Dignity Act 1994

Oregon enacted in 1994 the Death with Dignity Act, which allows terminally-ill citizens of that state to end their lives by requesting a lethal dose of medication from their doctor.

Redesigned Naturalization Test Questions

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Cervices (USCIS) redesigned its naturalization test in 2008, concentrating on wider civic concepts rather than facts. Applicants must correctly answer six of ten questions drawn from a pool of 100.

The Meriam Report (1928)

The Meriam Report was a survey of conditions on Indian reservations in 23 states. Titled The Problem of Indian Administration, the report was called the most important treatise on Indian affairs since Helen Hunt Jackson's Century of Dishonor (1881).

The Statistical Abstract of the United States

The Statistical Abstract of the United States is an annual publication of the U.S. Census Bureau, describing social and economic aspects of the United States.

The Truman Doctrine

From Wikipedia: The Truman Doctrine is a set of principles of U.S. inland policy created on March 12, 1947 by President Truman. In his speech to Congress, Truman declared that the United States, as "leader of the free world," must support democracy worldwide and fight against communism.

The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969

The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties standardizes conventional understandings of the making and enforcement of treaties between nations.

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.

Unit 6      Primary Sources
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