Find historical documents such as the Bill of Rights, Constitution of the United States, Declaration of Independence, and more.
Declaration of Independence (1776)
– Drafted by Thomas Jefferson in June 1776, this document is the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty. It set forth a list of grievances against the King of England in order to justify breaking the ties between the colonies and the mother country.
Articles of Confederation (1777)
– This document served as the United States' first constitution, and was in force from March 1, 1781, until 1789 when the present day Constitution went into effect.
Treaty of Paris (1783)
– This treaty between the American colonies and Great Britain formally recognized the United States as an independent nation.
Constitution of the United States (1787)
– This four-page document, signed on September 17, 1787, established the government of the United States.
Federalist Papers (1787-1788)
– This series of essays was published in newspapers by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay to promote the ratification of the Constitution.
Bill of Rights (1791)
– The First Congress proposed 12 amendements to the Constitution and the 10 that were approved became known as the Bill of Rights.
Gettysburg Address (1863)
– President Lincoln gave this speech at the dedication of the cemetery for the Union war dead after the Civil War battle in Gettysburg, PA.
Emancipation Proclamation (1863)
– President Lincoln issued the Proclamation announcing that persons held as slaves shall be free.
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– Explore 100 milestone documents of American history, find tools for educators, and more.