Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents in the history of the United States.
- It took Thomas Jefferson 17 days to write the Declaration of Independence.
- On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain.
- On July 4, 1776, Congress voted to accept the Declaration of Independence, marking July 4 as Independence Day.
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The foundation of the American government, its purpose, form, and structure, are in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitutional Convention adopted the Constitution on September 17, 1787.
The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. It guarantees greater constitutional protection for individual liberties and lists specific prohibitions on government power. There are 27 Constitutional Amendments in all. The 27th Amendment, which was originally proposed in 1789, was not ratified until 1992.
Where to View the Constitution
You can view the original, parchment copy of the U.S. Constitution at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. You can also view an online copy of the U.S. Constitution or order a printed copy of the Constitution.
The Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States. To celebrate a victory over British forces during the War of 1812, U.S. soldiers raised a large American flag at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 14, 1814. Inspired by those events, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem called "Defence of Fort M'Henry," which eventually became the Star Spangled Banner and the United States national anthem.
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Last Updated: July 8, 2019