By the Representatives of
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In General Congress
When in the Course of
human Events, it becomes necessary for one People
to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another,
and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal
Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a
decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should
declare the causes which impel them to the Separation..........
JOHN HANCOCK, President
Attest. CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary
Henry, March 23, 1775
I know not what course others
May take but for me,
Give me liberty or give me death!
No one has a right to another
Manís life, not God,
Not the Race
Not the Dictatorship,
Not the protectorate, not
The Great Society
Nor the New Deal
They that can give up
essential liberty to obtain
A little temporary safety
Liberty nor safety.
Charters of Freedom
The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776
This image of the
Declaration is taken from the engraving made by printer
Rotunda of the
National Archives Building in Washington, DC,
badly--largely because of poor preservation
the 19th century.
Today, this priceless document is maintained under
the most exacting
archival conditions possible.
The Constitution of
the United States
Magna Carta and
Bill of Rights Connection
When representatives of the
young republic of the United States gathered to draft a constitution, they turned to the legal
system they knew and admired--English common law
as evolved from Magna Carta. The conceptual debt to the great charter
particularly obvious: the American Constitution is "the Supreme Law of the
Land," just as the rights granted by Magna Carta
were not to be arbitrarily
canceled by subsequent English laws.
This heritage is most
clearly apparent in our Bill of Rights.
amendment guarantees No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty,
or property, without due process of law
and the sixth states
. . . the accused shall
enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury
575 years earlier, Magna Carta declare No freeman shall be
. . . or in any other way destroyed . . . except by the
lawful judgment of his peers,
or by the law of the land. To no one will we
sell, to none will we deny or delay, right or justice.
....Read More About the
The Bill of Rights (Amendments I - X)
Between 1776 and 1783 the
United States declared and won independence from Great Britain,
defeating one of the greatest military powers in the world. But by the
beginning of 1787, the American experiment in self-government was at
risk of failure, threatened by a variety of escalating problems both at
home and abroad.
Record of Constitutional Convention, 1787.
Tis done! . .We have become a nation." Benjamin Rush,
following the ratification of the U.S. Constitution,
July 9, 1788
to Cut a 5-Pointed Star in One Snip
Washington's original pencil sketch for the
flag indicated 6-pointed stars, a form he apparently preferred.
however, recommended a 5-pointed star. When the
committee protested that it was too difficult to make, she took a piece
of paper, folded it deftly, and with a single snip of her scissors,
produced a symmetrical five-pointed star. This seeming feat of magic so
impressed her audience that they readily agreed to her suggestion.
Now know the
Patrick Henry, March 23,
I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I
should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an
act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all
Gentlemen may cry,
Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is
actually begun! The next
gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of
resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here
idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so
dear, or peace so weet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and
it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me,
me liberty or give me death!