The American’s Creed
I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.
I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its Flag, and to defend it against all enemies.
Here are some historical documents and resources pertaining to the Struggle for Independence.
- The Magna Charta (1215) was the first document stating that the authority of a nation’s ruler was limited by the certain rights of other people in that nation.
- The Mayflower Compact (1620) committed the first Pilgrim settlers to enacting just and equal laws for the general good of the colony.
- Declaration of Rights (1774) of the First Continental Congress claimed the right of each colonial assembly to draw up laws on everything but foreign trade.
- The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms (1775) (drafted by John Dickinson of Delaware) was intended to inform the world of the reasons why the colonies had taken up arms against England.
- The Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776) was the first Bill of Rights written into a state constitution and served as the basis for the first ten amendments to the U. S. Constitution.
- The Declaration of Independence (1776) (drafted by Thomas Jefferson of Virginia) noted that nature’s laws permit a people to declare independence from a corrupt government and went on to specify the corrupt actions of England that had led the United States of America to declare their independence.
- The Articles of Confederation (1781) established the framework of a national government made up of thirteen sovereign states. Originally drafted by John Dickinson of Delaware in 1776, all states but Maryand had signed by 1777. Maryland held out for four years until seven other states agreed to give up their claims to western land.
- The Treaty of Paris (1783) ended the state of war between the United States and England and ceded to the United States all land east of the Mississippi.
- The Federalist Papers (1787-1788) are a series of 85 newspaper articles through which Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay used both logic and prejudice to convince the New York citizens to support ratification of the United States Constitution.
- The Northwest Ordinance (1787) provided for the founding of self-governing states in the area that is now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and a bit of Minnesota.
- The Constitution of the United States (1787) in its original form, with all 27 amendments.
- The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) was written by Lafayette (assisted by Thomas Jefferson). It was adopted by the French National Assembly just prior to the French Revolution.
- The Bill of Rights (1791) – the first ten amendments to the U. S. Constitution
- The Treaty of Greenville (1795) ended the open hostility in Ohio between the Wyandots, Delawares, and other native American tribes and colonial settlers, which had started when England ceded the land to the United States as part of the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
- The Monroe Doctrine (1823) made it the policy of the United States to prevent further colonization of the continent by European powers.
Major Collections of Related Documents
The U. S. National Archives‘ home page provides access to an enormous range of documents (or descriptions of documents) in its possession, many of which deal with the struggle for independence.
The Library of Congress‘ collection of documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention.