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  • The Declaration of Independence

     |  The Apple of Gold/Frame of Silver

    The Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence With the War for Independence over a year old and hope for a peaceful resolution nonexistent, the Continental Congress appointed a Committee of Five—including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin— to draft a document "declar[ing] the causes which impel [the American colonies] to the separation." Thirty-three-year-old Jefferson composed the initial draft, completing it in seventeen days. The committee submitted its draft to Congress on June 28, 1776, and on July 2, Congress voted for independence. Two days later, after numerous edits, Congress approved the Declaration of Independence by unanimous vote. July 4, 1776 The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States ...
  • Farewell Address

     |  Religion, Morality, and Property

    Farewell Address Farewell Address 1 George Washington Washington had first prepared a farewell address to be delivered in 1792, upon the conclusion of his first term as president. Having been convinced to stand for a second term, he was unanimously re-elected. When he finally issued this address in 1796, it was his last public work. After nearly forty-five years of service, he retired to Mount Vernon. September 19, 1796 Friends, and Fellow Citizens: The period for a new election of a Citizen, to Administer the Executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper ...
  • Vices of the Political System of the United States

     |  Articles of Confederation

    Vices of the Political System of the United States Vices of the Political System of the United States 1 James Madison In this essay, Madison outlines the main issues that the Constitutional Convention should address. His early arrival in Philadelphia allowed him to incorporate his ideas into a recommended plan for the Convention—what came to be called the Virginia Plan—representing no mere revision of the Articles of Confederation, but the adoption of an entirely new Constitution. April 1787 1. Failure of the States to comply with the Constitutional requisitions. This evil has been so fully experienced both during the war and since the peace, results so naturally from the number and independent authority of the States and has been so uniformly ...
  • Federalist 62

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 62 Federalist 62 1 James Madison The Senate, with its equal representation of each state and members selected by state legislatures, was at once a concession to small states and a bulwark of federalism. Due to its structure, it would also lend the legislative branch stability and wisdom. February 27, 1788 The Senate Having examined the constitution of the House of Representatives, and answered such of the objections against it as seemed to merit notice, I enter next on the examination of the Senate. The heads into which this member of the government may be considered are: I. The qualification of senators; II. The appointment of them by the State legislatures; III. The equality of representation in the Senate; IV. The number of ...
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