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Early Government Documents

Publications from the Tutt Collection along with links to core documents.

Core Documents

Democracy in Brief

  • Concise account of the intellectual origins, history, and basic values of democratic systems of government. 
  • The book examines topics such as rights and responsibilities of citizens, free and fair elections, the rule of law, the role of a written constitution, separation of powers, a free media, the role of parties and interest groups, military-civilian relations, and democratic culture. 

Primary Documents in American History: The American Revolution and The New Nation, 1763-1815 

  • George Washington's Commission as Commander in Chief (1775), and Washington's First Inaugural Address (1789),
  • Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776), Articles of Confederation (1777),
  • Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), Northwest Ordinance (1787),
  • Judiciary Act of 1789 (1789), Jay's Treaty (1794), Alien and Sedition Acts (1798),
  • Louisiana Purchase (1803), and more.

NARA's Founders Online

  • Correspondence and writings of Six Major Shapers of the United States: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison.

Cornerstone Documents of U.S. democracy - including:

  • Articles of Confederation, The Federalist Papers, and The Declaration of Independence
  • The Bill of Rights, and The Constitution of the United States of America, Analysis and Interpretation
  • A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873
  • Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789
  • Emancipation Proclamation and The Gettysburg Address

Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy -- not only US documents (has Code of Hammurabi and Communist Manifesto for example) - searchable or click on number; state charters, etc. (Avalon Project at Yale Law School)

100 Milestone Documents - highlight key events in U.S. history (1776-1965), each document includes an image, description and transcript. (NARA)

Audio files

U.S. Historical Documents

  • Articles of Confederation, Constitution & amendments, Declartion of Independence, Gettysburg Address
  • links to Martin Luther King Jr. "I Have a Dream", Lincoln at Cooper Union