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Political Texts in U.S. History (01:13)
Some of the most important documents in U.S. history include the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Founding of the U.S. Government (03:05)
The Revolutionary War between the American colonists and the British Government was a result of the Americans refusal to pay taxes to Great Britain.
The Declaration of Independence (01:48)
The Declaration of Independence announced that the thirteen American colonies were now independent states, and thus no longer a part of the British Empire.
United We Stand (02:06)
The Declaration of Independence was a reflection of the ideals that united Americans towards Independence.
The Articles of Confederation (02:58)
The Articles of Confederation set out to legally unite the thirteen independent states - United States of America.
The Philadephia Convention (02:11)
Delegates of the Philadelphia Convention drafted a new system of democracy called the U.S. Constitution.
The Articles of the Constitution (03:18)
The U.S. Constitution contains seven Articles, which define the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. Government.
The Bill of Rights (02:44)
The Bill of Rights are the first 10 amendments to the constitution and were created to further protect individual freedoms of American citizens.
Additional Amendments (02:16)
Seventeen additional amendments have been made to the Constitution since it was first written.
Framework for a New Nation (02:06)
The purpose of the Constitution was to serve as a framework whereby citizens can decide all future laws.
Ellis Island (01:28)
Ellis Island served as a transit point for the massive immigration to the United States.
The rights and liberties given to U.S. citizens is defined in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Immigration Restrictions (02:59)
Widespread discrimination resulted in a series of laws restricting immigration.
Strict requirements must be met in order to meet Naturalization laws.
Civic Duties and Responsibilities (02:26)
Civic duties and responsibilities include paying taxes and serving on a jury and registering for military service.
Core Democratic Values (01:14)
Each citizen should show good moral character based on the core democratic values are country was founded on.
Civil Liberties (03:05)
Civil liberties are fundamental rights defined in the Bill of Rights that protect an individual from the government's abuse of power.
Equal Protection (02:16)
The 14th Amendment ruled that no state can deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Protecting the Disabled (02:29)
Many civil rights laws have been signed that prohibit discrimination against minorities and disabled citizens.
The U.S. Constitution: A Living Document (01:32)
The U.S. Constitution is a living document that can be amended as necessary to protect the rights of all citizens.