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CMS - 8th History

Important Documents in American History

QuestionAnswer
Magna Carta (1215) English agreement that guaranteed certain rights to all Englishmen; influenced the American Bill of Rights’ protection of individual rights.
English Bill of Rights (1689) English agreement that guaranteed certain rights to all Englishmen; influenced the American Bill of Rights’ protections of individual rights.
Mayflower Compact (1620) Signed by many Pilgrims on their way to New World; they agreed to create a new government and follow its laws; helped establish the idea of self-government.
Common Sense (1776) Influential pamphlet written by Thomas Paine; it urged Americans to declare their independence.
Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) Written by Thomas Jefferson; announced the separation of the colonies from England.
Articles of Confederation (1781-1789) First U.S. government; it was eventually a failure because it created a national government that was too weak. It was later replaced by the U.S. Constitution.
Constitution (written in 1787) Blueprint for the American government.
The Federalist Papers (1787-1788) Series of essays about the nature of government by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay; written to help get the Constitution ratified.
Bill of Rights (adopted in 1791) First 10 amendments of the Constitution; guarantees individual rights.
George Washington’s Farewell Address (1796) Given at his retirement from public life; he urged America to always remain neutral toward other countries.
Monroe Doctrine (1823) Presidential message that said that Europe should not interfere in the affairs of Latin America and the U.S. would not interfere with European affairs.
South Carolina Exposition and Protest (1829) Written by John C. Calhoun; outlined the doctrine of nullification, which was a statement for state’s rights.
The Liberator (1831-1865) Newspaper printed by William Lloyd Garrison; most influential antislavery periodical in U.S. history; it increased sectionalism between North and South.
Lincoln’s First Inaugural (1861) Lincoln said North would defend federal property in the South.
Emancipation Proclamation (Jan. 1, 1863) Executive order give by Abraham Lincoln; it freed the slaves in the Confederacy.
Gettysburg Address (1863) Famous speech given by Abraham Lincoln; it said that the Union was worth fighting for at any cost.
Lincoln’s Second Inaugural (1865) Lincoln said Civil War was about slavery and that the Union was fighting to end slavery.
Created by: phsv