Founding Documents & Speeches

The Declaration of Independence

Our founding charter declared our nation’s founding principles and detailed the reasons the 13 colonies were separating from Great Britain. [read document]
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The Constitution of the United States
The oldest national Constitution still in use, our Constitution describes the powers and functions of our federal government. [read document]
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The Bill of Rights
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution were added, in part, to fulfill promises made to many of the states during the process of ratifying the Constitution. The Bill of Rights is designed to protect the citizens and the states from the power of the federal government. [read document]
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Amendments 11-27
Just 17 amendments have been added to the Constitution since the Bill of Rights. [read document]

President George Washington’s First Inaugural Address
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
Among the vicissitudes incident to life no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order … [read more]

President Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address
Friends & Fellow Citizens,
Called upon to undertake the duties of the first Executive office of our country, I avail myself of the presence of that portion of my fellow citizens which is here assembled to express my grateful thanks … [read more]

President Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address
My fellow Americans:
This is the 34th time I’ll speak to you from the Oval Office and the last. We’ve been together 8 years now, and soon it’ll be time for me to go. But before I do, I wanted to share some thoughts … [read more]