Civics 101

Founding Documents

Declaration of Independence

On July 4, 1776 the Second Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence which announced that the thirteen American colonies were independent sovereign states and formed a new nation—the United States of America.

Declaration of Independence Full Text

United States Constitution

Written in 1787 during the Philadelphia Convention, the Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation after ratification by 11 states in 1789. The original Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times.

U.S. Constitution Full Text
U.S. Constitution Annotated Version

The first ten amendments to the Constitution that adds guarantees of personal freedoms and rights, limitations on the government's power, and delegation of powers not designated to the Federal Government.

Bill of Rights Full Text
Interactive Guide to the Amendments

Bill of Rights

A declaration adopted by the United Nations in 1948 that represents the first global expression of what many people believe to be the rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled.

Declaration Full Text
Amnesty International Simplified Version

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations)

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