• On this page you will find many of the Primary Sources that we will analyze in class.

  • Enlightenment Thinkers

    Enlightenment Thinkers

    Enlightenment Thinkers: John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Mary Wollstonecraft

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  • Common Sense - Thomas Paine

    Common Sense - Thomas Paine

    Published in January of 1776, Thomas Paine's influential pamphlet Common Sense presented a strong argument in favor of declaring independence from Great Britain.

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  • "Give me liberty or give me death." - Patrick Henry

    "Give me liberty or give me death." - Patrick Henry

    Patrick Henry, a distinguished lawyer and politician, was one of the first colonial leaders to take a strong public stand against the Stamp Act in 1765. Ten years later, on March 23, 1775, he delivered his most famous speech to the Virginia Provincial Convention. At a time when tensions between England and the colonies were reaching the breaking point, Henry advocated the use of the Virginia militia in defending the colony against England. A portion of the speech is reprinted below in the version reconstructed by Henry's first biographer, William Wirt

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  • The Crisis

    The Crisis

    The American Crisis was a pamphlet series written by Thomas Paine between 1776 and 1783. Known as both The American Crisis or simply The Crisis the series includes sixteen pamphlets. Paine signed the pamphlets with his pseudonym "Common Sense." The first pamphlet reprinted below was read to the Continental Army on December 23, 1776, two days before the crossing of the Delaware and the subsequent Battle of Trenton.

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  • The Declaration of Independence

    The Declaration of Independence

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  • The Constitution of the United States

    The Constitution of the United States

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  • Objections to the Constitution

    Objections to the Constitution

    George Mason was one of the leading Antifederalists. In "Objections to the Constitution of the Government Formed by the Convention," he listed his reasons for opposing ratification. Above all, he feared that the Constitution created a government that would destroy democracy in the young nation.

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  • The Bill of Rights

    The Bill of Rights

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