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Hands On - The Four Documents
The Declaration of Independence
This Document…
The Articles of Confederation
This Document…
The U.S. Constitution
This Document…
The Bill of Rights
This Document…
®SAISD Social Studies Department
Reproduction rights granted only if copyright information remains intact.
Hands On - The Four Documents
Page 2
Hands On - The Four Documents
The Declaration of Independence
This Document…
The Articles of Confederation
This Document…
was mainly written by Thomas Jefferson.
was the first constitution of the United States and
governed the nation during the American Revolution.
listed grievances against King George III.
was approved by the states on March 1, 1781 and stayed in
effect until March 4, 1789.
was heavily influenced by the ideas of John Locke.
established a confederation system of government. (Weak
national government - strong state governments)
was approved by Congress on July 4, 1776.
restricted the national government from taxing citizens,
leading to financial issues.
was written in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
allowed states to issue their own currency, tax goods from
other states, and create their own militia.
stated that “all men are created equal”.
the government under this document negotiated the
Treaty of Paris of 1783.
stated that unalienable rights (rights that cannot be taken
away) are, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
the government under this document passed the Land
Ordinance of 1785.
explained the reasons why the colonies should leave Great
Britain and form a new government.
the government under this document passed the
Northwest Ordinance of 1787.
The U.S. Constitution
The Bill of Rights
This Document…
This Document…
was written in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
was ratified in 1791.
was written in 1787, signed on September 17th, and
ratified by nine states in 1788.
include rights and liberties that were not part of the
original U.S. Constitution.
provides for a strong federal government and allows for
the sharing of certain powers with states.
contains the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
created three branches of government: legislative,
executive, and judicial.
influenced by the English Bill of Rights, the Declaration of
Independence, and the Magna Carta.
was based on seven principals which limit the national
government.
contains Due Process protections from governmental
abuse.
was influenced by: Hobbes (Social Contract), Locke
(Limited Government), and Montesquieu (3 branches).
protects the freedoms of religion, assembly, press,
petition, and speech.
can be updated (amended) and has been amended 27
times since 1788.
written by James Madison, but was heavily influenced by
George Mason’s Virginia Bill of Rights.
contains several compromises including the Connecticut
Compromise and the 3/5 Compromise.
was added to assure the ratification of the U.S.
Constitution.
®SAISD Social Studies Department
Reproduction rights granted only if copyright information remains intact.
Hands On - The Four Documents
Page 3
Hands On - The Four Documents
The Declaration of Independence
The Articles of Confederation
This Document includes…
This Document includes…
When in the Course of human events, it becomes
necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands
which have connected them with another…
Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and
independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right,
which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to
the United States, in Congress assembled.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life,
Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…
The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league
of friendship with each other, for their common defense,
the security of their liberties…
That whenever any Form of Government becomes
destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to
alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…
In determining questions in the United States in Congress
assembled, each State shall have one vote.
…solemnly publish and declare, That these United
Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and
Independent States…
The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and
levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures of
the several States…
…we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our
Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
…regulating the trade… provided that the legislative right
of any State within its own limits be not infringed or
violated…
The U.S. Constitution
The Bill of Rights
This Document includes…
This Document includes…
We the People of the United States, in Order to form
a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure
domestic Tranquility…
Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof…
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the
House of Representatives…
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in
any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in
time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of
the United States of America. He shall hold his Office
during the Term of four Years…
The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable
searches and seizures, shall not be violated…
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be
vested in one supreme Court…
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy
the right to a speedy and public trial…
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United
States… shall be the supreme Law of the Land;
Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom
of speech, or of the press…
®SAISD Social Studies Department
Reproduction rights granted only if copyright information remains intact.
Hands On - The Four Documents
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