United States Historical Documents

United States Historical Documents

United States’ Constitution
The US Constitution is the document that contains the supreme law of the land (Archives.gov, 2015). It must be upheld by everyone who is within the jurisdiction of the land. The constitution of the US was created on September 17, 1787, and later ratified on June 21, 1788 (Archives.gov, 2015). The document that originally contained seven articles and has been amended twenty-seven times since it came into force in 1789 as the supreme law.

The constitution was authored by the Philadelphia Convention, an appointed commission that came together to draft the rules and guidelines to govern Americans. The of the 55 delegates that came to represent the 12 states, 39 of them signed in agreement with the draft that was to be later ratified. The main purpose of the US Constitution was to replace the Articles of Confederation (Archives.gov, 2015). It is the shortest written constitution.

Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation herald the US Constitution. It is the document that brought together the original thirteen states of USA (Rakove, 1982). It served as the first constitution. It was created on November 15, 1777, and later ratified on March 1, 1781. The document, one that is part of the proud history of the US was authored and signed by the Continental Congress. This Congress was a convention of delegates called from the original thirteen states.

The document acted as the first constitution of the United States of America until the ratification of the US constitution in 1788 (Rakove, 1982). The document had created the general government of the former British colonies, which came to be replaced by the federal government after the Constitution came into force.

Declaration of Independence
America won its independence from the British in 1776. Declaration of Independence was a document authored between June and July 1776 and ratified on July 4, 1776. It was written by Thomas Jefferson and availed to Congress for a decision on the independence of the respective colonies from the British Empire (Cohen, 2005). The document was overwhelmingly supported by the Continental Congress on editing before ratification.

The Declaration of Independence came in force to declare the sovereignty of the thirteen states from colonialism. They had now come together under the banner of United States of America. It is the document that announced and explained the separation for the Great Britain, and the beginning of a new journey for the now independent sovereign states (Cohen, 2005).

Federalist Papers
It was originally known as The Federalist before changing to the Federalist Papers. It is a document that contains 85 articles and essays that promote the ratification of the United States Constitution (Thomas, 2015). The document is compiled by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. The dates for the authorship of the articles may not still be accurate considering the secrecy with which the authors did it, but their publication came between October 1787 and August 1788 in the New York Packet and the Independent Journal.

One of the authors, James Madison later became the 4th President of the United States (Thomas, 2015). Madison is credited with more than three quarters of the work in the Federalist Papers that spoke highly about the new constitution. It is the one that created a good reflection about the Americans and their desire for freedom and equality.

The United States will attain 240 years in the coming year. For that period spurning over two centuries, the turns and twists have been incredible. They are the bits that have made the rich history of a great country. From an original thirteen states, the USA today has fifty states, five territories and one District. The two plus centuries have given the Americans such a phenomenal change and growth.

It all started with the Articles of Confederation. Had this document not been signed, the thirteen original states may have ended up as individual countries and maybe today we would be having fifty different sovereign countries fighting border issues with one another. This original piece of agreement that was formally the constitution of the time is a great piece to be credited for what the United States of America is today.
Without the US Constitution, there would have been a lot of confusion between the federal and state powers. However, the constitution has drawn the line between the two, and there is smooth parallel running of the two types of government. The constitution supersedes any other law of the land and must be obeyed by everyone. The rich history of the Americans settles its banks on the document.

The philosophical nature of the US’s richness in history probably settles its banks in the Federalist papers. The pride by which the Americans took up their nation is spelt in this document. It is a great piece of work by greats who had America at heart. The drafting, ratification and coming into force of the documents is so sequential and interdependent. The Declaration of Independence gave way to the Articles of Confederation. The latter then paved way for the US Constitution which was the catalyst for Federalist Papers.

Works Cited
Archives.gov. Transcript of the Constitutionof the United States – Official Text. 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015, from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

Cohen, M. America Making a declaration of independence. History Of Te US 33.3 (2005): 20.

Rakove, J. The Legacy of the Articles of Confederation. Publius 12.4 (1982): 45.

Thomas, G. The FederalistPapers – THOMAS (Library of Congress). Thomas.loc.gov. 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015, from http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fedpapers.html

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