Documents of American Democracy

A Collection of Essential Works

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About the Book

This reference work presents 27 key documents from the historic origins of the United States government through its subsequent expansion and evolution. The book is divided into five sections, the first of which is an introductory essay about American democracy. Section II includes three documents that laid the foundation for America’s government: the Magna Carta, the 1628 Petition of Right, and England’s Bill of Rights. The third section presents 13 core documents, such as the Mayflower Compact, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Section IV provides 11 documents of America’s territorial expansion, from the Treaty of Paris through the Louisiana Purchase Treaty and the Alaska Treaty and Hawaii Resolution. The final section is an essay about the future of democracy. There are 12 useful appendices.

About the Author(s)

Roger L. Kemp, Ph.D., has been a city manager on both the East and West coasts for more than 25 years and holds International City/County Management Association credentials. He has taught at the University of California, Rutgers University, the University of New Haven, and the University of Connecticut. He is a distinguished adjunct professor in the Executive MPA Program at Golden Gate University.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Roger L. Kemp
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 250
Bibliographic Info: glossary, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4210-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5674-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Preface      1

Section I. The Introduction

1. American Democracy

Eric Barr, John Baird, and Taylor Rankin      7

Section II. Foundation

2. Magna Carta ( June 15, 1215)

King John of England      11

3. Petition of Right (May 27, 1628)

Parliament of England      23

4. Bill of Rights (December 16, 1689)

Parliament of England      28

Section III. Core Documents

5. Mayflower Compact (November 21, 1620)

Pilgrims of the New World      35

6. Fundamental Orders of Connecticut ( January 14, 1639)

Colony Council      37

7. Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress (October 14, 1774)

Continental Congress      42

8. Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms ( July 6, 1775)

Continental Congress      46

9. Virginia Declaration of Rights ( June 12, 1776)

House of Burgesses      52

10. Declaration of Independence ( July 4, 1776)

Continental Congress      55

11. Constitution of Massachusetts ( June 15, 1780)

State Constitutional Convention Representatives      59

12. Articles of Confederation (March 1, 1781)

Congress of the Confederation      78

13. Constitution of the United States (September 17, 1787)

Congress of the Confederation      84

14. Bill of Rights (December 15, 1791)

United States Congress      94

15. Other Amendments to the Constitution of the United States (February 7, 1795, to May 7, 1992)

United States Congress      97

16. Civil Rights Act ( July 2, 1964)

United States Congress      104

17. Voting Rights Act (August 6, 1965)

United States Congress      133

Section IV. Territory

18. Treaty of Paris (September 3, 1783)

Congress of the Confederation      143

19. Land Ordinance (May 20, 1785)

Congress of the Confederation      148

20. Northwest Ordinance ( July 13, 1787)

Congress of the Confederation      154

21. Louisiana Purchase Treaty (April 30, 1803)

United States Congress      160

22. Transcontinental Treaty (February 22, 1819)

United States Congress      169

23. Resolution for the Annexation of Texas (March 1, 1845)

United States Congress      175

24. Oregon Treaty ( June 15, 1846)

United States Congress      180

25. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (February 2, 1848)

United States Congress      183

26. Gadsden Purchase Treaty (December 30, 1853)

United States Congress      194

27. Alaska Treaty (March 30, 1867)

United States Congress      200

28. Hawaii Resolution ( July 7, 1898)

United States Congress      204

Section V. The Future

29. The Future of Democracy

Robert M. Gates      209

Appendices

A. Original Thirteen British Colonies      215

B. States and Their Dates of Admission to the Union      216

C. Presidents of the United States      216

D. Formal Declarations of War by the United States      217

E. Number of Governmental Units in the United States      217

F. United States Voting Rights History      218

G. Major Cases in Supreme Court History      219

H. Local Government Historical Document      223

I. Abbreviations and Acronyms      224

J. Glossary      225

K. State Library Resource Directory      227

L. National Resource Directory      228

Bibliography      231

Index      235

Book Reviews & Awards

“well-researched…libraries will significantly assist customers by adding this historical work to their collection”—ARBA.