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Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights
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.
– Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic
Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to
ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
– U.S. Constitution, ratified on June 21, 1788
Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one
thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution expressed
a desire in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses
should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best ensure the
beneficent ends of its institution.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, two
thirds of both Houses concurring that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several states as
Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of
the said Legislatures to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution. viz.
Articles in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress
and Ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution."
– Bill of Rights, ratified on December 15, 1791