50 Core American Documents:Required Reading for Students. Teachers, And Citizens
Edited by Christopher Burkett
A valuable collection of primary sources for anyone who wishes to truly understand the evolution of American history and government. The core documents upon which the American republic is founded include the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and Bill of Rights provide readers with the framework. Of course there were differing views aptly displayed in the Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Notes on the Debates held in the Federal Convention of 1787 as well as samples from the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. Opinion letters from statesmen like Andrew Jackson, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson present private viewpoints.
Landmark cases heard in the Supreme Court give insight as to the evolution of government as seen from the highest court in the land. Marbury vs. Madison, Dred Scott vs. Sandford, Plessy vs. Ferguson and Brown vs. The Board of Education are among them. Foreign policy touchstones like the Monroe Doctrine, New Nationalism Speech and A Time for Choosing demonstrate debates over foreign policy.
Human rights are discussed by Frederick Douglas and John C. Calhoun, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lyndon Johnson. Milestone documents include the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address and the “I Have a Dream” speech.
While by no means exhaustive, this well organized collection of historic documents that are keystones of American history are a valuable reference resource for students of history, teachers and librarians. Appropriate for ages ten and older. Put this one on your reference shelf or homeschooling curriculum.
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