Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States

ISBN-10: 0553214829
ISBN-13: 9780553214826
Edition: 1998
Authors: Pauline Maier
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Description: The Declaration of Independence was the promise of a representative government; the Constitution was the fulfillment of that promise. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress issued a unanimous declaration: the thirteen North American  More...

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Book details

List price: $3.99
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 7/1/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 112
Size: 4.25" wide x 7.00" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.220
Language: English

The Declaration of Independence was the promise of a representative government; the Constitution was the fulfillment of that promise. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress issued a unanimous declaration: the thirteen North American colonies would be the thirteen United States of America, free and independent of Great Britain. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration set forth the terms of a new form of government with the following words: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Framed in 1787 and in effect since March 1789, the Constitution of the United States of America fulfilled the promise of the Declaration by establishing a republican form of government with separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, became part of the Constitution on December 15, 1791. Among the rights guaranteed by these amendments are freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury. Written so that it could be adapted to endure for years to come, the Constitution has been amended only seventeen times since 1791 and has lasted longer than any other written form of government.

Pauline Maier was born on April 27, 1938 in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received an undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Radcliffe College in 1960, studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science on a Fulbright scholarship, and received a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. She was a history professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for three decades. She wrote several books including From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776, The Old Revolutionaries: Political Lives in the Age of Samuel Adams, and American Sculpture: Making the Declaration of Independence. She won the George Washington Book Prize for Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788. She died of lung cancer on August 12, 2013 at the age of 75.

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