American Revolutionary War
• Home • Historical Library • Time line • Early History • Forum Link • Ohio History •
 


Up
James Otis-Writs
Declaration and Resolve
William Pitt against the Stamp Act
Declaration of Independence
John Jay to Jefferson
Articles of Confederation
RH Lee against a Central Govt
Washington's Inaugural
Washington's Farewell

 

The American Revolution
Fortunately for the new nation, there were some great men who expressed their thoughts as to what direction the country should take. As citizens of this great country, all of us should be aware of these speeches and documents. Those who do not learn from the past are destined to repeat the mistakes.

For our purposes and yours we decided to collect copies of many of the great and significant speeches or writings for our history. These are in chronological order.

  • James Otis (1761)- speaking in front of the Supreme Court in Boston arguing that the Writs of Assistance are unconstitutional and exceed the authority granted to the English Parliament. John Adams declared that, in this oration, "American independence was born."
  • William Pitt (1766) Leading English Statesmen, defender of the colonies in America, ex-Prime Minister and brother-in-law of the current Prime Minister Grenville giving a speech to the House of Commons arguing against the Stamp Act. Excellent Speech which helped repeal the Stamp Act.
  • James Otis (July 1764) published "The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved" outlining the basic God given rights guaranteed by the Magna Carta to the citizens of England and their colonies.
  • Patrick Henry (1775) was a delegate to the Virginia Convention operating independent of the Royal Governor. Henry was urging the group to raise a militia to put Virginia on a defensive posture. This is the meeting where he gave his famous words, "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
  • The Declaration of Independence (1776) - authored by Thomas Jefferson and his committee. This is one of the most important documents every written especially for the people in the United States.
  • John Jay in a letter to Thomas Jefferson (1786)- John Jay among others were concerned that the Confederation of states would not provide the security that would be needed. Jay felt a central government would be a better way to deal with the needs of the new nation.
  • The Articles of Confederation (1777) - Before the US Constitution, the 13 new states joined together under the Articles of Confederation. Fearing a strong central government, the Articles seemed to be the path until the Constitutional convention.
  • Richard Henry Lee (1787) - Lee among others were very concerned about giving power to a strong central government. Ratification of the Constitution meant establishing just that. The Americans had just thrown out the British central government for good reasons. Would this step create the same problems by consolidating power in the hands of a few?
  • The Federalist Papers (1787) - writings from James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay about how the new American Government should work. In the words of Alexander Hamilton, "I propose in a series of papers to discuss the following interesting particulars:—The utility of the UNION to your political prosperity—The insufficiency of the present Confederation to preserve that Union—The necessity of a government at least equally energetic with the one proposed to the attainment of this object—The conformity of the proposed Constitution to the true principles of republican government—Its analogy to your own State constitution—and lastly, The additional security which its adoption will afford to the preservation of that species of government, to liberty and to property. "
  • The Constitution of the United States of American (1787) - We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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...
  • George Washington's First Inaugural Address (1789) - The very first President's Inaugural Address given at the temporary capital in New York. Washington turned to James Madison for help in writing this address to Congress.
  • George Washington's Farewell Address (1796) - Washington was asked to continue as President of the new Nation. He refused and stepped down at the end of his term. He gave this farewell address leaving these powerful words of wisdom for those that followed him.

     

 

Footnotes:

 

 


 

Template Design Midnight Oil Graphic Design Copyright 2008 Date Last Updated:  March 16, 2008