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Here are some links to helpful reference materials about American government and politics. Please feel free to suggest others by sending an e-mail in the Contact Us tab.

The .pdf files may be opened with Acrobat Reader available free from Adobe Corporation.


• Magna Carta (1215). English document that defined essential rights, and considered to be the foundation of English common law.

Declaration of Independence (1776)

Articles of Confederation (1781). Provided for a federal government with very limited powers.

Constitution of the United States (1787, pdf)

Northwest Ordinance (1787). Fundamental law of the Northwest Territory, which set principles for territorial government and provided the first path to statehood.

Kentucky Resolution (1798). Asserting the right of states to nullify within their borders federal laws that were clearly violations of the U.S. Constitution. Written by Thomas Jefferson.

Major Speeches

• George Washington’s Farewell Address (1796), warning against foreign entanglements.

• Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address (1961), warning against the military-industrial complex.

• Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream (1963), in which he lays out his vision for racial equality through integration.


Political Reference

Ballotpedia, developed by the Lucy Burns Institute in Madison, Wisconsin, designed to provide information on candidates and ballot issues in every state.