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The American Founding: Thematic Table of Contents

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A NEW COURSE

  1. Virginia Declaration of Rights and Constitution (June 12 and 29, 1776)
  2. Jefferson’s Draft of the Declaration of Independence (July 2-4, 1776)
  3. Articles of Confederation (1781)
  4. “Vices of the Political System of the United States” (April 1787)

THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION

(MAY 28, 1787 – SEPTEMBER 17, 1787)

  1. The Three Alternative Plans
  2. The Virginia Plan (May 29, 1787)
  3. A Debate on Property and the Revised Virginia Plan (June 11 and 13, 1787)
  4. Return to Starting Point: The New Jersey Plan (June 15, 1787)
  5. The Hamilton Plan (June 18, 1787)

The Connecticut Compromise

  1. Partly National, Partly Federal (June 29 and 30, 1787. See also Document 6, June 11.)
  2. The Gerry Committee Report (July 2 and 5, 1787. See also Document 11, July 16, 1787)

Bicameralism and the Separation of Powers

  1. The Committee of Detail Report (July 23 and 24 and August 6, 1787)

The Slavery Clauses

  1. Introducing a Fateful Compromise: A Debate on Property (June 11 and 13, 1787)
  2. The Three-Fifths Clause Revisited (July 11 – 14 and July 16, 1787)
  3. The Slave Trade Clause (August 21, 22, 24 and 25, 1787)
  4. The Fugitive Slave Clause (July 14; August 6, 28, and 29; and September 12, 15, and 17, 1787)

Objections to the Constitution

  1. Gerry, Mason, and Randolph Decline to Sign the Constitution (September 10, 12, 15 and 17, 1787)

THE RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION

  1. Centinel I (October 5, 1787)
  2. Brutus I (October 18, 1787)
  3. Federalist 1 (October 27, 1787)
  4. Federalist 9 (November 21, 1787)
  5. Federalist 10 (November 22, 1787)
  6. Federalist 51 (February 6, 1788)
  7. Brutus XV (March 20, 1788)
  8. Federalist 78 (May 28, 1788)

THE BILL OF RIGHTS

  1. The Jefferson – Madison Exchange:
    • Thomas Jefferson to James Madison (December 20, 1787)
    • James Madison to Thomas Jefferson (Oct. 17, 1788)
  2. Thomas Jefferson to James Madison (March 15, 1789)
  3. George Washington’s First Inaugural Address (April 30, 1789)
  4. James Madison Argues for Constitutional Amendments (June 8, 1789)