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Guide to the Declaration

The Guide provides supplimentary information about important questions raised by the Declaration, including:
  • What Makes the Declaration Unique?
  • What Is Equality?
  • What is the Basis for the Theory of the Declaration?

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The Declaration of Independence

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The Declaration of Independence is one of our nation's most important founding documents, expressing the basic purposes of self-government, limited constitutionalism, and what it means to be an American.  Below one can read the original text, as well as consult three annotated versions explaining the Declaration's basic principles, its historical context, and a glossary of terms. 
Declaration of Independence

Full Text of the Declaration of Independence

Annotated Versions of the Declaration:

Founders' Writings

Find out more from the Founders themselves with our online collection of important works from:

John Adams
Benjamin Franklin
Alexander Hamilton
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
George Washington
James Wilson