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A Citizen Claims the New Deal is a Path Towards Socialism

This 1934 letter to Senator Robert F. Wagner protests President Roosevelt's New Deal policies. The writer argues for stimulating private business to create employment, and against increasing the role of the federal government. Since the 19th [...]

Abigail Adams Reminds John Adams to "Remember the ladies"

In this famous letter, Abigail Adams shares wartime news and opinions with her husband. Already planning for the war's successful conclusion, she admonishes him to consider the rights of women when developing laws for a newly independent nation.

James Madison Considers the Problems of a New Democracy

The United States Constitution, though ultimately ratified unanimously by all thirteen states, was the subject of intense discussion, debate, and dissent during the period 1787-1789. James Madison, a Virginia patriot and later the fourth president [...]

A New York Farmer Outlines His Opposition to the Constitution

The ratification of the United States Constitution was the subject of intense discussion, debate, and dissent during the period 1787-1789. Among those opposed to ratification were many small farmers in the North. As this letter written by "A [...]

A Virginia Delegate Lists His Objections to the Constitution

The United States Constitution, though eventually ratified by all thirteen states, was the subject of intense discussion, debate, and dissent during the period 1787-1789. Inherent flaws in the Articles of Confederation, which had served to bind the [...]

The Dred Scott Decision "Cannot Stand"

Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave and leader of the anti-slavery movement in the North. This excerpt is from an address he delivered to the Anniversary of the American Abolition Society held in New York, May 14, 1857.

A Citizen Sees Socialism and Communism in the New Deal (with text supports)

This letter to Senator Robert F. Wagner describes the author's fears that New Deal policies will lead the nation on the path to socialism, communism, or fascism. This version includes text supports such as definitions.

A Virginian Statesman Proposes Amendments to the Constitution

Richard Henry Lee was a Virginia statesman best known for proposing the motion calling for independence from Britain during the Second Continental Congress. In this letter to fellow Virginian and anti-Federalist George Mason, Lee sets out to correct [...]

President Cleveland Vetoes a Law Restricting Immigration

In 1897 President Grover Cleveland vetoed legislation requiring a literacy test for would-be immigrants proposed by Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, declaring, "I cannot believe that we would be protected against these [alleged evils of [...]

Thomas Jefferson Decries Slavery in a Draft of the Declaration of Independence

The passage below was included in Thomas Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration of Independence as one of the grievances against King George III of England. Jefferson, a slave owner himself, later wrote in his autobiography that this passage [...]