ConLaw Class 1 – Our Founding Documents

January 12th, 2017

Class 1 – 1/12/17

Our Founding Documents

  • The Origins of the Constitution (3-4)
  • The Declaration of Independence (4- 8)
  • Read the Declaration of Independence (National Archives)
  • The Articles of Confederation (21-22)
  • Read the Articles of Confederation (xlix – liv)
  • Drafting and Ratifying the Constitution (22-25)
  • Read the Constitution of the United States (xxxi – xl).
  • The Origins of the Bill of Rights and Anti-Federalist Complaints (36)
  • Read the Amendments to the Constitution (xl-xlvii)

Note: Read these documents in their entirety. They’re not long. And no one should graduate law school without reading them at least once.

The lecture notes are here.

This is the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776).


This is the first page of the Articles of Confederation (Ratified in 1781).


These are the four pages of the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution was proposed on September 17, 1787, and ratified on June 21, 1788 with the ratification of New Hampshire, the 9th State to join the Union.


These are the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution, proposed in 1789 and ratified in 1791 (the phrase “The Bill of Rights” only came into common parlance following the Civil War).