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Basic Readings in U.S. Democracy

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This site features 73 documents, presented with brief introductory essays, chosen to illustrate "the essential idea of American democracy, that of many peoples seeking to find common ground." The term "document" is interpreted broadly. Traditional documents such as court decisions and legislation are supplemented by letters, essays, and speeches.

The selections are arranged by topics, each with a brief introduction, such as Creating a Government, The Crisis of Union, On the Road from Slavery to Freedom, and Cold War Issues.

Editor Melvin I. Urofsky is Professor of Constitutional History at Virginia Commonwealth University.