Fundamental Documents in U.S. History
Constitution of the United States of America
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) website where you can find not only the text of the Constitution, but also some historical background, biographies of the Founding Fathers, and dozens of fascinating facts about the Constitution.
Declaration of Independence
Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson’s most enduring monument. Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. (Source: NARA)
The Star-Spangled Banner (U.S. National Anthem)
The flag that inspired the National Anthem of the United States.
Historians on America
Historians on America is a series of individual essays that selects specific moments, decisions, and intellectual or legislative or legal developments and explains how they altered the course of U.S. history.
Outline of U.S. History
An authoritative, engaging account of how the United States grew from 13 Atlantic coast colonies into a diverse, continent-spanning nation.
USA History in Brief (PDF, 4 MB)
Summarizes in a few thousand words how the United States was founded and the forces and events that shape it today.
Historical Collections for the National Digital Library (Library of Congress)
Online presentation of the exhibition.
Official Web Portal of the U.S. Government
Outline of U.S. Government
Explains the U.S. Constitution, the separation of powers, the concept of “checks and balances,” and the decentralized roles of state and local governments.
Outline of the U.S. Legal System
Covers the history and organization of the federal and state judicial systems.
USA Elections in Brief
Guide to the entire U.S. electoral system, from federal, state, local, and primary elections to related topics such as polling and the role of the parties and the media.
Arts, Literature and Culture
The Outline of American literature, newly revised, traces the paths of American narrative, fiction, poetry and drama as they move from pre-colonial times into the present, through such literary movements as romanticism, realism and experimentation.
Pop Culture versus Real America
U.S. television and cinema promote images of Americans that are … well … wrong! Pop Culture versus Real America will contrast those pop culture images with profiles of real Americans in every walk of life.
American Popular Music
American popular music is a kaleidoscopic mélange of styles and dreams. Its vibrancy reflects the mating of cultural diversity to artistic and creative freedom. The stories in this book illustrate how Americans, borrowing from diverse musical traditions, have contributed to humanity’s universal language.