Credible Sources for Bill of Rights

Primary Sources

Below is a list of great websites for finding historical primary sources, ranging from the Constitution to the Civil War and even WWII.  You will be able to find transcripts, text documents, photos, and other important pieces of history to use in your research papers and assignments. Don’t forget to bookmark this page for easy access!

 

Archives.gov

This resource allows you to browse all primary sources available from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, with topics including America’s founding documents, science and technology, and military records. This is one of the most comprehensive places to find primary sources on for America’s history on the web. Here are some examples of what you will find there:

 

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

This resource provides an enormous collection of American historical documents ranging from letters, diaries, maps, newspapers, and photos.  The sources found here range from the very beginning of American history, the landing of columbus, to Barack Obama’s first inaugural address. Some examples of what you’ll find include:

 

OurDocuments.gov

This resource provides a long list of primary sources that chronicles American history from 1776 to 1965. The documents listed here include:

 

CivilWar.org

This website is dedicated to information about the American Civil War and provides a thorough list of any primary sources available from that period, including speeches, military correspondence, and photos. Here is some of what you’ll find:

 

Famous-Trials.com

Famous-trials.com is a website operated by professor Douglas O. Linder from the UMKC School of Law. The site provides primary documents and information on many very well-known trials throughout history, going all the way back to the Trial of Socrates, and also most recently covering the George Zimmerman case involving Trayvon Martin. Here are some examples of what you can find here:

 

TeachingAmericanHistory.org

Despite the name of the website, this resource is not just for teachers as it does provide access to many primary sources from American history. The page linked to here lists 50 “core documents that tell America’s story” and include the Declaration of Independence and 1944 State of the Union address. Here is some of what you’ll find:

 

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is a major record-keeping entity of the U.S. government and contains many documents of all kinds that are important to American history and culture. The link listed above takes you to a page where you can search, or select from the links on the right side of the page to browse be era. Here are those links, for your convenience:

 

Further Resources

The combination of resources above should do well in meeting any students needs for primary sources on topics relating to American history, but there are still many other resources available to access these kinds of documents. Here is a gigantic list of other websites that can provide a wide variety of primary sources:

 

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CREDIBLE SOURCE

URL:

http://history.house.gov/Institution/Electoral-College/Electoral-College/

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Sample:

“Established in Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, the Electoral College is the formal body which elects the President and Vice President of the United States. Each state has as many “electors” in the Electoral College as it has Representatives and Senators in the United States Congress, and the District of Columbia has three electors. When voters go to the polls in a Presidential election, they actually are voting for the slate of electors vowing to cast their ballots for that ticket in the Electoral College.

Electors

Most states require that all electoral votes go to the candidate who receives the plurality in that state. After state election officials certify the popular vote of each state, the winning slate of electors meet in the state capital and cast two ballots—one for Vice President and one for President. Electors cannot vote for a Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate who both hail from an elector’s home state.”

Description:

Informative page from the U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Historian about the U.S. Electoral College with info its background and history.

Author(s):

  • None.

Title:

  • Electoral College Fast Facts

Publisher:

  • Office of the Historian, United States House of Representatives

Date:

  • No date.

Citations:

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CREDIBLE SOURCE

 

URL:

https://www.rutherford.org/constitutional_corner/amendment_viii_cruel_and_unusual_punishment

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Sample:

“What exactly constitutes “cruel and unusual” punishment? The U.S. Supreme Court has struggled to establish a conclusive answer to this question. A few Supreme Court justices subscribe to the idea that what was considered “cruel and unusual” at the time of our nation’s founding more than 200 years ago should still shape our idea of what is considered “cruel and unusual” today. A majority of the Court, however, has determined that what constitutes “cruel and unusual” should be dependent on the “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.”

Given such a benchmark as “evolving standards of decency,” one might think that Americans are safe from being subjected to punishment that the average person would consider cruel and unusual. Yet that is not so. It should be noted that while the Supreme Court has determined that executing mentally retarded people is “cruel and unusual,” it has left it up to the states to determine whether a particular inmate qualifies as “mentally retarded.” Consequently, mentally retarded inmates are still being executed for lack of uniform guidelines and standards.”

MLA Citation:

“Amendment VIII: Cruel and Unusual Punishment.” The Rutherford Institute. The Rutherford Institute, n.d.  (PUT DATE OF ACCESS HERE). <https://www.rutherford.org/constitutional_corner/amendment_viii_cruel_and_unusual_punishment>.

In-Text: (“Amendment VIII: Cruel and Unusual Punishment”)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

APA Citation:

Amendment VIII: Cruel and Unusual Punishment. (n.d.). The Rutherford Institute. Retrieved from https://www.rutherford.org/constitutional_corner/amendment_viii_cruel_and_unusual_punishment

In-Text: (Amendment VIII: Cruel and Unusual Punishment)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

CREDIBLE SOURCE

 

URL:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/opinion/is-the-death-penalty-unconstitutional.html?_r=0

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Sample:

“Next let’s turn to Justice Breyer, who argues that it is “highly likely” that the death penalty as a whole violates the Eighth Amendment, because it is unreliable, arbitrary, slow and rare. This argument went well beyond the specific challenge to the use of the midazolam that was the focus of the case. Rather, Justice Breyer explained that he would stop trying “to patch up the death penalty’s legal wounds one at a time” and likely bury the whole thing. Justice Breyer (whose opinion was joined here by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) is the first member of the current court to call for such a radical step.”

MLA Citation:

Baude, William. “Is the Death Penalty Unconstitutional?” The New York Times. The New York Times Compnay, July 7. 2015.  (PUT DATE OF ACCESS HERE). <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/opinion/is-the-death-penalty-unconstitutional.html?_r=0>.

In-Text: (Baude)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

APA Citation:

Baude, W. (2015, July 7). Is the death penalty unconstitutional? The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/opinion/is-the-death-penalty-unconstitutional.html?_r=0

In-Text: (Baude, 2015)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

CREDIBLE SOURCE

 

URL:

http://time.com/2994922/california-death-penalty-unconstitutional/

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

Tell us what you’re looking for in the Study Hall and get responses from us, and you’re fellow students. Get help with exactly what you need so you can get this assignment out of the way and move on to better things (or the next assignment).

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Sample:

“Uncertainties and delays over executions violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, says federal judge”

“‘The dysfunctional administration of California’s death penalty system has resulted, and will continue to result, in an inordinate and unpredictable period of delay preceding their actual execution,” Judge Carney wrote. “Indeed, for most, systemic delay has made their execution so unlikely that the death sentence carefully and deliberately imposed by the jury has been quietly transformed into one no rational jury or legislature could ever impose: life in prison, with the remote possibility of death.'”

MLA Citation:

Sanburn, Josh. “California Judge Rules Death Penalty Unconstitutional.” Time. Time Inc., July 7. 2014.  (PUT DATE OF ACCESS HERE). <http://time.com/2994922/california-death-penalty-unconstitutional>.

In-Text: (Sanburn)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

APA Citation:

Sanburn, J. (2014, July 7). California judge rules death penalty unconstitutional. Time Inc. Retrieved from http://time.com/2994922/california-death-penalty-unconstitutional/

In-Text: (Sanburn, 2014)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

CREDIBLE SOURCE:

 

URL:

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

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Tell us what you’re looking for in the Study Hall and get responses from us, and you’re fellow students. Get help with exactly what you need so you can get this assignment out of the way and move on to better things (or the next assignment).

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Sample:

“The Bill of Rights: A Transcription

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”

MLA Citation:

“Bill of Rights”. Archives.gov. National Archives and Records Administration, 2013. (PUT DATE OF ACCESS HERE). < http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html>.

In-Text: (“Bill of Rights”)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

APA Citation:

Bill of Rights. (2013).Retrieved (PUT DATE OF ACCESS HERE), from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

In-Text: (Bill of Rights)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

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