Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
THIS PAGE HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Shaping the Constitution: Units

All Available Units

Resolution to Summon a Convention in Williamsburg, May 30, 1774 icon

Becoming Free and Independent States: Virginia in the Revolutionary Era

Some historians have argued that the American Revolution, beyond being just a military action or a political break was an ideology that infused the nation and influenced all parts of life for the early citizens of the United States. The ideas of revolution were formed as the… more »

Articles of Confederation, March 1, 1781 icon

Forming a More Perfect Union: Virginia and the Debate over the U.S. Constitution

In the years following the American Revolution, crises faced the new nation that threatened to endanger the hard-won independence of the former British colonies. They centered on the structure and operation of the new American government. Not officially adopted until March 1… more »

Resolution Respecting a Baptist Petition, August 16, 1775 icon

Securing the Blessings of Liberty: Virginia and the Road to the U.S. Bill of Rights

During the American Revolution, Virginians produced some of the cardinal texts of American liberty and later made important contributions to the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. Among the most important rights of Americans that received protection ar… more »

Bill of Sale for Two Slaves, January 25, 1854 icon

The Thirteenth Amendment

The first time that slavery is referred to explicitly in the United States Constitution is in the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished the practice. While the Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery throughout the nation, it did not provide for the rights of the newly-freed Afri… more »

Dred Scott and His Family, June 27, 1857 icon

The Fourteenth Amendment

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was the second of the three so-called Reconstruction amendments to settle constitutional questions that the Civil War created. It was ratified in 1868, three years after the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment and two years before… more »

Broadside Showing African Americans Voting, November, 16, 1867 icon

The Fifteenth Amendment

The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was the third of the three so-called Reconstruction amendments to settle constitutional questions that the Civil War had created. Ratified in 1870, five years after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery and two y… more »

Ruth Fulcher Petition for Support, April 6, 1691 icon

The Nineteenth Amendment

Women in the United States began agitating in the 1840s for the right to vote, long before all men in Virginia had gained the right to vote. The woman suffrage movement, which succeeded in 1920 with the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, coincided with major national refo… more »