by The Continental Congress
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
The Bill of RightsJames Madison
Adopted December 15th, 1791, "The Bill of Rights" refers to the first ten amendments made to the United States Constitution. This document grants and secures a number of freedoms for the federal government, the states, and for U.S. citizens.Pair “The Bill of Rights” with “Articles of Confederation” and ask students to discuss the values that each document represents. How does each document address the issues of freedom and security, and what historical events explain the differences in how each document approaches these issues?
Thomas Jefferson on Shays' RebellionThomas Jefferson
In this 1787 letter, Jefferson writes to a friend about Shays' Rebellion, an armed uprising that took place in Massachusetts because of increasing dissatisfaction with State and Federal government. He argues that rebellion is necessary for the preservation of democratic societies.Pair “Thomas Jefferson on Shay’s Rebellion” with “Articles of Confederation” and ask students to explain how Thomas Jefferson’s perspective on Shay’s Rebellion reflects the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Jefferson believed that individuals should be able to “take arms” against their country if they were not being protected by it. Where are his beliefs in limited government evident in the Articles of Confederation, and what evidence does this letter on Shay’s Rebellion provide to support his belief in limited government?
The Declaration of IndependenceThomas Jefferson
In "The Declaration of Independence," representatives from the 13 American colonies declare their independence from Great Britain.Pair “Declaration of Independence” with “Articles of Confederation” and ask students to discuss how the two seminal documents are related. How might the grievances of the Declaration of Independence have led to the Articles of Confederation? How are the issues that American colonies had with the King of England evident in the design of government laid out in the Articles of Confederation?