CommonLit The Library
CommonLit is a free collection of fiction and nonfiction for 3rd-12th grade classrooms. Search and filter our collection by lexile, grade, theme, genre, literary device, or common core standard.
What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?
The famous ex-slave and abolitionist points out the hypocrisy of "the home of the free" on Independence Day.
The Plea for Eight Hours
Labor union leader Terence Powderly makes a reasoned argument in favor of reducing the work day for laborers.
Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
This document, signed by 100 people at the first women's rights convention, was controversial in its time.
Address to Congress on Women's Suffrage
Carrie Chapman Catt
Carrie Chapman Catt argues in favor of granting women the right to vote.
Fear of Change
The inventor of the Model T exalts the working class and argues that progressive change is natural.
Every Man a King
Huey P. Long
At the height of the Great Depression, Huey P. Long, a Louisiana senator, delivered this famous speech in which he denounced the rich and argued to "scale down the big fortunes."
'Shut the Door' Speech
Senator Ellison DuRant Smith
During a 1924 congressional debate on immigration, a senator from South Carolina argued that we should "shut the door and breed up a pure, unadulterated American citizen."
Andrew Jackson's Speech to Congress on 'Indian Removal'
President Andrew Jackson
The president announces the "benevolent" initiative to remove Native Americans from their homelands.
Life Isn't Fair — Deal With It
According to columnist Mike Myatt, "Fair is a state of mind, and most often, an unhealthy one."
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Speech
The famous revolutionary speech that incited Virginia to organize a militia against British tyranny
Excerpt from The Prince
Machiavelli discussed the value of cruelty and how it can be used to retain power.
FDR's First Inaugural Address
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
With the nation in the grips of the Great Depression, our 32nd President announces "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."