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Sidney's "Discourses Concerning Government" and Locke’s Second Treatise on Government were recommended by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as containing the "general principles of liberty and the rights of man, in nature and society" and as "those generally approved" by the citizens of the United States. (See Minutes of the Board of Visitors, University of Virginia, March 4, 1825).

Locke's "Second Treatise on Government"

Titled an "Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent and End of Civil Government." The doctrines of Locke are often cited as a primary source for principles included in the Declaration of Independence. First published in 1690 in England.

Quotes from Sidney's “Discourses Concerning Government"

"The world has so long and so generally sounded the praises of [Sidney's] discourses on government, that it seems superfluous, and even presumptuous, for an individual to add his feeble breath to the gale. They are in truth a rich treasure of republican principles, supported by copious & cogent arguments, and adorned with the finest flowers of science. It is probably the best elementary book of the principles of government, as founded in natural right which has ever been published in any language." (Thomas Jefferson). First published in 1698 in England.

THE FOUNDING DOCUMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

The Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers and George Washington's Farewell Address.

The Constitution of the United States (and Bill of Rights)

Adopted by the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. It was ratified by three-fourths of the States on July 2, 1788. Ratification of the Bill of Rights was completed December 15, 1791. "The most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man." (Gladstone)

The Declaration of Independence

Adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, its signers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Written by Thomas Jefferson, it stands as a timeless statement of human liberty, rights and equality

The Federalist Papers (Library of Congress)

A collection of eighty-five letters written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison & John Jay under the pseudonym of "Publius" to the citizens of the State of New York from October 17, 1787 to August 16, 1788, in argument for the adoption of the Constitution. "[T]he best commentary on the principles of government which ever was written."(Thomas Jefferson). "The most important work in political science ever written in the United States." (Clinton Rossiter).

George Washington's Farewell Address

Published September 19, 1796. Prepared with the assistance of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, it contains all of the true maxims of American Liberty. Abraham Lincoln recommended that the people of the United States read Washington's "immortal Farewell Address" in celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the Father of our Country.

(Executive Letter, February 19, 1862).

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