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The First Amendment

Major Research Resources

Exploring First Amendment Law, Doug Linder, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, 2015

First Amendment Timeline, First Amendment Center

CRS Annotated Constitution: The Annotated First Amendment, Cornell Legal Information Institute

Historical Documents

A collection of documents that influenced the formation and later interpretation of the Bill of Rights.

General Rights:

Magna Carta, 1215

Petition of Right, 1628

Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776

Resolution of the First Congress Submitting Twelve Amendments to the Constitution, 1789

Ratification of the Bill of Rights, 1791

Freedom of Religion:

Charter of Rhode Island, 1663

Letter Concerning Toleration, John Locke, 1689

Connecticut dissenter statute, 1708

Virginia Ordinance for Religious Freedom, 1786

Freedom of Speech:

On Liberty, John Stuart Mill, 1859

Freedom of the Press:

Libel trial of John Peter Zenger, 1735

Federalist No. 84, Alexander Hamilton, 1787-1788

Freedom of Assembly:

Massachusetts Body of Liberties, 1641

Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress, 1774

Development of the Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights, National Archives

The Bill of Rights: A Brief History, American Civil Liberties Union

The Bill of Rights: Its History and Significance, Doug Linder, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, 2015

Documentary History of the Bill of Rights, Constitution Society

Primary Documents in American History: The Bill of Rights, Library of Congress, 2015

Amar, Akhil Reed, The Bill of Rights: creation and reconstruction, Yale University Press (1998)

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF4750 .A437 1998

Cogan, Neil H., The complete Bill of Rights: the drafts, debates, sources, and origins, Oxford University Press (1997)

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF 4744 .C64 1997

Garry, Patrick M., Limited government and the Bill of Rights, University of Missouri Press (2012)

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF4749 .G37 2012

Kasper, Eric T., To secure the liberty of the people: James Madison's Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court's interpretation, Northern Illinois University (2010)

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF4749 .K38 2010

Labunski, Richard E., James Madison and the struggle for the Bill of Rights, Oxford University Press (2006)

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF4749 .L32 2006

Levy, Leonard W., Origins of the Bill of Rights, Yale University Press (1999)

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF4749 .L49 1999

Lloyd, Gordon, The essential Bill of Rights: original arguments and fundamental documents, University Press of America (1998)

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF4744 .E87 1998

McWhirter, Robert James, Bills, quills, and stills: an annotated, illustrated, and illuminated history of the Bill of Rights, American Bar Association (2014)

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF4750 .M39 2014

Patrick, John J., The Bill of Rights: A History in Documents, Oxford University Press (2003)

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF4750 .P387 2003

Smith, Craig R., To form a more perfect union: the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, 1787-1791, California State University (1993)

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF 4541 .S65 1993