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What is the significance of the phrase "the pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence? Why does it read "We the people" in the preamble to the Constitution? What were the philosophies and social forces that made this country unique - that enabled it to become the first successfully self-governing republic?

Answer these questions and more with this insightful 12-lecture course, which explores the principles that guided the founding of the United States, the conditions that led to the break with Great Britain, and the creation of such founding documents as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. You'll deepen your understanding of fundamental ideas that inspired American independence and that continue to have a profound influence on American thought. You'll also receive insight into what historians call "the long conversation" in American society - questions that have been the focus of debate and controversy since the nation was born.

As the world's oldest democracy, the United States stands as the "test case" for those who regard self-government as inherently unstable, inherently self-destructive. Examining the founding documents, such as the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution, Professor Robinson considers the principles under which the United States evolved.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses

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