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The Declaration of Independence is the first governmental expression of the principles of the right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness as the basis for complete self-government-principles representing the deepest hopes of mankind, and probably among those first sensed by it, in the infancy of its struggle for exist
These ideals, thus expressed, are therefore distinctly American ideals. The Declaration of Independence foreshadowed the Constitution. Hence the two, forming a harmonious whole, are presented in this part of the Federal Citizenship Textbook.
The Constitution of the United States is the basis and groundwork of our Government. It secures to every person in our country these rights—the rights to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness. Our Constitution has been tested for more than one hundred and thirty years, and has been copied by many other countries. It presents the standard form of government for a free people. In teaching citizenship there has been a long-felt need for a simple statement of the Constitution of the United States. This has been prepared to meet the need, to simplify and explain the fundamental law, and to set forth the duties and responsibilities of American freemen.
The course of 24 lessons on the Constitution in simple language is the work of Mr. Edgar M. Ross, of Chicago, in cooperation with a special committee of the Commission of Immigration and Citizenship of Chicago, composed of John F. Voigt, chairman; Charles V. Jewell, H. F. Mal
; lory, R. C. McNamara, Fred J. Schlotfeldt, J. A. Hiller, W. F. McDermott, C. T. B. Goodspeed, Frederick A. Lorenz, chairman of the Commission, and Abraham Bowers, executive secretary.
It is intended that this part of the Federal Citizenship Textbook shall place before the candidates for naturalization in the public schools who are on the threshold of American citizenship an opportunity to catch the spirit of these two expressions of the greatest of all governmental aspirations.
THE AMERICAN'S CREED.
“I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.
“I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend it against all enemies.”
WILLIAM TYLER PAGE.
PLEDGE TO THE FLAG.
I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands; one Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
A SIMPLIFIED FORM, AND THE ORIGINAL TEXT.
Arranged in six lessons.