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Our Founding Documents
    The Northwest Ordinance
              
Created July 13, 1787
          Complete Text     Wikipedia - explained
Arguably the single most important piece of legislation passed by members of the earlier Continental Congresses and the Confederation Congress, other than the Declaration of Independence itself.
   Among other things, it set up a model for future States,
prohibited slavery, protected religious liberty, and encouraged education
The Declaration of Independence
Signed July 4, 1776
Searchable Text     Explanation & Meaning
                The Lee Resolution
                          Signed July 2, 1776
A Resolution was introduced on June 7th in the Continental Congress by Richard Henry Lee (Virginia) proposing a Declaration of Independence, Effectual Measures for Foreign Alliances and a Plan for a Confederation of the 13 Independent, Sovereign States.