History for the Rest of Us

The Treaty of Paris

The Treaty of Paris brought an end to the American Revolutionary War. Signed September 3, 1783, the United States was represented by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay while David Hartley, a member of the British Parliament represented King George III. The document was signed in Paris at the Hotel d’York (presently 56 Rue Jacob). Great Britian...

The Mayflower Compact

The Mayflower Compact

Mar 17, 2014

The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was signed on November 11, 1620 (based on the Julian calendar used by the colonists – November 21 based on the Gregorian calendar) by 41 of the 101 passengers on board the ship. It was written by Separatists who were fleeing religious persecution by King James of England. When...

Nanfan Treaty

Nanfan Treaty

Jul 13, 2013

The Nanfan Treaty or The Deed from the Five Nations to the King, of their Beaver Hunting Ground, was an agreement reached in Albany, New York on July 19, 1701, between John Nanfan and representatives of the Iroquois Confederacy. Nanfan was acting on behalf of the The Crown as colonial governor of New York. The Five Nations, which would subsequently became the...

Constitution of the Iroquois Nations

Constitution of the Iroquois Nations

Dec 19, 2012

The Gayanashagowa, the Great Binding Law, or Great Law of Peace of the Iroquois Six Nations is an oral constitution which created the Iroquois Confederacy. It was developed by The Great Peacemaker, a Huron man, and his spokesman Hiawatha. Constitution of the Iroquois Nations: THE GREAT BINDING LAW, GAYANASHAGOWA 1. I am Dekanawidah and with the Five...

Code of Justinian – First Preface

Code of Justinian – First Preface

Nov 16, 2012

The following is the text of the First Preface from the Codex Justinianus (Code of Justinian) issued in 534 AD: The Emperor Justinian to the Senate of the City of Constantinople. Those things which seem to many former Emperors to require correction, but which none of them ventured to carry into effect, We have decided to accomplish at the present time with the...

Magna Carta

Magna Carta

Nov 6, 2012

The Magna Carta was originally issued in 1215. It was the first document forced on a King of England by his subjects. The original charter contained a section now known as clause 61. This section gave a committee of 25 barons the right to overrule the King’s will, if he defied the provisions of the Charter. It also gave the barons the ability to seize the...