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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation

[Detail] Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States


Collection Overview

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873, contains records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress through the Forty-second Congress. The records of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the United States Congress comprise a rich documentary history of the construction of the nation, the development of the federal government, and its role in the national life.

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Special Features

These online exhibits provide context and additional information about this collection.

Historical Eras

These historical era(s) are best represented in the collection although they may not be all-encompassing.

  • The American Revolution, 1763-1783
  • The New Nation, 1780-1815
  • Expansion and Reform, 1801-1861

Related Collections and Exhibits

These collections and exhibits contain thematically-related primary and secondary sources. Also browse the Collection Finder for more related material on the American Memory Web site.

Other Resources

Recommended additional sources of information.

Search Tips

Specific guidance for searching this collection

You may search all law titles. The three congressional Journals and the Journal of William Maclay are available as searchable texts. The Annals of Congress has searchable page headings (subject headings) and indexes. For a complete description of how to search A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation, 1774-1873, see Using the Collection.

For help with general search strategies, see Finding Items in American Memory.