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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 principals 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.?

 

Historical Notes:  The American?s Creed was a result of a nationwide contest for writing a National Creed, which would be a brief summary of the American political faith founded upon things fundamental in American history and tradition.  The contest was the idea of Henry Sterling Chapin, Commissioner of Education of New York State.  Over three thousand entries were received, and William Tyler Page was declared to be the winner.  James H. Preston, the mayor of Baltimore, presented an award to Page in the House of Representatives Office Building on April 3, 1918.  The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the commissioner of education of the state of New York accepted the Creed for the United States, and the proceedings relating to the award were printed in the Congressional Record of April 13, 1918.  It was a time when patriotic sentiments were very much in vogue.  The United States had been a participant in World War I only a little over a year at the time the Creed was adopted.

 

Referring to the Creed, Page said:  ?It is the summary of the fundamental principles of the American political faith as set forth in its greatest documents, its worthiest traditions, and its greatest leaders.?  His wording of the Creed used passages and phrases from the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, Lincoln?s Gettysburg Address, and Daniel Webster?s reply to Robert Y. Hayne in the Senate in 1830.

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