You are holding in your hands a piece of the counterculture. The recent tendency in the academic world has been away from primary sources and toward textbooks. Being a fairly traditional lot, we find that unacceptable. We focus on the “big ideas” that have shaped American government. There are many ways to gain exposure to these ideas, but in our opinion, none are better than actually reading the primary sources that first articulated them. That is why you will see many founding documents, Supreme Court cases, and momentous speeches within these pages. This collection will whet your appetite for exploring our rich American governmental heritage. Our hope is that this may be the beginning of a lifelong interest in the basis of our American government—how we got where we are today, and how we are to proceed from here!