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Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776

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Virginia created a list of rights in June of 1776; their document was used as an example by other states to create their own rights documents.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776


The Virginia Declaration of Rights was drafted in June 1776 by George Mason. In it, Mason espouses the idea that all individuals are equal and have guaranteed rights. Virginia’s Declaration of Rights was the first document of its kind written by states and it didn’t take long for other states to follow Virginia’s example and write their own rights documents. When it came time to create a Bill of Rights for the nation, Virginia’s 1776 document was an influential factor.

Transcript of "Virginia Declaration of Rights" 1776

Transcribed Excerpts from "Virginia Declaration of Rights" 1776

Source-Dependent Questions 

  • Summarize the rights in this excerpt in one-two sentences.
  • Compare the rights listed in this document with the rights listed in the “Ancient Rights and Liberties of Great Britain” and the rights listed in the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Make a list of the rights declared in these documents and then place them in categories you create or Create a Venn diagram comparing the rights in these documents.

Citation Information 

Virginia Convention. June 12, 1776. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.