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Lesson 7: What Basic Ideas about Government and Rights Did the State Constitutions Include?

Lesson Purpose

After declaring independence the Founders designed new state governments to protect individual rights and to promote the common good. This lesson shows how the constitution of Massachusetts in particular was designed to achieve these ends. State constitutions also contained bills or declarations of rights. These guarantees of rights, for which Virginia's Declaration of Rights served as a model, had a great influence on the development of the U.S. Bill of Rights.