. GeoTrees Links to Primary Documents - Geotrees.Com

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Updated on Sunday, January 21, 2007 * 4:23 PM  /  Geotrees Home  /  Located in Washington, DC

The Geotrees.Com Page of
Foundation and Key Contemporary Documents

Introduction and Contents

(New, Jan. 21, 2007) This page contains links to a growing number of documents, dating back almost 3800 years to the time of Hammurabi, that have been among the cornerstones of human civilzation. They have influenced our perceptions and practice of statecraft, diplomacy, and the rights and responsibilities of communities, and of individuals. Their influence has persisted, often over centuries, as part of the conditions in which we live now and envision the future.

These entries are divided into two main sections: Foundations, or fundamental documents of civilization and state, and Contemporaries, documents, laws, treaties, etc. arising at specific times. You will find lists for both sections immediately below, with the links, in turn, below them. There may be two or more links for each document, including commentaries, historical background, and more. The documents are in approximately chronological order. All documents are in English; some may include versions in the original language, as well. Unless noted otherwise, the linked documents are complete.

Are there additional materials that you'd like to see linked here? We welcome leads to key documents from nations and peoples worldwide. Let us know, and we will try to find and post them.

Geotrees offers this information in the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, reconciliation and peace among the peoples and nations of the earth.


  • The Code of Hammurabi
  • Translations of the Holy Qur'an, or Koran
  • The Magna Carta
  • New! (Sunday, January 21, 2007)  The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations, or Great Law of Peace
  • The US Declaration of Independence
  • The US Constitution, including Bill of Rights and Subsequent Amendments
  • The Federalist Papers, or The Federalist
  • The James Madison Papers
  • "Common Sense," "The Crisis," "The Rights of Man," and "The Age of Reason" by Thomas Paine
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man (Revolutionary France)
  • The Emancipation Proclamation
  • The European Constitution
  • The European Convention on Human Rights, with Its Five Protocols
  • The Constitution of Iraq, and Transitional Law of Administration
  • New! (Wednesday, January 10, 2007)  Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, or "My Struggle"
  • The Downing Street Memo and Related Documents
  • The 2001 US Patriot Act
  • The Presidential Signing Statements of George W. Bush, 2001 and Since
  • The Geneva Conventions and Protocols
  • "Faith, Reason and the University," from Pope Benedict's address at Regensberg University; plus his subsequent personal apology
  • The US Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
  • Manual for Courts-Martial, United States, 2005 edition
  • S.3930 - The Military Commissions Act of 2006
  • New! (Friday, December 29, 2006)  The Iraq Study Group Report
  • New! (Wednesday, January 10, 2007)  The President's Address to the Nation on Iraq, January 10, 2007.

Additional documents will follow.

Many host sites, such as the US National Archives, offer links of their own to biographical, scholarly, or related items. Documents are often available in downloadable, printable form for your convenience.

Sources' Objectivity:   Our source sites are often organizations, government or private, with their own causes and agendas. We choose them, however, because they make the documents themselves available in their original integrity, and we may offer links from different sources for a given document. By exploring the variety of knowledge and perspective available, the reader can develop a fuller, richer grasp of the contexts in which those documents and their ideas breathe and live.

We invite the reader to distinguish the documents themselves from any opinion or commentary associated with them. In fact, partisan commentary itself is always an interesting subject of rational study, analysis, and evaluation. We welcome you to the opportunity.

Knowledge and Empowerment, Personal and Shared:   Our source for the presidential signing statements link, Mr. Ron Benjamin, made an important point in his note to "the Tree": "I have mixed emotions about being labeled as the source of the link: while it is the truth that I directed you to it, the associated AltaVista search took about 5 minutes and could just as easily have been done by others."

Ron reminds us that everyday people in the community, using tools available to most of us, can uncover and share important, empowering information in a relatively short time. Sometimes just a few minutes is all it takes to move from ignorance to knowledge, from bewilderment to understanding and, perhaps, to transformation. And the power of this process multiplies as we share it with others, including our young people. Let's not sell anyone short!

Special thanks, then, to Ron, and to all our contributors. We look forward to learning about what's important to you, and to making it available to others on Geotrees.Com.   TOP


A.   Foundations

The Code of Hammurabi (ca. 2500 BC)
From Leb.Net. / "Translated by LW KIng. With commentary from Charles F. Horne, PhD (1915) and The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910 by the Rev. Claude Hermann Walter Johns, MA Litt.D."  

Translations of the Holy Qur'an, or Koran
"The Qur'an (also known as the Koran) is the primary sacred text of Islam. Devout Muslims believe that only an Arabic version of this text is the actual Qur'an, so please be aware of this." (The Internet Sacred Text Archive). Posted to Geotrees on Tuesday, September 19, 2006.   TOP

The Magna Carta
From the US National Archives / "Featured Documents" section. In user-friendly modern English.   TOP

The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations, or Great Law of Peace
(Sunday, January 21, 2007)   "The Great Binding Law - GAYANASHAGOWA." From the Indigenous Peoples Literature site. Additional links and information to come.   TOP

The United States Declaration of Independence
From the US National Archives / "Charters of Freedom" section.   TOP

The United States Constitution, with Bill of Rights and Subsequent Amendments
The entire Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, US Constitution, and Amendments 11 through 27, each with its own link below. From the US National Archives / "Charters of Freedom" section.   TOP

The Federalist Papers, also known as The Federalist
From the Library of Congress / "THOMAS Legislative Information on the Internet" section, which also includes extensive information and links for Congressional activities.   TOP

The James Madison Papers
From the Library of Congress' American Memory collection. When the linked page appears, see the links "Browse Collection by: Title / Name / Series" options in the left-hand column. Thanks to Irene Martinez for the suggestion, and for the link.   TOP

"Common Sense" (1776) by Thomas Paine
From the website of The Constitution Society, "a private non-profit organization dedicated to research and public education on the principles of constitutional republican government. It publishes documentation, engages in litigation, and organizes local citizens groups to work for reform." You can reach their home page using the core of the URL here. And. . . Thanks to Irene Martinez for the suggestion, and for the link.   TOP

Four Foundation Documents by Thomas Paine
(From the Thomas Paine pages on the UsHistory.Org website, which includes introductory and biographical information, as well. And. . . Thanks yet again to Irene Martinez for the suggestion, and for the link.)   TOP

The Declaration of the Rights of Man, Approved by the National Assembly of France, August 26, 1789
From the Avalon Project at Yale Law School.   TOP

The Emancipation Proclamation, complete text
From the National Park Service's website on the Battle of Sharpesburg, aka Antietam Creek.   TOP

The European Constitution
Includes related and supporting pages from the University of Zaragoza, or Unizar, site.   TOP

The European Convention on Human Rights, with its Five Protocols
The document, with links. from the HR-NET Hellenic Resources Network site. Carried on a number of other sites, with additional links, as well. Thanks to Ulrike Scholl-Dorn for the suggestion.   TOP

The Constitution of Iraq:  Draft Constitution, and the Transitional Law of Administration
Documents in the development of Iraq's constitution: 1) current partial text of the proposed draft constitution; and 2) the earlier Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Law of Administration for the State of Iraq, on the CPA website. Both as of Wednesday, August 25, and updated by their source sites.   TOP


B.   Contemporaries

Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf ("My Struggle"), the complete text
What were the psychological and mental conditions that catalyzed Nazi Germany and World War II? How did Hitler make the choices he did? What parallels may they have throughout history, in the roots of the future, and in human nature generally? This book may help find the answers. "A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook."  

The Downing Street Memo, complete text, with links
The same complete document, as hosted on two different sites, each with its own secondary comments, and links to other relevant primary documents.   TOP

The 2001 US Patriot Act
Presented by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC.   TOP

The Presidential Signing Statements of George W. Bush, 2001 - 2006
Presented by www.coherentbabble.com/, which provides links to the statements with annotations, and to related bills and laws, at the White House and US Government Printing Office (GPO) websites. Posted to Geotrees on Wednesday, July 5, 2006.

Thanks to Mr. Ron Benjamin of the OurWPFW discussion group on Yahoogroups for finding this connection. Please see our related comments in the introduction at page top. And thanks, too, to Max Obewszewski of the Baltimore American Friends Service Committee, or AFSC, for posting the US News article to his mailing list. Contact Max at mobuszewski( AT )afsc.org.)   TOP

The Geneva Conventions and Protocols
Links to the four Conventions and their three Protocols, on the International Red Cross and Wikipedia sites, plus an online Reference Guide from the Society of Professional Journalists. Posted to Geotrees on Sunday, September 17, 2006.   TOP

"Faith, Reason and the University," The Pope's Address at Regensberg University, September 12, 2006, plus His Apology, September 16.
Links to the pope's address, including his quotes about the early history of Islam, in edited extract from The Times of London, and to his subsequent apology, carried in The New York Times. Posted to Geotrees on Monday, September 18, 2006. UPDATE, September 24, 2006: The complete text of the speech is now available on the Zenit News Service site; link below.   TOP

US Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
Both of the following links are to the Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute, or LLI. The US Code contains the UCMJ within it as Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 47, and you will find the following link to the UCMJ within the link to the US Code. Posted to Geotrees on Friday, September 22, 2006.   TOP

Manual for Courts-Martial, United States, 2005 Edition
A large (10 MB+, 900 page) .pdf file, which will download when you click on the link. Depending on the browser used, some may be able to read the Manual on line. After downloading, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file. Posted to Geotrees on Friday, September 22, 2006.   TOP

S.3930 - The Military Commissions Act of 2006
This bill was signed into law by President Bush on Wednesay, October 18. The link here will take you to the Library of Congress' "Thomas" function, with links to four successive versions of the bill. These versions reflect the forms of the bill from its introduction in the Senate. The second link, to Wikipedia, offers background and related information, as well.   TOP

The Iraq Study Group Report
Use this link to go to the site of the United States Institute of Peace, or USIP. "USIP was the facilitating organization for the Iraq Study Group (ISG), co-chaired by James A. Baker, III, and Lee H. Hamilton. As such, USIP is the repository for the ISG's official report, titled The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach, which was downloaded more than 1.5 million times from USIP's Web site in the first two weeks after the launch of the report on December 6, 2006."   TOP

President Bush's Address to the Nation on Iraq, January 10, 2007
This link displays the full text of Mr. Bush's address on the "News and Policies" web page on the official White House site. Use this site to see other news and information concerning the White House per se, and the activities and personnel of the current administration.   TOP

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