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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 principles of Freedom, Equality, Justice, and Humanity
for which American Patriots sacrificed their Lives and Fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my county to Love it; to Support its Constitution;
to obey its laws; to Respect its Flag; and to defend it against all enemies.

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The story behind The American's Creed and its author

Wm. Tyler Page

In 1917, during World War I, a national essay contest was held to develop an American’s Creed. The above essay was selected as the winner. The entry was submitted by William Tyler Page of Friendship Heights, Maryland. Mr. Page was a descendent of President John Tyler and of former Congressman John Page, who served in the House of Representatives from 1789-1797.

Mr. Page’s winning essay was chosen from over 3,000 entries. It was accepted by the United States House of Representatives on April 3, 1918.

In the words of William Tyler Page, “The American's Creed is a summing up, in one hundred words, of the basic principles of American political faith. It is not an expression of individual opinion upon the obligations and duties of American citizenship or with respect to its rights and privileges. It is a summary of the fundamental principles of American political faith as set forth in its greatest documents, its worthiest traditions and by its greatest leaders.”

During his long and distinguished career, William Tyler Page served the House of Representatives for 61 continuous years, beginning as a Congressional Page in 1881. He served as Clerk of the House of Representatives from 1919-1931. At the time of his death, on October 19, 1942, he held the title of Emeritus Minority Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Mr. Page served at one time as President General of the United States Flag Association. On the evening before his death, he was a guest of the Daughters of the American Revolution at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, and led in the recitation of The American's Creed.

The American’s Creed has a special place in the hearts of the Daughters of the Haddonfield Chapter of the DAR — not just for its stirring words, but also because Mr. William Tyler Page was the father of one of the chapter’s members, Mrs. Harry W. Pierce, who served as our chapter regent from 1962-1965.

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Examples of documented phrases in The American's Creed are as follows:

“The United States of America” — Preamble, Constitution of the United States

“A Government of the people, by the people, for the people” — Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

“Whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed” — Declaration of Independence

“A sovereign Nation of many sovereign States” — Drawn from Article IV of the Constitution

“A perfect Union” — Preamble to the Constitution

“One and inseparable” — Daniel Webster

“Established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes” — Derived from Declaration of Independence

“I therefore believe it is my duty to my Country to love it” — In substance from Edward Everett Hale's novel, The Man Without a Country

“To obey its laws” — Compiled from Article VI, Constitution of the United States

 

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