If you live in the United States, you can — with very little difficulty — access the words which were written at the birth of the nation. It’s a quick Google search to find, for example, the Federalist Papers — the essays written by several framers of the US Constitution. I can download a copy to my iPad from Project Gutenberg. If I’m feeling contrary, the Anti-Federalist Papers are also available to me. If I want to go completely nuts and read what the French were thinking about US independence, I can grab a free copy of Montesquieu‘s Spirit of Laws digitised for my reading pleasure.
Similarly if you live in the United Kingdom, the textual evidence of the arguments, debates, and philosophies which forged the modern Britain. Bagehot’s The English Constitution (second edition, natch) comes in PDF form. What about Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England? Boom. Science. If I thought a joke on Family Guy was particularly fascinating, I can even find most of the works of Benjamin d’Israeli over at Project Gutenberg as well.
Australians have no such luck.