World Federation of Trade Unions
The World Federation of Trade Unions was established in 1945 to replace the International Federation of Trade Unions. Its mission was to bring together trade unions across the world in a single international organization, much like the United Nations. After a number of Western trade unions left it in 1949, as a result of disputes over support for the Marshall Plan, to form the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, the WFTU was made up of unions affiliated with or sympathetic to communist parties. In the context of the Cold War, the WFTU was portrayed as a Soviet front organization. A number of those unions, including those from Yugoslavia and China, left when their governments had ideological differences with the Soviet Union; the WFTU declined as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and socialist governments in Eastern Europe, in particular in Europe, with many of its former constituent unions joining the ICFTU. That fall seems to have come to an end since the congress in Havana in 2005 where a new leadership was elected with Georges Mavrikos, a Greek union activist from PAME, leading member of the Communist Party of Greece, at its head.
In January 2006 it moved its headquarters from Prague, Czech Republic to Athens and reinvigorated its activity by putting focus on organizing regional federations of unions in the Third World, by organizing campaigns against imperialism, poverty, environmental degradation and exploitation of workers under capitalism and in defense of full employment, social security, health protection, trade union rights. The WFTU devotes much of its energy to organizing conferences, issuing statements and producing educational materials and courses for trade union leaders. In recent years, the WFTU has managed to recruit several trade unions of importance in Europe, amongst which the Rail Maritime Trade Union in Great Britain, the Unione Sindicale di Base in Italy. In France, the CGT federation of food processing industry has maintained its affiliation with the WFTU; the CGT federation of Chemical industries sent delegates to the last congress in Athens in 2011. In 2013, two local CGT railway workers branches have taken steps to become affiliates with the WFTU.
The different offices of the WFTU across the different continents organize regular exchanges and militant visits of trade union activists from an affiliate to another in order to further discussions, foster internationalist ties, establish an international activity of its affiliates around shared objectives and campaigns, against common adversaries. In Africa, unions of major importance such as COSATU in South Africa have affiliated with the WFTU; as part of its efforts to advance its international agenda, the WFTU develops working partnerships with national and industrial trade unions worldwide as well as with a number of international and regional trade union organizations including the Organization of African Trade Union Unity, the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions, the Permanent Congress of Trade Union Unity of Latin America, the General Confederation of Trade Unions of CIS countries. The WFTU holds consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the ILO, UNESCO, FAO, other UN agencies.
It maintains permanent missions in New York and Rome. Example of National affiliates of the WFTU include: General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea All-Workers Militant Front Zenroren Unione Sindicale di Base Bangladesh Trade Union Kendra Vietnam General Confederation of Labour National Union of Rail and Transport Workers Congress of South African Trade Unions Bolivian Workers' Center Workers' Central Union of Cuba General Union of Palestinian Workers Confederación General de Trabajadores del Perú General Federation of Trade Unions All India Trade Union Congress Centre of Indian Trade Unions Intersindical-CSC Coordinadora Obrera Sindical Coordinadora Sindical de Clase Frente Sindical Obrero de Canarias Confederation Intersindical Galega Langile Abertzaleen Batzordeak Workers' House Unidade Classista Trade Union Organization Sloga 2 national federations of the French CGT are affiliated to the WFTU: Food and wood processing federation and oil federation; the TUI system has gone through a number of transformations in its over 60 years of existence.
The earliest TUI was the. The following Trade Unions Internationals are constituted within the WFTU:. During the late 1940s, the WFTU unsuccessfully tried to reach an agreement with existing international trade secretariats; when the Union split in 1949 they were left without an organization at the level of specific industries. Therefore, they created the: World Federation of Teachers Unions – known by its French acronym FISE, this is the earliest affiliated union, founded in 1946, it maintained a degree of independence from the WFTU not exercised by the other TUIs. In 1949, the 2nd World Congress decided to create a series of sectoral unions, after their negotiations with existing international trade secretariats failed. At first these were known as Trade Departments or International Federations, but they adopted the appellation "Trade Union Internationals" by the mid-1950s; the original TUIs formed in 1949 and 1950 were: The WFTU functioned during the Cold War as a unitary organization, bringing together unions from the Communist bloc and Western unions.
Trade Union International of Agricultural and Forestry Workers Trade Unions I
The KGB, translated in English as Committee for State Security, was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until its break-up in 1991. As a direct successor of preceding agencies such as Cheka, NKGB, NKVD and MGB, the committee was attached to the Council of Ministers, it was the chief government agency of "union-republican jurisdiction", acting as internal security and secret police. Similar agencies were constituted in each of the republics of the Soviet Union aside from Russia, consisted of many ministries, state committees and state commissions; the agency was a military service governed by army laws and regulations, in the same fashion as the Soviet Army or MVD Internal Troops. While most of the KGB archives remain classified, two online documentary sources are available, its main functions were foreign intelligence, counter-intelligence, operative-investigatory activities, guarding the State Border of the USSR, guarding the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Soviet Government and ensuring of government communications as well as combating nationalism and anti-Soviet activities.
In 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the KGB was split into the Federal Security Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation. After breaking away from Georgia in the early 1990s with Russian help, the self-proclaimed Republic of South Ossetia established its own KGB. A Time magazine article in 1983 reported that the KGB was the world's most effective information-gathering organization, it operated legal and illegal espionage residencies in target countries where a legal resident gathered intelligence while based at the Soviet embassy or consulate, and, if caught, was protected from prosecution by diplomatic immunity. At best, the compromised spy was either returned to the Soviet Union or was declared persona non grata and expelled by the government of the target country; the illegal resident spied, unprotected by diplomatic immunity, worked independently of Soviet diplomatic and trade missions. In its early history, the KGB valued illegal spies more than legal spies, because illegal spies infiltrated their targets with greater ease.
The KGB residency executed four types of espionage: political, military-strategic, disinformation, effected with "active measures", counter-intelligence and security, scientific–technological intelligence. The KGB classified its spies as controllers; the false-identity or legend assumed by a USSR-born illegal spy was elaborate, using the life of either a "live double" or a "dead double". The agent substantiated his or her legend by living it in a foreign country, before emigrating to the target country, thus the sending of US-bound illegal residents via the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, Canada. Tradecraft included stealing and photographing documents, code-names, contacts and dead letter boxes, working as a "friend of the cause" or as agents provocateurs, who would infiltrate the target group to sow dissension, influence policy, arrange kidnappings and assassinations. Mindful of ambitious spy chiefs—and after deposing Premier Nikita Khrushchev—Secretary Leonid Brezhnev and the CPSU knew to manage the next over-ambitious KGB Chairman, Aleksandr Shelepin, who facilitated Brezhnev's palace coup d'état against Khrushchev in 1964.
With political reassignments, Shelepin protégé Vladimir Semichastny was sacked as KGB Chairman, Shelepin himself was demoted from chairman of the Committee of Party and State Control to Trade Union Council chairman. In the 1980s, the glasnost liberalisation of Soviet society provoked KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov to lead the August 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev; the thwarted coup d'état ended the KGB on 6 November 1991. The KGB's main successors are the FSB and the SVR; the GRU recruited the ideological agent Julian Wadleigh, who became a State Department diplomat in 1936. The NKVD's first US operation was establishing the legal residency of Boris Bazarov and the illegal residency of Iskhak Akhmerov in 1934. Throughout, the Communist Party USA and its General Secretary Earl Browder, helped NKVD recruit Americans, working in government and industry. Other important, low-level and high-level ideological agents were the diplomats Laurence Duggan and Michael Whitney Straight in the State Department, the statistician Harry Dexter White in the Treasury Department, the economist Lauchlin Currie, the "Silvermaster Group", headed by statistician Greg Silvermaster, in the Farm Security Administration and the Board of Economic Warfare.
Moreover, when Whittaker Chambers Alger Hiss's courier, approached the Roosevelt Government—to identify the Soviet spies Duggan and others—he was ignored. Hence, during the Second World War —at the Tehran and Potsdam conferences—Big Three Ally Joseph Stalin of the USSR, was better informed about the war affairs of his US and UK allies than they were about his. Soviet espionage was at its most successful in collecting scientific and technological intelligence about advan
Belarus the Republic of Belarus known by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres is forested, its major economic sectors are manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Belarus declared independence as the Belarusian People's Republic, conquered by Soviet Russia; the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922 and was renamed as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Belarus lost half of its territory to Poland after the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921.
Much of the borders of Belarus took their modern shape in 1939, when some lands of the Second Polish Republic were reintegrated into it after the Soviet invasion of Poland, were finalized after World War II. During WWII, military operations devastated Belarus, which lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources; the republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945 the Byelorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR; the parliament of the republic proclaimed the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991. Alexander Lukashenko has served as the country's first president since 1994. Belarus has been labeled "Europe's last dictatorship" by some Western journalists, on account of Lukashenko's self-described authoritarian style of government. Lukashenko continued a number of Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of large sections of the economy.
Elections under Lukashenko's rule have been criticized as unfair. Belarus is the last country in Europe using the death penalty. Belarus's Democracy Index rating is the lowest in Europe, the country is labelled as "not free" by Freedom House, as "repressed" in the Index of Economic Freedom, is rated as by far the worst country for press freedom in Europe in the 2013–14 Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, which ranks Belarus 157th out of 180 nations. In 2000, Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation. Over 70% of Belarus's population of 9.49 million resides in urban areas. More than 80% of the population is ethnic Belarusian, with sizable minorities of Russians and Ukrainians. Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages: Russian; the Constitution of Belarus does not declare any official religion, although the primary religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The second-most widespread religion, Roman Catholicism, has a much smaller following.
Belarus is a member of the United Nations since its founding, the Commonwealth of Independent States, CSTO, EEU, the Non-Aligned Movement. Belarus has shown no aspirations for joining the European Union but maintains a bilateral relationship with the organisation, participates in two EU projects: the Eastern Partnership and the Baku Initiative; the name Belarus is related with the term Belaya Rus', i.e. White Rus'. There are several claims to the origin of the name White Rus'. An ethno-religious theory suggests that the name used to describe the part of old Ruthenian lands within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, populated by Slavs, Christianized early, as opposed to Black Ruthenia, predominantly inhabited by pagan Balts. An alternate explanation for the name comments on the white clothing worn by the local Slavic population. A third theory suggests that the old Rus' lands that were not conquered by the Tatars had been referred to as "White Rus'"; the name Rus is conflated with its Latin forms Russia and Ruthenia, thus Belarus is referred to as White Russia or White Ruthenia.
The name first appeared in Latin medieval literature. In some languages, including German and Dutch, the country is called "White Russia" to this day; the Latin term "Alba Russia" was used again by Pope Pius VI in 1783 to recognize the Society of Jesus there, exclaiming "Approbo Societatem Jesu in Alba Russia degentem, approbo." The first known use of White Russia to refer to Belarus was in the late-16th century by Englishman Sir Jerome Horsey, known for his close contacts with the Russian Royal Court. During the 17th century, the Russian tsars used "White Rus" to describe the lands added from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; the term Belorussia first rose in the days of the Russian Empire, the Russian Tsar was styled "the Tsar of All the Russias"
John L. Lewis
John Llewellyn Lewis was an American leader of organized labor who served as president of the United Mine Workers of America from 1920 to 1960. A major player in the history of coal mining, he was the driving force behind the founding of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, which established the United Steel Workers of America and helped organize millions of other industrial workers in the 1930s. After resigning as head of the CIO in 1941, he took the Mine Workers out of the CIO in 1942 and in 1944 took the union into the American Federation of Labor. A leading liberal, he played a major role in helping Franklin D. Roosevelt win a landslide in 1936, but as an isolationist, broke with Roosevelt in 1940 on FDR's anti-Nazi foreign policy. Lewis was a brutally effective aggressive fighter and strike leader who gained high wages for his membership while steamrolling over his opponents, including the United States government. Lewis was one of the most controversial and innovative leaders in the history of labor, gaining credit for building the industrial unions of the CIO into a political and economic powerhouse to rival the AFL, yet was hated by calling for nationwide coal strikes which critics believed to be damaging to the American economy and war effort.
His massive leonine head, forest-like eyebrows set jaw, powerful voice and ever-present scowl thrilled his supporters, angered his enemies, delighted cartoonists. Coal miners for 40 years hailed him as their leader, whom they credited with bringing high wages and medical benefits. Lewis was born in or near Cleveland, Lucas County, Iowa, to Thomas H. Lewis and Ann Watkins Lewis, both of whom had immigrated from Llangurig, Wales. Cleveland was a company town built around a coal mine one mile east of Lucas, his mother and grandparents were members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the boy adopted the church's views regarding alcohol and sexual propriety, as well as its belief in a just social order that favored the poor. While his grandfather was an RLDS pastor and Lewis periodically donated to his local RLDS church for the rest of his life, there is no definite evidence that he formally joined the Midwestern Mormon denomination. Lewis attended three years of high school in Des Moines and at the age of 17 went to work in the Big Hill Mine at Lucas.
In 1906, Lewis was elected a delegate to the United Mine Workers national convention. In 1907, he launched a feed-and-grain distributorship. Both were Lewis returned to coal mining, he in 1909 was elected president of the UMW local. In 1911 Samuel Gompers, the head of the AFL, hired Lewis as a full-time union organizer. Lewis traveled throughout Pennsylvania and the Midwest as an organizer and trouble-shooter in coal and steel districts. After serving as statistician and as vice-president for the UMWA, Lewis became that union's acting president in 1919. On November 1, 1919, he called the first major coal union strike, as 400,000 miners walked off their jobs. President Wilson obtained an injunction, which Lewis obeyed, telling the rank and file, "We cannot fight the Government." In 1920, he was elected president of the UMWA. Lewis asserted himself as a dominant figure in what was the largest and most influential trade union in the country. Coal miners worldwide were sympathetic to socialism, in the 1920s, Communists systematically tried to seize control of UMWA locals.
William Z. Foster, the Communist leader, opposed dual unions in favor of organizing within the UMWA; the radicals were most successful in the bituminous coal regions of the Midwest, where they used local organizing drives to gain control of locals, sought a national labor political party, demanded federal nationalization of the industry. Lewis, committed to cooperation among labor and government, took tight control of the union, he placed the once-autonomous districts under centralized receivership, packed the union bureaucracy with men directly beholden to him, used UMWA conventions and publications to discredit his critics. The fight was bitter but Lewis used armed force, red-baiting, ballot-box stuffing and, in 1928, expelled the leftists; as Hudson shows, they started the National Miners' Union. In Southern Illinois, amidst widespread violence, the Progressive Mine Workers of America of America challenged Lewis but were beaten back. After 1935, Lewis invited the radical organizers to work for his CIO organizing drives, they soon gained powerful positions in CIO unions, including auto workers and electrical workers.
Lewis was denounced as a despotic leader. He expelled his political rivals from the UMWA, including John Walker, John Brophy, Alexander Howat and Adolph Germer. Communists in District 26, including Canadian labor legend J. B. McLachlan, were banned from running for the union executive after a strike in 1923. McLachlan described him as "a traitor" to the working class. Lewis nonetheless commanded great loyalty from many of his followers those he had exiled in the past. A powerful speaker and strategist, Lewis used the nation's dependence on coal to increase the wages and improve the safety of miners during several severe recessions, he masterminded a five-month strike, ensuring that the increase in wages gained during World War I would not be lost. Lewis challenged Samuel Gompers, who had led the AFL for nearly forty years, for the Presidency of the AFL in 1921. William Green, one of his subordinates within the Mine Workers at the time, nominated him. Gom
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Polish People's Republic
The Polish People's Republic was a state in Central Europe that existed from 1947 to 1989, the predecessor of the modern democratic Republic of Poland. With a population of 37.9 million inhabitants near the end of its existence, it was the most populous state of the Eastern Bloc after the Soviet Union. Having a unitary Marxist–Leninist communist government, it was one of the main signatories of the Warsaw Pact; the official capital since 1947 and largest city was Warsaw, followed by industrial Łódź and cultural Kraków. The former country covers the history of contemporary Poland between 1952 and 1989 under the Soviet-backed communist government established after the Red Army's release of its territory from German occupation in World War II; the name People's Republic was introduced and defined by the Constitution of 1952, based on the 1936 Soviet Constitution. The state's name was the Republic of Poland between 1947 and 1952 in accordance with the temporary Constitution of 1947. From 1952, the Sejm exercised no real power, Poland was regarded as a puppet entity set up and controlled by the Soviet Union.
With time, Poland developed into a satellite state in the Soviet sphere of influence. The Polish People's Republic was a one-party state characterized by constant internal struggles for democracy and better living conditions; the Polish United Workers' Party became the dominant political faction making Poland a socialist country, but with more liberal policies than other states of the Eastern Bloc. Throughout its existence, economic hardships and social unrest were common in every decade; the nation was split between those who supported the party, those who were opposed to it and those who refused to engage in political activity. Despite this, some groundbreaking achievements have been established during the People's Republic such as rapid industrialization, urbanization of smaller or larger cities and access to free healthcare and education was made available; the birth rate was high and the population doubled between 1947 and 1989. The party's most successful accomplishment, was the rebuilding of ruined Warsaw after World War II and the complete riddance of illiteracy, which stood at 30% in 1931 and at 2% in 1988.
The Soviet Union, an exemplar state, had some influence over both internal and external affairs, the Red Army was stationed in Poland as in all other Warsaw Pact countries. The Polish People's Army was the main branch of the Armed Forces; the official police organization, responsible for supposed peacekeeping and violent throttling of protests, was renamed Citizens' Militia. Under the command of the Ministry of Public Security of Poland "UB", the Militia committed serious crimes to maintain the Communists in power, including the harsh treatment of protesters, arrest of opposition leaders and in extreme cases murder, with at least 22,000 people killed by the regime during its rule; as a result, Poland had a high-imprisonment rate but one of the lowest crime rates in the world. This was fictitiously glorified by the ruling Polish Worker's Party, which described Poland as a safe and educated near-Utopian society. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Stalin was able to present his western allies, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, with a fait accompli in Poland.
His armed forces were in occupation of the country, his agents, the communists, were in control of its administration. The USSR was in the process of incorporating the lands in eastern Poland which it had invaded and occupied between 1939 and 1941. In compensation, the USSR gave Poland former German populated territories in Pomerania and Brandenburg east of the Oder–Neisse line, plus the southern half of East Prussia; these awards were confirmed at the Tripartite Conference of Berlin, otherwise known as the Potsdam Conference in August 1945 after the end of the war in Europe. Stalin was determined that Poland's new government would become his tool towards making Poland a Soviet puppet state controlled by the communists, he had severed relations with the Polish government-in-exile in London in 1943, but to appease Roosevelt and Churchill he agreed at Yalta that a coalition government would be formed. The communists held a majority of key posts in this new government, with Soviet support they soon gained total control of the country, rigging all elections.
In June 1946 the "Three Times Yes" referendum was held on a number of issues—abolition of the Senate of Poland, land reform, making the Oder–Neisse line Poland's western border. The communist-controlled Interior Ministry issued results showing that all three questions passed overwhelmingly. Years however, evidence was uncovered showing that the referendum had been tainted by massive fraud, only the third question passed. Władysław Gomułka took advantage of a split in the Polish Socialist Party. One faction, which included Prime Minister Edward Osóbka-Morawski, wanted to join forces with the Peasant Party and form a united front against the Communists. Another faction, led by Józef Cyrankiewicz, argued that the Socialists should support the Communists in carrying through a socialist program, while opposing the imposition of one-party rule. Pre-war political hostilities continued to influence events, Stanisław Mikołajczyk would not agree to form a united front with the Socialists; the Communists played on these divisions by dismissing Osóbka-Morawski and making Cyrankiewicz Prime Minister.
Between the referendum and the January 1947 general elections, the opposition was subjected to persecution. Only the candidates of the pro-government "Democratic Bloc" were allowed to campaign completel
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh