Founding Fathers of the United States
The Founding Fathers of the United States, or the Founding Fathers, were a group of philosophers and writers who led the American Revolution against the Kingdom of Great Britain. Most were descendants of colonists settled in the Thirteen Colonies in North America. Historian Richard B. Morris in 1973 identified the following seven figures as the key Founding Fathers: Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison. Adams and Franklin were members of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence. Hamilton and Jay were authors of The Federalist Papers, advocating ratification of the Constitution; the constitutions drafted by Jay and Adams for their respective states of New York and Massachusetts were relied upon when creating language for the U. S. Constitution. Jay and Franklin negotiated the Treaty of Paris that would end the American Revolutionary War. Washington was Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and was President of the Constitutional Convention.
All held additional important roles in the early government of the United States, with Washington, Adams and Madison serving as President. Jay was the nation's first Chief Justice, Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury, Franklin was America's most senior diplomat, the governmental leader of Pennsylvania; the term Founding Fathers is sometimes used to refer to the Signers of the embossed version of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Signers should not be confused with the term Framers. Of the 55 Framers, only 39 were signers of the Constitution. Two further groupings of Founding Fathers include: 1) those who signed the Continental Association, a trade ban and one of the colonists' first collective volleys protesting British control and the Intolerable Acts in 1774, or 2) those who signed the Articles of Confederation, the first U. S. constitutional document. The phrase "Founding Fathers" is a 20th-century appellation, coined by Warren G. Harding in 1916. Prior to, during the 19th century, they were referred to as the "Fathers".
The term has been used to describe first settlers of the original royal colonies. The First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1774, consisting of 56 delegates from all thirteen American colonies except Georgia. Among them was George Washington, who would soon be drawn out of military retirement to command the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. In attendance was Patrick Henry, John Adams, who like all delegates were elected by their respective colonial assemblies. Other delegates included Samuel Adams from Massachusetts, John Dickinson from Pennsylvania and New York's John Jay; this congress in addition to formulating appeals to the British crown, established the Continental Association to administer boycott actions against Britain. When the Second Continental Congress convened on May 10, 1775, it reconstituted the First Congress. Many of the same 56 delegates who attended the first meeting participated in the second. New arrivals included Benjamin Franklin and Robert Morris of Pennsylvania, John Hancock of Massachusetts, John Witherspoon of New Jersey.
Hancock was elected Congress President two weeks into the session when Peyton Randolph was recalled to Virginia to preside over the House of Burgesses. Thomas Jefferson replaced Randolph in the Virginia congressional delegation; the second Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. Witherspoon was the only active clergyman to sign the Declaration, he signed the Articles of Confederation and attended the New Jersey convention that ratified the Federal Constitution. The newly founded country of the United States had to create a new government to replace the British Parliament; the U. S. adopted the Articles of Confederation, a declaration that established a national government with a one-house legislature. Its ratification by all thirteen colonies gave the second Congress a new name: the Congress of the Confederation, which met from 1781 to 1789; the Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia. Although the Convention was called to revise the Articles of Confederation, the intention from the outset for some including James Madison and Alexander Hamilton was to create a new frame of government rather than amending the existing one.
The delegates elected George Washington to preside over the Convention. The result of the Convention was the United States Constitution and the replacement of the Continental Congress with the United States Congress; the Founding Fathers represented a cross-section of 18th-century U. S. leadership. According to a study of the biographies by Caroline Robbins: The Signers came for the most part from an educated elite, were residents of older settlements, belonged with a few exceptions to a moderately well-to-do class representing only a fraction of the population. Native or born overseas, they were of the Protestant faith. All of them were leaders in their communities. Many were prominent in national affairs; every one had taken part in the American Revolution. Scholars have examined the collective biography of them as well as the signers of the Declaration and the Constitution. Many of the Founding Fathers attended or held degrees from the colonial colleges, most notably Columbia known at the time as "King's College", Princeton or
Jeremy Bentham was an English philosopher and social reformer regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism. Bentham defined as the "fundamental axiom" of his philosophy the principle that "it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number, the measure of right and wrong", he became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism. He advocated for individual and economic freedoms, the separation of church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, the right to divorce and the decriminalising of homosexual acts, he called for the abolition of slavery, of the death penalty, of physical punishment, including that of children. He has become known as an early advocate of animal rights. Though in favour of the extension of individual legal rights, he opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them "nonsense upon stilts". Bentham was a sharp critic of legal fictions. Bentham's students included his secretary and collaborator James Mill, the latter's son, John Stuart Mill, the legal philosopher John Austin, as well as Robert Owen, one of the founders of utopian socialism.
He "had considerable influence on the reform of prisons, poor laws, law courts, Parliament itself."On his death in 1832, Bentham left instructions for his body to be first dissected, to be permanently preserved as an "auto-icon", which would be his memorial. This was done, the auto-icon is now on public display at University College London; because of his arguments in favour of the general availability of education, he has been described as the "spiritual founder" of UCL. However, he played only a limited direct part in its foundation. Bentham was born in London, to a wealthy family that supported the Tory party, he was a child prodigy: he was found as a toddler sitting at his father's desk reading a multi-volume history of England, he began to study Latin at the age of three. He learnt to play the violin and at the age of seven, Bentham would perform sonatas by Handel during dinner parties, he had Samuel Bentham, with whom he was close. He attended Westminster School and, in 1760, at age 12, was sent by his father to The Queen's College, where he completed his bachelor's degree in 1763 and his master's degree in 1766.
He trained as a lawyer and, though he never practised, was called to the bar in 1769. He became frustrated with the complexity of the English legal code, which he termed the "Demon of Chicane"; when the American colonies published their Declaration of Independence in July 1776, the British government did not issue any official response but instead secretly commissioned London lawyer and pamphleteer John Lind to publish a rebuttal. His 130-page tract was distributed in the colonies and contained an essay titled "Short Review of the Declaration" written by Bentham, a friend of Lind, which attacked and mocked the Americans' political philosophy. Among his many proposals for legal and social reform was a design for a prison building he called the Panopticon, he spent some sixteen years of his life developing and refining his ideas for the building and hoped that the government would adopt the plan for a National Penitentiary appointing him as contractor-governor. Although the prison was never built, the concept had an important influence on generations of thinkers.
Twentieth-century French philosopher Michel Foucault argued that the Panopticon was paradigmatic of several 19th-century "disciplinary" institutions. Bentham became convinced that his plans for the Panopticon had been thwarted by the King and an aristocratic elite acting in their own interests, it was because of his brooding sense of injustice that he developed his ideas of "sinister interest"—that is, of the vested interests of the powerful conspiring against a wider public interest—which underpinned many of his broader arguments for reform. More successful was his cooperation with Patrick Colquhoun in tackling the corruption in the Pool of London; this resulted in the Thames Police Bill of 1798, passed in 1800. The bill created the Thames River Police, the first preventive police force in the country and was a precedent for Robert Peel's reforms 30 years later. Bentham was in correspondence with many influential people. In the 1780s, for example, Bentham maintained a correspondence with the aging Adam Smith, in an unsuccessful attempt to convince Smith that interest rates should be allowed to float.
As a result of his correspondence with Mirabeau and other leaders of the French Revolution, Bentham was declared an honorary citizen of France. He was an outspoken critic of the revolutionary discourse of natural rights and of the violence arose after the Jacobins took power. Between 1808 and 1810, he held a personal friendship with Latin American Independence Precursor Francisco de Miranda and paid visits to Miranda's Grafton Way house in London, he developed links with José Cecilio del Valle. In 1823, he co-founded The Westminster Review with James Mill as a journal for the "Philosophical Radicals"—a group of younger disciples through whom Bentham exerted considerable influence in British public life. One was John Bowring, to whom Bentham became devoted, describing their relationship as "son and father": he appointed Bowring political editor of The Westminster Review and his literary executor. Another was Edwin Chadwick, who wrote on hygiene and policing and was a major contributor to the Poor Law Amendment Act: Bentham employed Chadwick as a secretary and bequeathed him a large legacy.
An insight in
John André was a British Army officer hanged as a spy by the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War for assisting Benedict Arnold's attempted surrender of the fort at West Point, New York to the British. André was born on 2 May 1750 in London to wealthy Huguenot parents Antoine André, a merchant from Geneva and Marie Louise Girardot from Paris, France, he was educated at St Paul's School, Westminster School, in Geneva. He was engaged to Honora Sneyd. At age 20, he joined the 7th of Foot in Canada in 1774 as a lieutenant, he was captured at Fort Saint-Jean by Continental General Richard Montgomery in November 1775, held prisoner at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He lived in the home of Caleb Cope, enjoying the freedom of the town, as he had given his word not to escape. In December 1776, he was freed in a prisoner exchange, he was promoted to captain in the 26th Foot on 18 January 1777, to major in 1778. He was a great favorite in colonial society, both in Philadelphia and New York, during their occupation by the British Army.
He had a lively and pleasant manner and could draw and cut silhouette pictures, as well as sing and write verse. He was a prolific writer, he was fluent in English, French and Italian. He wrote many comic verses, he planned the Mischianza when General Howe was about to return to England. During his nearly nine months in Philadelphia, André occupied Benjamin Franklin's house, from which it has been claimed that he removed several valuable items on the orders of Major-General Charles Grey when the British left Philadelphia, including an oil portrait of Franklin by Benjamin Wilson. Grey's descendants returned Franklin's portrait to the United States in 1906, the bicentennial of Franklin's birth; the painting now hangs in the White House. In 1779, André became Adjutant General of the British Army in America with the rank of Major. In April of that year, he took charge of British Secret Service. By the next year, he had taken part in Clinton's invasion of the South, starting with the siege of Charleston, South Carolina.
Around this time, André had been negotiating with disillusioned American General Benedict Arnold. Arnold's Loyalist wife Peggy Shippen was one of the go-betweens in the correspondence. Arnold commanded West Point and had agreed to surrender it to the British for £20,000 —a move that would have enabled the British to cut off New England from the rest of the colonies. André went up the Hudson River on the British sloop-of-war Vulture on Wednesday, 20 September 1780 to visit Arnold. On the following night, a small boat furnished by Arnold was steered to the Vulture by Joshua Hett Smith. At the oars were two brothers, tenants of Smith's who reluctantly rowed the boat six miles on the river to the sloop. Despite Arnold's assurances, the two oarsmen sensed. None of these men suspected his treason. Only Smith was told anything specific, and, the lie that it was to secure vital intelligence for the American cause; the brothers agreed to row after threats by Arnold to arrest them. They placed him on shore.
The others left and Arnold came to André on horseback, leading an extra horse for André's use. The two men conferred in the woods below Stony Point until nearly dawn, after which André accompanied Arnold several miles to the Joshua Hett Smith House in West Haverstraw, New York, owned by Thomas Smith and occupied by his brother Joshua. Soon thereafter on the morning of 22 September, American troops commanded by Col. James Livingston guarding Verplanck's Point across the river began firing on the Vulture, which sustained many hits and was forced to retire down river without André. To aid André's escape through American lines, Arnold provided him with civilian clothes and a passport which allowed him to travel under the name John Anderson, he bore six papers hidden in his stocking, written in Arnold's hand, that showed the British how to take the fort. This was unnecessary, since Clinton knew the fort's layout. Joshua Hett Smith, accompanying him, left him just before he was captured. André rode on in safety until 9 a.m. on 23 September, when he came near Tarrytown, New York, where armed militiamen John Paulding, Isaac Van Wart, David Williams stopped him.
André thought. "Gentlemen," he said, "I hope you belong to our party." "What party?" asked one of the men. "The lower party," replied André. "We do," was the answer. André told them that he was a British officer who must not be detained, when, to his surprise, they said that they were Americans, that he was their prisoner, he told them that he was an American officer and showed them his passport, but the suspicions of his captors were now aroused. They found Arnold's papers in his stocking. Only Paulding could read and Arnold was not suspected. André offered them his horse and watch, if they would let him go. André testified at his trial. Paulding took him to Continental Army headquarters in Sands Hill; the prisoner was at first detained at Wright's Mill in North Castle, New York, before being taken to the headquarters of the American Army at Tappan, where he was held at the tavern The Old'76 House. There he admitted who he was. At first, all went well for André since post commandant Lieutenant Colo
British royal family
The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict legal or formal definition of, or is not a member of the British royal family; those who at the time are entitled to the style His or Her Royal Highness, any styled His or Her Majesty, are considered members, including those so styled before the beginning of the current monarch's reign. By this criterion, a list of the current royal family will include the monarch, the children and male-line grandchildren of the monarch and previous monarchs, the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, all their current or widowed spouses; some members of the royal family have official residences named as the places from which announcements are made in the Court Circular about official engagements they have carried out. The state duties and staff of some members of the royal family are funded from a parliamentary annuity, the amount of, refunded by the Queen to the Treasury. Since 1917, when King George V changed the name of the royal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, members of the royal family have belonged, either by birth or by marriage, to the House of Windsor.
Senior titled members of the royal family do not use a surname, although since 1960 Mountbatten-Windsor, incorporating Prince Philip's adopted surname of Mountbatten, has been prescribed as a surname for Elizabeth II's direct descendants who do not have royal styles and titles, it has sometimes been used when required for those who do have such titles. The royal family are regarded as British cultural icons, with young adults from abroad naming the family among a group of people that they most associated with UK culture. On 30 November 1917, King George V issued letters patent defining the styles and titles of members of the royal family; the KING has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date the 30th ultimo, to define the styles and titles to be borne henceforth by members of the royal family. It is declared by the Letters Patent that the children of any Sovereign of the United Kingdom and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour.
In 1996, Queen Elizabeth II modified these letters patent, this Notice appeared in the London Gazette: The QUEEN has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 21st August 1996, to declare that a former wife of a son of a Sovereign of these Realms, of a son of a son of a Sovereign and of the eldest living son of the eldest son of The Prince of Wales shall not be entitled to hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness. On 31 December 2012, letters patent were issued to extend a title and a style borne by members of the royal family to additional persons to be born, this Notice appeared in the London Gazette: The QUEEN has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 31 December 2012 to declare that all the children of the eldest son of The Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style and attribute of Royal Highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour.
Members and relatives of the British royal family represented the monarch in various places throughout the British Empire, sometimes for extended periods as viceroys, or for specific ceremonies or events. Today, they perform ceremonial and social duties throughout the United Kingdom and abroad on behalf of the United Kingdom. Aside from the monarch, their only constitutional role in the affairs of government is to serve, if eligible and when appointed by letters patent, as a Counsellor of State, two or more of whom exercise the authority of the Crown if the monarch is indisposed or abroad. In the other countries of the Commonwealth royalty do not serve as Counsellors of State, although they may perform ceremonial and social duties on behalf of individual states or the organisation; the Queen, her consort, her children and grandchildren, as well as all former sovereigns' children and grandchildren, hold places in the first sections of the official orders of precedence in England and Wales and Northern Ireland.
Wives of the said enjoy their husbands' precedence, husbands of princesses are unofficially but habitually placed with their wives as well. However, the Queen changed the private order of precedence in the royal family in favour of Princesses Anne and Alexandra, who henceforth take private precedence over the Duchess of Cornwall, otherwise the realm's highest ranking woman after the Queen herself, she did not alter the relative precedence of other born-princesses, such as the daughters of her younger sons. As of 2019, members of the royal family are: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (the Queen's gra
An ideology is a collection of normative beliefs and values that an individual or group holds for other than purely epistemic reasons. The term is used to describe a system of ideas and ideals which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy. In political science it is used in a descriptive sense to refer to political belief systems. In social science there are many political ideologies; the term was coined by Antoine Destutt de Tracy, a French Enlightenment aristocrat and philosopher, who conceived it in 1796 as the "science of ideas" during the French Reign of Terror by trying to develop a rational system of ideas to oppose the irrational impulses of the mob. However, in contemporary philosophy it is narrower in scope than that original concept, or the ideas expressed in broad concepts such as worldview, The Imaginary and in ontology. In the sense defined by French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser, ideology is "the imagined existence of things as it relates to the real conditions of existence".
The term "ideology" was born during the Reign of Terror of French Revolution, acquired several other meanings thereafter. The word, the system of ideas associated with it, was coined by Antoine Destutt de Tracy in 1796, while he was in prison pending trial during the Terror; the word was created by assembling the words idea, from Greek ἰδέα and -logy, from -λογία. He devised the term for a "science of ideas" he hoped would form a secure foundation for the moral and political sciences, he based the word on two things: 1) sensations people experience as they interact with the material world. He conceived "Ideology" as a liberal philosophy that would defend individual liberty, free markets, constitutional limits on state power, he argues that among these aspects ideology is the most generic term, because the science of ideas contains the study of their expression and deduction. The coup that overthrew Maximilien Robespierre allowed Tracy to pursue his work. Tracy reacted to the terroristic phase of the revolution by trying to work out a rational system of ideas to oppose the irrational mob impulses that had nearly destroyed him.
Napoleon Bonaparte came to view'Ideology' a term of abuse, which he hurled against his liberal foes in Tracy's Institut National. According to Karl Mannheim's historical reconstruction of the shifts in the meaning of ideology, the modern meaning of the word was born when Napoleon used it to describe his opponents as "the ideologues". Karl Marx used it in his writings. Tracy's major book, The Elements of Ideology, was soon translated into the major languages of Europe, in the next generation, when post-Napoleonic governments adopted a reactionary stance, influenced the Italian and Russian thinkers who had begun to describe themselves as "liberals" and who attempted to reignite revolutionary activity in the early 1820s. In the century after Tracy, the term ideology moved back and forth between positive and negative connotations; the term "ideology" has dropped some of its pejorative sting, has become a neutral term in the analysis of differing political opinions and views of social groups. While Karl Marx situated the term within class struggle and domination, others believed it was a necessary part of institutional functioning and social integration.
During considerable analysis of different ideological patterns, some have described the analysis as meta-ideology. Recent analysis tends to posit that ideology is a coherent system of ideas that rely on a few basic assumptions about reality that may or may not have any factual basis. Through this system, ideas become coherent repeated patterns through the subjective ongoing choices that people make; these ideas serve as the seed. Believers in ideology range from passive acceptance through fervent advocacy to true belief. According to most recent analysis, ideologies are neither right nor wrong. Definitions, such as by Manfred Steger and Paul James emphasize both the issue of patterning and contingent claims to truth: Ideologies are patterned clusters of normatively imbued ideas and concepts, including particular representations of power relations; these conceptual maps help people navigate the complexity of their political universe and carry claims to social truth. The works of George Walford and Harold Walsby, done under the heading of systematic ideology, are attempts to explore the relationships between ideology and social systems.
Charles Blattberg offers an account that distinguishes political ideologies from political philosophies. David W. Minar describes six different ways the word "ideology" has been used: As a collection of certain ideas with certain kinds of content norma
A pardon is a government decision to allow a person to be absolved of guilt for an alleged crime or other legal offense, as if the act never occurred. The pardon may be granted before or after conviction for the crime, depending on the laws of the jurisdiction. Pardons can be granted in many countries when individuals are deemed to have demonstrated that they have "paid their debt to society", or are otherwise considered to be deserving of them. Pardons are sometimes offered to persons who were either wrongfully convicted or who claim that they were wrongfully convicted. In some jurisdictions of some nations, accepting a pardon may implicitly constitute an admission of guilt. Cases of wrongful conviction are nowadays more dealt with by appeal rather than by pardon. Clemency plays a important role when capital punishment is applied. Pardons are sometimes seen as a mechanism for combating corruption, allowing a particular authority to circumvent a flawed judicial process to free someone, seen as wrongly convicted.
Pardons can be a source of controversy. In extreme cases, some pardons may be seen as acts of corruption by officials in the form of granting effective immunity as political favors; the Parole Board of Canada is the federal agency responsible for making pardon decisions under the Criminal Records Act. Under the CRA, the PBC can issue, grant and revoke pardons. In 2012, the Parliament of Canada passed the Safe Streets and Communities Act, which changed a number of elements regarding the criminal justice system; the Act replaced the term "pardon" with "record suspension", the pardon system was changed. A pardon keeps a judicial record of a conviction separate and apart from other criminal records, gives law-abiding citizens an opportunity to reintegrate into Canadian society; the CRA removes all information about the conviction for which an individual received the pardon from the Canadian Police Information Centre. Federal agencies cannot give out information about the conviction without approval from the Minister of Public Safety Canada.
A pardon does not, erase the fact that an individual was convicted of a crime. The criminal record is not erased. A pardon removes disqualifications caused by a criminal conviction, such as the ability to contract with the federal government, or eligibility for Canadian citizenship. If an individual in receipt of a pardon is convicted of a new offence, the information may lead to a reactivation of the criminal record for which the pardon was received in CPIC. A pardon does not guarantee visa privileges to another country. Before travelling to another country, individuals must still contact the authorities of the country in question to find out what the requirements are to enter that country. Processing of pardons by the Parole Board of Canada takes six months for a summary offence and 12 months for an indictable offence. If the Parole Board proposes to deny the application, it can take 24 months to process. Individuals can apply for a pardon if they were convicted as an adult of a criminal offence in Canada, or of an offence under a federal act or regulation of Canada, or if they were convicted of a crime in another country and were transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act or International Transfer of Offenders Act.
Non-Canadian citizens are not eligible for a Canadian pardon unless they were convicted of a crime in Canada. To be eligible for a pardon or record suspension, individuals must have completed all of their sentences and a waiting period. Individuals are considered to have completed all of their sentences if they have: Paid all fines, costs and compensation orders Served all sentences of imprisonment, conditional sentences, including parole or statutory release Completed their probation orderPrior to 2012, following completion of all of their sentences, individuals must have completed a waiting period, as follows: 3 years for summary convictions under the Criminal Code or other federal act or regulation, except sexual crimes against children 3 years under the National Defence Act, if fined $2,000 or less, detained or imprisoned 6 months or less, or subjected to various lesser punishments for a service offence 5 years for indictable convictions under the Criminal Code or other federal act or regulation and summary convictions of sexual crimes against children 5 years for all convictions by a Canadian offender transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act or International Transfer of Offenders Act 5 years under the National Defence Act, if you were fined more than $2,000, detained or imprisoned more than 6 months, or dismissed from service 10 years for indictable convictions for sexual crimes against children and criminals receiving more than 2 years of imprisonment time for "serious personal injury offence" such as manslaughter or other designated offence under section 752 of the Criminal Code.
Effective 13 March 2012, the eligibility criteria and waiting periods changed: 5 years for summary convictions under the Criminal Code or other federal act or regulation, except sexual crimes against children 5 years under the National Defence Act, if fined $2,000 or less, detained or imprisoned 6 months or less, or subjected to various lesser punishments for a service offence 10 years for indictable convictions under the Criminal Code or other federal act or regulation and summary convictions of sexual crimes against children 10 years for all convictions by a Canadian offender transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act or International Transfer of O
United States Constitution
The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government, its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress. Articles Four and Six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it, it is regarded as the oldest codified national constitution in force. Since the Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended 27 times, including an amendment to repeal a previous one, in order to meet the needs of a nation that has profoundly changed since the eighteenth century. In general, the first ten amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on the powers of government.
The majority of the seventeen amendments expand individual civil rights protections. Others modify government processes and procedures. Amendments to the United States Constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions worldwide, are appended to the document. All four pages of the original U. S. Constitution are written on parchment. According to the United States Senate: "The Constitution's first three words—We the People—affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, of the federal and state governments."The first permanent constitution of its kind, adopted by the people's representatives for an expansive nation, it is interpreted and implemented by a large body of constitutional law, has influenced the constitutions of other nations. From September 5, 1774, to March 1, 1781, the Continental Congress functioned as the provisional government of the United States.
Delegates to the First and the Second Continental Congress were chosen through the action of committees of correspondence in various colonies rather than through the colonial or state legislatures. In no formal sense was it a gathering representative of existing colonial governments; the process of selecting the delegates for the First and Second Continental Congresses underscores the revolutionary role of the people of the colonies in establishing a central governing body. Endowed by the people collectively, the Continental Congress alone possessed those attributes of external sovereignty which entitled it to be called a state in the international sense, while the separate states, exercising a limited or internal sovereignty, may rightly be considered a creation of the Continental Congress, which preceded them and brought them into being; the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the first constitution of the United States. It was drafted by the Second Continental Congress from mid-1776 through late 1777, ratification by all 13 states was completed by early 1781.
The Articles of Confederation gave little power to the central government. The Confederation Congress lacked enforcement powers. Implementation of most decisions, including modifications to the Articles, required unanimous approval of all thirteen state legislatures. Although, in a way, the Congressional powers in Article 9 made the "league of states as cohesive and strong as any similar sort of republican confederation in history", the chief problem was, in the words of George Washington, "no money"; the Continental Congress could print money but it was worthless. Congress couldn't pay it back. No state paid all their U. S. taxes. Some few paid an amount equal to interest on the national debt no more. No interest was paid on debt owed foreign governments. By 1786, the United States would default on outstanding debts. Internationally, the United States had little ability to defend its sovereignty. Most of the troops in the 625-man United States Army were deployed facing – but not threatening – British forts on American soil.
They had not been paid. Spain closed New Orleans to American commerce. S. officials protested, but to no effect. Barbary pirates began seizing American ships of commerce. If any military crisis required action, the Congress had no credit or taxing power to finance a response. Domestically, the Articles of Confederation was failing to bring unity to the diverse sentiments and interests of the various states. Although the Treaty of Paris was signed between Great Britain and the U. S. and named each of the American states, various states proceeded blithely to violate it. New York and South Carolina prosecuted Loyalists for wartime activity and redistributed their lands. Individual state legislatures independently laid embargoes, negotiated directly with foreign authorities, raised armies, and