United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States; the composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states on a basis of population as measured by the U. S. Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected; the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with fifty-three representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming; the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol; the presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected by the members thereof. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body in which each state was represented, in which each state had a veto over most action. After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation". All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates; the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people", elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, a more deliberative upper house, elected by the lower house, that would represent the individual states, would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation; the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states; the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise or Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other would provide equal representation amongst the states.
The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time. During the first half of the 19th century, the House was in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery; the North was much more populous than the South, therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union; the war culminated in the abolition of slavery. All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the Democratic Party and Republican Party each held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House; the rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed", as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House developed during the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader
The Perpetual Union is a feature of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, which established the United States of America as a national entity. Under modern American constitutional law, this concept means that U. S. states are not permitted to overthrow the U. S. Constitution and withdraw from the Union; the concept of a Union of the American States originated during the 1770s as the struggle for independence unfolded. In his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln stated: The Union is much older than the Constitution, it was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776, it was further matured, the faith of all the thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was to form a more perfect Union. A significant step was taken on June 12, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress approved the drafting of the Articles of Confederation, following a similar approval to draft the Declaration of Independence on June 11.
The purpose of the former document was not only to define the relationship among the new states but to stipulate the permanent nature of the new union. Accordingly, Article XIII states that the Union "shall be perpetual". While the process to ratify the Articles began in 1777, the Union only became a legal entity in 1781 when all states had ratified the agreement; the Second Continental Congress approved the Articles for ratification by the sovereign States on November 15, 1777, which occurred during the period from July 1778 to March 1781. The 13th ratification by Maryland was delayed for several years due to conflict of interest with some other states, including the western land claims of Virginia. After Virginia passed a law on January 2, 1781 relinquishing the claims, the path forward was cleared. On February 2, 1781, the Maryland state legislature in Annapolis passed the Act to ratify and on March 1, 1781 the Maryland delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia formally signed the agreement.
Maryland's final ratification of the Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union established the requisite unanimous consent for the legal creation of the United States of America. The concept of a perpetual union appeared earlier in European political thought. In 1532, Francis I of France signed the Treaty of Perpetual Union, which pledged the freedom and privileges of the Duchy of Brittany within the Kingdom of France. In 1713, Charles de Saint-Pierre presented a plan "A project for settling an everlasting peace in Europe," where in it is stated in Article 1: There shall be from this day following a Society, a permanent and perpetual Union, between the Sovereigns subscribed." By itself the word perpetual appears much earlier in the history of political thought. In January 44 B. C. Denarii coins were struck with the image of Julius Caesar and the Latin inscription "Caesar Dic Perpetuo". From the start the Union has carried with it importance in the national affairs. There was a sense of urgency in completing the legal Union during the American Revolutionary War.
Maryland's ratification act stated, "t hath been said that the common enemy is encouraged by this State not acceding to the Confederation, to hope that the union of the sister states may be dissolved" The nature of the Union was hotly debated during a period lasting from the 1830s through the American Civil War. During the American Civil War, the U. S. was called "the Union". When the United States Constitution replaced the Articles, nothing in it expressly stated that the Union is perpetual. After the Civil War, fought by the U. S. to prevent eleven of the southern slave states from leaving the Union, some still questioned whether any such inviolability survived after the U. S. Constitution replaced the Articles; this uncertainty stems from the fact that the Constitution, technically an amendment of the perpetual Articles, was not ratified unanimously before going into effect, as required by the Articles. The United States Supreme Court ruled on the issue in the 1869 White case. In that case, the court ruled that the drafters intended the perpetuity of the Union to survive: By, the Union was solemnly declared to "be perpetual."
And when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained "to form a more perfect Union." It is difficult to convey the idea of indissoluble unity more than by these words. What can be indissoluble if a perpetual Union, made more perfect, is not? During the ratification of the Constitution, ratifications by New York and Rhode Island included language that reserved the right of those states to exit the U. S. federal system if they felt "harmed" by the arrangement. In Virginia's ratification the reservation is stated thus. However, in a 1788 letter to Alexander Hamilton, James Madison disapproved of the language, stated in regards to it that: My opinion is that a reservation of a right to withdraw... is a conditional ratification... Compacts must be reciprocal... The Constitution requires an adoption in toto, for ever, it has been so adopted by the other States. Hamilton and John Jay agreed with Madiso
West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region in the Southern United States, considered to be a part of the Middle Atlantic States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area, is ranked 38th in population; the capital and largest city is Charleston. West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions of 1861, after the American Civil War had begun. Delegates from some Unionist counties of northwestern Virginia decided to break away from Virginia, although they included many secessionist counties in the new state. West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, was a key border state during the war. West Virginia was the only state to form by separating from a Confederate state, the first to separate from any state since Maine separated from Massachusetts, was one of two states admitted to the Union during the American Civil War.
While a portion of its residents held slaves, most of the residents were yeomen farmers, the delegates provided for gradual abolition of slavery in the new state Constitution. The Census Bureau and the Association of American Geographers classify West Virginia as part of the Southern United States; however the Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies West Virginia as a part of the Mid-Atlantic. The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio, with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles from North Carolina. Huntington in the southwest is close to the states of Ohio and Kentucky, while Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle region are considered part of the Washington metropolitan area, in between the states of Maryland and Virginia; the unique position of West Virginia means that it is included in several geographical regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, the Upland South, the Southeastern United States.
It is the only state, within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The state is noted for its mountains and rolling hills, its significant logging and coal mining industries, its political and labor history, it is known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, hunting. Many ancient man-made earthen mounds from various prehistoric mound builder cultures survive in the areas of present-day Moundsville, South Charleston, Romney; the artifacts uncovered in these give evidence of village societies. They had a tribal trade system culture. In the 1670s during the Beaver Wars, the powerful Iroquois, five allied nations based in present-day New York and Pennsylvania, drove out other American Indian tribes from the region in order to reserve the upper Ohio Valley as a hunting ground. Siouan language tribes, such as the Moneton, had been recorded in the area. A century the area now identified as West Virginia was contested territory among Anglo-Americans as well, with the colonies of Pennsylvania and Virginia claiming territorial rights under their colonial charters to this area before the American Revolutionary War.
Some speculative land companies, such as the Vandalia Company, the Ohio Company and Indiana Company, tried to legitimize their claims to land in parts of West Virginia and present day Kentucky, but failed. This rivalry resulted in some settlers petitioning the Continental Congress to create a new territory called Westsylvania. With the federal settlement of the Pennsylvania and Virginia border dispute, creating Kentucky County, Kentuckians "were satisfied, the inhabitants of a large part of West Virginia were grateful."The Crown considered the area of West Virginia to be part of the British Virginia Colony from 1607 to 1776. The United States considered this area to be the western part of the state of Virginia from 1776 to 1863, before the formation of West Virginia, its residents were discontented for years with their position in Virginia, as the government was dominated by the planter elite of the Tidewater and Piedmont areas. The legislature had electoral malapportionment, based on the counting of slaves toward regional populations, the western white residents were underrepresented in the state legislature.
More subsistence and yeoman farmers lived in the west and they were less supportive of slavery, although many counties were divided on their support. The residents of this area became more divided after the planter elite of eastern Virginia voted to secede from the Union during the Civil War. Residents of the western and northern counties set up a separate government under Francis Pierpont in 1861, which they called the Restored Government. Most voted to separate from Virginia, the new state was admitted to the Union in 1863. In 1864 a state constitutional convention drafted a constitution, ratified by the legislature without putting it to popular vote. West Virginia abolished slavery by a gradual process and temporarily disenfranchised men who had held Confederate office or fought for the Confederacy. West Virginia's history has been profoundly affected by its mountainous terrain and vast river valleys, rich natural resources; these were all factors driving its economy and the lifestyles of its residents, who tended to live in many small isolated communities in the mountain valleys.
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Randolph family of Virginia
The Randolph family is a prominent Virginia political family, whose members contributed to the politics of Colonial Virginia and Virginia after it gained its statehood. They are descended from the Randolphs of Morton Morrell, England; the first Randolph to come to America was Henry Randolph in 1643. His nephew, William Randolph came to Virginia as an orphan in 1669, he made his home at Turkey Island along the James River. Because of their numerous progeny, William Randolph and his wife, Mary Isham Randolph, have been referred to as "the Adam and Eve of Virginia." The Randolph family was most powerful family in 18th-century Virginia. In 1663, Henry Randolph I built Swift Creek Mill William Randolph was a Virginia Burgess for Henrico County and Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses, he was a founding trustee of The College of Mary. Thomas Randolph of Tuckahoe and William Randolph II, sons of William Randolph, were Virginia Burgesses for Henrico County in 1720 and 1722. Sir John Randolph, son of William Randolph, was a Speaker of the House of Burgesses, Deputy Attorney General for Charles City County, Prince George County, Henrico County.
Peyton Randolph, son of Sir John Randolph, was a speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses, chairman of the Virginia Conventions, the first President of the Continental Congress. Beverley Randolph, grandson of William Randolph, was a Virginia Delegate for Henrico County from 1777 to 1780 and the 8th Governor of Virginia, the first after the US Constitution was ratified. Edmund Randolph, grandson of Sir John Randolph, was an aid-de-camp to George Washington in the American Revolutionary War, he was afterward seventh Governor of Virginia, the second Secretary of State, the first United States Attorney General. Thomas Jefferson, great-grandson of William Randolph, was a Virginia Burgess for Albemarle County and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. At the beginning of the American Revolution he was a delegate to the Continental Congress for Virginia serving as a wartime Governor of Virginia. Just after the war ended, from mid-1784 Jefferson served as a diplomat to Paris and became the United States Minister to France.
He was the first United States Secretary of State serving under President George Washington. He was the 2nd Vice President, under John Adams, 3rd President of the United States, during which he oversaw the Louisiana Purchase, leading the United States to double in size during his presidency. In years he founded the University of Virginia. John Marshall, great-grandson of Thomas Randolph of Tuckahoe, was the 4th Chief Justice of the United States, his court opinions helped lay the basis for United States constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches. He had been a leader of the Federalist Party in Virginia and served as a US Representative, he was Secretary of State under President John Adams from 1800 to 1801."Light Horse Harry" Lee, 2x great-grandson of William Randolph was an early American patriot who served as the ninth Governor of Virginia and as the Virginia Representative to the United States Congress.
During the American Revolution, Lee served as a cavalry officer in the Continental Army. Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. 2x great-grandson of William Randolph, was a member of both houses of the Virginia General Assembly, a Representative in the U. S. Congress, as the 21st Governor of Virginia, from 1819 to 1822. Robert E. Lee, 3x great grandson of William Randolph, was an American career military officer best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War. In postbellum years he was president of Washington College. George W. Randolph, 3x great grandson of William Randolph, was a general officer in the American Civil War and a Confederate States Secretary of War, he was most well known for his strengthening the Confederacy's western and southern defenses, but came into conflict with Confederate President Jefferson Davis over this. Junius Daniel, 4x great grandson of William Randolph, was a planter and career military officer, serving in the United States Army in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, as a brigadier general.
His troops were instrumental in the Confederates' success at the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. He was killed in action at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Armistead C. Gordon, 5x great grandson of William Randolph was a Virginia lawyer and a prolific writer of prose and poetry. Robert Williams Daniel, 2x great grandson of Edmund Randolph was a bank executive who served in the Virginia Senate from 1936 to 1940, he is best known for having survived the sinking of the ocean liner RMS Titanic in 1912. His account of the disaster was published in multiple newspapers. Robert Williams Daniel, Jr. 3x great grandson of Edmund Randolph was a Virginia farmer, businessman and politician who served five terms in the U. S. House of Representatives. While in Congress, Daniel was a member of the House Armed Services Committee and various subcommittees, he served as deputy assistant to Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, from 1984 to 1986, director of intelligence for the Department of Energy from 1990 to 1993.
He was a recipient of the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal. The family's wealth was based on four large plantations on the James River, acquired by William Randolph: Turkey Island, Curles and Dungeness (the result of two large land grants aroun
Iowa Wesleyan University
Iowa Wesleyan University is a private four-year liberal arts college in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Founded in 1842, it ranks as Iowa's first co-educational institution of higher learning and the oldest of its type west of the Mississippi River; the university is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Two campus buildings, Old Main and the Harlan-Lincoln House, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the latter, the former summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln, is now a museum featuring various artifacts from the Harlan and Lincoln families. In 1841 a group of Methodist settlers in Mount Pleasant, Iowa and began lobbying the Iowa territorial legislature to establish an institute of higher learning in their burgeoning community. On February 17, 1842, the legislature granted a charter for the Mount Pleasant Literary Institute, soon to be renamed as Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute. Despite the charter and fund raising were slow going at first. Twenty acres of land was donated for the campus by four Mount Pleasant residents in March 1843.
That same month, organizing officials hired Reverend Artistides J. Heustis as the institution's first president. From February 1855, the school was known as Iowa Wesleyan University, honoring John Wesley, the founder of Methodism The institution's name was modified to Iowa Wesleyan College in 1912, reflecting its contemporary status as a four-year baccalaureate degree institution of higher learning. On August 10, 2015, Iowa Wesleyan adopted its new name: Iowa Wesleyan University, reflecting its broad educational opportunities and its roots as one of the oldest four-year co-educational church-related universities west of the Mississippi River; the university occupies a 60-acre central campus of historic red brick buildings and modern structures, including some listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Chapel, built in 1896, received a complete restoration in the early 21st century. Iowa Wesleyan is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools to offer academic programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music Education degrees.
Undergraduate enrollment at the college is 600 full-time students. Dr. Steven E. Titus has been president of the university since June 2013. Students at Iowa Wesleyan can gain a variety of degrees in the fields of Business, Fine Arts, Human Studies and Literature, Science. In the late 1960s, Iowa Wesleyan started its Responsible Social Involvement program or RSI. Now called Service Learning, the program has two main goals: Service to the greater community, Having students participate more in their own education. Service Learning allows students direct experience outside the traditional realms of textbooks and professors. Additionally, all students at Iowa Wesleyan are required to complete an approved internship through the Office of Field Experience. Iowa Wesleyan University offers many activities for students outside the classroom, including the Student Government Association, the Student Union Board, Hall Councils, Student Ambassadors, as well as a number of performing groups such as the Concert Choir.
Greek life has a rich history at Iowa Wesleyan University. The one active chapter on campus is the Beta chapter of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, on campus since 1902, it is the oldest chapter of Alpha Xi Delta in the country. The P. E. O. Sisterhood was founded at Iowa Wesleyan University on January 21, 1869. Greek organizations that have had chapters on campus include: National Panhellenic Conference Sororities: Pi Beta Phi, 1868–2004 Phi Mu, 1914–1943 Zeta Tau Alpha, 1918–1987North American Interfraternity Conference Fraternities Phi Delta Theta, 1871–2009 Beta Theta Pi, 1868–1915 Delta Tau Delta, 1875–1980 Sigma Phi Epsilon, 1913–1976 Lambda Chi Alpha, 1924–1974 Tau Kappa Epsilon, 1947–1954 Phi Kappa Tau, 1968–1984 Iowa Wesleyan teams are known as the Tigers; the university is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association and a provisional member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association competing in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference; the football team competes in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.
The Tigers were part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics competing in the Midwest Collegiate Conference until the end of the 2011–12 season. Men's sports include baseball, cross country, golf and track & field. In 2009, for the second time in university history since 2006, both the men's and women's teams qualified for the NAIA National Basketball Tournament. Both men's and women's teams qualified for the USCAA National Tournament in 2015. From 1989-1991, Hal Mumme was head football coach, with Mike Leach as his offensive coordinator, it was at Iowa Wesleyan. Warren Wallace Beckwith, minor league baseball player and historical figure Bill Bedenbaugh, Co-Offensive Coordinator/OL Coach William Andrews Clark, United States Senator and business magnate George B. Corkhill, United States Attorney for the District of Columbia prosecuted Charles J. Guiteau for the assassination of James A. Garfield Dana Holgorsen, head football coach Jessie Wilson Manning - author, lecturer Belle Babb "Arabella" Mansfield, first woman lawyer in the United States John H. Mickey, 17th governor of Nebraska Ola Babcock Miller, Iowa Secretary of State Sandy Sandberg, American football player James Van Al
The Emancipation Proclamation, or Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. It changed the federal legal status of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the designated areas of the South from slave to free. As soon as a slave escaped the control of the Confederate government, by running away or through advances of federal troops, the former slave became free; the rebel surrender liberated and resulted in the proclamation's application to all of the designated former slaves. It did not cover slaves in Union areas, it was issued as a war measure during the American Civil War, directed to all of the areas in rebellion and all segments of the executive branch of the United States. The Proclamation ordered the freedom of all slaves in ten states; because it was issued under the president's authority to suppress rebellion, it excluded areas not in rebellion, but still applied to more than 3.5 million of the 4 million slaves.
The Proclamation was based on the president's constitutional authority as commander in chief of the armed forces. The Proclamation was issued in January 1863 after U. S government issued a series of warnings in the summer of 1862 under the Second Confiscation Act, allowing Southern Confederate supporters 60 days to surrender, or face confiscation of land and slaves; the Proclamation ordered that suitable persons among those freed could be enrolled into the paid service of United States' forces, ordered the Union Army to "recognize and maintain the freedom of" the ex-slaves. The Proclamation did not compensate the owners, did not outlaw slavery, did not grant citizenship to the ex-slaves, it made the eradication of slavery an explicit war goal, in addition to the goal of reuniting the Union. Around 25,000 to 75,000 slaves in regions where the US Army was active were emancipated, it could not be enforced in areas still under rebellion, but, as the Union army took control of Confederate regions, the Proclamation provided the legal framework for freeing more than three and a half million slaves in those regions.
Prior to the Proclamation, in accordance with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, escaped slaves were either returned to their masters or held in camps as contraband for return. The Proclamation applied only to slaves in Confederate-held lands. Excluded were some regions controlled by the Union army. Emancipation in those places would come after separate state actions or the December 1865 ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which made slavery and indentured servitude, except for those duly convicted of a crime, illegal everywhere subject to United States jurisdiction. On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary warning that he would order the emancipation of all slaves in any state that did not end its rebellion against the Union by January 1, 1863. None of the Confederate states restored themselves to the Union, Lincoln's order was signed and took effect on January 1, 1863; the Emancipation Proclamation outraged white Southerners. It angered some Northern Democrats, energized anti-slavery forces, undermined elements in Europe that wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy.
The Proclamation lifted the spirits of African Americans both slave. It led many slaves to escape from their masters and get to Union lines to obtain their freedom, to join the Union Army; the Emancipation Proclamation broadened the goals of the Civil War. While slavery had been a major issue that led to the war, Lincoln's only mission at the start of the war was to maintain the Union; the Proclamation made freeing the slaves an explicit goal of the Union war effort. Establishing the abolition of slavery as one of the two primary war goals served to deter intervention by Britain and France; the Emancipation Proclamation was never challenged in court. To ensure the abolition of slavery in all of the U. S. Lincoln pushed for passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, insisted that Reconstruction plans for Southern states require abolition in new state constitutions. Congress passed the 13th Amendment by the necessary two-thirds vote on January 31, 1865, it was ratified by the states on December 6, 1865, ending legal slavery.
The United States Constitution of 1787 did not use the word "slavery" but included several provisions about unfree persons. The Three-Fifths Compromise allocated Congressional representation based "on the whole Number of free Persons" and "three fifths of all other Persons". Under the Fugitive Slave Clause, "o person held to service or labour in one state" would be freed by escaping to another. Article I, Section 9 allowed Congress to pass legislation to outlaw the "Importation of Persons", but not until 1808. However, for purposes of the Fifth Amendment—which states that, "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"—slaves were understood as property. Although abolitionists used the Fifth Amendment to argue against slavery, it became part of the legal basis for treating slaves as property with Dred Scott v. Sandford. So
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