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
Napoleon Crossing the Alps
Napoleon Crossing the Alps is the title given to the five versions of an oil on canvas equestrian portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte painted by the French artist Jacques-Louis David between 1801 and 1805. Commissioned by the King of Spain, the composition shows a idealized view of the real crossing that Napoleon and his army made across the Alps through the Great St. Bernard Pass in May 1800. Having taken power in France during the 18 Brumaire on 9 November 1799, Napoleon was determined to return to Italy to reinforce the French troops in the country and retake the territory seized by the Austrians in the preceding years. In the spring of 1800 he led the Reserve Army across the Alps through the Great St. Bernard Pass; the Austrian forces, under Michael von Melas, were laying siege to Masséna in Genoa and Napoleon hoped to gain the element of surprise by taking the trans-Alpine route. By the time Napoleon's troops arrived, Genoa had fallen; the Reserve Army fought a battle at Montebello on 9 June before securing a decisive victory at the Battle of Marengo.
The installation of Napoleon as First Consul and the French victory in Italy allowed for a rapprochement with Charles IV of Spain. While talks were underway to re-establish diplomatic relations, a traditional exchange of gifts took place. Charles received Versailles-manufactured pistols, dresses from the best Parisian dressmakers, jewels for the queen, a fine set of armour for the newly reappointed Prime Minister, Manuel Godoy. In return Napoleon was offered sixteen Spanish horses from the royal stables, portraits of the king and queen by Goya, the portrait, to be commissioned from David; the French ambassador to Spain, Charles-Jean-Marie Alquier, requested the original painting from David on Charles' behalf. The portrait was to hang in the Royal Palace of Madrid as a token of the new relationship between the two countries. David, an ardent supporter of the Revolution but had transferred his fervour to the new Consulate, was eager to undertake the commission. On learning of the request, Bonaparte instructed David to produce three further versions: one for the Château de Saint-Cloud, one for the library of Les Invalides, a third for the palace of the Cisalpine Republic in Milan.
A fifth version remained in his various workshops until his death. The original painting remained in Madrid until 1812, when it was taken by Joseph Bonaparte after his abdication as King of Spain, he took it with him when he went into exile in the United States, it hung at his Point Breeze estate near Bordentown, New Jersey. The painting was handed down through his descendants until 1949, when his great grandniece, Eugenie Bonaparte, bequeathed it to the museum of the Château de Malmaison; the version produced for the Château de Saint-Cloud from 1801 was removed in 1814 by the Prussian soldiers under von Blücher who offered it to Frederick William III King of Prussia. It is now held in the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin; the 1802 copy from Les Invalides was taken down and put into storage on the Bourbon Restoration of 1814. The 1803 version was confiscated in 1816 by the Austrians. However, the people of Milan refused to give it up and it remained in the city until 1825, it was installed at the Belvedere in Vienna in 1834.
It remains now part of the collection of the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere. The version kept by David until his death in 1825 was exhibited at the Bazar Bonne-Nouvelle in 1846. In 1850 it was offered to the future Napoleon III by David's daughter, Pauline Jeanin, installed at the Tuileries Palace. In 1979, it was given to the museum at the Palace of Versailles; the commission specified a portrait of Napoleon standing in the uniform of the First Consul in the spirit of the portraits that were produced by Antoine-Jean Gros, Robert Lefèvre and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, but David was keen to paint an equestrian scene. The Spanish ambassador, Ignacio Muzquiz, informed Napoleon and asked him how he would like to be represented. Napoleon requested to be shown reviewing the troops but decided on a scene showing him crossing the Alps. In reality the crossing had been made in fine weather and Bonaparte had been led across by a guide a few days after the troops, mounted on a mule. However, from the outset the painting was first and foremost propaganda, Bonaparte asked David to portray him "calm, mounted on a fiery steed", it is probable that he suggested the addition of the names of the other great generals who had led their forces across the Alps: Hannibal and Charlemagne.
Few drafts and preparatory studies were made, contrary to David's normal practice. Gros, David's pupil, produced a small oil sketch of a horse being reined in, a probable study for Napoleon's mount, the notebooks of David show some sketches of first thoughts on the position of the rider; the lack of early studies may in part be explained by Bonaparte's refusal to sit for the portrait. He had sat for Gros in 1796 on the insistence of Joséphine de Beauharnais, but Gros had complained that he had not had enough time for the sitting to be of benefit. David had managed to persuade him to sit for a portrait in 1798, but the three hours that th
George Washington University
The George Washington University is a private research university in Washington, D. C, it was chartered in 1821 by an act of the United States Congress. The university is organized into 14 colleges and schools, including the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the Elliott School of International Affairs, the GW School of Business, the School of Media and Public Affairs, the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, the GW Law School and the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. George Washington's main Foggy Bottom Campus is located in the heart of Washington, D. C. with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank located on campus and the White House and the U. S. Department of State within blocks of campus. GWU hosts numerous research centers and institutes, including the National Security Archive and the Institute for International Economic Policy. GWU has two satellite campuses: the Mount Vernon Campus, located in D. C.'s the Virginia Science and Technology Campus.
It is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. George Washington, the first President of the United States, advocated the establishment of a national university in the U. S. capital in his first State of the Union address in 1790 and continued to promote this idea throughout his career and until his death. In his will, Washington left shares in the Potomac Company to endow the university. However, due to the company's financial difficulties, funds were raised independently. On 9 February 1821, the university was founded by an Act of Congress, making it one of only five universities in the United States with a Congressional charter. George Washington offers degree programs in seventy-one disciplines, enrolling an average of 11,000 undergraduate and 15,500 post-graduate students from more than 130 countries; the Princeton Review ranked GWU 1st for Top Universities for Internship Opportunities. As of 2015, George Washington had over 1,100 active alumni in the U. S. Foreign Service, the nation's diplomatic corps.
GWU is ranked by The Princeton Review in the top "Most Politically Active" Schools. George Washington is home to extensive student life programs, as well as a strong Greek culture, over 450 other student organizations; the school's athletic teams, the George Washington Colonials, play in the Atlantic 10 Conference. GW is known for the numerous prominent events it holds yearly, from hosting U. S. presidential debates and academic symposiums to the being the host of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund's Annual Meetings in DC, since 2013. George Washington alumni and affiliates include numerous prominent politicians, including the current U. S. Attorney General, heads of state and government, CEOs of major corporations, Nobel laureates, MacArthur fellows, Olympic athletes, Academy Award and Golden Globe winners and Time 100 notables. Historical records have shown that the first president of the United States, President George Washington, had made indications to Congress that he aspired to have a university established in the capital of the United States.
He included the subject in his last will and testament. Baptist missionary and leading minister Luther Rice raised funds to purchase a site in Washington, D. C. for a college to educate citizens from throughout the young nation. A large building was constructed on College Hill, now known as Meridian Hill, on February 9, 1821, President James Monroe approved the congressional charter creating the non-denominational Columbian College; the first commencement in 1824 was considered an important event for the young city of Washington, D. C. In attendance were President Monroe, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Marquis de Lafayette and other dignitaries; the George Washington University, like much of Washington, D. C. traces many of its origins back to the Freemasons. The Bible that the President of the George Washington University use to swear an oath on upon inauguration is the Bible of Freemason George Washington. Freemasonry symbols are prominently displayed throughout the campus including the foundation stones of many of the university buildings.
During the Civil War, most students left to join the Confederacy and the college's buildings were used as a hospital and barracks. Walt Whitman was among many of the volunteers to work on the campus. Following the war, in 1873, Columbian College became the Columbian University and moved to an urban downtown location centered on 15th and H streets, NW. In 1904, Columbian University changed its name to the George Washington University in an agreement with the George Washington Memorial Association to build a campus building in honor of the first U. S. President. Neither the university nor the association were able to raise enough funds for the proposed building near the National Mall; the university moved its principal operations to the D. C. neighborhood of Foggy Bottom in 1912. Many of the Colleges of the George Washington University stand out for their history; the Law School is the oldest law school in the District of Columbia. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences is the 11th oldest medical school in the nation.
The Columbian College was founded in 1821, is the oldest unit of the university. The Elliott School of International Affairs was formalized in 1898; the majority of the present infrastructure and financial stability at GW is due to the tenures of GW Presidents Cloyd Heck Marvin, Lloyd Hartman Elliott and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. In the 1930s, the university was a major center for theoretical physics; the cosmologist George Gamow produced critica
The Boston campaign was the opening campaign of the American Revolutionary War, taking place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The campaign began with the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, in which the local colonial militias interdicted a British government attempt to seize military stores and leaders in Concord, Massachusetts; the entire British expedition suffered significant casualties during a running battle back to Charlestown against an ever-growing number of militia. Subsequently, accumulated militia forces surrounded the city of Boston, beginning the Siege of Boston; the main action during the siege, the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, was one of the bloodiest encounters of the war, resulted in a Pyrrhic British victory. There were numerous skirmishes near Boston and the coastal areas of Boston, resulting in loss of life, military supplies, or both. In July 1775, George Washington took command of the assembled militia and transformed them into a more coherent army.
On March 4, 1776, the colonial army fortified Dorchester Heights with cannon capable of reaching Boston and British ships in the harbor. The siege ended on March 1776, with the permanent withdrawal of British forces from Boston. To this day, Boston celebrates March 17 as Evacuation Day. In 1767, the British Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which imposed import duties on paper, glass and other common items imported into the American colonies; the Sons of Liberty and other Patriot organizations responded with a variety of protest actions. They organized boycotts of the goods subject to the duty, they harassed and threatened the customs personnel who collected the duties, many of whom were either corrupt or related to Provincial leaders. Francis Bernard Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, requested military forces to protect the King's personnel. In October 1768, British troops occupied the city. Tensions led to the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770, the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773.
In response to the Tea Party and other protests, Parliament enacted the Intolerable Acts to punish the colonies. With the Massachusetts Government Act of 1774 it abolished the provincial government of Massachusetts. General Thomas Gage the commander-in-chief of British troops in North America, was appointed governor of Massachusetts and was instructed by King George's government to enforce royal authority in the troublesome colony. However, popular resistance compelled the newly appointed royal officials in Massachusetts to resign or to seek refuge in Boston. Gage commanded four regiments of British regulars from his headquarters in Boston, but the countryside was controlled by Patriot sympathizers. On September 1, 1774, British soldiers removed gunpowder and other military supplies in a surprise raid on a powder magazine near Boston; this expedition alarmed the countryside, thousands of American Patriots sprang into action, amid rumors that war was at hand. Although it proved to be a false alarm, this event—known as the Powder Alarm—caused all concerned to proceed more in the days ahead, provided a "dress rehearsal" for events seven months later.
In response to this action, the colonists carried off military supplies from several forts in New England and distributed them among the local militias. On the night of April 18, 1775, General Gage sent 700 men to seize munitions stored by the colonial militia at Concord. Several riders — including Paul Revere — alerted the countryside, when the British troops entered Lexington on the morning of April 19, they found 77 minutemen formed up on the village common. Shots were exchanged, eight Minutemen were killed, the outnumbered colonial militia dispersed, the British moved on to Concord. At Concord, the troops searched for military supplies, but found little, as the colonists, having received warnings that such an expedition might happen, had taken steps to hide many of the supplies. During the search, there was a confrontation at the North Bridge. A small company of British troops fired on a much larger column of colonial militia, which returned fire, routed those troops, which returned to the village center and rejoined the other troops there.
By the time the "redcoats" or "lobster backs" began the return march to Boston, several thousand militiamen had gathered along the road. A running fight ensued, the British detachment suffered before reaching Charlestown. With the Battle of Lexington and Concord — the "shot heard'round the world" — the war had begun. In the aftermath of the failed Concord expedition, the thousands of militiamen that had converged on Boston remained. Over the next few days, more arrived from further afield, including companies from New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Under the command of Artemas Ward, they surrounded the city, blocking its land approaches and putting the occupied city under siege; the British regulars fortified the high points in the city. While the British were able to resupply the city by sea, supplies in Boston were short. Troops were sent out to some of the islands in Boston Harbor to raid farmers for supplies. In response, the colonials began clearing those islands of supplies useful to the British.
One of these actions was contested by the British in the Battle of Chelsea Creek, but it resulted in the loss of two British soldiers and the British ship Diana. The need for building materials and other supplies led Admiral Samuel Graves to authorize a Loyalist merchant to send his ships from Boston to Machias in the District of Maine, accompanied by a Royal Navy schooner; the Machias townspeople rose up, seizi
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States federal government's official list of districts, buildings and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property; the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. Of the more than one million properties on the National Register, 80,000 are listed individually; the remainder are contributing resources within historic districts. For most of its history the National Register has been administered by the National Park Service, an agency within the United States Department of the Interior, its goals are to help property owners and interest groups, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, coordinate and protect historic sites in the United States.
While National Register listings are symbolic, their recognition of significance provides some financial incentive to owners of listed properties. Protection of the property is not guaranteed. During the nomination process, the property is evaluated in terms of the four criteria for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places; the application of those criteria has been the subject of criticism by academics of history and preservation, as well as the public and politicians. Historic sites outside the country proper, but associated with the United States are listed. Properties can be nominated in a variety of forms, including individual properties, historic districts, multiple property submissions; the Register categorizes general listings into one of five types of properties: district, structure, building, or object. National Register Historic Districts are defined geographical areas consisting of contributing and non-contributing properties; some properties are added automatically to the National Register when they become administered by the National Park Service.
These include National Historic Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Historical Parks, National Military Parks, National Memorials, some National Monuments. On October 15, 1966, the Historic Preservation Act created the National Register of Historic Places and the corresponding State Historic Preservation Offices; the National Register consisted of the National Historic Landmarks designated before the Register's creation, as well as any other historic sites in the National Park system. Approval of the act, amended in 1980 and 1992, represented the first time the United States had a broad-based historic preservation policy; the 1966 act required those agencies to work in conjunction with the SHPO and an independent federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, to confront adverse effects of federal activities on historic preservation. To administer the newly created National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior, with director George B.
Hartzog Jr. established an administrative division named the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation. Hartzog charged OAHP with creating the National Register program mandated by the 1966 law. Ernest Connally was the Office's first director. Within OAHP new divisions were created to deal with the National Register; the division administered several existing programs, including the Historic Sites Survey and the Historic American Buildings Survey, as well as the new National Register and Historic Preservation Fund. The first official Keeper of the Register was an architectural historian. During the Register's earliest years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, organization was lax and SHPOs were small and underfunded. However, funds were still being supplied for the Historic Preservation Fund to provide matching grants-in-aid to listed property owners, first for house museums and institutional buildings, but for commercial structures as well. A few years in 1979, the NPS history programs affiliated with both the U.
S. National Parks system and the National Register were categorized formally into two "Assistant Directorates." Established were the Assistant Directorate for Archeology and Historic Preservation and the Assistant Directorate for Park Historic Preservation. From 1978 until 1981, the main agency for the National Register was the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service of the United States Department of the Interior. In February 1983, the two assistant directorates were merged to promote efficiency and recognize the interdependency of their programs. Jerry L. Rogers was selected to direct this newly merged associate directorate, he was described as a skilled administrator, sensitive to the need for the NPS to work with SHPOs, local governments. Although not described in detail in the 1966 act, SHPOs became integral to the process of listing properties on the National Register; the 1980 amendments of the 1966 law further defined the responsibilities of SHPOs concerning the National Register.
Several 1992 amendments of the NHPA added a category to the National Register, known as Traditional Cultural Properties: those properties associated with Native American or Hawaiian groups
George Washington in the French and Indian War
George Washington's military experience began in the French and Indian War with a commission as a major in the militia of the British Province of Virginia. In 1753 Washington was sent as an ambassador from the British crown to the French officials and Indians as far north as present-day Erie, Pennsylvania; the following year he led another expedition to the area to assist in the construction of a fort at present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Before reaching that point, he and some of his men, ambushed a French scouting party, its leader was killed. This peacetime act of aggression is seen as one of the first military steps leading to the global Seven Years' War; the French responded by attacking fortifications Washington erected following the ambush, forcing his surrender. Released on parole and his troops returned to Virginia. In 1755 he participated as a volunteer aide in the ill-fated expedition of General Edward Braddock, where he distinguished himself in the retreat following the climactic Battle of Monongahela.
He served from 1755 until 1758 as colonel and commander of the Virginia Regiment, directing the provincial defenses against French and Indian raids and building the regiment into one of the best-trained provincial militias of the time. He led the regiment as part of the 1758 expedition of General John Forbes that drove the French from Fort Duquesne, during which he and some of his companies were involved in a friendly fire incident. Unable to get a commission in the British Army, Washington resigned from the provincial militia and took up the life of a Virginia plantation owner. Washington gained valuable military skills during the war, acquiring tactical and logistical military experience, he acquired important political skills in his dealings with the British military establishment and the provincial government. His military exploits, although they included some notable failures, made his military reputation in the colonies such that he became a natural selection as the commander in chief of the Continental Army following the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775.
His successes in military and political spheres during that conflict led to his election as the first President of the United States of America. Born into a well-to-do Virginia family in Bridges Creek near Fredericksburg in 1732, Washington was schooled locally until the age of 15, his father's sudden death occurred. This eliminated the possibility of schooling in England, his mother rejected attempts to place him in the Royal Navy. Thanks to the connection by marriage of his half-brother Lawrence to the wealthy Fairfax family, Washington was appointed surveyor of Culpeper County in 1749. Washington's brother had purchased an interest in the Ohio Company, a land acquisition and settlement company whose objective was the settlement of Virginia's frontier areas, including the Ohio Country, territory north and west of the Ohio River, its investors included Virginia's Royal Governor, Robert Dinwiddie, who appointed Washington a major in the provincial militia in February 1753. The Ohio Country was occupied by a variety of Indian tribes that were nominally under the suzerainty of the Iroquois Confederacy based in what is now northwestern New York.
The area was the subject of several conflicting claims by British and French colonies. The British provinces of Virginia and Pennsylvania both claimed the area, traders from Pennsylvania had been trading with the Indians at least since the early 1740s. In 1752, representatives of the Ohio Company reached an agreement with the local Indian leaders allowing the construction of a fort and a small settlement at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, for the establishment of some settlements south of the Ohio River; the French were alarmed by these developments, in 1753 began the construction of a series of fortifications in the uppermost headwaters of the Ohio River, intending to extend the line of forts downriver and deny British traders and settlers access to the territory. When news of this reached Virginia, Governor Dinwiddie sought advice from the British government in London, he received orders to send a messenger to the French, reiterating British claims and demanding that they stop construction of their forts and quit the territory.
Governor Dinwiddie chose Major Washington 21 years old, for the trek into the Ohio Country to assess the French military situation, to deliver the British demands. He was a good choice despite his youth because he was familiar with the frontier from survey work, had good health, both government and Ohio Company leaders trusted Washington. Although he had no frontier warfare experience, neither did most other Virginians. Washington departed from Williamsburg at the end of October 1753. In Fredericksburg he picked up Jacob Van Braam, a family friend who spoke French, before heading into the Virginia highlands. There he was joined by Christopher Gist, an Ohio Company agent, familiar with the territory, a few backwoodsmen to assist with expedition logistics; when the expedition arrived at the site of the proposed fort, Washington noted that the site was well chosen, having "the entire Command of the Monongahela". The expedition proceeded on to Logstown, a large Indian settlement a short way down the Ohio River.
After parleying with the Indians, the Mingo "Half King" Tanacharison and three of his men agreed to accompany the British expedition to meet with the French. Washington learned that many of the Ohio tribes were as unhappy about the British plans for settli
Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting in the spring of 1775 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia between September 5, 1774, October 26, 1774; the Second Congress moved incrementally towards independence. It adopted the Lee Resolution which established the new country on July 2, 1776, it agreed to the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776; the Congress acted as the de facto national government of the United States by raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, making formal treaties such as the Olive Branch Petition. The Second Continental Congress came together on May 11, 1775 reconvening the First Continental Congress. Many of the 56 delegates who attended the first meeting were in attendance at the second, the delegates appointed the same president and secretary. Notable new arrivals included John Hancock of Massachusetts.
Within two weeks, Randolph was summoned back to Virginia to preside over the House of Burgesses. Henry Middleton was elected as president to replace Randolph. Hancock was elected president on May 24. Delegates from twelve of the Thirteen Colonies were present when the Second Continental Congress convened. Georgia had not participated in the First Continental Congress and did not send delegates to the Second. On May 13, 1775, Lyman Hall was admitted as a delegate from the Parish of St. John's in the Colony of Georgia, not as a delegate from the colony itself. On July 4, 1775, revolutionary Georgians held a Provincial Congress to decide how to respond to the American Revolution, that congress decided on July 8 to send delegates to the Continental Congress, they arrived on September 13. The First Continental Congress had sent entreaties to King George III to stop the Coercive Acts; the Second Continental Congress met on May 10, 1775 to plan further responses if the British government had not repealed or modified the acts.
For the first few months of the war, the Patriots carried on their struggle in an ad-hoc and uncoordinated manner. They had seized arsenals, driven out royal officials, besieged the British army in the city of Boston. On June 14, 1775, the Congress voted to create the Continental Army out of the militia units around Boston and appointed George Washington of Virginia as commanding general. On July 6, 1775, Congress approved a Declaration of Causes outlining the rationale and necessity for taking up arms in the Thirteen Colonies. On July 8, they extended the Olive Branch Petition to the British Crown as a final attempt at reconciliation. Silas Deane was sent to France as a minister of the Congress, American ports were reopened in defiance of the British Navigation Acts; the Continental Congress had no explicit legal authority to govern, but it assumed all the functions of a national government, such as appointing ambassadors, signing treaties, raising armies, appointing generals, obtaining loans from Europe, issuing paper money, disbursing funds.
The Congress had no authority to levy taxes and was required to request money and troops from the states to support the war effort. Individual states ignored these requests. Congress was moving towards declaring independence from the British Empire in 1776, but many delegates lacked the authority from their home governments to take such a drastic action. Advocates of independence moved to have reluctant colonial governments revise instructions to their delegations, or replace those governments which would not authorize independence. On May 10, 1776, Congress passed a resolution recommending that any colony with a government, not inclined toward independence should form one that was. On May 15, they adopted a more radical preamble to this resolution, drafted by John Adams, which advised throwing off oaths of allegiance and suppressing the authority of the Crown in any colonial government that still derived its authority from the Crown; that same day, the Virginia Convention instructed its delegation in Philadelphia to propose a resolution that called for a declaration of independence, the formation of foreign alliances, a confederation of the states.
The resolution of independence was delayed for several weeks, as advocates of independence consolidated support in their home governments. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee offered a resolution before the Congress declaring the colonies independent, he urged Congress to resolve "to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances" and to prepare a plan of confederation for the newly independent states. Lee argued that independence was the only way to ensure a foreign alliance, since no European monarchs would deal with America if they remained Britain's colonies. American leaders had rejected the divine right of kings in the New World, but recognized the necessity of proving their credibility in the Old World. Congress formally adopted the resolution of independence, but only after creating three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a Model Treaty, the Articles of Confederation; the Declaration announced the states' entry into the international