The Democratic-Republican Party was an American political party formed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison around 1792 to oppose the centralizing policies of the new Federalist Party run by Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury and chief architect of George Washington's administration. From 1801 to 1825, the new party controlled the presidency and Congress as well as most states during the First Party System, it began in 1791 as one faction in Congress and included many politicians, opposed to the new constitution. They called themselves Republicans after republicanism, they distrusted the Federalist tendency to centralize and loosely interpret the Constitution, believing these policies were signs of monarchism and anti-republican values. The party splintered in 1824, with the faction loyal to Andrew Jackson coalescing into the Jacksonian movement, the faction led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay forming the National Republican Party and some other groups going on to form the Anti-Masonic Party.
The National Republicans, Anti-Masons, other opponents of Andrew Jackson formed themselves into the Whig Party. During the time that this party existed, it was referred to as the Republican Party. To distinguish it from the modern Republican Party, political scientists and pundits refer to this party as the Democratic-Republican Party or the Jeffersonian Republican Party; when the modern Republican Party was founded in 1854, it deliberately chose to name itself after the Jeffersonians. In response, contemporary Democrats embraced the name Democratic-Republican to reinforce their party's claim to the party's pre-Jacksonian history. Modern Democratic politicians continue to claim Jefferson as their founder; the party arose from the Anti-Administration faction which met secretly in the national capital to oppose Alexander Hamilton's financial programs. Jefferson denounced the programs as leading to subversive of republicanism. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to challenge the Federalists, which Hamilton was building up with allies in major cities.
Foreign affairs took a leading role in 1794–1795 as the Republicans vigorously opposed the Jay Treaty with the United Kingdom, at war with France. Republicans saw France as more democratic after its Revolution while the United Kingdom represented the hated monarchy; the party denounced many of Hamilton's measures as unconstitutional the national bank. The party was weakest in the Northeast, it demanded states' rights as expressed by the "Principles of 1798" articulated in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions that would allow states to nullify a federal law. Above all, the party stood for the primacy of the yeoman farmers. Republicans were committed to the principles of republicanism, which they feared were threatened by the supposed monarchical tendencies of the Hamiltonian Federalists; the party came to power in 1801 with the election of Jefferson in the 1800 presidential election. The Federalists—too elitist to appeal to most people—faded away and collapsed after 1815. Despite internal divisions, the Republicans dominated the First Party System until partisanship itself withered away during the Era of Good Feelings after 1816.
The party selected its presidential candidates in a caucus of members of Congress. They included James Madison and James Monroe. By 1824, the caucus system had collapsed. After 1800, the party dominated most state governments outside New England. By 1824, the party was split four ways and lacked a center as the First Party System collapsed; the emergence of the Second Party System in the 1820s and 30s realigned the old factions. One remnant followed Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren into the new Democratic Party by 1828. Another remnant, led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, formed the National Republican Party in 1824 while some remaining smaller factions formed the Anti-Masonic Party, which along with some National Republican groups developed into the Whig Party by 1836. Most remaining National Republicans would soon after go on to be a part of the Free Soil and modern Republican parties in the 1840s and 1850s. Congressman James Madison started the party among Representatives in Philadelphia as the "Republican Party".
He, Jefferson and others reached out to include state and local leaders around the country New York and the South. The precise date of founding is disputed, but 1791 is a reasonable estimate and some time by 1792 is certain; the new party set up newspapers that made withering critiques of Hamiltonianism, extolled the yeoman farmer, argued for strict construction of the Constitution, favored the French Revolution opposed the United Kingdom and called for stronger state governments than the Federalist Party was proposing. The elections of 1792 were the first ones to be contested on anything resembling a partisan basis. In most states, the congressional elections were recognized—as Jefferson strategist John Beckley put it—as a "struggle between the Treasury department and the republican interest". In New York, the candidates for governor were a Federalist. Four states' electors voted for Clinton and one for Jefferson for Vice President in opposition to incumbent John Adams as well as casting their votes for President Washington.
Before 1804, electors cast two votes together wi
Magnus Miller Murray
Magnus Miller Murray, served as the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1828 to 1830 and again from 1831 to 1832. Mayor Murray now rests in Section Lot 29 of Allegheny Cemetery. Murray was born to Commodore Alexander Murray and Mary Miller Murray, he was named after Magnus Miller, a local merchant. He attended Pennsylvania University, earning both bachelor's and master's degrees in an era when many statesmen had only a grade school education. On January 6, 1806 he was admitted to the Philadelphia Bar, he married Mary Wilkens, daughter of John Wilkins, Jr. and Catherine Reagan Murray, on February 23, 1810. Murray began politics as an understudy to his uncle, area judge and political insider William Wilkins. Under Murray's mayoral administration, the Western Terminus of the Pennsylvania Canal was completed along the Grant Street corridor of the city. Murray was the first of a handful of Pittsburgh mayors to serve two non-consecutive terms in office, having to cede control of the mayor's office to Matthew B.
Lowrie from 1830 to 1831, before regaining his mayoral powers. Mayor Magnus Murray's son, James Butler Murray, President of the First Exchange Bank of Pittsburgh is remembered in the naming of Murray Avenue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Member of The Society of the Cincinnati as the oldest male heir of Commodore Alexander Murray. Murray is an ancestor of actress Julie Bowen. Killikelly, S.. The History of Pittsburgh: Its Rise and Progress. Pittsburgh: B. C. & Gordon Montgomery Co. Martin, J.. Martin's Bench and Bar of Philadelphia, Philadelphia: R. Welsh & co
John M. Snowden
John Maugridge Snowden, served as Mayor of Pittsburgh City from 1825 to 1828. Snowden was born in Pennsylvania to a revolutionary war family of patriots, his father, John Snowden, was a hero of the war, being imprisoned by the British forces and dying in their custody. His mother, Elizabeth Moor, was a major advisor to General Washington during his Pennsylvania campaigns. In 1811 Snowden began a book business in Pittsburgh, he bought and edited his own newspaper, the Pittsburgh Mercury. Like his predecessor as Mayor, John Darragh, he used his appointment as President of the Bank of Pittsburgh to launch his mayoral candidacy. Snowden served terms as Allegheny County Recorder and Treasurer before being elected mayor of Pittsburgh in 1825, he served until 1828. Pittsburgh 12 March 1829 His ExcellencyGen A. Jackson Prest. U. S. Dr Sir To the many requests to which your attention is at this time drawn, may I be permitted respectfully to add mine? I have this day written to the Hon. M Van Buren applying for the appointment to publish the laws of the United States, &c in the Pittsburgh Mercury of which I am the editor and proprietor.
Presuming on your knowledge of my character and standing here and on your friendly feelings may I be permitted respectfully to solicit your aid in this particular. I presume it is known to your excellency that the Mercury was, both in 1824 and 1828, devoted to those principles which have so signally triumphed in the late contest, it is the second oldest paper in this place and has a respectable patronage and circulation. Calculated with firmness, but at the same time maintaining that decorous course, calculated to merit and secure the public confidence, it is believed that it was not an unimportant auxiliary in that contest, but neither my scrupulous regard as an editor for private character - the correctness of my course - nor my acknowledged good reputation - has secured me from many sacrifices in the just support of my political principles and opinions. Wherever political opponents could assail me, they have done it. From their own avowals, the first effort displayed itself by a combination to oust me from the mayoralty of this city - not because I was considered to be incompetent to or unfaithful in the discharge of the duties of that office, but because the fact that an opponent of the existing administration had been removed from the head of the city authorities, would give éclat abroad and subserve their political interests.
This step has been followed up by attempts to break down my establishment or diminish its patronage - attempts which have to a considerate extent affected my pecuniary interests, subjected me to an inconvenience, sensibly felt at my advanced period of life, with a numerous family dependent on my labour and exertions for maintenance. I make these statements not by way of complaint, but to show that the Pittsburgh Mercury was not, is not regarded as an inefficient partisan in the struggle for principles. If other recommendations be wanting for the obtainment of that appointment, I shall with great pleasure afford to your excellency any testimonials which may be asked of the purity of my life and character. I write with the freedom of a friend, I hope that my candour will not be construed into a want of respect. Had I less confidence in your willingness to give my application a favorable reception, or in the benevolence of your disposition, I should scarcely have ventured to write this letter, or if I had written, would have written more reservedly.
At the time of your visit to this place, I had the honour of introducing to your notice my son Wm Snowden. He accompanied you to Washington, he has been bred to the law. He is a young man of steady habits. Several of his and my friends have advised him to apply for a clerkship in one of the public offices in that of the secretary of state, his course of education we think best qualifies him for such a clerkship. I have understood that Mr Stevenson, many of the Pennsylvania delegation, together with Col McKinley of Alabama, other of your distinguished personal friends in and out of our congress, with whom he is acquainted, will join in his recommendation. If from the partial acquaintance you have had of him, the recommendations he may obtain, your excellency could be induced to interest yourself in his behalf, it would not only afford great gratification to me, but might be the happy means of bringing a promising young man into the public usefulness. I have the honour to be your excellencys most obt sevrt.
John M. Snowden This is a transcript of a letter from the National Archives, Record Group 59. IN pursuance to/ public notice, the citizens of Pittsburgh, convened in town meeting, at the court house, on Saturday evening, the 22nd inst. John M. Snowden, Esq. Mayor of the City, was called to the chair, William Eichbaum, jr. and Robert Burke, were chosen secretaries. The object of the meeting having been stated by the chairman, Judge Wilkins rose, after some appropriate and eloquent remarks, submitted the following preamble and resolutions, which were adopted: When men and honored for their virtues and services are removed from the scene of life, full of years, bearing with them the benedictions of millions whom they have blessed- when he who brought to light the principles of our revolutionary struggle, he who stood foremost
The Anti-Masonic Party known as the Anti-Masonic Movement, was the first third party in the United States. It opposed Freemasonry as a single-issue party and aspired to become a major party by expanding its platform to take positions on other issues. After emerging as a political force in the late 1820s, most of the Anti-Masonic Party's members joined the Whig Party in the 1830s and the party disappeared after 1838; the party was founded in the aftermath of the disappearance of William Morgan, a former Mason who had become a prominent critic of the Masonic organization. Many believed that the Masons had murdered Morgan for speaking out against Masonry and subsequently many churches and other groups condemned masonry; as many Masons were prominent businessmen and politicians, the backlash against the Masons was a form of anti-elitism. Mass opposition to Masonry coalesced into a political party. Before and during the presidency of John Quincy Adams, there was a period of political realignment; the Anti-Masons emerged as an important third party alternative to Andrew Jackson's Democrats and Adams's National Republicans.
In New York, the Anti-Masons supplanted the National Republicans as the primary opposition to the Democrats. After experiencing unexpected success in the 1828 elections, the Anti-Masons began to adopt positions on other issues, most notably support for internal improvements and a protective tariff. Several Anti-Masons, including William A. Palmer and Joseph Ritner, won election to prominent positions. In states such as Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, the party controlled the balance of power in the state legislature and provided crucial support to candidates for the Senate. In 1831, the party held the first presidential nominating convention, a practice, subsequently adopted by all major parties; the convention chose former Attorney General William Wirt as the party's standard bearer in the 1832 presidential election and Wirt won 7.8% of the popular vote and carried Vermont. As the 1830s progressed, many of the Anti-Masonic Party's supporters joined the Whig Party, which sought to unite those opposed to the policies of President Jackson.
The Anti-Masonic Party held a national convention in 1835, nominating William Henry Harrison, but a second convention announced that the party would not support a candidate. Harrison campaigned as a Whig in the 1836 presidential election and his relative success in the election encouraged further migration of Anti-Masons to the Whig Party. By 1840, the party had ceased to function as a national organization. In subsequent decades, former Anti-Masonic candidates and supporters such as Millard Fillmore, William H. Seward, Thurlow Weed and Thaddeus Stevens would become well-known members of the Whig Party; the opponents of Freemasonry formed a political movement after the Morgan affair convinced them the Masons were murdering men who spoke out against them. This key episode was the mysterious 1826 disappearance of William Morgan, a Freemason in upstate New York who had turned against the Masons. Morgan claimed to have been made a member of the Masons while living in Canada and he appears to have attended a lodge in Rochester.
In 1825, Morgan received the Royal Arch degree at Le Roy's Western Star Chapter #33, having declared under oath that he had received the six degrees which preceded it. Whether he received these degrees and if so from where has not been determined for certain. Morgan attempted unsuccessfully to help establish or visit lodges and chapters in Batavia, but was denied participation in Batavia's Masonic activities by members who were uncertain about Morgan's character and claims to Masonic membership. Angered by the rejection, Morgan announced that he was going to publish an exposé titled Illustrations of Masonry, critical of the Freemasons and describing their secret degree ceremonies in detail; when his intentions became known to the Batavia lodge, an attempt was made to burn down the business of the printer who planned to publish Morgan's book. In September 1826, Morgan was arrested on flimsy allegations of failing to repay a loan and theft of a shirt and tie in an effort to prevent publication of his book by keeping him in jail.
The individual who intended to publish Morgan's book paid his bail and he was released from custody. Shortly afterwards, Morgan disappeared; some skeptics argued that Morgan had left the Batavia area on his own, either because he had been paid not to publish his book, or to escape Masonic retaliation for attempting to publish the book, or to generate publicity that would boost the book's sales. The believed version of events was that Masons killed Morgan by drowning him in the Niagara River. Whether he fled or was murdered, Morgan's disappearance led many to believe that Freemasonry was in conflict with good citizenship; because judges, businessmen and politicians were Masons, ordinary citizens began to think of it as an elitist group. Moreover, many claimed that the lodges' secret oaths bound Masons to favor each other against outsiders in the courts and elsewhere; because some trials of alleged Morgan conspirators were mishandled and the Masons resisted further inquiries, many New Yorkers concluded that Masons controlled key offices and used their official authority to promote the goals of the fraternity by ensuring that Morgan's supposed killers escaped punishment.
When a member sought to reveal its secrets, so ran the conclusion, the Freemasons had done away with him. Because they controlled the courts and other offices, they were capable of obstructing the investigation. True Americans, they said, had to defeat this conspiracy. If good government was to be restored "all Masons must be purged from public office"; the Anti-Masonic Party was formed in Upst
Ebenezer Denny was a soldier during the American Revolutionary War whose journal is one of the most quoted accounts of the surrender of the British at the siege of Yorktown. Denny served as the first Mayor of Pittsburgh, from 1816 to 1817. Denny was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on March 11, 1761, the eldest son of William and Agnes Parker Denny. At the age of 13 he was entrusted to carry dispatches across the Allegheny Mountains by the commandant at Fort Pitt, he crossed alone often. At one point he was chased into Fort Loudon by the Indians, he entered into employment for his father's shop in Carlisle. Upon learning that a letter of the marque, a privateer ship, was to sail from Philadelphia for the West Indies, he shipped as a volunteer, he was promoted to command the quarterdeck for his gallantry in numerous sea fights. As he was readying to sail on his second voyage he received a commission as ensign in the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental Army in 1778. In August 1780, he was transferred to the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment, on May 23, 1781, he was promoted to lieutenant in the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment.
This transpired during 1781 as the Continental Army marched south to face Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, at which time the end of the long war for independence drew close. Near Williamsburg, the regiment had a successful encounter against British forces, the partisan Simcoe. Denny in his famous military journal states, "Here for the first time saw wounded men; as the Continental Army closed around the British stronghold at Yorktown, Lt. Denny described the scene, "Army encamped on the banks of the James River, his journal entry dated September 14, 1781, continues into further detail of the encampment: General Washington Arrived. Officers all pay their respects, he stands in the door, takes every man by the hand. This is the first time. October 15, 1781, the siege at Yorktown begins: Siege operations were at once commenced. Easy digging. Light, sandy soil. A shell from one of French mortars set fire to a British frigate. October 17, 1781, The Surrender of Cornwallis: Had the pleasure of seeing a drummer mount the enemy's parapet and beat a parley and an officer, holding up a white handkerchief, made his appearance.
An officer from our line ran and met him and tied the handkerchief over his eyes, thus was the great event of the surrender of Cornwallis accomplished. Denny rejoined the army as an officer of the First American Regiment in August 1784, was active in the Northwest Indian War, he participated in the 1790 Harmar Campaign and served as aide-de-camp to Major-General Arthur St. Clair at St. Clair's Defeat. Denny kept a journal, considered an important primary document of the two campaigns. Following the battle, Lt. Denny wrote that the native nations were "an enemy brought up from infancy to war, superior to an equal number of the best men that could be taken against them." He travelled to Philadelphia to deliver the official report of the loss to Secretary of War Henry Knox. Denny compiled a dictionary of Delaware and Shawnee words. Following a 1794 mission to Fort Le Boeuf, Major Denny resigned his commission and settled near Pittsburgh. Unlike in other states, communities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania could not attain city status until after spending a number of years as a borough with a government run by burgesses, a form of city council.
Because of this, Denny instead started his political career in county government serving Pittsburgh. In 1797, Denny was elected Allegheny County Commissioner, he sought higher office and ran as Treasurer for the entire county in 1803 and 1808. Being a Revolutionary War hero, major patriot force for the frontier front of the War of 1812, Denny ran to become the first mayor of the city of Pittsburgh on 19 July 1816, his term in office saw much progress in the infrastructure of the young city, improving roads and wharves. Citing failing health he retired from public life and the mayor's office on January 14, 1817, he died 21 July 1822, is interred at Allegheny Cemetery in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Ebenezer Denny had children, his son, Harmar Denny, went on to establish a political career of his own: a member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from 1824 to 1829, as well as being elected to the Twenty-first Congress through the Twenty-fourth Congress serving from 15 December 1829, to 3 March 1837.
His second great-grandson, Harmar D. Denny Jr. served in the 82nd Congress in the U. S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 29th congressional district. One of the first resolutions of the Pittsburgh City Council was that of honoring the patriotic and public service of Ebenezer Denny on learning of his early retirement due to health concerns in 1817. Denny Street, in the city's Lawrenceville neighborhood, was named in his honor. Denny, Ebenezer. Military Journal of Major Ebenezer Denny, an Officer in the Revolutionary and Indian Wars. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. Retrieved 11 December 2011. Winkler, John F.. Wabash 1791: St. Clair's Defeat. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84908-676-1. Ebenezer Denny at Find a Grave
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party; the Democrats' dominant worldview was once social conservatism and economic liberalism, while populism was its leading characteristic in the rural South. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate in the Progressive Party, beginning a switch of political platforms between the Democratic and Republican Party over the coming decades, leading to Woodrow Wilson being elected as the first fiscally progressive Democrat. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition in the 1930s, the Democratic Party has promoted a social liberal platform, supporting social justice. Well into the 20th century, the party had conservative pro-business and Southern conservative-populist anti-business wings.
The New Deal Coalition of 1932–1964 attracted strong support from voters of recent European extraction—many of whom were Catholics based in the cities. After Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s, the pro-business wing withered outside the South. After the racial turmoil of the 1960s, most Southern whites and many Northern Catholics moved into the Republican Party at the presidential level; the once-powerful labor union element became less supportive after the 1970s. White Evangelicals and Southerners became Republican at the state and local level since the 1990s. People living in metropolitan areas, women and gender minorities, college graduates, racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, such as Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans and African Americans, tend to support the Democratic Party much more than they support the rival Republican Party; the Democratic Party's philosophy of modern liberalism advocates social and economic equality, along with the welfare state.
It seeks to provide government regulation in the economy. These interventions, such as the introduction of social programs, support for labor unions, affordable college tuitions, moves toward universal health care and equal opportunity, consumer protection and environmental protection form the core of the party's economic policy. Fifteen Democrats have served as President of the United States; the first was President Andrew Jackson, the seventh president and served from 1829 to 1837. The most recent was President Barack Obama, the 44th president and held office from 2009 to 2017. Following the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats held a majority in the House of Representatives, "trifectas" in 14 states, the mayoralty of numerous major American cities, such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Portland and Washington, D. C. Twenty-three state governors were Democrats, the Party was the minority party in the Senate and in most state legislatures; as of March 2019, four of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court had been appointed by Democratic presidents.
Democratic Party officials trace its origins to the inspiration of the Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792. That party inspired the Whigs and modern Republicans. Organizationally, the modern Democratic Party arose in the 1830s with the election of Andrew Jackson. Since the nomination of William Jennings Bryan in 1896, the party has positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party on economic issues, they have been more liberal on civil rights issues since 1948. On foreign policy, both parties have changed position several times; the Democratic Party evolved from the Jeffersonian Republican or Democratic-Republican Party organized by Jefferson and Madison in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. The party favored republicanism; the Democratic-Republican Party came to power in the election of 1800. After the War of 1812, the Federalists disappeared and the only national political party left was the Democratic-Republicans.
The era of one-party rule in the United States, known as the Era of Good Feelings, lasted from 1816 until the early 1830s, when the Whig Party became a national political group to rival the Democratic-Republicans. However, the Democratic-Republican Party still had its own internal factions, they split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the modern Democratic Party. As Norton explains the transformation in 1828: Jacksonians believed the people's will had prevailed. Through a lavishly financed coalition of state parties, political leaders, newspaper editors, a popular movement had elected the president; the Democrats became the nation's first well-organized national party and tight party organization became the hallmark of nineteenth-century American politics. Opposing factions led by Henry Clay helped form the Whig Party; the Democratic Party had a small yet decisive advantage over the Whigs until the 1850s, when the Whigs fell apart over the issue of slavery.
In 1854, angry with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, anti-slavery Dem
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