The Legislature of the state of Texas is the state legislature of Texas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of a 31-member Senate and a 150-member House of Representatives; the state legislature meets at the Capitol in Austin. It is a powerful arm of the Texas government not only because of its power of the purse to control and direct the activities of state government and the strong constitutional connections between it and the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, but due to Texas's plural executive; the Legislature is the constitutional successor of the Congress of the Republic of Texas since Texas's 1845 entrance into the Union. The Legislature held its first regular session from February 16 to May 13, 1846; the Texas Legislature meets in regular session on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year. The Texas Constitution limits the regular session to 140 calendar days; the lieutenant governor, elected statewide separately from the governor, presides over the Senate, while the Speaker of the House is elected from that body by its members.
Both have wide latitude in choosing committee membership in their respective houses and have a large impact on lawmaking in the state. Only the governor may call the Legislature into special sessions, unlike other states where the legislature may call itself into session; the governor may call as many sessions as she desires. For example, Governor Rick Perry called three consecutive sessions to address the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting; the Texas Constitution limits the duration of each special session to 30 days. Any bill passed by the Legislature takes effect 90 days after its passage unless two-thirds of each house votes to give the bill either immediate effect or earlier effect; the Legislature may provide for an effective date, after the 90th day. Under current legislative practice, most bills are given an effective date of September 1 in odd-numbered years. Although members are elected on partisan ballots, both houses of the Legislature are organized on a nonpartisan basis, with members of both parties serving in leadership positions such as committee chairmanships.
As of 2017, a majority of the members of each chamber are members of the Republican Party. The Texas Constitution sets the qualifications for election to each house as follows: A senator must be at least 26 years of age, a citizen of Texas five years prior to election and a resident of the district from which elected one year prior to election; each senator serves a four-year term and one-half of the Senate membership is elected every two years in even-numbered years, with the exception that all the Senate seats are up for election for the first legislature following the decennial census in order to reflect the newly redrawn districts. After the initial election, the Senate is divided by lot into two classes, with one class having a re-election after two years and the other having a re-election after four years. A representative must be at least 21 years of age, a citizen of Texas for two years prior to election and a resident of the district from which elected one year prior to election, they are elected for two-year terms.
State legislators in Texas make $600 per month, or $7,200 per year, plus a per diem of $190 for every day the Legislature is in session. That adds up to $33,800 a year for a regular session, with the total pay for a two-year term being $41,000. Legislators receive a pension after eight years of service, starting at age 60; the Texas Legislature has five support agencies that are within the legislative branch of state government. Those five agencies are as follows: Texas Legislative Budget Board Texas Legislative Council Texas Legislative Reference Library Texas State Auditor Texas Sunset Advisory Commission On May 14, 2007, CBS Austin affiliate KEYE reported on the rampant multiple voting by members of the Texas House of Representatives during a voting session; the report noted how representatives would race to the nearest empty seats to register votes for absent members on the legislature's automated voting machines. Each representative would vote for the nearest absent members regardless of party affiliation.
This practice was in direct violation of a Rule of the Texas Legislature. The then-Speaker of the House Tom Craddick, responsible for enforcement of the rule, issued a statement that discipline for violations of the rule is left to the individual house members. Subsequent similar violations under House Speaker Joe Straus have been unenforced. Sunset Advisory Commission "Citizen Handbook"; the Senate of Texas. Retrieved 13 September 2009. Texas Legislature from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 13 April 2005. Stanley K. Young, Texas Legislative Handbook. Univ. of Tex. The Legislative Branch in Texas Politics. See also: Texas Government Newsletter Texas Legislature Online Texas House of Representatives Texas Senate Reference Library of Texas Open Government Texas from the Sunlight Foundation Texas at Project Vote Smart Texas Politics – The Legislative Branch Texas Government Newsletter and Voter's Guide to the Texas Legislature Billhop – Texas Legislative Wiki
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States. The GOP was founded in 1854 by opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which had expanded slavery into U. S. territories. The party subscribed to classical liberalism and took ideological stands that were anti-slavery and pro-economic reform. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president in the history of the United States; the Party was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System and Fourth Party System. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party after being rejected by the GOP and ran unsuccessfully as a third-party presidential candidate calling for social reforms. After the 1912 election, many Roosevelt supporters left the Party, the Party underwent an ideological shift to the right; the liberal Republican element in the GOP was overwhelmed by a conservative surge begun by Barry Goldwater in 1964 that continued during the Reagan Era in the 1980s. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the party's core base shifted, with the Southern states becoming more reliably Republican in presidential politics and the Northeastern states becoming more reliably Democratic.
White voters identified with the Republican Party after the 1960s. Following the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the Republican Party made opposition to abortion a key plank of its national party platform and grew its support among evangelicals. By 2000, the Republican Party was aligned with Christian conservatism; the Party's core support since the 1990s comes chiefly from the South, the Great Plains, the Mountain States and rural areas in the North. The 21st century Republican Party ideology is American conservatism, which contrasts with the Democrats' liberal platform and progressive wing; the GOP supports lower taxes, free market capitalism, a strong national defense, gun rights and restrictions on labor unions. The GOP was committed to protectionism and tariffs from its founding until the 1930s when it was based in the industrial Northeast and Midwest, but has grown more supportive of free trade since 1952. In addition to advocating for conservative economic policies, the Republican Party is conservative.
Founded in the Northern states in 1854 by abolitionists, modernizers, ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers, the Republican Party became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the popular Know Nothing Party. The party grew out of opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and opened Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory to slavery and future admission as slave states; the Northern Republicans saw the expansion of slavery as a great evil. The first public meeting of the general anti-Nebraska movement, at which the name Republican was suggested for a new anti-slavery party, was held on March 20, 1854 in a schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin; the name was chosen to pay homage to Thomas Jefferson's Republican Party. The first official party convention was held on July 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. At the 1856 Republican National Convention, the party adopted a national platform emphasizing opposition to the expansion of slavery into U. S. territories. While Republican candidate John C.
Frémont lost the 1856 United States presidential election to James Buchanan, he did win 11 of the 16 northern states. The Republican Party first came to power in the elections of 1860 when it won control of both houses of Congress and its candidate, former congressman Abraham Lincoln, was elected President. In the election of 1864, it united with War Democrats to nominate Lincoln on the National Union Party ticket. Under Republican congressional leadership, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution—which banned slavery in the United States—passed the Senate in 1864 and the House in 1865; the party's success created factionalism within the party in the 1870s. Those who felt that Reconstruction had been accomplished, was continued to promote the large-scale corruption tolerated by President Ulysses S. Grant, ran Horace Greeley for the presidency; the Stalwart faction defended Grant and the spoils system, whereas the Half-Breeds pushed for reform of the civil service. The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was passed in 1883.
The Republican Party supported hard money, high tariffs to promote economic growth, high wages and high profits, generous pensions for Union veterans, the annexation of Hawaii. The Republicans had strong support from pietistic Protestants, but they resisted demands for Prohibition; as the Northern postwar economy boomed with heavy and light industry, mines, fast-growing cities, prosperous agriculture, the Republicans took credit and promoted policies to sustain the fast growth. The GOP was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System. However, by 1890 the Republicans had agreed to the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Interstate Commerce Commission in response to complaints from owners of small businesses and farmers; the high McKinley Tariff of 1890 hurt the party and the Democrats swept to a landslide in the off-year elections defeating McKinley himself. The Democrats elected Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892; the election of William McKinley in 1896 was marked by a resurgence of Republican dominance that lasted until 1932.
McKinley promised that high tariffs would end the severe hardship caused by the Pa
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
John Forbes Kerry is an American politician who served as the 68th United States Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1985 until 2013, he was the Democratic nominee in the 2004 presidential election, losing to Republican incumbent George W. Bush. Kerry was born in Aurora and attended boarding school in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, he graduated from Yale University in 1966 with a major in political science. Kerry enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1966, between 1968 and 1969, he served an abbreviated four-month tour of duty in South Vietnam as officer-in-charge of a Swift Boat. For that service, he was awarded combat medals that include the Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal and three Purple Heart Medals. Securing an early return to the United States, Kerry joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War organization, in which he served as a nationally recognized spokesman and as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War.
He appeared in the Fulbright Hearings before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs where he described United States war policy in Vietnam as the cause of war crimes. After receiving a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School, Kerry worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Massachusetts, he served as Lieutenant Governor under Michael Dukakis from 1983 to 1985 and was elected to the U. S. Senate in 1984 and was sworn in the following January. On the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he led a series of hearings from 1987 to 1989 which were a precursor to the Iran–Contra affair. Kerry was reelected to additional terms in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008. On October 11, 2002, Kerry voted to authorize the President "to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein," but warned that the administration should exhaust its diplomatic avenues before launching war. In his 2004 presidential campaign, Kerry criticized George W. Bush for the Iraq War, he and his running mate, U. S. Senator from North Carolina John Edwards, lost the election, finishing 35 electoral votes behind Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Kerry returned to the Senate, becoming Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship in 2007 and of the Foreign Relations Committee in 2009. In January 2013, Kerry was nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and confirmed by the U. S. Senate, assuming the office on February 1, 2013. Kerry retained the position until the end of Obama's second term on January 20, 2017. John Forbes Kerry was born on December 11, 1943, at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, he is the second of four children born to Richard John Kerry, a Foreign Service officer and lawyer, Rosemary Isabel Forbes, a nurse and social activist. His father was raised Catholic and his mother was Episcopalian, he was raised with an elder sister named Margaret, a younger sister named Diana, a younger brother named Cameron. The children were raised in their father's Catholic faith, John served as an altar boy. Kerry grew up a military brat until his father was discharged from the Army Air Corps, causing the family to settle in Washington, D.
C. in 1949. While in Washington, Richard took a spot in the Department of the Navy's Office of General Counsel and soon became a diplomat in the State Department's Bureau of United Nations Affairs, his maternal extended family enjoyed great wealth as members of the Forbes and Dudley–Winthrop families. Kerry's parents themselves were upper-middle class, a wealthy great-aunt paid for him to attend elite boarding schools such as Institut Montana Zugerberg in Switzerland. In 1957, his father was stationed at the U. S. Embassy in Oslo and Kerry was sent back to the United States to attend boarding school, he first attended the Fessenden School in Newton, St. Paul's, New Hampshire, where he learned skills in public speaking and began developing an interest in politics. Kerry founded the John Winant Society at St. Paul's to debate the issues of the day. In 1962, Kerry entered Yale University, majoring in political science and residing in Jonathan Edwards College. While at Yale, Kerry dated Janet Auchincloss, the younger half-sister of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
Through Auchincloss, Kerry was invited to a day of sailing with then-President John F. Kennedy and his family. Kerry played on the varsity Yale Bulldogs Men's soccer team, earning his only letter in his senior year, he played freshman and JV hockey and, in his senior year, JV lacrosse. In addition, he took flying lessons. In his sophomore year, Kerry became the Chairman of the Liberal Party of the Yale Political Union, a year he served as President of the Union. Amongst his influential teachers in this period was Professor H. Bradford Westerfield, himself a former President of the Political Union, his involvement with the Political Union gave him an opportunity to be involved with important issues of the day, such as the civil rights movement and the New Frontier program. He became a member of Skull and Bones Society, traveled to Switzerland through AIESEC Yale. Under the guidance of the speaking coach and history professor Rollin G. Osterweis, Kerry won many debates against other college students from across the nation.
In March 1965, as the Vietnam War escalated, he won the Ten Eyck prize as the best orator in the junior class for a speech, critical of U. S. foreign policy. In the speech he said, "It is the spectre of Western imperialism that causes more fear among Africans and Asians than communism and t
Pride parades are outdoor events celebrating lesbian, bisexual and queer social and self acceptance, legal rights and pride. The events at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage. Most pride events occur annually, many take place around June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, a pivotal moment in modern LGBTQ social movements. At the beginning of the gay rights protest movement, news on Cuban prison work camps for homosexuals inspired the Mattachine Society to organize protests at the United Nations and the White House, in 1965. Early on the morning of Saturday June 28, 1969, gay and transgender persons rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City; the Stonewall Inn was a gay bar which catered to an assortment of patrons, but, popular with the most marginalized people in the gay community: transvestites, transgender people, effeminate young men and homeless youth. On Saturday, June 27, 1970, Chicago Gay Liberation organized a march from Washington Square Park to the Water Tower at the intersection of Michigan and Chicago avenues, the route planned, many of the participants spontaneously marched on to the Civic Center Plaza.
The date was chosen because the Stonewall events began on the last Saturday of June and because organizers wanted to reach the maximum number of Michigan Avenue shoppers. Subsequent Chicago parades have been held on the last Sunday of June, coinciding with the date of many similar parades elsewhere; the West Coast of the United States saw a march in Los Angeles on June 28, 1970 and a march and'Gay-in' in San Francisco. In Los Angeles, Morris Kight, Reverend Troy Perry and Reverend Bob Humphries gathered to plan a commemoration, they settled on a parade down Hollywood Boulevard. But securing a permit from the city was no easy task, they named their organization Christopher Street West, "as ambiguous as we could be." But Rev. Perry recalled the Los Angeles Police Chief Edward M. Davis telling him, “As far as I’m concerned, granting a permit to a group of homosexuals to parade down Hollywood Boulevard would be the same as giving a permit to a group of thieves and robbers.” Grudgingly, the Police Commission granted the permit.
After the American Civil Liberties Union stepped in, the commission dropped all its requirements but a $1,500 fee for police service. That, was dismissed when the California Superior Court ordered the police to provide protection as they would for any other group; the eleventh hour California Supreme Court decision ordered the police commissioner to issue a parade permit citing the “constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.” From the beginning, L. A. parade organizers and participants knew. Kight received death threats right up to the morning of the parade. Unlike what we see today, the first gay parade was quiet; the marchers convened on McCadden Place in Hollywood, marched north and turned east onto Hollywood Boulevard. The Advocate reported "Over 1,000 homosexuals and their friends staged, not just a protest march, but a full blown parade down world-famous Hollywood Boulevard."On Sunday, June 28, 1970, at around noon, in New York gay activist groups held their own pride parade, known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day, to recall the events of Stonewall one year earlier.
On November 2, 1969, Craig Rodwell, his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, Linda Rhodes proposed the first gay pride parade to be held in New York City by way of a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations meeting in Philadelphia. That the Annual Reminder, in order to be more relevant, reach a greater number of people, encompass the ideas and ideals of the larger struggle in which we are engaged-that of our fundamental human rights-be moved both in time and location. We propose that a demonstration be held annually on the last Saturday in June in New York City to commemorate the 1969 spontaneous demonstrations on Christopher Street and this demonstration be called CHRISTOPHER STREET LIBERATION DAY. No dress or age regulations shall be made for this demonstration. We propose that we contact Homophile organizations throughout the country and suggest that they hold parallel demonstrations on that day. We propose a nationwide show of support. All attendees to the ERCHO meeting in Philadelphia voted for the march except for the Mattachine Society of New York City, which abstained.
Members of the Gay Liberation Front attended the meeting and were seated as guests of Rodwell's group, Homophile Youth Movement in Neighborhoods. Meetings to organize the march began in early January at Rodwell's apartment in 350 Bleecker Street. At first there was difficulty getting some of the major New York organizations like Gay Activists Alliance to send representatives. Craig Rodwell and his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, Michael Brown, Marty Nixon, Foster Gunnison of Mattachine made up the core group of the CSLD Umbrella Committee. For initial funding, Gunnison served as treasurer and sought donations from the national homophile organizations and sponsors, while Sargeant solicited donations via the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop customer mailing list and Nixon worked to gain financial support from GLF in his position as treasurer for that organization. Other mainstays of the GLF organizing committee were Judy Miller, Jack Waluska, Steve
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
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