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
Governor of Texas
The Governor of Texas is the head of the executive branch of Texas's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Texas Legislature, to convene the legislature; the governor may grant pardons in cases other than impeachment or in the case of treason, with permission by the legislature. The current Governor is Greg Abbott; the state's first constitution in 1845 established the office of governor, to serve for two years, but no more than four years out of every six. The 1861 secessionist constitution set the term start date at the first Monday in the November following the election; the 1866 constitution, adopted just after the American Civil War, increased terms to 4 years, but no more than 8 years out of every 12, moved the start date to the first Thursday after the organization of the legislature, or "as soon thereafter as practicable". The Reconstruction constitution of 1869 removed the limit on terms, Texas remains one of 14 states with no gubernatorial term limit.
The present constitution of 1876 shortened terms back to two years, but a 1972 amendment increased it again to four years. The gubernatorial election is held every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and does not coincide with the presidential elections; the governor is sworn in on the third Tuesday of January every four years along with the lieutenant governor, so Abbott and current Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick both took office on January 20, 2015. Despite the lack of term limits, no Texas governor in the 19th or 20th centuries served more than seven and a half consecutive years in office or eight years total service. Former Governor Rick Perry, who served from 2000 to 2015, has now surpassed both these records, becoming the first Texas governor to serve three consecutive four-year terms; when Perry won the general election on November 2, 2010, he joined Shivers, Price Daniel, John Connally as the only Texas governors elected to three terms. In case of a vacancy in the office of governor, the lieutenant governor becomes governor.
This rule was added only in a 1999 amendment, prior to which the lieutenant governor only acted as governor, except during the time of the 1861 constitution, which said that the lieutenant governor would be styled "Governor of the State of Texas" in case of vacancy. One governor of Texas won his party's nomination and was elected President of the United States: George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 Two governors sought the nomination of their party, but were unsuccessful: John Connally in 1980 Rick Perry in 2012 and 2016 List of Governors of Texas List of Texas Governors and Presidents List of Presidents of the Republic of Texas List of Lieutenant Governors of Texas
Secretary of State of Texas
The Texas Secretary of State is one of the six members of the executive department of the state of Texas, in the United States. Under the Texas Constitution, the appointment is made by the Governor, with confirmation by the Texas Senate. Rolando Pablos is the 111th person to hold the office, he was appointed by Greg Abbott, sworn in on January 6, 2017. Pablos has announced his resignation, effective December 15, 2018; the secretary of state is the chief elections officer, the protocol officer for state and international matters, the liaison for the governor on Mexican and border matters. The Secretary of State offices are in the James Earl Rudder State Office Building at 1019 Brazos Street in Austin; the SOS elections office is on the second floor of the James Earl Rudder Building. The executive offices are in Room 1E.8 in the Texas State Capitol. Under the Texas Constitution the secretary of state is, with the governor, the lieutenant governor, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the commissioner of the Office of General Land and the attorney general, one of the six members of the Executive Department.
Of these offices all are elected by the voters in statewide elections except the secretary of state, nominated by the governor and confirmed by the senate. The secretary of state administers the Texas Election Code, maintains public filings, is the keeper of the State Seal of Texas; the secretary of state issues appointments for notaries public. The first secretary of state of the Republic of Texas, Stephen F. Austin, was appointed by Texas president Sam Houston in 1836. Since Texas became a state of the United States in 1845 and there have been 109 secretaries of state. List of company registers Secretary of State of Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth is a city in the U. S. state of Texas. It is fifth-largest city in Texas, it is the county seat of Tarrant County, covering nearly 350 square miles into four other counties: Denton, Johnson and Wise. According to the 2017 census estimates, Fort Worth's population is 874,168. Fort Worth is the second-largest city in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area, the 4th most populous metropolitan area in the United States; the city of Fort Worth was established in 1849 as an army outpost on a bluff overlooking the Trinity River. Fort Worth has been a center of the longhorn cattle trade, it still embraces traditional architecture and design. USS Fort Worth is the first ship of the United States Navy named after the city. Fort Worth is home to the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and several world-class museums designed by internationally known contemporary architects; the Kimbell Art Museum, considered to have one of the best art collections in Texas, is housed in what is regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era.
The museum was designed by the American architect Louis Kahn, with an addition designed by world-renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano opening November 2013. Of note is the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, designed by Tadao Ando; the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, designed by Philip Johnson, houses one of the world's most extensive collections of American art. The Sid Richardson Museum, redesigned by David M. Schwarz, has one of the most focused collections of Western art in the U. S. emphasizing Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, designed by famed architect Ricardo Legorreta of Mexico, engages the diverse Fort Worth community through creative, vibrant programs and exhibits; the city is stimulated by several university communities: Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Texas A&M University School of Law, many multinational corporations, including Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, American Airlines, BNSF Railway, Pier 1 Imports, XTO Energy and RadioShack.
The Treaty of Bird's Fort between the Republic of Texas and several Native American tribes was signed in 1843 at Bird's Fort in present-day Arlington, Texas. Article XI of the treaty provided that no one may "pass the line of trading houses" without permission of the President of Texas, may not reside or remain in the Indians' territory; these "trading houses" were established at the junction of the Clear Fork and West Fork of the Trinity River in present-day Fort Worth. At this river junction, the U. S. War Department established Fort Worth in 1849 as the northernmost of a system of 10 forts for protecting the American Frontier following the end of the Mexican–American War; the city of Fort Worth continues to be known as "where the West begins." A line of seven army posts were established in 1848–49 after the Mexican War to protect the settlers of Texas along the western American Frontier and included Fort Worth, Fort Graham, Fort Gates, Fort Croghan, Fort Martin Scott, Fort Lincoln, Fort Duncan.
10 forts had been proposed by Major General William Jenkins Worth, who commanded the Department of Texas in 1849. In January 1849, Worth proposed a line of 10 forts to mark the western Texas frontier from Eagle Pass to the confluence of the West Fork and Clear Fork of the Trinity River. One month Worth died from cholera in South Texas. General William S. Harney assumed command of the Department of Texas and ordered Major Ripley A. Arnold to find a new fort site near the West Clear Fork. On June 6, 1849, advised by Middleton Tate Johnson, established a camp on the bank of the Trinity River and named the post Camp Worth in honor of the late General Worth. In August 1849, Arnold moved the camp to the north-facing bluff, which overlooked the mouth of the Clear Fork of the Trinity River; the United States War Department named the post Fort Worth on November 14, 1849. Native American attacks were still a threat in the area, as this was their traditional territory and they resented encroachment by European-American settlers, but people from the United States set up homesteads near the fort.
E. S. Terrell from Tennessee claimed to be the first resident of Fort Worth; the fort was moved to the top of the bluff. The fort was abandoned September 17, 1853. No trace of it remains; as a stop on the legendary Chisholm Trail, Fort Worth was stimulated by the business of the cattle drives and became a brawling, bustling town. Millions of head of cattle were driven north to market along this trail. Fort Worth became the center of the cattle drives, the ranching industry, it was given the nickname of Cowtown. During the Civil War, Fort Worth suffered from shortages of money and supplies; the population began to recover during Reconstruction. By 1872, Jacob Samuels, William Jesse Boaz, William Henry Davis had opened general stores; the next year, Khleber M. Van Zandt established Tidball, Van Zandt, Company, which became Fort Worth National Bank in 1884. In 1875, the Dallas Herald published an article by a former Fort Worth lawyer, Robert E. Cowart, who wrote that the decimation of Fort Worth's population, caused by the economic disaster and hard winter of 1873, had dealt a severe blow to the cattle industry.
Added to the slowdown due to the railroad's stopping the laying of track 30 miles outside of Fort Worth, Cowart said that Fort Worth was so slow th
James E. Ferguson
James Edward Ferguson Jr. known as Pa Ferguson, was an American Democratic politician and the 26th Governor of Texas, in office from 1915 to 1917. He was forced to resign. After his wife Miriam A. Ferguson, known as "Ma" Ferguson, was twice elected as governor, he was the first gentleman of Texas for two nonconsecutive terms. Ferguson was born to the Reverend James Ferguson, Sr. and Fannie Ferguson near Salado in south Bell County, Texas. At age 12 he entered Salado College but was expelled for disobedience. At 16, he left home and drifted through the states of the American West, working successively in a vineyard, a mine, a barbed wire factory, at a grain ranch. After he returned to Texas, he was admitted to the bar. On December 31, 1899, he married Miriam A. Wallace at her family home. In 1903, Ferguson was elected as city attorney in Texas. In addition, he established Farmers State Bank. In 1906, he established Temple State Bank, he became active in the Democratic Party and managed several local political campaigns.
In 1914, Ferguson was elected as governor of Texas by running as an anti-prohibitionist Democrat. He served from January 19, 1915 to August 25, 1917. On March 24, 1915, Ferguson signed the textbook law in Texas, requiring simplification of laws to accommodate the common man. After being re-elected in 1916, Ferguson vetoed the appropriations for the University of Texas; the veto was retaliation against the university because of its refusal to dismiss certain faculty members whom Ferguson found objectionable, including William Harding Mayes, former Texas Lieutenant Governor and founder and dean of the University of Texas School of Journalism. He had been an opponent of Ferguson for the Democratic party's nomination for governor in 1914; the accusations against Mayes were that he used his ownership of newspapers, including the Brownwood Bulletin, to spread negative information about Ferguson. Another leading Ferguson critic on the UT campus was the historian Eugene C. Barker. Ferguson's attack against Mayes resulted in a drive by the legislature to impeach Ferguson.
The chairman of the investigating committee, William H. Bledsoe of Lubbock, called for impeachment. Ferguson was indicted on nine charges in July 1917; the Texas House of Representatives prepared 21 charges against Ferguson, the Senate convicted him on 10 of those charges, including misapplication of public funds and receiving $156,000 from an unnamed source. The Texas Senate, many of whom had served under William Harding Mayes and with whom Mayes maintained cordial relationships, removed Ferguson as governor and declared him ineligible to hold office under Texas jurisdiction, but Ferguson ran for governor in the 1918 Democratic primary. He was defeated in the Democratic primary by his successor and incumbent, William P. Hobby of Houston the lieutenant governor. Ferguson ran for President of the United States in the 1920 election as the candidate of the American Party. Ferguson was on the ballot only in Texas; the 1920 presidential election was won by Republican candidate Warren Harding. Democratic nominee James M. Cox won in Texas, where the white majority was voting solidly Democratic.
Ferguson was surpassed by three other unsuccessful candidates: Eugene Victor Debs of the Socialist Party of America. Parley Parker Christensen of the United States Farmer-Labor Party. Aaron Sherman Watkins of the United States Prohibition Party. Ferguson failed at his bid for the United States Senate in 1922, having lost in the Democratic runoff election to Earle Bradford Mayfield. In 1924, Ferguson entered his wife Miriam in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, she won the general election, saying that she intended to rely on her husband for advice. With Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming, "Ma" Ferguson became one of the first two female elected governors in the United States. Both women followed husbands. Nellie Tayloe Ross was the first woman to assume the office of governor in the United States, being sworn in on January 5, 1925, she served two nonconsecutive two-year terms as governor: January 20, 1925 – January 17, 1927. She was reelected in 1932 and served January 17, 1933 – January 15, 1935.
In 1935, the Fergusons lost their ranch in Bell County because of financial troubles during the Great Depression. Nine years Ferguson died of a stroke, he is interred next to his wife at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. Luthin, Reinhard H.. "Pa & Ma Ferguson: Texas". American Demagogues: Twentieth Century. Beacon Press. ASIN B0007DN37C. OCLC 1098334
The Reconstruction era was the period from 1863 to 1877 in American history. It was a significant chapter in the history of American civil rights; the term has two applications: the first applies to the complete history of the entire country from 1865 to 1877 following the American Civil War. Reconstruction ended the remnants of Confederate secession and ended slavery, making the newly-free slaves citizens with civil rights ostensibly guaranteed by three new Constitutional amendments. Three visions of Civil War memory appeared during Reconstruction: the reconciliationist vision, rooted in coping with the death and devastation the war had brought. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson both took moderate positions designed to bring the South back into the Union as as possible, while Radical Republicans in Congress sought stronger measures to upgrade the rights of African Americans, including the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, while curtailing the rights of former Confederates, such as through the provisions of the Wade–Davis Bill.
Johnson, a former Tennessee Senator, former slave owner, the most prominent Southerner to oppose the Confederacy, followed a lenient policy toward ex-Confederates. Lincoln's last speeches show that he was leaning toward supporting the enfranchisement of all freedmen, whereas Johnson was opposed to this. Johnson's interpretations of Lincoln's policies prevailed until the Congressional elections of 1866; those elections followed outbreaks of violence against blacks in the former rebel states, including the Memphis riots of 1866 and the New Orleans riot that same year. The subsequent 1866 election gave Republicans a majority in Congress, enabling them to pass the 14th Amendment, take control of Reconstruction policy, remove former Confederates from power, enfranchise the freedmen. A Republican coalition came to power in nearly all the southern states and set out to transform the society by setting up a free labor economy, using the U. S. Army and the Freedmen's Bureau; the Bureau protected the legal rights of freedmen, negotiated labor contracts, set up schools and churches for them.
Thousands of Northerners came south as missionaries, teachers and politicians. Hostile whites began referring to these politicians as "carpetbaggers". In early 1866, Congress passed the Freedmen's Bureau and Civil Rights Bills and sent them to Johnson for his signature; the first bill extended the life of the bureau established as a temporary organization charged with assisting refugees and freed slaves, while the second defined all persons born in the United States as national citizens with equality before the law. After Johnson vetoed the bills, Congress overrode his vetos, making the Civil Rights Act the first major bill in the history of the United States to become law through an override of a presidential veto; the Radicals in the House of Representatives, frustrated by Johnson's opposition to Congressional Reconstruction, filed impeachment charges. The action failed by one vote in the Senate; the new national Reconstruction laws – in particular laws requiring suffrage for freedmen – incensed white supremacists in the South, giving rise to the Ku Klux Klan.
During 1867-69 the Klan murdered Republicans and outspoken freedmen in the South, including Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds. Elected in 1868, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant supported Congressional Reconstruction and enforced the protection of African Americans in the South through the use of the Enforcement Acts passed by Congress. Grant used the Enforcement Acts to combat the Ku Klux Klan, wiped out, although a new incarnation of the Klan would again come to national prominence in the 1920s. President Grant was unable to resolve the escalating tensions inside the Republican Party between the Northerners on the one hand, those Republicans hailing from the South on the other. Meanwhile, "redeemers", self-styled conservatives in close cooperation with a faction of the Democratic Party opposed Reconstruction, they alleged widespread corruption by the "carpetbaggers", excessive state spending, ruinous taxes. Meanwhile, public support for Reconstruction policies, requiring continued supervision of the South, faded in the North after the Democrats, who opposed Reconstruction, regained control of the House of Representatives in 1874.
In 1877, as part of a Congressional bargain to elect Republican Rutherford B. Hayes as president following the disputed 1876 presidential election, U. S. Army troops were withdrawn from the three states; this marked the end of Reconstruction. Historian Eric Foner argues: What remains certain is that Reconstruction failed, that for blacks its failure was a disaster whose magnitude cannot be obscured by the genuine accomplishments that did endure. In different states Reconstruction ended at different times. In recent decades most historians follow Foner in dating the Reconstruction of the South as starting in 1863 rather than 1865; the usual ending for Reconstruction has always been 1877. Reconstruction policies were debated in the North when the
Ku Klux Klan
The Ku Klux Klan called the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist hate group. The Klan has existed in three distinct eras at different points in time during the history of the United States; each has advocated extremist reactionary positions such as white nationalism, anti-immigration and—especially in iterations—Nordicism and anti-Catholicism. The Klan used terrorism—both physical assault and murder—against groups or individuals whom they opposed. All three movements have called for the "purification" of American society and all are considered right-wing extremist organizations. In each era, membership was secret and estimates of the total were exaggerated by both friends and enemies; the first Klan flourished in the Southern United States in the late 1860s died out by the early 1870s. It sought to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South by using violence against African-American leaders; each chapter was autonomous and secret as to membership and plans. Its numerous chapters across the South were suppressed through federal law enforcement.
Members made their own colorful, costumes: robes and conical hats, designed to be terrifying and to hide their identities. The second Klan was founded in Georgia in 1915 and it flourished nationwide in the early and mid-1920s, including urban areas of the Midwest and West. Taking inspiration from D. W. Griffith's 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation, which mythologized the founding of the first Klan, it employed marketing techniques and a popular fraternal organization structure. Rooted in local Protestant communities, it sought to maintain white supremacy took a pro-Prohibition stance, it opposed Catholics and Jews, while stressing its opposition to the alleged political power of the Pope and the Catholic Church; this second organization was funded by selling its members a standard white costume. It used K-words which were similar to those used by the first Klan, while adding cross burnings and mass parades to intimidate others, it declined in the half of the 1920s. The third and current manifestation of the KKK emerged after 1950, in the form of localized and isolated groups that use the KKK name.
They have focused on opposition to the civil rights movement using violence and murder to suppress activists. It is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center; as of 2016, the Anti-Defamation League puts total KKK membership nationwide at around 3,000, while the Southern Poverty Law Center puts it at 6,000 members total. The second and third incarnations of the Ku Klux Klan made frequent references to America's "Anglo-Saxon" blood, hearkening back to 19th-century nativism. Although members of the KKK swear to uphold Christian morality every Christian denomination has denounced the KKK; the first Klan was founded in Pulaski, sometime between December 1865 and August 1866 by six former officers of the Confederate army as a fraternal social club inspired at least in part by the largely defunct Sons of Malta. It borrowed parts of the initiation ceremony from that group, with the same purpose: "ludicrous initiations, the baffling of public curiosity, the amusement for members were the only objects of the Klan," according to Albert Stevens in 1907.
The name is derived from the Greek word kuklos which means circle. The manual of rituals was printed by Laps D. McCord of Pulaski. According to The Cyclopædia of Fraternities, "Beginning in April, 1867, there was a gradual transformation... The members had conjured up a veritable Frankenstein, they had played with an engine of power and mystery, though organized on innocent lines, found themselves overcome by a belief that something must lie behind it all — that there was, after all, a serious purpose, a work for the Klan to do."Although there was little organizational structure above the local level, similar groups rose across the South and adopted the same name and methods. Klan groups spread throughout the South as an insurgent movement promoting resistance and white supremacy during the Reconstruction Era. For example, Confederate veteran John W. Morton founded a chapter in Tennessee; as a secret vigilante group, the Klan targeted their allies. In 1870 and 1871, the federal government passed the Enforcement Acts, which were intended to prosecute and suppress Klan crimes.
The first Klan had mixed results in terms of achieving its objectives. It weakened the black political establishment through its use of assassinations and threats of violence. On the other hand, it caused a sharp backlash, with passage of federal laws that historian Eric Foner says were a success in terms of "restoring order, reinvigorating the morale of Southern Republicans, enabling blacks to exercise their rights as citizens". Historian George C. Rable argues that the Klan was a political failure and therefore was discarded by the Democratic leaders of the South, he says: the Klan declined in strength in part because of internal weaknesses. More fundamentally, it declined because it failed to achieve its central objective – the overthrow of Republican state governments in the South. After the Klan was suppressed, similar insurgent paramilitary groups arose that were explicitly directed at suppressing Republican voting and turning Republicans out o