Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113, is a landmark decision issued in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of the constitutionality of laws that criminalized or restricted access to abortions. The Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman's decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the state's interests in regulating abortions: protecting women's health and protecting the potentiality of human life. Arguing that these state interests became stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the third trimester of pregnancy. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Court rejected Roe's trimester framework while affirming its central holding that a woman has a right to abortion until fetal viability; the Roe decision defined "viable" as "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid." Justices in Casey acknowledged that viability may occur at 23 or 24 weeks, or sometimes earlier, in light of medical advances.
In disallowing many state and federal restrictions on abortion in the United States, Roe v. Wade prompted a national debate that continues today about issues including whether, to what extent, abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication, what the role should be of religious and moral views in the political sphere. Roe v. Wade reshaped national politics, dividing much of the United States into pro-life and pro-choice camps, while activating grassroots movements on both sides. Roe received significant criticism in the legal community, with the decision being seen as an extreme form of judicial activism. In a cited 1973 article in the Yale Law Journal, the American legal scholar John Hart Ely criticized Roe as a decision that "is not constitutional law and gives no sense of an obligation to try to be." Ely added: "What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation's governmental structure."
Professor Laurence Tribe had similar thoughts: "One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found." According to the Court, "the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today are of recent vintage." Providing a historical analysis on abortion, Justice Harry Blackmun noted that abortion was "resorted to without scruple" in Greek and Roman times. Blackmun addressed the permissive and restrictive abortion attitudes and laws throughout history, noting the disagreements among leaders in those eras and the formative laws and cases. In the United States, in 1821, Connecticut passed the first state statute criminalizing abortion; every state had abortion legislation by 1900. In the United States, abortion was sometimes considered a common law crime, though Justice Blackmun would conclude that the criminalization of abortion did not have "roots in the English common-law tradition."
Rather than arresting the women having the abortions, legal officials were more to interrogate these women to obtain evidence against the abortion provider in order to close down that provider's business. In 1971, Shirley Wheeler was charged with manslaughter after Florida hospital staff reported her illegal abortion to the police, she received a sentence of two years' probation and, under her probation, had to move back into her parents' house in North Carolina. The Boston Women's Abortion Coalition held a rally for Wheeler in Boston to raise money and awareness of her charges as well as had staff members from the Women's National Abortion Action Coalition speak at the rally. Wheeler was the first woman to be held criminally responsible for submitting to an abortion, her conviction was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court. In June 1969, 21-year-old Norma McCorvey discovered, she returned to Dallas, where friends advised her to assert falsely that she had been raped in order to obtain a legal abortion.
However, this scheme failed. In any case, the Texas statute allowed abortion only ”for the purpose of saving the life of the mother”, she attempted to obtain an Illegal abortion, but found that the unauthorized facility had been closed down by the police. She was referred to attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington. In 1970, Coffee and Weddington filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of McCorvey; the defendant in the case was Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade, who represented the State of Texas. McCorvey was no longer claiming her pregnancy was a result of rape, acknowledged that she had lied about having been raped. "Rape" is not mentioned in the judicial opinions in the case. On June 17, 1970, a three-judge panel of the District Court, consisting of Northern District of Texas Judges Sarah T. Hughes, William McLaughlin Taylor Jr. and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Irving Loeb Goldberg, unanimously declared the Texas law unconstitutional, finding that it violated the right to privacy found in the Ninth Amendment.
In addition, the court relied on Justice Arthur Go
Law of the United States
The law of the United States comprises many levels of codified and uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the United States Constitution, the foundation of the federal government of the United States. The Constitution sets out the boundaries of federal law, which consists of Acts of Congress, treaties ratified by the Senate, regulations promulgated by the executive branch, case law originating from the federal judiciary; the United States Code is the official compilation and codification of general and permanent federal statutory law. Federal law and treaties, so long as they are in accordance with the Constitution, preempt conflicting state and territorial laws in the 50 U. S. in the territories. However, the scope of federal preemption is limited because the scope of federal power is not universal. In the dual-sovereign system of American federalism, states are the plenary sovereigns, each with their own constitution, while the federal sovereign possesses only the limited supreme authority enumerated in the Constitution.
Indeed, states may grant their citizens broader rights than the federal Constitution as long as they do not infringe on any federal constitutional rights. Thus, most U. S. law consists of state law, which can and does vary from one state to the next. At both the federal and state levels, with the exception of the state of Louisiana, the law of the United States is derived from the common law system of English law, in force at the time of the American Revolutionary War. However, American law has diverged from its English ancestor both in terms of substance and procedure, has incorporated a number of civil law innovations. In the United States, the law is derived from five sources: constitutional law, statutory law, administrative regulations, the common law. Where Congress enacts a statute that conflicts with the Constitution, state or federal courts may rule that law to be unconstitutional and declare it invalid. Notably, a statute does not automatically disappear because it has been found unconstitutional.
Many federal and state statutes have remained on the books for decades after they were ruled to be unconstitutional. However, under the principle of stare decisis, no sensible lower court will enforce an unconstitutional statute, any court that does so will be reversed by the Supreme Court. Conversely, any court that refuses to enforce a constitutional statute will risk reversal by the Supreme Court. Commonwealth countries are heirs to the common law legal tradition of English law. Certain practices traditionally allowed under English common law were expressly outlawed by the Constitution, such as bills of attainder.</ref> and general search rrts. As common law courts, U. S. courts have inherited the principle of stare decisis. American judges, like common law judges elsewhere, not only apply the law, they make the law, to the extent that their decisions in the cases before them become precedent for decisions in future cases; the actual substance of English law was formally "received" into the United States in several ways.
First, all U. S. states except Louisiana have enacted "reception statutes" which state that the common law of England is the law of the state to the extent that it is not repugnant to domestic law or indigenous conditions. Some reception statutes impose a specific cutoff date for reception, such as the date of a colony's founding, while others are deliberately vague. Thus, contemporary U. S. courts cite pre-Revolution cases when discussing the evolution of an ancient judge-made common law principle into its modern form, such as the heightened duty of care traditionally imposed upon common carriers. Second, a small number of important British statutes in effect at the time of the Revolution have been independently reenacted by U. S. states. Two examples are the Statute of 13 Elizabeth; such English statutes are still cited in contemporary American cases interpreting their modern American descendants. Despite the presence of reception statutes, much of contemporary American common law has diverged from English common law.
Although the courts of the various Commonwealth nations are influenced by each other's rulings, American courts follow post-Revolution Commonwealth rulings unless there is no American ruling on point, the facts and law at issue are nearly identical, the reasoning is persuasive. Early on, American courts after the Revolution did cite contemporary English cases, because appellate decisions from many American courts were not reported until the mid-19th century. Lawyers and judges used English legal materials to fill the gap. Citations to English decisions disappeared during the 19th century as American courts developed their own principles to resolve the legal problems of the American people; the number of published volumes of American reports soared from eighteen in 1810 to over 8,000 by 1910. By 1879 one of the delegates to the California constitutional convention was complaining: "Now, when we require them to state the reasons for a decision, we do not mean they shall write a hundred pages of detail.
We not mean that they shall include the small cases, impose on the country all this fine judici
Article Three of the United States Constitution
Article Three of the United States Constitution establishes the judicial branch of the federal government. Under Article Three, the judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court of the United States, as well as lower courts created by Congress. Article Three empowers the courts to handle cases or controversies arising under federal law, as well as other enumerated areas. Article Three defines treason. Section 1 of Article Three vests the judicial power of the United States in the Supreme Court, as well as inferior courts established by Congress. Along with the Vesting Clauses of Article One and Article Two, Article Three's Vesting Clause establishes the separation of powers between the three branches of government. Section 1 does not require it. Section 1 establishes that federal judges do not face term limits, that an individual judge's salary may not be decreased. Article Three does not set the size of the Supreme Court or establish specific positions on the court, but Article One establishes the position of chief justice.
Section 2 of Article Three delineates federal judicial power. The Case or Controversy Clause restricts the judiciary's power to actual cases and controversies, meaning that federal judicial power does not extend to cases which are hypothetical, or which are proscribed due to standing, mootness, or ripeness issues. Section 2 states that federal judiciary's power extends to cases arising under the Constitution, federal laws, federal treaties, controversies involving multiple states or foreign powers, other enumerated areas. Section 2 gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction when ambassadors, public officials, or the states are a party in the case, leaving the Supreme Court with appellate jurisdiction in all other areas to which the federal judiciary's jurisdiction extends. Section 2 gives Congress the power to strip the Supreme Court of appellate jurisdiction, establishes that all federal crimes must be tried before a jury. Section 2 does not expressly grant the federal judiciary the power of judicial review, but the courts have exercised this power since the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison.
Section 3 of Article Three empowers Congress to punish treason. Section 3 requires that at least two witnesses testify to the treasonous act, or that the individual accused of treason confesses, it limits the ways in which Congress can punish those convicted of treason. Section 1 vests the judicial power of the United States in federal courts, requires a supreme court, allows inferior courts, requires good behavior tenure for judges, prohibits decreasing the salaries of judges; the judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office. Article III authorizes one Supreme Court, but does not set the number of justices that must be appointed to it. Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 refers to a Chief Justice.
Since 1869 the number of justices has been fixed at nine: one chief justice, eight associate justices. Proposals have been made at various times for organizing the Supreme Court into separate panels. However, in a 1937 letter, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote, "the Constitution does not appear to authorize two or more Supreme Courts functioning in effect as separate courts."The Supreme Court is the only federal court, explicitly established by the Constitution. During the Constitutional Convention, a proposal was made for the Supreme Court to be the only federal court, having both original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction; this proposal was rejected in favor of the provision. Under this provision, the Congress may create inferior courts under both Article III, Section 1, Article I, Section 8; the Article III courts, which are known as "constitutional courts", were first created by the Judiciary Act of 1789, are the only courts with judicial power. Article I courts, which are known as "legislative courts", consist of regulatory agencies, such as the United States Tax Court.
In certain types of cases, Article III courts may exercise appellate jurisdiction over Article I courts. In Murray's Lessee v. Hoboken Land & Improvement Co. the Court held that "there are legal matters, involving public rights, which may be presented in such form that the judicial power is capable of acting on them," and which are susceptible to review by an Article III court. In Ex parte Bakelite Corp. the Court declared that Article I courts "may be created as special tribunals to examine and determine various matters, arising between the government and others, which from their nature do not require judicial determination and yet are susceptible of it." Other cases, such as bankruptcy cases, have been held not to involve judicial determination, may therefore go before Article I courts. Several courts in the District of Columbia, under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress, are Article I courts rather than Article III courts; this article was expressly extended to the United States District Court for
United States Reports
The United States Reports are the official record of the rulings, case tables, in alphabetical order both by the name of the petitioner and by the name of the respondent, other proceedings of the Supreme Court of the United States. United States Reports, once printed and bound, are the final version of court opinions and cannot be changed. Opinions of the court in each case are prepended with a headnote prepared by the Reporter of Decisions, any concurring or dissenting opinions are published sequentially; the Court's Publication Office oversees the binding and publication of the volumes of United States Reports, although the actual printing and publication are performed by private firms under contract with the United States Government Publishing Office. For lawyers, citations to United States Reports are the standard reference for Supreme Court decisions. Following The Bluebook, a accepted citation protocol, the case Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, for example, would be cited as: Brown v. Bd. of Educ.
347 U. S. 483. This citation indicates that the decision of the Court in the case entitled Brown v. Board of Education, as abbreviated in Bluebook style, was decided in 1954 and can be found in volume 347 of the United States Reports starting on page 483; the early volumes of the United States Reports were published by the individual Supreme Court Reporters. As was the practice in England, the reports were designated by the names of the reporters who compiled them: Dallas's Reports, Cranch's Reports, etc; the decisions appearing in the entire first volume and most of the second volume of United States Reports are not decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Instead, they are decisions from various Pennsylvania courts, dating from the colonial period and the first decade after Independence. Alexander Dallas, a lawyer and journalist, of Philadelphia, had been in the business of reporting these cases for newspapers and periodicals, he subsequently began compiling his case reports in a bound volume, which he called Reports of cases ruled and adjudged in the courts of Pennsylvania and since the Revolution.
This would come to be known as the first volume of Dallas Reports. When the United States Supreme Court, along with the rest of the new Federal Government moved, in 1791, from New York City to the nation's temporary capital in Philadelphia, Dallas was appointed the Supreme Court's first unofficial, unpaid, Supreme Court Reporter. Dallas continued to publish Pennsylvania decisions in a second volume of his Reports; when the Supreme Court began hearing cases, he added those cases to his reports, starting towards the end of the second volume, 2 Dallas Reports, with West v. Barnes. Dallas went on to publish a total of four volumes of decisions during his tenure as Reporter; when the Supreme Court moved to Washington, D. C. in 1800, Dallas remained in Philadelphia, William Cranch took over as unofficial reporter of decisions. In 1817, Congress made the Reporter of Decisions an official, salaried position, although the publication of the Reports remained a private enterprise for the reporter's personal gain.
The reports themselves were the subject of an early copyright case, Wheaton v. Peters, in which former reporter Henry Wheaton sued current reporter Richard Peters for reprinting cases from Wheaton's Reports in abridged form. In 1874, the U. S. government began creating the United States Reports. The earlier, private reports were retroactively numbered volumes 1–90 of the United States Reports, starting from the first volume of Dallas Reports. Therefore, decisions appearing in these early reports have dual citation forms: one for the volume number of the United States Reports. For example, the complete citation to McCulloch v. Maryland is 17 U. S. 316. Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States Lists of United States Supreme Court cases by volume National Reporter System United States Supreme Court: Information About Opinions United States Supreme Court: Bound Volumes – Lists of PDFs Torrents of United States Reports 502–550
Federalism is the mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government with regional governments in a single political system. Its distinctive feature, exemplified in the founding example of modern federalism by the United States under the Constitution of 1787, is a relationship of parity between the two levels of government established, it can thus be defined as a form of government in which there is a division of powers between two levels of government of equal status. Federalism differs from confederalism, in which the general level of government is subordinate to the regional level, from devolution within a unitary state, in which the regional level of government is subordinate to the general level, it represents the central form in the pathway of regional integration or separation, bounded on the less integrated side by confederalism and on the more integrated side by devolution within a unitary state. Leading examples of the federation or federal state include India, the United States, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland and Australia.
Some today characterize the European Union as the pioneering example of federalism in a multi-state setting, in a concept termed the federal union of states. The terms'federalism' and'confederalism' both have a root in the Latin word foedus, meaning "treaty, pact or covenant." Their common meaning until the late eighteenth century was a simple league or inter-governmental relationship among sovereign states based upon a treaty. They were therefore synonyms, it was in this sense that James Madison in Federalist 39 had referred to the new US Constitution as'neither a national nor a federal Constitution, but a composition of both'. In the course of the nineteenth century the meaning of federalism would come to shift, strengthening to refer uniquely to the novel compound political form established, while the meaning of confederalism would remain at a league of states. Thus, this article relates to the modern usage of the word'federalism'. Modern federalism is a system based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between national and provincial/state governments.
The term federalist describes several political beliefs around the world depending on context. Federalism is sometimes viewed as in the context of international negotiation as "the best system for integrating diverse nations, ethnic groups, or combatant parties, all of whom may have cause to fear control by an overly powerful center." However, in some countries, those skeptical of federal prescriptions believe that increased regional autonomy is to lead to secession or dissolution of the nation. In Syria, federalization proposals have failed in part because "Syrians fear that these borders could turn out to be the same as the ones that the fighting parties have carved out."Federations such as Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia collapsed as soon as it was possible to put the model to the test. According to Daniel Ziblatt's Structuring the State, there are four competing theoretical explanations in the academic literature for the adoption of federal systems: Ideational theories, which hold that a greater degree of ideological commitment to decentralist ideas in society makes federalism more to be adopted.
Cultural-historical theories, which hold that federal institutions are more to be adopted in societies with culturally or ethnically fragmented populations. "Social contract" theories, which hold that federalism emerges as a bargain between a center and a periphery where the center is not powerful enough to dominate the periphery and the periphery is not powerful enough to secede from the center. "Infrastructural power" theories, which hold that federalism is to emerge when the subunits of a potential federation have developed infrastructures. Immanuel Kant was an advocate of federalism, noting that "the problem of setting up a state can be solved by a nation of devils" so long as they possess an appropriate constitution which pits opposing factions against each other with a system of checks and balances. In particular individual states required a federation as a safeguard against the possibility of war. On the 1st of January 1901 the nation-state of Australia came into existence as a federation.
The Australian continent was colonised by the United Kingdom in 1788, which subsequently established six self-governing, colonies there. In the 1890s the governments of these colonies all held referendums on becoming the unified, self-governing "Commonwealth of Australia" within the British Empire; when all the colonies voted in favour of federation, the Federation of Australia commenced, resulting in the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The model of Australian federalism adheres to the original model of the United States of America, although it does so through a parliamentary Westminster system rather than a presidential system. In Brazil, the fall of the monarchy in 1889 by a military coup d'état led to the rise of the presidential system, headed by Deodoro da Fonseca. Aided by well-known jurist Ruy Barbosa, Fonseca established federalism in Brazil by decree, but this system of government would be confirmed by every Brazilian constitution since 1891, although some of them would distort some of the federalist principles.
The 1937 federal government had the authority to appoint State Governors at will, thus centralizing power in the hands of P
Norma Leah Nelson McCorvey, better known by the legal pseudonym "Jane Roe", was the plaintiff in the landmark American lawsuit Roe v. Wade in 1973; the U. S. Supreme Court ruled. McCorvey's views on abortion changed substantially. McCorvey stated that her involvement in Roe was "the biggest mistake of life." McCorvey was born in Louisiana. She was raised at her family's residence in Lettsworth in Pointe Coupee Parish. In her childhood, the family moved to Houston, Texas. McCorvey's father left the family when her parents subsequently divorced, she and her older brother were raised by a violent alcoholic. McCorvey's father died on September 27, 1995, she was of partial Cajun ancestry. McCorvey had entered a Catholic boarding school prior to her minor troubles with law enforcement that started at the age of ten, when she robbed the cash register at a gas station and ran away to Oklahoma City with a friend, they tricked a hotel worker into letting them rent a room, were there for two days when a maid walked in on her and her female friend kissing.
McCorvey was arrested and taken to court, where she was declared a ward of the state and sent to state-run institutions. McCorvey was sent to the State School for Girls in Gainesville, Texas, on and off from ages 11 to 15, she said this was the happiest time of her childhood, every time she was sent home, would purposely do something bad to be sent back. After being released, McCorvey lived with her mother’s cousin, who raped her every night for three weeks; when McCorvey's mother found out, her cousin claimed. While working at a restaurant, Norma met Woody McCorvey, she married him at the age of 16, she left him after he assaulted her. She moved in with her mother and gave birth to her first child, Melissa, in 1965. After Melissa's birth, McCorvey developed a severe drinking problem. Soon after, she began identifying as a lesbian, she left her baby with her mother. When she returned, her mother replaced Melissa with a baby doll and reported her to the police as having abandoned her baby, called the police to take her out of the house.
She would not tell her where Melissa was for weeks and let her visit her child after three months. She allowed McCorvey to move back in, one day woke Norma up after a long day of work, she told Norma to sign insurance papers, Norma did so without reading. However, she signed adoption papers, giving her mother custody of Melissa, was kicked out of the house; the following year, McCorvey again became pregnant and gave birth to a baby, placed for adoption. In 1969, at the age of 21, McCorvey returned to Dallas. According to McCorvey, friends advised her that she should assert falsely that she had been raped and that she could thereby obtain a legal abortion under Texas's law which prohibited abortion. Due to lack of police evidence or documentation, the scheme was not successful and McCorvey would admit the situation was a fabrication, she attempted to obtain an illegal abortion, but the respective clinics had been closed down by authorities. McCorvey was referred to attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington, who were looking for pregnant women who were seeking abortions.
The case took three years of trials to reach the Supreme Court of the United States, Norma never attended a single trial. In the meantime, she had given birth to the baby in question, adopted. McCorvey revealed herself to the press as being "Jane Roe" soon after the decision's issuance and stated that she sought an abortion because she was unemployable and depressed. In the 1980s, McCorvey asserted that she had been the "pawn" of two young and ambitious lawyers who were looking for a plaintiff with whom they could challenge the Texas state law prohibiting abortion. In her first book, the 1994 autobiography, I Am Roe, McCorvey wrote of her sexual orientation. For many years, she had lived in Dallas with her long-time partner, Connie Gonzales. "We're not like other lesbians, going to bars," she explained in a New York Times interview. "We're lesbians together. We're homers." That same year, she became a Christian and voiced remorse for her part in the Supreme Court decision. McCorvey worked as part such as Operation Rescue.
At a signing of I Am Roe, McCorvey was befriended by evangelical minister and National Director of Operation Rescue Flip Benham and baptized on August 8, 1995, by Benham, in a Dallas, backyard swimming pool, an event, filmed for national television. Two days she announced that she had quit her job at the abortion clinic she was working at, had become an advocate of Operation Rescue's campaign to make abortion illegal. McCorvey's second book, Won by Love, was published in 1998, she explained her change on the stance of abortion with the following comments: I was sitting in O. R.'s offices. The progression was so obvious, the eyes were so sweet, it hurt my heart. I ran outside and it dawned on me.'Norma', I said to myself,'They're right'. I had worked with pregnant women for years. I had been through three pregnancies and deliveries myself. I should have known, yet something in that poster made. I kept seeing the picture of that tiny, 10-week-old embryo, I said to myself, that's a baby! It's as
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