A toy is an item, used in play one designed for such use. Playing with toys can be an enjoyable means of training young children for life in society. Different materials like wood, clay and plastic are used to make toys. Many items are designed to serve as toys, but goods produced for other purposes can be used. For instance, a small child may fold an ordinary piece of paper into an airplane shape and "fly it". Newer forms of toys include interactive digital entertainment; some toys are produced as collectors' items and are intended for display only. The origin of toys is prehistoric; the origin of the word "toy" is unknown, but it is believed that it was first used in the 14th century. Toys are made for children; the oldest known doll toy is thought to be 4,000 years old. Playing with toys is considered to be important when it comes to growing up and learning about the world around us. Younger children use toys to discover their identity, help their bodies grow strong, learn cause and effect, explore relationships, practice skills they will need as adults.
Adults on occasion use toys to form and strengthen social bonds, help in therapy, to remember and reinforce lessons from their youth. Most children have been said to play such as sticks and rocks. Toys and games have been unearthed from the sites of ancient civilizations, they have been written about in some of the oldest literature. Toys excavated from the Indus valley civilization include small carts, whistles shaped like birds, toy monkeys which could slide down a string; the earliest toys are made from materials found in nature, such as rocks and clay. Thousands of years ago, Egyptian children played with dolls that had wigs and movable limbs which were made from stone and wood. In Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, children played with dolls made of wax or terracotta, sticks and arrows, yo-yos; when Greek children girls, came of age it was customary for them to sacrifice the toys of their childhood to the gods. On the eve of their wedding, young girls around fourteen would offer their dolls in a temple as a rite of passage into adulthood.
The oldest known mechanical puzzle comes from Greece and appeared in the 3rd century BCE. The game consisted of a square divided into 14 parts, the aim was to create different shapes from these pieces. In Iran "puzzle-locks" were made as early as the 17th century. Toys became more widespread with the changing attitudes towards children engendered by the Enlightenment. Children began to be seen as people in and of themselves, as opposed to extensions of their household and that they had a right to flourish and enjoy their childhood; the variety and number of toys that were manufactured during the 18th century rose. He created puzzles on eight themes – the World, Asia, America and Wales, Ireland and Scotland; the rocking horse was developed at the same time in England with the wealthy as it was thought to develop children's balance for riding real horses. Blowing bubbles from leftover washing up soap became a popular pastime, as shown in the painting The Soap Bubble by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin.
Other popular toys included hoops, toy wagons, spinning wheels and puppets. The first board games were produced by John Jefferys in the 1750s, including A Journey Through Europe; the game was similar to modern board games. In the nineteenth century, the emphasis was put on toys that had an educational purpose to them, such as puzzles, books and board games. Religiously themed toys were popular, including a model Noah's Ark with miniature animals and objects from other Bible scenes. With growing prosperity among the middle class, children had more leisure time on their hands, which led to the application of industrial methods to the manufacture of toys. More complex mechanical and optics-based toys were invented. Carpenter and Westley began to mass-produce the kaleidoscope, invented by Sir David Brewster in 1817, had sold over 200,000 items within three months in London and Paris; the company was able to mass-produce magic lanterns for use in phantasmagoria and galanty shows, by developing a method of mass production using a copper plate printing process.
Popular imagery on the lanterns included royalty and fauna, geographical/man-made structures from around the world. The modern zoetrope was invented in 1833 by British mathematician William George Horner and was popularized in the 1860s. Wood and porcelain dolls in miniature doll houses were popular with middle class girls, while boys played with marbles and toy trains; the golden age of toy development was at the turn of the 20th century. Real wages were rising in the Western world, allowing working-class families to afford toys for their children, industrial techniques of precision engineering and mass production was able to provide the supply to meet this rising demand. Intellectual emphasis was increasingly being placed on the importance of a wholesome and happy childhood for the future development of children. William Harbutt, an English painter, invented plasticine in 1897, in 1900 commercial production of the material as a children's toy began. Frank Hornby was a visionary in toy development and manufacture and was responsible for the invention and production of
A teddy bear is a soft toy in the form of a bear. Developed simultaneously by toymakers Morris Michtom in the U. S. and Richard Steiff in Germany in the early years of the 20th century, named after President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, the teddy bear became an iconic children's toy, celebrated in story and film. Since the creation of the first teddy bears which sought to imitate the form of real bear cubs, "teddies" have varied in form, style and material, they have become collector's items, with rarer "teddies" appearing at public auctions. Teddy bears are among the most popular gifts for children and are given to adults to signify love, congratulations, or sympathy; the name teddy bear comes from former United States President Theodore Roosevelt, known as "Teddy". The name originated from an incident on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi in November 1902, to which Roosevelt was invited by Mississippi Governor Andrew H. Longino. There were several other hunters competing, most of them had killed an animal.
A suite of Roosevelt's attendants, led by Holt Collier, cornered and tied an American black bear to a willow tree after a long exhausting chase with hounds. They suggested that he should shoot it, he refused to shoot the bear himself, deeming this unsportsmanlike, but instructed that the bear be killed to put it out of its misery, it became the topic of a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post on November 16, 1902. While the initial cartoon of an adult black bear lassoed by a handler and a disgusted Roosevelt had symbolic overtones issues of that and other Berryman cartoons made the bear smaller and cuter. Morris Michtom was inspired to create a teddy bear, he created a tiny soft bear cub and put it in the shop window with a sign "Teddy's bear," after sending a bear to Roosevelt and receiving permission to use his name. The toys were an immediate success and Michtom founded the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. At the same time in Germany, the Steiff firm, unaware of Michtom's bear, produced a stuffed bear from Richard Steiff's designs.
Steiff exhibited the toy at the Leipzig Toy Fair in March 1903, where it was seen by Hermann Berg, a buyer for George Borgfeldt & Company in New York. He ordered 3,000 to be sent to the United States. Although Steiff's records show that the bears were produced, they are not recorded as arriving in the U. S. and no example of the type, "55 PB", has been seen, leading to the story that the bears were shipwrecked. However, the story is disputed – author Günther Pfeiffer notes that it was only recorded in 1953 and says it is more that the 55 PB was not sufficiently durable to survive until the present day. Although Steiff and Michtom were both making teddy bears at around the same time, neither would have known of the other's creation due to poor transatlantic communication. North American educator Seymour Eaton wrote the children's book series The Roosevelt Bears, while composer John Walter Bratton wrote an instrumental "The Teddy Bears' Picnic", a "characteristic two-step", in 1907, which had words written to it by lyricist Jimmy Kennedy in 1932.
Early teddy bears were made to look like real bears, with extended snouts and beady eyes. Modern teddy bears tend to have larger eyes and foreheads and smaller noses, babylike features that enhance the toy's cuteness. Teddy bears are manufactured to represent different species of bear, such as polar bears and grizzly bears, as well as pandas. While early teddy bears were covered in tawny mohair fur, modern teddy bears are manufactured in a wide variety of commercially available fabrics, most synthetic fur, but velour, cotton and canvas. Commercially made, mass-produced teddy bears are predominantly made as toys for children; these bears either have safety joints for attaching arms and heads, or else the joints are sewn and not articulated. They must have securely fastened eyes; these "plush" bears must meet a rigid standard of construction in order to be marketed to children in the United States and in the European Union. There are companies, like Steiff, that sell handmade collectible bears that can be purchased in stores or over the Internet.
The majority of teddy bears are manufactured in countries such as Indonesia. A few small, single-person producers in the United States make unique, non-mass-produced teddy bears. In the United Kingdom one small, traditional teddy bear company remains, established in 1930. Mohair, the fur shorn or combed from a breed of long haired goats, is woven into cloth and trimmed. Alpaca teddy bears are made from the pelt of an alpaca. In addition to mohair and alpaca, there is a huge selection of "plush" or synthetic fur made for the teddy bear market. Both these types of fur are commercially produced. Making of a teddy bear Teddy bears are a favourite form of soft toy for amateur toy makers, with many patterns commercially produced or available online. Many "teddies" are home-made as gifts or for charity, while "teddy bear artists" create "teddies" for retail, decorating them individually with commercial and recycled ornaments such as sequins and ribbons. Sewn teddy bears are made from a wide range of materials including felt and velour.
While many are stitched, others are knitted or crocheted. Michtom's jointed mohair "Teddy's bear" was popular when first designed and remains so with collectors today. Fake bears look suspiciously new and unhandled: their noses are unw
American Jewish Historical Society
The American Jewish Historical Society was founded in 1892 with the mission to foster awareness and appreciation of American Jewish history and to serve as a national scholarly resource for research through the collection and dissemination of materials relating to American Jewish history. The American Jewish Historical Society is the oldest national ethnic historical organization in the United States; the Society's library, archives and art and artifacts collections document the American Jewish experience. They are housed in the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan; the society has administrative offices in both New York, New York, in Boston, Massachusetts. It has served as a public educational and interpretive function by publishing a journal, a newsletter and reference works on the American Jewish experience. In 2007, it was among over 530 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Society publishes books, a genealogy program, museums tours, academic assistance and other related educational activities. Additionally, the American Jewish Historical Society publishes the following publications: Heritage, a bi-yearly newsletter American Jewish History Jews in Sports Online The American Jewish Historical Society has some 40 million items in its archives, including manuscripts, printed material, audio files, film files, digital material, objects. Important elements of the Society's collection include hundreds of historical manuscripts and other records of American Jewish groups, including the papers of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, the Synagogue Council of America, the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, the Hebrew Benevolent Society, as well as the papers of HIAS from 1954 to 2000; the Society holds the original manuscript of "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, as well as early American Jewish documents, including Judah Monis's Hebrew grammar textbook, the first American siddur for Jewish holidays printed in English, the first Hebrew‐English prayerbook published in the United States.
The Society holds documents from American Jewish Patriots of the American Revolution, including the marriage contract of Haym Salomon. The Society's Loeb Portrait Database of American Jewish Portraits is a repository of more than 400 portraits of pre-1865 American Jews; the Society maintains the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, founded in 1969 at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley and became part of the American Jewish Historical Society in 2001. 2014: "October 7, 1944," multimedia exhibition created by choreographer Jonah Bokaer Jewish Museum in Cyberspace Jewish-American Hall of Fame Jews in Sport Online Center for Jewish History Texas Jewish Historical Society Kaplan, Elisabeth. 2000. "We Are What We Collect, We Collect What We Are: Archives and the Construction of Identity." The American Archivist. 63, no. 1: 126–151. ISSN 0360-9081 doi:10.17723/aarc.63.1.h554377531233l05 OCLC 5895731036 American Jewish Historical Society American Jewish Historical Society Records at the American Jewish Historical Society
Mississippi is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Mississippi is the 32nd most 34th most populous of the 50 United States, it is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east, the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana to the south, Arkansas and Louisiana to the west. The state's western boundary is defined by the Mississippi River. Jackson, with a population of 167,000 people, is both the state's capital and largest city; the state is forested outside the Mississippi Delta area, the area between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. Before the American Civil War, most development in the state was along riverfronts, as the waterways were critical for transportation. Large gangs of slaves were used to work on cotton plantations. After the war, freedmen began to clear the bottomlands to the interior, in the process selling off timber and buying property. By the end of the 19th century, African Americans made up two-thirds of the Delta's property owners, but timber and railroad companies acquired much of the land after the financial crisis, which occurred when blacks were facing increasing racial discrimination and disfranchisement in the state.
Clearing of the land for plantations altered the Delta's ecology, increasing the severity of flooding along the Mississippi by taking out trees and bushes that had absorbed excess waters. Much land is now held by agribusinesses. A rural state with agricultural areas dominated by industrial farms, Mississippi is ranked low or last among the states in such measures as health, educational attainment, median household income; the state's catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States. Since the 1930s and the Great Migration of African Americans to the North and West, the majority of Mississippi's population has been white, although the state still has the highest percentage of black residents of any U. S. state. From the early 19th century to the 1930s, its residents were majority black, before the American Civil War that population was composed of African-American slaves. Democratic Party whites retained political power through disfranchisement and Jim Crow laws.
In the first half of the 20th century, nearly 400,000 rural blacks left the state for work and opportunities in northern and midwestern cities, with another wave of migration around World War II to West Coast cities. In the early 1960s, Mississippi was the poorest state in the nation, with 86% of its non-whites living below the poverty level. In 2010, 37% of Mississippians were African Americans, the highest percentage of African Americans in any U. S. state. Since regaining enforcement of their voting rights in the late 1960s, most African Americans have supported Democratic candidates in local and national elections. Conservative whites have shifted to the Republican Party. African Americans are a majority in many counties of the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta, an area of historic slave settlement during the plantation era; the state's name is derived from the Mississippi River. Settlers named it after the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi. Mississippi is bordered to the north by Tennessee, to the east by Alabama, to the south by Louisiana and a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition to its namesake, major rivers in Mississippi include the Big Black River, the Pearl River, the Yazoo River, the Pascagoula River, the Tombigbee River. Major lakes include Ross Barnett Reservoir, Arkabutla Lake, Sardis Lake, Grenada Lake with the largest lake being Sardis Lake. Mississippi is composed of lowlands, the highest point being Woodall Mountain, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, 807 feet above sea level; the lowest point is sea level at the Gulf Coast. The state's mean elevation is 300 feet above sea level. Most of Mississippi is part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain; the coastal plain is composed of low hills, such as the Pine Hills in the south and the North Central Hills. The Pontotoc Ridge and the Fall Line Hills in the northeast have somewhat higher elevations. Yellow-brown loess soil is found in the western parts of the state; the northeast is a region of fertile black earth. The coastline includes large bays at Bay St. Louis and Pascagoula, it is separated from the Gulf of Mexico proper by the shallow Mississippi Sound, sheltered by Petit Bois Island, Horn Island and West Ship Islands, Deer Island, Round Island, Cat Island.
The northwest remainder of the state consists of the Mississippi Delta, a section of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. The plain widens north of Vicksburg; the region has rich soil made up of silt, deposited by the flood waters of the Mississippi River. Areas under the management of the National Park Service include: Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site near Baldwyn Gulf Islands National Seashore Natchez National Historical Park in Natchez Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Tupelo Natchez Trace Parkway Tupelo National Battlefield in Tupelo Vicksburg National Military Park and Cemetery in Vicksburg Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 50,000: Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 20,000 but fewer than 50,000: Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 10,000 but fewer than 20,000: Mississippi has a humid
Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman, conservationist and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He served as the 25th vice president of the United States from March to September 1901 and as the 33rd governor of New York from 1899 to 1900; as a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. His face is depicted on Mount Rushmore, alongside those of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln. In polls of historians and political scientists, Roosevelt is ranked as one of the five best presidents. Roosevelt was born a sickly child with debilitating asthma, but he overcame his physical health problems by embracing a strenuous lifestyle, he integrated his exuberant personality, vast range of interests, world-famous achievements into a "cowboy" persona defined by robust masculinity. Home-schooled, he began a lifelong naturalist avocation before attending Harvard College.
His book, The Naval War of 1812, established his reputation as both a learned historian and as a popular writer. Upon entering politics, he became the leader of the reform faction of Republicans in New York's state legislature. Following the near-simultaneous deaths of his wife and mother, he escaped to a cattle ranch in the Dakotas. Roosevelt served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President William McKinley, but resigned from that post to lead the Rough Riders during the Spanish–American War. Returning a war hero, he was elected Governor of New York in 1898. After the death of Vice President Garret Hobart, the New York state party leadership convinced McKinley to accept Roosevelt as his running mate in the 1900 election. Roosevelt campaigned vigorously, the McKinley-Roosevelt ticket won a landslide victory based on a platform of peace and conservation. After taking office as Vice President in March 1901, he assumed the presidency at age 42 following McKinley's assassination that September, remains the youngest person to become President of the United States.
As a leader of the Progressive movement, he championed his "Square Deal" domestic policies, promising the average citizen fairness, breaking of trusts, regulation of railroads, pure food and drugs. Making conservation a top priority, he established many new national parks and monuments intended to preserve the nation's natural resources. In foreign policy, he focused on Central America, he expanded the Navy and sent the Great White Fleet on a world tour to project the United States' naval power around the globe. His successful efforts to broker the end of the Russo-Japanese War won him the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize, he avoided controversial money issues. Elected in 1904 to a full term, Roosevelt continued to promote progressive policies, many of which were passed in Congress. Roosevelt groomed his close friend, William Howard Taft, Taft won the 1908 presidential election to succeed him. Frustrated with Taft's conservatism, Roosevelt belatedly tried to win the 1912 Republican nomination, he failed, walked out and founded a third party, the Progressive, so-called "Bull Moose" Party, which called for wide-ranging progressive reforms.
He ran in the 1912 election and the split allowed the Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson to win the election. Following his defeat, Roosevelt led a two-year expedition to the Amazon basin, where he nearly died of tropical disease. During World War I, he criticized President Wilson for keeping the country out of the war with Germany, his offer to lead volunteers to France was rejected. Though he had considered running for president again in 1920, Roosevelt's health continued to deteriorate, he died in 1919. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was born on October 1858, at East 20th Street in New York City. He was the second of four children born to socialite Martha Stewart "Mittie" Bulloch and businessman and philanthropist Theodore Roosevelt Sr.. He had an older sister, Anna, a younger brother, a younger sister, Corinne. Elliott was the father of First Lady Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Theodore's distant cousin, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his paternal grandfather was of Dutch descent. Theodore Sr. was the fifth son of businessman Cornelius Van Schaack "C.
V. S." Roosevelt and Margaret Barnhill. Theodore's fourth cousin, James Roosevelt I, a businessman, was the father of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Mittie was the younger daughter of Major James Stephens Bulloch and Martha P. "Patsy" Stewart. Through the Van Schaacks, Roosevelt was a descendant of the Schuyler family. Roosevelt's youth was shaped by his poor health and debilitating asthma, he experienced sudden nighttime asthma attacks that caused the experience of being smothered to death, which terrified both Theodore and his parents. Doctors had no cure, he was energetic and mischievously inquisitive. His lifelong interest in zoology began at age seven. Having learned the rudiments of taxidermy, he filled his makeshift museum with animals that he killed or caught. At age nine, he recorded his observation of insects in a paper entitled "The Natural History of Insects". Roosevelt'
Bedford–Stuyvesant is a neighborhood in the north-central portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Bedford–Stuyvesant is bordered by Flushing Avenue to the north, Classon Avenue to the west, Broadway to the east, Atlantic Avenue to the south; the main north/south thoroughfare is Nostrand Avenue. Fulton Street runs east–west the length of the neighborhood and intersects high-traffic streets including Bedford Avenue, Nostrand Avenue, Stuyvesant Avenue. Bedford–Stuyvesant contains four smaller neighborhoods: Bedford, Stuyvesant Heights, Ocean Hill, Weeksville. Part of Clinton Hill was once considered part of Bedford–Stuyvesant; the neighborhood is a major cultural center for Brooklyn's African American population. Following the construction of the IND Fulton Street Line in 1936, African Americans left an overcrowded Harlem for greater housing availability in Bedford–Stuyvesant. From Bedford–Stuyvesant, African Americans have since moved into the surrounding areas of Brooklyn, such as East New York, Crown Heights and Fort Greene.
Bedford–Stuyvesant has many historic brownstones. These homes were developed for the expanding middle- to upper-middle class from the 1890s to the late 1910s. Many of these homes contain ornamental detailing throughout their interiors and have classical architectural elements, such as brackets, fluting and elaborate frieze and cornice banding. Bedford–Stuyvesant is part of Brooklyn Community District 3, though a small part is in Community District 8, its primary ZIP Codes are 11205, 11206, 11216, 11221, 11233, 11238. Bedford–Stuyvesant is patrolled by the 79th and 84th Precincts of the New York City Police Department. Politically it is represented by the New York City Council's 36th District; the neighborhood's name combines the names of the Village of Bedford and the Stuyvesant Heights neighborhoods. Stuyvesant is derived from the last governor of the colony of New Netherland. In the second half of the 17th century, the lands which constitute the present neighborhood belonged to three Dutch settlers: Dirck Janse Hooghland, who operated a ferryboat on the East River, farmers Jan Hansen, Leffert Pietersen van Haughwout.
In pre-revolutionary Kings County, Bedford was the first, major settlement east of the Village of Brooklyn on the ferry road to the town of Jamaica and eastern Long Island. Stuyvesant Heights, was farmland. For most of its early history, Stuyvesant Heights was part of the outlying farm area of the small hamlet of Bedford, settled by the Dutch during the 17th century within the incorporated town of Breuckelen; the hamlet had its beginnings when a group of Breuckelen residents decided to improve their farm properties behind the Wallabout section, which developed into an important produce center and market. The petition to form a new hamlet was approved by Governor Stuyvesant in 1663, its leading signer was a carpenter from Holland. A year the British capture of New Netherland signaled the end of Dutch rule. In Governor Nicolls' Charter of 1667 and in the Charter of 1686, Bedford is mentioned as a settlement within the Town of Brueckelen. Bedford hamlet had an inn as early as 1668, and, in 1670, the people of Breuckelen purchased from the Canarsie Indians an additional area for common lands in the surrounding region.
Bedford Corners located where the present Bedford Avenue meets Fulton Street, only three blocks west of the present Historic District, was the intersection of several well traveled roads. The Brooklyn and Jamaica Turnpike, constructed by a corporation founded in 1809 and one of the oldest roads in Kings County, ran parallel to the present Fulton Street, from the East River ferry to the village of Brooklyn, thence to the hamlet of Bedford and on toward Jamaica via Bed–Stuy. Farmers from New Lots and Flatbush used this road on their way to Manhattan. Within the Stuyvesant Heights Historic District, the Turnpike ran along the approximate line of Decatur Street. Cripplebush Road to Newtown and the Clove Road to Flatbush met at Bedford Corners. Hunterfly Road, which joined the Turnpike about a mile to the east of Clove Road served as a route for farmers and fishermen of the Canarsie and New Lots areas. At the time of the Revolution, Leffert's son Jakop was a leading citizen of Bedford and the town clerk of Brooklyn.
His neighbor, Lambert Suydam, was captain of the Kings County cavalry in 1776. An important part of the Battle of Long Island took place near the Historic District. In 1784, the people of the Town of Brooklyn held their first town meeting since 1776. In 1800, Bedford was designated one of the seven districts of the Town of Brooklyn, and, in 1834, it became part of the seventh and ninth wards of the newly incorporated City of Brooklyn; the present, street system was laid out in 1835, as shown by the Street Commissioners map of 1839, the blocks were lotted. The new street grid led to the abandonment of the Brooklyn and Jamaica Turnpike in favor of a continuation of Brooklyn's Fulton Street, opened up just south of the Historic District in 1842; the lands for the street system within what is now Bedford–Stuyvesant however were not sold to the City of Brooklyn until 1852. Earlier in the same year Charles C. Betts had purchased Maria Lott's tract of land; this marked the end of two centuries of Dutch patrimonial holdings.
Betts, as Secretary
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