François Barbé-Marbois, marquis de Barbé-Marbois was a French politician. Born in Metz, where his father was director of the local mint, Barbé-Marbois tutored the children of the Marquis de Castries. In 1779 he was made secretary of the French legation to the United States. In 1780, Barbé-Marbois sent a questionnaire to the governors of all thirteen former American colonies, seeking information about each state's geography, natural resources and government. Thomas Jefferson, finishing his final term as Virginia's governor, responded to this query with a manuscript that became his famous Notes on the State of Virginia. Barbé-Marbois was elected a Foreign Honorary Member to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society in 1781; when the minister Chevalier de la Luzerne returned to France in 1783, Barbé-Marbois remained in America as chargé d'affaires in 1784. That year he married Elizabeth Moore, the daughter of William Moore, former governor of Pennsylvania.
In 1785 he became intendant of the colony of Saint-Domingue under the Ancien Régime. At the close of 1789, he returned to France, placed his services at the disposal of the French Revolutionary government. In 1791 he was sent to Regensburg to help the French ambassador. Suspected of treason, he was soon freed. In 1795 he was elected to the Council of the Ancients, where the general moderation of his attitude in his opposition to the exclusion of nobles and the relations of émigrés from public life, brought him under suspicion of being a royalist, though he pronounced a eulogy on Napoleon Bonaparte for his success in Italy. During the anti-Royalist coup d'état of the 18th Fructidor 1797), he was arrested and transported to French Guiana. Transferred to the island of Oléron in 1799, he was set free by Napoleon Bonaparte after the 18 Brumaire Coup. In 1801, under the Consulate, he became councillor of state and director of the Trésor public, in 1802 a senator. In 1803 he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase treaty by which Louisiana was ceded to the United States, was rewarded by the First Consul with a gift of 152,000 francs.
Loyal to the First Empire, he was made grand officer of the Legion of Honour and a count in 1805, in 1808 he became president of the Cour des Comptes. His career as Head of the Treasury ended in 1806. In return for these favours, he heaped praise upon Napoleon. Deprived of his positions by Napoleon during the Hundred Days, he was appointed Minister of Justice under the Duc de Richelieu, tried unsuccessfully to gain the confidence of the Ultra-Royalists, withdrew at the end of nine months. In 1830, when the July Revolution brought Louis Philippe and the Orléans Monarchy, Barbé-Marbois went, as president of the Cour des Comptes, to compliment the new king, was confirmed in his position, he held his office until April 1834. In 1829 he wrote the book Histoire de la Louisiane et la cession de cette colonie par la France aux Etats-Unis de l'Amérique septentrionale, he published various texts, including: Reflexions sur la colonie de Saint-Domingue De la Guyane, etc. Journal d'un deporté non-jugé Written in 1780, while secretary to the French Legation to the US Army: "D'Complot du Benedict Arnold & Sir Henri Clinton contre Eunas` States du America General George Washington" One of the first accounts of Arnold's treason, was not published until 1816.
Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Barbé-Marbois, François, Marquis de". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Wilson, J. G.. "Marbois, Francois de Barbe". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton. Tugdual de Langlais, L'armateur préféré de Beaumarchais,Jean Peltier Dudoyer, de Nantes à l'Isle de France, Éd. Coiffard, 2015, 340 p. Tugdual de Langlais, Marie-Etienne Peltier, Capitaine corsaire de la République, Éd. Coiffard, 2017, 240 p.. Works by or about François Barbé-Marbois at Internet Archive https://web.archive.org/web/20040813061110/http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/france/louis2.htm Letter from George Washington Letter from Thomas Jefferson at the Wayback Machine https://web.archive.org/web/20040816205311/http://www.antebellumcovers.com/catalog104.htm Exhibits
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon was a French naturalist, mathematician and encyclopédiste. His works influenced the next two generations of naturalists, including Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Georges Cuvier. Buffon published thirty-six quarto volumes of his Histoire Naturelle during his lifetime. Ernst Mayr wrote that "Truly, Buffon was the father of all thought in natural history in the second half of the 18th century". Buffon held the position of intendant at the Jardin du Roi, now called the Jardin des Plantes. Georges Louis Leclerc was born at Montbard, in the Province of Burgundy to Benjamin Francois Leclerc, a minor local official in charge of the salt tax and Anne-Christine Marlin from a family of civil servants. Georges was named after his mother's uncle Georges Blaisot, the tax-farmer of the Duke of Savoy for all of Sicily. In 1714 Blaisot died childless. Benjamin Leclerc purchased an estate containing the nearby village of Buffon and moved the family to Dijon acquiring various offices there as well as a seat in the Dijon Parlement.
Georges attended the Jesuit College of Godrans in Dijon from the age of ten onwards. From 1723–1726 he studied law in Dijon, the prerequisite for continuing the family tradition in civil service. In 1728 Georges left Dijon to study mathematics and medicine at the University of Angers in France. At Angers in 1730 he made the acquaintance of the young English Duke of Kingston, on his grand tour of Europe, traveled with him on a large and expensive entourage for a year and a half through southern France and parts of Italy. Georges-Louis Leclerc had an elder brother, Pierre Daubenton, who wrote numerous articles for the Encyclopédie by Diderot There are persistent but undocumented rumors from this period about duels and secret trips to England. In 1732 after the death of his mother and before the impending remarriage of his father, Georges left Kingston and returned to Dijon to secure his inheritance. Having added'de Buffon' to his name while traveling with the Duke, he repurchased the village of Buffon, which his father had meanwhile sold off.
With a fortune of about 80 000 livres Buffon set himself up in Paris to pursue science, at first mathematics and mechanics, the increase of his fortune. In 1732 he moved to Paris, where he made the acquaintance of other intellectuals, he first made his mark in the field of mathematics and, in his Sur le jeu de franc-carreau, introduced differential and integral calculus into probability theory. In 1734 he was admitted to the French Academy of Sciences. During this period he corresponded with the Swiss mathematician Gabriel Cramer, his protector Maurepas had asked the Academy of Sciences to do research on wood for the construction of ships in 1733. Soon afterward, Buffon began a long-term study, performing some of the most comprehensive tests to date on the mechanical properties of wood. Included were a series of tests to compare the properties of small specimens with those of large members. After testing more than a thousand small specimens without knots or other defects, Buffon concluded that it was not possible to extrapolate to the properties of full-size timbers, he began a series of tests on full-size structural members.
In 1739 he was appointed head of the Parisian Jardin du Roi with the help of Maurepas. Buffon was instrumental in transforming the Jardin du Roi into museum, he enlarged it, arranging the purchase of adjoining plots of land and acquiring new botanical and zoological specimens from all over the world. Thanks to his talent as a writer, he was invited to join Paris's second great academy, the Académie française in 1753. In his Discours sur le style, pronounced before the Académie française, he said, "Writing well consists of thinking and expressing well, of clarity of mind and taste... The style is the man himself". For him, Buffon's reputation as a literary stylist gave ammunition to his detractors: The mathematician Jean le Rond D'Alembert, for example, called him "the great phrase-monger". In 1752 Buffon married Marie-Françoise de Saint-Belin-Malain, the daughter of an impoverished noble family from Burgundy, enrolled in the convent school run by his sister. Madame de Buffon's second child, a son born in 1764, survived childhood.
When in 1772 Buffon became ill and the promise that his son should succeed him as director of the Jardin became impracticable and was withdrawn, the King raised Buffon's estates in Burgundy to the status of a county – and thus Buffon became a Count. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1782. Buffon died in Paris in 1788, he was buried in a chapel adjacent to the church of Sainte-Urse Montbard. His heart was saved, as it was guarded by Suzanne Necker, but was lost. Today, only Buffon's cerebellum remains, as it is kept in the base of the statue by Pajou that Louis XVI had commissioned in his honor in 1776, located at the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Buffon's Histoire naturelle, générale et partic
Defamation, vilification, or traducement is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of, depending on the law of the country, an individual, product, government, religion, or nation. Under common law, to constitute defamation, a claim must be false and must have been made to someone other than the person defamed; some common law jurisdictions distinguish between spoken defamation, called slander, defamation in other media such as printed words or images, called libel. False light laws protect against statements which are not technically false, but which are misleading. In some civil law jurisdictions, defamation is treated as a crime rather than a civil wrong; the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled in 2012 that the libel law of one country, the Philippines, was inconsistent with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as urging that "State parties should consider the decriminalization of libel". In Saudi Arabia, defamation of the state, or a past or present ruler, is punishable under terrorism legislation.
A person who defames another may be called a "defamer", "libeler", "slanderer", or a "famacide". The term libel is derived from the Latin libellus; as of 2017, at least 130 UNESCO Member States retained criminal defamation laws. In 2017, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media issued a report on criminal defamation and anti-blasphemy laws among its Member States, which found that defamation is criminalized in nearly three-quarters of the 57 OSCE participating States. Many of the laws pertaining to defamation include specific provisions for harsher punishment for speech or publications critical of heads of state, public officials, state bodies and the State itself; the OSCE report noted that blasphemy and religious insult laws exist in around one third of OSCE participating States. In Africa, at least four Member States decriminalized defamation between 2012 and 2017; the ruling by the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights in Lohé Issa Konaté v. the Republic of Burkina Faso set a precedent in the region against imprisonment as a legitimate penalty for defamation, characterizing it as a violation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the treaty of the Economic Community of West African States.
Countries in every region have moved to advance the criminalization of defamation by extending legislation to online content. Cybercrime and anti-terrorism laws passed throughout the world have led to bloggers appearing before courts, with some serving time in prison; the United Nations, OSCE, Organisation of American States and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression stated in a joint declaration in March 2017 that ‘general prohibitions on the dissemination of information based on vague and ambiguous ideas, including "false news" or "non-objective information", are incompatible with international standards for restrictions on freedom of expression...and should be abolished.’ The common law origins of defamation lie in the torts of "slander" and "libel", each of which gives a common law right of action. Defamation is the general term used internationally, is used in this article where it is not necessary to distinguish between "slander" and "libel".
Libel and slander both require publication. The fundamental distinction between libel and slander lies in the form in which the defamatory matter is published. If the offending material is published in some fleeting form, as by spoken words or sounds, sign language, gestures or the like it is slander. Libel is defined as defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures; the law of libel originated in the 17th century in England. With the growth of publication came the growth of libel and development of the tort of libel. An early example of libel is the case of John Peter Zenger in 1735. Zenger was hired to publish New York Weekly Journal; when he printed another man's article that criticized William Cosby, British Royal Governor of Colonial New York, Zenger was accused of seditious libel. The verdict was returned as Not Guilty on the charge of seditious libel, because it was proven that all the statements Zenger had published about Cosby had been true, so there was not an issue of defamation.
Another example of libel is the case of New York Times Sullivan. The U. S. Supreme Court overruled a State court in Alabama that had found The New York Times guilty of libel for printing an advertisement that criticized Alabama officials for mistreating student civil rights activists. Though some of what The Times printed was false, the Court ruled in its favor, saying that libel of a public official requires proof of actual malice, defined as a "knowing or reckless disregard for the truth". There are several things. In the United States, a person must prove that 1) the statement was false, 2) caused harm, 3) was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement; these steps are for an ordinary citizen. For a celebrity or public official, a person must prove the first three steps, that the statement was made with the intent to do harm or with reckless disregard for the truth, specifically referred to as "actual malice". At one time, the honour of peers was protected
Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, lawyer and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He had served as the second vice president of the United States from 1797 to 1801; the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation. Jefferson was of English ancestry and educated in colonial Virginia, he graduated from the College of William & Mary and practiced law, with the largest number of his cases concerning land ownership claims. During the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration, drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator, served as the 2nd Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781, during the American Revolutionary War, he became the United States Minister to France in May 1785, subsequently the nation's first secretary of state under President George Washington from 1790 to 1793.
Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System. With Madison, he anonymously wrote the controversial Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 and 1799, which sought to strengthen states' rights by nullifying the federal Alien and Sedition Acts; as president, Jefferson pursued the nation's shipping and trade interests against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies. He organized the Louisiana Purchase doubling the country's territory; as a result of peace negotiations with France, his administration reduced military forces. He was reelected in 1804. Jefferson's second term was beset with difficulties at home, including the trial of former vice president Aaron Burr. American foreign trade was diminished when Jefferson implemented the Embargo Act of 1807, responding to British threats to U. S. shipping. In 1803, Jefferson began a controversial process of Indian tribe removal to the newly organized Louisiana Territory, he signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves in 1807.
Jefferson, while a planter and politician, mastered many disciplines, which ranged from surveying and mathematics to horticulture and mechanics. He was an architect in the classical tradition. Jefferson's keen interest in religion and philosophy led to his presidency of the American Philosophical Society. A philologist, Jefferson knew several languages, he corresponded with many prominent people. His only full-length book is Notes on the State of Virginia, considered the most important American book published before 1800. After retiring from public office, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Although regarded as a leading spokesman for democracy and republicanism in the era of the Enlightenment, Jefferson's historical legacy is mixed; some modern scholarship has been critical of Jefferson's private life, pointing out the contradiction between his ownership of the large numbers of slaves that worked his plantations and his famous declaration that "all men are created equal." Another point of controversy stems from the evidence that after his wife Martha died in 1782, Jefferson fathered children with Martha's half-sister, Sally Hemings, his slave.
Despite this, presidential scholars and historians praise his public achievements, including his advocacy of religious freedom and tolerance in Virginia. Jefferson continues to rank among U. S. presidents. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at the family home in Shadwell in the Colony of Virginia, the third of ten children, he was of English, Welsh and was born a British subject. His father Peter Jefferson was a surveyor who died when Jefferson was fourteen. Peter Jefferson moved his family to Tuckahoe Plantation in 1745 upon the death of William Randolph, the plantation's owner and Jefferson's friend, who in his will had named him guardian of his children; the Jeffersons returned to Shadwell in 1752, where Peter died in 1757. Thomas inherited 5,000 acres of land, including Monticello, he assumed full authority over his property at age 21. Jefferson began his childhood education beside the Randolph children with tutors at Tuckahoe. Thomas' father, was self-taught, regretting not having a formal education, he entered Thomas into an English school early, at age five.
In 1752, at age nine, he began attending a local school run by a Scottish Presbyterian minister and began studying the natural world, for which he grew to love. At this time he began studying Latin and French, while learning to ride horses. Thomas read books from his father's modest library, he was taught from 1758 to 1760 by Reverend James Maury near Gordonsville, where he studied history and the classics while boarding with Maury's family. During this period Jefferson came to know and befriended various American Indians, including the famous Cherokee chief, who stopped at Shadwell to visit, on their way to Williamsburg to trade. During the two years Jefferson was with the Maury family, he traveled to Williamsburg and was a guest of Colonel Dandridge, father of Martha Washington. In Williamsburg the young Jefferson met and came to admire Patrick Henry, eight ye
Original six frigates of the United States Navy
The United States Congress authorized the original six frigates of the United States Navy with the Naval Act of 1794 on March 27, 1794, at a total cost of $688,888.82. These ships were built during the formative years of the United States Navy, on the recommendation of designer Joshua Humphreys for a fleet of frigates powerful enough to engage any frigates of the French or British navies yet fast enough to evade any ship of the line. After the Revolutionary War, a indebted United States disbanded the Continental Navy, in August 1785, lacking funds for ship repairs, sold its last remaining warship, the Alliance, but simultaneously troubles began in the Mediterranean when Algiers seized two American merchant ships and held their crews for ransom. Minister to France Thomas Jefferson suggested an American naval force to protect American shipping in the Mediterranean, but his recommendations were met with indifference, as were the recommendations of John Jay, who proposed building five 40-gun warships.
Shortly afterward, Portugal began blockading Algerian ships from entering the Atlantic Ocean, thus providing temporary protection for American merchant ships. Piracy against American merchant shipping had not been a problem when under the protection of the British Empire prior to the Revolution, but after the Revolutionary War the "Barbary States" of Algiers and Tunis felt they could harass American merchant ships without penalty. Additionally, once the French Revolution started, Britain began interdicting American merchant ships suspected of trading with France and France began interdicting American merchant ships suspected of trading with Britain. Defenseless, the American government could do little to resist; the formation of a naval force had been a topic of debate in the new America for years. Opponents argued that building a navy would only lead to calls for a navy department, the staff to operate it; this would further lead to more appropriations of funds, which would spiral out of control, giving birth to a "self-feeding entity".
Those opposed to a navy felt that payment of tribute to the Barbary States and economic sanctions against Britain were a better alternative. In 1793 Portugal reached a peace agreement with Algeria, ending its blockade of the Mediterranean, thus allowing Algerian ships back into the Atlantic Ocean. By late in the year eleven American merchant ships had been captured. This, combined with the actions of Britain led President Washington to request Congress to authorize a navy. On January 2, 1794, by a narrow margin of 46–44, the House of Representatives voted to authorize building a navy and formed a committee to determine the size and type of ships to be built. Secretary of War Henry Knox submitted proposals to the committee outlining the design and cost of warships. To appease the strong opposition to the upcoming bill, the Federalist Party inserted a clause into the bill that would bring an abrupt halt to the construction of the ships should the United States reach a peace agreement with Algiers.
The bill was presented to the House on March 10 and passed as the Naval Act of 1794 by a margin of 50–39, without division in the Senate on the 19th. President Washington signed the Act on March 27, it provided for acquisition, by purchase or otherwise, of four ships to carry forty-four guns each, two ships to carry thirty-six guns each. It provided pay and sustenance for naval officers and marines, outlined how each ship should be manned in order to operate them; the Act appropriated $688,888.82 to finance the work. With the formation of a Department of the Navy still several years away, responsibility for design and construction fell to the Department of War, headed by Secretary Henry Knox; as early as 1790 Knox had consulted various authorities regarding ship design. Discussions of the designs were carried out in person at meetings in Philadelphia. Little is known about these discussions due to a lack of written correspondence, making determination of the actual designers involved difficult to assemble.
Secretary Knox reached out to ship architects and builders in Philadelphia, the largest seaport in North America at the time and the largest freshwater port in the world. This meant that many discussions of ship design took place in Knox's office, resulting in few if any records of these discussions being available to historians. Joshua Humphreys is credited as the designer of the six frigates, but Revolutionary War ship captains John Foster Williams and John Barry and shipbuilders Josiah Fox and James Hackett were consulted; the final design plans submitted to President Washington for approval called for building new frigates rather than purchasing merchant ships and converting them into warships, an option under the Naval Act. The designers realized that the fledgling United States could not match the European states in the number of ships afloat; this gave the Americans the distinct advantage in that their ship design was not constrained by access to timber nor limited crew. This allowed the designers to plan for enormous ships given their role.
They had the ability to overpower other frigates, but were capable of a speed to escape from a ship of the line. The design was unusual for the time, being long on keel and narrow of beam; this gave the hull greater strength than the hulls of other navies' frigates. Knox advised President Washington that the cost of new construction would exceed the appropriations of the Naval Act. Despite this, Washington accepted and approved the plans the same day they were submitted, April 15, 1794. Joshua Humphreys was appointed Mas
Intelligence has been defined in many ways, including: the capacity for logic, self-awareness, emotional knowledge, planning, critical thinking, problem solving. More it can be described as the ability to perceive or infer information, to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context. Intelligence is most studied in humans but has been observed in both non-human animals and in plants. Intelligence in machines is called artificial intelligence, implemented in computer systems using programs and, appropriate hardware; the word "intelligence" derives from the Latin nouns intelligentia or intellēctus, which in turn stem from the verb intelligere, to comprehend or perceive. In the Middle Ages, the word intellectus became the scholarly technical term for understanding, a translation for the Greek philosophical term nous; this term, was linked to the metaphysical and cosmological theories of teleological scholasticism, including theories of the immortality of the soul, the concept of the Active Intellect.
This entire approach to the study of nature was rejected by the early modern philosophers such as Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, all of whom preferred the word "understanding" in their English philosophical works. Hobbes for example, in his Latin De Corpore, used "intellectus intelligit", translated in the English version as "the understanding understandeth", as a typical example of a logical absurdity; the term "intelligence" has therefore become less common in English language philosophy, but it has been taken up in more contemporary psychology. The definition of intelligence is controversial; some groups of psychologists have suggested the following definitions: From "Mainstream Science on Intelligence", an op-ed statement in the Wall Street Journal signed by fifty-two researchers: A general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas and learn from experience. It is not book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts.
Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—"catching on," "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do. From Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns, a report published by the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association: Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought. Although these individual differences can be substantial, they are never consistent: a given person's intellectual performance will vary on different occasions, in different domains, as judged by different criteria. Concepts of "intelligence" are attempts to organize this complex set of phenomena. Although considerable clarity has been achieved in some areas, no such conceptualization has yet answered all the important questions, none commands universal assent. Indeed, when two dozen prominent theorists were asked to define intelligence, they gave two dozen, somewhat different, definitions.
Besides those definitions and learning researchers have suggested definitions of intelligence such as: Human intelligence is the intellectual power of humans, marked by complex cognitive feats and high levels of motivation and self-awareness. Intelligence enables humans to remember descriptions of things and use those descriptions in future behaviors, it is a cognitive process. It gives humans the cognitive abilities to learn, form concepts and reason, including the capacities to recognize patterns, comprehend ideas, solve problems, use language to communicate. Intelligence enables humans to think. Note that much of the above definition applies to the intelligence of non-human animals. Although humans have been the primary focus of intelligence researchers, scientists have attempted to investigate animal intelligence, or more broadly, animal cognition; these researchers are interested in studying both mental ability in a particular species, comparing abilities between species. They study various measures of problem solving, as well as verbal reasoning abilities.
Some challenges in this area are defining intelligence so that it has the same meaning across species, operationalizing a measure that compares mental ability across different species and contexts. Wolfgang Köhler's research on the intelligence of apes is an example of research in this area. Stanley Coren's book, The Intelligence of Dogs is a notable book on the topic of dog intelligence. Non-human animals noted and studied for their intelligence include chimpanzees and other great apes, elephants and to some extent parrots and ravens. Cephalopod intelligence provides important comparative study. Cephalopods appear to exhibit characteristics of significant intelligence, yet their nervous systems differ radically from those of backboned animals. Vertebrates such as mammals, birds and fish have shown a high degree of intellect that varies according to each species; the same is true with arthropods. Evidence of a general factor of intell
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