The Indiana Territory was created by a congressional act that President John Adams signed into law on May 7, 1800, to form an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1800, to December 11, 1816, when the remaining southern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Indiana. The territory contained 259,824 square miles of land, but its size was decreased when it was subdivided to create the Michigan Territory and the Illinois Territory; the Indiana Territory was the first new territory created from lands of the Northwest Territory, organized under the terms of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. William Henry Harrison, the territory's first governor, oversaw treaty negotiations with the native inhabitants that ceded tribal lands to the U. S. government, opening large parts of the territory to further settlement. In 1809 the U. S. Congress established a bicameral legislative body for the territory that included a popularly-elected House of Representatives and a Legislative Council.
In addition, the territorial government began planning for a basic transportation network and education system, but efforts to attain statehood for the territory were delayed due to war. At the outbreak of Tecumseh's War, when the territory was on the front line of battle, Harrison led a military force in the opening hostilities at the Battle of Tippecanoe and in the subsequent invasion of Canada during the War of 1812. After Harrison resigned as the territorial governor, Thomas Posey was appointed to the vacant governorship, but the opposition party, led by Congressman Jonathan Jennings, dominated territorial affairs in its final years and began pressing for statehood. In June 1816 a constitutional convention was held at Corydon, where a state constitution was adopted on June 29, 1816. General elections were held in August to fill offices for the new state government, the new officeholders were sworn into office in November, the territory was dissolved. On December 11, 1816, President James Madison signed the congressional act that formally admitted Indiana to the Union as the nineteenth state.
When the Indiana Territory was formed in 1800 its original boundaries included the western portion the Northwest Territory. This encompassed an area northwest of a line beginning at the Ohio River, on the bank opposite to the mouth of the Kentucky River, extending northeast to Fort Recovery, in present-day western Ohio, north to the border between the United States and Canada along a line 84 degrees 45 minnutes West longitude; the territory included most of the present-day state of Indiana, all of present-day states of Illinois and Wisconsin, fragments of present-day Minnesota that were east of the Mississippi River, nearly all of the Upper Peninsula the western half of the Lower Peninsula of present-day Michigan, a narrow strip of land in present-day Ohio, northwest of Fort Recovery. This latter parcel became part of Ohio when it attained statehood in 1803; the Indiana Territory's southeast boundary was shifted in 1803, when Ohio became a state, to the mouth of the Great Miami River from its former location opposite the mouth of the Kentucky River.
In addition, the eastern part of present-day Michigan was added to the Indiana Territory. The territory's geographical area was further reduced in 1805 with the creation of the Michigan Territory to the north, in 1809, when the Illinois Territory was established to the west; the Indiana Territory's government passed through a non-representative phase from 1800 to 1804. Under the terms of the Northwest Ordinance, during the non-representative phase of territorial government the U. S. Congress, after 1789, the president with congressional approval, appointed a governor and three judges to govern each new territory. Local inhabitants did not elect these territorial officials. During the second, or semi-legislative phase of government, the territory's adult males who owned at least fifty acres of land elected representatives to the lower house of the territorial legislature. In addition, the Congress, the president with congressional approval, appointed five adult males who owned at least five hundred acres of land to the upper house of the territorial legislature from a list of ten candidates that the lower house submitted for consideration.
In the semi-legislative phase of government, the upper and lower houses could legislate for the territory, but the territorial governor retained absolute veto power. When the territory reached a population of 60,000 free inhabitants, it entered the final phase that included its successful petition to Congress for statehood. In 1803, when the Indiana Territory was formed from the remaining Northwest Territory after Ohio attained statehood, the requirement for proceeding to the second or semi-legislative phase of territorial government was modified. Instead of requiring the territory's population to reach 5,000 free adult males, the second phase could be initiated when the majority of territory's free landholders informed the territorial governor that they wanted to do so. In 1810 the requirement for voters to be landholders was replaced with a law granting voting rights to all free adult males who paid county or territorial taxes and had resided in the territory for at least a year; because of William Henry Harrison's leadership in securing passage of the Land Act of 1800 and his help in forming the Indiana Terri
Washington is a rural town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, in the New England region of the United States. The population was 3,578 at the 2010 census. Washington is known for its picturesque countryside, historic architecture, active civic and cultural life; the town has strong ties to New York City, is home to many cultural and business elites. Archeological evidence suggests that Native Americans first settled along the banks of the Shepaug River about 10,000 years ago, following the conclusion of the last ice age. Before the arrival of European settlers, the lands today comprising Washington were inhabited by the Wyantenock tribe. In 1734, Joseph Hurlbut settled the eastern section of what is now Washington, marking the beginning of the town's inhabitation by Colonists; the area around the Hurlbut homestead came to be known as the Judea Parish, a name preserved in the still active Judea Cemetery. It was part of Woodbury. In 1746, when Edward Cogswell secured the right to mine iron ore, as part of the New Milford North Purchase, established an ironworks along the East Aspetuck River in New Preston.
1746 marked the purchase of land from the Wyantenock tribe by the Averill family for a homestead on Baldwin Hill, still occupied and farmed by direct descendants of the original inhabitants. Washington was incorporated in 1779, with lands carved from the towns of Woodbury, Litchfield and New Milford; the town was named after George Washington, who traveled through the area several times during the American Revolution, proverbially slept in New Preston in 1781. Major William Cogswell, son of Edward Cogswell, was elected the town's first selectman. Industrial Revolution. Early in the 19th century, small mills and factories proliferated along the Shepaug River in present-day Washington Depot, which came to be known as Factory Hollow. Small-scale industry appeared along the banks of the East Aspetuck River in New Preston. Invention of Summer Camp. In 1861, Frederick W. Gunn, the abolitionist founder of the Gunnery prep school, opened America's first summer camp in Washington. Slavery Safe Harbor. Washington was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Local residents provided a safe harbor for slaves fleeing captivity, organized efforts to throw bounty hunters off the tracks of their pursuits. Arcadian Movement; the arrival of the Shepaug Railroad in Washington in 1872 introduced rail service to New York City, which brought an influx of new visitors. Architect Ehrick Rossiter a recent graduate of the local Gunnery prep school, saw an opportunity to establish an understated alternative to Greenwich and the ostentation favored by the nouveaux riches of the day. In collaboration with a coterie of wealthy New York patrons, Rossiter remade the Washington Green area into an idyllic summer colony, transforming it into an idealized version of the quintessential New England village. During this period, the Congregational Church received a makeover, commercial enterprises were eliminated for aesthetic purposes, restrained but elegant summer homes—many of them designed by Rossiter himself—were constructed. Contemporaneously, new seasonal residents established themselves at Lake Waramaug in New Preston.
Birth of Steep Rock. In 1925, architect Ehrick Rossiter donated 100 acres of land along the Shepaug River to a group of trustees for the purpose of preserving it as open space, marking the founding of the Steep Rock Association land trust, which today holds land and conservation easements protecting more than 2,700 acres in Washington. Flood of 1955. In August 1955, two large storms passed over Litchfield County in close succession, flooding many local river valleys. North of Washington Depot, twin culverts carrying the Shepaug River under Route 202 were plugged with debris, causing floodwaters to accumulate upstream; the culverts and roadway succumbed to the resulting pressure, causing a wall of water to race down the river valley, washing away many of the homes and businesses in the Depot's village center, killing a couple who ignored warnings to evacuate. A reconstruction effort, led by Henry B. Van Sinderen, modeled after a town on Long Island, was commenced. Homes and businesses soon reemerged, but the village lost many historic structures, it has never regained its pre-flood density or vitality.
The layout and visual character of the Depot were radically altered, the village center assumed its contemporary appearance, which varies from Washington's traditional architectural vernacular. Invasion of the Iroquois. In 1986, Iroquois Gas Transmission System sought permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct a 356-mile long natural gas pipeline through New York and Connecticut; the proposed route ran through Lake Waramaug's eastern watershed, across the Shepaug River, through the Steep Rock Reservation, with a secondary spur running through Washington Green and Nettleton Hollow. The Washington Environmental Council became an intervenor in the proceedings, retained a prominent Washington, D. C. law firm, mounted a vigorous opposition campaign. In 1989, Iroquois decided to reroute the pipeline, shifting it south of Washington's borders Shepaug River Lawsuit. In 1997, Washington residents voted unanimously to join a lawsuit against the City of Waterbury, which operates a reservoir at the headwaters of the Shepaug River in the adjacent town of Warren.
Waterbury, which had long relied on the reservoir to supply water to its citizens, had come to view the river as a revenue stream, was removing extra water to sell to neighboring municipalities. The lawsuit, which the Town of Roxbury joined, sought to compel Waterbury to release more water into the river, which slowed to
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States; the composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states on a basis of population as measured by the U. S. Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected; the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with fifty-three representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming; the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol; the presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected by the members thereof. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body in which each state was represented, in which each state had a veto over most action. After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation". All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates; the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people", elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, a more deliberative upper house, elected by the lower house, that would represent the individual states, would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation; the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states; the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise or Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other would provide equal representation amongst the states.
The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time. During the first half of the 19th century, the House was in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery; the North was much more populous than the South, therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union; the war culminated in the abolition of slavery. All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the Democratic Party and Republican Party each held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House; the rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed", as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House developed during the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader
Edward Bates was an American lawyer and statesman. He served as the first attorney general of Missouri, he served as the United States Attorney General under President Abraham Lincoln from 1861 to 1864, was notable as the first cabinet member to be appointed from west of the Mississippi River. He was a member of the Bates family, which included brothers James. Born in Goochland County, Virginia, to Thomas Fleming Bates and his wife, the former Caroline Matilda Woodson, his father was a Goochland County native, having been born on his family's Belmont plantation, served in the local militia, including at the Siege of Yorktown at the end of the American Revolutionary War. Like his siblings and others of his class, Bates was tutored at home as a boy; when older, he attended Charlotte Hall Military Academy in Maryland. Edward Bates served in the War of 1812 before moving to St. Louis, Missouri Territory, in 1814 with his older brother James, who started working as an attorney, their eldest brother Frederick Bates was in St. Louis by that time, where he had served as Secretary of the Louisiana Territory and Secretary of the Missouri Territory.
Edward Bates boarded with his family. Easton was Judge of the Louisiana Territory, the largest jurisdiction in U. S. history since the Louisiana Purchase. After being admitted to the bar, Bates worked as a partner with Easton. In 1817, the two organized the James Ferry, which ran from Missouri to Alton, Illinois. Easton had founded the latter town. Bates's private practice partner was Joshua Barton, appointed as the first Missouri Secretary of State. Barton became infamous for fighting duels on Bloody Island. In 1816 Bates was the second to Barton in a duel with Thomas Hempstead, brother of Edward Hempstead, the Missouri Territory's first Congressional representative; the fight ended without bloodshed. Barton was killed in a duel on the island in 1823. Bates's first foray into politics came in 1820, with election as a member of the state's constitutional convention, he wrote the preamble to the state constitution—an honor that influenced his fight against the radical Missouri Constitution of 1865.
He next was appointed as the new state's Attorney General. In 1822, Bates was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives for a single term. Next, he was elected to the State Senate from 1831 to 1835 to the Missouri House from 1835, he ran for the U. S. Senate, but lost to Democrat Thomas Hart Benton. Bates became a prominent member of the Whig Party during the 1840s, where his political philosophy resembled that of Henry Clay. While a slaveholder, during this time, Bates became interested in the case of the slave Polly Berry, who in 1843 gained her freedom decades after having been held illegally in the free state of Illinois for several months. After she gained her freedom, she enlisted Bates's support as her attorney in the separate freedom suit she filed for her daughter Lucy Ann Berry about age 14. According to the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, since the mother had been proved a free woman at the time of her daughter's birth, the court ruled that Lucy was free.
During this time, Orion Clemens, brother of Mark Twain, studied law under Bates. In 1850, President Millard Fillmore asked Bates to serve as U. S. Secretary of War, but he declined. Charles Magill Conrad accepted the position. At the Whig National Convention in 1852, Bates was considered for nomination as vice-president on the party ticket, he led on the first ballot before losing on the second ballot to William Alexander Graham. After the breakup of the Whig Party in the 1850s, he joined the Know-Nothing Party but Bates became a Republican, was one of the four main candidates for the party's 1860 presidential nomination, he received support from Horace Greeley, who switched to support Abraham Lincoln. The next year, after winning the election, Lincoln appointed Bates United States Attorney General, an office Bates held from 1861 until 1864. Bates was the first Cabinet member appointed from west of the Mississippi River. Bates's tenure as Attorney General met with mixed reviews. On the one hand, he was important in carrying out some of Lincoln's earlier war policies, including the arbitrary arrest of southern sympathizers and seditious northerners.
On the other hand, as Lincoln's policies became more radical, Bates became irrelevant. Bates disagreed with the recruitment of blacks into the Union Army. In 1864, Lincoln nominated Salmon P. Chase to be an office Bates had wanted. Bates resigned and was succeeded by James Speed, a Kentucky lawyer with Radical Republican views. Bates returned to Missouri after leaving the cabinet, he participated in the conservative struggle against the adoption of the Missouri constitution of 1865. Bates objected to the "ironclad oath" required as a proof of loyalty, the temporary disfranchisement of rebel sympathizers, he wrote seven essays arguing against the constitution. Bates retired from politics, although he commented on political events in the local newspapers, he was buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery. Bates married Julia Coalter from South Carolina, they had 17 children together. She had come to St. Louis to visit her brother David Coalter and her sister Caroline J. Coalter, who married Hamilton R. Gamble, who became chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court.
Bates was, for the most part, happy with his large f
The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows south for 2,320 miles to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U. S. two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is within the United States; the Mississippi ranks as the fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. Native Americans have lived along its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies; the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.
The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, the early United States, as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort; because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees and dams built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The word Mississippi itself comes from Misi zipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe name for the river, Misi-ziibi. In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, since the country's expansion westward, the Mississippi River has been considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the Eastern and Midwestern United States, the Western United States; this is exemplified by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the phrase "Trans-Mississippi" as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, it is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the Mississippi" or "the oldest city west of the Mississippi". The FCC uses it as the dividing line for broadcast call-signs, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing together in media markets along the river.
The Mississippi River can be divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, the river from its headwaters to the confluence with the Missouri River. The Upper Mississippi runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri River at St. Louis, Missouri, it is divided into two sections: The headwaters, 493 miles from the source to Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The source of the Upper Mississippi branch is traditionally accepted as Lake Itasca, 1,475 feet above sea level in Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, Minnesota; the name "Itasca" was chosen to designate the "true head" of the Mississippi River as a combination of the last four letters of the Latin word for truth and the first two letters of the Latin word for head. However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, the waterway's flow is moderated by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation.
The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all contain locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river. Taken as a whole, these 43 dams shape the geography and influence the ecology of the upper river. Beginning just below Saint Paul and continuing throughout the upper and lower river, the Mississippi is further controlled by thousands of wing dikes that moderate the river's flow in order to maintain an open navigation channel and prevent the river from eroding its banks; the head of navigation on the Mississippi is the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota. Before it was built in 1913, steamboats could go upstream as far as Saint Cloud, depending on river conditions; the uppermost lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi River is the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock an
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
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