George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R
Vote Leave is a campaigning organisation that supported a "Leave" vote in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016. On 13 April 2016 it was designated by the Electoral Commission as the official campaign in favour of leaving the European Union in the Referendum. Vote Leave was founded in October 2015 by political strategists Matthew Elliott and Dominic Cummings as a cross-party campaign, it involved Members of Parliament from the Conservative Party, Labour Party and the sole UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell along with MEP Daniel Hannan and Conservative peer Lord Lawson. Labour MP Gisela Stuart served as chairman and Leader of the Vote Leave Campaign Committee as Co-Convenor with Michael Gove MP, of the Conservatives; the campaign was supported by a number of prominent politicians. A number of Vote Leave principals, including Douglas Carswell, Michael Gove, Bernard Jenkin and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, were members of the influential IPSA resourced European Research Group. Vote Leave co-operated with Labour Leave, Conservatives for Britain and Business for Britain throughout the referendum campaign.
At the referendum held on Thursday 23 June 2016, the majority of those who voted, voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, equivalent to a 51.9% share of the vote. On 23 June and over the following days, both Vote Leave and its rival organisation, "Britain Stronger in Europe", were excoriated by sections of the media and academia for a campaign described by the Electoral Reform Society as "dire", which left the public lacking proper information. In September 2016, Change Britain was formed to act as a successor organisation. On 17 July 2018, Vote Leave was referred to police for breaking electoral law; the Vote Leave campaign was launched on 8 October 2015 with support from MPs including Labour MP Kate Hoey and UKIP MP Douglas Carswell, supporters from the business world including CMC Markets founder Peter Cruddas, entrepreneur Luke Johnson and businessman John Mills, the Labour Party's biggest individual donor. Matthew Elliott and former chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance and Big Brother Watch as well as the campaign director of the successful NOtoAV campaign in 2011 was announced as the chief executive of Vote Leave.
On 2 November 2015, Vote Leave called on the British Polling Council to investigate "serious violations" of the Council's rules by polling organisation YouGov in a survey conducted in 2013 for the Confederation of British Industry. The poll appeared to show that 8 out of 10 businesses backed Britain's continued membership of the EU. Vote Leave claimed that the poll was "wholly unrepresentative" of Britain's businesses due to skewed sampling in the poll and alleged that the research had "caused the public to be misled about the views of British businesses on the EU for nearly two years." The British Polling Council's formal response concluded that YouGov had "not provided an adequate explanation of the sampling procedures, used to conduct the survey" at the time of publishing the survey, whilst a leaked email sent in response to the initial complaint by Nick Moon, secretary of the British Polling Council, stated: “Survey looks pretty dodgy but luckily we don’t need to rule on that. But my initial thought is that YouGov did not give as much info as they should have.”
Vote Leave described the CBI as the "Voice of Brussels" and published research showing that the CBI had received over £1million in funding from the EU over the previous six years. Research released by Vote Leave in November argued that David Cameron's plan to reduce the level of economic migration from the EU by restricting in-work benefits paid to EU migrants would be outweighed by the Government's plans to introduce a National Living Wage of £9-an-hour by 2020. Vote Leave submitted an official statement in November in response to a House of Lords inquiry on the relationship between EU membership and UK science, calling for science research to "replace EU membership as a fundamental priority for national policy." An analysis by Vote Leave, published in December 2015, found that the costs of EU membership outweighed the benefits of the EU's single market as reported in the European Commission's own figures. On 3 February 2016, Vote Leave announced that former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Lawson would be taking over as interim chairman of the Vote Leave board.
Lord Forsyth, the former Secretary of State for Scotland, was appointed to the board at this time. On 20 February 2016, following David Cameron's announcement that the EU referendum would take place on 23 June 2016, five Cabinet ministers publicly declared their support for Vote Leave: Michael Gove, the Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, Leader of the House of Commons, Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, John Whittingdale, the Culture Secretary, Theresa Villiers, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, as well cabinet-attending minister Priti Patel, the Minister of State for Employment; this was followed by an announcement on 21 February by the then-Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, that he would be backing the Vote Leave campaign. Boris Johnson subsequently became one of the key figureheads for Vote Leave throughout the referendum campaign. On 15 June 2016, Vote Leave presented its roadmap to lay out what would happen if Britain left the EU.
The blueprint suggested that Parliament would pass laws: Finance Bill to scrap VAT on tampons and household energy bills.
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called "the Doctor", an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human, from the planet Gallifrey; the Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes while working to save civilisations and help people in need; the show is a significant part of British popular culture, elsewhere it has gained a cult following. It has influenced generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series; the programme ran from 1963 to 1989. There was an unsuccessful attempt to revive regular production in 1996 with a backdoor pilot, in the form of a television film titled Doctor Who; the programme was relaunched in 2005, since has been produced in-house by BBC Wales in Cardiff.
Doctor Who has spawned numerous spin-offs, including comic books, novels, audio dramas, the television series Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, K-9, Class, has been the subject of many parodies and references in popular culture. Thirteen actors have headlined the series as the Doctor; the transition from one actor to another is written into the plot of the show with the concept of regeneration into a new incarnation, a plot device in which a Time Lord "transforms" into a new body when the current one is too badly harmed to heal normally. Each actor's portrayal is unique. Together, they form a single lifetime with a single narrative; the time-travelling feature of the plot means that different incarnations of the Doctor meet. The Doctor is portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, who took on the role after Peter Capaldi's exit in the 2017 Christmas special "Twice Upon a Time". Doctor Who follows the adventures of the title character, a rogue Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who goes by the name "the Doctor".
The Doctor fled Gallifrey in a stolen TARDIS, a time machine that travels by materialising into and dematerialising out of the time vortex. The TARDIS has a vast interior but appears smaller on the outside, is equipped with a "chameleon circuit" intended to make the machine take on the appearance of local objects as a disguise. Across time and space, the Doctor's many incarnations find events that pique their curiosity and try to prevent evil forces from harming innocent people or changing history, using only ingenuity and minimal resources, such as the versatile sonic screwdriver; the Doctor travels alone and brings one or more companions to share these adventures. These companions are humans, owing to the Doctor's fascination with planet Earth, which leads to frequent collaborations with the international military task force UNIT when the Earth is threatened; the Doctor is centuries old and, as a Time Lord, has the ability to regenerate in case of mortal damage to the body, taking on a new appearance and personality.
The Doctor has gained numerous reoccurring enemies during their travels, including the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Master, another renegade Time Lord. Doctor Who first appeared on BBC TV at 17:16:20 GMT on Saturday, 23 November 1963, it was to be each episode 25 minutes of transmission length. Discussions and plans for the programme had been in progress for a year; the head of drama Sydney Newman was responsible for developing the programme, with the first format document for the series being written by Newman along with the head of the script department Donald Wilson and staff writer C. E. Webber. Writer Anthony Coburn, story editor David Whitaker and initial producer Verity Lambert heavily contributed to the development of the series; the programme was intended to appeal to a family audience as an educational programme using time travel as a means to explore scientific ideas and famous moments in history. On 31 July 1963, Whitaker commissioned Terry Nation to write a story under the title The Mutants.
As written, the Daleks and Thals were the victims of an alien neutron bomb attack but Nation dropped the aliens and made the Daleks the aggressors. When the script was presented to Newman and Wilson it was rejected as the programme was not permitted to contain any "bug-eyed monsters". According to producer Verity Lambert. We had a bit of a crisis of confidence. Had we had anything else ready we would have made that." Nation's script became the second Doctor. The serial introduced the eponymous aliens that would become the series' most popular monsters, was responsible for the BBC's first merchandising boom; the BBC drama department's serials division produced the programme for 26 seasons, broadcast on BBC 1. Falling viewing numbers, a decline in the public perception of the show and a less-prominent transmission slot saw production suspended in 1989 by Jonathan Powell, controller of BBC 1. Although it was cancelled with the decision not to commission a planned 27th season, which would have been broadcast in 1990, the BBC affirmed, over several ye
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U. S. history. As a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States; the loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, secessionist partisans in seven Southern slave states declared state secessions from the country and unveiled their defiant formation of a Confederate States of America in rebellion against the U. S. Constitutional government; the Confederacy grew to control over half the territory in eleven states, it claimed the additional states of Kentucky and Missouri by assertions from exiled native secessionists without territory or population.
These were given full representation in the Confederate Congress throughout the Civil War. The two remaining slave holding states of Delaware and Maryland were invited to join the Confederacy, but nothing substantial developed; the Confederate States was never diplomatically recognized by the government of the United States or by that of any foreign country. The states that remained loyal to the U. S. were known as the Union. The Union and the Confederacy raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought in the South over the course of four years. Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U. S. military deaths in all other wars combined. The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Confederate generals throughout the southern states followed suit. Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed the transportation systems; the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, four million black slaves were freed.
During the Reconstruction Era that followed the war, national unity was restored, the national government expanded its power, civil rights were granted to freed black slaves through amendments to the Constitution and federal legislation. In the 1860 presidential election, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U. S. territories. The Southern states viewed this as a violation of their constitutional rights and as the first step in a grander Republican plan to abolish slavery; the three pro-Union candidates together received an overwhelming 82% majority of the votes cast nationally: Republican Lincoln's votes centered in the north, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas' votes were distributed nationally and Constitutional Unionist John Bell's votes centered in Tennessee and Virginia; the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a plurality of the popular votes and a majority of the electoral votes nationally. He was the first Republican Party candidate to win the presidency.
However, before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies declared secession and formed the Confederacy. The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, with an average of 49 percent. Of those states whose legislatures resolved for secession, the first seven voted with split majorities for unionist candidates Douglas and Bell, or with sizable minorities for those unionists. Of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's March 4, 1861, inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war. Speaking directly to the "Southern States", he attempted to calm their fears of any threats to slavery, reaffirming, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so, I have no inclination to do so." After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene, but none did, none recognized the new Confederate States of America. Hostilities began on April 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter. While in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive during 1861–1862. In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy much of its western armies, seized New Orleans; the successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta to William T. Sherman and his march to th
Henry V of England
Henry V called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his early death in 1422. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster. Despite his short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France, most notably in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe. Immortalised in the plays of Shakespeare, Henry is known and celebrated as one of the great warrior kings of medieval England. In his youth, during the reign of his father Henry IV, Henry gained military experience fighting the Welsh during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr and against the powerful aristocratic Percy family of Northumberland at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Henry acquired an increasing share in England's government due to the king's declining health, but disagreements between father and son led to political conflict between the two. After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country and asserted the pending English claim to the French throne.
In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War between the two nations. His military successes culminated in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt and saw him come close to conquering France. Taking advantage of political divisions within France, he conquered large portions of the kingdom and Normandy was occupied by the English for the first time since 1345–1360. After months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes recognised Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne and he was subsequently married to Charles's daughter, Catherine of Valois. Following this arrangement, everything seemed to point to the formation of a union between the kingdoms of France and England, in the person of King Henry, his sudden and unexpected death in France two years condemned England to the long and difficult minority of his infant son and successor, who reigned as Henry VI in England and Henry II in France. Henry was born in the tower above the gatehouse of Monmouth Castle in Wales, for that reason was sometimes called Henry of Monmouth.
He was the son of Henry of Bolingbroke and Mary de Bohun, thus the paternal grandson of the influential John of Gaunt, great-grandson of Edward III of England. At the time of his birth, Richard II, his first cousin once removed, was king. Henry's grandfather, John of Gaunt, was the king's guardian; as he was not close to the line of succession to the throne, Henry's date of birth was not documented. However, records indicate that his younger brother Thomas was born in the autumn of 1387 and that his parents were at Monmouth in 1386 but not in 1387, it is now accepted that he was born on 16 September 1386. Upon the exile of Henry's father in 1398, Richard II took the boy into his own charge and treated him kindly; the young Henry accompanied King Richard to Ireland. While in the royal service, he visited Trim Castle in County Meath, the ancient meeting place of the Irish Parliament. In 1399, Henry's grandfather died. In the same year, King Richard II was overthrown by the Lancastrian usurpation that brought Henry's father to the throne and Henry was recalled from Ireland into prominence as heir apparent to the Kingdom of England.
He was created Prince of Wales at his father's coronation and Duke of Lancaster on 10 November 1399, the third person to hold the title that year. His other titles were Duke of Earl of Chester and Duke of Aquitaine. A contemporary record notes that during that year, Henry spent time at The Queen's College, Oxford under the care of his uncle Henry Beaufort, the chancellor of the university. From 1400 to 1404, he carried out the duties of High Sheriff of Cornwall. Less than three years Henry was in command of part of the English forces, he led his own army into Wales against Owain Glyndŵr and joined forces with his father to fight Henry "Hotspur" Percy at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. It was there that the sixteen-year-old prince was killed by an arrow that became stuck in his face. An ordinary soldier might have died from such a wound, but Henry had the benefit of the best possible care. Over a period of several days, John Bradmore, the royal physician, treated the wound with honey to act as an antiseptic, crafted a tool to screw into the broken arrow shaft and thus extract the arrow without doing further damage, flushed the wound with alcohol.
The operation was successful, but it left Henry with permanent scars, evidence of his experience in battle. For eighteen months in 1410–11, Henry was in control of the country during his father's ill health and took full advantage of the opportunity to impose his own policies; when the king recovered, he dismissed the prince from his council. The Welsh revolt of Owain Glyndŵr absorbed Henry's energies until 1408; as a result of the king's ill health, Henry began to take a wider share in politics. From January 1410, helped by his uncles Henry Beaufort and Thomas Beaufort, legitimised sons of John of Gaunt, he had practical control of the government. Both in foreign and domestic policy he differed from the king, who discharged the prince from the council in November 1411; the quarrel of father and son was political only, though it is probable that the Beauforts had discussed the abdication of Henry IV. Their opponents endeavoured to defame the prince, it may be that the tradition of Henry's riotous youth, immortalised by Shakespeare, is due to political enmity.
Henry's record of involvement in war and politics in his youth, disproves this tradition. The most famous incident, his quarrel wi
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was dependent upon agriculture cotton, a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves; each state declared its secession from the United States, which became known as the Union during the ensuing civil war, following the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U. S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Before Lincoln took office in March, a new Confederate government was established in February 1861, considered illegal by the government of the United States. States volunteered militia units and the new government hastened to form its own Confederate States Army from scratch overnight.
After the American Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper South—Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina—also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither declared secession nor were they largely controlled by Confederate forces; the government of the United States rejected the claims of secession and considered the Confederacy illegally founded. The War began with the Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. No foreign government recognized the Confederacy as an independent country, although Great Britain and France granted it belligerent status, which allowed Confederate agents to contract with private concerns for arms and other supplies. In early 1865, after four years of heavy fighting which led to 620,000–850,000 military deaths, all the Confederate forces surrendered and the Confederacy vanished; the war lacked a formal end.
By 1865 Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America for the duration of the civil war, lamented that the Confederacy had "disappeared". On February 22, 1862, the Confederate Constitution of seven state signatories – Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Texas – replaced the Provisional Constitution of February 8, 1861, with one stating in its preamble a desire for a "permanent federal government". Four additional slave-holding states – Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina – declared their secession and joined the Confederacy following a call by U. S. President Abraham Lincoln for troops from each state to recapture Sumter and other seized federal properties in the South. Missouri and Kentucky were represented by partisan factions adopting the forms of state governments without control of substantial territory or population in either case; the antebellum state governments in both maintained their representation in the Union. Fighting for the Confederacy were two of the "Five Civilized Tribes" – the Choctaw and the Chickasaw – in Indian Territory and a new, but uncontrolled, Confederate Territory of Arizona.
Efforts by certain factions in Maryland to secede were halted by federal imposition of martial law. A Unionist government was formed in opposition to the secessionist state government in Richmond and administered the western parts of Virginia, occupied by Federal troops; the Restored Government recognized the new state of West Virginia, admitted to the Union during the war on June 20, 1863, re-located to Alexandria for the rest of the war. Confederate control over its claimed territory and population in congressional districts shrank from 73% to 34% during the course of the American Civil War due to the Union's successful overland campaigns, its control of the inland waterways into the South, its blockade of the southern coast. With the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the Union made abolition of slavery a war goal; as Union forces moved southward, large numbers of plantation slaves were freed. Many joined the Union lines, enrolling in service as soldiers and laborers; the most notable advance was Sherman's "March to the Sea" in late 1864.
Much of the Confederacy's infrastructure was destroyed, including telegraphs and bridges. Plantations in the path of Sherman's forces were damaged. Internal movement became difficult for Southerners, weakening the economy and limiting army mobility; these losses created an insurmountable disadvantage in men and finance. Public support for Confederate President Jefferson Davis's administration eroded over time due to repeated military reverses, economic hardships, allegations of autocratic government. After four years of campaigning, Richmond was captured by Union forces in April 1865. A few days General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant signalling the collapse of the Confederacy. President Davis was captured on May 10, 1865, jailed in preparation for a treason trial, never held; the initial Confederacy was established in the Montgomery Convention in February 1861 by seven states (South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana
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