In the United States, an executive order is a directive issued by the President of the United States that manages operations of the federal government and has the force of law. The legal or constitutional basis for executive orders has multiple sources. Article Two of the United States Constitution gives the president broad executive and enforcement authority to use their discretion to determine how to enforce the law or to otherwise manage the resources and staff of the executive branch; the ability to make such orders is based on express or implied Acts of Congress that delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power. Like both legislative statutes and regulations promulgated by government agencies, executive orders are subject to judicial review and may be overturned if the orders lack support by statute or the Constitution. Major policy initiatives require approval by the legislative branch, but executive orders have significant influence over the internal affairs of government, deciding how and to what degree legislation will be enforced, dealing with emergencies, waging wars, in general fine-tuning policy choices in the implementation of broad statutes.
As the head of state and head of government of the United States, as well as Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces, only the President of the United States can issue an executive order. Presidential executive orders, once issued, remain in force until they are cancelled, adjudicated unlawful, or expire on their own terms. At any time, the President may revoke, modify, or make exceptions from any executive order, regardless if the order was made by the current president or a predecessor. A new president reviews enforced executive orders in the first few weeks in office; the United States Constitution does not have a provision that explicitly permits the use of executive orders. The term executive power in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution is not clear; the term is mentioned as direction to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" and is part of Article II, Section 3. The consequence of failing to comply could be removal from office; the U. S. Supreme Court has held that all executive orders from the President of the United States must be supported by the Constitution, whether from a clause granting specific power, or by Congress delegating such to the executive branch.
Such orders must be rooted in Article II of the US Constitution or enacted by the congress in statutes. Attempts to block such orders have been successful at times when such orders exceeded the authority of the president or could be better handled through legislation; the Office of the Federal Register is responsible for assigning the executive order a sequential number after receipt of the signed original from the White House and printing the text of the executive order in the daily Federal Register and in Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations. With the exception of William Henry Harrison, all presidents, beginning with George Washington in 1789, have issued orders that in general terms can be described as executive orders, they took no set form. Such orders varied as to form and substance; the first executive order was issued by George Washington on June 8, 1789, addressed to the heads of the federal departments, instructing them "to impress me with a full and distinct general idea of the affairs of the United States" in their fields.
According to the political scientist Brian R. Dirck, the most famous executive order was by President Abraham Lincoln when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Dirck states: The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order, itself a rather unusual thing in those days. Executive orders are presidential directives issued to agents of the executive department by its boss; until the early 1900s, executive orders went unannounced and undocumented and seen only by the agencies to which they were directed. That changed when the Department of State instituted a numbering scheme in 1907, starting retroactively with United States Executive Order 1 issued on October 20, 1862, by President Abraham Lincoln; the documents that came to be known as "executive orders" gained their name from this order issued by Lincoln, captioned "Executive Order Establishing a Provisional Court in Louisiana". This court functioned during the military occupation of Louisiana during the American Civil War, Lincoln used Executive Order 1 to appoint Charles A. Peabody as judge, to designate the salaries of the court's officers.
President Truman's Executive Order 10340 in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 US 579 placed all steel mills in the country under federal control; this was found invalid because it attempted to make law, rather than clarify or act to further a law put forth by the Congress or the Constitution. Presidents since this decision have been careful to cite which specific laws they are acting under when issuing new executive orders; when presidents believe their authority for issuing an executive order stems from within the powers outlined in the Constitution, the order will proclaim "under the authority vested in me by the Constitution" instead. Wars have been fought upon executive order, including the 1999 Kosovo War during Bill Clinton's second term in office. However, all such wars have had authorizing resolutions from Congress; the extent to which the president may exercise military power independently of Congress and the scope of the War Powers Resolution remain unresolved constitutional issues, although all presidents since its passage have complied with the terms of the resolution while maintaining that they are not constitutionally required to d
Republic of Ireland
Ireland known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, located on the eastern part of the island, whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's over 4.8 million inhabitants. The sovereign state shares its only land border with a part of the United Kingdom, it is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, the Irish Sea to the east. It is a parliamentary republic; the legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, an elected President who serves as the ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It had the status of Dominion until 1937 when a new constitution was adopted, in which the state was named "Ireland" and became a republic, with an elected non-executive president as head of state.
It was declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955, it joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, in 1973. The state had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but during the 1980s and 1990s the British and Irish governments worked with the Northern Ireland parties towards a resolution to "the Troubles". Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the Irish government and Northern Ireland Executive have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministerial Council created by the Agreement. Ireland ranks among the top twenty-five wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, as the tenth most prosperous country in the world according to The Legatum Prosperity Index 2015. After joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth.
The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by an unprecedented financial crisis that began in 2008, in conjunction with the concurrent global economic crash. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index, it performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD; the Irish government has followed a policy of military neutrality through non-alignment since prior to World War II and the country is not a member of NATO, although it is a member of Partnership for Peace. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was "styled and known as the Irish Free State".
The Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that "the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland". Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, "It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland." The 1948 Act does not name the state as "Republic of Ireland", because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name "Eire" and, from 1949, "Republic of Ireland", for the state; as well as "Ireland", "Éire" or "the Republic of Ireland", the state is referred to as "the Republic", "Southern Ireland" or "the South". In an Irish republican context it is referred to as "the Free State" or "the 26 Counties". From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30%. One million Irish died of starvation and/or disease and another 1.5 million emigrated to the United States.
This set the pattern of emigration for the century to come, resulting in constant population decline up to the 1960s. From 1874, under Charles Stewart Parnell from 1880, the Irish Parliamentary Party gained prominence; this was firstly through widespread agrarian agitation via the Irish Land League, that won land reforms for tenants in the form of the Irish Land Acts, secondly through its attempts to achieve Home Rule, via two unsuccessful bills which would have granted Ireland limited national autonomy. These led to "grass-roots" control of national affairs, under the Local Government Act 1898, in the hands of landlord-dominated grand juries of the Protestant Ascendancy. Home Rule seemed certain when the Parliament Act 1911 abolished the veto of the House of Lords, John Redmond secured the Third Home Rule Act in 1914. However, the Unionist movement had been growing since 1886 among Irish Protestants after the introduction of the first home rule bill, fearing discrimination and loss of economic and social privileges if Irish Catholics achieved real political power
The Federal Register is the official journal of the federal government of the United States that contains government agency rules, proposed rules, public notices. It is published daily, except on federal holidays; the final rules promulgated by a federal agency and published in the Federal Register are reorganized by topic or subject matter and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, updated annually. The Federal Register is compiled by the Office of the Federal Register and is printed by the Government Publishing Office. There are no copyright restrictions on the Federal Register. S. government, it is in the public domain. The Federal Register provides a means for the government to announce to the public changes to government requirements and guidance. Proposed new rules and regulations Final rules Changes to existing rules Notices of meetings and adjudicatory proceedings Presidential documents including Executive orders and administrative orders. Both proposed and final government rules are published in the Federal Register.
A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requests public comment on a proposed rule and provides notice of any public meetings where a proposed rule will be discussed. The public comments are considered by the issuing government agency, the text of a final rule along with a discussion of the comments is published in the Federal Register. Any agency proposing a rule in the Federal Register must provide contact information for people and organizations interested in making comments to the agencies and the agencies are required to address these concerns when it publishes its final rule on the subject; the notice and comment process, as outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act, gives the people a chance to participate in agency rulemaking. Publication of documents in the Federal Register constitutes constructive notice, its contents are judicially noticed; the United States Government Manual is published as a special edition of the Federal Register. Its focus is on activities; each daily issue of the printed Federal Register is organized into four categories: Presidential Documents Rules and Regulations Proposed Rules Notices Citations from the Federal Register are FR, e.g. 71 FR 24924.
The final rules promulgated by a federal agency and published in the Federal Register are reorganized by topic or subject matter and re-published in the Code of Federal Regulations, updated annually. Copies of the Federal Register may be obtained from the U. S. Government Publishing Office. Most law libraries associated with an American Bar Association–accredited law school will have a set, as will federal depository libraries; the Federal Register has been available online since 1994. Federal depository libraries within the U. S. receive copies of the text, either in paper or microfiche format. Outside the U. S. some major libraries may carry the Federal Register. As part of the Federal E-Government eRulemaking Initiative, the web site Regulations.gov was established in 2003 to enable easy public access to agency dockets on rulemaking projects including the published Federal Register document. The public can use Regulations.gov to access entire rulemaking dockets from participating Federal agencies to include providing on-line comments directly to those responsible for drafting the rulemakings.
To help federal agencies manage their dockets, the Federal Docket Management System was launched in 2005 and is the agency side of regulations.gov. In April 2009, Citation Technologies created a free, searchable website for Federal Register articles dating from 1996 to the present. GovPulse.us, a finalist in the Sunlight Foundation's Apps for America 2, provides a web 2.0 interface to the Federal Register, including sparklines of agency activity and maps of current rules. On July 25, 2010, the Federal Register 2.0 website went live. The new website is a collaboration between the developers who created GovPulse.us, the Government Publishing Office and the National Archives and Records Administration. On August 1, 2011, the Federal Register announced a new application programming interface to facilitate programmatic access to the Federal Register content; the API is RESTful, utilizing the HATEOAS architecture with results delivered in the JSON format. Details are available at the developers page and Ruby and Python client libraries are available.
In addition to purchasing printed copies or subscriptions, the contents of the Federal Register can be acquired via several commercial databases: Citation Technologies offers the complete Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations through subscription-based web portals such as CyberRegs. HeinOnline: Full coverage available dating back to 1936 in an image-based searchable PDF format. LexisNexis: Searchable text format since 45 FR 44251. Westlaw: Searchable text format since 46 FR 1; the Unified Agenda and the official English text of the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, which became effective January 1, 1988, are included. Sunshine Act Meeting Notices are not available prior to 1991. Unified Agenda documents are not available prior to October 1989; the Federal Register system of publication was created on July 26, 1935, under the Federal Register Act. The first issue of the Federal Regis
England and Wales
England and Wales is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four nations of the United Kingdom. "England and Wales" forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows a single legal system, known as English law. The devolved National Assembly for Wales was created in 1999 by the Parliament of the United Kingdom under the Government of Wales Act 1998 and provides a degree of self-government in Wales; the powers of the Assembly were expanded by the Government of Wales Act 2006, which allows it to pass its own laws, the Act formally separated the Welsh Government from the Assembly. There is no equivalent body for England, directly governed by the Parliament and the government of the United Kingdom. During the Roman occupation of Britain, the area of present-day England and Wales was administered as a single unit, with the exception of the land to the north of Hadrian's Wall – though the Roman-occupied area varied in extent, for a time extended to the Antonine/Severan Wall.
At that time, most of the native inhabitants of Roman Britain spoke Brythonic languages, were all regarded as Britons, divided into numerous tribes. After the conquest, the Romans administered this region as the province of Britain. Long after the departure of the Romans, the Britons in what became Wales developed their own system of law, first codified by Hywel Dda when he was king of most of present-day Wales. However, after the Norman invasion of Wales in the 11th century, English law came to apply in the parts of Wales conquered by the Normans. In 1283, the English, led by Edward I, with the biggest army brought together in England since the 11th century, conquered the remainder of Wales organised as the Principality of Wales; this was united with the English crown by the Statute of Rhuddlan of 1284. This aimed to replace Welsh criminal law with English law. Welsh law continued to be used for civil cases until the annexation of Wales to England in the 16th century; the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 consolidated the administration of all the Welsh territories and incorporated them into the legal system of the Kingdom of England.
Prior to 1746 it was not clear whether a reference to "England" in legislation included Wales, so in 1746 Parliament passed the Wales and Berwick Act. This specified that in all prior and future laws, references to "England" would by default include Wales; the Wales and Berwick Act was repealed in 1967, although the statutory definition of "England" created by that Act still applies for laws passed before 1967. In new legislation since 1967, what was referred to as "England" is now "England and Wales", while references to "England" and "Wales" refer to those political divisions. England and Wales are treated as a single unit for some purposes, because the two form the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England; the continuance of Scots law was guaranteed under the 1706 Treaty of Union that led to the Acts of Union 1707, as a consequence English law—and after 1801, Irish law—continued to be separate. Following the two Acts of Union, Parliament can restrict the effect of its laws to part of the realm, the effect of laws, where restricted, was applied to one or more of the former kingdoms.
Thus, most laws applicable to England applied to Wales. However, Parliament now passes laws applicable to Wales and not to England, a practice, rare before the middle of the 20th century. Examples are the Welsh Language Acts 1967 and 1993 and the Government of Wales Act 1998. Measures and Acts of the National Assembly for Wales passed since the Government of Wales Act 2006 apply in Wales but not in England. Following the Government of Wales Act, effective since May 2007, the National Assembly for Wales can legislate on matters devolved to it. Following a referendum on 3 March 2011, the Welsh Assembly gained direct law-making powers, without the need to consult Westminster; this was the first time in 500 years that Wales had its own powers to legislate. Each piece of Welsh legislation is known as an Act of the Assembly. For a company to be incorporated in the United Kingdom, its application for registration with Companies House must state "whether the company's registered office is to be situated in England and Wales, in Scotland or in Northern Ireland", which will determine the law applicable to that business entity.
A registered office must be specified as "in Wales" if the company wishes to use a name ending cyfyngedig or cyf, rather than Limited or Ltd. or to avail itself of certain other privileges relating to the official use of the Welsh language. Outside the legal system, the position is mixed; some organisations combine as "England and Wales", others are separate. In sports, cricket has a combined international team administered by the England and Wales Cricket Board, who govern the sport across both nations, whilst football, rugby union, rugby league, the Commonwealth Games and other sports have separate national representative teams for each country. A few Welsh association football clubs, most notably Cardiff City F. C. and Swansea City F. C. play in the English football league system, while The New Saints F. C. which represents places on both sides of the border, plays in the Welsh football league system. Some religious denominations organise on the basis of England and Wales, most notably the Roman Catholic Church, but small denominations, e.g. the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Prior to the disestablishment of the Church in Wales in 1920, the Anglican churc
Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in some areas, the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments". Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Unlike Southern Ireland, which would become the Irish Free State in 1922, the majority of Northern Ireland's population were unionists, who wanted to remain within the United Kingdom.
Most of these were the Protestant descendants of colonists from Great Britain. However, a significant minority Catholics, were nationalists who wanted a united Ireland independent of British rule. Today, the former see themselves as British and the latter see themselves as Irish, while a distinct Northern Irish or Ulster identity is claimed both by a large minority of Catholics and Protestants and by many of those who are non-aligned. For most of the 20th century, when it came into existence, Northern Ireland was marked by discrimination and hostility between these two sides in what First Minister of Northern Ireland, David Trimble, called a "cold house" for Catholics. In the late 1960s, conflict between state forces and chiefly Protestant unionists on the one hand, chiefly Catholic nationalists on the other, erupted into three decades of violence known as the Troubles, which claimed over 3,500 lives and caused over 50,000 casualties; the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was a major step in the peace process, including the decommissioning of weapons, although sectarianism and religious segregation still remain major social problems, sporadic violence has continued.
Northern Ireland has been the most industrialised region of Ireland. After declining as a result of the political and social turmoil of the Troubles, its economy has grown since the late 1990s; the initial growth came from the "peace dividend" and the links which increased trade with the Republic of Ireland, continuing with a significant increase in tourism and business from around the world. Unemployment in Northern Ireland peaked at 17.2% in 1986, dropping to 6.1% for June–August 2014 and down by 1.2 percentage points over the year, similar to the UK figure of 6.2%. 58.2% of those unemployed had been unemployed for over a year. Prominent artists and sportspeople from Northern Ireland include Van Morrison, Rory McIlroy, Joey Dunlop, Wayne McCullough and George Best; some people from Northern Ireland prefer to identify as Irish while others prefer to identify as British. Cultural links between Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, the rest of the UK are complex, with Northern Ireland sharing both the culture of Ireland and the culture of the United Kingdom.
In many sports, the island of Ireland fields a single team, a notable exception being association football. Northern Ireland competes separately at the Commonwealth Games, people from Northern Ireland may compete for either Great Britain or Ireland at the Olympic Games; the region, now Northern Ireland was the bedrock of the Irish war of resistance against English programmes of colonialism in the late 16th century. The English-controlled Kingdom of Ireland had been declared by the English king Henry VIII in 1542, but Irish resistance made English control fragmentary. Following Irish defeat at the Battle of Kinsale, the region's Gaelic, Roman Catholic aristocracy fled to continental Europe in 1607 and the region became subject to major programmes of colonialism by Protestant English and Scottish settlers. A rebellion in 1641 by Irish aristocrats against English rule resulted in a massacre of settlers in Ulster in the context of a war breaking out between England and Ireland fuelled by religious intolerance in government.
Victories by English forces in that war and further Protestant victories in the Williamite War in Ireland toward the close of the 17th century solidified Anglican rule in Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the victories of the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne in this latter war are still celebrated by some Protestants. Popes Innocent XI and Alexander VIII had supported William of Orange instead of his maternal uncle and father-in-law James II, despite William being Protestant and James a Catholic, due to William's participation in alliance with both Protesant and Catholic powers in Europe in wars against Louis XIV, the powerful King of France, in conflict with the papacy for decades. In 1693, Pope Innocent XII recognised James as continuing King of Great Britain and Ireland in place of William, after reconciliation with Louis. In 1695, contrary to the terms of the Treaty of Limerick, a series of penal laws were passed by the Anglican ruling class in Ireland in intense anger at the Pope's recognition of James over William, felt to be a betrayal.
The intention of the la
A proclamation is an official declaration issued by a person of authority to make certain announcements known. Proclamations are used within the governing framework of some nations and are issued in the name of the head of state. In English law, a proclamation is a formal announcement, made under the great seal, of some matter which the King in Council or Queen in Council desires to make known to his or her subjects: e.g. the declaration of war, or state of emergency, the statement of neutrality, the summoning or dissolution of Parliament, or the bringing into operation of the provisions of some statute the enforcement of which the legislature has left to the discretion of the king or queen in the announcement. Proclamations are used for declaring bank holidays and the issuance of coinage. Royal proclamations of this character, made in furtherance of the executive power of the Crown, are binding on the subject, "where they do not either contradict the old laws or tend to establish new ones, but only confine the execution of such laws as are in being in such matter as the sovereign shall judge necessary".
Royal proclamations, although not made in pursuance of the executive powers of the Crown, either call upon the subject to fulfil some duty which they are by law bound to perform, or to abstain from any acts or conduct prohibited by law, are lawful and right, disobedience to them is an aggravation of the offence (see charge of Chief Justice Cockburn to the grand jury in R. v. Eyre and Case of Proclamations 1610, 12 Co. Rep. 74. The Crown has from time to time legislated by proclamation, but this enactment was repealed by an act of 1547. The Crown has power to legislate by proclamation for a newly conquered country. In the British colonies, ordinances are brought into force by proclamation. In many British protectorates the high commissioner or administrator was empowered to legislate by proclamation. In the old system of real property law in England, levied with "proclamations", i.e. with successive public announcements of the transaction in open court, barred the rights of strangers, as well as parties, in case they had not made claim to the property conveyed within five years thereafter.
These proclamations were made sixteen times, four times in the term in which the fine was levied, four times in each of the three succeeding terms. Afterwards the number of proclamations was reduced to one in each of the four terms; the proclamations were endorsed on the back of the record. The system was abolished by the Fines and Recoveries Act 1833. On certain rare occasions, the heralds of the College of Arms and the Lyon Court still publicly read out certain proclamations such as the proclamation regarding the dissolution of parliament or proclamations regarding the monarch's coronation, where they are read at the steps of the Royal Exchange in London and at the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh. Proclamation of accession of Elizabeth II Proclamation Day Proclamation For the Encouragement of Piety and Virtue Proclamation of the Irish Republic Ukase Edict Decree Presidential proclamation Letters patent Proclamation of Indonesian Independence Introduction, Proclamations of Accession of English and British Sovereigns, Heraldica, 2007
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