Caleb Cushing was an American diplomat who served as a U. S. Congressman from Massachusetts and Attorney General under President Franklin Pierce. Born in Salisbury, Massachusetts, in 1800, he was the son of John Newmarch Cushing, a wealthy shipbuilder and merchant, of Lydia Dow, a delicate and sensitive woman from Seabrook, New Hampshire, who died when he was ten; the family moved across the Merrimack River to the prosperous shipping town of Newburyport in 1802. He entered Harvard University at the age of 13 and graduated in 1817, he was a teacher of mathematics there from 1820 to 1821, was admitted to practice in the Massachusetts Court of Common Pleas in December, 1821. He began practicing law in Newburyport in 1824. There he attended the First Presbyterian Church. On November 23, 1824, Cushing married Caroline Elizabeth Wilde, daughter of Judge Samuel Sumner Wilde, of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, his wife died about a decade leaving him childless and alone. He never married again.
Cushing served as a Democratic-Republican member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1825 entered the Massachusetts Senate in 1826, returned to the House in 1828. Afterwards, he spent two years, in Europe. Upon his return, he again served in the lower house of the state legislature in 1833 and 1834. In late 1834, he was elected a representative to Congress. Cushing served in Congress from 1835 until 1843. During the 27th Congress, he was chairman of the U. S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Here the marked inconsistency characterizing his public life became manifest. In 1843 President Tyler nominated Cushing for U. S. Secretary of the Treasury, but the U. S. Senate refused to confirm him for this office, he was nominated three times in one day, rejected all three times. John Canfield Spencer was chosen instead. Cushing was, appointed by President Tyler in the same year, to be commissioner and United States Ambassador to China, holding this position until March 4, 1845. In 1844 he negotiated the Treaty of the first treaty between China and the United States.
While serving as commissioner to China he was empowered to negotiate a treaty of navigation and commerce with Japan. In 1847, while again a representative in the Massachusetts state legislature, he introduced a bill appropriating money for the equipment of a regiment to serve in the Mexican–American War, he served in the Army during the Mexican War first as colonel of the 1st Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, of which he was placed in command on January 15, 1847. He was promoted to brigadier-general of volunteers on April 14 of the same year, he did not see combat during this conflict, entered Mexico City with his reserve battalion several months after that city had been pacified. He was discharged from the Army on July 20, 1848. In 1847 and again in 1848 the Democrats nominated him for Governor of Massachusetts, but on each occasion he was defeated at the polls, he was again a representative in the state legislature in 1851, was offered the position as Massachusetts Attorney General in 1851, but declined.
He became an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1852, during the administration of President Franklin Pierce, from March 7, 1853, until March 3, 1857, was 23rd Attorney General of the United States. Cushing, a "doughface", i.e. a Northerner with Southern sympathies, supported the Dred Scott decision and to such a degree that Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who wrote the decision, wrote Cushing a letter thanking him for his support. In 1858, 1859, 1862, 1863 he again served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. During this time, he founded the Cushing Land Agency in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin; the building it was housed in, now known as the Cushing Land Agency Building, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1860 he presided over the Democratic National Convention, which met first at Charleston and at Baltimore, until he joined those who seceded from the regular convention. Breckinridge for the Presidency. In 1860 President James Buchanan sent him to Charleston as Confidential Commissioner to the Secessionists of South Carolina.
Despite having favored states' rights and opposed the abolition of slavery, during the American Civil War, he supported the Union. He was appointed by President Andrew Johnson as one of three commissioners assigned to revise and codify the laws of the United States Congress, he served in that capacity from 1866 to 1870. In 1868, in concert with the Minister Resident to Colombia, Cushing was sent to Bogotá, worked to negotiate a right-of-way treaty for a ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama. At the Geneva conference for the settlement of the Alabama claims in 1871–1872 he was one of the counsels appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant for the United States before the Geneva Tribunal of Arbitration on the Alabama claims. From January 6, 1874, to April 9, 1877, Cushing was Minister to Spain, he defused tensions over the Virginius Affair, proved popular in the country. On January 9, 1874, Grant nominated him for Chief Justice of the United States, but in spite of his great learning and eminence at the bar, h
Roger B. Taney
Roger Brooke Taney was the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, holding that office from 1836 until his death in 1864. He delivered the majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford, ruling that African Americans could not be considered citizens and that Congress could not prohibit slavery in the territories of the United States. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Taney served as the United States Attorney General and United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Andrew Jackson. Taney was born into a slave-owning family in Calvert County, Maryland, he won election to the Maryland House of Delegates as a member of the Federalist Party, but broke with the party over the War of 1812. After switching to the Democratic Party, Taney was elected to the Maryland Senate in 1816, he emerged as one of the most prominent attorneys in the state and was appointed as the Attorney General of Maryland in 1827. Taney supported Andrew Jackson's presidential campaigns in 1824 and 1828, he became a member of Jackson's Democratic Party.
After a cabinet shake-up in 1831, President Jackson appointed Taney as his attorney general. Taney became one of the most important members of Jackson's cabinet and played a major role in the Bank War. Beginning in 1833, Taney served as secretary of the treasury under a recess appointment, but his nomination to that position was rejected by the United States Senate. In 1835, after Democrats took control of the Senate, Jackson appointed Taney to succeed John Marshall on the Supreme Court as Chief Justice. Taney would preside over a jurisprudential shift toward states' rights, but the Taney Court did not reject federal authority to the degree that many of Taney's critics had feared. By the early 1850s, he was respected, some elected officials looked to the Supreme Court to settle the national debate over slavery. Though he did not own slaves himself, Taney was outraged by Northern attacks on slavery, he sought to use the Dred Scott decision to permanently remove slavery as a subject of national debate.
His broad ruling angered many Northerners and strengthened the anti-slavery Republican Party, Republican Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election. After Lincoln's election, Taney sympathized with the seceding Southern states, but he did not resign from the Supreme Court, he disagreed with President Abraham Lincoln's more broad interpretation of executive power in the American Civil War. In Ex parte Merryman, Taney held. At the time of Taney's death in 1864, he was reviled in the North, he continues to have a controversial historical reputation; the Dred Scott ruling is considered to be one of the worst Supreme Court decisions made, though some scholars hold other aspects of Taney's tenure in high regard. Taney was born in Calvert County, Maryland on March 17, 1777, to Michael Taney V and Monica Brooke Taney. Taney's ancestor, Michael Taney I, had migrated from England in 1660 and he and his family established themselves as prominent Catholic landowners in Maryland; as Roger Taney's older brother, Michael Taney VI, was expected to inherit the family's plantation, Taney's father encouraged him to study law.
At the age of fifteen, Taney was sent to Dickinson College, where he studied ethics, languages and other subjects. After graduating from Dickinson in 1796, he read law under Judge Jeremiah Townley Chase in Annapolis. Taney was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1799. Taney married Anne Phoebe Charlton Key, sister of Francis Scott Key, on January 7, 1806, they had six daughters together. Though Taney himself remained a Catholic, all of his daughters were raised as members of Anne's Episcopal Church. Taney rented an apartment during his years of service with the federal government, but he and his wife maintained a permanent home in Baltimore. After Anne died in 1855, Taney and two of his unmarried daughters moved permanently to Washington, D. C. After gaining admission to the state bar, Taney established a successful legal practice in Frederick, Maryland. At his father's urging, he ran for the Maryland House of Delegates as a member of the Federalist Party. With the help of his father, Taney won election to the House of Delegates, but he lost his campaign for a second term.
Taney remained a prominent member of the Federalist Party for several years, until he broke with the party due to his support of the War of 1812. He joined the Democratic-Republican Party and, in 1816, won election to a five-year term in the Maryland State Senate. In 1823, Taney moved his legal practice to Baltimore, where he gained widespread notoriety as an effective litigator. In 1826, Taney and Daniel Webster represented merchant Solomon Etting in a case that appeared before the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1827, Taney was appointed as the Attorney General of Maryland. Taney supported Andrew Jackson in the 1828 presidential election, he served as a leader of Jackson's 1828 campaign in Maryland. Taney's attitudes toward slavery were complex, he gave pensions to those who were too old to work. In 1819, he defended an abolitionist Methodist minister, indicted for inciting slave insurrections by denouncing slavery in a camp meeting. In his opening argument in that case, Taney condemned slavery as "a blot on our national character."
As a result of the Petticoat Affair, in 1831 President Jackson asked for the resignations of most of the members of his cabinet, including Attorney General John M. Berrien. Jackson turned to Taney to fill the vacancy caused by Berrien's resignation, Taney became the president's top legal adviser. In one advisory opinion that he
James Clark McReynolds
James Clark McReynolds was an American lawyer and judge from Tennessee who served as United States Attorney General under President Woodrow Wilson and as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He served on the Court from October 1914 to his retirement in January 1941, he was best known for his sustained opposition to the domestic programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his overt anti-semitism. Born in Elkton, Kentucky, McReynolds practiced law in Tennessee after graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law, he served as the Assistant Attorney General during the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt and became well known for his skill in antitrust cases. After President Wilson took office in 1913, he appointed McReynolds as his administration's first Attorney General. Wilson nominated McReynolds to the Supreme Court in 1914 to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Associate Justice Horace Harmon Lurton. In his twenty-six years on the bench, McReynolds wrote more than 506 majority opinions for the court and 157 dissents, 93 of which were against the New Deal.
McReynolds was part of the "Four Horsemen" bloc of conservative justices who voted to strike down New Deal programs. He was succeeded by James F. Byrnes. During his Supreme Court tenure, McReynolds wrote the majority opinion in cases such as Meyer v. Nebraska, United States v. Miller, Pierce v. Society of Sisters. Born in Elkton, the county seat of Todd County, he was the son of John Oliver and Ellen McReynolds, both members of the Disciples of Christ church. John Oliver McReynolds was active in business ventures and served as a surgeon in the Confederate army during the Civil War; the house in which James Clark McReynolds was born still stands. He graduated from the prestigious Green River Academy and matriculated at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, graduating with status one year as a valedictorian in 1882. At the University of Virginia School of Law, where he studied under John B. Minor, "a man of stern morality and firm conservative convictions," McReynolds completed his studies in fourteen months.
He again graduated at the head of his class. McReynolds received his law degree in 1884, he was secretary to Senator Howell Edmunds Jackson, who became an associate justice in 1893. McReynolds practiced law in Nashville and served for three years as an Adjunct professor of Commercial Law and Corporations at Vanderbilt University Law School, he became active in politics. As head of the Tennessee delegation to the 1896 Democratic Convention, he wrote the party's "sound money" plank. Under Theodore Roosevelt, McReynolds served as Assistant Attorney General from 1903 to 1907, when he resigned to take up private practice with the noted law firm of Guthrie and Henderson in New York City. While in private practice, McReynolds was retained by the government in matters relating to enforcement of antitrust laws in proceedings against the "Tobacco trust" and the combination of the anthracite coal railroads; the case which brought him to the attention of President Wilson was the government's case against the American Tobacco Company, in which McReynolds presented the government's case, while the company was represented by Clarence Darrow and 17 other attorneys.
On March 15, 1913, following the successful conclusion of this case, with Attorney General Wickersham's recommendation, Wilson appointed McReynolds as the 48th United States Attorney General. During his time in private practice, McReynolds earned a reputation as an ardent'trust buster', he continued working against trusts during his time as the US Attorney General. In spite of his negative views of corporate monopolies, McReynolds was supportive of laissez-faire economic policies. Wilson found him difficult to work with. On August 19, 1914, Wilson appointed McReynolds to the Supreme Court, to a seat vacated by the sudden death of Horace H. Lurton. McReynolds was confirmed by the United States Senate and received his commission the same day, starting with the new term on October 12, 1914; when the Supreme Court Building opened in 1935 during the Great Depression, McReynolds, like most of the other justices, refused to move his office into the new building. He continued to work out of the office.
He said that, with the country in economic turmoil, the government should not have spent so much money on a single building. He ignored the fact. In his 27 years on the bench, McReynolds wrote 506 decisions, an average of just under 19 opinions for each term of the Court during his tenure. In addition, he authored 157 dissents, his fierce opposition to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal legislation designed to provide relief to citizens and put people to work during the Great Depression resulted in McReynolds being classified as one of the "Four Horsemen", along with George Sutherland, Willis Van Devanter and Pierce Butler. McReynolds voted to strike down the Tennessee Valley Authority in Ashwander v. TVA, the National Industrial Recovery Act in Schechter Poultry Corporation v. United States, the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 in United States v. Butler, the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935 in Carter v. Carter Coal Co. and the Social Security Act 42 U. S. C. A. § 301 et seq. in Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, 301 U.
S. 548, 57 S. Ct. 883, 81 L. Ed. 1279
John J. Crittenden
John Jordan Crittenden was an American politician from the U. S. state of Kentucky. He represented the state in both the U. S. House of Representatives and the U. S. Senate and twice served as United States Attorney General in the administrations of William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and Millard Fillmore, he was the 17th governor of Kentucky and served in the state legislature. Although mentioned as a potential candidate for the U. S. presidency, he never consented to run for the office. During his early political career, Crittenden served in the Kentucky House of Representatives and was chosen as speaker on several occasions. With the advent of the Second Party System, he allied with the National Republican Party and was a fervent supporter of Henry Clay and opponent of Democrats Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. Lame duck president John Quincy Adams nominated Crittenden to the U. S. Supreme Court on December 17, 1828 but Senators who supported president-elect Jackson voted to postpone confirmation until Jackson could nominate his own man.
After his brief service as Kentucky Secretary of State, the state legislature elected Crittenden to the second of his four non-consecutive stints in the U. S. Senate. Upon his election as president, William Henry Harrison appointed Crittenden as Attorney General, but 5 months after Harrison's death, political differences prompted him to resign rather than continue his service under Harrison's successor, John Tyler, he was returned to the Senate in 1842, serving until 1848, when he resigned to run for governor, hoping his election would help Zachary Taylor win Kentucky's vote in the 1848 presidential election. Taylor was elected, but Crittenden refused a post in his cabinet, fearing he would be charged with making a "corrupt bargain", as Clay had been in 1825. Following Taylor's death in 1850, Crittenden resigned the governorship and accepted Millard Fillmore's appointment as attorney general; as the Whig Party crumbled in the mid-1850s, Crittenden joined the Know Nothing Party. After the expiration of his term as attorney general, he was again elected to the U.
S. Senate, where he urged compromise on the issue of slavery to prevent the breakup of the United States; as bitter partisanship increased the threat of secession, Crittenden sought out moderates from all parties and formed the Constitutional Union Party, though he refused the party's nomination for president in the 1860 election. In December 1860, he authored the Crittenden Compromise, a series of resolutions and constitutional amendments he hoped would avert the Civil War, but Congress would not approve them. One of Crittenden's sons, George B. Crittenden, became a general in the Confederate Army. Another son, Thomas Leonidas Crittenden, became a general in the Union Army; the elder Crittenden was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1861, supported the Union. However, he criticized many of the policies of President Abraham Lincoln and the U. S. Congress, including the Emancipation Proclamation and the admission of West Virginia to the Union, he continued to work for reconciliation of the states throughout his time in office.
He declared his candidacy for re-election to the House in 1863, but died before the election took place. John Jordan Crittenden was born September 1787, near Versailles, Kentucky, he was the second child and first son of Revolutionary War veteran Major John Crittenden and his wife Judith Harris. John and Judith Crittenden had all but one of whom survived infancy. On his father's side, he was of Welsh ancestry, his father had surveyed land in Kentucky with George Rogers Clark, settled there just after the end of the American Revolution. Two of Crittenden's brothers and Robert, became lawyers, while the third, was a farmer. Crittenden began a college preparatory curriculum at Pisgah Academy in Woodford County, he was sent to a boarding school in Jessamine County. Among his classmates were Thomas Alexander Marshall and Francis P. Blair. Crittenden became close friends with Blair, political differences did little to diminish their friendship. After a year at boarding school, Crittenden moved to the Lexington, home of Judge George M. Bibb to study law.
He began more advanced studies at Washington College in Virginia. During his brief tenure there, he studied mathematics and belles-lettres and became friends with Hugh Lawson White. Dissatisfied with the curriculum at Washington College, Crittendon moved to Williamsburg and transferred to the College of William and Mary, he became acquainted with future president John Tyler. On May 27, 1811, Crittenden married Sarah O. Lee at her home in Versailles. Lee was a cousin of future U. S. President Zachary Taylor and aunt of U. S. Senator Wilkinson Call, they had seven children before Sarah died in mid-September 1824. Among their children were Confederate major general George Crittenden and Union general Thomas Leonidas Crittenden, their daughter Sallie Lee "Maria" Crittenden was the mother of John C. Watson, a Rear Admiral in the U. S. Navy during the late 19th century. Completing his studies in 1806, Crittenden was admitted to the bar the following year, he began his practice in Woodford County, but found central Kentucky well supplied with able lawyers.
Critenden moved to Logan County, Kentucky, on the western frontier and opened his practice in Russellville. At age twenty-two, moved across the Ohio River to Illinois Territory, Governor Ninian Edwards appointed him its attorney general; the following year, Edwards made Crittenden his aide-de-camp. In addition to his legal practice when he ret
Albert S. Burleson
Albert Sidney Burleson was a conservative Democrat and United States Postmaster General and Representative. He is known for gaining cabinet support for instituting racial segregation in the US Post Office, which President Woodrow Wilson applied to other federal agencies. Born in San Marcos, Burleson came from a wealthy Southern planter family, his father, Edward Burleson, Jr. was a Confederate officer. His grandfather, Edward Burleson, was a soldier and statesman in the Republic of Texas and the early State of Texas. In his early political career, Burleson represented Texas in the House of Representatives, where he was active in promoting the development of agriculture. In 1913, he was appointed Postmaster General by Woodrow Wilson. To his credit, he initiated the parcel post and air mail services, increasing mail service to rural areas. However, Burleson was one of the most reactionary politicians to have served as Postmaster General, which he demonstrated in ways that adversely affected national mail service and the government's civil service system, based on merit.
His term is seen as one of the worst in the history of the post. At a cabinet meeting on April 11, 1913, just over one month into Wilson's first term his, Burleson "suggested that the new administration segregate the railway mail service," which Wilson adopted, he and other cabinet members recommended segregated federal workplaces, which Wilson instituted, requiring separate lunchrooms and restrooms, and, in some cases, screened working areas. Since the Reconstruction era, the workplaces had been integrated and African Americans served in numerous positions in the merit civil service as well as in some political appointee positions. Wilson instituted racial discrimination in hiring, subverting the civil service merit system by requiring photos of applicants. Burleson segregated firing black postal workers in the South, he drew criticism from labor unions by forbidding postal employees to strike. Business leaders were angered by inefficiency and dictatorial heavy-handedness in government control of communications.
Soon after taking office in 1913, Burleson aroused a storm of protest on the part of the large daily newspapers, by declaring that he would enforce the law requiring publications to print, among other things, a sworn statement of paid circulation, held in abeyance by his predecessor until its constitutionality might be confirmed. The Supreme Court enjoined him from doing so. After Europe was engaged in World War I, he issued an order in 1915 barring envelopes and cards from the mails from the warring countries. After the United States entered the war as a belligerent, Burleson vigorously enforced the Espionage Act, ordering local postmasters to send to him any illegal or suspicious material that they found; the distribution by mail of major radical pamphlets, such as Emma Goldman's Mother Earth and Max Eastman's The Masses, was slowed drastically, such pamphlets were never delivered. Burleson banned antiwar material from being delivered by Post Office personnel, it was impossible to draw an ideal line, the result was a general alienation of the press.
From June 1918 to July 1919, the Post Office Department operated the nation's telephone and telegraph services, an arrangement Burleson had advocated at least as early as 1913. Following the war, he continued to advocate permanent nationalization of telephone and cable services, he acknowledged that Congress would be hostile to the idea and oversaw the return of the communications infrastructure to its various corporate owners. He introduced the "zone system" in which postage on second-class mail was charged according to distance. In 1919, he was appointed as chairman of the United States Telegraph and Telephone Administration and in 1920, he became the chairman of the United States Commission to the International Wire Communication Conference, retiring in 1921. Burleson is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Texas. United States Congress. "Albert S. Burleson". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Albert S. Burleson at Find a Grave Albert S. Burleson at American Presidents Albert S. Burleson from the Handbook of Texas Online This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt referred to by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U. S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century, his third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II. Roosevelt is considered to be one of the most important figures in American history, as well as among the most influential figures of the 20th century. Though he has been subject to much criticism, he is rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U.
S. presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York, to a Dutch American family made well known by Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States and William Henry Aspinwall. FDR attended Groton School, Harvard College, Columbia Law School, went on to practice law in New York City. In 1905, he married his fifth cousin once removed, Eleanor Roosevelt, they had six children. He won election to the New York State Senate in 1910, served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson during World War I. Roosevelt was James M. Cox's running mate on the Democratic Party's 1920 national ticket, but Cox was defeated by Warren G. Harding. In 1921, Roosevelt contracted a paralytic illness, believed at the time to be polio, his legs became permanently paralyzed. While attempting to recover from his condition, Roosevelt founded the treatment center in Warm Springs, for people with poliomyelitis. In spite of being unable to walk unaided, Roosevelt returned to public office by winning election as Governor of New York in 1928.
He was in office from 1929 to 1933 and served as a reform Governor, promoting programs to combat the economic crisis besetting the United States at the time. In the 1932 presidential election, Roosevelt defeated Republican President Herbert Hoover in a landslide. Roosevelt took office while the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis in the country's history. During the first 100 days of the 73rd United States Congress, Roosevelt spearheaded unprecedented federal legislation and issued a profusion of executive orders that instituted the New Deal—a variety of programs designed to produce relief and reform, he created numerous programs to provide relief to the unemployed and farmers while seeking economic recovery with the National Recovery Administration and other programs. He instituted major regulatory reforms related to finance and labor, presided over the end of Prohibition, he harnessed radio to speak directly to the American people, giving 30 "fireside chat" radio addresses during his presidency and becoming the first American president to be televised.
The economy having improved from 1933 to 1936, Roosevelt won a landslide reelection in 1936. However, the economy relapsed into a deep recession in 1937 and 1938. After the 1936 election, Roosevelt sought passage of the Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937, which would have expanded the size of the Supreme Court of the United States; the bipartisan Conservative Coalition that formed in 1937 prevented passage of the bill and blocked the implementation of further New Deal programs and reforms. Major surviving programs and legislation implemented under Roosevelt include the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Labor Relations Act, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Social Security. Roosevelt ran for reelection in 1940, his victory made him the only U. S. President to serve for more than two terms. With World War II looming after 1938, Roosevelt gave strong diplomatic and financial support to China as well as the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union while the U. S. remained neutral.
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, an event he famously called "a date which will live in infamy", Roosevelt obtained a declaration of war on Japan the next day, a few days on Germany and Italy. Assisted by his top aide Harry Hopkins and with strong national support, he worked with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in leading the Allied Powers against the Axis Powers. Roosevelt supervised the mobilization of the U. S. economy to support the war effort and implemented a Europe first strategy, making the defeat of Germany a priority over that of Japan. He initiated the development of the world's first atomic bomb and worked with the other Allied leaders to lay the groundwork for the United Nations and other post-war institutions. Roosevelt won reelection in 1944 but with his physical health declining during the war years, he died in April 1945, just 11 weeks into his fourth term; the Axis Powers surrendered to the Allies in the months following Roosevelt's death, during the presidency of Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882, in the Hudson Valley town of Hyde Park, New York, to businessman James Roosevelt I and his second wife, Sara Ann Delano. Roosevelt's parents, who were sixth cousins, both came from wealthy old New York families, the Roosevelts, the Aspinwalls and the Delanos, respectively. Roo
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