United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U. S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries. The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration; the Department of Justice administers several federal law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration. The department is responsible for investigating instances of financial fraud, representing the United States government in legal matters, running the federal prison system; the department is responsible for reviewing the conduct of local law enforcement as directed by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The department is headed by the United States Attorney General, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and is a member of the Cabinet.
The current Attorney General is William Barr. The office of the Attorney General was established by the Judiciary Act of 1789 as a part-time job for one person, but grew with the bureaucracy. At one time, the Attorney General gave legal advice to the U. S. Congress as well as the President, but in 1819 the Attorney General began advising Congress alone to ensure a manageable workload; until March 3, 1853, the salary of the Attorney General was set by statute at less than the amount paid to other Cabinet members. Early Attorneys General supplemented their salaries by running private law practices arguing cases before the courts as attorneys for paying litigants. Following unsuccessful efforts to make Attorney General a full-time job, in 1869, the U. S. House Committee on the Judiciary, led by Congressman William Lawrence, conducted an inquiry into the creation of a "law department" headed by the Attorney General and composed of the various department solicitors and United States attorneys. On February 19, 1868, Lawrence introduced a bill in Congress to create the Department of Justice.
President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill into law on June 22, 1870. Grant appointed Amos T. Akerman as Attorney General and Benjamin H. Bristow as America's first Solicitor General the same week that Congress created the Department of Justice; the Department's immediate function was to preserve civil rights. It set about fighting against domestic terrorist groups, using both violence and litigation to oppose the 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments to the Constitution. Both Akerman and Bristow used the Department of Justice to vigorously prosecute Ku Klux Klan members in the early 1870s. In the first few years of Grant's first term in office there were 1000 indictments against Klan members with over 550 convictions from the Department of Justice. By 1871, there were 3000 indictments and 600 convictions with most only serving brief sentences while the ringleaders were imprisoned for up to five years in the federal penitentiary in Albany, New York; the result was a dramatic decrease in violence in the South.
Akerman gave credit to Grant and told a friend that no one was "better" or "stronger" than Grant when it came to prosecuting terrorists. George H. Williams, who succeeded Akerman in December 1871, continued to prosecute the Klan throughout 1872 until the spring of 1873 during Grant's second term in office. Williams placed a moratorium on Klan prosecutions because the Justice Department, inundated by cases involving the Klan, did not have the manpower to continue prosecutions; the "Act to Establish the Department of Justice" drastically increased the Attorney General's responsibilities to include the supervision of all United States Attorneys under the Department of the Interior, the prosecution of all federal crimes, the representation of the United States in all court actions, barring the use of private attorneys by the federal government. The law created the office of Solicitor General to supervise and conduct government litigation in the Supreme Court of the United States. With the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act in 1887, the federal government took on some law enforcement responsibilities, the Department of Justice tasked with performing these.
In 1884, control of federal prisons was transferred to the new department, from the Department of Interior. New facilities were built, including the penitentiary at Leavenworth in 1895, a facility for women located in West Virginia, at Alderson was established in 1924. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order which gave the Department of Justice responsibility for the "functions of prosecuting in the courts of the United States claims and demands by, offsenses against, the Government of the United States, of defending claims and demands against the Government, of supervising the work of United States attorneys and clerks in connection therewith, now exercised by any agency or officer..." The U. S. Department of Justice building was completed in 1935 from a design by Milton Bennett Medary. Upon Medary's death in 1929, the other partners of his Philadelphia firm Zantzinger and Medary took over the project. On a lot bordered by Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues and Ninth and Tenth Streets, Northwest, it holds over 1,000,000 square feet of space.
The sculptor C. Paul Jennewein served as overall design consultant for the entire building, contributing more than 50 separate sculptural elements inside and outside. Various efforts, none successful, have been made to determine the original intended meaning of the Latin motto appearing on the Department of Justice s
Executive Office of the President of the United States
The Executive Office of the President of the United States is a group of agencies at the center of the executive branch of the United States federal government. The EOP supports the work of the President, it consists of several offices and agencies, such as the White House Office, National Security Council or Office of Management and Budget. With the increase in technological and global advancement, the size of the White House staff has increased to include an array of policy experts to address various fields of the modern day. There are about 4,000 positions in the Executive Office of the President, most of which do not require confirmation from the U. S. Senate; the budget for the EOP in FY 2017 was $714 million. The Executive Office is overseen by the White House Chief of Staff, since January 2, 2019 held by acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, appointed by Donald Trump, the current and 45th President of the United States. In 1939, during Franklin D. Roosevelt's second term in office, the foundations of the modern White House staff were created.
Based on the recommendations of a presidentially commissioned panel of political science and public administration experts, known as the Brownlow Committee, Roosevelt was able to get Congress to approve the Reorganization Act of 1939. The Act led to Reorganization Plan No. 1, which created the EOP. The EOP encompassed two subunits at its outset: the White House Office and the Bureau of the Budget, the predecessor to today's Office of Management and Budget, created in 1921 and located in the Treasury Department, it absorbed most of the functions of the National Emergency Council. The new staff system appeared more ambitious on paper than in practice, but it laid the groundwork for the large and organizationally complex White House staff that would emerge during the presidencies of Roosevelt's successors. Roosevelt's efforts are notable in contrast to those of his predecessors in office. During the 19th century, presidents had few staff resources. Thomas Jefferson had one messenger and one secretary at his disposal, both of whose salaries were paid by the president personally.
It was not until 1857. By Ulysses S. Grant's presidency, the staff had grown to three. By 1900, the White House staff included one "secretary to the president", two assistant secretaries, two executive clerks, a stenographer, seven other office personnel. Under Warren G. Harding, there were thirty-one staff. During Herbert Hoover's presidency, two additional secretaries to the president were added by Congress, one of whom Hoover designated as his Press Secretary. From 1933 to 1939 as he expanded the scope of the federal government's policies and powers in response to the Great Depression, Roosevelt muddled through: his "brains trust" of top advisers were appointed to vacant positions in agencies and departments, whence they drew their salaries since the White House lacked statutory or budgetary authority to create new staff positions. After World War II, in particular during the presidency of Dwight David Eisenhower, the staff was expanded and reorganized. Eisenhower, a former U. S. Army general, had been Supreme Allied Commander during the war, brought ideas of effective organization from that experience.
Today, the staff is much bigger. Estimates indicate some 3,000 to 4,000 persons serve in EOP staff positions with policy-making responsibilities, with a budget of $300 to $400 million. Senior staff within the EOP have the title Assistant to the President, second-level staff have the title Deputy Assistant to the President, third-level staff have the title Special Assistant to the President; the core White House staff appointments, most EOP officials are not required to be confirmed by the U. S. Senate, although there are a handful of exceptions; the information in the following table is current as of April 4, 2018. Only principal executives are listed; the White House Office is a sub-unit of the Executive Office of the President. The various agencies of the EOP are listed above. Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations White House Records Office Executive Office of the President The Debate Over Selected Presidential Assistants and Advisors: Appointment and Congressional Oversight Congressional Research Service Proposed and finalized federal regulations from the Executive Office of the President of the United States Works by Executive Office of the President of the United States at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Executive Office of the President of the United States at Internet Archive
United States Secretary of Agriculture
The United States Secretary of Agriculture is the head of the United States Department of Agriculture. The Secretary of Agriculture is former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. Perdue took office on April 25, 2017 after being confirmed by the U. S Senate 87-11; the position carries similar responsibilities to those of agriculture ministers in other governments. The department includes several organizations; the 297,000 mi2 of national forests and grasslands are managed by the United States Forest Service. The safety of food produced and sold in the United States is ensured by the United States Food Safety and Inspection Service; the Food Stamp Program works with the states to provide food to low-income people. Advice for farmers and gardeners is provided by the United States Cooperative State Research and Extension Service; when the Department of Agriculture was established in 1862, its executive was a non-Cabinet position called the Commissioner of Agriculture. The Commissioners of Agriculture were: The position of Secretary of Agriculture was created when the department was elevated to Cabinet status in 1889.
The following is a list of Secretaries of Agriculture, since the creation of the office in 1889. Parties Democratic Republican As of April 2019, there are eight living former Secretaries of Agriculture, the oldest being John R. Block; the most recent Secretary of Agriculture to die was Robert Bergland, on December 9, 2018. The most serving Secretary to die was Edward Rell Madigan on December 7, 1994; the line of succession for the Secretary of Agriculture is as follows: Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Administration Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food and Consumer Services Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research and Economics Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary State Executive Directors of the Farm Service Agency for the States of: California Iowa Kansas Regional Administrators of the Food and Nutrition Service for the: Mountain Plains Regional Office Midwest Regional Office Western Regional Office Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Civil Rights Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Congressional Relations Official website
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a cabinet-level department of the United States Government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material. Its responsibilities include the nation's nuclear weapons program, nuclear reactor production for the United States Navy, energy conservation, energy-related research, radioactive waste disposal, domestic energy production, it directs research in genomics. DOE sponsors more research in the physical sciences than any other U. S. federal agency, the majority of, conducted through its system of National Laboratories. The agency is administered by the United States Secretary of Energy, its headquarters are located in Southwest Washington, D. C. on Independence Avenue in the James V. Forrestal Building, named for James Forrestal, as well as in Germantown, Maryland. Former Governor of Texas Rick Perry is the current Secretary of Energy, he was confirmed by a 62 to 37 vote in the United States Senate on March 2, 2017.
In 1942, during World War II, the United States started the Manhattan Project, a project to develop the atomic bomb, under the eye of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. After the war in 1946, the Atomic Energy Commission was created to control the future of the project. Among other nuclear projects, the AEC produced fabricated uranium fuel cores at locations such as Fernald Feed Materials Production Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1974, the AEC gave way to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, tasked with regulating the nuclear power industry, the Energy Research and Development Administration, tasked to manage the nuclear weapon, naval reactor, energy development programs; the 1973 oil crisis called attention to the need to consolidate energy policy. On August 4, 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed into law The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977, which created the Department of Energy; the new agency, which began operations on October 1, 1977, consolidated the Federal Energy Administration, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Federal Power Commission, programs of various other agencies.
Former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, who served under Presidents Nixon and Ford during the Vietnam War, was appointed as the first secretary. In December 1999, the FBI was investigating. Wen Ho Lee was accused of stealing nuclear secrets from Los Alamos National Laboratory for the People's Republic of China. Federal officials, including then-Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, publicly named Lee as a suspect before he was charged with a crime; the U. S. Congress held hearings to investigate the Department of Energy's mishandling of his case. Republican senators thought that an independent agency should be in charge of nuclear weapons and security issues, not the Department of Energy. All but one of the 59 charges against Lee were dropped because the investigation proved that the plans the Chinese obtained could not have come from Lee. Lee won a $1.6 million settlement against the federal government and news agencies. In 2001, American Solar Challenge was sponsored by the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
After the 2005 race, the U. S. Department of Energy discontinued its sponsorship. Title XVII of Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorizes the DOE to issue loan guarantees to eligible projects that "avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases" and "employ new or improved technologies as compared to technologies in service in the United States at the time the guarantee is issued". In loan guarantees, a conditional commitment requires to meet an equity commitment, as well as other conditions, before the loan guarantee is completed; the United States Department of Energy, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, the International Atomic Energy Agency partnered to develop and launch the World Institute for Nuclear Security in September 2008. WINS is an international non-governmental organization designed to provide a forum to share best practices in strengthening the security and safety of nuclear and radioactive materials and facilities.
On March 28, 2017 a supervisor in the Office of International Climate and Clean Energy asked staff to avoid the phrases "climate change," "emissions reduction," or "Paris Agreement" in written memos, briefings or other written communication. A DOE spokesperson denied; the department is under the control and supervision of a United States Secretary of Energy, a political appointee of the President of the United States. The Energy Secretary is assisted in managing the department by a United States Deputy Secretary of Energy appointed by the president, who assumes the duties of the secretary in his absence; the department has three under secretaries, each appointed by the president, who oversee the major areas of the department's work. The president appoints seven officials with the rank of Assistant Secretary of Energy who have line management responsibility for major organizational elements of the Department; the Energy Secretary assigns their duties. Excerpt from the Code of Federal Regulations, in Title 10: Energy:The official seal of the Department of energy "includes a green shield bisected by a gold-colored lightning bolt, on, emblazoned a gold-colored symbolic sun, oil derrick and dynamo.
It is crested atop a white rope. Both appear on a blue field surrounded by concentric circles in which the name
United States Environmental Protection Agency
The Environmental Protection Agency is an independent agency of the United States federal government for environmental protection. President Richard Nixon proposed the establishment of EPA on July 9, 1970 and it began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order; the order establishing the EPA was ratified by committee hearings in the Senate. The agency is led by its Administrator, appointed by the President and approved by Congress; the current Administrator is former Deputy Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler, acting administrator since July 2018; the EPA is not a Cabinet department, but the Administrator is given cabinet rank. The EPA has its headquarters in Washington, D. C. regional offices for each of the agency's ten regions, 27 laboratories. The agency conducts environmental assessment and education, it has the responsibility of maintaining and enforcing national standards under a variety of environmental laws, in consultation with state and local governments. It delegates some permitting and enforcement responsibility to U.
S. states and the federally recognized tribes. EPA enforcement powers include fines and other measures; the agency works with industries and all levels of government in a wide variety of voluntary pollution prevention programs and energy conservation efforts. In 2018, the agency had 14,172 full-time employees. More than half of EPA's employees are engineers and environmental protection specialists; the Environmental Protection Agency can only act under statutes, which are the authority of laws passed by Congress. Congress must approve the statute and they have the power to authorize or prohibit certain actions, which the EPA has to implement and enforce. Appropriations statutes authorize how much money the agency can spend each year to carry out the approved statutes; the Environmental Protection Agency has the power to issue regulations. A regulation is a standard or rule written by the agency to interpret the statute, apply it in situations and enforce it. Congress allows the EPA to write regulations in order to solve a problem, but the agency must include a rationale of why the regulations need to be implemented.
The regulations can be challenged by the Courts, where the regulation is confirmed. Many public health and environmental groups advocate for the agency and believe that it is creating a better world. Other critics believe that the agency commits government overreach by adding unnecessary regulations on business and property owners. Beginning in the late 1950s and through the 1960s, Congress reacted to increasing public concern about the impact that human activity could have on the environment. Senator James E. Murray introduced a bill, the Resources and Conservation Act of 1959, in the 86th Congress; the 1962 publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson alerted the public about the detrimental effects on the environment of the indiscriminate use of pesticides. In the years following, similar bills were introduced and hearings were held to discuss the state of the environment and Congress's potential responses. In 1968, a joint House–Senate colloquium was convened by the chairmen of the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Senator Henry M. Jackson, the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, Representative George P. Miller, to discuss the need for and means of implementing a national environmental policy.
In the colloquium, some members of Congress expressed a continuing concern over federal agency actions affecting the environment. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 was modeled on the Resources and Conservation Act of 1959. RCA would have established a Council on Environmental Quality in the office of the President, declared a national environmental policy, required the preparation of an annual environmental report. President Nixon signed NEPA into law on January 1, 1970; the law created the Council on Environmental Quality in the Executive Office of the President. NEPA required that a detailed statement of environmental impacts be prepared for all major federal actions affecting the environment; the "detailed statement" would be referred to as an environmental impact statement. On July 9, 1970, Nixon proposed an executive reorganization that consolidated many environmental responsibilities of the federal government under one agency, a new Environmental Protection Agency; this proposal included merging antipollution programs from a number of departments, such as the combination of pesticide programs from the United States Department of Agriculture, Department of Interior, U.
S. Department of Interior. After conducting hearings during that summer, the House and Senate approved the proposal; the EPA was created 90 days before it had to operate, opened its doors on December 2, 1970. The agency's first Administrator, William Ruckelshaus, took the oath of office on December 4, 1970. In its first year, the EPA had 5,800 employees. At its start, the EPA was a technical assistance agency that set goals and standards. Soon, new acts and amendments passed by Congress gave the agency its regulatory authority. EPA staff recall that in the early days there was "an enormous sense of purpose and excitement" and the expectation that "there was this agency, going to do something about a problem, on the minds of a lot of people in this country," leading to tens of thousands of resumes from those eager to participate in the mighty effort to clean up America's environment; when EPA first began operation, members of the private sector felt that the environ
White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives is an office within the White House Office, part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. OFBCI was established by President George W. Bush through an executive order on January 29, 2001, representing one of the key domestic policies of Bush's campaign promise of "compassionate conservatism." The initiative sought to strengthen faith-based and community organizations and expand their capacity to provide federally funded social services, positing that these groups were well-situated to meet the needs of local individuals. As Texas governor, Bush had used the "Charitable Choice" provisions of the 1996 welfare reform to support the work of faith-based groups in Texas. Established religions offer a critical financial contribution to the overall effort and effect of social services in the US; the office was led by Don Willett, an aide from Bush's tenure as governor of Texas, appointed a justice of the Supreme Court of Texas.
The first person named as director of the OFBCI was John DiIulio, a University of Pennsylvania political science professor. DiIulio left the office and became a critic of the Bush administration. Critics of the OFBCI, including Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union, assert that it violated the Establishment Clause by using tax money to fund religion, they argued that faith-based initiatives were used as part of electoral strategies to yield more votes for Bush and the GOP. For fiscal year 2005, more than $2.2 billion in competitive social service grants were awarded to faith-based organizations. Between fiscal years 2003 and 2005, the total dollar amount of all grants awarded to FBOs increased by 21 percent; the majority of these grants were distributed through state agencies to local organizations in the form of formula grants. Faith-based organizations are eligible to participate in federally administered social service programs to the same degree as any other group, although certain restrictions on FBOs that accept government funding have been created by the White House to avoid violations of the Establishment Clause.
They may not use direct government funds to support inherently religious activities such as prayer, religious instruction, or proselytization. Any inherently religious activities that the organizations may offer must be offered separately in time or location from services that receive federal assistance. FBOs can not discriminate on the basis of religion. President Barack Obama appointed Joshua DuBois as its head, he established an advisory council for the office. The Advisory Council is composed of religious and secular leaders and scholars from different backgrounds; each member of the council is appointed to a one-year term. The members of the Council include: Diane Baillargeon, president and CEO, New York, New York Anju Bhargava, Asian Indian Women in America, New Jersey Bishop Charles E. Blake, presiding bishop, Church of God in Christ, Los Angeles, California Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association, Illinois The Rev. Peg Chemberlin, president-elect, National Council of Churches USA, Minnesota Dr. Arturo Chavez, president and CEO, Mexican American Catholic College, San Antonio, Texas Fred Davie, senior adviser, Public/Private Ventures, New York, New York Nathan Diament, director of public policy, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Washington, D.
C. Pastor Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor, Northland, a Church Distributed, Florida Harry Knox, director of religion and faith program, Human Rights Campaign, Washington, D. C. Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie, presiding bishop, 13th Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Tennessee Dalia Mogahed, executive director, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, Washington, D. C. Rev. Otis Moss Jr. pastor emeritus, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, Ohio Dr. Frank S. Page, president emeritus, Southern Baptist Convention, South Carolina Eboo S. Patel and executive director, Interfaith Youth Core, Illinois Anthony Picarello, general counsel, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D. C. Nancy Ratzan, national president, National Council of Jewish Women, Florida Melissa Rogers, Wake Forest University School of Divinity Center for Religion and Public Affairs, Winston-Salem, North Carolina Rabbi David N. Saperstein and counsel, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Washington, D.
C. Dr. William J. Shaw, National Baptist Convention, USA, Pennsylvania Elder Steven E. Snow, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah Father Larry J. Snyder, Catholic Charities USA, Virginia Richard Stearns, World Vision, Washington Judith N. Vredenburgh and chief executive officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Pennsylvania Rev. Jim Wallis and executive director, Washington, D. C. Dr. Sharon Watkins, general minister and president, Christian Church, Indiana Manjit Singh, co-founder and chairman, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Washington, D. C. According to ABC News, the office would seek "to expand the role of this office as it relates to policy issues where religious and local leaders can be effective. DuBois will coordinate with faith-
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. Established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue, the Treasury prints all paper currency and mints all coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint, respectively. S. government debt instruments. The Department is administered by the Secretary of the Treasury, a member of the Cabinet. Senior advisor to the Secretary is the Treasurer of the United States. Signatures of both officials appear on all Federal Reserve notes; the first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, sworn into office on September 11, 1789. Hamilton was appointed by President George Washington on the recommendation of Robert Morris, Washington's first choice for the position, who had declined the appointment. Hamilton established—almost singlehandedly—the nation's early financial system and for several years was a major presence in Washington's administration.
His portrait appears on the obverse of the ten-dollar bill, while the Treasury Department building is depicted on the reverse. The current Secretary of the Treasury is Steven Mnuchin, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 13, 2017. Jovita Carranza, appointed on April 28, 2017, is the incumbent treasurer; the history of the Department of the Treasury began in the turmoil of the American Revolution, when the Continental Congress at Philadelphia deliberated the crucial issue of financing a war of independence against Great Britain. The Congress had no power to levy and collect taxes, nor was there a tangible basis for securing funds from foreign investors or governments; the delegates resolved to issue paper money in the form of bills of credit, promising redemption in coin on faith in the revolutionary cause. On June 22, 1775—only a few days after the Battle of Bunker Hill—Congress issued $2 million in bills. On July 29, 1775, the Second Continental Congress assigned the responsibility for the administration of the revolutionary government's finances to joint Continental treasurers George Clymer and Michael Hillegas.
The Congress stipulated. To ensure proper and efficient handling of the growing national debt in the face of weak economic and political ties between the colonies, the Congress, on February 17, 1776, designated a committee of five to superintend the Treasury, settle accounts, report periodically to the Congress. On April 1, a Treasury Office of Accounts, consisting of an Auditor General and clerks, was established to facilitate the settlement of claims and to keep the public accounts for the government of the United Colonies. With the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the newborn republic as a sovereign nation was able to secure loans from abroad. Despite the infusion of foreign and domestic loans, the united colonies were unable to establish a well-organized agency for financial administration. Michael Hillegas was first called Treasurer of the United States on May 14, 1777; the Treasury Office was reorganized three times between 1778 and 1781. The $241.5 million in paper Continental bills devalued rapidly.
By May 1781, the dollar collapsed at a rate of from 500 to 1000 to 1 against hard currency. Protests against the worthless money swept the colonies, giving rise to the expression "not worth a Continental". Robert Morris was designated Superintendent of Finance in 1781 and restored stability to the nation's finances. Morris, a wealthy colonial merchant, was nicknamed "the Financier" because of his reputation for procuring funds or goods on a moment's notice, his staff included a comptroller, a treasurer, a register, auditors, who managed the country's finances through 1784, when Morris resigned because of ill health. The treasury board, consisting of three commissioners, continued to oversee the finances of the confederation of former colonies until September 1789; the First Congress of the United States was called to convene in New York on March 4, 1789, marking the beginning of government under the Constitution. On September 2, 1789, Congress created a permanent institution for the management of government finances:Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be a Department of Treasury, in which shall be the following officers, namely: a Secretary of the Treasury, to be deemed head of the department.
Alexander Hamilton took the oath of office as the first Secretary of the Treasury on September 11, 1789. Hamilton had served as George Washington's aide-de-camp during the Revolution and was of great importance in the ratification of the Constitution; because of his financial and managerial acumen, Hamilton was a logical choice for solving the problem of the new nation's heavy war debt. Hamilton's first official act was to submit a report to Congress in which he laid the foundation for the nation's financial health. To the surprise of many legislators, he insisted upon federal assumption and dollar-for-dollar repayment of the country's $75 million debt in order to revitalize the public credit: "he debt of the United States was the price of liberty; the faith of America has been pledged for it, with solemnities that give peculiar force to the obligation." Hami