The origins of the United States government date back to 1781 when the Articles of Confederation went into effect. This agreement created a Congress with elected state delegates representing the interests of the people. In 1788, the United States Constitution was ratified by a majority of states in the union.Know More
The Articles of Confederation was the first document to express the ideas of a free and independent sovereign government. However, Congress had no authority to tax or regulate business. Leaders, state representatives and the populace desired a stronger constitution that resolved issues not addressed in the Articles of Confederation. Thus, in 1787, a committee of delegates including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, convened in Philadelphia to draw up an official constitution. This meeting is known as the Constitutional Convention, and the country's founders deliberated over the language to be included in the Constitution. The ideas of James Madison are heavily represented in the final version of the Constitution, which was signed by 39 delegates.
A majority of states ratified the Constitution, making it the official law of the United States. Some states agreed to ratification after members agreed to the creation of a Bill of Rights. In 1789, 12 constitutional amendments were presented to Congress, and 10 passed, forming an official Bill of Rights.Learn more about US Government
U.S. citizens can pay passport fees in person at any authorized passport acceptance facility, such as certain libraries and post offices, or a Department of State passport agency. Under certain circumstances, citizens can also mail payment to the National Passport Processing Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Full Answer >
Applicants make U.S. embassy visa appointments by contacting local embassies or consulates online or by phone. Individual embassies or consulates may have special instructions or preferences listed on their websites.Full Answer >
The 1950 U.S. census contained 20 questions, with additional supplemental questions being sent to 5 percent of the population, such as the number of the home or apartment and what state the resident was born in. There were fewer questions on the 1950 census than on the 1940 census.Full Answer >
Franklin D. Roosevelt, during his first inaugural speech in 1933, said, "Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Roosevelt asked Americans to move on from the negativity expressed during the early years of the Great Depression.Full Answer >