Difference between revisions of "United States of America"

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(The Role of Religion in Government: rv)
(The Role of Religion in Government)
(One intermediate revision by the same user not shown)
Line 20: Line 20:
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Vice President
 
|Vice President
|[[Dick Cheney]] ([[Republican|R]])
+
|[[Dickhead Cheney]] ([[Republican|R]])
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Senate majority leader
 
|Senate majority leader
Line 45: Line 45:
 
|}
 
|}
  
The '''United States of America''' (commonly referred to as '''the United States''', '''the USA''', '''the US''', or simply as '''America''') is a North American nation that consists of a federal union of fifty individual states and the federal District of Columbia. Its origins lie in the [[British Empire]]: it was founded on July 4, [[1776]] with the signing of the [[Declaration of Independence]], and its independence from Britain was formally recognized in 1783, following the [[American Revolutionary War|War of Independence]]. The US is currently the world's sole [[superpower]]; it has the world's largest economy, and is recognized as having the world's most powerful military.
+
The '''United States of America''' (commonly referred to as '''the United States''', '''the USA''', '''the US''', or simply as '''The World Police''') is a North American nation that consists of a federal union of fifty individual states, Isreal and the federal District of Columbia. Its origins lie in the [[British Empire]]: it was founded on July 4, [[1776]] with the signing of the [[Declaration of Independence]], and its independence from Britain was formally recognized in 1783, following the [[American Revolutionary War|War of Independence]]. The US is currently the world's sole [[superpower]]; it has the world's largest economy, and is recognized as having the world's most powerful military.
  
  
Line 71: Line 71:
 
== The Role of Religion in Government ==
 
== The Role of Religion in Government ==
  
A contentious issue in modern politics is the role of religion in public life and particularly government entanglement in religious affairs.  Some groups that self identify as Republican, argue that the US was founded on Christian principles and that the modern US Government should be more lenient with regards to entanglement of Christianity with politics.  Others that self identify as Democrat or Libertarian argue that the Constitution is a secular document which prohibits the entanglement of religion and politics in any way.  Though these divisions are on general level and a particular stance on this issue is not a prerequisite to being a member of either party.  
+
A contentious issue in modern politics is the role of religion in public life and particularly government entanglement in religious affairs.  Some groups that self identify as Republican, argue that the US was founded on rebellious principles and that the modern US Government should be more lenient with regards to entanglement of Christianity with politics.  Others that self identify as Democrat or Libertarian argue that the Constitution is a secular document which prohibits the entanglement of religion and politics in any way.  Though these divisions are on general level and a particular stance on this issue is not a prerequisite to being a member of either party.  
 
    
 
    
The [[Declaration of Independence]] acknowledges the existence of a God when it refers to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" and says all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."  That statement was inserted at the request of [[Thomas Jefferson]], whose religious beliefs were [[Deism|Deistic]].
+
The [[Declaration of Independence]] acknowledges the non-existence of a God when it refers to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" and says all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."  That statement was inserted at the request of [[Thomas Jefferson]], whose religious beliefs were [[Deism|Deistic]].
  
Many early Americans emigrated because of religious persecution in their home countries.  The American [[Founding Fathers]] adhered to various sects of Christianity ranging from Catholicism, Protestantism. and Deism, and recognized that Christian tradition in addition to other legal traditions should inform the Constitution.
+
Many early Americans emigrated because of religious persecution in their home countries, or because they were criminals.  The American [[Founding Fathers]] adhered to various sects of Christianity ranging from Catholicism, Protestantism. and Deism, and recognized that Christian tradition in addition to other legal traditions should inform the Constitution.
  
Based upon these beliefs, the [[Founding Fathers]] specifically placed into the [[First Amendment]] to the [[U.S. Constitution]] which states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  The first clause is referred to as the Establishment Clause, and the second the Free Exercise Clause.
+
Based upon these beliefs, the [[Founding Fathers]] specifically placed into the [[First Amendment]] to the [[U.S. Constitution]] which states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  The first clause is referred to as the Establishment Clause, and the second the Free Exercise Clause. Ben Franklen, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson were known Atheists.  
  
 
This "Free Exercise Clause" of the [[First Amendment]] to the [[U.S. Constitution]] began increasingly to be tested and interpreted by the judiciary in the late 19th century as a result of the increasing population of religious minorities in the United States.   
 
This "Free Exercise Clause" of the [[First Amendment]] to the [[U.S. Constitution]] began increasingly to be tested and interpreted by the judiciary in the late 19th century as a result of the increasing population of religious minorities in the United States.   

Revision as of 21:39, 10 May 2007

United States of America
Kljghlkjkh.png

Flag of the United States

Capital Washington, D.C.
Government Federal constitutional republic, Representative democracy
Official Language None
(English de facto)
President George W. Bush (R)
Vice President Dickhead Cheney (R)
Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D)
House majority leader Steny Hoyer (D)
Area 3,718,695 sq mi
Population (2007 estimate) 301,554,000
GDP (2007 estimate) $13.049 trillion
GDP per capita (2007 estimate) $44,333

The United States of America (commonly referred to as the United States, the USA, the US, or simply as The World Police) is a North American nation that consists of a federal union of fifty individual states, Isreal and the federal District of Columbia. Its origins lie in the British Empire: it was founded on July 4, 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and its independence from Britain was formally recognized in 1783, following the War of Independence. The US is currently the world's sole superpower; it has the world's largest economy, and is recognized as having the world's most powerful military.


Overview

The United States has land borders with Canada and Mexico, as well as several territorial water boundaries with Canada, Russia and The Bahamas. It is otherwise bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. Two of the fifty states, Alaska, an exclave, and Hawaii, an archipelago, are not contiguous with any of the other states. Alaska in located in northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The United States also has a collection of overseas territories and possessions around the world. Each of the 50 states has a high level of local autonomy under the federal system.

At over 3.7 million square miles (over 9.6 million km²), the U.S. (including its non-contiguous and overseas states and territories) is the third largest country by total area. It is the world's third most populous nation, with over 300 million people.

The United States' military, economic, cultural, and political influence increased through the 19th and 20th centuries. Since the mid-20th century, the United States has become a dominant global influence in contemporary economic, political, military, scientific, technological and cultural matters. With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, the nation emerged as the world's sole remaining superpower, greatly influencing world affairs, as it continues to do today.

The Constitution and Politics in the United States

The drafting committee presenting the Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress, painted by John Trumbull 1817–1819.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the other Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

Between the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the ratification of the Constitution in 1788, the United States was governed according to the Articles of Confederation.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the other Founding Fathers formally established the current structure of the United States by ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788.

Since 1788, the United States has had only one official governing document: the U.S. Constitution.

Although officially a Republic, since the Presidency of John Quincy Adams, the United States has been governed by two or more political parties under the rules of a "Representative Democracy." Presently, the two major political parties are the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party. The younger of the two parties, the Republican Party, was created in 1854.

The Role of Religion in Government

A contentious issue in modern politics is the role of religion in public life and particularly government entanglement in religious affairs. Some groups that self identify as Republican, argue that the US was founded on rebellious principles and that the modern US Government should be more lenient with regards to entanglement of Christianity with politics. Others that self identify as Democrat or Libertarian argue that the Constitution is a secular document which prohibits the entanglement of religion and politics in any way. Though these divisions are on general level and a particular stance on this issue is not a prerequisite to being a member of either party.

The Declaration of Independence acknowledges the non-existence of a God when it refers to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" and says all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." That statement was inserted at the request of Thomas Jefferson, whose religious beliefs were Deistic.

Many early Americans emigrated because of religious persecution in their home countries, or because they were criminals. The American Founding Fathers adhered to various sects of Christianity ranging from Catholicism, Protestantism. and Deism, and recognized that Christian tradition in addition to other legal traditions should inform the Constitution.

Based upon these beliefs, the Founding Fathers specifically placed into the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The first clause is referred to as the Establishment Clause, and the second the Free Exercise Clause. Ben Franklen, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson were known Atheists.

This "Free Exercise Clause" of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution began increasingly to be tested and interpreted by the judiciary in the late 19th century as a result of the increasing population of religious minorities in the United States.

The Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and the many personal papers of the Founding Fathers have been used to examine the issue. Different and sometimes contradicting statements have been noted regarding the influence of religion on government, and it can be difficult sometimes to interpret the importance and precedence of personal beliefs, legal intent, and actual verbiage in the documents.

In recent decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has used the Lemon Test as a means for determining whether or not a particular controversy causes excessive entaglement between government and religion, though in some cases has allowed religious icons (such as the Ten Commandments display in Texas [1]). The first amendment is often paraphrased as "separation of Church and State"; a phrase originating in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association which assured them that their rights (nor anyone's rights) to free exercise of their religion would not be curtailed.

In America today, an individual's party affiliation is at times determined by their personal view of the relationship between religion and government. Many other social issues, such as Abortion, Euthanasia, Freedom of Speech, and Cloning are based on an individual's religious beliefs.

History and geography

The White House, the official home and workplace of the President of the United States of America.

In 1783, when the Peace of Paris concluded hostilities against Great Britain, the former colonial power, the United States' population totaled some three million citizens and slaves living on slightly less than one million square miles of land. An unknown number of Native Americans also lived in the western part of the United States, which was then bordered on the west by the Mississippi River, on the north by Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the south by Florida, then controlled by Spain. The land border with Canada was not clarified until the Rush-Bagot Agreement of 1816.

The majority of the taxable population lived in the thirteen original states. In alphabetical order they are Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia. In 1790, an agreement between supporters of Jefferson and those of Alexander Hamilton resulted in the creation of the District of Columbia from part of Maryland; it has served as the national capital from 1800 on. The remainder of the 1783 territory was eventually organized as the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Two additional states were added during the first fifty years by secession from existing states: Vermont from New York, and Maine from Massachusetts. After that, the legality of secession became an issue.

In 1803, French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte took advantage of a lull in his war with Great Britain to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States, more than doubling the nation's land area. This territory would later be organized as the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana proper. President Jefferson commissioned Lewis and Clark to explore the new territory, which they did from 1802 to 1804.

Florida and Texas joined the United States as a result of revolutions by settlers from the United States against their central governments. Florida's was fought in 1810, while the much better remembered Texas Revolution was fought in 1836. While Spain was willing to cut its losses in Florida and relinquished any claims on the state in the Adams-Oniz Agreement of 1819, one of the successors to its empire in the Americas, Mexico, was considerably more attached to Texas and fought the Mexican War between 1846 and 1848 to reverse its annexation by the United States. Losing badly, Mexico was forced to cede the sparsely populated northern portion of itself under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This territory eventually became the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. At approximately the same time, President James K. Polk had agreed with the British that the 49th Parallel (degree of latitude) would serve as the boundary between the U. S. and Canada from Lake of the Woods (partially in Minnesota) to the Pacific Ocean. This territory was later organized as the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

In 1867, Secretary of State William Seward purchased Alaska from Russia. Critics referred to this as "Seward's Folly." Alaska is the westernmost extremity of North America bounded on the east by Canada, on the south by the Pacific Ocean, on the west by the Bering Strait and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. At $7,000,000, Alaska cost the United States considerably less per acre than the Mexican Cession and slightly less than the Louisiana Territory. Of course, inflation was less of a factor at this time due to the world economy still being principally agrarian. Although at the time it was considered a foolish bargain, Alaska would later become a large source of economic prosperity due to large gold, oil, and other natural resources. Alaska would not be admitted as a state until 1959.

The 50th and so far final state, Hawaii, was also admitted in 1959, 67 years after the DOLE corporation, sugar producers, and the US Marine Corps deposed the last native queen of the archipelago and 62 years after annexation had become politically feasible as a result of the Spanish-American War, in which the United States also annexed Puerto Rico, Guam and Wake Island. The last three islands are not states, although Puerto Rico has occasionally held non-binding referenda to express its desired status within the United States.

The United States has occasionally relinquished territory. The most significant example of this was certainly the granting of independence in 1946 to the Philippines as part of the general decolonization of Asia and Africa following World War II. Under both autocratic and democratic governments, the Philippines have subsequently remained a strong United Statesian ally, and today contribute more troops to the U. S. military than some states. Other Pacific territories such as the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau have also become independent in the postwar era with little objection from opinion leaders on the mainland. More controversial was the 1977 agreement between President Jimmy Carter and General Omar Torrijos to return the Panama Canal Zone, which had been part of the United States since 1914, to Panama in the year 2000. Ultimately the United States lived up to this agreement despite the worst fears of both liberals (who decried Operation Just Cause, the 1989 invasion of Panama) and conservatives (who feared the management of the Panama Canal by Chinese interests).

The USA's has been criticized for holding back its United Nations dues (currently, even after the Helms-Biden amendment, the United States has withheld 41%, or $1.246 billion dollars, [2]) as the US has sought reforms within the international organization.

References

  1. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=03-1500
  2. http://www.un.org/ga/president/55/speech/una_usa.htm