American values at the crossroads:
The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States. Empowered with the sovereign authority of the people by the framers and the consent of the legislatures of the states, it is the source of all government powers, and also provides important limitations on the government that protect the fundamental rights of United States citizens. Why a Constitution?
The need for the Constitution grew out of problems with the Articles of Confederation, which established a "firm league of friendship" between the states, and vested most power in a Congress of the Confederation. This power was, however, extremely limited — the central government conducted diplomacy and made war, set weights and measures, and was the final arbiter of disputes between the states. Crucially, it could not raise any funds itself, and was entirely dependent on the states themselves for the money necessary to operate. Each state sent a delegation of between two and seven members to the Congress, and they voted as a bloc with each state getting one vote. But any decision of consequence required a unanimous vote, which led to a government that was paralyzed and ineffectual. A movement to reform the Articles began, and invitations to attend a convention in Philadelphia to discuss changes to the Articles were sent to the state legislatures in 1787. In May of that year, delegates from 12 of the 13 states (Rhode Island sent no representatives) convened in Philadelphia to begin the work of redesigning government. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention quickly began work on drafting a new Constitution for the United States. The declaration of independence
Den amerikanske uafhængighedserklæring (engelsk: Declaration of Independence) blev udstedt den 4. og 5. juli, 1776 i Philadelphia, over et år efter at den amerikanske uafhængighedskrig var brudt ud mod Storbritannien, på initiativ af blandt andre Thomas Jefferson. Erklæringen blev forberedt af den såkaldte Fem mands komite. Underskrivelsen fandt sted den 2. august, 1776. I alt underskrev 56 mennesker uafhængighedserklæringen (John Hancock var den første der underskrev erklæringen). Ifølge uafhængighedserklæringen betragtede de engelske kolonier i Nordamerika sig herefter som frie og uafhængige stater. Som væsentlig bestanddel indeholdt uafhængighedserklæringen som indledning en erklæring om menneskerettighederne. 4. juli er USA's nationaldag: Uafhængighedsdagen
The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Second Continental Congress, states the reasons the British colonies of North America sought independence in July of 1776. The declaration opens with a preamble describing the document's necessity in explaining why the colonies have overthrown their ruler and chosen to take their place as a separate nation in the world. All men are created equal and there are certain unalienable rights that governments should never violate. These rights include the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When a government fails to protect those rights, it is not only the right, but also the duty of the people to overthrow that government. In its place, the people should establish a government that is designed to protect those rights. Governments are rarely overthrown, and should not be overthrown for trivial reasons. In this case, a long history of abuses has led the colonists to overthrow a tyrannical government. The King of Great Britain, George III, is guilty of 27 specific abuses. The King interfered with the colonists' right to self-government and for a fair judicial system. Acting with Parliament, the King also instituted legislation that affected the colonies without their consent. This legislation levied taxes on the colonists. It also required them to quarter British soldiers, removed their right to trial by jury, and prevented them from trading freely....
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