This history stuff is interesting. You
can find it all at their respected links. Jack
September 17, 1862, was the bloodiest single
day in U.S. history. An estimated 6,300 Union and Confederate soldiers died at Antietam, Maryland, in a savage
battle that took place nearly a year and a half into the Civil War. National Archives
In 1761, fifteen years before the United States of America burst onto the
world stage with the Declaration of Independence, the American colonists were loyal British subjects who celebrated the coronation
of their new King, George III. The colonies that stretched from present-day Maine to Georgia were distinctly English in character
although they had been settled by Scots, Welsh, Irish, Dutch, Swedes, Finns, Africans, French, Germans, and Swiss, as well
As English men and women, the American colonists were heirs to the thirteenth-century
English document, the Magna Carta (details below), which established the
principles that no one is above the law (not even the King), and that no one can take away certain rights. So in
1763, when the King began to assert his authority over the colonies to make them share the cost of the Seven Years' War England
had just fought and won, the English colonists protested by invoking their rights as free men and loyal subjects. It was only
after a decade of repeated efforts on the part of the colonists to defend their rights that they resorted to armed conflict
and, eventually, to the unthinkable–separation from the motherland.
The Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence Hall) in
Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, to revise the Articles of Confederation. Because the delegations from only two states were at
first present, the members adjourned from day to day until a quorum of seven states was obtained on May 25. Through discussion
and debate it became clear by mid-June that, rather than amend the existing Articles, the Convention would draft an entirely
new frame of government. All through the summer, in closed sessions, the delegates debated, and redrafted the articles of
the new Constitution. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives
in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected--directly by the people or by the state legislators.
The work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise.
Bill of Rights
During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly
charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was
the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a "bill of rights" that
would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution
asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.
On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States therefore
proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution that met arguments most frequently advanced against it.
The first two proposed amendments, which concerned the number of constituents for each Representative and the compensation
of Congressmen, were not ratified. Articles 3 to 12, however, ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures, constitute
the first 10 amendments of the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.
President Abraham Lincoln 1862
|The fiery trial
through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. . . . In giving freedom to the
slave, we assure freedom to the free–honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or
meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth.||
CHARTERS OF FREEDOM
"A New World Is At Hand."
September 17, 1862, was the bloodiest single day in U.S. history.
An estimated 6,300 Union and Confederate soldiers died at Antietam, Maryland, in a savage battle that took place nearly a
year and a half into the Civil War. It was one day in a war that raged from 1861–65 and cost some 623,000 lives.
In a total national population of twenty-seven million in 1860, that number would be proportionately equivalent to losing
more than five million today. That bloody day marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.
At stake in the Civil War was the survival of the United States of America
as a single nation. Eleven Southern states, invoking the spirit of 1776, seceded from the Union in 1861 to form a nation they
named the Confederate States of America. The Federal Government refused to allow it. Massive armies representing the Union
and the Confederacy squared off in a conflict that tested the experiment in self-government as never before. At the end of
the Civil War's carnage, the primacy of the Federal Government over the states was indisputably upheld.
Americans had been wrestling with the fundamental question of nationhood
since the earliest days of the Revolution. In 1774, as the British colonists struggled to unite in the cause of American liberty,
Patrick Henry rose to address the Continental Congress in one of its earliest sessions: "The distinctions between Virginians,
Pennsylvanians and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an American." It took the Civil War to make
it so. (See AMENDMENT XIV
that was ratified mostly due to the Civil War below.)
more men you make free, the more freedom is strengthened, |
and the . . . greater is the security of the State.
The four years of Civil War that ripped apart the nation from
1861–65 achieved what seventy-five years of compromise could not: it resolved once and for all the question of slavery
in the United States. By 1860, there were 4.5 million slaves in the United States. Military necessity and the force of human
passion for liberty pushed emancipation to the top of the nation's agenda. Two major milestones marked slavery's final destruction
during the war years: the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation
on January 1, 1863, declaring that "all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious areas "are and henceforward shall be
free." It also announced the acceptance of former slaves into the Union's armed forces. The Constitution grants extended powers
to the President during times of war, and although it would not permit the President to interfere with slavery in the states
under normal circumstances, it would do so during wartime.
President Lincoln feared that the Emancipation Proclamation would be overturned once the war ended.
A constitutional amendment would ensure that slavery could never again resurface. Congress formally proposed the Thirteenth
Amendment outlawing slavery on January 31, 1865; it was ratified on December 6, 1865.
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"YOU ARE NOT ALONE."
In 1215, the Magna Carta established the principles that no
one is above the law (not even the King),
and that no one can take away certain rights.
Someday, even New Jersey will recognize these same rights
of PTSD veterans.
Magna Carta (Latin for "Great Charter", literally "Great Paper"), also called Magna Carta Libertatum ("Great
Charter of Freedoms"), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. Magna Carta was the most significant early influence on the long historical process that led to
the rule of constitutional law today. Magna Carta influenced many common law documents, such as the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, and is considered one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy.
Magna Carta was originally created because of disagreements between Pope Innocent III, King John and his English barons about the rights of the King. Magna Carta required the king to renounce certain rights, respect certain legal procedures and accept that the will of the king could be bound by law. Many clauses were renewed throughout the Middle Ages, and further during the Tudor and Stuart periods, and the 17th and 18th centuries. By the early 19th century most clauses had been repealed from English law.
There are a number of popular misconceptions about Magna Carta, such as that it was the first document
to limit the power of an English king by law (it was not the first, and was partly based on the Charter of Liberties); that it in practice limited the power of the king (it mostly did not in the Middle Ages); and that it is a single static document (it is a variety of documents referred to under a common
Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.
Note: Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section
2 of the 14th amendment.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the
jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce
any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any
person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction
the equal protection of the laws. (What is DUE PROCESS
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according
to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the
right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives
in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of
the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged,
except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion
which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector
of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who,
having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State
legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall
have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may
by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law,
including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall
not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid
of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such
debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation,
the provisions of this article.
*Changed by section 1 of the 26th amendment.
Ratified July 9, 1868, the XIVth AMENDMENT of the United States gave all Americans the Right
to Due Process.
In 1215, the Magna Carta
established the principles that no one is above the law (not even the King),
and that no one can
take away certain rights.
Someday, even New Jersey
will recognize these same rights. In New Jersey, the influential are above the law.
In United States law, adopted from English law, due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle
that the government must normally respect all of a person's legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights
when the government deprives a person of life, liberty, or property. Due process has also been frequently interpreted as placing
limitations on laws and legal proceedings, in order for judges instead of legislators to guarantee fundamental fairness,
justice, and liberty. The latter interpretation is analogous to the concepts of natural justice and procedural justice used in various other jurisdictions.