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its forty-two stars, they are now (1890) on a foreign cruise ; by the time they return, the admission of the two new states of Idaho and Wyoming (July, 1890), making a total of forty-four, will still further increase the stars on the banner of the republic. It is
especially worthy of notice that the state of Wyoming is the first one ever admitted to the Union, since the adoption of the Constitution, in which women may votel and hold office the same as men.
1 Women voted in New Jersey from 1800 to 1807. Since 1869 they have voted at all elections in Wyoming. A law granting them similar power in Washington
359 393. General Summary.
We have traced the progress of this country from its earliest period to the present time. We have seen it grow from a few feeble colonies gathered on the edge of the Atlantic to a group of thirteen independent states. We have followed the development of those states into a great, prosperous, and powerful nation of over sixty millions of people, extending across the continent from ocean to ocean. The American Republic now embraces the largest portion of the earth's surface controlled by any one government on any one grand division of the globe, with the single exception of Russia in Asia.
Here every advantage is open. Education is absolutely free; millions of acres of Western land are free. Here, and here only, among the leading civilized nations, no immense standing-army eats up the daily earnings of the people. Here every law springs directly from the will of the majority.
These facts prove the truth of the motto chosen for this book. They show that America means Opportunity. In closing this brief history can we do better than ask, each one of himself, What use do I intend to make of this opportunity? The whole future of the republic, for good or ill, for growth or decay, for glory or shame, depends on the way in which we individually answer that question.
(then a territory) was declared unconstitutional by the territorial Supreme Court. In Utah such a law was repealed by Congress. Partial woman suffrage (especially the power to vote on questions relating to schools) now exists in a majority of the states.
1 Nearly 3,600,000 square miles. See Table of States, page xxii.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776.
A DECLARATION BY THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA, IN CONGRESS 1 ASSEMBLED.
WHEN, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
1 The First Continental or General Congress met in Carpenters' Hall, Philadelphia, September
5, 1774 It consisted of forty-four delegates, representing eleven of the thirteen colonies. Later, eleven more delegates took their seats, and all of the colonies were represented except Georgia, which promised to concur with her sister colonies ” in their effort to maintain their rights as English subjects. Peyton Randolph of Virginia was elected President of the Congress. Among the distinguished men who had assembled there, were Washing
Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, John Dickinson, William Livingston, John Jay, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Roger Sherinan, and the Rutledges of South Carolina.
On the 14th of October, the Congress adopted a Declaration of Colonial Rights. On the 26th, a Petition to the King, asking the redress of their wrongs, was drawn up.
The Second Continental Congress (at which Georgia was represented), met in Philadelphia, in the State House (Independence Hall), May 10, 1775. A second Petition to the King was adopted, and Washington was appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental
army, though Congress still denied any intention of separating from Great Britain, and earnestly expressed a desire for the peaceful settlement of all difficulties.
The King's Proclamation, declaring the Colonies in rebellion, and calling for volunteers to force them to submit to taxation without representation, and other unjust measures, finally convinced the delegates to Congress of the impossibility of our continuing our allegiance to the English crown.
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia moved “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.” John Adams of Massachusetts seconded the motion,
Later, a committee of five - Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, and Robert R. Livingston of New York - was appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson drew up the paper, though a few alterations were made in it by the committee and by Congress.
It was adopted on the evening of July 4, 1776, and signed by John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thomson, Secretary. On August 2, 1776, it was signed by the members, representing all the thirteen states.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: – That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature :- a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measure.
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused, for a long time after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the State remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the laws for the naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.