Thoughts on Government, or in full Thoughts on Government, Applicable to the Present State of the American Colonies, was written by John Adams during the spring of 1776 in response to a resolution of the North Carolina Provincial Congress which requested Adams' suggestions on the establishment of a new government and the drafting of a constitution. Adams says that "Politics is the Science of human Happiness -and the Felicity of Societies depends on the Constitutions of Government under which they live." Many of the ideas put forth in Adams' essay were adopted in December 1776 by the framers of North Carolina's first constitution.
The document is notable in that Adams sketches out the three branches of American government: the executive, judicial, and legislative branches, all with a system of checks and balances. Furthermore, in response to Common Sense by Thomas Paine, Adams rejects the idea of a single legislative body, fearing it may become tyrannical or self-serving (as in the case of the Netherlands at the time). Thus, Adams also conceived of the idea that two legislative bodies should serve as checks to the power of the other.
The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The American in the Thirteen Colonies defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), gaining independence from the British Crown and establishing the United States of America, the first modern constitutional liberal democracy.
The separation of powers is an approach to governing a state. Under it, a state's government is divided into branches, each with separate, independent powers and responsibilities so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with those of the other branches. The typical division is into three branches: a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary, which is the trias politica model. It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems, where the executive and legislative branches overlap.
The United States Declaration of Independence is the pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. The Declaration explained why the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain regarded themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America. The declaration was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
The Continental Congress was a series of legislative bodies which met in the British American colonies and the newly-declared United States just before, during, and after the American Revolution. The term "Continental Congress" most specifically refers to the First and Second Congresses of 1774–1781 and may also refer to the Congress of the Confederation of 1781–1789, which operated as the first national government of the United States until being replaced by the current congress. Thus, the term covers the three congressional bodies of the Thirteen Colonies and the new United States that met between 1774 and 1789.
Common Sense is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–1776 advocating independence from Great Britain to people in the Thirteen Colonies. Writing in clear and persuasive prose, Paine marshaled moral and political arguments to encourage common people in the Colonies to fight for egalitarian government. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution, and became an immediate sensation.
The Second Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies in America which united in the American Revolutionary War. It convened on May 10, 1775 with representatives from 12 of the colonies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania shortly after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, succeeding the First Continental Congress which met in Philadelphia from September 5 to October 26, 1774. The Second Congress functioned as a de facto national government at the outset of the Revolutionary War by raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, and writing treatises such as the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms and the Olive Branch Petition. All thirteen colonies were represented by the time that the Congress adopted the Lee Resolution which declared independence from Britain on July 2, 1776, and the congress agreed to the Declaration of Independence two days later.
The governments of the Thirteen Colonies of British America developed in the 17th and 18th centuries under the influence of the British constitution. After the Thirteen Colonies had become the United States, the experience under colonial rule would inform and shape the new state constitutions and, ultimately, the United States Constitution.
The North Carolina General Assembly is the bicameral legislature of the State government of North Carolina. The legislature consists of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The General Assembly meets in the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States.
The American Enlightenment was a period of intellectual ferment in the thirteen American colonies in the 18th to 19th century, which led to the American Revolution, and the creation of the United States of America. The American Enlightenment was influenced by the 17th-century European Enlightenment and its own native American philosophy. According to James MacGregor Burns, the spirit of the American Enlightenment was to give Enlightenment ideals a practical, useful form in the life of the nation and its people.
The committees of correspondence were shadow governments organized by the Patriot leaders of the Thirteen Colonies on the eve of the American Revolution. They coordinated responses to England and shared their plans; by 1764 they had emerged as shadow governments, superseding the colonial legislature and royal officials. The Maryland Committee of Correspondence was instrumental in setting up the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia. These served an important role in the Revolution, by disseminating the colonial interpretation of British actions between the colonies and to foreign governments. The committees of correspondence rallied opposition on common causes and established plans for collective action, and so the group of committees was the beginning of what later became a formal political union among the colonies.
The Lee Resolution was the formal assertion passed by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776 which resolved that the Thirteen Colonies in America were "free and independent States", separated from the British Empire and creating what became the United States of America. News of this act was published that evening in the Pennsylvania Evening Post and the next day in the Pennsylvania Gazette. The Declaration of Independence is the formal document which officially announced and explained the resolution, approved two days later on July 4, 1776.
The Massachusetts Circular Letter was a statement written by Samuel Adams and James Otis Jr., and passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives in February 1768 in response to the Townshend Acts. Reactions to the letter brought heightened tensions between the British Parliament and Massachusetts, and resulted in the military occupation of Boston by the British Army, which contributed to the coming of the American Revolution.
The Constitution of the State of North Carolina governs the structure and function of the state government of North Carolina, one of the United States; it is the highest legal document for the state and subjugates North Carolina law. All U.S. state constitutions are, according to the United States Supreme Court, subject to federal judicial review; any provision can be nullified if it, in the view of a majority of the Justices of the Supreme Court, constituted from time to time, conflicts with the US Constitution or any federal law pursuant to the Constitution, even if the identical language was previously upheld as valid by the court.
Federalist No. 47 is the forty-seventh paper from The Federalist Papers. It was published on January 30, 1788 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist Papers were published. James Madison was its actual author. This paper examines the separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government under the proposed United States Constitution due to the confusion of the concept at the citizen level. It is titled "The Particular Structure of the New Government and the Distribution of Power Among Its Different Parts".
The North Carolina Provincial Congresses were extra-legal unicameral legislative bodies formed in 1774 through 1776 by the people of the Province of North Carolina, independent of the British colonial government. There were five congresses. They met in the towns of New Bern, Halifax, and Hillsborough (3rd). The 4th conference approved the Halifax Resolves a set of resolutions that empowered the state's delegates to the Second Continental Congress to concur in the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. The 5th conference approved the Constitution of North Carolina and elected Richard Caswell as governor of the State of North Carolina. After the 5th conference, the new North Carolina General Assembly met in April 1777.
The Provincial Congresses were extra-legal legislative bodies established in ten of the Thirteen Colonies early in the American Revolution. Some were referred to as congresses while others used different terms for a similar type body. These bodies were generally renamed or replaced with other bodies when the provinces declared themselves states.
The Confederation Period was the era of United States history in the 1780s after the American Revolution and prior to the ratification of the United States Constitution. In 1781, the United States ratified the Articles of Confederation and prevailed in the Battle of Yorktown, the last major land battle between British and American forces in the American Revolutionary War. American independence was confirmed with the 1783 signing of the Treaty of Paris. The fledgling United States faced several challenges, many of which stemmed from the lack of a strong national government and unified political culture. The period ended in 1789 following the ratification of the United States Constitution, which established a new, more powerful, national government.
Judicial review is a process under which executive or legislative actions are subject to review by the judiciary. A court with authority for judicial review may invalidate laws, acts and governmental actions that are incompatible with a higher authority: an executive decision may be invalidated for being unlawful or a statute may be invalidated for violating the terms of a constitution. Judicial review is one of the checks and balances in the separation of powers: the power of the judiciary to supervise the legislative and executive branches when the latter exceed their authority. The doctrine varies between jurisdictions, so the procedure and scope of judicial review may differ between and within countries.
The law of North Carolina consists of several levels, including constitutional, statutory, regulatory, case law, and local law.
The grievances/complaints was a section from the Declaration of Independence where the colonists listed their problems with the British government, specifically George III. The United States Declaration of Independence contains 27 grievances against the decisions and actions of George III of Great Britain. Historians have noted the similarities with John Locke's works and the context of the grievances. Historical precedents such as Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights 1689 had established the principle that the King was not to interfere with the Rights of Englishmen held by the people. In the view of the American colonies, the King had opposed the very purpose of government by opposing laws deemed necessary for the public good.
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