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.
Separation of powers refers to the division of a state's government 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 sometimes called the trias politica model. It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems where there can be overlap in membership and functions between different branches, especially the executive and legislative, although in most non-authoritarian jurisdictions, the judiciary almost never overlaps with the other branches, whether powers in the jurisdiction are separated or fused.
The United States Declaration of Independence, formally The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, is the pronouncement and founding document adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at Pennsylvania State House, which was later renamed Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. Enacted during the American Revolution, the Declaration explains why the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain regarded themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states and no longer subject to British colonial rule. With the Declaration, the 13 states took a collective first step in forming the United States and, de facto, formalized the American Revolutionary War, which had been ongoing since April 1775.
The Continental Congress was a series of legislative bodies, with some executive function, for thirteen of Britain's colonies in North America, and the newly declared United States just before, during, and after the American Revolutionary War. The term "Continental Congress" most specifically refers to the First and Second Congresses of 1774–1781 and, at the time, was also used to refer to the Congress of the Confederation of 1781–1789, which operated as the first national government of the United States until being replaced under the Constitution of the United States. 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 47-page 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 collected various 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 late-18th-century meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that united in support of the American Revolutionary War. The Congress was creating a new country it first named "United Colonies" and in 1776 renamed "United States of America." It convened in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775, with representatives from 12 of the colonies. This came shortly after the Battles of Lexington and Concord and was in succession to the First Continental Congress which met 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 petitions 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 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 Founding Fathers of the United States, known simply as the Founding Fathers or Founders, were a group of late-18th-century American revolutionary leaders who united the Thirteen Colonies, oversaw the War of Independence from Great Britain, established the United States, and crafted a framework of government for the new nation.
The committees of correspondence were, prior to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, a collection of American political organizations that sought to coordinate opposition to British Parliament and, later, support for American independence. The brainchild of Samuel Adams, a Patriot from Boston, the committees sought to establish, through the writing of letters, an underground network of communication among Patriot leaders in the Thirteen Colonies. The committees were instrumental in setting up the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia.
The First Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from 12 of the 13 British colonies that became the United States. It met from September 5 to October 26, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after the British Navy instituted a blockade of Boston Harbor and Parliament passed the punitive Intolerable Acts in response to the December 1773 Boston Tea Party. During the opening weeks of the Congress, the delegates conducted a spirited discussion about how the colonies could collectively respond to the British government's coercive actions, and they worked to make a common cause.
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 (USA). 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 United Colonies was the name used by the Second Continental Congress for the emerging nation comprising the Thirteen Colonies in 1775 and 1776, before and as independence was declared. Continental currency banknotes displayed the name 'The United Colonies' from May 1775 until February 1777, and the name was being used as a colloquial phrase to refer to the colonies as a whole before the Second Congress met, although the precise place or date of its origin is unknown.
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, Hillsborough (3rd), and Halifax. The 4th conference approved the Halifax Resolves, the first resolution of one of Thirteen Colonies to call for independence from Great Britain. Five months later it would empower the state's delegates to the Second Continental Congress to concur to the United States Declaration of Independence. 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 Perpetual Union and prevailed in the Battle of Yorktown, the last major land battle between British and American Continental 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.
Ward republic is a concept promoted by Thomas Jefferson to place most of the functions of government in the ward, a small subdivision of a county or municipality. Jefferson thought of this concept as his favorite: "The article nearest my heart," wrote Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval in 1816, "is the division of counties into wards". His proposal was that such wards consist of no more people than can all know one another and personally perform the functions of government for one another. Although his proposal was not generally adopted, there have been partial implementations of the idea in small townships, school districts, voting precincts, and neighborhood associations.
The law of North Carolina consists of several levels, including constitutional, statutory, regulatory, case law, and local law.
The 27 grievances is a section from the United States Declaration of Independence. The Second Continental Congress's Committee of Five drafted the document listing their grievances with the actions and decisions of King George III with regard to the Colonies in North America. The Second Continental Congress voted unanimously to adopt and issue the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
The Augusta Declaration, or the Memorial of Augusta County Committee, May 10, 1776, was a statement presented to the Fifth Virginia Convention in Williamsburg, Virginia on May 10, 1776. The Declaration announced the necessity of the Thirteen Colonies to form a permanent and independent union of states and national government separate from Great Britain, with whom the Colonies were at war.