THE US GREAT SEAL

The United States federal authorities have used the Great Seal to authenticate documents since 1782. Please mind that the Seal pertains with the authorities. We can use images of it for explanatory purposes only, which is the objective here.

 

The obverse of the Seal is the national coat of arms of the United States. The Seal shows the bald eagle holding 13 arrows in its left talon and an olive branch with 13 leaves and 13 olives in its right talon.

 

The arrows symbolize the American preparedness for war. The olive branch indicates want of peace. The eagle turns its head to the olive branch, expressing the American propensity for peace.

 

Number 13 as well as the motto, E pluribus unum, “Out of Many, One”, refer to the 13 states to have formed the original Union.

 

The reverse of the Great Seal shows an unfinished pyramid with an eye, and two Latin inscriptions. The pyramid has 13 layers and the date MDCCLXXVI (1776) in Roman notation.

 

Great Seal reverse

 

Year 1776 is the date of the Declaration of Independence. The two Latin phrases are ANNUIT COEPTIS and NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM.

 

The eye has been a symbol for mindfulness and forethought, worldwide. To some, a pyramid could denote might and endurance, we yet may associate pyramids with totalitarian ancient Egyptians. The author of the design wrote the pyramid was to signify might and endurance. The Founders did not intend the State for wielding absolute power, and the pyramid in the Seal is purposed to remain unfinished:

 

“No man was a warmer wisher for reconciliation than myself, before the fatal nineteenth of April 1775, but the moment the event of that day was made known, I rejected the hardened, sullen tempered Pharaoh of England for ever; and disdain the wretch, that with the pretended title of FATHER OF HIS PEOPLE, can unfeelingly hear of their slaughter, and composedly sleep with their blood upon his soul,”

 

Thomas Paine, Common Sense (feel welcome to my public domain translation into Polish).

 

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Charles Thomson, the secretary of the Continental Congress, designed the Seal and formed the mottos. He never provided a translation of the Latin phrases. An expert at Latin, he wrote he meant for the phrases to “signify the New American Æra” which commenced in 1776. The word “to signify” has close synonyms in words as “to connote”, “to be of association”.

 

Interestingly enough, the Seal could make a rhyme the citizens generally might identify with, and also a child might remember.

Out of many, one
E pluribus unum
With favor to the endeavor,
Annuit coeptis
A new people come.
Novus ordo seclorum

 

Thomas Paine did associate the word order with people. We can read about monarchy:

 

“And he who can so calmly hear, and digest such doctrine, hath forfeited his claim to rationality–an apostate from the order of manhood; and ought to be considered–as one, who hath, not only given up the proper dignity of a man, but sunk himself beneath the rank of animals, and contemptibly crawls through the world like a worm.”

 

Criticizing supporters of reconciliation, he wrote:

 

“But do such men seriously consider, how difficult the task is, and how dangerous it may prove, should the Continent divide thereon. Do they take within their view, all the various orders of men whose situation and circumstances, as well as their own, are to be considered therein.”

 

Also interestingly, both Thomas Paine and Charles Thomson use the spelling character æ.

 

We can compare Latin uses by Cicero, in his Philippics. Linguistically, such a manner of learning can be called a study from the usus.

 

“Accuse the senate; accuse the equestrian body, which at that time was united with the senate; accuse every order or society, and all the citizens; (…) at all events you would never have continued in this order, or rather in this city; (…) when I have been pronounced by this order to be the savior of my country; (…) when you, one single young man, forbade the whole order to pass decrees concerning the safety of the republic …”

In every context, trying to picture the word ordo/order, we would think about people.

 

Would the motto author include also young citizens into his perspective? We can recur to Thomas Paine:
“To the evil of monarchy we have added that of hereditary succession; and as the first is a degradation and lessening of ourselves, so the second, claimed as a matter of right, is an insult and an imposition on posterity.”

 

“As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully.”

 

For the form seclorum, we can compare the Latin secludere as to stand apart, and seclusus as separate. The form seclorum would be the plural genitive of seclum, which we can comprehend as “people who are separate”. With the Latin ordo as a group, arrangement, or class, we can have the Novus Ordo Seclorum for “A new people come”, that is, a new formation by people to have separated from others, to stand apart, as a nation, for example. Literal, word-for-word translation happens to be clumsy, also for ancient Latin (new form/order of/by the separate/separated?) However, we have the form “How come?” in English that renders the verb-adjective interplay.

 

“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”, says the Declaration of Independence.

 

Feel welcome to my posts on reading the Seal.

 

Obviously, the Seal would not be just a seal of assent. The supported endeavor would be democracy.

 

It is reasonable to think the Seal does not invoke supernatural powers, and it does not have masonic reference, as implied by conspiracy theories. The text is a formation by Charles Thomson, and the imagery corresponds with symbols as known through civilization and experience.

 

The Seal of the United States President derives directly from the obverse of the Great Seal. One-dollar bills have showed the Great Seal since 1935.

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

The use of arrow symbols in this grammar course does not correspond with the arrows of the Seal. It is to regard human orientative strategies and has no reference to weapons.

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THE AMERICAN BALD EAGLE

IMAGE: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The name Haliaeetus leucocephalus, derives from Greek hali “sea”, aiētos “eagle”, leuco “white”, cephalos “head”.

Literally, the name is the white-haded sea eagle.

 

The name “bald eagle” correlates with classic Latin figurative reference for the word leucos, as in literary Latin descriptions of “barren, wintry lands”. Bald eagles do not migrate for winter, and US Alaska has the biggest population of them in the world.

 

We can view images of the white-haded sea eagle over Wikimedia Commons, and read about it in Wikipedia.

 

The bald eagle is a national symbol of the United States of America. The Continental Congress included the bird in the Great Seal in 1782.

 

Not everyone was happy with the choice. Benjamin Franklin wrote in one of his letters,

 

For my own part. I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly … besides, he is a rank coward: The little king bird not bigger than a sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district.

 

Bald eagles generally have been termed “opportunistic feeders” (see Wikipedia). The term means they adapt to habitats. Preying on fish is actually easy to the birds, but well, we hardly could expect whaling, not only of these animals.

EMOTICON: A JOKE

If we are curious about American landscapes and habitats, we can go to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website
www.photolib.noaa.gov.

 

As regards courage, we should not expect bald eagles to fight in extents or areas they do not recognize for own or important. However, it would be dangerous to approach a nest, when the parents are around.

 

Bald eagle nestlings
BALD EAGLE NESTLINGS, PHOTO CREDIT: DAVE MENKE

 

All bald eagles and golden eagles are under the Protection Act. Federal laws forbid damaging, disturbing, possession, or trading of the American eagle. Bald eagles hatch reliant on temperatures. They may hatch in spring or fall, dependent on the geographical area.

 

The American bald eagle symbolizes good language skills, in our grammar course. If we are curious about the species, we can get more American bald eagle information at www.baldeagleinfo.com.

 

We also can support the species financially, with the American Eagle Foundation, www.eagles.org. We can read about the Foundation over Wikipedia: AEF.

 

LINK: READ THIS IN A SLAVIC LANGUAGE, POLISH

THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER, THE AMERICAN ANTHEM

Fort McHenry, Baltimore; Wikimedia Commons

 

The “Star Spangled Banner” was formally adopted for the American anthem in 1931, with a law signed by president Herbert Hoover. The lyrics come from the Defence of Fort McHenry, a poem by Francis Scott Key. He witnessed the British siege of Fort McHenry in the war of 1812.

 

American English has changed since the time the Anthem was written. Today, the language has the word “defense” for the former “defence”.

 

ANTHEM LYRICS

 

O! Say, can you see
by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hail’d
by the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose bright stars and broad stripes,
through the clouds of the fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d
were so gallantly streaming?

 

And the rockets’ red glare,
the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night
that our flag was still there.
O! Say does that star-spangled
banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free
and the home of the brave?

 

On that shore, dimly seen
through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host
in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze,
o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows,
half conceals, half discloses?

 

Now it catches the gleam
of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected,
now shines in the stream.
‘Tis the star-spangled banner ― O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

 

And where is that host who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

 

O! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation.
Then conquer we must ― when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto ― In God is our trust.
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

 

The story of the Anthem music

 

Some resources would tell that the tune of the Anthem is “an old British drinking song”. There is nothing to support the attribution. Singing the Anthem accurately might belong with illusions, if to think about inebriation. The tune musical harmony can be difficult to vocalize, with impediment.

 

The composer, John Stafford Smith, was son of Martin Smith, an organist of Gloucester Cathedral. John was born in 1750 and composed his tune in mid 1760s. He did not write, however probably, for occasions to involve alcohol.

 

The conjecture may have come with John Stafford Smith’s joining the Anacreontic society, which yet happened years after he composed the tune. First publication of the music also came after years, by The Vocal Magazine in 1778, in London.

 

The story of the Anthem text

 

“The annexed song was composed under the following circumstances—A gentleman had left Baltimore, in a flag of truce for the purpose of getting released from the British fleet, a friend of his who had been captured at Marlborough.—He went as far as the mouth of Patuxent, and was not permitted to return lest the intended attack on Baltimore should be disclosed.

 

He was therefore brought up the Bay to the mouth of Patapsco, where the flag vessel was kept under the guns of a frigate, and he was compelled to witness the bombardment of Fort McHenry, which the Admiral had boasted that he would carry in a few hours, and that the city must fall. He watched the flag at the Fort through the whole day with an anxiety that can be better felt than described, until the night prevented him from seeing it. In the night he watched the Bomb Shells, and at early dawn his eye was again greeted by the proudly waving flag of his country.” (The 1812 broadside text, see at the Library of Congress).

 

Some people may remember the Anthem as saying “through the midst of the deep”. The reference might be to the Bible, for example Luke 4:30. But he, passing through the midst of them, went his way. The passage, as in the American Standard Bible, tells about release of captives and remaining unhurt from opponents. The oldest American Bible is the Eliot Bible, published in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1663.

 

Munroe & French published the Anthem in the Baltimore Patriot and Evening Advertiser. Below, we can see a facsimile of a print from September 20, 1814

 

 

The facsimile here comes from the Ritual of the Star-Spangled Banner, a book of the Star Spangled Banner Association in Baltimore, Maryland.

 

The autographed manuscript of the Anthem from October 21, 1840, says, “through the mists of the deep”. There are a few autograph copies of the Anthem. The Samuel Sands print from “The American Farmer” on September 21, 1814, also has the phrase “the mists”.

 

AUTOGRAPH OF THE ANTHEM
BY FRANCIS SCOTT KEY
CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

The autograph manuscript from October 21, 1840, signed by Francis Scott Key. The manuscript is available online from the Library of Congress.

 

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THE AMERICAN FLAG

USA national flag has thirteen stripes of red alternating with white. In the Flag, the red is at the top and the bottom. In insignia, the white is on the left and right. The union is a blue rectangle with 50 white, five-pointed stars, one for each American state. The 13 stripes represent the 13 original states of the early Union.

 

The Flag has changed since the early times. The Betsy Ross and the 13 Star are historic American flags. Alternative names for the American flag may be the Stars and Stripes, the Old Glory, and the Red, White, and Blue. The Star Spangled Banner also is the name of the American national anthem, too.

 

The 13 Star

 

 

Betsy Ross

 

There is a code of conduct concerning the Flag. The Federal Flag Code is not descriptive of all situations and does not impose penalties for misconduct. Violating the guidelines may offend, however.

 

The guidelines state to display the Flag from sunrise to sunset, when in the open. 24-hour display should involve proper illumination of the Flag from dusk to dawn. We should not modify the Flag, regardless of the form of presentation. Whether in fabric, print, or another material, the Flag should have the stars and the stripes as in the design presented on the top of this page.

 

Please refer to the Flag Code for details on flag positioning. For example, we place the Stars on the Flag’s right, when we display it horizontally or vertically. With other flags, the US flag should be on its own right side or in center front. On the same halyard, the American flag takes the superior position, except when with flags of other countries.

Granting a superior or privileged position to any flag of any country in a time of peace violates international regulations.

 

The United States Code explains on Flag dignity. The Flag should not be showed with disrespect. It should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, state flags, and organization or institution flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor. We should use an all-weather flag, when the weather is inclement.

 

We should not embroider the Flag on articles as cushions or handkerchiefs, print or otherwise impress it on paper napkins or boxes or anything designed for temporary use and discard. The code advises not to use the Flag for apparel. However, we might “get away” with flag pattern hats, tops, and scarves, especially on American holidays.

 

The flag should not be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything. The flag should not touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise. The flag should not be carried flat or horizontally. It should be aloft and free.

 

The Code encourages wearing Flag patches or pins on the left side of uniforms of military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and members of patriotic organizations. The left side is that recognized for the side of the heart.

 

There have been disputes in America over freedom of speech and Flag burning. Could burning the Flag, as it happens in times of protests and unrest, be a form of speech?

 

In the psycholinguistic perspective, flag burning is a non-linguistic behavior. American legislation allows individual lawsuit in some cases of willful and malicious destruction.

 

 

The Flag Code makes one exception. When the Flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, and this can be by burning. Naturally, we have to be careful with fire.

 

Saluting the Flag

 

Title four of the United States Code counsels on the behavior proper to salute the Flag.

 

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the Flag or when the Flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the Flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Citizens of other countries present should stand at attention. All such conduct toward the Flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the Flag passes.

 

On occasions to salute the Flag, it could be best to agree on behavior with the American party to be present.

 

If Flag regulations seem complicated, let us think people have risked own lives, fighting for own freedom and the Flag. The American anthem tells this. Freedom and human rights are indispensable for intellectual and economic progress (see the context of the Gettysburg Address).

Respect for the American flag means respect for own gray matter, especially if we learn American English.

__Smiley serious PNG

Fort McHenry

 

Flying the Flag

 

American legislation mandates flying the Flag day and night in a few locations, to pay tribute in historic American sites. The national tradition holds the Flag half-staff until noon, on the Memorial Day.

 

Fort McHenry National Monument, Baltimore, Maryland;

Flag House Square, Baltimore, Maryland;

The United States Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington, Virginia;

Lexington, Massachusetts;

The White House;

The Washington Monument;

United States Customs ports of entry;

Valley Forge State Park, Pennsylvania.

 

Many locations fly the Flag 24 hours without specific legal resolves.
One of such places is the United States Capitol.

 

 

Mount Rushmore has had its Avenue of Flags since 1976, the United States bicentennial. Visitors can view the Memorial 24 hours, year round.

 

Mount Rushmore (2)

 

The Memorial is located in the Pennington County, near Keystone, South Dakota. The four faces from left to right are those of the presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Sculptors Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln carried out the project. The construction ended in 1941.

 

Worldwide, flying the Flag every day and according to the Code, does not violate regulations. Please mind that displaying the Flag in parental advisory contexts may be considered non-complimentary. Removal of the Flag from an improper display might be advisable.

 

There are a few special days on which to fly the Flag.
We put the month before the day, to read the date in American English.

 

New Year’s Day, January 1

Inauguration Day, January 20

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12

Washington’s Birthday (the President’s day), third Monday in February

Easter Sunday, (variable)

Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May

Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May

Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May

Flag Day, June 14

Independence Day, July 4

Labor Day, first Monday in September

Constitution Day, September 17

Columbus Day, second Monday in October

Navy Day, October 27

Veterans Day, November 11

Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November

Christmas Day, December 25

State birthdays (days of admission) and holidays: each state individually.

THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS

Ambrotype of Abraham Lincoln; Lincoln’s Photographs: A Complete Album by Lloyd Ostendorf; Wikimedia Commons

 

Abraham Lincoln was President during the American Civil War, years 1861-1865. Seven Southern states declared secession from the U.S.A., in order to become the Confederate States of America.

 

The War broke out over trade, finance, and civil rights. The problem involved slavery. Elected in 1860, president Lincoln disproved of slavery as a violation of Constitutional principles. The President issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. It freed all slaves in the USA.

 

The rebel states had trade ties with England. A British author and Conservative politician, Alex Beresford-Howe, chaired and housed the London branch of the Southern Independence Association, which supported the secession. The Confederate Cotton Bond sold in the London market and raised money for the Confederacy.

 

President Lincoln, as many Americans, opposed another war against England. His diplomatic manner proved effective, not only in the Trent Affair. The affair involved the interception of the British RMS Trent, carrying secessionist mail and diplomats. The War ended in year 1865. The USA united again. In the same year, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and a Confederate spy, assassinated president Lincoln.

 

The Gettysburg address is one of the most famous speeches in American history. President Lincoln delivered it on Thursday afternoon, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. About four months earlier, Union troops won over the Confederacy in the Battle of Gettysburg.

 

NICOLAY COPY OF THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS

There are a few drafts of the Address. We can compare them online, over the Library of Congress website. The transcript below comes from “Lincoln’s first draft”, known also as “the Nicolay copy”. John George Nicolay was president Lincoln’s private secretary.

 

ADDRESS TEXT

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal”.

 

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so concerned, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow, this ground—The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

 

It is rather for us, the living, to stand here, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

 

―――――

The form can not, as in the Gettysburg Address, gives more emphasis to the Negative Modal form. Naturally, the strength of the Address remains related to its context. The form “can not” is hardly ever used today, and we may make a better-learned impression, if we write or say cannot, in contemporary American.

 

We also do not have to follow the punctuation of historic documents. For example, we can space our dashes — clarity in writing may help communicate. History is worth learning and remembering—but not necessarily repeating.

 

The context of the Gettysburg Address

 

We may know the American Civil War as “the War Between the States”, “the War of Secession”,  “the War for Southern Independence”, “the War of Rebellion” or ― mostly in tongues other than American English ― “the North against the South”, “the North versus the South”, as well as “the North-South”.

 

In the United States, people mostly say “the Civil War“. This does not mean the war did not involve violence and hostility. The word “civil” comes from the Latin “civis“, a word to connote citizenry and matters as well as businesses of citizens.

 

CSA flag

The Confederate States of America flag

 

The Civil War was a war waged by American citizens on other American citizens. It was not a war declared by foreign powers, military forces, or religious orders ― it was a war waged by civilians. The Civil War remains the only instance of an armed rebellion against the Constitution on the domestic scale. Americans do not praise conflicts.

 

Article 4 Section 3 of the Constitution forbids forming new states within the USA without Congressional approval. The Confederate states declared independence from the USA in 1861, without Congressional vote. The Congress decided it was illegal.

 

Confederate infantry

 

The conflict required drafting troops. Confederate uniforms are easy to tell from the Union military clothing.

 

US infantry

 

Researchers and historians differ in opinions about the etiology of the Civil War. Some would have the Northern response to the Southern refusal to abolish slavery for purely idealistic. Many would be skeptical: you never leave your home, family, friends, and a good job, just to help out.

 

Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune criticized Abraham Lincoln for the cost of abolition.

Horace Greeley Baker by J.E. Baker, Library of Congress

 

Abraham Lincoln answered he primarily minded the Union.

 Abraham_Lincoln_by_Byers,_1858_-_crop

 

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that”, said the president.

 

He signed Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

 

Civil rights were literally a capital concern to the American economy. Civil rights never are just some ideology.

 

Slavery brings the price of labor down. Low pay rates limit the buying potential of the people. Production becomes impeded with market shrinking: slave workers have very little purchasing power. If not prevented, inflation follows.

 

An aerial view of the Wall Street area. Wall Street is the “financial capital” of the USA.

 

America is one of the most potent economies in the world. It is not a gold parity economy ― no gold standard alone could make it work. Part the New Deal reform was to give up on the gold exchange. An economy like the American requires effective civil rights, to motivate and protect the people and, in turn, to bring out the market as well as the currency.

 

The Morrill Tariff of 1861 attempted to encourage the economy. James Buchanan, a Democrat president, wanted to enhance American workers against the cheap labor products from Europe. Southern cotton planters and slave owners rejected the tariff and abandoned the Congress.

 

Southern cotton sold well in Europe, especially in England. The trade connections were mutual. Southerners bought low-cost European commodities, exporting own harvest. The jack below is a Southern battle flag to correspond in pattern with royalist maritime and Commonwealth flags.

Confederate jack

 

The conflict brought much damage to both sides. Although there would be reports of a Wall Street boom during the War, there have not been economy data for the time to except the tariff effects, and there is no evidence it was the conflict to improve the national finance. Another well-known fact in history is that war economies are not sustainable economies.

 

We may learn more about American history and economy further in the grammar travel. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal sure can help comprehend the interrelationship between democratic standards and economy.

 

Finally, Federal authorities were concerned with slave high mortality and human trafficking, that is, organized crime. Naturally, we cannot exclude human affect from the War causes. There were many people in the North as well as the South to state that slavery was not acceptable on human grounds. Awareness that somewhere in the same country there are people treated in non-human ways certainly can be a factor distressing enough to upset the public. Human affect is the person’s general emotional predilection to involve memory, thinking, and personal autonomy.

 

America was not founded on ideals if imperialist capitalism:
“Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all Lovers of Mankind are affected, and in the Event of which, their Affections are interested.”

Thomas Paine, Common Sense (feel welcome to my public domain translation into Polish).

 

At the same time, it might be important to realize that the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and further amendments are not just works of idealism or ― whatsoever ― any “political naïveté”. They are works of conscious minds to have formulated substantial provisions for human dignity and thus economic prosperity in a country to thrive.

 

Major developments in the Civil War

 

(We may learn more online and in libraries. The present-day Flag is to symbolize the Union as the sustained US national form.)

Read about the Flag.

 

April 12-14, 1861

Confederate attack on Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina; fort taken;

 

Flag HiRes

April 19, 1861
The Union “Anaconda” blockade of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts; Confederate trade and mobility limited;

 

March 9, 1862
The battle of the Hampton Roads to begin the ironclad warfare;

 

Flag HiRes

1862
The “Four Axes” strategy; Gen. Ulysses Grant to capture Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, opening the Western Theater;

 

1862
The Eastern Theater: Gen. Robert Lee to progress in his Northern Virginia and Maryland campaigns;

 

Flag HiRes

September 17, 1862
Union Gen. George McClellan stops Gen. Lee in the battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg);

 

Flag HiRes

January 1, 1863
President Abraham Lincoln’s announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation;

 

Flag HiRes

July 1-3, 1863
Gen. Gordon Meade wins over Gen. Lee in the battle of Gettysburg;

 

Flag HiRes

November 19, 1863
President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address;

 

Flag HiRes

April 9, 1865
Gen. Grant receives the official surrender from Gen. Lee at the Appomattox Court House;

 

Flag HiRes

December 18, 1865
The 13th Amendment affirms that slavery is outlawed in the USA.

 

VOLUNTARY EXTRA PRACTICE

The practice asks questions on understanding of historic American documents. The suggested answers are not comprehensive; they are ideas that could be of use in creative writing.

 

Read about the Declaration of Independence

 

1. “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.”

 

1a. Does the Declaration of Independence concern only males? [Idea]

1b. Does the Declaration require religious adherence for human rights? [Idea]

1c. Is the Pursuit of Happiness a term of legal systematics? [Idea]

 

2. “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.”

 

2a. Who was the English king? [Idea]

2b. How can we sum up the causes for the Declaration? [Idea]

 

3. WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES.

 

3a. Does the Declaration solicit a divine intervention? [Idea]

3b. Do we say the United States is, or the United States are? [Idea]

 

Read about the Constitution

 

4. WE, the PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES, in order to…

 

4a. How can we compare the words order and people, if we look to the Constitution and the Great Seal? [Idea]

4b. How can we relate the content of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? [Idea]

 

5. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

 

5a. How can we interpret the phrase habeas corpus? [Idea]

5b. What is the origin and application of the phrase habeas corpus? [Idea]

 

Let us consider word sense, in the following passages from the Constitution. The boldface has the matters of special focus.

 

6. “No bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, shall be passed.” [Idea]

 

7. “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States, when called into the actual service of the United States;” [Idea]

 

8. “… he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices;” [Idea]

 

9. “… and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” [Idea]

 

Read about the Bill of Rights

 

10. How can we compare the guidelines for legal practice, in Amendment 6 and Magna Carta? [Idea]

 

(Amendment 6) “In all Criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district …”

 

(Magna Carta) “No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land …”

 

11. How could we paraphrase Amendment 4 with the Infinitive? [Idea]

 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

 

12. How could we paraphrase the verb shall in Amendment 6? [Idea]

 

“In all Criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

 

13. How can we comprehend the word enumeration in Amendment 9? [Idea]

 

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

 

Answers

1a. Obviously, the Declaration did not introduce a separate or unequal status for women. The word man alone denotes human kind. The plural, men, means human beings, not human kinds. The use comes from classic Latin translations. To refer to a male, the noun man requires an article or a determiner as a, the, or this. Examples: Man belongs with the Homo sapiens. The man can read. [Back]

 

1b. No, it absolutely does not. The Declaration states that all people are equal in human rights and monarchy is not a work of deity (saying also, “the separate and equal Station). The document addresses the royalist belief, into a divine right to rule. [Back]

 

1c. No, the Declaration never was meant to set out legislation. The document also says, “Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable”, and it never was meant to make laws for suffering. The Declaration remains the most famous document to invoke human happiness, within the law, among the incentives to form a country. [Back]

 

2a. The monarch was George III of the house of Hanover. Often remembered as “Mad King George”, reported by some British resources as ill with porphyria, the king personally decided on policies for America. [Back]

 

2b. George III disabled administration and justice in America. People were forced to give up on political representation, to obtain civilian status. The royalist military took local residents captive, exploited the land and the people, and were not held responsible. [Back]

 

3a. No, it does not. The definite article in the phrase “appealing for the Rectitude of our Intentions” says the Causes are righteous. A phrase as appealing for _ rectitude might have such implications. It does not occur. [Back]

 

3b. The phrase the United States is expresses a unitary concept for a country, as for Germany or France, for example. The phrase the United States are summons up the idea of the country by the people and for the people. USA constituent states have considerable autonomy. Both phrases are grammatically correct. [Back]

 

4a. Word sense changes over time and the word people may help show it. The noun is derived from the Latin populus. It did not connote nationality in ancient times and often referred to laying waste or degrading: perpopulor, to devastate, pillage; populabilis, destructible. Ancient Rome was a militarist culture oriented to status.

 

Nowadays, the noun people means a group of human beings, or a nationality. As a group, it takes a plural verb: The people here all speak English. As a nationality or ethnicity, the noun may take on the plural itself: The peoples of Europe have formed a Union.

 

The word order also comes from Latin. It could mean a rank, group, or a class of people. Cicero’s Philippics have many examples. We use the phrase in order to when we want to tell why or for what purpose something or someone is. In the sense of a group or type, the word ordo did not have to bring associations with an arrangement, as in a line or queue.

 

The language of the Constitution is modern American English. The document opens with the phrase We, the people, meaning the people of the United States of America. The language of the Great Seal mottos is ancient Latin. It has the phrase Novus Ordo Seclorum, which can be comprehended as A New People Come, that is, a new nation has come into existence. Feel welcome to read A new people come. [Back]

 

4b. The Constitution addresses the issues named in the Declaration: establishes the legislative (Article 1), the executive (Article 2), as well as the judiciary (Article 3). It provides against absolutism, instituting impeachment from office. It limits potential by royalist or foreign influence, requiring of the Head of State to be a born American citizen, elected President in free elections. The maximum of two terms of four years in office discourages attempts at hereditary government. Article 4 guarantees a republican form of government, and Article 6 declares the Constitution the binding law of the land, denying the idea of a divine right to govern: no religious tests are allowed as qualifications for an office. Article 7 predicts ratification for adopting constitutional legislation. [Back]

 

5a. The phrase derives from a larger fragment, habeas corpus ad subjiciendum, dated on the English king Edward I. The writ ordered detainee cases to be evaluated in courts of law, with the persons present, to prevent indeterminate incarceration. The fragment is a Latin subjunctive and can be interpreted as (so) that you have the person in court. Similar phrases: habeas corpus ad respondendum, for the detainee to answer in proceedings; habeas corpus ad testificandum, for the detainee to testify. Nowadays, these are the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to guide administration of justice. [Back]

 

5b. The Habeas Corpus Parliament passed The Habeas Corpus Act in 1679, during the reign of Charles II. Habeas corpus is effective in the USA, England, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Most countries have equivalent legislation, such as the Criminal Procedure Act in Scotland, or article 40.4 of the 1937 Irish Constitution. The European Convention on Human Rights, Article 5, says, “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.” [Back]

 

6. The word attainder comes from the French atteindre, to reach, hit. The bills allowed punishment without trial. They were banned as violating the principle of separation of powers. We may compare Montesquieu on the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary.

 

The Latin word factum meant a deed, act, or exploit. Retroactivity, as ex post facto laws are also called, is forbidden in the USA. Legality of an act may not be disputed with use of regulations adopted after the fact. [Back]

 

7. There have been disputes in the US over the scope of presidential military command. Obviously, in case of a war, it would not honor the civilian authority to have the president the rank of a corporal. However, in the Constitution, the phrase “when called into the actual service of the United States” would be redundant, should the command belong with the President simply as In Office.

 

The Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote, “The propriety of admitting the president to be commander in chief, so far as to give orders, and have a general superintendency, was admitted. But it was urged, that it would be dangerous to let him command in person, without any restraint, as he might make a bad use of it. The consent of both houses of Congress ought, therefore, to be required, before he should take the actual command.”

 

Justice Robert Cooper Grier stated: “The President is not only authorized but bound to resist force by force. He does not initiate the war, but is bound to accept the challenge without waiting for any special legislative authority.” [Back]

 

8. The personal pronoun he remains is legal use for both genders. Here, it is an anaphora to refer to the President. Anaphoras refer back in discourse: “When called into the actual service, the President becomes Commander-in-Chief. He may require the opinion …”

 

Let us compare Article 5 of the European Convention: “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty …”

 

Modern linguistics proposes the forms he or she as well as s/he for short, to avoid anaphoric ambiguity. [Back]

 

9. The President has the right to pardon even capital punishment convicts. The limitation on impeachment is to prevent royalist practices that appointed irremovable officials. [Back]

 

10. Magna Carta does not say that detention is justifiable in criminal cases only. It also has forms of punishment that American codes reject, such as exile or mutilation. The Carta does not state that judgment requires lawyers, and the laws of the land do not provide for a proper place of judgment.

 

The Declaration describes, among the Causes, “FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury: FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences. The Declaration adds, 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 Measures.” The Carta never gave the idea as well as ideal for the Amendments. Read about the Bill of Rights. [Back]

 

11. The people have the right to be inviolably secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, and no Warrants are to be issued, unless upon a probable cause to be supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly to describe the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. [Back]

 

12. In all Criminal prosecutions, the law warrants a speedy and public trial for the accused, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime occurs; the law requires that the judiciary is identified by the administrative, the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have witnesses in his favor, and to have legal Counsel for his defense. [Back]

 

13. The word enumeration comes from Latin. Latin numerals were letters of the alphabet. For example, X meant 10, XX meant 20. Nowadays also, enumeration does not have to mean digits. It often means naming, presenting.

 

The Founders realized the Constitution did not name all possible rights and it was impracticable for it to make all regulations. The Amendment says the fact a matter is presented (enumerated) in the Constitution does not make it more important than other rights the people have; the fact a particular right is not in the Constitution does not mean it belongs under federal powers. [Back]

 

read-this-in-a-slavic-language-polish

THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND FURTHER AMENDMENTS

The New York Congress passed the Bill of Rights in 1789. It became ratified on December 15, 1791. It is the Fifth Article of the Constitution to permit amendments, for the legislation to meet varied circumstances in human lives.

 

In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced December 15 the Bill of Rights Day, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Bill adoption.

 

The Bill of Rights, along with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, are also called the Charters of Freedom. We can view the original documents online, also at the National Archives, archives.gov.
Feel welcome to the NOTES on the typescript below.

 

AMENDMENT I.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 

AMENDMENT II.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

 

AMENDMENT III.

No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

 

AMENDMENT IV.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

 

AMENDMENT V.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

 

AMENDMENT VI.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

 

AMENDMENT VII.

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved; and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

 

AMENDMENT VIII.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

 

AMENDMENT IX.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

 

AMENDMENT X.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

 

AMENDMENT XI.

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit, in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another State, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign State.

 

AMENDMENT XII.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for President and Vice President, one of whom at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.

 

The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.

 

The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President, whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice President shall act as President, as in the case of death or other constitutional disability of the President.

 

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice President, shall be the Vice President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States.

 

AMENDMENT XIII.

Sect. 1. Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

 

Sect. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 

AMENDMENT XIV.

Sect. 1. 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.

 

Sect. 2. 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.

 

Sect. 3. 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.

 

Sect. 4. 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.

 

Sect. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

 

AMENDMENT XV.

Sect. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged, by the United States or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

 

Sect. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 

AMENDMENT XVI.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

 

AMENDMENT XVII.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The Electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislatures.

 

When vacancies happen in the Representation of any State in the Senate, the Executive Authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided that the Legislature of any State may empower the Executive thereof to make temporary appointments, until the people fill the vacancies by election as the Legislature may direct.

 

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

 

AMENDMENT XVIII.

Sect. 1. After one year from the ratification of this article, the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all the territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof, for beverage purposes, is hereby prohibited.

 

Sect. 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 

Sect. 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the Legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

 

AMENDMENT XIX.

Sect. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of sex.

 

Sect. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 

AMENDMENT XX.

Sect. 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

 

Sect. 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

 

Sect. 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly, until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

 

Sect. 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President, whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President, whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

 

Sect. 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

 

Sect. 6. This article shall be inoperative, unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.

 

AMENDMENT XXI.

Sect. 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

 

Sect. 2. The transportation or importation into any State, territory, or possession of the United States, for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

 

Sect. 3. This article shall be inoperative, unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by Conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

 

AMENDMENT XXII.

Sect. 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President, shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative, from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

 

Sect. 2. This article shall be inoperative, unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

 

AMENDMENT XXIII.

Sect. 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

 

A number of Electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be Electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

 

Sect. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 

AMENDMENT XXIV.

Sect. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for Electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged, by the United States or any State, by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

 

Sect. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 

AMENDMENT XXV.

Sect. 1. In the case of removal of the President from office, or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

 

Sect. 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President, who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

 

Sect. 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

 

Sect. 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the Executive departments, or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

 

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office, unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the Executive department, or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose, if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by a two-thirds vote, of both Houses, that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

 

AMENDMENT XXVI.

Sect. 1. The right of citizens of the United States who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged, by the United States or by any State, on account of age.

 

Sect. 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 

AMENDMENT XXVII.

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

 

NOTES TO THE AMENDMENTS TYPESCRIPT

The typescript follows the patterns for the Constitution, please read the NOTES TO THE CONSTITUTION TYPESCRIPT.

 

Specifically for the amendments, we may want to note that American punctuation is more syntactic than prosodic, nowadays. Therefore, the typescript shows Amendment 13 as,

Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Without the comma to separate the phrases neither slavery and nor involuntary servitude, as the original phrasing happens to be presented, modern American English might render the legislation as allowing slavery for a form of legal punishment, which is not true:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

 

Let us mind that legislation is put to writing in Congress, during discussion, and “slips of the pen” may happen, they yet do not decide the law. Let us compare Amendment XXVI. The original script tells,
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged, by the United States or by any State, on account of age.
Eighteen years of age is not a condition for American citizenship, and we can interpret the script as saying,
The right of citizens of the United States who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged, by the United States or by any State, on account of age.

 

Finally, we can get advice on the difference between which and that, in modern American English. As the conjunction which has not gone out of use, there is no need to “modernize” the Constitution or amendments, and we can have the thing for a matter of style. In simple words, we may fit in better with speakers of American, using the conjunction that when it adds to clarity. Feel welcome to compare forum discussions.

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

The Declaration of Independence is the formal proclamation of American independence from England. The Continental Congress agreed and announced the Declaration on July the 4th, 1776.
July the 4th is a national holiday in the USA.

 

“Nothing can settle our affairs so expeditiously as an open and determined declaration for independance”, Thomas Paine, Common Sense (feel welcome to my public domain translation into Polish).

 

Feel also welcome to free posters. The public domain website has a portfolio.

 

 

We can read the original print from the Library of Congress.

 

The typescript below renders the original print. The Declaration printer, John Dunlap, used a Caslon font and a print layout that capitalized nominals, that is, nouns and forms to derive from nouns, with big letters.

 

The purpose of the typescript is not correction. No one might correct a historic document. The typescript is to show the print manner of those times. Especially young learners might benefit with clarity on that. The language style of the Declaration of Independence is oratorial; it invokes spoken language.

 

DECLARATION TEXT
(public domain translation by Teresa Pelka, 2016)

 

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.

 

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 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 shewn, 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 Measures.

 

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 Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.

 

HE has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations 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.

 

HE has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance.

 

HE has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the Consent of our Legislatures.

 

HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

 

HE has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation :

 

FOR quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us :

 

FOR protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States :

 

FOR cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World :

 

FOR imposing Taxes on us without our Consent :

 

FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury :

 

FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences :

 

FOR abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule into these Colonies :

 

FOR taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments :

 

FOR suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever :

 

HE has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

 

HE has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

 

HE is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with Circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

 

HE has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

 

HE has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

 

IN every Stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every Act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

 

NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

 

WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDPENDENT STATES may of Right do. And for the Support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

 

Signed by ORDER and in BEHALF of the CONGRESS,

JOHN HANCOCK, PRESIDENT.

ATTEST. CHARLES THOMSON, SECRETARY.

PHILADELPHIA : PRINTED BY JOHN DUNLAP.

 

PHILOLOGIST NOTES

 

John Dunlap printed his broadside already on the day of the proclamation, July the 4th 1776. The Philadelphia printer, bookseller, and Revolutionary War soldier, he made about 200 copies. He was evidently well capable of the prevalent print convention of those times, to capitalize nouns, noun phrases, and linguistic forms that derived from nouns. He had very little time to complete the print, however.

 

 

… a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes …
Please compare the “light and transient Causes”.

 

… whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise …

Result of time limitations, as above.

 

… the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within …
We may compare the “mean time” and the adverbial “meanwhile”

 

“Judiciary Powers”, “Standing Armies”, “Civil Powers”, and similar structures are noun phrases that embrace the adjective along with the noun.

 

HE has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.
We may compare the “Consent of the Governed”, as above in the original. “The Governed” means people, persons. The structure works in language as a noun, hence the capital letter.

 

FOR quartering … protecting … cutting off … imposing …
Gerundive forms are not capitalized, as they derive from verbs. We may compare the verb phrase Petitioned for Redress”: it derives from the noun phrase “Petition for Redress”.

 

… already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy …
Please compare Circumstances of our Emigration”.

 

… constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive …
The phrase refers to the condition of being hostage, prisoner. The word “captive” means “prisoner”, a noun.

 

… whose Character is thus marked by every act …
We may compare Acts of pretended Legislation”, and Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of Right”.

 

… the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled …
The adjective “assembled” belongs with the phrase “Assembled General Congress”.

 

… solemnly Publish and Declare …
Please compare the comment for the “Petiton for Redress”, above.

 

That these United Colonies …
The Declaration style is oratorial, it relates to spoken language.

 

… . And for the support of this Declaration …
Please mind the time limitations the circumstances imposed on the print.

The print uses the colon the way we mostly use the semi-colon nowadays.

 

THE HANDWRITTEN DOCUMENT

56 Representatives of the 13 states and the Second Congress President signed the engrossed copy of the Declaration. Warren G. Harding, later an American president, coined the phrase “the Founding Fathers”. The phrase became used to mean the Signatories of the Declaration and the Framers of the Constitution.

 

The most prominent signature in the center is that of John Hancock from Massachusetts, the President of the Second Continental Congress.

 

Signatories
SIGNATURES ON THE ENGROSSED COPY
CLICK TO ENLARGE

The desktop view here displays the names of the signatories arranged as in the original document.

 

Georgia

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

Maryland

Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Pennsylvania

Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple

Massachusetts

Samuel Adams

South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jun.

Thomas Lynch, Jun.

Arthur Middleton

Virginia

George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross

 

Delaware

Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

New Jersey

 Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

 

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery

Connecticut

Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton

 

We may know the present-day engrossed copy as the Stone’s engraving of the Declaration of Independence. The copy was not literally incised in stone, yet we can say it is in stone, using a figure of speech.

 

ENGROSSED COPY OF THE DECLARATION
CLICK TO ENLARGE

An 1823 facsimile of the engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence

 

The Declaration came after attempts to conciliate with England. The Olive Branch Petition was one of those efforts. Thomas Jefferson wrote the “original rough draught” of the Declaration in June 1776. John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were among the text co-editors.

 

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THE ABSOLUTELY BASICS ABOUT THE USA

The governing body of the American democracy is the Congress. It comprises the Senate and the House of Representatives. It is located in the Capitol Hill, showed in the picture above.

 

Many researchers derive democracy from ancient Greece. How could we compare ancient Greece and modern America? Ancient Greeks actually developed a proto-democracy: they happened to have kings and queens, depended heavily on military leaders and bequeathed elitism. America is a democracy. There have been no kings or queens of the USA. The head of the state is the President. The President resides in the White House.

 

 

Both the Congress and the White House are in Washington D.C. that is, the city named Washington in the District of Columbia. Washington D.C. is the capital of the USA.

 

District Columbia is on the American East Coast.

 

The state of Washington is on the West Coast.

 

We can get maps of the USA at the National Atlas website, NationalAtlas.gov.
We usually tell the name of our location along with the name of the state, if we give our address in America.

 

Washington state got its name after George Washington, the first American president. The state is the only American state named after a president.

GEORGE WASHINGTON

 

There are many places named Washington in America. George Washington remains a very prominent figure. He fought for American freedom in the Revolutionary War against England. He was President in years 1789-1797, after the War.

 

The American Revolutionary War had its written formulation
in the Declaration of Independence.

Link to post on the Declaration
CLICK TO READ ABOUT THE DECLARATION

 

The Revolutionary victory brought another historic formulation,
the American Constitution.

CLICK TO READ ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION

 

American government was built “from scratch” by the Founding Fathers. Some, as Thomas Jefferson, described their perspectives on the State. Elective monarchy patterns as of Poland, for example, did not win ground. Poland was a chronically fallen country. The monarch was a lifetime position, and commoners hardly had civil rights. Hereditary monarchy forms as of England obviously did not offer any better security for the freedom of the people.

 

James Madison wrote,

 

The constitutional reallocation of powers created a new form of government, unprecedented under the sun. Every previous national authority either had been centralized or else had been a confederation of sovereign states. The new American system was neither one nor the other; it was a mixture of both.[38]

 

The “new form of government” is democracy,
only by far more advanced than Greek prototypes.

Compare the History US site,

Video: America gets a constitution

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LANGUAGE MAPPING SUMMARY

Should the following narrative look too simple to be telling the truth, let us think there is no natural language to require consult with volumes on philosophy, for correct structures. We can take a break from the volumes.

Continue reading “LANGUAGE MAPPING SUMMARY”