Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.
1977 13-cent U.S. Postage stamp commemorating the Articles of Confederation bicentennial; the draft was completed on November 15, 1777
Signing of the Constitution, September 17, 1787 (1940 by Howard Chandler Christy)
Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration, as painted by Rembrandt Peale
The Act of the Maryland legislature to ratify the Articles of Confederation, February 2, 1781
Dates the 13 states ratified the Constitution
The 13 states at the Declaration of Independence
Preamble to Art. V, Sec. 1
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The Assembly Room in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence
Art. V, Sec. 2 to Art. VI
"We the People" in an original edition
Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776, an idealized depiction of Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson working on the Declaration was widely reprinted (by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1900).
Art. VII to Art. IX, Sec. 2
Closing endorsement section of the United States Constitution
Portable writing desk that Jefferson used to draft and finalize the Declaration of Independence
Art. IX, Sec. 2 to Sec. 5
United States Bill of Rights
Currently housed in the National Archives.
"Declaration House", the reconstructed boarding house at Market and S. 7th Street in Philadelphia, where Jefferson wrote the Declaration
Art. IX, Sec. 5 to Art. XIII, Sec. 2
John Jay, 1789–1795
The opening of the original printing of the Declaration, printed on July 4, 1776, under Jefferson's supervision. The engrossed copy was made later (shown at the top of this article). The opening lines differ between the two versions.
Art. XIII, Sec. 2 to signatures
John Marshall, 1801–1835
English political philosopher John Locke (1632–1704)
Salmon P. Chase {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Chase Court, 1864–1873, in 1865 were Salmon P. Chase (chief Justice); Hon. Nathan Clifford, Maine; Stephen J. Field, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Hon. Samuel F. Miller, U.S. Supreme Court; Hon. Noah H. Swayne, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Judge Morrison R. Waite}}
The signed copy of the Declaration is now badly faded because of poor preserving practices in the 19th century. It is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
William Howard Taft {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Taft Court, 1921–1930, in 1925 were James Clark McReynolds, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., William Howard Taft (chief justice), Willis Van Devanter, Louis Brandeis. Edward Sanford, George Sutherland, Pierce Butler, Harlan Fiske Stone}}
The Syng inkstand, which was used at both the 1776 signing of the Declaration and the 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution, is on display in Philadelphia
Earl Warren {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Warren Court, 1953–1969, in 1963 were Felix Frankfurter; Hugo Black; Earl Warren (chief justice); Stanley Reed; William O. Douglas. Tom Clark; Robert H. Jackson; Harold Burton; Sherman Minton}}
On July 4, 1776, Continental Congress President John Hancock's signature authenticated the United States Declaration of Independence.
William Rehnquist {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Rehnquist Court, 1986–2005.}}
Johannes Adam Simon Oertel's painting Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C., ca. 1859, depicts citizens destroying a statue of King George after the Declaration was read in New York City on July 9, 1776.
José Rizal
William Whipple, signer of the Declaration of Independence, manumitted his slave, believing that he could not both fight for liberty and own slaves.
Sun Yat-sen
The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives building
a new broadside
John Trumbull's famous 1818 painting is often identified as a depiction of the signing of the Declaration, but it actually shows the drafting committee presenting its work to the Congress.
United States two-dollar bill (reverse)
Congressman Abraham Lincoln, 1845–1846
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her two sons (1848)

It superseded the Articles of Confederation, the nation's first constitution.

- Constitution of the United States

On March 4, 1789, the government under the Articles was replaced with the federal government under the Constitution.

- Articles of Confederation

This view was notably promoted by Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy and argued that it is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted.

- United States Declaration of Independence

Congress then created three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a model treaty, and the Articles of Confederation.

- Articles of Confederation

John Dickinson made one last effort to delay the decision, arguing that Congress should not declare independence without first securing a foreign alliance and finalizing the Articles of Confederation.

- United States Declaration of Independence

This echoes the Declaration of Independence.

- Constitution of the United States

7 related topics with Alpha

Overall

1876 Currier & Ives printing of Washington being promoted to commanding general

Second Continental Congress

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Meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies in America that united in the American Revolutionary War.

Meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies in America that united in the American Revolutionary War.

1876 Currier & Ives printing of Washington being promoted to commanding general
John Trumbull's 1819 painting, Declaration of Independence, depicting the five-man drafting committee presenting the Declaration of Independence to Congress
South facade of Independence Hall (formerly the Pennsylvania Statehouse), Philadelphia, principal meeting site of the Second Continental Congress
1977 13-cent U.S. Postage stamp commemorating the Articles of Confederation bicentennial; the draft was completed in York (formerly York Town), Pennsylvania on November 15, 1777
A five-dollar banknote issued by the Second Continental Congress in 1775.

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.

During this period, its achievements included: Successfully managing the war effort; drafting the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, the first U.S. constitution; securing diplomatic recognition and support from foreign nations; and resolving state land claims west of the Appalachian Mountains.

Jefferson's proposal for a Senate to represent the states and a House to represent the people was rejected, but a similar proposal was adopted later in the United States Constitution.

Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, 1778

Benjamin Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, 1778
La scuola della economia e della morale sketch of Franklin, 1825
Benjamin Franklin (center) at work on a printing press. Reproduction of a Charles Mills painting by the Detroit Publishing Company.
William Franklin (1730-1813), son of Benjamin Franklin
Franklin's The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle (January 1741)
Robert Feke's 1748 painting of Franklin
This Join, or Die by Franklin urged the colonies to join the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War). It later served as a symbol of colonial freedom during the American Revolution.
In 1751, Franklin co-founded Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, one of the first hospitals in the United States (depicted in this engaving by William Strickland, 1755)
Seal of the College of Philadelphia
Sketch of the original Tun Tavern
First U. S. postage stamp, issue of 1847, honoring Benjamin Franklin.
Pass, signed by Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin, gave William Goddard the authority to travel as needed to investigate and inspect postal routes and protect the mail.
Pennsylvania colonial currency printed by Franklin and David Hall in 1764
Franklin in London, 1767, wearing a blue suit with elaborate gold braid and buttons, a far cry from the simple dress he affected at the French court in later years. Painting by David Martin, displayed in the White House.
John Trumbull depicts the Committee of Five presenting their work to the Congress.
Franklin, in his fur hat, charmed the French with what they perceived as rustic New World genius.
While in France, Franklin designed and commissioned Augustin Dupré to engrave the medallion Libertas Americana, minted in Paris in 1783.
Franklin's return to Philadelphia, 1785, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Gouverneur Morris signs the Constitution before Washington. Franklin is behind Morris. Painting by Hintermeister, 1925.
Franklin's grave, Philadelphia
Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky c. 1816 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by Benjamin West
Franklin and Electricity vignette engraved by the BEP (c. 1860)
An illustration from Franklin's paper on "Water-spouts and Whirlwinds"
A bust of Franklin by Jean-Antoine Houdon, 1778
Voltaire blessing Franklin's grandson, in the name of God and Liberty, by Pedro Américo, 1889–90
Benjamin Franklin by Hiram Powers
Dr Richard Price, the radical minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church, holding a letter from Franklin
Franklin bust in the Archives Department of Columbia University in New York City
Glass harmonica
Franklin on the Series 2009 hundred dollar bill
Marble memorial statue, Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
commemorative stamps
Life-size bronze statue of Benjamin Franklin (seated with cane) in the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin ( – April 17, 1790) was an American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher, and political philosopher. Among the leading intellectuals of his time, Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a drafter and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the first United States Postmaster General.

While the plan was not adopted, elements of it found their way into the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.

John Adams by Gilbert Stuart c. undefined 1800–1815

John Adams

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American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801.

American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801.

John Adams by Gilbert Stuart c. undefined 1800–1815
Adams's birthplace now in Quincy, Massachusetts
Boston Massacre of 1770 by Alonzo Chappel
John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence depicts the Committee of Five presenting its draft to Congress. Adams is depicted in the center with his hand on his hip.
The Assembly Room in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence
Adams frequently clashed with Benjamin Franklin over how to manage French relations.
Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West (Adams in front).
Adams – 1785 Mather Brown Portrait
Portrait of Adams by John Trumbull, 1793
Portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, 1795. Washington rarely consulted Vice President Adams, who often felt marginalized and overshadowed by Washington's prestige.
1796 presidential election results
President's House, Philadelphia. Adams occupied this Philadelphia mansion from March 1797 to May 1800.
A political cartoon depicts the XYZ Affair – America is a female being plundered by Frenchmen. (1798)
Thomas Jefferson, Adams's vice president, attempted to undermine many of his actions as president and eventually defeated him for reelection.
Alexander Hamilton's desire for high military rank and his push for war with France put him into conflict with Adams.
1800 presidential election results
John Marshall, 4th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and one of Adams's few dependable allies
John Adams, c. 1816, by Samuel Morse (Brooklyn Museum)
Tombs of John and Abigail Adams (far) and John Quincy and Louisa Adams (near), in family crypt at United First Parish Church
Peacefield - John Adams' Home
Thoughts on Government (1776)
John Adams by Gilbert Stuart (1823). This portrait was the last made of Adams, done at the request of John Quincy.

He assisted Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which influenced the United States constitution, as did his essay Thoughts on Government.

While in London, Adams learned of a convention being planned to amend the Articles of Confederation.

Portrait based on the unfinished Athenaeum Portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1796

George Washington

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American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797.

American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797.

Portrait based on the unfinished Athenaeum Portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1796
Ferry Farm, the residence of the Washington family on the Rappahannock River
Lieutenant Colonel Washington holds night council at Fort Necessity
Washington the Soldier: Lieutenant Colonel Washington on horseback during the Battle of the Monongahela (oil, Reǵnier, 1834)
Colonel George Washington, by Charles Willson Peale, 1772
Martha Washington based on a 1757 portrait by John Wollaston
General Washington, Commander of the Continental Army by Charles Willson Peale (1776)
Washington taking command of the Continental Army, just before the siege.
Battle of Long Island
Alonzo Chappel (1858)
Washington Crossing the Delaware, Emanuel Leutze (1851)
The Passage of the Delaware, by Thomas Sully, 1819 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
See map
The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776
by John Trumbull
Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge, by John Ward Dunsmore (1907)
Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth, Emanuel Leutze (1851–1854)
An engraving of Washington, likely made after his tenure in the army.
French King Louis XVI allied with Washington and Patriot American colonists
Siege of Yorktown, Generals Washington and Rochambeau give last orders before the attack
General George Washington Resigning His Commission, by John Trumbull, 1824
Shays' Rebellion confirmed for Washington the need to overhaul the Articles of Confederation.
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940. Washington is the presiding officer standing at right.
President George Washington, Gilbert Stuart (1795)
The President's House in Philadelphia was Washington's residence from 1790 to 1797
John Jay, negotiator of the Jay Treaty
Seneca chief Red Jacket was Washington's peace emissary with the Northwestern Confederacy.
Battle of Fallen Timbers by R. F. Zogbaum, 1896. The Ohio Country was ceded to America in its aftermath.
USS Constitution: Commissioned and named by President Washington in 1794
Washington's Farewell Address (September 19, 1796)
distillery
Washington on his Deathbed
Junius Brutus Stearns 1799
Miniature of George Washington by Robert Field (1800)
The sarcophagi of George (right) and Martha Washington at the present tomb's entrance
The Washington Family by Edward Savage (c. 1789–1796) George and Martha Washington with her grandchildren. National Art Gallery
George Washington's bookplate with the Coat of arms of the Washington family
George Washington as Master of his Lodge, 1793
Washington as Farmer at Mount Vernon
Junius Brutus Stearns, 1851
Runaway advertisement for Oney Judge, enslaved servant in Washington's presidential household
In 1794, Washington privately expressed to Tobias Lear, his secretary, that he found slavery to be repugnant.
Washington, the Constable by Gilbert Stuart (1797)
A drawing from a Japanese manuscript of Washington fighting a tiger.
Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.
nation's first postage stamps
Washington issue of 1862
Washington–Franklin issue of 1917
Washington quarter dollar
George Washington Presidential one-dollar coin
Washington on the 1928 dollar bill

Appointed by the Continental Congress as commander of the Continental Army, Washington led the Patriot forces to victory in the American Revolutionary War and served as the president of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which created the Constitution of the United States and the American federal government.

After the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, Washington informed his troops in his general orders of July9 that Congress had declared the united colonies to be "free and independent states".

On March 1, 1781, Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation, but the government that took effect on March2 did not have the power to levy taxes, and it loosely held the states together.

United States

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Transcontinental country primarily located in North America.

Transcontinental country primarily located in North America.

Cliff Palace in Colorado, built by the Native American Puebloans between AD 1190 and 1260
The original Thirteen Colonies (shown in red) in 1775
Declaration of Independence, a painting by John Trumbull, depicts the Committee of Five presenting the draft of the Declaration to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, July 4, 1776.
Territorial acquisitions of the United States between 1783 and 1917
The Battle of Gettysburg, fought between Union and Confederate forces on July 1–3, 1863 around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was the deadliest of all Civil War battles. With more than 51,000 casualties, it marked a turning point in the Union's ultimate victory in the war.
U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in one of the most iconic images of World War II
Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, August 1963.
U.S. president Ronald Reagan (left) and Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva Summit, February 1985
The World Trade Center in New York City burning from the September 11 terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda in 2001
Topographic map of the United States.
A map showing climate regions in the United States
The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782.
Map of the United States showing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five major U.S. territories
The headquarters of the United Nations, of which the U.S. is a founding member, has been situated in Midtown Manhattan since 1952.
U.S. Government spending and revenue from 1792 to 2018
The Pentagon, located in Arlington, Virginia across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., is home to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Total incarceration in the United States by year (1920–2014)
A proportional representation of United States exports, 2019
Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, July 1969
Wealth inequality in the U.S. increased between 1989 and 2013.
The Interstate Highway System in the contiguous United States, which extends 46876 mi
Most prominent religion by state according to a 2014 Pew Research study
Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, the primary teaching hospital of the University of Miami's Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and the largest hospital in the United States with 1,547 beds
The University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, is one of the many public colleges and universities in the United States. Some 80% of U.S. college students attend these types of institutions.
The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, has become an iconic symbol of the American Dream.
Mark Twain, American author and humorist
Roast turkey, a traditional menu item of an American Thanksgiving dinner, November 2021
Grammy Museum at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, April 2009
The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California, September 2015
The headquarters of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City
"the united states of America", April 6, 1776
Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower, docked at Plymouth, Massachusetts
Slave states that seceded before April 15, 1861 Slave states that seceded after April 15, 1861 Union states that permitted slavery (border states) Union states that banned slavery
Territories
The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world when completed in 1931, during the Great Depression.
Worker during construction of the Empire State Building in New York City in 1930; the Chrysler Building can be seen in the background
Rock formations in the Grand Canyon, northern Arizona
Mushroom cloud formed by the Trinity Experiment in July 1945, part of the Manhattan Project, the first detonation of a nuclear weapon in history
The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782.
The World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan during the September 11 attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda in 2001
The amount of US debt, measured as a percentage of GDP from 1790 to 2018
Topographic map of the United States
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73)
Köppen climate types of the U.S.
The New York City Police Department is the nation's largest municipal law enforcement agency.
The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782.
The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City
The United States Capitol, where Congress meets: the Senate, left; the House, right
Percentage of respondents in the United States saying that religion is "very important" or "somewhat important" in their lives (2014)
The White House, residence and workplace of the U.S. President
The Texas Medical Center in downtown Houston is the largest medical complex in the world.
The Supreme Court Building, where the nation's highest court sits
The United Nations headquarters has been situated along the East River in Midtown Manhattan since 1952. The United States is a founding member of the UN.
The Pentagon, near Washington, D.C., is home to the U.S. Department of Defense.
U.S. dollar is the currency most used in international transactions and is the world's foremost reserve currency.
The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies
U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin saluting the flag on the Moon, 1969
The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, has become an iconic symbol of the American Dream.
The Capitol Records Building, the home of the Capitol Studios, among the cultural landmarks of Los Angeles.
The Walt Disney Company is one of the biggest American multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate

The second draft of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, prepared by John Dickinson and completed no later than June 17, 1776, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the 'United States of America'."

In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence.

Nationalists led the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in writing the United States Constitution, ratified in state conventions in 1788.

New York (state)

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State in the Northeastern United States.

State in the Northeastern United States.

New York was dominated by Iroquoian (purple) and Algonquian (pink) tribes.
New Amsterdam, present-day Lower Manhattan, 1660
New York and neighboring provinces, by Claude Joseph Sauthier, 1777
British general John Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga in 1777
1800 map of New York from Low's Encyclopaedia
The Erie Canal at Lockport, New York, in 1839
Flight 175 hitting the South Tower on September11, 2001
Flooding on AvenueC in Lower Manhattan caused by Hurricane Sandy
New York is bordered by six U.S. states, two Great Lakes, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
Enveloped by the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound, New York City and Long Island alone are home to about eleven million residents conjointly.
Lake-effect snow is a major contributor to heavy snowfall totals in western New York, including the Tug Hill region.
Two major state parks (in green) are the Adirondack Park (north) and the Catskill Park (south).
The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor is a symbol of the United States and its ideals.
The African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan
Map of the counties in New York
New York population distribution map. New York's population is primarily concentrated in the Greater New York area, including New York City and Long Island.
The Stonewall Inn in the gay village of Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan, site of the June 1969 Stonewall riots, the cradle of the modern LGBT rights movement
258x258px
The main laboratory building of the IBM Watson Research Center is located in Yorktown Heights, New York.
Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, hub of the Broadway theater district, a media center, and one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections
"I Love New York"
CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, the largest container ship to enter the Port of New York and New Jersey as of September7, 2017
Harris Hall of the City College of New York, a public college of the City University of New York
Butler Library at Columbia University
University of Rochester
South campus of the University at Buffalo, the flagship of the State University of New York
The New York City Subway is one of the world's busiest, serving more than five million passengers per average weekday.
Grand Central Terminal in New York City
John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States
The New York State Capitol in Albany
New York State Court of Appeals
Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, New York's U.S. Senators
Kathy Hochul (D), the 57th Governor of New York
Yankee Stadium in The Bronx
Koppen climate of New York

The Stamp Act Congress resulted in the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, which was the first written expression by representatives of the Americans of many of the rights and complaints later expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence.

New York became the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788.

New York City was the national capital under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, the first national government.

In 1868, this committee of representatives prosecuted President Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial, but the Senate did not convict him.

United States Congress

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Legislature of the federal government of the United States.

Legislature of the federal government of the United States.

In 1868, this committee of representatives prosecuted President Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial, but the Senate did not convict him.
The 1940 painting Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, depicting George Washington presiding over the signing of the United States Constitution.
United States Congress c. 1915
Historical graph of party control of the Senate, House, and Presidency. Since 1980, the Democrats have held the Presidency for four terms, but because of the Senate filibuster, have only been able to freely legislate in two years. The Republicans have been similarly disabled.
Congress's "power of the purse" authorizes taxing citizens, spending money, and printing currency.
Congress authorizes defense spending such as the purchase of the USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31).
Congress oversees other government branches, for example, the Senate Watergate Committee, investigating President Nixon and Watergate, in 1973–74.
View of the United States Capitol from the United States Supreme Court building
The impeachment trial of President Clinton in 1999, Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding
Second committee room in Congress Hall in Philadelphia
Library of Congress Jefferson Building
Lobbying depends on cultivating personal relationships over many years. Photo: Lobbyist Tony Podesta (left) with former senator Kay Hagan (center) and her husband.
An Act of Congress from 1960.
The House Financial Services committee meets. Committee members sit in the tiers of raised chairs, while those testifying, and audience members sit below.
In this example, the more even distribution is on the left and the gerrymandering is presented on the right.
The Federalist Papers argued in favor of a strong connection between citizens and their representatives.

The Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation.

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America".

The Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a unicameral body with equal representation among the states in which each state had a veto over most decisions.