The Articles of Confederation: Part 4

The Last Articles

Article 9

It gives Congress the following powers.

  • exclusive right to determine War/Peace (exceptions for Article 6)
  • Foreign Affairs such as ambassadors, treaties, etc.
  • Establishing courts to prosecute cases of piracy
  • Giving out senior ranks during wartime
  • The power to answer any disputes between states​

It also creates a system for how Congress will work.  They must meet often enough that no break between gathering is more than 6 months.  They also must record in a journal all the votes cast unless it’s a top-secret operation that requires that it not be public knowledge yet.  The idea was that Congress would be very open about what it did while in session.  It would send out monthly reports, including the vote rolls.  They also must put forth the journal should any delegate or state request it.

Congress was given very limited powers.  Most of the powers went to the states.  It reiterates this point by stating that no decision of congress on several matters (including war, debt and national security) shall be in effect unless 9 states (2/3) agree to it.    At this point in time the colonists who were forming their own country were afraid that a stronger government would abuse their powers, such as they saw Britain having done.

Later they would find that having too weak a central government caused problems as well.  One of the things the Constitution set out to do was correct the imbalance and make a stronger Federal government that wouldn’t be too strong to abuse its powers.

Article 10

This article allows for the states to take the powers of Congress into their own hands should congress be in recess when need arose.  It still required 9 states to agree to it, and if congress was in session, it would of course revert to Congress to have those powers.  I’m not entirely sure how well this article would work out in practice.  I tried researching this article to see if had ever been invoked but at the time of this posting, I haven’t found anything yet.

Article 11

I think this is my favorite part of the Articles of Confederation.  Article 11 is a side note to Canada letting them know they can come join the US if they get tired of Great Britain’s rule.  It basically says that they can come and join us and we’d be okay with that, but after them, everyone has got to be agreed on by at least 9 states (effective 2/3rd majority).

Considering this is not in the Constitution, I guess in ten years they gave up on the idea of the State of Canada.

According to the National Constitution Center, the US actually attempted to get Canada ceded over to them by the British in the Treaty of Paris.  As you can tell by the fact Canada is not part of the United States, the British did not agree. America tried to take over Canada twice – in the American Revolution (failed) and in the war of 1812 (Failed – and led to the White House being burned).  There was a poll done relatively recently and it should come as no surprise that not a large group of people feel that America and Canada should be one.  On either side of the border.

Article 12

This is an article that makes its way into the Constitution.  The US had lots of debts in its early years.  While at war, they needed supplies, had to have a way to pay the soldiers who fought for independence and otherwise fund their government.  This article pronounces that these debts will be recognized by the United States and the United States will pay them.

The Constitution notes that they will continue to recognize/pay these debts. It was important for the young nation to recognize what it owed to keep the allies it had made as well as keep the trust with any soldiers they may need to enlist in the future.  Failure to accept the debt would make trusting them a bit harder.

Article 13

This is the article that gives the document its power.  The declares that all the states shall abide by what had been decided in this congress of their representatives.  It does not allow for much change, which the Constitution does.  The only way to alter the document is for Congress to agree to it and for every state to agree to it.  The Constitution made a method for Amendments where Congress proposes/passes them, and a 2/3rd majority of the States can ratify them.  So in that it is more flexible to changing needs of the Nation.

Articles of Confederation – University of Minnesota Human Rights Library

Articles of Confederation – Revolutionary War.Net

When Canada was invited to join the United States – Constitution Center Blog

 

Memorial Day

The time has come around to celebrate Memorial day, a day set aside to honor those who have died in the armed services of the United States.  Last year I covered some of the history about the holiday on this post. This year I figured I would revisit some of the wars in which the US has participated.  In researching this, I found that we have been in more armed conflicts then I had thought we had.  Whether this was an oversight of my history education in school, or just something I forgot, I don’t know.   I was even going to type up a list, but if the wikipedia list is anything to go by, it would have been too long for a simple blog post.

Some of the conflicts and wars were Americans against ourselves or our neighbors such as the Native Americans, Mexico and once Canada (on behalf of Britain). Others were American forces helping out in other conflicts or outright war with another country.  Either way, Memorial Day is a day to celebrate the Men and Women who put their life on the line for our country and lost it.   We might not remember why they fought or disagreed with the leadership that sent them to fight, but we should remember their sacrifice for our country.

The US of course isn’t the only country to have a day set aside to memorialize those who have died while in the service of their country, as shown in this Time.com Article.  Some take place in spring, like the US holiday, but others take place at other times of the year.  For example, in Great Britain, they celebrate Remembrance Day on November 11, the day World War II ended.

Memorial Day is sometimes confused with Veterans Day, but they have separate purposes.  Veterans Day in the US is held on November 11, and is there to honor all those who served.  Memorial day is for the sole purpose of honoring the memory of those who served and lost their lives.

bereavement-1239415_640

Source: Pixabay

 

Historical Social Media

There has been much interest in the President’s use of social media the last few years.  Donald Trump is known for using twitter in particular to express his opinon.  I was coming across headlines about it today, and It reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend a long time ago.

Back when Farmville was a big thing on Facebook, the two of us starting joking around about the Founding Fathers and what they would be up to.  Somehow Thomas Jefferson was immersed in his own virtual farm whilst in Wiki-Thrall.  At the time we figured out what some of the others were doing, but Thomas Jefferson was the only one I remembered now.

It makes you wonder what kind of uses would historical people have used social media for?  Would Martin Luther have had a blog about his religious convictions?  Would Confucius use Twitter to share his wisdom?  Would FDR have fireside Youtube videos?

I’m interested in what you think would be likely.

Summer Reading

Summer seems to be starting to arrive, though we have awhile till it officially starts. Late Spring/Early Summer is one of my favorite times of the year.  Its warm enough but hasn’t reached that overbearing heat of the late summer.  And its a great reading time.

I like to read all the year round, but I know some who really only get a chance to read during vacations or summer trips.  So I’ve decided to put together a list of a few books for some Summer Reading.  Many are series starters, so if you enjoy the first book, there is plenty to read after that!

The Rowan – Anne McCaffrey

The Rowan is the first book…of sorts…in my favorite series.  The novel is a futuristic story where humans have tapped into the potential of telepathic abilities.  They have explored and settled on several planets at this point.  On one of those planets, a disaster takes place that revels a child who may be the most powerful telepath yet known.  They call her The Rowan, as that was the name of the settlement she was located at.

She is trained to be part of the FT&T system of telepaths and telekinetics who help speed about interstellar commerce and traffic.  She has both abilities, in such high qualities she has earned the spot as a Prime, a rarest level in the system.  One day she meets an equally powerful and unknown telepath and together they fight an alien menace.

Its better than my summary I swear.  My favorite book in the series is the fourth book, Lyon’s Pride which deals with the Rowan’s grandchildren.  The Talents series has five books, but it’s also connects to another series by McCafferey called the Pegasus series, which takes place from Current day and brings us up to the world of the Rowan.

On Goodreads

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is pretty well-known, and while the movies were great, I always prefer the book.  There is so much more in the books.  The only downside to the book is its done completely in Katness’ pov.  It’s a great book, although I do suggest it for older readers.  Some of the subject material -ie violence – is not appropriate for young children.  This, as the movies suggests, is part of a trilogy.

On Goodreads

Catherine, Called Birdy – Karen Cushman

This is a book that may be good for younger readers and older readers alike.  Done in diary format, it explores the life of a girl in the 1100s named Catherine, who would just like to play with her friends and forget all this mending and marriage business. She’s promised her older brother to keep a diary to help her with her writing skills, and because she loves him she keeps at it. It is hilarious and some of the phrases from the books my family still use to this day.

It won several awards for young adult novels in 1995

On Goodreads

The Memory of US – Camille Di Maio

This is a book I reviewed on this blog having read it on Kindle Unlimited I believe.  It’s a wonderful romance novel that’s more about a woman trying to adjust in Post-War Britain than actual romance although the Romance is the backbone of the piece.  The story follows Julianne Westcott as she discovers a secret brother her parents have been hiding from her due to his disabilities.  Deciding to ignore their avoidance of the issue, she meets with her brother, and meets Kyle, the son of the gardener.  The two of them slowly fall in love, and eventually get married against the wishes of her parents and his attempt to become a priest.  However, a war begins, and it changes their lives drastically.

It really is a great story and I look forward to more from this author.

On GoodReads

Bookit Review

The 100 – Kass Morgan

Like The Hunger Games, this is a dystopian young adult novel.  The concept was bought and developed into a TV show while the writer was working on the first book, so while many characters remain the same (and some characters appear with different names) the book series and the TV series have gone down separate paths.

I really enjoyed the book series, though I need to catch up on the last one released.  This book is done in rotating POV format, focused on 4 main characters: Clarke, Bellamy, Wells and Glass.    The characters are younger than their TV counterparts, and the stories each take over the course of a couple of days.  The first book has quite a bit of flashback just to warn.

On Goodreads

Manchester

Yesterday, a terrorist killed 22 people, and injured 59 others in Manchester, England.  They were going about their business on a Monday Night, some having attended an Ariana Grande Concert at the Stadium when an explosion took place in the foyer of the building.  Some of them were even children, with at least 13 were under the age of 16, according to the BBC.  One of the dead is an 8 year old girl.

It’s hard to think of anything to post in light of that.  I refuse to talk about the person who committed these crimes – that is what they wanted.   I will talk about the wonderful citizens of that city who turned to each other and helped those who needed a place to stay, or a ride home.  Those in emergency services worked hard to make sure everyone who needed treatment got it, and investigate the cause.  These people are heroes.

My prayers and thoughts are with the city tonight, as they try to heal from this.  With the families of the victims, and the victims themselves.

If you want to help out, there is a Just Giving campaign ran by the Manchester Evening News to help raise money to help the victims of the attack.

BBC Page on the Manchester Attack is where I’m getting most of my information, along with friends who live in the Greater Manchester area.

The Articles of Confederation: Part 3

The Second Four Articles

Article 5

Article Five deals with Congress and representation.  Unlike the constitution, the Articles of Confederation have very strict ideas about representation.  For example, each state was allowed 2-7 representatives in Congress (no more or less). Each state would choose their delegates, and send them to meet on the first Monday in November each year.  They could be recalled and replaced at the will of the State.  A delegate’s term of service was limited to 3 years in any 6 year period.  They were also required not to hold any other office in the government in which they could be paid.

Each state, despite the number of delegates/representatives, would only have 1 vote as a state.  Which would mean that while there might be 7 people sent from that state, they’d have to come to some agreement on what they should vote for as a state rather than their own personal votes as it is now.

Delegates were given some diplomatic immunity to being arrested while doing their duties (unless it was treason, felony or breach of the peace).

Continue reading

Accuracy or Story, That is the question

Recently I have been watching quite a few period pieces.  Some were complete fiction, others based on true events or actual people.  And its made me ponder the thin line between entertainment and bad accuracy.

There is of course a balance one must keep when doing a period piece.  The story has to be interesting, engaging, with the ups and downs that keep an audience enthralled.  Yet, at the same time, people like myself like to see historically accurate stories.

For some this is relatively easy, especially those that took place in recent years.  For example, Apollo 13 (1994) which is based on a real-life event that took place in April of 1970.  It’s not only one of my favorite films, but it is also one of the films I’ve seen a very real effort to keep things as real as possible without losing the entertainment value.  So while it’s not word-for-word, and they added a few dramatic arguments (after all, the events took place over a week and they have to pack that all into 2 hours), it’s still fairly accurate.  They even went as far as filming scenes in low gravity to make more realistic movement for the space scenes.

Another example is The White Queen (2013).  Now this film takes place in the 15th century during the war of the roses.  And it tends to go more towards creating a good story than depicting the actual events.  Not that I still didn’t enjoy it, but there were some things that happened in the mini-series a quick google search or a Wikipedia search could tell you happened differently.  And since my knowledge is not high on English history as much as it is American history I’m sure there were other moments that would drive my friends who are crazy.  Of course, it’s harder to be as specifically accurate when there is about 500 years and a lack of photographic evidence to really examine.  Facts from this period of time are constantly being reevaluated as new sources of information are found, or someone notices something in what has already been found no one really took note of before.  But there are some general facts to get straight.

I enjoyed the series, but mostly because of the cast, who did a brilliant job in making me not care that not all the facts were right.

So I suppose the question is – when you watch a film, mini-series or TV series based in a specific era, about real people, do you want more accuracy or more story telling?  Would inaccuracies done to make things easier to understand to a chosen demographic make you less willing to watch (for example, the costuming decisions in CW’s Reign)?

What’s your opinion?