|George W. Wickersham||N. Y.||1909|
|James C. McReynolds||Tenn.||1913|
|Thomas W. Gregory||Tex.||1914|
|A. M. Palmer||Penn.||1919|
|H. M. Daugherty||Ohio||1921|
|SECRETARIES OF COMMERCE AND LABOR|
|George B. Cortelyou||N. Y.||1903|
|Victor H. Metcalf||Cal.||1904|
|Oscar S. Straus||N. Y.||1907|
|SECRETARIES OF COMMERCE|
|W. C. Redfield||N. Y.||1913|
|J. W. Alexander||Mo.||1919|
|SECRETARIES OF LABOR|
|William B. Wilson||Pa.||1913|
|James J. Davis||Pa.||1921|
The Congress.—The whole legislative power is vested by the Constitution in a Congress, consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives. The Senate consists of two members from each State, chosen by the State Legislatures for six years. Senators must be not less than 30 years of age; must have been citizens of the United States for nine years; and be residents in the State from which they are chosen. Besides its legislative capacity the Senate is invested with the power of confirming or rejecting all appointments to office made by the President, and its members constitute a High Court of Impeachment. The judgment in the latter case extends only to the removal from office and disqualification. Representatives have the sole power of impeachment. The House of Representatives is composed of members elected every second year, by the vote of all citizens over the age of 21 of the several States of the Union, who are qualified in accordance with the laws of their respective States. By the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, neither race nor color affects the right of citizens. The franchise is not absolutely universal; residence for at least one year in most States (in Michigan and Maine three months) is necessary; in some States the payment of taxes, in others registration.
History.—The territories now occupied by the United States of America, though they were probably visited on their N. E. coast by Norse navigators about the year 1000, continued in the sole possession of numerous tribes of Indians till the rediscovery of America by Columbus in 1492. In 1498 an English expedition, under the command of Sebastian Cabot, explored the E. coast of America, from Labrador to Virginia, and perhaps to Florida. In 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon landed near St. Augustine, Fla. In 1520 some Spanish vessels from San Domingo were driven upon the coast of Carolina. In 1521, by the conquests of Cortez and his followers, Mexico, including Texas, New Mexico and California, became a province of Spain. In 1539-1542 Ferdinand de Soto led a Spanish expedition from the coast of Florida across Alabama, and discovered the Mississippi river. In 1584-1585 Sir Walter Raleigh sent two expeditions to the coast of North Carolina and attempted to form settlements on Roanoke island. A Spanish settlement was made at St. Augustine, Fla., in 1565; Jamestown, Va., was settled in 1607; New York, then called New Netherlands, in 1613; Plymouth, Mass., in 1620. A large part of the country on the Great Lakes and on the Mississippi was explored by La Salle in 1682; and settlements were made by the French.
The first effort at a union of colonies was in 1643, when the settlements in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut formed a confederacy for mutual defense against the French, Dutch, and Indians under the title of “The United Colonies of New England.” In 1761 the enforcement of the Navigation Act against illegal traders, by general search warrants, caused a strong excitement against the English Government, especially in Boston. The British admiralty enforced the law; and many vessels were seized, and the colonial trade with the West Indies was annihilated. In 1765 the passing of an act of Parliament for collecting a colonial revenue by stamps caused general indignation, and led to riots. Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Assembly, denied the right of Parliament to tax America, and eloquently asserted the dogma, “No taxation without representation.” The first impulse was to unite against a common danger; and the first Colonial Congress of 29 delegates, representing nine colonies, made a statement of grievances and a declaration of rights. In 1766 the Stamp Act was repealed, but the principle of colonial taxation was not abandoned. In 1773 the duties were repealed, excepting 3d. a pound on tea.
It was now a question of principle, and from N. to S. it was determined that this tax should not be paid. Some cargoes were stored in damp warehouses and spoiled; some sent back, and in Boston a