Historical background

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Location: Tunisia
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Comment by Travis F. Baldwin on May 15, 2009 at 2:48am
Sorry about all the details. Sometimes I get a little carried away. Thanks for the update on some of the background of Tunisia and its government!
Comment by Travis F. Baldwin on May 11, 2009 at 3:49am
In this post I want to talk just a little about the Constitution of the U.S.

The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States. It is the foundation and source of the legal authority underlying the existence of the United States of America and the Federal Government of the United States. It provides the framework for the organization of the United States Government.

The document defines the three main branches of the government: The legislative branch with a bicameral (two house) Congress, an executive branch led by the President, and a judicial branch headed by the Supreme Court.
Besides providing for the organization of these branches, the Constitution limits those powers which each branch of government may exercise. It also reserves numerous rights for the individual states, thereby establishing the United States' federal system of government. It is the shortest and oldest written constitution of any major sovereign state.

The Constitution was developed over the summer of 1787 and finally completed on September 17 of that same year. The opening phrase is important - "We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ”

The Preamble is important because it does not grant any particular authority to the federal government - establishing the fact that the federal government has no authority outside of what it is specifically given by the citizens.

There were long and heated debates that took place during the Constitutional Convention by the men who developed it - the final result was a compromise of those representatives of each State. One of the major issues dealt with the continuation of the enslavement of Africans - and of what their legal status was.

As a result, the original Constitution stated that slavery would be permitted to continue for the next 20 years. It also Africans as "three-fifths" of a person as a concession to the slave holding States for calculation of the population for representation in Congress and for the purpose of federal taxation. It also prohibited changing the provision regarding the importation of slaves until 1808, giving the States 20 years to resolve this issue. As new States were added, the existence of slavery became an even greater problem. The issue was not resolved until the end of the Civil War (1861-1865).

It must be also noted that in 1787 only white males 18 years of age who owned property could vote in national elections. Women were not permitted to vote in national elections (some States would permit women to vote in later years). Women did not gain the right to vote until 1920. Native Americans (Indians) were considered a foreign entity and therefore non-citizens with no right to vote. This ended in 1924 when Indians were granted full rights as citizens.

A total of 27 Amendments have been added to the Constitution, the last being in 1992.

As you can see, it has taken a long time for freedoms and individual rights of most citizens to be granted. I say most, because the rights of persons who are gay and those who are considered mentally ill have yet to be fully won, and each year the States as well as Congress are dealing with these issues.
Comment by Travis F. Baldwin on April 27, 2009 at 3:42am
Hello my friend,

To continue ... the continents of North and South America were originally inhabited by more than 500 cultural groups beginning about 20,0000 years ago - most historians believe from Asia and Siberia. They gradually spread over both continents. Some lived a primarily nomadic style of life as hunters and gatherers, others settled in villages and domesticated plants and animals, still others (particularly in Mexico, Central America, and Peru) built cities and had thriving civilizations until the arrival of the Spanish. Later, particularly after Columbus' "discovery" in 1492 other Europeans arrived on both continents - the Dutch, Porguguese, French, and British. The American Indians were largely conquered by the Spanish and British and huge numbers of their population died due to war, disease, and in some instances - slavery. For the most part, their cultural and religious heritage was lost when they were forced to adapt to a European style of life.

By the early 1600s the British had established two colonies in what is now Massachusetts and Virginia. The British and French fought for control over the north (what is now Canada) while the Spanish and French battled for control of what is now Florida and Lousiana. The Spanish had almost complete control of the south-western parts of what is now the U.S. and Mexico. The Spanish and Portuguese would fight over control of different parts of South America.

By the end of the 1600s, the British had established a total of 13 separate colonies populated by Europeans from Germany, the Netherlands (Dutch), Britain, and others. Of course, the enslavement of Africans, added to the population, particularly in Brazil, the Carribbean, and the southern colonies of No. America.

The majority of the colonists rebelled against Great Britain in 1776 A.D. and the American Revolution, or War of Indpendence, was under way. With the help of French forces, the British were defeated and the 13 colonies became the first 13 states united under the Constitution of the United States (1789).

Wow! That's quite a bit of history to digest - so I'll write Chapter Two later this week. Take care, brother. Hope to hear from you soon!

By the early 1600s the French had set up trade with the
Comment by Travis F. Baldwin on April 26, 2009 at 5:16am
Dear Brother,

I enjoyed reading the short history you provided on how Tunisia developed as a nation, and I am eager to learn more as time permits! In my world history classes we teach the history of Carthage and Hannibal's battle against the Romans. Here in the U.S. Hannibal is a favorite hero figure. In fact, just a few weeks ago I completed our unit on the history of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, including the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad and the rise of the Islamic Empire. Indeed, this was a time of great cultural, educational, and scientific advancement across the Middle East, North Africa and Spain. I teach my world history classes in four large units: Africa, The Mediterranean and Middle East, Europe, and Asia. We are just now ending our study of the Middle Ages, the atrocities committed during the Crusades (I always teach my students that during the Islamic Empire the Christians and Jews were protected because they were "people of the Book." We will begin the study of the Renaissance period in the 1500s next week.

As it is late, and I must get up earlier tomorrow morning, I too am going to say goodnight to you, my friend, and continue tomorrow with some of our nation's history. Peace be with you!

Like your flag, some say that the red stands for the blood of those who died and the white represents peace (there is no "official" interpretation of the colors, however). The 13 alternating stripes of red and white represent the original states that were formed at the end of the American Revolution in 1776 A.D. in the war for independence from Great Britain. The stars on the blue background represent the number of states. Althought There is no "official" interpretation of the corlors.

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