Jun 30, 2017

System of Government

System of Government
The United States is a federal union of 50 States. Its system of government is based on the principle that governing power is divided between state and central authority.
The Federal Government, that is the central authority, has the power to regulate the relations between the states and to engage in activities — such as declaring war: or conducting foreign policy — that are beyond the competency of any single state or group of states.
Each one of the 50 states, however, is fully independent within its boundaries and the Federal Government cannot interfere with a State’s decision in the conduct of its internal affairs.
Each state has its own constitution and makes its own laws. In each state the executive power is represented by a Governor, elected by popular vote.
The Constitution
The Constitution of the United States was signed in Philadelphia in 1787, shortly after the 13 original states had won their independence from Britain.
It is a document in which it is clearly stated what powers belong to the Federal Government and what powers belong to the States.
In 1791 the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution. All individual rights and freedom are assured in the Bill of Rights: the freedom of speech, of the press and of religion; the right of citizens to meet peacefully: right to be secure in one’s home against any form of violation of one’s privacy; the right to possess arms: the right of any person who is accused of breaking the law to have a speedy trial by a jury of fellow citizens.
The Constitution divides the power of the Government into three branches: the Legislative, the Executive and the Judicial.
The three branches of the Federal Government

The Legislative
The legislative branch, or Congress, consists of two Houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The two Houses are made up of representatives elected by the people.
In the Senate each state has equal voice with two senators each. In the House of Representatives each state has a variable number of representatives which depends on how populous the state is.
Any member of the two Houses may propose a Bill. The Bill is discussed and, if it is approved by the majority, it goes to the other House for discussion and approval. If the majority of the members of this House is in favour of it, the Bill is brought to the President.
The President may accept the Bill, and in this case the Bill becomes law. But if the President does not approve of it, the Bill goes back to the House of origin with suggestions for amendments.
If the House decides to leave the Bill unchanged, a two-thirds majority in both Houses is needed to pass the Bill without the President’s approval.
The Executive
The executive branch is headed by the President, who is chosen in a national election for a four-year term.
The U.S. President is the central figure of the American system of government: he has enormous powers and responsibilities, and can be considered the most powerful elected official in the world.
He is the Head of one of the two major political parties.
As Head of the executive branch, his duty is to carry out government programs and to put laws into effect. He presides over an enormous network of departments — among which the Treasury Department, the Department of Defense, the Department of Labour, the Department of Justice.
Upon his shoulders rests the responsibility for conducting foreign affairs, and in this task he is advised by the Secretary of State, the Head of the Department of State. With the approval of the majority of the Senate, he appoints federal judges, ambassadors and hundreds of government officials.
He is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and he may, under certain circum-stances, open hostilities without a formal declaration of war by Congress.
He also has control on Congress and legislation: it is the President who must prepare the year's legislative program for the economic and social welfare of the country. The program is then submitted to the Houses for approval. He can also recommend laws to Congress, and he can put his veto on any law passed by Congress. The Presidential veto can be annulled only by a two-thirds vote of both Houses.
The Judiciary
The judicial branch of the Government consists of the Federal Courts in the states and the Supreme Court in Washington.
The Federal Courts deal with all the cases for which the Federal Government is competent.
The Supreme Court has the power to test the constitutionality of all the laws passed by Congress as well as of those state laws which seem to be in conflict with the principles of the Constitution.
In case of conflict between state law and federal law, state law must yeld to federal law.
The Balance of Powers
The Constitution of 1787 also created a system of checks, that is of controls, so that none of the three branches of government could prevail upon the others.
The laws passes by Congress must be examined by the supreme Court, which decides whether or not they conform to the principles of the Constitution. Moreover, the President may put his veto on any Bill passed by Congress.
On the other hand, the President’s decrees can be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Under particular circumstances, the House of Representatives can incriminate the charge pf crimes committed against the State, and the Senate can suspend him from his office with a two-thirds majority.
As to the supreme Court, its composition can be modified by the President and by Congress.
Political Parties
There are two major political parties in the United States: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The symbol of the former is the Elephant, the symbol of the latter is the Donkey. There are no substantial differences between the two parties. The Democrats are supposed to be a little more progressive than the Republicans. 
Source: Colle – Meloni, News. For Juniors, Lattes, an old Italian book 1979. 

Jun 26, 2017

The making of the U.S.A.

     At the end of the eighteenth century the thirteen English colonies in America rebelled against England. They wanted to have representatives in the English Parliament and refused to pay the heavy taxes imposed on them by the English Government.
     As the taxes were not cut down and as American representatives were not admitted to the English Parliament, the American Colonies decided to become independent from their mother-country.
The representatives from each colony met in congress in Philadelphia and gave the command of the American army to George Washington. This general proved to be a great military genius and in the first period of the war he succeeded to defeat the English at Boston.
     In 1776 Congress voted in favour of the Declaration of Independence.
     This declaration stated that all men are equal, that all have the right to life and liberty and that the thirteen colonies were the free and independent United States of America. 
     The English Government didn’t recognize the independence of these States and the war went on for several years. At last, in 1781 the American army definitely defeated the English at Yorktown with the help of a French fleet. Peace between England and the new independent States of America was signed in 1783. 
George Washington

Jun 20, 2017

The age of technology

The age in which we live is an age of extraordinary scientific and technological progress. It is the age of space flights, of television, of nuclear power, of clever chemistry, of automation and computers, of the transplant of living organs, of sensational discoveries in biology and medicine.
It is an age of wonders.
The trouble is that too many benign conquests also have their negative sides. Inventions and discoveries that open up new worlds of peace and power also open up new worlds of war and destruction. The creation of new terrible arms, the tragedy of pollution, which is gradually destroying so many forms of life on our planet, are but a few examples of man’s offenses against the world we live in. 
Source: Colle – Meloni, News. For Juniors, Lattes, an old Italian book 1979. 

Jun 16, 2017

The United States

The United States is a federal republic of 50 states including Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands. It stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s a huge country where distances are so vast that town are often hundreds of miles apart. On arriving in New York, a traveller from Europe is only half-way to Hollywood, and to complete a journey to California it would take him about a week travelling by car.
Many of the States are larger than whole European countries; the Mississippi-Missouri, the largest stream of water in the world, is 9 times as long as the Po; and the surface of the five Great Lakes along the border with Canasa – Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and Lake Superior – could cover the whole area of Italy.
The durface of the United Stated consists of vast central plains bounded by two high mountain ranges: the Rocky Mountains, or Rockies, in the west and the Appalachians in the east. The Rockies, so bare and rugged with their towering rocks and mighty canyons, offer a picturesque world-famous scenery.
The principal rivers of the United States are the Connecticut, the Delaware, the Potomac and the Hudson flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, the Mississippi-Missouri and its tributaries, the Ohio, the Illinois, the Tennessee and the Arkansas flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, the Columbia and the Colorado flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
Within its borders, America has almost every type of climate. In summer you would feel as hot in Washington or Mississippi as in Singapore. A severe winter in North Dakota or Nebraska might be as uncomfortable for you as the cold winters in the steppes of Russia. To enjoy a really temperate climate you should go to the Pacific coast.
Though the original settlers of the United States were essentially of British stock, immigration over the last two centuries has made the United States the melting pot of the world. Practically every country is represented by immigrants and their descendants: Germans, Italians, Greeks, Jews, Chinese, Negroes, etc. the Negroes, the descendants of the claves brought over from Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries, make up about 10% of the total population, while the American Indians, the descendants of the early inhabitants of the country, represents only 0.3%. 
Source: R. Colle – I. Vay, L’esame di inglese, Lattes, an old Italian book 1974. 
United States

Jun 12, 2017

The Civil War and the Negro Problem

Abraham Lincoln Memorial
Abraham Lincoln MemorialTowards the middle of the 19th century the conflicting interests if the Northern and Southern States became manifest. While the North based its economy on industry and trade, the South concentrated mainly on agriculture carried on by the labour of the Negroes who had been imported as slaves from Africa.
The problem of abolition of slavery was the main question about which the States were divided, resulting in a bitter civil war which lasted from 1861 to 1865.
When Abraham Lincoln, the great enemy of Negro slavery, won the Presidential Elections, eleven Southern States seceded from the Union and formed a Confederacy. Was broke out. The confederates were defeated, and in 1865 Lincoln declared that all the 4 million Negro slaves of the rebel States should be free. In the same year the President was assassinated by a fanatic.
the civil war
Secret societies were organized in the South (the Ku-Klux Klan was one of them) to terrorize Negroes and prevent them from voting.
The Negro questions is still alive in the United States and the Ku-Klux Klan is still powerful. There is brutal discrimination in the South and a subtler from of inequality in the North.
In many southern towns Negroes are treated as outcasts in their own country, they are kept in an inferior and subservient position, they are obliged to take the humblest, jobs as waiters, porters and labourers, they cannot enter certain public buildings (hotels, restaurants and even churches) and they are obliged to live segregated in special quarters. 
Source: R. Colle – I. Vay, L’esame di inglese, Lattes, an old Italian book 1974.

Jun 8, 2017

The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America

Usa Flag
« I pledge allegiance
to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic
for which it stands:
one Nation
under God,
with liberty
and justice
for all »

Flag of the United States
     The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of allegiance to the Flag of the United States and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Colonel George Balch in 1887, later revised by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942. The official name of The Pledge of Allegiance was adopted in 1945. The last change in language came on Flag Day 1954 when the words "under God" were added.
     The Pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point. Bellamy designed it to be recited in 15 seconds.
     On September 8, 1892 a Boston-based youth magazine "The Youth's Companion" published a 22-word recitation for school children to use during planned activities the following month to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America. Under the title "The Pledge to the Flag", the composition was the earliest version of what we now know as the Pledge Of Allegiance.
     After the Columbus Day celebration the Pledge to the Flag became a popular daily routine in America's public schools.

1892 to 1923 (first version)
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".
"I pledge allegiance to my the Flag of the United States and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".
1924 to 1954
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".

United States Flag
     The last change in the Pledge of Allegiance occurred on June 14 (Flag Day), 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved adding the words "under God". As he authorized this change he said: "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war".
     This was the last change made to the Pledge of Allegiance. The 23 words what had been initially penned for a Columbus Day celebration now comprised a Thirty-one profession of loyalty and devotion to not only a flag, but to a way of life....the American ideal.
1954 (current version)
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".

     Let's examine these 31 words a little more thoroughly:
I Pledge Allegiance I Promise to be faithful and true (Promise my loyalty),
to the flag to the emblem that stands for and represents,
of the United States all 50 states, each of them individual, and individually represented on the flag,
of America yet formed into a UNION of one Nation,
and to the Republic And I also pledge my loyalty to the Government that is itself a Republic, a form of government where the PEOPLE are sovereign,
for which it stands, this government also being represented by the Flag to which I promise loyalty,
one Nation under God, These 50 individual states are united as a single Republic under the Divine providence of God, "our most powerful resource" (according to the words of President Eisenhower),
Indivisible, and can not be separated. (This part of the original version of the pledge was written just 30 years after the beginning of the Civil War and demonstrates the unity sought in the years after that divisive period in our history),
with Liberty The people of this Nation being afforded the freedom to pursue "life, liberty, and happiness",
and Justice And each person entitled to be treated justly, fairly, and according to proper law and principle,
for All. And these principles afforded to EVERY AMERICAN, regardless of race, religion, color, creed, or any other criteria.   Just as the flag represents 50 individual states that can not be divided or separated, this Nation represents millions of people who can not be separated or divided.

USA Flag No BackgroundThus it is that when you Pledge Allegiance to the United States Flag, You:
Promise your loyalty to the Flag itself.
Promise your loyalty to your own and the other 49 States.
Promise your loyalty to the Government that unites us all,
Recognizing that we are ONE Nation under God,
That we can not or should not be divided or alone, 
And understanding the right to Liberty and Justice belongs to ALL of us.

For a better reconstruction of the facts:
http://www.homeofheroes.com/hallofheroes/1st_floor/flag/1bfc_pledge.html .

Jun 4, 2017

For he's a jolly good fellow

American version
For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow
For he's a jolly good fellow (pause), which nobody can deny
Which nobody can deny, which nobody can deny
For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow
For he's a jolly good fellow (pause), which nobody can deny!

For he's a jolly good fellow
     It’s a popular song widespread in many countries.
     According to the Guinness World Records, is the second-most popular song in the English language, following "Happy Birthday to You" and followed by "Auld Lang Syne".
     The melody originates from the French song "Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre" ("Marlborough Has Left for the War"). It was composed the night after the Battle of Malplaquet in 1709, during the War of Spanish Succession. The battle was a Pyrrhic victory for the Austrians under the British General John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, and the French began to laugh at this song. The British then composed of new words to exalt him and in fact the "good guy" (the "jolly good fellow") was originally the Duke. The air origins date back, according to Chateaubriand, an Arab song of the times of the Crusades.
     It became a French folk tune and was popularized by Marie Antoinette after she heard one of her maids singing it. 
For he's a jolly good fellow
     The melody became so popular in France that it was used to represent the French defeat in Beethoven's composition "Wellington's Victory" Opus 91 written in 1813.
     The melody also became widely popular in the United Kingdom. By the mid-19th century it was being sung with the words "For he's a jolly good fellow", often at all-male social gatherings. By 1862, it was already familiar in America.
For he's a jolly good fellow

     Today "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" is a popular song that is sung to congratulate a person on a significant event, such as a promotion, a birthday, a wedding (or playing a major part in a wedding), a wedding anniversary, the birth of a child, or the winning of a championship sporting event. The traditional children's song The Bear Went Over the Mountain is sung to the same tune.

British version
For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow
For he's a jolly good fellow (pause), and so say all of us
And so say all of us, and so say all of us
For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow 
For he's a jolly good fellow (pause), and so say all of us!