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The Legislative branch of government includes the two houses of Congress.


In the United States, Congress is the Legislative branch of the federal goverment.

It is made up of two houses:

Senate comprising two Senators elected from each state. Senators are elected for #6# year terms.

House of Representatives comprises representatives from each state. The number of representatives from a state is based on its population. Representatives are elected for #2# year terms.

The other two branches of our Republic are the President who is the Executive arm of our government. And, the Supreme Court which is the Judicial arm of our government.


She used the prestige of the First Lady position to advance social causes.


Few prior First Ladies had gotten involved with politics at all--Edith Wilson spoke on her husband's behalf when Woodrow Wilson was recovering from a stroke, but she was a bit of an outlier--but Eleanor Roosevelt lent the prominence of her station for social causes, such as racial equality and Universal Human Rights.

Instead of being primarily a hostess for state dinners, she used her media savvy as a columnist, public speaker and radio personality to promote both her husband's and her agendas for social progress. After FDR died, she spent seven years as an American delegate to the UN General Assembly.

Her two immediate successors, Bess Truman and Mamie Eisenhower, declined to use their position for activist purposes. Other First Ladies (notably Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, and to a lesser degree Jackie Kennedy and Betty Ford) pursued the First Lady activist role with great enthusiasm.


Railroads prolonged the Civil War.


The Railroads in the south formed a triangle. This allowed the South to move troops rapidly from one front to another front. This enabled the south to utilize the inferior number of troops in an efficient manner somewhat equalizing the superior number of northern troops.

In the first battle of Bull Run. Railroads brought Stonewall Jackson's troops from the Shenandoah Valley to the battle. These troops turned the tide of battle. Without railroads the north might have won the first battle of Bull Run driving on down to Richmond and ending the Civil War in one summer.

The battle of Chickamauga was also won by the south by a transfer of troops from Northern Virginia to the Western front. The strategically located interior rail lines of the south enable the movement of troops that won this battle in the west delaying the northern advance for over a year. The troops could then be sent back to northern Virginia before the north could take advantage of their absence.

Not until Grant won the battle of Chattanooga and Sherman took Atlanta were the interior rail lines of the south broken and the advantage the rail lines gave the south taken away.


It was due to divided loyalties, as being on the border meant that there were significant populations for both sides.


Because demographics do not coincide so nicely with lines and borders, there were a number of states that bucked the trend of being almost completely unionist or completely secessionist, those being the numerous border states that straddled the Mason-Dixon line.

States like Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and Virginia would all have been considered border states that, depending on the geographic area, had significant amounts of both sides. So as calls for secession rang from the state houses of those in the South, these divided loyalties meant these border states had a divided government as well as a divided populace, and so instead waited to see what would happen.

After the attempted shelling of the ship Star of the West and the bombing of Fort Sumter, Lincoln made a call for 75,000 volunteers, in which case several more states joined those that had already declared secession, those being Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, though in the latter case much to the chagrin of those in the upper area of the state. Because of the sheer amount of Unionists in the northern counties, they formed the Wheeling Convention in 1861 and broke off from Virginia, forming the new state of West Virginia, before being fully admitted in June of 1863.

The border states continued to remain divided in their loyalty and wanted to remain neutral in the fighting, but were de facto in the control of the North, especially as the Union army largely remained in control of each of the states. In the case of Maryland, after having debated to not secede but try to remain neutral by not allowing Federal troops to use their rail lines, martial law was imposed throughout the state, and a third of the legislature was arrested without charges because of fears that they would attempt to aid the south.

Those in the state also had to contend with the aftereffects of these divisions in the case of guerrilla partisan forces of both sides, such as William Quantrill's Raiders, James Lane's "Jayhawkers," Mosby's Rangers, and Charles Jennison's more indiscriminate band. Furthermore, you had proper military units raised independently for both the North and the South which fought for their respective side, several times meeting against each other, as in the case of the 1st Maryland Infantry (CS) fighting the 1st Maryland Infantry (US) at the Battle of Front Royal.

All in all, there were various factors for why these states did not secede, but the one which ties them all together was the fact that just within a single family, let alone the entire state, you had those which believed in two different ideologies, and for the most part the states sought to try and remain neutral in the conflict.


The purpose in the view of the combatants was to resolve regional conflicts and ambitions of empires.


Before World War I started the 1800s and early 1900s had been a time of Empire building. European nations had established colonies and empires throughout the world. Large Empires had grown up as small political enities had been absorbed into large nation states, and empires. These Empires and nation states were rivals and in competition.

World War I became an opportunity to achieve the ambitions of the Empires and resolve long lasting conflicts. The point of World War I in the minds of the combatants was to resolve the conflicting ambitions by conflict.

The Austrian Hungarian Empire and the Russia Empire were in conflict over which empire would control the Balkans and the Slavic populations of the nations like Serbia, and Bosnia.
These specific rivalries were the spark point of World War I with the assignation of a Austrian prince by a Slavic Serbian radical, aligned to Russia.

The Russian Empire was also in conflict with the Ottoman Turkish Empire over control of the Caucasus as well as the Black Sea. A war fought in 1878 had forced Turkey out of the Balkans and given Russia more control over the Caucasus, This conflict was made more intense by the religious conflicts between the Orthodox Russian and the Muslim Ottoman Turks. At the beginning of World War I the Ottoman Turks attacked Russia in the Caucasus.

The German Empire of the Prussians was in conflict of with the Russian Empire for control of the Baltic nations, Poland, and Finland. At the start of World War I Russian Armies invaded Poland and the Baltic nations, the Germans responded by attacking Russia.

The German Empire was also in an arms race with England. Germany was building a modern navy to challenge the control of the oceans, which was key to the British Empire. Germany was also in competition with England over control of Africa, and colonies in the Continent. One of the little known parts of World War I were the battles fought between the Germans and the British in East Africa.

The German Empire and France had been engaged in a long simmering conflict over the regions between the two nations, the Alasac Louraine , and Ruhr Valley. A war between France and Germany, the Franco Prussian War had been won by Germany in 1870. World War I was seen as an opportunity by France to reverse the results of that earlier war. The long lasting battles around Verdun were a repeat of the German French War.

The point of World War I was to achieve the ambitions of the Empires.


John Locke and Charles Louis Baron Montesquieu


Locke of England wrote before Montesquieu, who built on Locke
s theories. Montesquieu clarified and expanded on Locke's philosophy as Montesquieu's writings were the direct template for the writing of the US constitution.

Locke had proposed that the protection of basic human rights dependent on a separation of powers, principally between the Monocracy and the Legislative bodies. While Locke wrote about the role of the judiciary he did not distinquish between the role of Monocracy and an independent judiciary being able to to judge the actions of the King and the Parliament.

Montesquieu proposed that the three principal roles of government must be separate and able to exercise power against power. ( This idea is reflected in the system of checks and balances found in the US constitution. Montesquieu define the principle parts of the government to be the Executive , Legislative, and Judicial. Baron Montesquieu being a judge himself, clearly defined the Judicial as being separate from the executive and independent of the other two branches.

Baron Montesquieu in contrast to other Enlightenment thinkers had a gloomy view of human nature. He felt that humans have a tendency toward evil and selfishness. Montesquieu stated that a person invested with power is apt to abuse it. This idea is expressed in the phrase power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The ideal government was one that would prevent any one person or group of people from obtaining too much power, that could be then abused to the detriment of human rights and freedom.

Both Locke and Montesquieu believed that the separation of power was essential to the protection of individual rights and freedom. The US constitution is closely modeled on the framework found in the writings of Montesquieu.

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