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Category Archives: Articles of Confederation

Is the “Declaration of Independence” a Treaty?


English: This is a high-resolution image of th...

This is a high-resolution image of the United States Declaration of Independence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I seem to deal with this problem every 6 to 12 months.  Someone reads what we’ve come to call the “Declaration of Independence” and sees that its proper name is “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America” and leaps to the conclusion the proper name for this country must be the “united States of America”.

Back in the 1990s, when I first saw the proper name for our “Declaration of Independence,” I leaped to the very same conclusion.  I thought, “Damn!  The proper name for this country must be ‘united States of America’!!!  No wonder we’re having so much trouble in court!  We don’t even understand the proper name of our own country!!!

But over time, I realized that my conclusion (the proper name for this country is the “united States of America”) was mistaken.  That conclusion is a “rookie” mistake and I suppose that all of us who study our country’s political and legal foundation have already made it or are destined to make it at some point in the future.

•  For example, here’s a recent comment on my blog:

“I am surprised you did not pick up on or comment on the uncapitalized “u” in the word “united” in the original document and correctly reproduced in the early printings of the Declaration.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Us_declaration_independence.jpg”>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Us_declaration_independence.jpg”

Given that I’ve addressed this issue in the past on radio shows, or in my former magazine (“AntiShyster”), and probably on this blog, I was a little bit surprised that I felt “compelled” to write a reply.

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Geo. Washington: 1st President of the United States or 8th President of The United States of America? Or Both?


English: * Title = Gilbert Stuart's Portrait o...

Gilbert Stuart’s Portrait of George Washington (The Constable-Hamilton Portrait) Year = 1797) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I received an email from “menaradi” that reads as follows:

“Just read your article on the Constitution and enjoyed it, but came across this one and thought you might like to read it, especially the 2nd to last paragraph of this article…. tell me why don’t we know about the 1st seven presidents of this country????

http://www.marshallhall.org/hanson.html”

I suspect that the answer to your question may be that the first “president” (John Hanson?) was not president of the “United States“–he was president under the Articles of Confederation (A.D. 1781) and was therefore president of “The United States of America“.

Later, in A.D. 1789, the people created a new “government” by means of The Constitution of the United States.  That new government was the government of the “United States“–but not of “The United States of America”.  The first president of the “United States” was George Washington–but it’s possible that Washington may also have been the eighth (?) president of The United States of America.

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