When the Founding Fathers established the American government, they made a system of checks and balances so no one part of the government would have too much power. One of these, the Legislative Branch, was created to make laws, that the other two branches would enforce and judge.
Branches of Government - The Legislative Branch - Role of Congress
First United States Congress
Legislative Branch Timeline
Bill of Rights Ratified
Amendment ICongress should not say that the nation has only one religion, or tell people they cannot practicea religion of their own choice; it should not tell people what to say or what to write in the press;it should not tell people they can get together to protest peacefully, and to write to thegovernment to complain about a decision that has been made.
The first United States Congress met in New York City. Due to the long distances that representatives had to travel to reach New York, the first Congress was delayed for weeks before the first quorum was reached.
New York200 Miles West
On December 15th, 1791 the Bill of Rights was ratified by Congress. The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and were designed to protect citizens' individual freedoms such as the freedom of speech, religion, and assembly.
On September 18th, 1793 in Washington, D.C, the final brick of the Capitol building was placed by George Washington. The building has become an American landmark due to its historical achievements and architectural beauty.
On April 30th, 1803, Congress purchased the Louisiana territory from France. Known as the “greatest real estate deal” in U.S. history, Congress agreed to pay $11,250,000 for 828,000 square miles of land.
13th Amendment Ratified
Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It promoted “popular sovereignty” among states admitted to the Union, requiring new states to independently decide if they should allow slavery. It resulted in conflict between pro-slavery advocates and abolitionists, and later the Civil War.
Pure Food And Drug Act
You can't make such an outrageous claim unless it is true!
The U.S. Congress passed the 13th Amendment which outlawed slavery throughout the United States. This law was passed eight months following the conclusion of the Civil War, and finally brought an end to a long and bloody battle over slavery in America.
19th Amendment Ratified
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."
In 1906, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, which prohibited harmful and mislabeled food and drugs. This law protected citizens from the consumption of numerous harmful and contaminated products.
Civil Rights Act
In 1920, Congress ratified the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment guaranteed women the right to vote. This amendment was the culmination of almost a century of women suffragists' work.
Blacks Need Not Apply
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On this date, the Civil Rights Act was passed. This law outlaws discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin from all public places. It also ended the segregation of schools, and made employment discrimination illegal.