Representatives shall receive a Compensation for theirServices.” This 1791 schedule for Senate compensation isa result of the first Congress’ decision regarding members’ pay.Patent Drawings
Patent drawings of a sewing machine, see saw, light bulb,and a flying machine provide examples of Congress’ roleto “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.”
In a letter to the Senate, a Florida Parent TeacherAssociation president urged support for a Federal schoollunch program.
A resolution proposing a 26th amendment to extend the vote to 18-year-olds highlights the Congressional job of initiating amendments.
Documents related to child labor in the United States,including photographs by Lewis Hine and a proposedchild labor amendment, highlight the tension betweenfederal and states’ rights in our history.
The Executive Branch
Article II of the Constitution states that “The ExecutivePower shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” Along with ancillary executive departments andagencies, the President is responsible for enforcing the law.The president takes an oath to “faithfully execute the Officeof President of the United States, and...to the best of [his]Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of theUnited States."
The following documents, maps and photographs inChapters 8 - 15 demonstrate the executive branch in action:
The Constitution provides for the election of a Presidentby state-appointed Electors. Contested electoral votes— such as those in Louisiana— in the 1876 presidentialelection challenged the electoral system and led to thecreation of an electoral commission.
In Article I, Section 8, the Constitution designates theCongress as the branch of the federal government withthe ability to declare war. In 1846, President James K.Polk asked Congress for a declaration of war againstMexico. Congressman Abraham Lincoln’s “spotresolutions” challenged President Polk’s assertion that the