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"25 most important laws in American History" - Justin B

Beginning with the Federal Judiciary Act of 1789 and finishing with War Powers Act in 1973, this presentation delves into the 25 most important laws in the scope of American History.
by

Justin Ballard

on 2 May 2011

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Transcript of "25 most important laws in American History" - Justin B

25 Most Important Laws in American History 1789 Federal Judiciary Act Senators Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut and William Paterson of NewJersey sponsored the law. The law stated that the Judicial Branch consisted of three "tiers".
The Supreme Court would reside at the top, with a Chief Justice
and five associate justice beneath him. The second tier were circuit
courts that prosecuted beyond federal courts. The their tier were the
state federal courts in which one judge presided over. This law organized and determined the structure
of our legal system and it is still used today. 1798 Alien and Sedition Act The Federalist Congress at the time pushed and sponsored the four laws which make up the Alien and Sedition Act. The Alien laws increased the time required for residency by nearly 9 years (on top of 5), allowed the president to deport aliens, and imprison them. The Sedition laws made it a crime to criticize the government, especially in the form of literature. These controversial laws gave way to Judicial interpretation and an increased strength in freedoms guranteed in the constitution (speech) for later generations of American citizens. 1820 Missouri Compromise Senator Jesse B. Thomas of Illinois and Henry Clay were the primary crafters of this law and the major reasons it was passed. This law provided that Maine would be a free state while Missouri would be a slave state. It also stated that slavery would be prohibited above the 36°30'N parallel. It was extremely controversal but was considered the only compromise available. Was one of the first laws that showed an obvious seperation of the South and the North, which was a major proponent in leading to the Civil War. Divided the North and South geographically. 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois sponsored this law in Congress. This law was a solution to replace the Missouri Compromise of 1820. It was decided that both Nebraska and Kansas would decide on slavery in their state based on popular soverignty and all future states would be decided the same way. This law simulated a lot of controversy, and is usually credited with starting "bleeding Kansas" and John Brown's massacres. It also showed again the tensions between the South and the North pre-Civil War. 1862 Homestead Act Galusha A. Grow sponsored the Homestead Act and was dedicated in watching it become law. The Homestead Act prescribed that all homesteaders (those traveling into western territories) would reciever 160 acres of free land as long as they lived there for 5 years while making improvements to the land. This law increased migration from the Eastern colonies to states further in the West and helped fulfill Manifest Destiny. It helped spur markets on the West Coast and the Mid West. 1862 Morrill Land Grant Act Jonathan Baldwin Turner and Justin Morrill were the primary supports of the Morrill Land Grant Act, for whom it is named. Approximately sixty-nine colleges would not exist in parts of the United States without the Morrill Land Grant Act. The institutions provided necessary educatoin for a growing United States and that is an incredible impact. This act called for grants for the formation of Colleges. The law was designed and written in order to change the post-secondary education in the United States, through government assistance. 1866 Civil Rights Act Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois introduced the bill to Congress that eventually became the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This was probably one of the most controversial acts of all of American History. It stated that regardless of race, all people in the United States are citizens and have equal rights under the law. This is considered by many to tbe the first extreme victory for Civil Rights for African Americans and other minorities. Other Civil Rights Acts will pass, but this passed at a time when African Americans needed it the most. Opened the flood gates for Civil Rights movements later. 1867 Reconstruction Acts Ohio Senator Benjamin F. Wade and Henry Winter Davis founded the Wade-Davis Bill which ultimately led to the Reconstruction Acts. Split the South into five seperate sectors each headed by an army commander. Was a radical plan to reconstruct the South and help it recover from the War. New state constitutions were written in each Southern state and were not accepted as states until they ratified the 14th amendment. Although the law was largely unsuccessful, it did start the reconstruction of the South. It also forced Southern states to adopt the 14th amendment. 1882 Chinese Exclusion Acts Ended Chinese immigration to the United States for 10 years, and made it illegal for someone who was Chinese to be a legal citizen of the United States. Started a racist trend against Chinese and other Asian groups. Resulted in additional acts such as the Geary Act, and others to contain immigration. Was rooted in racist, jealous ideals. Was the first law to stop immigration. President Chester A. Arthur signed this law into effect in 1882 and was the major sponsor of the Chinese Exclusion Acts. 1883 Pendleton Act Senator George Hunt Pendleton of Ohio was the primary sponsor of the Pendleton Act. [Ms. Garvey: The assassination of Pres. Garfield by a disgruntled office seeker caused this law to be passed.] Stated that government positions be awarded based on merit instead of status. Eliminated the corrupt practices (somewhat) of presidents such as Andrew Jackson. This law changed polotics for good. It altered how someone recieved a government position and how someone in a government job has a certain level of "security" against losing their jobs without reason. Still used today. 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act Senator John Sherman was the sponsor for this act and that is the reason it is named for him. Obviously, this law was primarily created to prohibit trusts. Gave Congress the authority to regulate commerece across state boundries. They could declare any contract across state illegal and charge the company a fine of $5000 for doing so. Was the first law that showed direct opposition to "big business" and the fear that these businesses would takeover the lower to middle class. Led to other Antitrust Acts. 1906 Federal Meat Inspection Act Labor Commissioner Charles P. Neill started the Federal Meat Inspection Act after exploring the facilities that produced meat. Confirmed observations of "The Jungle" and led to reforms that put the country at ease and peace with the industry. Also led the way for future agencies to monitor businesses. Established standards for meat producing facilities who trade across state lines. Allowed the government to inspect the companies, and condem them if the quality was below set standards. 1913 Federal Reserve Act Created the Federal Reserve System which served as the primary banking system in the United States. Also gave the government the power to regulate and mandate currency. Stablizied the countrys economy which was vital before our entry into World War I. Also centralized the banking system which made it easier to trade across state because of similar currency. We still use the Federal Reserve System. Representative Carter Glass and Senator Robert Latham Owen were the prime sponsors of the Federal Reserve Act. 1914 Clayton Antitrust Act Henry De Lamar Clayton was the original drafter of this law. Added additional restrictions to large companies and interstate businessnes. This included but is not limited to: "exclusive sales contracts, local price cutting to freeze out competitors and rebates. Added to Sherman's Antitrust Act, and servered to further limit powerful monopolies that would be eventually cause a recession in the 1930s. Increased the spending of lower and middle class as limitations came into effect. 1919 Volstead Act Andrew J. Volstead and Wayne Wheeler were the principal architects of this law. Allowed the United States Government to enforce the 18th amendment which prohibited the consumption of alcohol. The Prohibition (18th amendment) combined with the Volstead Act showed that reformers could ammend the constitution, and this led to other reformers becoming more active and hopeful for reform. 1921 Emergency Quota Act Rep. Albert Johnson sponsored this law. This law obviously favored those who had a substantial amount of their nationality already in the United States, and led the way for further biased Immigration laws. This was an Immigration Law, which stated that immigration was limited to 3% of the current nationality to any nationality. So, for example, if there are 30 Germans in the United States, only 3% of 30 new Germans can come into the United States. 1933 Glass-Steagall Banking Act Senator Carter Glass and Henry S. Steagall were the sponsors of this bill, and that is what the bill is named after. Created rules for the Federal Reserve in commercial dollars and how it is distributed. Also made available $750 million dollars for loans to banks and business who were credible. Reversed the bankruptcy and failure of banks that would have otherwise disappeared and would have left the United States in further financial crisis. Was one of the first acts of FDR's "New Deal". 1935 Social Security Act Senator Robert Wagner of New York and Representative David Lewis wrote the bills for the Social Security Act. Provided relief to those who could not help themselves: the blind, the old, the young, and the disabled. Took a small percentage of money from the population (via taxes) and used it for this purpose. Everyone one of the citizens in America today has Social Security, and thankfully so. If one is ever heart, grows old, or becomes blinded, Social Security will provide money for you to live. 1935 Wagner Act New York Senator Robert Wagner was the founder of this law. Gave workers the right to form unions and discuss wages with their employers. It also made sure that Unions were recognized by businesses as valid constructs. This was one of the first reforms for the working class, and it helped shape how workers interacted with their employers for the rest of the history of the United States. Labor strikes all stem from this law. 1944 GI Bill of Rights Harry W. Colmery, a veteran himself, was the first person to write and sponsor the GI Bill of Rights. What was truely groundbreaking about the GI Bill was that it applied to not only white, but also to black soldiers as well. This was a major gain in the civil rights movement. Gave a ton of rights to returning veterans of World War II. This included education, health, housing, and other needs that a returning veteran might need. 1948 The Marshall Plan Secretary of State George C. Marshall was the obvious sponsor of the "Marshall Plan". Perscriped that in order to revive world stability the United States had to intervene in economic affairs in Europe via economic assistance. Donated around $14 billion to Europe's economy through the Marshall Plan. Won Marshall the Nobel Peace Prize. Also resulted in a revived and recovering Europe which increased the United States' capitalistic markets as well. 1948 Federal Tort Claims Act Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois introduced the bill to Congress that eventually became the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Allows aliens (or noncitizens of the United States) to file complaints or "torts" against citizens of the United States when the commit crimes in their country. Forced the U.S. Military to be more accountable and also opened the United States to be accused and accounted for, which led to increased trust but also increased complaints. 1964 Civil Rights Act Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois both were involved in the formation of this bill. Outlawed segregation in all public places. Was one of the most successful Civil Rights victories in the history of the United States, and was a major step on the staircase of equality based on race. 1970 Environmental Protection Agency President Richard Nixon himself sponsored the bill for this law on executive order. Provided the country with a single, structured, individual agency designated at conserving and protecting the environment through government means. Added hype to the already big environmentalism movements and this agency is responsible for many of the safety codes and environmental inspections done today. 1973 War Powers Act Clement J. Zablocki was the sponsor of this law. Established that the United States President cannot declare war or engage in war without the permission of congress. Limited the power of the Executive branch and prevented conflicts in which presidents would attempt to engage in conficts without consulting with Congress beforehand. Learn more about the Federal Reserve: http://www.federalreserve.gov/ Read more about the EPA at their official website: http://www.epa.gov/ Works Cited

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