Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Constitution of the United States


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article. I.

Section. 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section. 2.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section. 4.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5.

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section. 6.

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section. 7.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 9.

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section. 10.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 1.

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section. 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III.

Section. 1.

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.

The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;— between a State and Citizens of another State,—between Citizens of different States,—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.

Section. 1.

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2.

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Section. 3.

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4.

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, The Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson Secretary

done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independance of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

G°. Washington
Presidt and deputy from Virginia

Delaware
Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: Broom

Maryland
James McHenry
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
Danl. Carroll

Virginia
John Blair
James Madison Jr.

North Carolina
Wm. Blount
Richd. Dobbs Spaight
Hu Williamson

South Carolina
J. Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler

Georgia
William Few
Abr Baldwin

New Hampshire
John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman

Massachusetts
Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King

Connecticut
Wm. Saml. Johnson
Roger Sherman

New York
Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey
Wil: Livingston
David Brearley
Wm. Paterson
Jona: Dayton

Pensylvania
B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robt. Morris
Geo. Clymer
Thos. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouv Morris


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Declaration of Independence


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.


Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
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The 56 signatures on the Declaration:
Georgia:
   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton
North Carolina:
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton
Massachusetts:
   John Hancock
Maryland:
   Samuel Chase
   William Paca
   Thomas Stone
   Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
   George Wythe
   Richard Henry Lee
   Thomas Jefferson
   Benjamin Harrison
   Thomas Nelson, Jr.
   Francis Lightfoot Lee
   Carter Braxton
Pennsylvania:
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
Delaware:
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean
New York:
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
Massachusetts:
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
Connecticut:
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
   Matthew Thornton

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Bill of Rights


The First 10 Amendments to the
Constitution as Ratified by the States

December 15, 1791

Preamble

Congress OF THE United States
begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday
the Fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.:

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


Return to the main page of #HistoryHub.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Overlooked Areas of Prepping

Here's a quick look at areas of prepping I feel are often overlooked by many preppers and survivalists. They are presented in no particular order. Are you overlooking any of these?

1 - High Visibility Colors - Although black, camo, and Earth-tones are all the rage, there are times when high visibility is preferred. You need some clothes, packs, bandannas, cordage and other gear in bright, highly visible colors like Bright Red, Safety Orange, Neon Yellow, and Hot Pink. See yesterday's post for more on this idea.

2 - An Emergency Fund - Many of us believe that the dollar is going to collapse at some point, and that paper money will be worthless. That may be true, but until then we do need money to pay bills and buy stuff. And, even in a economic crash, the dollar will likely have value for at least a period of time. It is a good idea to have an emergency fund set aside for when you need it. For more on money in an economic collapse, please read Fernando Aguirre's The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse.

3 - Getting out of Debt -  I was the owner/moderator of a Yahoo group, Surviving the End, many years ago. One group member offered his plan to prepare: He was going to rack up as much credit card debt as possible buying supplies to survive an economic collapse caused by peak oil. He believed such a collapse would happen "within the next 2 or 3 years," and that banks and other lenders would be unable to collect on debt. He also planned to stop paying his mortgage "about 6 months before the collapse." I'm not sure how he planned to time the event so precisely. This was in 2006. It is now eight years later, and banks are still collecting on debt. If he truly carried out his plan, he and his family suffered absolute financial devastation years ago. Don't be like him. Make getting debt-free a major prepping goal.

4 - Spirituality - Yes, I know a number of people will roll their eyes at this category. Being dismissive of religion is a very "in" thing to do these days. Your hipness is duly noted. Yet, I believe that our mental attitude is an extremely important part of prepping (see my article Prepping Your Mental Health). My spirituality (I am an imperfect follower of Jesus) gives me great peace and comfort, as well as a sense of purpose, focus, and an understanding of what my true priorities should be. Besides, I really do believe God answers prayers and can work miracles.

5 - Building Community - I get the sense that there are a lot of "lone wolves" in the prepping and survivalist community. Folks that just want to hide with their families at some mountain retreat far from civilization. This is a mistake, especially in the long-term. Instead, we should work on building community. (Personally, I think living in or near a small town, far way from a mega-city, is the best option - but that will be another post.)

City vs. Country by Fernando Aguirre



6 - Sleep - Another category that may make some eyes roll. After all, we live in a 24/7 world in which most people like to proudly proclaim about how little sleep they need to get by. Sleep is much more important to good health, mental sharpness, and physical reflexes than most people realize. Making sure you get enough sleep on a consistent basis is one of the best ways to prepare. For more on sleep see Sleep - It is Important.

7 - Health and Fitness - This is a category most people acknowledge is important, but many folks still don't do anything about it. I am constantly amazed by the number of preppers and survivalists I know who are smokers, or who are very overweight, or who have chronic health conditions like Type II diabetes and high blood pressure that are largely self-inflicted. We all know the excuses - I don't have enough time, I'm too busy, eating healthy costs too much, its too hard, I'm too set in my ways to change... But in the end they are just excuses. Make health and fitness a priority.

8 - Doing Things Other Than Your Hobby - This one may come as a slap in your face to some, but there are many preppers who aren't really preppers. Instead, prepping is just the excuse they use to engage in their hobby. Some folks like guns, and "prepping" is a great excuse to buy more guns and spend more time at the range. Some folks like gardening, canning, sewing, and other homesteading activities, so prepping is a great excuse to engage in those activities. However, you can tell the hobbyist from a prepper by what preps they do outside their hobby.

A great example is the profile I watched a couple years ago on a older "prepper" couple. The husband was a gun enthusiast - he had 80-some guns - but he had little or no food and water storage, didn't garden, and wasn't interested in any other aspect of prepping. It became obvious during the profile that prepping was just the excuse he gave his wife so that he could buy more guns. If all your preps are in one area, you're not really prepping.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Black, Khaki, Camouflage... or Neon Orange?


http://amzn.to/1pDPhMY
Sometimes we need to be seen.
Black looks very tactical, and is hard to see at night. Same for olive-drab green. Khaki, along with grays, browns, tans, and other earth-tones are great for our "gray-man disguise." And we all love camouflage designs - be it woodland, digital, desert, or whatever.

In addition to being really neat, cool, and hip, all these colors and designs are great to help us stay hidden in the wild (camos) or at night (black), or go about unnoticed in civilization (Earth-tones). We pick these for our clothes, shoes, belts, jackets, caps, bandannas, bags, packs, paracord, and even our duct-tape, so that we can be hidden and unnoticed.

Yet, it is a mistake to get all of our clothes, packs, and other gear in these "low-visibility" colors. There are times when we might want, even need, to be seen - to stand out and be noticed, rather than to be hidden.

Maybe we are lost and/or hurt in the wilderness, needing rescue. Or  maybe we are on the rescue team and want to be visible to the one that is lost, as well as to our teammates. In such a situation, do you want to be wearing woodland camo, or blaze orange?

Maybe we are camping, and need to mark a trail so that we can find our way back, or for others to follow us. Which would be best to mark the trail so it can be easily seen- camouflage, black, or hot pink?

You need to mark off a dangerous area. Perhaps its a patch of poison ivy or whatever. Would it be best to use olive drab cordage, or safety orange?
http://amzn.to/1LZ54jc

Its dusk, and your escorting some kids around your neighborhood on Halloween. Do you want to wear your gray hoodie, or something more noticeable? Maybe a neon yellow hoodie?

Most of my clothes and other stuff do fall in the low-visibility category, suitable for my gray-man disguise around town. But I do have some high-visibility colors - bright red, hot pink, blaze orange, neon yellow - ready for use when needed.

In my EDC, I include a couple of six-inch strips of orange duct-tape. My bug-out bag includes a red bandanna, a small roll of orange duct tape, a blaze orange t-shirt (I can either wear or wave to attract attention), and 50 feet of blaze orange paracord. Packed in my vehicle is a blaze orange hoodie (in a bigger size so that I can wear it over another hoodie or jacket, if needed).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Our Constitution Rocks!

Juliette Turner (on twitter: @JuiletteTurner)  wrote a fantastic book on the US Constitution, Our Constitution ROCKS! Published when she was only fourteen (she's now sixteen), the book is intended to reach teenagers and young adults with the message that the Constitution is important and relevant today.

Even though its intended audience is young people, its message is not watered-down in the least. In fact, it is one of the most complete and detailed introductions to the Constitution that I've seen, literally examining every article, section, clause, and amendment.

The layout and graphics of the book are designed to appeal to young adults, so don't expect pages and pages of dry text like you might find in college textbook on the subject. Rather, expect 224 pages of interesting, easy-to-read explanations, facts, quotes, definitions, trivia, and other tidbits, broken down into short sections ranging from one sentence to a few short paragraphs. It is designed so that the information can be read and absorbed quickly by a generation of folks used to communicating via text messaging.


Each "chapter" of the book corresponds to a clause of the Constitution, and breaks the explanation of that clause into sections:

The Bottom Line: A simple, understandable modern-language version of what the clause it about.

What Were They Thinking?: Why they thought it was important to include the clause.

Why Should I Care?: How it affects us today.

Breakin' It Down: More detail and context.

How Can I Make a Difference?: How the reader can use the knowledge you just learned.

What Has It Done For Me Lately?: Modern day examples of the clause in action.

Fun Facts: Quotes, trivia, and other tidbits.

One thing I really like about the book is that Juliette Turner includes lots of quotes from our Founders as they debated over the Constitution. These quotes appear throughout the book, often in sections entitled "Debate" (see the picture below). These quotes help provide context and show what the Founders were thinking in their own words.


There is also a three page Bibliography in the back of the book which includes information on essays, books, articles, and websites that will help the reader further explore topics of interest to them.

Don't let the age of the book's author, or its intended audience, fool you. This is a complete, and very intelligent, introduction to the Constitution. Perfect for teens, it is also useful for adults, particularly for those needing a first introduction to the Constitution. Not only is it "not boring," like some might fear of a book on such a subject, but it is quite interesting and informative.

Going into the holiday season, I highly recommend this as a gift for any teens on your Christmas or Hanukkah list. And if you are looking for a good introduction to the Constitution, pick up a copy for yourself. You won't be disappointed, and you will learn a lot.

I should also note that Juliette Turner has a new book out, Our Presidents Rock!  I will post a review at a later date, after I've read it. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

On Leadership

Today started a series on Leadership in my #DailyTips for Preppers feature on Twitter (follow me @TimGamble - read all the tips on the Daily Tips page). I present these leadership tips here, with additional comments too wordy for Twitter. 

Entire books and doctoral thesis have been written, and university-level courses are taught, on the subject of leadership. A short set of tips is only a brief introduction to the topic. Keeping that in mind, it is an important topic to cover for the survivalist and prepping community, as many folks are planning to be leaders during a crisis, as well as its aftermath. However, being an effective leader isn't easy.


#DailyTip 275 Planning on being your group's leader? Be honest: are you a leader now? Do others think of you as a leader? 

If you are planning on being a leader, you're doing it wrong. You should be a leader now. Not just in your eyes, but also in the eyes of those you lead. If folks don't already see you as a leader, you have a lot of work today before you actually become one.

#DailyTip 276 Planning on being your group's leader? Lead by example. 

Leadership by example is really the only true leadership. The saying "Do what I say, not what I do" is pure rubbish and is meant to poke fun at those folks who seem to have that attitude.


#DailyTip 277 Good leaders don't just lead, they develop others into good leaders. 

True leaders develop others into leaders. You need to be able to spot leadership potential, and to nourish it into fruition. For some, this may be difficult as they tend to see other potential leaders as competition.


#DailyTip 278 Good leaders communicate very clearly. Always clearly define your expectations. 

This one is huge, in my opinion. Bad leaders often fail when it comes to clear communications. This could be due to a lack of self-confidence, poor communication skills, uncertainty over what actually needs to be done, or even an effort at CYA in case something goes wrong (if something goes wrong, they can blame others for "not understanding").

#DailyTip 279 Good leaders know how & why to delegate. It both frees up the leader's time and helps develop others.

Poor leaders often fail to delegate correctly, and tend to micro-manage unnecessarily.

#DailyTip 280 Good leaders know mistakes will happen. Never publicly criticize or shame someone for making a mistake. 

Mistakes happen. Unexpected events occur. Good leaders know this and aren't taken by surprise when it happens.

#DailyTips 281 Good leaders accept responsibility for their mistakes & the mistakes of those under them. "The buck stops here."

This is often a missing part of leadership today. It seems like no one wants to accept responsibility for anything anymore. Good leaders do.

#DailyTip 282 Good leaders know they must inspire trust in those they lead. 

If folks don't really trust you or your decisions, you are not going to be able to lead them effectively. Trust means both in your character and in your abilities.

#DailyTip 283 A good leader knows he sets the tone for those around him. 

The leaders on sports team are great examples of this idea. Good leaders exude a aura of confidence, determination, drive, and positivity that infects their teammates.

#DailyTip 284 A good leader never "shoots the messenger."

Bad news is always upsetting, but a good leader never takes it out on the one delivering the bad news.

#DailyTip 285 A good leader adapts his leadership style to the needs of those around him.

A good leader knows he has to adapt to the needs of those he leads. This may mean that the good leader must suppress his own ego and change his approach before he can effectively lead.

#DailyTip 286 A good leader maintains realistic expectations.

Expectations are a balancing act. You can be unrealistic in your expectations both by expecting too much and too little. Developing the ability to read people and accurately judge their capabilities is very important.

#DailyTip 287 A  good leader is always consistent and fair.

A good leader changes his mind, orders, expectations, etc., when it is necessary, but never at a whim. Inconsistency creates confusion and mistrust in folks.

A good leader is also fair, and doesn't single out individuals for special treatment (good or bad). A good leader doesn't foster a "good ol' boys club" or engage in nepotism.

#DailyTip 288 A good leader is willing to listen to honest feedback.

A good leader NEVER considers himself above criticism.

#DailyTip 289 A good leader is never a bully. Bullying others into doing what you want is NOT leadership.

Have you seen the movie "Ender's Game" based on the Orson Scott Card book by the same title? In it there is a character named Bonzo who was commander of Salamander Army at the Battle School. Despite being smart and talented, Bonzo was a complete jerk who relied on fear and intimidation to rise to the rank of commander. He was NOT a leader, but rather just a bully (in reality, he would have washed out of any military or business leadership program long before becoming a commander). In the end, Bonzo got himself seriously hurt when he started a fight with another student who stood up to his bullying tactics (watch the movie, or better yet, read the book for more details).


Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is on the U.S. Marine Corps Professional Reading List.

Good leadership is about getting people to work together effectively for a common goal. It is not about forcing others to do things your way.

#DailyTip 290 A good leader makes those around him better.

Think Magic Johnson or Larry Bird. Those two NBA stars were famous not only for their great abilities, but also for making their fellow teammates better. More than just setting a good example, or a positive tone, a good leader actively seeks to make those around him better.


NOTE: For a great discussion on leadership by The Maine Prepper and The Patriot Nurse, watch their video How to Be a Leader: Fundamentals and Principles on You Tube.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Forest Gardening Q & A

Since I started writing about forest gardening a several years ago, I have received a lot of questions from my readers. I've answered many of those questions for people through email, but I thought it would be a good idea to answer several of the more often repeated questions on this blog for everyone to read.

Question 1: Won't planting a lot of trees use up our water supplies?

Answer 1: I've been asked this question in several different ways by many people. After all, trees are a lot bigger than corn or wheat or squash, so they must drain water supplies faster.

Actually, the opposite is true. Trees are very efficient users of water, and they impact the environment in ways that actually help build up water supplies.

Forests play a major role in the water cycle and help stabilize water tables and maintain freshwater supplies. They do this by promoting water fall in the form of rain and dew (this process is called transpiration), providing shade and mulch to reduce surface evaporation, and slowing down rain run-off (giving rain time to soak into the soil, with the added benefit of preventing soil erosion).
"Trees regulate water supply, keeping it available for their own needs and for those of other plants, for humans and other animals. The roots of the great forest trees penetrate deeply into the earth and draw up great quantities of water which pass through the trees and out through the leaves to create "oceans of the air". Thus the water is kept available for rain. Trees may deprive plants grown immediately beneath but help those at a distance. Forest height and the cooling effect of the water transpired by the leaves can promote rain in the same way as mountain ranges that force the rain clouds to rise and cool. Paul Schreiber, the meteorologist, estimated that a region covered with forest increased rainfall to the same degree as elevating it 350ft.
When rain falls on forest canopies, its force is broken by the leaves and branches so that it seeps gently through the forest debris to replenish the water tables below. Sinking wells where there are no tree belts in the area to maintain water tables can be a dangerous living off capital. Water running off of bared hillsides carries away the soil, not only depriving the uplands but also silting up dams and reservoirs and causing rivers to flood." -- from the essay Trees for a Future

Question 2: Won't birds and animals eat the food produced in a forest garden?

Answer 2: This has been brought up to me twice - once as a sincere question and once as a disparaging accusation. More on the latter in a moment, but first let me answer the sincere question:

Yes, they will eat some. However, I have asked several people with decades of combined forest gardening experience and none of them report ever losing all or even most of a crop due to birds, squirrels, deer or other critters. Forest gardens are no more or less susceptible to foraging by various critters than any other method of growing food (except maybe greenhouses).

Of course birds and animals will consume a small part of your tree crops before you can harvest. Same as they do with other types of gardening and agriculture. And I think that is a good thing.

One of my favorite gardening memories is watching a rather large box turtle munching away on some low-hanging tomatoes in my garden a few years ago. It hung around my garden for about a week before moving on, during which time it ate a number of tomatoes. But I still had plenty left, and the turtle provided some great entertainment.

Which brings up the accusatory comment I mentioned earlier. One person responded to my praise of forest gardening by writing me a rather disparaging note that forest gardens would be totally consumed by birds and wildlife. I was accused of being rather naive. Of course this person had no personal experience with forest gardening, and ignored the multitude of examples of successful forest gardens that have been around for decades in some cases. Oh well... one lesson I've learned over the last few years is "you can't please everyone all the time."


Question 3: Can you recommend trees/shrubs/vegetables/herbs that will do well in my specific area, which happens to be particularly hot/cold/wet/arid?

Answer 3: I have been asked for specific advice many, many times over the past few years. As much as I would love to be able to give that kind of detailed suggestions, I am not a horticulturalist. I am still in the process of learning what grows well in my particular area. The best I can do is point people in the direction of some really good reference books and websites, so that they can research the information themselves:

Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set) - This two volume set is the best and most detailed explanation of forest gardening that I know of. Includes an extensive matrix of edible and useful plants with lots of detailed information. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Arbor Day Foundation - In the USA, the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Wizard is a very useful database of trees, including fruit and nut trees. You can look up recommended trees by zip code, hardiness zones, types, height, spread, soil type, sun exposure and growth rate.

How to Make a Forest Garden - This book by Patrick Whitefield covers the basics of forest gardening, including core principles, design and how to choose plants. Also includes over details of over 100 suggested plants for a forest garden.

North American Native Plant Society - Native plant enthusiasts from the USA and Canada. Can connect you with one of the many regional native plant associations.

Finally, I recommend checking out your local resources such as universities with agricultural programs, local community colleges, agricultural extension offices, master gardening courses, gardening clubs, 4-H clubs, etc... Talk to people who are already growing things near you. They will be your best source of what will work in your area.


Question 4: What is that "plant zone" that you keep mentioning?

Answer 4: I am a little surprised that many people don't know their plant hardiness zone, or even what a plant hardiness zone is. But I have gotten that question more than once or twice.

Your choice of trees and other plants will be greatly influenced by your local climate. There is a system called the Plant Hardiness Zones which will make this task easier. Each zone is given a number & letter code which can then be matched to the appropriate code for the trees and plants you are considering. For example, I live in hardiness zone 7b.

Many tree and plant catalogs include information on what hardiness zones are preferred by their plants. In looking through the catalogs, I can easily see which trees and plants would make a good fit for my climate and which would not by matching up the hardiness zones.

To determine your particular plant hardiness zone, click on the link for your particular country or region:

USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
UK & Ireland
Rest of Europe
Russia
Ukraine
Israel and much of the Middle East
South America
South America (second map)
China
China and Mongolia
Japan
South Korea
India and surrounding area
Africa

For an index to all my Forest Gardening articles, please click here.