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Published Saturday, September 22, 18 | By PaulvHill

George Washington,the nation’s first President, was also one of the wealthiest men to hold the office.  His Virginia plantation, “Mount Vernon,” consisted of five separate farms on 8,000 acres of prime farmland. Washington made significantly more than subsequent presidents: his salary was two percent of the total U.S. budget in 1789. Read More 

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Published Saturday, September 22, 18 | By PaulvHill

The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC). Ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian (c. 100 BC) and the Bamboo Annals (296 BC) describe a Xia dynasty (c. 2070–1600 BC) before the Shang, but no writing is known from the period, and Shang writings do not indicate the existence of the Xia. The Shang ruled in the Yellow River valley, which is commonly held to be the cradle of Chinese civilization. However, Neolithic civilizations originated at various cultural centers along both the Yellow River and Yangtze River. These Yellow River and Yangtze civilizations arose millennia before the Shang. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, and is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization.

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Published Saturday, September 22, 18 | By PaulvHill

contributed by Ronna Fleischman Nuclear energy comes from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. The energy released is used to make steam, which generates electricity. Nuclear power comprises approximately 20% of the United States’ electricity production.  As the world’s largest producer of nuclear power, with more than 100 nuclear generating units currently in operation in 31 states, America produces over 30% of world’s nuclear generation of electricity. Uranium is a nonrenewable resource.  It is mined from the earth and concentrated into enriched fuel, then transported to a nuclear power plant. In the plant’s nuclear reactor, neutrons from the uranium atoms collide with each other, releasing heat and neutrons in a chain reaction. This heat is used to generate steam, which powers a turbine to generate electricity. Nuclear power generates a number of radioactive by-products, including tritium, cesium, krypton, neptunium and forms of iodine. Read More 

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Published Saturday, September 22, 18 | By PaulvHill

contributed by Ronna Fleischman Politics is defined as the art or science of government, particularly the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs. It includes the activities or affairs engaged in by a government, politicians, or a political party, and the methods involved in managing a government. The United States is the oldest continuous democracy in the world.  From the 1780’s until the early 1800’s, America ran on a two party system consisting of Republicans and Federalists.  The Republicans emphasized strict interpretation of the Constitution as well as individual states’ rights. Their strongest support came from the South and West, showing a preference for agriculture and rural life. They were concerned with civil liberties and maintaining trust in the people.  The Federalists favored a strong central government and a loose interpretation of the Constitution. They encouraged commerce and manufacturing, order and stability. The majority of their support came from the Northeast. Read More 

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Published Saturday, September 22, 18 | By PaulvHill

contributed by Ronna Fleischman America, like nearly all other nations, issues both domestic and foreign policies on matters concerning its citizens and its relationships with other countries.  A country’s form of government largely determines how its policies are formed and implemented. H­owever, specific goals and objectives vary depending on a nation’s needs and capabilities. In democratic societies, theoretically, the will of the people has a great influence on the formation of policy. ­ The formal design of domestic policy is chiefly the responsibility of elected leaders, lawmaking bodies, and specialized government agencies. A number of other factors also play a role in the process. Voters determine which individuals and political parties have the power to determine policy. The mass media distribute information about issues and influence the beliefs and opinions of the people. Lobbyists, activist groups, and other organizations also work to influence policy through a variety of methods, including monetary donations, promises of support, advertising campaigns, demonstrations and even protests. Read More 

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Published Saturday, September 22, 18 | By PaulvHill

contributed by Ronna Fleischman The national debt is the sum of all outstanding debt owed by the United States Federal Government. It is now more than $16 trillion, the largest in the world for a single country.  Nearly two-thirds is the public debt, which is owed to the people, businesses and foreign governments who bought Treasury bills, notes, and bonds.  The rest is owed by the government to itself, and is held as Government Account Securities. Most of this is owed to Social Security and other trust funds. These are a promise to repay these funds over the next 20 years. Read More 

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Published Saturday, September 22, 18 | By PaulvHill

contributed by Ronna Fleischman The words of the American national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” were first written on September 14, 1814 by Francis Scott Key as a poem entitled, “The Defence of Fort McHenry.” Francis Scott Key was born on August 1, 1779 in western Maryland. He attended grammar school and went on to St. John’s College in Annapolis, where he graduated at the young age of 17. By 1805, Key had established a law practice in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. Read More 

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