A Chart for the Beginning
of the Federal Government
The Declaration of Independence constitutes the proclamation
to the world of a deliberate act justified by the mother country's refusal to accept as valid certain "self-evident truths" whose time had come for manifestation in the evolution of mankind. Because of what followed the Declaration and the colonists' victory in the War of Independence, it became clear that a step had to be taken if the new Federation of States allowed by England to function within defined boundaries was to become a viable, self-determined and self-maintaining political organism, a nation among nations.
Meeting on November 15, 1777, in York, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress had adopted "Articles of Confederation". The Articles were ratified in 1781, after Pennsylvania became the first state to abolish slavery (March 1, 1780). On June 20th, 1782, the Great Seal of the United States — the legal signature of the new national entity
— was adopted; it was used for the first time on September 16th, 1782, on a document granting General Washington authority to consult with the British about prisoner exchange.(1
The Articles of Confederation established a legal union of thirteen independent states
and gave certain powers to the Congress of the Confederation. But this was government by states, not by "We, the people," and there was no central Executive. A further step in national integration remained to be taken.
The financial crisis that followed the end of the war brought hard times to most people in the new nation. The rich were becoming richer, but the poor were increasingly more destitute and radical elements began to appear among dispossessed farmers and returning soldiers. Shays' Rebellion was only the most obvious sign of deep social unrest. All this encouraged the wealthy classes (large landowners, merchants, slaveholders, speculators in currency, lawyers) to favor the creation of a strong centralized government that could keep the lower classes in order and protect their property and investments. In February 1786, in Annapolis, at a convention originally called by the Virginia legislature to discuss trade matters, Alexander Hamilton proposed that a new convention be called for the purpose of amending the Articles of Confederation. The following February Congress sent out a call for what was to become the Federal Constitutional Convention. Delegates selected by each state convened in Philadelphia and George Washington was chosen to preside over the drafting of the document that was to become the Constitution of the United States when it had been ratified by nine states. The ninth state, New Hampshire, ratified it by 57 votes to 46 at one P.M. on Saturday, June 21,1788.(2
Some astrologers have argued that the moment of New Hampshire's ratification should be considered the moment of birth of the constitutional government which has ever since controlled the development of "these United States." There is some validity in this opinion, but the fact remains that while the Constitution was accepted in principle on June 21, 1788 (Summer Solstice), it was not declared officially in effect until Wednesday, March 4, 1789, at 0 hours and 1 minute A.M. in New York City.(3
) March 4 was. the day on which the first session of the newly elected Congress was held, officially beginning the Federal Government of the United States. On April 30, George Washington, who had been chosen unanimously by the electors, took office as President.
However, not enough delegates were present for that first session of Congress to constitute a legal quorum, so some astrologers have preferred to use the date of President Washington's inauguration to mark the actual beginning of the Federal Government. According to Thomas Hague, though legally scheduled to occur at noon on April 30, Washington actually took his oath of office at 1:20 P.M. This time gives early Virgo rising and Gemini 1° at the Mid Heaven. The Sun and Venus are in the ninth House and the Moon is coming to a conjunction with Jupiter in the eleventh House.
1. The Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates
, pp. 93-94. But it was only on September 15, 1789, that the new Congress declared that the Great Seal was the official seal of the United States and that it was to be kept in the custody of the Secretary of State. Return
The hour was duly recorded in a letter written by Tobias Lear to Washington. cf. George Bancroft, History of the Formation of the Constitution of the United States of America
, second edition, Vol. 11, P. 318. Return
The midnight time was given by an astrologer, Thomas Hague, who in 1850 was publishing his own magazine, Hague's Horoscope and Prophetic-Messenger
; cf. an article printed in American Astrology
in May 1945. Return
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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