Citizenship in Our Nation

Knowing about our country is important.

List of States and their Capitols

Citizenship slide show
Citizenship in the Nation by troop 780
some American History

Basic US Government
In the British colony of Massachusetts Bay, all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to participate in their local militia. As early as 1645 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, some men were selected from the general ranks of town-based "training bands" to be ready for rapid deployment. Men so selected were designated as minutemen. They were usually drawn from settlers of each town, and so it was very common for them to be fighting alongside relatives and friends.
The Concord Minute Man of 1775 statue depicted on the Massachusetts state quarter
Some towns in Massachusetts had a long history of designating a portion of their militia as minutemen, with "minute companies" constituting special units within the militia system whose members underwent additional training and held themselves ready to turn out rapidly ("at a minute's notice") for emergencies, hence their name. Other towns, such as Lexington, preferred to keep their entire militia in a single unit.
Members of the minutemen, by contrast, were no more than 30 years old, and were chosen for their enthusiasm, political reliability, and strength. They were the first armed militia to arrive at or await a battle. Officers, as in the rest of the militia, were elected by popular vote, and each unit drafted a formal written covenant to be signed upon enlistment. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Our Local History
Important People in American History
Benjamin Franklin - Childhood and Education: Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston Massachusetts. He was one of twenty children. Franklin’s father Josiah had ten children by his first marriage and ten by his second. Benjamin was the fifteenth child. He also happened to be the youngest boy. Franklin was only able to attend two years of schooling but continued his own education by reading. At the age of 12, he became apprenticed to his brother James who was a printer. When his brother did not allow him to write for his newspaper, Franklin fled to Philadelphia.
Benjamin Franklin as Author and Edicator:
Franklin began apprenticed to his brother who was a printer. Because his brother would not allow him to write for his newspaper, Franklin wrote letters to the paper in the persona of a middle-aged woman named “Silence Dogood.” By 1730, Franklin created “The Pennsylvania Gazette” where he was able to publish articles and essays on his thoughts. From 1732 to 1757, Franklin created a yearly almanac called “Poor Richard’s Almanack.” Franklin adopted the name “Richard Saunders” while he was writing for the almanac. From quotes within the almanac, he created “The Way to Wealth.”
Benjamin Franklin as Inventor and Scientist:
Franklin was a prolific inventor. Many of his creations are still in use today. His inventions included: The Franklin stove, bifocals, A flexible catheter, The lightning rod, Franklin came up with an experiment to prove that electricity and lightning were the same thing. He conducted the experiment by flying a kite in a lightning storm on June 15, 1752. From his experiments he devised the lightning rod. He also came up with important concepts in meteorology and refrigeration.
Benjamin Franklin as Ambassador:
Franklin was sent to Great Britain by Pennsylvania in 1757. He spent six years trying to get the British to provide Pennsylvania with more self rule. He was well-respected abroad but could not get the king or parliament to budge.
After the beginning of the American Revolution, Franklin went to France in 1776 to gain French aid against Great Britain. His success helped turn the tide of the war. He stayed in France as America’s first diplomat there. He represented America at the treaty negotiations that ended the Revolutionary War which resulted in the Treaty of Paris (1783). Franklin returned to American in 1785.
Old Age and Death:
Even after the age of eighty, Franklin attended the Constitutional Congress and served three years as the president of Pennsylvania. He died on April 17, 1790 at the age of 84.
Benjamin Franklin was extremely important in the history of the move from thirteen individual colonies to one unified nation. His actions as elder statesman and diplomat helped ensure independence. His scientific and literary achievements helped him earn respect at home and abroad. While in England, he also received honorary degrees from St. Andrews and Oxford. His significance cannot be understated.
Benjamin Franklin as Politician and Elder Statesman:
Franklin began his political career when he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1751. In 1754, he presented the significant Albany Plan of Union at the Albany Congress. With his plan, he proposed that the colonies unify under one government to help organize and protect the individual colonies. He worked hard over the years to try and get Great Britain to allow Pennsylvania to have more autonomy and self-rule. As the revolution approached with increasingly strict rules over the colonies, Franklin tried to persuade Britain that these acts would eventually lead to revolt. Seeing the importance of having an effective way to get messages from one town to another and one colony to another, Franklin reorganized the postal system.
Realizing that his beloved Britain would not pull back and provide the colonists with more of a voice, Franklin saw the need to fight back. Franklin was elected to attend the Second Continental Congress that met from 1775 to 1776. He helped draft and signed the Declaration of Independence.

Here are some of Franklin's sayings:

Franklin's Maxims:
Silence. Speak only what will benefit others or yourself.
Order. Let all things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.
Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is; waste nothing.
Industry. Louse no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes or habitation.
Tranquility. Be not disturbed at accidents, common or unavoidable, or at trifles.
Humility. Imitate Jesus, Socrates and Confucius.
Do the Most Good while you still can.
"When the well's dry, we know the worth of water."
"…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
"Love your neighbor, but don’t pull down your hedge."
"Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
"Diligence is the Mother of Good Luck."
"Hunger never saw bad bread."
"Eat to live, and not live to eat."
"To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals."
"Dine with little, sup with less,
Do better still – sleep supperless.’
"A full belly makes a dull brain"
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas."
"Genius without education is like silver in the mine."
"Little strokes fell great oaks."
"Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others."
"Who is wise? He that learns from every one.
Who is powerful? He that governs his passions.
Who is rich? He that is content.
Who is that? Nobody."
"If you have no honey in your pot, have some in your mouth."

Thomas Jefferson - Childhood and Education:

Jefferson grew up in Virginia and was raised with the orphaned children of his father's friend, William Randolph. He was educated from ages 9-14 by a clergyman named William Douglas from whom he learned Greek, Latin, and French. He then attended Reverand James Maury's School before attending the College of William and Mary. He studied law with George Wythe, the first American law professor. Having attended the College of William and Mary, Jefferson practiced law and served in local government as a magistrate, county lieutenant, and member of the House of Burgesses in his early professional life.
As a member of the Continental Congress, he was chosen in 1776 to draft the Declaration of Independence, which has been regarded ever since as a charter of American and universal liberties. The document proclaims that all men are equal in rights, regardless of birth, wealth, or status, and that the government is the servant, not the master, of the people.
After Jefferson left Congress in 1776, he returned to Virginia and served in the legislature. Elected governor from 1779 to 1781. During the brief private interval in his life following his governorship, Jefferson wrote Notes on the State of Virginia. In 1784, he entered public service again, in France, first as trade commissioner and then as Benjamin Franklin's successor as minister. During this period, he avidly studied European culture, sending home to Monticello, books, seeds and plants, statues and architectural drawings, scientific instruments, and information.
In 1790 he accepted the post of secretary of state under his friend George Washington. His tenure was marked by his opposition to the pro-British policies of Alexander Hamilton. In 1796, as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Republicans, he became vice-president after losing to John Adams by three electoral votes.
Four years later, he defeated Adams and became president, the first peaceful transfer of authority from one party to another in the history of the young nation. Perhaps the most notable achievements of his first term were the purchase of the Louisiana Territory in 1803 and his support of the Lewis and Clark expedition. His second term, a time when he encountered more difficulties on both the domestic and foreign fronts, is most remembered for his efforts to maintain neutrality in the midst of the conflict between Britain and France; his efforts did not avert war with Britain in 1812.
Jefferson was succeeded as president in 1809 by his friend James Madison, and during the last seventeen years of his life, he remained at Monticello. During this period, he sold his collection of books to the government to form the nucleus of the Library of Congress. Jefferson embarked on his last great public service at the age of seventy-six, with the founding of the University of Virginia. He spearheaded the legislative campaign for its charter, secured its location, designed its buildings, planned its curriculum, and served as the first rector.

Here are some of Thomas Jefferson's sayings:

Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence served our country in many high offices and founded a university. Thomas Jefferson knew much about government because he himself studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today. Jefferson really knew his stuff. It is worth noting here a few things he had to say. John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Thomas Jefferson said in 1802: I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.
The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
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.
A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.
History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.
A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.
All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state. Thomas Jefferson
results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.
If Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?
Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
He who knows best knows how little he knows. Be polite to all, but intimate with few.
I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us.
I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people.
It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.
No occupation is so delightful as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.
The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances. When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.
One man with courage is a majority. One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.
Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.
Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. Thomas Jefferson

Here are some other Americans that Green Bar Bill thought we should be aware of in the handbooks he wrote. Do a Google search and find out about them. And here are just a few of the quotes he quoted.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere from Martin Luther King Jr.
A candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle. James Keller He also said Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest. mark Twain.
Speak softly and carry a big stick. Theodore Roosevelt.
The only way to have a friend is to be one. Ralf Waldo Emerson.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau.

The following are the requirements for the Citizenship in Community Merit Badge

A nation is a patchwork of communities that differ from each other and may be governed differently. But regardless of how local communities differ, they all have one point in common: In the United States, local government means self-government. Good citizens help to make decisions about their community through their elected local officials.
Discuss with your counselor what citizenship in the community means and what it takes to be a good citizen in your community. Discuss the rights, duties, and obligations of citizenship, and explain how you can demonstrate good citizenship in your community, Scouting unit, place of worship, or school.
Do the following:
On a map of your community, locate and point out the following:
Chief government buildings such as your city hall, county courthouse, and public works/services facility
Fire station, police station, and hospital nearest your home
Historical or other interesting points
Chart the organization of your local or state government. Show the top offices and tell whether they are elected or appointed.
Do the following:
Attend a meeting of your city, town, or county council or school board; OR attend a municipal, county, or state court session.
Choose one of the issues discussed at the meeting where a difference of opinions was expressed, and explain to your counselor why you agree with one opinion more than you do another one.
Choose an issue that is important to the citizens of your community; then do the following:
Find out which branch of local government is responsible for this issue.
With your counselor's and a parent's approval, interview one person from the branch of government you identified in requirement 4a. Ask what is being done about this issue and how young people can help.
Share what you have learned with your counselor.
With the approval of your counselor and a parent, watch a movie that shows how the actions of one individual or group of individuals can have a positive effect on a community. Discuss with your counselor what you learned from the movie about what it means to be a valuable and concerned member of the community.
List some of the services (such as the library, recreation center, public transportation, and public safety) your community provides that are funded by taxpayers. Tell your counselor why these services are important to your community.
Do the following:
Choose a charitable organization outside of Scouting that interests you and brings people in your community together to work for the good of your community.
Using a variety of resources (including newspapers, fliers and other literature, the Internet, volunteers, and employees of the organization), find out more about this organization.
With your counselor's and your parent's approval, contact the organization and find out what young people can do to help. While working on this merit badge, volunteer at least eight hours of your time for the organization. After your volunteer experience is over, discuss what you have learned with your counselor.
Develop a public presentation (such as a video, slide show, speech, digital presentation, or photo exhibit) about important and unique aspects of your community. Include information about the history, cultures, and ethnic groups of your community; its best features and popular places where people gather; and the challenges it faces. Stage your presentation in front of your merit badge counselor or a group, such as your patrol or a class at school.

Scouting Literature
Boy Scout Handbook; American Business, American Cultures, American Heritage, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Crime Prevention, Photography, and Public Speaking merit badge pamphlets
Abress, Monica Dwyer. Quietly at Work: Township Government in America. Specialty Press Publishers, 2000.
Bankston, John. Careers in Community Service. Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2001.
Bowman, Ann, and Richard C. Kearney. State and Local Government. Houghton Mifflin Company, College Division, 2001.
Brownlie, Alison. Charities: Do They Work? Raintree Publishers, 1999.
Burns, James M., and others. State & Local Politics: Government by the People. Prentice Hall, 2001.
Coplin, William D. How You Can Help: An Easy Guide to Doing Good Deeds in Your Everyday Life. Routledge, 2000.
Gary, Lawrence. How to Win a Local Election: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide. M. Evans, 1999.
Isler, Claudia. Volunteering to Help in Your Neighborhood. Scholastic Library Publishing, 2000.
Jungreis, Abigail. Know Your Hometown History: Projects and Activities. Franklin Watts, 1992.
Lewis, Barbara A., Pamela Espeland, and Caryn Pernu. Kids' Guide to Social Action: How to Solve the Social Problems You Choose-- and Turn Creative Thinking Into Positive Action. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., 1998.
Kielburger, Marc, and Craig Kielburger. Take Action! A Guide to Active Citizenship. John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2002.
Perry, Susan K. Catch the Spirit: Teen Volunteers Tell How They Made a Difference. Scholastic Library Publishing, 2000.
Ryan Jr., Bernard. Community Service for Teens 8-Volume Set. Facts on File, 1998.
Rusch, Elizabeth. Generation Fix: Young Ideas for a Better World. Beyond Words Publishing Inc., 2002.
See Official web site for more information

Citizenship in the Nation merit badge
Requirements and some info
Citizenship in the World

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