Was It Friday 13th Last Week, Or Is It Today?!!!
Friday 20th January is the day when, every 4 years at 12.00 noon, the inauguration is held for the President of the United States of America.
The swearing-in ceremony takes place at the U.S. Capitol and is organized by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. It is usually followed by a parade along Pennsylvania Avenue.
The US inauguration has been held on the 20th January since the second term of Franklin D Roosevelt in 1937. Prior to this, they had been held on 4th March since George Washington took office for the second time, in 1793, having been first inaugurated on April 30th 1789, as the first President of the USA.
Americans to achieve political autonomy
It is also interesting to note that on January 21st in 1793, Louis XVI of France was executed. The two events (i.e. the achievement by America of Independence from the British Crown and the French Revolution) were closely linked by the philosophy that underpinned the former. The success of the Americans to achieve political autonomy, inspired the French people to aspire to the same independence. The previous French support for the American war of independence had also put them into serious debt, undermining the French economy and providing the seedbed for revolution.
At the time of the American Revolution, there were 20 British colonies. However, only 13 supported the revolution. Those in current Canada resolutely maintained their neutrality, despite American overtures and in fact a failed invasion by them of Quebec. The American Revolution was also a civil war and over 100,000 loyalists fled as a result of it, mainly to Canada.
Ideas are powerful
The philosophy of the time was much influenced by the English philosopher, John Locke (1632 to 1704). Locke propounded a theory of natural rights, arguing that governments had obligations to their citizens and could ultimately be overthrown by those citizens under certain circumstances. Interestingly, Locke’s father served with the Parliamentary forces in the English Civil War. Ideas are powerful. Fortunately these days, with universal suffrage we are able to have elections instead of revolutions to achieve these results. With a set limit on the term of any government with the requirement for a subsequent populist vote, the need for revolution is hopefully replaced by the right to vote.
Financial Reporting Standards Provide Consistency
2016 was perhaps a vivid example of this and perhaps Friday 20th January is a chance to reflect on this. Things continually change, but if something works why change it. Double entry bookkeeping was “invented” in 1494 but is still with us today. Accountancy is a universal language, and financial reporting standards are international. They provide consistency across the globe and a common financial language for all peoples. Bravo Luca Pacioli!
You can read more about US Presidential Inuaguration here