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How Are The U.S. Governments Divided? The Three Branches Of Power

In General

The United States is the oldest federation in the world, with democracy since 1800. It is a constitutional, democratic and representative republic, where the mandate of the majority is regulated by the rights of minorities, protected by law.

The government is regulated by a system of controls and balances, defined by the Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document. In the American federalist system, citizens are generally subject to three levels of government: federal, state, and local (counties and municipalities). In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by the citizens of the district.

The federal government is divided into three branches of power:

  1. Legislative power: The bicameral Congress (two chambers), composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Their role is to create federal laws, make declarations of war, pass treaties, administer public funds, and have the power of impeachment, through which they can remove government officials. The House of Representatives has 435 elected members, for a two-year term, each representing a congressional district. The places within the chamber are distributed among the states according to their population (according to the census) every ten years. The Senate has 100 members, as each state has two senators, elected for a six-year term; one-third of the seats in the Senate is elected every two years.

  2. Judiciary power: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the president and with the approval of the Senate, interpret laws and suppress those deemed unconstitutional. The Supreme Court, led by the chief justice, has nine members, which are permanent positions.

  3. Executive power: The president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, can veto bills before they become official laws and appoints cabinet members (approved by the Senate) and other officers, who administer and enforce federal and political laws. The President serves a term of office for a term of four years and maybe elected for no more than two terms, i.e. no more than eight consecutive years. The president is not elected by the direct vote of the citizens, but by an indirect system of electoral colleges, in which the determining votes are divided by state. A state can only provide a certain number of votes according to the number of congressmen it has within the legislative branch: senators (two senators for each state) and representatives (which varies according to the population by the census of each state); giving a total of 538 members. The country's two-party system allows a presidential candidate, whether Republican or Democrat, to only need 270 votes to secure victory.

Some state and local (counties and municipalities) variants:

The governments of all fifty states are similarly structured (three branches of power), although Nebraska is the only one that has a unicameral legislature (a single chamber).

The governor (chief executive) of each state is elected by the direct vote of the citizens.

Some state judges and cabinet officials are appointed by the governors of the respective states, while others are elected by direct vote of the citizens.

All laws and government procedures are subject to judicial review, and any laws that are contrary to the Constitution, which establishes the structure and responsibilities of the federal government and its relationship with state governments, are annulled.

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Jennifer Brown
Jennifer Brown
15 Kas 2023

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