Government Of The USA

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The form of government is based on three main principles: federalism, the separation of powers, and respect for the Constitution with its seven articles and 26 amendments. Americans are subject to two governments, that of their state and that of the Union, and each has its own distinct function. The states have, under the Constitution, the primary functions of providing law and order, education, public health and most of the things which concern day-to-day life. The Federal government at Washington is concerned with foreign affairs and with matters of general concern to all the states, including commerce between the states.
At each level, in state and Union, there is a constitution which defines and limits political power, and which provides safeguards against tyranny and means for popular participation. In each state, power is divided between three agencies, with law-making power given to a legislature (usually of two houses, elected for fixed terms), an executive (the governor), and finally the judges of the State Supreme Court. A possible abuse of power or infringement by one branch on the rights and duties of the others is prevented by a system of checks and balances. Each state is divided into counties, which have their own powers. Within the counties the towns have their own local governments. City government, with elected mayor, council and judges, reproduces the state pattern on a smaller scale. Each of the fifty states has its own peculiarities. But one can say that all state and city governments provide for election of legislatures and executives for fixed terms, and all have devices for ensuring that each of the three elements of government exercises a check on the other two.
The Federal government also has three elements: executive (the President), legislative (Congress) and judicial (Supreme Court) branch, and the three elements are checked and balanced by one another. The President is the effective head of the executive branch of government, head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The Cabinet is appointed by the Presindent. Ist seat is the White House in Washington. In November of each leap year (next 2000) a President is elected to serve for exactly four years from a fixed day in the following January. The four-year rhythm has never been broken. Together with the President, a Vice-President is elected, and if the President dies the Vice-President becomes President for the unexpired part of the four years.
The founders of the Constitution thought of the President as a replacement for the English king, and did not expect any President to resign, though the old device of impeachment was available for Congress to remove a President by a special kind of political trial.
A constitutional amendment of 1967 made new arrangements for the succession, so that if a Vice-President in office dies or resigns the Senate elects a new one.
A person elected as Vice-President expects that he will have no defined function ...


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