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Politics of

the United
States
Background
The Declaration of Independence 1776
The War of Independence 1776-1783
The American Constitution 1789
Federal republic
TheUnited Statesis afederal republicin which
thepresident,Congress, andcourtssharepowersreserved to the
national government according to itsConstitution. At the same time,
thefederal governmentsharessovereigntywith
thestategovernments.
Theexecutive branchis headed by the President and is formally
independent of both the legislature and the judiciary. The cabinet
serves as a set of advisers to the President. They include the Vice
President and heads of the executive departments. Legislative power
is vested in the two chambers of Congress, theSenateand theHouse
of Representatives. The judicial branch (or judiciary), composed of
theSupreme Courtand lower federal courts, exercisesjudicial
power(or judiciary). The judiciary's function is to interpret theUnited
States Constitutionandfederal lawsand regulations. This includes
resolving disputes between the executive and legislative branches.
The federal government's layout is explained in the Constitution.
The political parties
Twopolitical parties, theDemocratic Partyand
theRepublican Party, have dominated American
politics since theAmerican Civil War, although
there are alsosmaller partieslike theLibertarian
Party, theGreen Party, and theConstitution Party.
Democratic Party
Tracing its heritage back toThomas JeffersonandJames
Madison'sDemocratic-Republican Party, the modern-day
Democratic Party was founded around 1828 byAndrew
Jackson, making it the world's oldest active party.
The party's philosophy ofmodern
liberalismadvocatessocialandeconomic equality, along with
thewelfare state.It seeks to provide government intervention
and regulation in the economy. These interventions, such as
the introduction ofsocial programs, support forlabor unions,
affordablecollege tuitions, moves towarduniversal health
careandequal opportunity,consumer protection,
andenvironmental protection form the core of the party's
economic policy. The party has united with smallerleft-
wingregional parties throughout the country.

Republican Party
TheRepublican Party, commonly referred to as
theGOP(abbreviation forGrand Old Party).The party is named
afterrepublicanism, the dominant value during theAmerican
Revolution. Founded by anti-slavery activists, modernists, ex-
Whigs and ex-Free Soilersin 1854, the Republicans dominated
politics nationally and in the majority of northern States for most
of the period between 1860 and 1932.
There have been 18 Republican presidents, the first
beingAbraham Lincoln, who served from 1861 to 1865, when he
wasassassinated, and the most recent beingGeorge W. Bush, who
served from 2001 to 2009. ThePresident-elect of the United
States, businessmanDonald TrumpofNew York, will become the
19th Republican president on January 20, 2017.
The Republican Party's current ideology isAmerican conservatism,
which contrasts with the Democrats'modern liberalism. The
Republican Party's platform involves support forfree market
capitalism, free enterprise,fiscal conservatism,a strong national
defense,deregulation, and restrictions onlabor unions. In addition
to advocating for conservative economic policies, the Republican
Party issocially conservative(particularly in its opposition
toabortionandsame-sex marriage), and seeks to
ThePresident of the United
States
Presidentis the electedhead of stateandhead of
governmentof theUnited States. The president directs
theexecutive branchof thefederal governmentand is
thecommander-in-chiefof theUnited States Armed Forces.
The President is considered to be one of the world's most
powerful political figures, as the leader of the only
contemporary globalsuperpower.The role includes being
the commander-in-chief of the world'smost expensive
militarywith thesecond largest nuclear arsenaland
leading the nation with thelargest economy by nominal
GDP. The office of President holds
significanthardandsoftpower both in theUnited
Statesand abroad.
President Elect
TheUnited States Congress
It is thebicamerallegislature of thefederal governmentof
theUnited Statesconsisting of two chambers: theSenateand
theHouse of Representatives. The Congress meets in
theCapitolin Washington, D.C. Both senators and representatives
are chosen throughdirect election, though vacancies in the
Senate may be filled by agubernatorialappointment. Members
are usually affiliated to theRepublican Partyor to theDemocratic
Party, and only rarely to athird partyor asindependents.
Congress has 535 voting members: 435 Representatives and 100
Senators. The House of Representatives hassix non-voting
membersin addition to its 435 voting members. These members
can, however, sit on congressional committees and introduce
legislation. These members representWashington, D.C.,Puerto
Rico,American Samoa,Guam, theNorthern Mariana Islandsand
theU.S. Virgin Islands.
TheSupreme Court of the
United States
Itis thehighestfederal court of the United States.
Established pursuant toArticle III of the United
States Constitutionin 1789, it has ultimate (and
largelydiscretionary)appellate jurisdictionover all
federal courts and overstate courtcases involving
issues offederal law, plusoriginal jurisdictionover
a small range of cases. In thelegal system of the
United States, the Supreme Court is the final
interpreter offederal constitutional law, although
it may only act within the context of a case in
which it has jurisdiction.
Elections
Unlike in someparliamentary systems, Americans vote for a
specific candidate instead of directly selecting a particular political
party. With a federal government, officials are elected at the
federal (national), state and local levels. On a national level,
thePresident, is elected indirectly by the people, through
anElectoral College. In modern times, the electors virtually always
vote with the popular vote of their state. All members ofCongress,
and the offices at the state and local levels are directly elected.
Various federal and state laws regulate elections. TheUnited States
Constitutiondefines (to a basic extent) how federal elections are
held, inArticle OneandArticle Twoand
variousamendments.Statelaw regulates most aspects of electoral
law, including primaries, the eligibility of voters (beyond the basic
constitutional definition), the running of each state's electoral
college, and the running of state and local elections.
Dziedzienki
Bylwia Sbiernad Jgnacy Iankowski
Wawid Dojtaszek