United States Government

United States Government

The federal government of the United States came to light in the year 1789. Just over two hundred thirty years ago, the United States founded its federal government under the US Constitution. There are fifteen departments in total of the federal government, and the president of the US is the head of it all. The electoral college collectively decides who ultimately becomes the president, and the headquarters of the United States federal government is the White House in D.C.

The United States government can be broken down into two different sectors: federal and state-level. The federal US government refers to the system of government that rules over all fifty states. The state-level government is applicable only to one state. Each of the fifty states in the US has their own state-level government, and since the government only applies to a given state, there are many differences in laws from one state to another.

Unlike state-level government, the federal government puts laws into place that apply to everyone in the nation. Let's focus on the federal government on the United States. There are three separate branches of government at the federal level, and these branches include legislative, executive, and judicial. Each branch has certain individuals who head the decision-making and create the actual changes that arise in federal government.

So, the legislative branch of the federal government consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The executive branch of government is in the hands of the president, the vice president, and the Cabinet of the United States. The judicial branch of government is comprised of a plethora of judges, particularly the Supreme Court of the United States.

Legislative Branch of the US Government

The legislative branch is responsible for creating laws and preparing documents to be viewed by the executive and judicial branches. The legislative branch passes laws, putting them into action. This branch of government is comprised of Congress, which is broken down into the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Senate is currently part of the 116th United States legislative branch. Each state is allotted two senators as part of the Senate. The senators are usually representative of the same political party, but this is not always the case. That said, there are one hundred senators who are part of the Senate.

The House of Representatives is the other half of the two chambers of Congress. There are currently four hundred thirty-five members of the United States House of Representatives. Unlike the Senate, in which every state is provided the same number of two representatives, the number of representatives in the House of Representatives is based solely on population sizes. So, a large state like Texas would have far more representatives in the House than a smaller state like New Jersey, for example.

Executive Branch of the US Government

The executive branch of government is lead by the president of the United States. The vice president, as well as the Cabinet, are right below the president in terms of power in the executive branch.

The vice president and the Cabinet instill integrity in the United States government. By acting as a checks and balances system, the executive branch carries out the laws set forth by the legislative branch, but the vice president and the Cabinet make sure that the president appropriately adheres to United States laws.

The hierarchy of the executive branch of government is as follows...

  • The president
  • The vice president
  • White House Chief of Staff
  • White House Press Secretary
  • The department heads
  • The independent agencies

Here are the current standing members of the executive branch of government….

  • President Donald Trump
  • Vice President Michael Pence
  • White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney
  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
  • The Department of Agriculture, Secretary Sonny Perdue
  • The Department of Commerce, Secretary Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.
  • The Department of Defense, Secretary Patrick Michael Shanahan
  • The Department of Education, Secretary Elisabeth Prince DeVos
  • The Department of Energy, James Richard Perry
  • The Department of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar
  • The Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Benjamin S. Carson, Sr.
  • The Department of The Interior, David Bernhardt
  • The Department of Justice, Attorney General William Barr
  • The Department of Labor, Secretary Alexander Acosta
  • The Department of State, Secretary Mike Pompeo
  • The Department of Transportation, Secretary Elaine L. Chao
  • The Department of The Treasury, Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs, Secretary Robert Wilkie

Judicial Branch of the US Government

The judicial branch of government takes a look at the bills that became laws and upholds them in the courts. The Supreme Court is the most well-known court of law in the United States, but all other federal courts fall into this branch of government as well. The Supreme Court is made up of

The Supreme Court came to be over two hundred thirty years ago. On the 4th of March in 1789, the Supreme Court of the United States was established in Washington, D.C. Judges are nominated as Supreme Court Justices by the president, and the Senate plays a part in either agreeing with or vetoing the president's decision. Under the United States Constitution, judges who are nominated to join the Supreme Court are judges for the rest of their lives because the Supreme Court grants life tenure to its Justices.

The Supreme Court is led by someone known as the Chief Justice of the United States. At present, the Chief Justice of the US is John Roberts. He has been residing as the Chief Justice of the USA ever since September 29th of 2005. The other justices are known as associate justices. There are nine justices on the Supreme Court, including the chief.

The current justices of the United States Supreme Court are...

  • John Roberts, as of September 29, 2005
  • Clarence Thomas, as of October 23, 1991
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as of August 10, 1993
  • Stephen Breyer, as of August 3, 1994
  • Samuel Alito, as of January 31, 2006
  • Sonia Sotomayor, as of August 8, 2009
  • Elena Kagan, as of August 7, 2010
  • Neil Gorsuch, as of April 10, 2017
  • Brett Kavanaugh, as of October 6, 2018

Is the US a Democracy?

Technically speaking, the United States is a democracy and not a republic. The most significant determining factor in designating the United States as a democracy is the fact that the people ultimately decide who is in power and which laws and regulations are put into effect. There are, however, different types of democracies. The United States is considered a "representative democracy." Usually, this type of democracy elects leaders to make decisions for the people. The chosen officials represent the greater democracy and population of the country as a whole. Comparatively, direct democracy has the entire population voting on important decisions, usually through a ballot-style system where every person has an equal say in the country's decisions.

What Is a Republic?

Conversely, many people will often hear the United States called a republic, a very different type of government system. And, while the United States is a democracy, there are elements of republic leadership that also make it a republic. In a republic-style government, certain leaders have executive power, able to enact specific laws and regulations. While the regulations and laws represent what the people want, one person has the ultimate say in the final decision. Technically speaking, the elected officials chosen by the people carry executive power, making the United States both a republic and a democracy.

What Other Types of Democracy Exist?

Running a country with a democratic policy is a fair way to rule a selection of people. Many newly formed nations will prefer some form of democracy to govern the country. Aside from direct democracy and representative democracy, other forms of this government exist. One popular type of democracy is called cellular democracy. This form of ruling uses a person's location to form a democracy. A person's location is organized using smaller neighborhoods to create a bottom-up style of ruling.

Another popular style of democracy is a liberal democracy. This type of government is a representative government but guarantees a person's liberty through law. The person's property is also guaranteed. The opposite of liberal democracy is defensive democracy. Defensive democracy limits the freedoms and rights of people who are represented in the larger democracy and voting pool. Lastly, religious democracy blends democratic ideals with certain religious beliefs, creating a hybrid ruling that includes religious values. There can be Christian democracy, Islamic democracy, or Jewish democracy.

What Countries are a Democracy?

Although the United States is indeed a democracy, several other nations are determined to be more democratic. One of the most democratic countries is Norway, closely followed by Iceland and Sweden. Both New Zealand and Finland are democracies, as well as Ireland, Canada, and Denmark. Rounding out the top ten most democratic countries are Switzerland and Australia, both believed to be more democratic than the United States. Some of the least democratic countries include North Korea, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria. These countries have limited democratic ideals and a flawed democratic system in place for the people.

United States Government