The United States is a republic, a form of government in which the people and the representatives they elect hold the power. The founders wanted to escape living under a monarchy and chose to form a new government. The government was framed as a republic so the people could elect representatives to make policy decisions. The country has 50 states, several territories, and one district, the District of Columbia. Several countries, including West Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia, model their governments after the U.S.
System of Checks and Balances
The U.S. Constitution divides the government into three branches to prevent one branch from gaining too much power. The president nominates people to head federal agencies. Congress has the ability to confirm or reject the president’s nominees, and Congress may remove a president from office that they consider unfit to serve.
Politics in the U.S. are dominated by the Democratic and Republican parties. The president is usually elected from one of the two parties. The president heads the federal government, but each state has its own form of administration. The powers of each state exist within their boundaries, but they have no jurisdiction over any of the other states. Each state government is made up of the governor and the state legislature.
The three branches of the United States government are:
The executive branch is made up of the president, the vice-president, and the cabinet. The president is the most powerful person in the government, but the powers of the president are limited by the U.S. Constitution. The president is the commander-in-chief of the military and appoints a cabinet. The president may only serve two terms of four years.
The legislative branch of the U.S. government is bicameral, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The House has 435 members that each represent a congressional district. The higher the population of a state, the more representation they have. Each of the U.S. territories is represented in Congress. The U.S. Senate is composed of 100 senators, two from each state. Each senate term is six years. The president may choose appointees to federal government positions, but many must be approved by the senate.
The judicial branch of the U.S. government is intended to be independent of the executive and legislative branches. The judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court and the Federal Courts. Supreme Court Justices are nominated by the president and may be confirmed or rejected by the U.S. Senate. The Supreme Court explains laws and has the power to uphold and apply them. The court has the ability to overturn laws that they believe are unconstitutional.
Why The United States Must Be A Republic
Article IV of the U.S Constitution requires that each state of the union must be a republic. Section 4 of Article IV states the U.S. must guarantee that every state in the union has a Republican Form of Government. This isn’t a reference to the Republican Party but means that the government isn’t ruled by a king. The government must be accountable to all its citizens under the rule of law. The laws of the United States must be applied equally to all people.
Difference Between Republic And Democracy
Many people are confused about the similarities and differences between a republic and a democracy. Both types of government are representative. The people vote for the politicians they want to represent them. The primary difference between the two forms of government is that a republic has a charter or constitution to preserve the rights of the people. In a pure democracy, the will of the majority may be imposed on the rights of the minority.
Primary Features Of A Republic
- A republic is opposed to one person having full control of the government to prevent abuses against the minority.
- A representative democracy and a republic are similar. However, a republic has a written constitution to protect the rights of the people.
- Republics are designed to prevent the separation of different classes by political, economic, or class distinctions. States handle these matters in different ways.
- Most republics are free-market economies. The economic policies under which each state is governed are voted on in Congress by the representatives elected by the people.
- A republic adheres to freedom of religion. The U.S. constitution prohibits infringing on anyone’s religious rights.
- Freedom of speech, the press, and religion are guaranteed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The rights to petition the government and peacefully protest is guaranteed.
- There is a constitutional provision against interfering with the rights of private property owners.
The party that’s voted in to run the country cannot take away certain rights of the people, including the right to vote. Among the modern-day versions of republics are France, Costa Rica, Ireland, and Switzerland. Many people confuse the terms representative and direct democracy. Although the United States has representatives who vote on laws, the country is a democratic republic.
The rule of law governs the U.S. Anyone elected to public office is bound to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States. The laws of the country are supposed to protect all its citizens. Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution was written into the document because the founders wanted a democratic republic rather than a monarchy.
Constitutional republics work best together when there’s free trade between countries. One of the pitfalls of the system of government in the United States is that laws that would benefit the people can be deadlocked by the majority party.
The president is the commander-in-chief of the military. However, it’s the duty of Congress to appropriate military spending and has the power to declare war on other nations. Congress may overturn decisions of the Supreme Court by passing amendments to the constitution. Congress also has the ability to impeach the president and members of the judicial branch of the government.