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Chapter 10 American Political System


Mount Rushmore

Capitol Building

The White House

Supreme Court Building

Chapter 10 US Political Institutions
I. The US Constitution

II. The Executive Branch
III. The Legislative Branch

IV. The Judicial Branch
V. Political Parties

American Constitution
The Constitution of 1787 -the oldest written constitution in the world

The US Constitution
? Two Characteristics Federalism Separation of powers :checks and balances

Federalism
? Federalism means the division of the powers of government between the nation and the state. Each American is subject to two governments: ? 1) the government of his state and ? 2) the government of the Union. ? The states have 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 the states, including commerce between the states.

The US Constitution
?Separation of powers: checks and balances
Separation of Powers It refers to the principle that the national government is split into 3 branches: legislative, executive and judicial. In the legislative branch, power is split further into 2 houses.

Executive Branch

Legislative Branch

Judicial Branch Supreme Court

President

Congress

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE U, S, 1787
Article 1.

All legislative Powers shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE U, S, 1787
Article 2. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.He shall hold his office during the Term of four years……

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE U, S, 1787
Article 3. The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court

checks and balances
?Separation of powers: checks and balances
Checks and Balances Each branch has part of the powers but not all the power.

Each branch of government can check, or block, the actions of the other.
The 3 branches are in balance.

Checks and Balances

Checks and Balances
?Examples
Congress may pass a law, but the President can cancel it. Then Congress may pass the law again---this time by a 2/3 vote---and the president cannot veto it. But the law may still be cancelled if the Supreme Court decides it unconstitutional.

The Congress can impeach the president or a Supreme Court judge.

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE U, S, 1787
Article 4.

?

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution

Political Principles of the U.S. Government

The separation of powers
Federalism

Respect for the constitution and
the rule of law

US Federal Government

The Legislative Branch
? A Bicameral Congress the Senate (Upper House)
2 / states
6-year terms the Vice President

the House of Representatives (Lower House)
determined by population 2-year terms Speaker

Qualifications
Senators Members of the House of Representative

US Capitol Building

The Legislative Branch

? Powers of the House and Senate
Both Houses have the power to introduce legislation on any subject. The Senate has the authority to confirm presidential appointments of high officials as well as ratify all treaties. The House has power over revenue bills and brings charges of improper behavior of officials.

How a Bill Becomes a Law
? 1. A member of Congress introduces a bill ? 2. Committees review and vote on the bill Committees are made up of small groups of senators or representatives. The committee may reject the bill and “table” it, meaning it is never discussed again. Or it may hold hearings to listen to facts and opinions, make changes in the bill and cast votes. If most committee members vote in favor of the bill,

it is sent back to the Senate and the House for debate.

How a Bill Becomes a Law
? 3. The Senate and the House debate and vote on the bill Separately, the Senate and the House debate the bill, offer amendments and cast votes. If the bill is defeated in either the Senate or the House, the bill dies. If a majority of both the Senate and the House votes for the bill, it goes to the President for approval. ? 4. The President signs the bill—or not If the President approves the bill and signs it, the bill becomes a law. However, if the President disapproves, he can veto the bill by refusing to sign it. Congress can try to overrule a veto. If both the Senate and the House pass the bill by a two-thirds majority, the President's veto is overruled and the bill becomes a law.

The Executive Branch
? The Presidency The form of government in the US is described as the “presidential system”. The president is head of the executive branch, head of the state, and commander of the armed forces. The First Citizen ﹥﹥The First Lady Two successive four-years terms

Qualifications for a US President

A natural-born American citizen at least 35 years old. Candidates for the Presidency are chosen by political parties before the presidential

election

Presidential Powers
Executive powers
issue rules, regulations and instructions, called executive orders. the Commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Legislative powers
issue bills and political orders veto any bill passed by Congress and, unless 2/3 in each house vote to override the veto, the bill does not become law.

Presidential Powers
Powers in foreign affairs
relations with foreign nations.

He appoints ambassadors and receives foreign ambassadors and other public officials.

Judicial powers
to give reprieves and pardons in federal criminal cases.
offer a pardon to a group of people, an amnesty influence the judicial system by appointing federal judges and Supreme Court justices

The Executive Departments
The President
The Cabinet The Vice-president 13 departments State Dept. Treasure Dept. Defense Dept. Justice Dept.

The White House

The Judicial Branch

The structure: the Supreme Court,

11 courts of appeals,
91 district courts, 3 courts of special jurisdiction The Jury system and common law

The Supreme Court
the only organ that has the power to interpret the Constitution.
a Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices

Judges are appointed by the President and
confirmed by the Senate. Impeached by the Congress Opening: 1st Mon. Oct. ﹥﹥ middle of June

The Supreme Court
Interprets laws can hear appeals from any federal court cases.

to hear appeals from state court cases that involve
the Constitution or national laws. may declare a law unconstitutional. may declare a presidential act unconstitutional

Political Parties
?
Two-party system Federalists vs. Democratic Republicans Whigs vs. Democrats the Republicans Vs. the Democrats

Political Parties

? There will always be two-party system in the United States simply because it works well to get two names on the ballot for every office.

Political Parties
? Different views of the 2 parties

On economic issues
the Democrats favor government intervention the Republicans stress the role of the market

On social issues
the Democrats support a strong social security system

the Republicans oppose large governmental social security programs.

Electing President
1. Primary election (Feb.-June)

NOT POPULAR VOTE BUT ELECTORAL VOTES

2. The major parties hold conventions
to choose candidates for President to determine the parties platforms

3.The campaigning stage
radio, television, communications newspapers, and personal

4. Choose a slate of presidential electors who make up the Electoral College 5. Tuesday following the 1st Monday in November
(Election day)

Electoral college membership in the US

Electoral College
The electors of all 50 states and the District of Columbia (3 electors)---a total of 538 To be successful, a candidate for Presidency must receive at least 270 votes. If no candidate has a majority, the decision shall be made by the House of Representatives, with all members from a state voting as a unit. In this event, each state and the District of Columbia would be allotted one vote only.

The “winner-take-all” system
Who would be the president?

The candidate with the most votes in a state wins all of that states electoral votes

The candidate who wins the majority of the
Electoral College votes will be the president.

总统大选浮世绘

Obama在拉选票

较量

各党支持者 百态纷呈

相互抨击

投票机

Inauguration ceremony
The presidential term of 4 years begins on January 20 following the November election. held on the steps of the US Capitol The president publicly takes an oath of office, which is administered by the Chief Justice The oath-taking ceremony is followed by an inaugural address, in which the new President outlines the policies and plans of his administration.

Inauguration ceremony, 2009

Inauguration ceremony, 2009

The Inauguration

Transitional Page

ELEMENTS
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