The USA is a federal union of 50 states. The basic law is the constitution, adopted in 1787, which prescribes the structure of national government and lists its rights and fields of authority. Each state has its government and all of them have the dual character of both Federal and State government. The political system of the USA is divided into three branches: judicial, legislative and executive. Each branch holds a certain degree of power over the others, and all take part in the governmental process.
The flag. It is called the stars and the stripes and old glory. It was adopted in 1777. The red stripes proclaim courage, the white - liberty, and the field of blue stands for loyalty.
The coat of arms. The coat of arms of the US represents an eagle with wings outspread, holding a bangle of rods (the symbol of administer) in the left claw and olive twig (the emblem of love) in the right claw. The motto of the coat of arms is 'one out of many" (aplinibus nun).
The nick name. It was in 1812 when the nickname of the US government "Uncle Sam" appeared. 'Uncle' Samuel Wilson supplied beef to the American army, during the war of 1812, standing his barrels with the letters 'U. S.’ The army as ‘Uncle Sam’s’ knew this beef, and later on this familiar name became associated with the US government.
The constitution of the USA. Although the American system of government is based on Great Britain's, it differs in having a written constitution, that is the bases of all government and law. The constitution of the US was adopted after the War of Independence on the 17th of September 1787. It lists the set of rules, law regulations, which provide the practical norms, regulating the work of the government. The document imbodied the practical theories of man of property. The main principle underline the constitution was as follows: "Private property is the backbone of liberty". It was put forward by a rich plantation owner from Virginia James Madison, who is known to be a father of the constitution.
The constitution consists of Preamble and seven articles. 27 amendments have so far been added to its original text. The first 10 amendments, known as "the Bill of Rights', were added in a group in 1791. These amendments establish the individual rights and freedoms to all people of the states, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of worship etc. Americans fill that of all freedoms, proclaimed in the constitution, there is only one freedom - the freedom of enterprise. But it means freedom of the wealthy people only. The 21st amendment limited the President's ruling by maximum two terms.
The legislative branch. Supreme legislative power in the American government lies with Congress: the Senate, the upper house; and the House of the Representatives - the Lower House. Each state has its own government - State Assemblies or, Legislatures with two houses. According to the constitution of the USA, all citizens of both sexes over 18 years of age has a right of voting, but in reality the number of voters is much smaller. The main task of Congress is to make federal laws, to levy federal taxes, to make rules for trade, to corn money, to organise Armed forces, to declare war, to make amendments to the constitution or put foreign treaties into effect.
Under the constitution the US Senate has some special powers, not given to the House of representatives. It approves or disapproves the main presidential appointments: Ambassadors. Cabinet Members and federal judges; also ratify by a 2/3 vote treatments between the USA and foreign countries. The House of Representatives has a special power of its own - to invent a bill to raise money.
The Senate is composed of 100 members - two from each of 50 states, who are elected for a term of * years. Although congressional elections take place every two years, only 1/3 of the Senate is reelected. A Senator must be at least 30ty years old, a citizen of the USA for 9 years and a resident of the state from which he is elected. Democrats sit in the western part of the chamber - on Vice-president right. Republicans sit on his left. Vice-president presides over the Senate and conducts debates. The Senate is stable and more conservative than the House of Representatives and many Senators are more experienced politicians.
The House of representatives has 450 members. The number of Representatives depends on the population of each state. A Representative must be at least 25 years age, a US citizen for 7 years and live in the state from which he is elected. Democrats sit on the Speakers right, republicans - on his left. The Speaker presides over the House and conducts debates. The Speaker, like Vice-president, may vote. Most of the Congressmen are layers, businessman and bankers. The American press as an unrepresentative institution sometimes criticises the US Congress.