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The United States of America (commonly referred to as the United States, the U.S., the USA, America or less commonly United States of the Americas) is a federal constitutional republic comprised of 67 states and a federal district. The country is situated in North America and South America. This expansion was due in partial to the wars and disasters in most of the Western Hemisphere, including the collapse of the Pound.
Government and Politics
The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation. It is a constitutional republic and representative democracy, "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law." The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the U.S. Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document. In the American federalist system, citizens are usually subject to three levels of government, federal, state, and local; the local government's duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments. In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district. Representation is proportional at the federal level, and in most cases at the local level as well.
The federal government is composed of three branches:
Legislative: The bicameral Congress, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives, makes federal law, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse, and has the power of impeachment, by which it can remove sitting members of the government. Most broad legislative decisions are actually left to popular referendum, while members of Congress act more as administrators and upholders of government. The Senate is comprised of 124 senators, who are capable of serving for two six year terms. The House of Representatives is headed by a Speaker who is elected for a limit of four two year terms and is made up of state representatives who are elected based on the population of the state.
Executive: The president is the commander-in-chief of the military, can veto legislative bills before they become law, and appoints the members of the Cabinet (subject to Senate approval) and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies. The President is capable of serving for a limit of two four year terms and is elected alongside a vice-president.
Judicial: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the president with Senate approval, interpret laws and overturn those they find unconstitutional.
Parties, ideology, and politics
The United States has operated under a two party system for most of its history. However, following the split of the Republican Party in 2014, seven parties had begun serving the Congress. By the Election of 2016, the major parties have been the Democratic Party, founded in 1824, the Moderate Party (formed from the Republican Party), the Conservative Party (formed from the Republican Party), the Libertarian Party, founded in 1971, the Green Party, founded in 2001 and the Unity Party, founded in 2015.
- Amendment 1: Freedom of Speech, Religion, Press, Assembly, and Protest are Protected
- Amendment 2: Right to bear arms.
- Amendment 3: No quartering of soldiers in private homes.
- Amendment 4: No unwarranted search and seizures.
- Amendment 5: No double jeopardy, and ensures a trial by a jury, and rights of the accused.
- Amendment 6: Right to a speedy public trial with legal counsel.
- Amendment 7: Trial by jury for civil cases.
- Amendment 8: No cruel or unusual punishment, or excessive bail.
- Amendment 9: Any rights not mentioned are rights of the people.
- Amendment 10: Reserved Rights to the States.
- Amendment 11: Judicial separation of states and federal government.
- Amendment 12: Establishes the Vice President for a vote by the electoral college.
- Amendment 13: Abolishes Slavery.
- Amendment 14: States must abide by constitutional law, and defines anyone born in the US as a US citizen.
- Amendment 15: Former slaves can vote, and voters cannot be discriminated against based on race.
- Amendment 16: Income Tax.
- Amendment 17: Direct Election of Senators.
- Amendment 18: Prohibition
- Amendment 19: Women's right to vote.
- Amendment 20: Shortens lame duck period, and establishes VP as Presidential successor.
- Amendment 21: Repeals 18th Amendment.
- Amendment 22: 2 Presidential terms established as term limits.
- Amendment 23: DC gains presidential electors.
- Amendment 24: No taxes for voting.
- Amendment 25: Provides for temporary removal of President and temporary transfer of powers to VP.
- Amendment 26: 18 year old voting age.
- Amendment 27: Limits congressional pay raises.
- Amendment 28: Establishes term limits of Senators (two six year terms) and Representatives (six two year terms).
- Amendment 29: Establishes the Speaker of the House and the Vice-President as elected positions for two four year terms.
- Amendment 30: Supreme Court justices have limits of ten years and must be reappointed by Congress.
- Amendment 31: