What are the three branches of American government?
Executive Branch: Led by the president, the Executive Branch supports and enforces laws and policies.
Legislative Branch: Led by Congress, the Legislative Branch creates laws and policies.
Judicial Branch: Led by the Supreme Court, the Judicial Branch enforces and evaluates laws and policies.
What Supreme Court case ruled that separating public schools based on race was unconstitutional?
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
What Supreme Court case ruled that abortion is a right?
Roe v. Wade (1973)
What Supreme Court case was the first in which "judicial review" was implemented, and gave federal courts the right to reject acts of Congress, if these acts were found to violate the Constitution?
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
What type of election is held when candidates from various parties run against one another to determine which candidate(s) will hold a particular office?
General elections for the U.S. presidency are held every four years.
What type of election is held within a political party to determine which candidate(s) will run in a general election?
Primary elections are held before a general election.
What is the Electoral College and how does it work?
The Electoral College is the organization that determines who will be elected the President and Vice President of the United States.
- Each state elects people to act as "Electors" on the Electoral College. The number of Electors for each state is equal to its number of representatives in Congress. In addition, the District of Columbia is entitled to 3 Electors.
- Electors receive the votes from Americans in their state, then select the candidate reflecting the outcome of those votes.
Which five government agencies receive the most government funding, and how much did the United States budget for the year 2014?
- Department of Defense ($526.6 billion)
- Department of Health and Human Services ($78.3 billion)
- Department of Education ($71.2 billion)
- Department of Veterans Affairs ($63.5 billion)
- Department of Housing and Urban Development ($33.1 billion)
In 2014, the approved federal budget requested $3.03 trillion dollars in revenue and $3.77 trillion dollars in expenditures, for a deficit of $744 billion dollars.
What influence did the Greeks and Romans have on the eventual development of American democracy?
Many Greek city-states and the Roman Republic were seen as models by the founding fathers, especially those societies' use of democratic government and representative democracy.
How does a Bill become a Law?
- The bill must be proposed by a member of Congress.
- A committee reviews the bill and either does away with it or reviews it further. Review is followed by a committee vote. If the vote is in favor of the bill, it returns to Congress.
- The House of Representatives debates the bill. If the bill is not defeated during the debate, it moves to a vote. If this vote is positive, it moves on to the Senate.
- The Senate debates the bill. If the bill is not defeated during the debate, it moves to a vote. If this vote is positive, it moves on to the President.
- The bill is then either signed by the President and passed, vetoed and rejected, or nothing is done (which results in the bill passing after 10 days - only if Congress is in session).
Also worth checking out: "I'm just a bill . . . "
Where does the government get the majority of its tax revenue?
Tax revenue is the income collected by the government from various forms of taxation. The majority of the nation's tax revenue comes from income tax (47%) and payroll tax (34%).
* Based on 2013 statistics.
Which organization advocates to protect citizens' Constitutional rights?
American Civil Liberties Union
Which American interest group, founded in 1909, works to promote equal rights for all people regardless of race?
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Which American organization was founded in 1871 and defends the Second Amendment: "the right to keep and bear arms?"
National Rifle Association
What are the two major American political parties and their major platforms?
Democrats and Republicans
- support universal health care,
- support tax cuts for low and middle class, but support tax increases for the rich,
- support social services such as welfare and unemployment,
- take a liberal standpoint on marriage and a woman's right to choose (support gay marriage and a woman's right to choose),
- support stronger gun control legislation,
- oppose oil drilling and promote renewable energy sources.
- oppose universal health care,
- support tax cuts for all,
- believe less funding should be given to social causes such as welfare and unemployment,
- take a conservative standpoint on marriage and a woman's right to choose (believe marriage should be between a man and a woman; favor restrictions against abortion),
- oppose stronger gun legislation,
- support oil drilling.
PLEASE NOTE: The above were good-faith, but still inadequate summaries of some of the major views of these 2 political parties. You may click to read the Democrat's and Republican's more offical words.
How many individuals make up the United States House of Representatives?
435 individuals (number based on population by state)
How many individuals make up the United States Senate?
100 individuals (2 per state)
How many individuals make up the United States Supreme Court?
Nine (including the Chief Justice)
How long is a United States congressional term?
There is no limit to the number of terms that a member of Congress can serve.
How long is a United States presidential term?
The president may only carry out 2 four-year terms.
How long is a United States senatorial term?
There is no limit to the number of terms that a Senator can serve.