The New Administration: WhiteHouse.gov
• Abbreviations and Acronyms of the U.S. Government
• About America: How the United States is Governed CD
• Accountability in Government CD
• American National Government: An Overview CD
• The Obama Administration
• Basic Readings in U.S. Democracy: Creating a Government CD
• USA.gov: Frequently Asked Questions of the U.S. Government
• A Guide to the U.S. Federal System
• Outline of U.S. Government | Das amerikanische Regierungssytem CD
• magazinUSA: Das politische System der USA Deutsch
• BPB: Politisches System der USA Deutsch CD
• Portrait of America: A Responsive Government CD
• Portrait of America: Eine bürgernahe Regierung Deutsch CD
• Transparency in Government CD
• BPB: Die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika Deutsch
• About the America - How the U.S. is Governed (online publication)
• GPO: Basic Documents and Writings CD
• Core Documents of U.S. Democracy
• GPO: U.S. Government Manual
• U.S. Census Bureau: Federal, State, and Local Governments
• U.S. Census Bureau. Statistical Abstract 2006: Federal Government Finances and Employment CD
• OMB: U.S. Budget
• Yahoo: U.S. Government > Statistics
The United States is a federal union of 50 states, with the District of Columbia as the seat of the federal government. The Constitution outlines the structure of the national government and specifies its powers and activities, and defines the relationship between the national government and individual state governments. Power is shared between the national and state (local) governments. Within each state are counties, townships, cities and villages, each of which has its own elective government.
Governmental power and functions in the United States rest in three branches of government: the legislative, judicial, and executive. Article 1 of the Constitution defines the legislative branch and vests power to legislate in the Congress of the United States. The executive powers of the President are defined in Article 2. Article 3 places judicial power in the hands of one Supreme Court and inferior courts as Congress sees necessary to establish. In this system of a "separation of powers" each branch operates independently of the others, however, there are built in "checks and balances" to prevent a concentration of power in any one branch and to protect the rights and liberties of citizens. For example, the President can veto bills approved by Congress and the President nominates individuals to serve in the Federal judiciary; the Supreme Court can declare a law enacted by Congress or an action by the President unconstitutional; and Congress can impeach the President and Federal court justices and judges.
About the USA > U.S. Government > The Constitution
For High School Students
• Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids
• Official Kids Portal for the U.S. Government
• PBS: How does government affect me?
• House of Representatives. Office of the Clerk: Kids in the House
• MSHA.gov: Our Government - Learn about the Three Branches of Government
• EDSITEment: Balancing Three Branches at Once: Our System of Checks and Balances
• NARA: Constitutional Issues: Separation of Powers
• Educator's Reference Desk: Role of the Government
• Dirksen Congressional Center: About Government Homepage
• Library of Congress: Browse Government Web Resources
• GPO: Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
• Rutgers University Library: Federal Documents on the Internet
• University of Michigan: Federal Government Resources on the Web
• U.S. Dep. of Commerce: FedWorld
• USA.gov: Government Made Easy
• GovSpot.com: Virtual Research Center
• Regulations.gov: U.S. Government eRulemaking Program
• This Nation: American Government & Politics Information Site
• Open Directory Program: U.S. Government
• University of Pennsylvania Library: U.S. Government Documents - Research Guide
• Yahoo! U.S. Government
Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials. What kind of information materials are available?
CD: These documents are available in fulltext format on the About the USA CD-ROM. Teachers: Request a copy for classroom use.
L: Selected documents are available in German as well as other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Persian and Turkish.
Any reference obtained from this server to a specific commercial product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the United States Government of the product, process, or service, or its producer or provider. The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government.
U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany /Public Affairs/ Information Resource Centers
Updated: July 9, 2009