United States Government | Scholastic
States continue to take significant actions to lessen barriers to workforce entry caused by occupational licensing. CSG facilitates a consortium of 11 states looking at occupational licensing reform as a part of a project in All Rights Reserved. The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall .. being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people . The Constitution of the United States established America's national The Confederation Congress, which in February endorsed the idea, invited all 13 states to send delegates to a meeting in Philadelphia. power, fearing it would endanger the rights of states and individuals. . All Rights Reserved.
Another controversial topic was slavery. For the purposes of taxation and determining how many representatives a state could send to Congress, it was decided that slaves would be counted as three-fifths of a person. On September 17, George Washington was the first to sign the document.
Of the 55 delegates, a total of 39 signed; some had already left Philadelphia, and three—George Mason and Edmund Randolph of Virginiaand Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts—refused to approve the document. In order for the Constitution to become law, it then had to be ratified by nine of the 13 states. James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, with assistance from John Jay, wrote a series of essays to persuade people to ratify the Constitution. People who supported the Constitution became known as Federalists, while those opposed it because they thought it gave too much power to the national government were called Anti-Federalists.
United States Government
Beginning on December 7,five states— DelawarePennsylvania, New JerseyGeorgia and Connecticut—ratified the Constitution in quick succession. However, other states, especially Massachusetts, opposed the document, as it failed to reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked constitutional protection of basic political rights, such as freedom of speech, religion and the press.
In Februarya compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. The Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina.
On June 21,New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was subsequently agreed that government under the U. Constitution would begin on March 4, On February 2,the U. Supreme Court held its first session, marking the date when the government was fully operative. Rhode Island, the last holdout of the original 13 states, finally ratified the Constitution on May 29, House of Representatives, introduced 19 amendments to the Constitution.
On September 25,Congress adopted 12 of the amendments and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of these amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rightswere ratified and became part of the Constitution on December 10, The Bill of Rights guarantees individuals certain basic protections as citizens, including freedom of speech, religion and the press; the right to bear and keep arms; the right to peaceably assemble; protection from unreasonable search and seizure; and the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury.
The most recent amendment to the Constitution, Article XXVII, which deals with congressional pay raises, was proposed in and ratified in Through all the changes, the Constitution has endured and adapted.
Together they are called the Congress.
10th Amendment: Rights Reserved to States or People - National Constitution Center
The two bodies of Congress work together to make the laws and regulations for the country. The task of reviewing and passing legislation is extremely complex. Congress has built up a staff of more than 10, assistants to help perform these jobs more thoroughly. Each senator and representative has a personal staff. Some work on legislation in Washington, D.
The Congress also has a number of agencies designed to assist in various aspects of the legislative process. One of the best known is the Library of Congress. It houses the nation's most complete collection of books and also provides research services for congressional offices. Another well-known agency is the Congressional Budget Office. It provides assistance to those in Congress who evaluate the amount of money government should spend each year.
The number of ideas for legislative action introduced into the Congress is truly astounding. In a typical two-year session, more than 10, bills are submitted for consideration. The House and Senate cannot possibly deal with this many matters. So over the years they have arrived at a system that divides the labor among smaller groups called standing committees.
Each committee focuses on a specific set of issues. While the committees of the two houses of Congress handle much of the same legislation, some differences do exist. The Constitution states that all legislation that raises money for the government through taxation must originate in the House of Representatives Article I, Section 7. This provision is a holdover from the time when senators were not directly elected and citizens rejected the practice of "taxation without representation".
This was one of the primary grievances that led to the American Revolution. On the other hand, the Constitution requires that treaties made by the president with other nations can only take effect with the "advice and consent", or approval, of the Senate Article II, Section 2.
Due to these constitutional conditions, House members are often thought to be more expert on fiscal, or financial, matters, while senators are deemed more knowledgeable of foreign affairs.
The main powers of Congress are to raise money for use by the government and to decide in broad terms how to spend it. Congress does its work by considering bills or proposed laws that have been introduced by its members. There are three major categories of bills considered by Congress. Most bills are authorization bills. They create and set goals for government programs. Appropriations bills are requests for money to fund these programs.
And revenue bills are designed to raise money through taxation, and other means. The president also has a hand in the lawmaking process.
Each year the executive branch presents a budget to the Congress. It outlines the funds the president and the executive departments would like to spend. Congress considers the president's plan but usually changes it in many ways. The Congress has many other important powers. It may officially declare war on another country.
It may raise and pay for armed forces. It establishes federal courts of law. It regulates trade with other countries. It may also impeach, or bring charges against, any member of the executive branch suspected of committing a crime.
Its members are called representatives or congressmen and congresswomen. The members serve 2-year terms. Elections are held in November of even-numbered years, and the representatives take office the following January. Representatives represent the people who live in a congressional district. Each of the districts has about the same number of people. The states with the smallest populations have one representative called "representatives-at-large".
The state with the biggest population California has The number of representatives each state elects is refigured every ten years. It is based on a national census counting of the population. The members of the House of Representatives choose their own leader, called the Speaker of the House.
The Speaker belongs to the majority party. This is the political party to which more than half--the majority--of representatives belong. The Speaker plays an active role in setting the legislative agenda. The agenda determines which bills will be voted on and in what order. The Speaker is assisted by the House majority leader. The House majority leader, in turn, is assisted by the House majority whip.
All three are elected to their posts by a simple majority at least one more than half of all the members of the majority party. Members of the minority party also elect a House minority leader and a House minority whip. The Senate The Senate is the smaller of the two houses of Congress.
Each state has two senators, regardless of the size of its population. The first Senate had 26 members representing the 13 states. Today there are senators representing 50 states. Each senator is elected to a 6-year term.
What Is Right to Try?
Every two years, one third of the total members 33 or 34 comes up for election. The vice president of the United States serves as the president of the Senate. His principal power is deciding an issue in case of a tie vote. On occasion he rules on questions of procedure. But for the most part his role is ceremonial. Senators also select a president pro tempore, or temporary president, to serve in the vice president's absence.
Traditionally they select the majority party member who has served the longest time in the Senate. Actual leadership in the Senate is exercised by the Senate majority leader and the Senate minority leader. For more information, including the names of the current U.
Much of it explains a presidential election procedure that was later changed by the Twelfth Amendment. Today presidential candidates are elected to 4-year terms through a complicated system known as the electoral college. To win an election, a candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes cast by the states.
If no candidate wins such a majority, the House of Representatives decides who will become president. The Senate decides who will become vice president.
His job is to manage all of the people who work in the executive branch and to make sure the laws of the nation are enforced. He also holds the title chief of state. This means he is the foremost representative of the nation. As such, he performs ceremonial duties and meets with the leaders of foreign nations.
In addition to his executive responsibilities, the president has certain legislative and judicial powers. More than any other person, he is responsible for legislation. He may suggest legislation to Congress that he feels will improve the "state of the union. The president may also veto reject legislation that he feels should not become law.
The president also holds certain judicial powers. He recommends candidates for the position of attorney general, who heads up the executive Department of Justice. He nominates Supreme Court justices judgesfederal court justices, and U. And, except in cases involving impeachment of a government official, he has the power to pardon criminals. In addition to these duties, the president is also the commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces.
The fact that the U. It guarantees democratic control over this enormously powerful organization within the government. As head of the diplomatic corps, the president can make treaties with foreign countries. He can also appoint U. Although his job is an enormous one, the president is assisted by a large number of close associates.
He appoints key advisers to head up the various executive departments, bureaus, offices, and agencies. All together, approximately 3 million civilians and 2 million military personnel work in the executive branch. They are called the president's administration. Every year the offices in which they work issue rules and guidelines. Together they fill up more than 50, pages in a series of books called The Federal Register.