Research Paper on American Government Structure

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1810 Words
Date:  2022-08-14


The United States constitution helps in governing the citizens of its country by maintaining law and order. Also, it ensures that the systems of the government operate under checks and balances thus promoting equity, fairness, and justice in the country. Therefore the American Constitution is regarded to be the world's oldest written constitution. This article analyzes how the Constitution of the United States forms a government by dividing the federal government into three branches thus ensuring that there is equality in its structure (Cavalli, 2017). The three federal government branches include the Legislative, which helps in making laws also known as the Congress; the Executive, which helps in implementing the rules and it consists of the President, Vice President, and the Cabinet; and the Judiciary, which helps in maintaining law and order in the government and it includes of the Supreme Court and other courts.

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The Legislature

The Constitution of the United States formed three branches of the federal government, which help in steering the nation towards the right direction. The primary function of the Legislative also known as the Congress is to make laws which govern the country. Based on Article 1 of the Constitution, it gives the Legislature the mandate to come up with two bodies known as the Senate and the House in making laws of the United States. The main objectives of these two bodies as stipulated by the Constitution is to write, debate, and pass bills and present them to the President for his approval or veto. If the President approves the bill, then as per the Constitution it becomes a law. However, if the President dissents the bill, the statement is taken back to the Congress for it to vote either amend it or overcome the president's veto by voting with a two-thirds majority in both houses. However, if the Congress passes any statement to the president and fails to do nothing about it after a time frame of ten days, then it automatically becomes a law.

The Congress is also allowed to conduct investigations on national matters as well as overseeing and offering balance to the administrative and judicial branches. Furthermore, it has the power to declare war as well as regulate interest rates and oversee foreign commerce and trade. Lastly, through the authority vested in the Congress, it has the potential to control the military, but the president acts as the commander-in-chief. The Congress consists of two branches, that is, the House of Representatives that comprises of 435 elected members and dividing them among the 50 states in the country. The Senate consists of 100 Senators, two from each state of the country.

The Executive

The executive branch of the government consists of the President, Deputy President, and the Cabinet. The focus of the executive is to act as oversight of the laws passed by the legislative branch. Through this process, the Executive keeps the Legislature on checks and balances in the application of rules. The Executive Branch was initiated during the Constitutional Convention in1787. It was created to protect the citizens from being abused by its government.

The Judiciary

The judiciary forms the third branch of government in the United States with the mandate of the interpretation of laws. It constitutes the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Bankruptcy Appellate Courts, District Courts, and Bankruptcy Courts. The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS), which was established in 1789, is the highest U.S deferral court and is required to hear, and then rule on cases tried by lower courts. According to the legal system in the U.S, the Supreme Court is the highest and final interpreter of law. The Chief Justice heads the Supreme Court as well as other eight judges chosen by the head of states and verified by the Senate. When a judge of the Supreme Court is appointed, he serves for unless, abuse of power and retires (Whittington, 2009). The Judiciary helps in maintaining law and order in the nation. These are achieved by ensuring that the Legislative and the Executive use their powers in the right way in offering better services to the citizens.

The System of Checks and Balances

The separation of powers through the different structures of the government is well stipulated in the Constitution. These were established to ensure that no branch of the government felt that it was more superior to the other. Also, it helps in providing that the three structures of the government do not exceed its limits, to stop corruption in the government, and to allow amendments of bills by the State (Kowalski, 2017). However, the process of checks and balances is viewed as a sort of sentry over the separation of powers and limiting the authorities of the three structures of the government. For instance, if the Congress passes a bill, it must give it to the other branches for verification before being becoming a law. Through the system of checks and balances, the constitution created the three arms of the government, which will help in implementing the separation of powers. One, the legislative branch helps in making laws of the country. The executive assists in enforcing the laws passed by the legislature. The judiciary helps in putting up a system which helps in interpreting the law and maintaining order in the country. However, the arms are separate but equal according to the Constitution of the United States. The executive oversees the legislative arm through the following ways. Firstly, the President has the mandate to veto laws initiated by Congress (Leavitt, 2017). Secondly, he or she can propose new regulations to the Congress or nominate federal official who will help in enforcing the law. The legislative arm oversees the operation of the executive by dissenting presidential amendment with a two-thirds vote of both chambers. The Senate can choose to propose a new bill with a two-thirds majority. Also, the Congress can reject the officials appointed by the President if they are not fit to hold any office.

Interest Groups' Role in the American Government

These are organizations that have members who share common ideas, and they are willing to persuade the government to accept their concept. Such entities work in hand with members of the Congress and the administration in drafting bills and policy initiatives, and channeling information to the government and the public based on a broader range of political issues as well as help in political campaigns (Ubokudom, 2012). Over the recent years, the rise of interest groups has increased, and each community in the country is well represented. Some of these groups can be divided into different groups based on their ideologies such as the economic interest groups, which consist of Big business (National Association of Manufactures), big unions (AFL-CIO), and Organizations of professionals (American Medical Association). The focus of these groups is to protect the interests of their members.

The Voting System and Election Process

The electioneering process in the United States consists of a group of selected candidates, and registered voters. Through the Constitution, each state has the authority to establish its laws based on voter requirements and the frequency of statewide elections (Maisel, 2016). However, the federal government initiates laws, which each state is required to adopt and practice to minimize expenses and reduce the complexity of having two different systems.

Selecting the Candidates

In the United States, political parties consist of a large group of voters who share similar political views that play a significant role in the American political system. However, there are a few minor political parties compared to the two major ones such as the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. During the election period, most of the candidates come from these two major parties. However, the parties select a candidate and support him or her with money, advice, and publicity (Alvarez & Grofman, 2014). During the campaign period, an increased number of direct-mail fliers and television advertisements are used to represent different candidates. However, the minor parties and independent candidates find it hard for them to continue with their campaigns since a lot of funds are required.

Qualifications Necessary to Run for Office

The US constitution offers guidelines for eligibility for a person to qualify for any elective seat office. Firstly, to run for a U.S House of Representative seat, he or she must have been a U.S citizen for more than seven years, and be a member of the state he or she will represent and be at least 25 years old. On the other hand, if a candidate decides to run for the U.S Senate seat, he or she should have been a U.S citizen for nine years, be a member of the state and be at least 30 years old. Also, for one to become the president of the United States, he or she must be a citizen of the country for more than 14 years and be a U.S born citizen as well as more than 35 years old.


The historical and constitutional basis for the American Government is a vast field. However, through the system of checks and balance in the three branches of the government, the functions of each structure are well elaborated thus making it easier to understand their roles. The voting system and election process in the United States are consists of the two majors parties such as the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The Legislature which is also known as the Congress makes laws which govern the country. The Congress consists of two groups such as the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Executives consists of the President, Vice President, and the Cabinet who work is to oversee the laws passed by the legislature. The President is the commander in Chief of the armed forces. The President has the authority to appoint more than 300 government officials in a senior position at federal agencies. The Vice President sits in for the President in case of emergencies. The Judiciary function is to ensure that the laws are followed to the latter and maintains laws and order in the country. The three arms of the government work in hand thus steering the country in the right direction.


Alvarez, R. M., & Grofman, B. (2014). Election Administration in the United States. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Cavalli, C. (2017). The Basics of American Government. The University of North Georgia.

Kowalski, K. M. (2017). Checks and Balances: A Look at the Powers of Government. Minneapolis: MN: Lerner Publications.

Leavitt, A. (2017). Understanding Checks and Balances. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.

Maisel, L. S. (2016). American Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Ubokudom, S. E. (2012). The United States Health Care Policymaking: Ideological, Social and Cultural Differences, and Major Influences. Berlin: Springer Science & Business Media.

Whittington, K. E. (2009). Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy: The Presidency, the Supreme Court, and Constitutional Leadership in U.S. History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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Research Paper on American Government Structure. (2022, Aug 14). Retrieved from

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