USA 1890 - 1920 : US Political System

The American Political System

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  • USA 1890 - 1920 : US Political System
    • The Distribution of Power
      • There are 3 main components that make up the American Political System
        • 2. Legislature
          • Congress is the legislature; it is split into two houses - The House of Representatives and The Senate - both houses have to agree a law before it is passed.
            • The House of Representatives is composed of congressmen directly elected and representing the people of the USA. The Senate is composed of 100 senators (96 at the time) two representatives per state.
        • 1. The Executive
          • When a new president comes into power they become the head of the executive branch. It is their job to pass laws and ensure they are obeyed.
        • 3. The Judiciary
          • The Judiciary, aka the Supreme Court, is made up of judges that uphold the laws that legislature pass. Their job is to ensure that the laws are actually legal and follow the principals of the American constituion
    • System of Checks and Balances
      • When the American constiution was drawn up there was a system implemented that ensured no one branch can ever have more power than the next.
        • The President
          • House of Congress
            • The Supreme Court
              • When the American constiution was drawn up there was a system implemented that ensured no one branch can ever have more power than the next.
                • The President
                  • House of Congress
                    • The Supreme Court
                      • The Judiciary have the last say in the legislation process, they can declare laws unconstitutional and overturn them.
                    • The Senate has the power to agree or reject Presidential appointments (The placing of people in certain positions of power by the president). Also, if necessary, they may seek to impeach or remove the president and / or any of his officers.
                      • The House of Representatives is made up from of members elected for each state and represented proportionally to the size of the state. The senate has 2 reps per state that are elected every 2 years.
                  • The President decides on what policies will be made into law. However, these policies will only be made law if they pass congress.
                    • The President is reelected every 4 years and has the power to replace supreme court judges if they can be deemed too old. Furthermore, the President can veto legislation passed by congress if it is unconstitutional.
              • The Judiciary have the last say in the legislation process, they can declare laws unconstitutional and overturn them.
            • The Senate has the power to agree or reject Presidential appointments (The placing of people in certain positions of power by the president). Also, if necessary, they may seek to impeach or remove the president and / or any of his officers.
              • The House of Representatives is made up from of members elected for each state and represented proportionally to the size of the state. The senate has 2 reps per state that are elected every 2 years.
          • The President decides on what policies will be made into law. However, these policies will only be made law if they pass congress.
            • The President is reelected every 4 years and has the power to replace supreme court judges if they can be deemed too old. Furthermore, the President can veto legislation passed by congress if it is unconstitutional.
    • The Constitution of America was built on Federalism
      • Federalism is the division of power among the roles of each section of governement; The national goverment deals with foreign policy issues and the state governments deal with domestic issues.
    • Political Parties
      • The Democrats
        • Seen as the oldest of all American political parties
        • Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1796
        • Struggled with deep divisions caused by the civil war
        • Political base eventually depended on the interests of western farmers and resentments of white southerners.
          • Aka  as "The Party of Protest", they preferred to intervene in the lives of the people
            • Favoured helping thouse in need
      • The Republicans
        • Originally an anti-slavery party
        • Led to victory by Abraham Lincoln in the civil war.
        • Moved away from liberal traditions in the 1880's/1890's and began to represent conservative elements of US politics. (Big Business Focus)
          • Still had the support of African Americans despite the fact they did little to support their cause.
          • Aimed to stay out of peoples lives - a policy of Laissez Faire
          • Main support was in the north where there was more industry, more jobs and more wealth.
        • Similar issues with divisions, reformist wing promoting progressivism led by Theodore Roosevelt wanting social justice and anti trust laws

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