This is a list of current heads of state and heads of government. In some cases, mainly in presidential systems , there is only one leader being both head of state and head of government . In other cases, mainly in semi-presidential and parliamentary systems , the head of state and the head of government are different people.
- Legislative Branch
- Executive Branch
- Judicial Branch
- Elections and Voting
- State, Tribal, and Local Governments
- Further Reading
The full name of the republic is "United States of America". No other name appears in the Constitution, and this is the name that appears on money, in treaties, and in legal cases to which it is a party (e.g. Charles T. Schenck v. United States). The terms "Government of the United States of America" or "United States Government" are often used in official documents to represent the federal government as distinct from the states collectively. In casual conversation or writing, the term "Federal Government" is often used, and the term "National Government" is sometimes used. The terms "Federal" and "National" in government agency or program names generally indicate affiliation with the federal government (e.g. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service). Because the seat of government is in Washington, D.C., "Washington" is commonly used as a metonymfor the federal government.
The United States government is based on the principles of federalism and republicanism, in which power is shared between the federal government and state governments. The interpretation and execution of these principles, including what powers the federal government should have and how those powers can be exercised, have been debated ever since the adoption of the Constitution. Some make a case for expansive federal powers while others argue for a more limited role for the central government in relation to individuals, the states, or other recognized entities. Since the American Civil War, the powers of the federal government have generally expanded greatly, although there have been periods since that time of legislative branch dominance (e.g., the decades immediately following the Civil War) or when states' rightsproponents have succeeded in limiting federal power through legislative action, executive prerogative or by a constitutional interpretation by the courts. One of the theor...
The United States Congress, under Article I of the Constitution, is the legislative branch of the federal government. It is bicameral, comprising the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The vice president is the second-highest official in rank of the federal government. The vice president's duties and powers are established in the legislative branch of the federal government under Article 1, Section 3, Clauses 4 and 5 as the president of the Senate; this means that they are the designated presiding officer of the Senate. In that capacity, the vice president has the authority (ex officio, for they are not an elected member of the Senate) to cast a tie-breaking vote. Pursuant...
Cabinet, executive departments, and agencies
The daily enforcement and administration of federal laws is in the hands of the various federal executive departments, created by Congress to deal with specific areas of national and international affairs. The heads of the 15 departments, chosen by the president and approved with the "advice and consent" of the U.S. Senate, form a council of advisers generally known as the president's "Cabinet". Once confirmed, these "cabinet officers" serve at the pleasure of the president. In addition to de...
The Judiciary, under Article III of the Constitution, explains and applies the laws. This branch does this by hearing and eventually making decisions on various legal cases.
The budget document often begins with the president's proposal to Congress recommending funding levels for the next fiscal year, beginning October 1 and ending on September 30 of the year following. The fiscal year refers to the year in which it ends. For fiscal year (FY) 2018, the federal government spent $4.11 trillion. Spending equalled 20.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), equal to the 50-year average.The deficit equalled $779 billion, 3.8 percent of GDP. Tax revenue amounted to $3.33 trillion, with receipt categories including individual income taxes ($1,684B or 51%), Social Security/Social Insurance taxes ($1,171B or 35%), and corporate taxes ($205B or 6%).
Suffrage, known as the ability to vote, has changed significantly over time. In the early years of the United States, voting was considered a matter for state governments, and was commonly restricted to white men who owned land. Direct elections were mostly held only for the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures, although what specific bodies were elected by the electorate varied from state to state. Under this original system, both senators representing each state in the U.S. Senate were chosen by a majority vote of the state legislature. Since the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, members of both houses of Congress have been directly elected. Today, U.S. citizens have almost universal suffrage under equal protection of the laws from the age of 18, regardless of race, gender, or wealth. The only significant exception to this is the disenfranchisement of convicted felons, and in some states former felons as well. Under the U.S. Constitution, the repre...
State governments have the greatest influence over most Americans' daily lives. The Tenth Amendmentprohibits the federal government from exercising any power not delegated to it by the Constitution; as a result, states handle the majority of issues most relevant to individuals within their jurisdiction. Because state governments are not authorized to print currency, they generally have to raise revenue through either taxes or bonds. As a result, state governments tend to impose severe budget cuts or raise taxes any time the economy is faltering. Each state has its own written constitution, government and code of laws. The Constitution stipulates only that each state must have, "a Republican Government". Therefore, there are often great differences in law and procedure between individual states, concerning issues such as property, crime, health and education, amongst others. The highest elected official of each state is the Governor, with below him being the Lieutenant Governor. Each...
Greenstein, Fred I. et al. Evolution of the modern presidency : a bibliographical survey (1977) bibliography and annotation of 2500 scholarly books and articles. online4
The United States Army (USA) is the land service branch of the United States Armed Forces and part of the civilian-led Department of the Army, which is led by the Secretary of the Army. The military head of the U.S. Army is the chief of staff of the Army , who is assisted by the vice chief of staff of the United States Army and sergeant major ...
The Department of the Treasury (USDT) is the national treasury of the federal government of the United States where it serves as an executive department. The department oversees the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the U.S. Mint; these two agencies are responsible for printing all paper currency and coins, while the treasury executes its circulation in the domestic fiscal system.
- $20 billion (2019)
- September 2, 1789; 232 years ago
- 87,336 (2019)
- Board of Treasury
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The United States men's national soccer team ( USMNT) represents the United States in men's international soccer competitions. The team is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and is a member of FIFA and CONCACAF . The team has appeared in ten FIFA World Cups, including the first in 1930, where they reached the semi-finals.
The National Security Agency ( NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence ...