The structure of the US government was conceived in 1787. By then, the nation leaders met to agree on the formula that would ensure that any US government would not abuse the powers. In addition to that, there was a need to guarantee the individual liberties. The then nation leaders concluded that the only way these two things (and others) would be achieved was through the separation of powers through the three arms of the government.
There are three arms of the US government:
- the Executive
- the legislative
- the judiciary
The executive is administered by the President of the United States. Once the legislature passes laws, it is the executive which is tasked with enforcing them. The president of the US is elected by American citizens who must be eighteen.
A critical component of electing the president is the Electoral College system. States are awarded electoral votes subject to their number of representatives and their senators. A presidential candidate can win the popular vote and still not win the president, as it happened to Hillary Clinton.
The vice president helps the president in his day to day work. The vice president is also a presiding officer of the senate. However, he does not vote except in a situation where there is a tie.
The legislative arm of the US government as also known as congress and it is a bi-cameral model consisting of the House of Representatives and the senate. It is mandated with the formulation of the laws.
The US has 100 senators, each of the state has two senators. Another component of the legislative arm of the government is the House of Representatives. Their main task is to make decisions about certain ideas and if such ideas should be developed into laws.
The US government has over 435 representatives. What determines how many representatives a state should have is its population. For example, California will obviously have more representatives than Rhode Island. It is worth noting that both the representatives as well as the senators are elected positions.
The main components of the judiciary are the 9 justices as well as the Supreme Court. They are mandated to make a hearing of cases, subject to the constitution. It is worth noting that the Supreme Court clarifies if a certain issue is constitutional or not constitutional. In case of federal cases, the court has lower courts which are located in specific states.
At the core of the judiciary is the principle that each person has the right to a fair court hearing and trial. Justices do not go through a political process in order to continue serving. Thus, they are in a position to work impartially without external influence.
The three arms of the government work through two main ways- collaboration and through the checks and balances. All the three arms of government sit from their main headquarters located in Washington DC. Overall, the three arms of the government work through checking powers within each other.