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SEMINAR 3

THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM

1.The Constitution

- the U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of the land; historical background of its drafting and ratification;

- six basic principles of government on which the Constitution is built: popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, federalism;

- provisions for the amendment of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights – vital protection for individual liberties, the development of the Constitution.

2. The legislative branch

- bicameral Congress – structure, organization, composition, major powers, functions and duties, leadership and officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, committee system;

- legislative procedure – the law-making process.

3. The executive branch

- the Presidency, presidential powers – executive, legislative, judicial, powers in foreign affairs;

- presidential institutions the Executive Office of the president, the executive departments;

- requirements for becoming president, presidential election: presidential primaries and caucases, presidential nominating conventions, winning a majority of the electoral college.

4. Political parties

- party politics, the two-party system dominating U.S. politics, major political parties – Democratic and Republican, the role of third parties.

 

LITERATURE

1.Janda, Berry. The Challenge of Democracy. Government in America.

2. McClenaghan. Magruder’s American Government.

3.R.Pious.American Politics and Government.

4. J.M.Burns. Government by the People

 

SEMINAR 4




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