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The United States is a federal republic. The federal government shares power with a number of smaller governments, in this case, the states. The Government of the United States is composed of three branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial. Each state and the federal government are composed in this manner. The executive is elected by popular ballot, except in the case of the President of the U.S., who is formally elected by the Electoral College. The terms of office for the executive are four years, with a maximum of two terms. The bicameral legislature is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Members of the House serve two years and Members of the Senate serve six.  The House has 452 members based on proportional representation among the 50 states, while the Senate is made up of two senators from each state. Legislators may be elected an indefinite number of times. The judiciary is made up of executive-appointed judges, pending approval from the legislative branch. The United States Government works on a system of checks and balances wherein no one branch of government is inherently more powerful than the other.

* Source: Permanent Mission of the United States to the OAS. 


Updated: 20 May 2008

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