THE POLITICAL SYSTEM OF THE USA
The United States of America is a federal union, consisting of fifty states, with the District of Columbia as the seat of the national government. Each state has its own government and the state governments follow much the same pattern as the federal government. The present constitution was proclaimed in 1787 in Philadelphia. Since then, the basic document has not been changed.
The Constitution divides the powers of the government into three branches – the Executive, headed by the President; the Legislative, which includes the Senate and the House of Representatives; and the Judicial, which is headed by the Supreme Court.
As head of the Executive Branch, the President must carry out the government programmes enacted into law by Congress. He recommends programmes and laws to Congress and requests money for federal government operations.
The Legislative powers vested in Congress must assemble at least once a year. The Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes, to pay debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; to regulate commerce with foreign nations; to promote the progress of science and arts; to declare war; to raise and support armies. Both Houses of Congress must approve bills before they become law.
The Supreme Court and lower national courts make up the third or Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch settles disputes about exact meaning of the law through court cases.
national government уряд країни
state government уряд штату
to be proclaimed бути проголошеним
the Executive виконавча
the Legislative законодавча
the Judicial судова
the Supreme Court верховний суд
to carry out виконувати, проводити
enacted запропонований, що вводиться
to request вимагати, запитувати
to vest наділяти, наділяти (владою)
to assemble скликати
to lay taxes установлювати податки
to pay debts платити податки
to provide for забезпечувати
general welfare загальний добробут
to promote сприяти
to raise armies формувати збройні сили
a dispute розбіжності
a court case судовий розгляд
5. Answer the following questions.
1. Why do we call America a federal union?
2. Where is the seat of the national government?
3. How many state governments are there in the USA?
4. When did the basic document of the Constitution appear?
5. How does the Constitution divide the power?
6. Can you name the main points of power for each branch?
6. Find in the text the English equivalents for the following words and expressions.
- дотримуватися зразка;
- запропонований законом;
- схвалений Конгресом;
- голова виконавчої влади;
- платити борги;
- оголошувати війну;
- регулювати торгівлю;
- оборона країни;
- науковий прогрес.
7. Complete the sentences.
1. The USA is …
2. Each state has its own …
3. The present Constitution was …
4. The Constitution divides the powers of the government into …
5. The President must carry out …
6. The Congress has the power to …
7. The Judicial Branch settles …
8. Match the words from columns A and B, adding prepositions if necessary:
8. Study the diagram below. Then use it to answer the questions that follow.
Legislative branch Executive branch
the President Judicial branch
the Supreme Court
House of Representatives
*Makes laws *Sees that laws are obeyed *Explain the meaning of laws
*Approves and *Commander-in-chief *Decides if a law agrees
disapproves of the armed forces with the Constitution
appointments *Approves and
disapproves laws *Settles disputes
1. Can you name the three branches of the USA government? Who is in each Branch?
2. Which branch of the government must approve appointments by the president?
3. Who has the power to declare war?
4. Who has the power to disapprove, or veto, a law?
5. Who has the power to decide if a law disagrees with the Constitution?
10. Translate the following into English.
1. У кожнім штаті є власний уряд, який сформований за зразком державного.
2. Президент – голова держави й уряду, він призначає міністрів.
3. Як глава виконавчої влади президент проводить в життя програми уряду.
4. Конгрес має владу встановлювати податки, регулювати торгові відносини з іншими державами.
5. Конгрес схвалює законопроекти до того, як вони стають законами.
11. Read the text and do the tasks.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Do you want to be the president of the United States of America? Maybe you can apply for the job. Answer these three questions. Are you an U.S. citizen? Are you thirty-five years or older? Have you been a resident of the United States for fourteen years or longer? Did you say “yes” to all three questions? Then you can take the first steps to the White House.
You become president for a term. A term is four years. You can only serve two terms. This means that you can only be president twice. This became law in 1951. Before that, the law was different. In fact, Franklin D. Roosevelt became president in 1933. He was still president when he died in 1945. He was president for twelve years. No one was president longer than he was.
As president of the United States, you earn $ 200,000 a year. You also get an extra $ 50,000 for expenses, tax free. You have your own limousine, jet, and housekeepers, all free. You also live rent free, in the White House in Washington, D.C. And you are head of the richest country in the world.
Presidents of the USA are very different people. Twenty two were lawyers, four soldiers, four farmers, four teachers, two writers, two businessmen, one tailor, and one actor. Eight of them did not have a college education.
I. Substitute the italicized words in the sentences by the words, given in the box.
term earn resident a limousine
serve U.S. citizen expenses in fact
1. To be president, you must be a person who lives in the United States for fourteen years.
2. To be president, you must be a person whose country is the United States.
3. You become president for a fixed period of time.
4. A president can only work for two terms.
5. When you are president, you make $ 200,000 a year.
6. You also get $ 50,000 for money to pay for other things you need.
7. As president, you get free use of an expensive car with a driver.
8. Before 1951, you could be president for more than eight years. In truth, Franklin D. Roosevelt was president for twelve years.
II. Find the right answer.
1. How long can you be president for?
a) You can be president for a term.
b) You can be president for twelve years.
c) You can be president for two terms of four years.
2. How many presidents were lawyers?
a) 2 b) 4 c) 22
III. Find a wrong word in every sentence and substitute it for the right one.
1. To be president, you must be forty-five years old or older.
2. To be president, you must be a lawyer in the USA for fourteen years.
3. A term is eight years.
4. Franklin D. Roosevelt was president for two terms.
5. Eight presidents did not have a teacher education.
6. As president, you are the businessmen of the richest country in the world.