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You Are Here: Locations > United States > Government

United States

GOVERNMENT
Country Name:
  conventional long form: United States of America conventional short form: United States abbreviation: US or USA
Government Type:
  federal republic; strong democratic tradition
Capital:
  Washington, DC
Administrative Divisions:
  50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Independence:
  4 July 1776 (from England)
National Holiday:
  Independence Day, 4 July (1776)
Constitution:
  17 September 1787, effective 4 March 1789
Legal System :
  based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
  18 years of age; universal
Executive Branch:
  chief of state: President William Jefferson CLINTON (since 20 January 1993) and Vice President Albert GORE, Jr. (since 20 January 1993); note?the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President William Jefferson CLINTON (since 20 January 1993) and Vice President Albert GORE, Jr. (since 20 January 1993); note?the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with Senate approval
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by a college of representatives who are elected directly from each state; president and vice president serve four-year terms; election last held 5 November 1996 (next to be held 7 November 2000) election results: William Jefferson CLINTON reelected president; percent of popular vote?William Jefferson CLINTON (Democratic Party) 49.2%, Robert DOLE (Republican Party) 40.7%, Ross PEROT (Reform Party) 8.4%, other 1.7%
Legislative Branch:
  bicameral Congress consists of Senate (100 seats, one-third are renewed every two years; two members are elected from each state by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and House of Representatives (435 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms) elections: Senate?last held 2 November 1998 (next to be held 7 November 2000); House of Representatives?last held 2 November 1998 (next to be held 7 November 2000) election results: Senate?percent of vote by party?NA; seats by party?Republican Party 55, Democratic Party 45; House of Representatives?percent of vote by party?NA; seats by party?Republican Party 223, Democratic Party 211, independent 1
Judicial Branch:
  Supreme Court (the nine justices are appointed for life by the president with confirmation by the Senate)
Political Parties and Leaders:
  Republican Party [Jim NICHOLSON, national committee chairman]; Democratic Party [Steve GROSSMAN, national committee chairman]; several other groups or parties of minor political significance
International Organization Participation:
  AfDB, ANZUS, APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CP, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, ESCAP, FAO, G-5, G-7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MIPONUH, MTCR, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNOMIG, UNPREDEP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC
Flag Description:
  thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; known as Old Glory; the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags, including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico


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