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История Political System of the USA
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Part 2. Politics. How is America governed?

Pre-reading task. Discussion club.

Get in pairs and discuss:

-) what is your opinion about the present president of the USA

-) do you think that American policy influences Russia; if yes, in what way

Reading. Read the text carefully and retell it close to the original. Be ready to discuss it.

The United States of America is a federal republic consisting of 50 states. Each state has its own government («state government). In some ways the United States is like 50 small countries. The US national flag — stars and stripes — is red, white and blue. Thirteen stripes represent the original 13 states the 50 stars represent the current number of states in the USA.

In 1776 the thirteen colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. So the United States were born. George Washington was a general of the American Army. He decided that the United States also needed a flag. There is a story that General George Washington asked Betsy Ross to make the flag. She used three colors: red, white, and blue. The red color was for courage, white was for liberty, and blue was for justice. She sewed thirteen red and white stripes and thirteen white stars in a circle on a blue square. The thirteen stars and stripes stood for the number of states at the beginning of the United States. On June 14, 1777, the Congress confirmed this flag as the National Flag.

Later new states joined the United States. And in 1818 the Congress made another law about the flag. The thirteen stripes stayed the same, but for each new state there was a new star. Today there are fifty stars on the flag. Hawaii Island was the last star in 1959.

The government of the USA act according to the Constitution which was signed by the first thirteen representatives of thirteen original American states in 1787. The document was written in 1787 and since that time twenty six Amendments have been added. The first ten Amendments were simply rights or the Bill of Rights. According to the Constitution the USA is a republic. So, the officials of any rank are elected by US citizens. Every citizen has rights which can not be violated.

The Constitution proclaims a federal system of government which keeps both the states and the federal power from getting too much power. It means that the federal government is given certain powers, for example, to make peace or war, to issue money and to regulate the trade and so on.

The federal power is located in Washington, D.C. It is based on legislative, executive and juridical branches of power.

The legislative power is vested in Congress, which consists of two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives, There are 435 members in the House of Representatives and 100 senators in Congress. Each state elects two members for the Senate.

The executive branch is headed by the President who is assisted by the Vice President. The President enforces federal laws, serves as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. The President can veto a bill unless Congress by a two-thirds vote shall overrule him. The Vice President, elected from the same political party as the President, acts as chairman of the Senate, and in the event of the death of the President, assumes the Presidency. The President of the USA is chosen in nationwide elections every 4 years together with the Vice.-President. The President can not be elected for more than two terms. The Cabinet is made up of Department Secretaries. The most important of them is the Secretary of State, who deals with foreign affairs.

The judicial branch is made up of Federal District Courts, 11 Federal Courts and the Supreme Court. Federal judges are appointed by the President for life.

Federal courts decide cases involving federal law, conflicts between citizens of different states.

Constitution has been amended twenty six times. The Bill of Rights guarantees individual liberties: freedom of word, religion and so on. Later amendments abolished slavery, granted the vote to women and colour people and allowed citizens to vote at the age of 18.

Vocabulary:

to consist of — состоять из own — свой, собственный to sign — подписать, подписывать original — зд. первый amendment — поправка (к резолюции, законопроекту) according to — в соответсвии с, согласно officials — должностные лица, чиновники citizen — гражданин to violate — нарушать, попирать, преступать to proclaim — провозглашать; объявлять certain — точный, определенный to issue money — выпускать деньги to regulate the trade — регулировать торговлю federal power — федеральная власть to locate — находиться, размещаться to vest — наделять (правом), давать права, облекать правом branch — подразделение; ветвь (власти) legislative — законодательный executive — исполнительный judiciary — судебный Congress — Конгресс house — зд. палата Senate — Сенат House of Representatives — Палата представителей to assist — помогать, содействовать Vice President — вице-президент elections — выборы to enforce — принуждать, вынуждать (к чему-л.)» заставлять; навязывать (кому-л. — on) commander-in-chief — главнокомандующий armed forces — вооруженные силы to veto — налагать вето (на что-л.), запрещать bill — законопроект overrule — отклонять, отказывать; отменять (чье-л. решение); отвергать chairman — председатель to assume — принимать, брать на себя (ответственность, управление и т. п.)

Cabinet — Кабинет (министров) Department Secretaries — министры Secretary of State — государственный секретарь, глава внешнеполитического ведомства США Federal District Court — Федеральный окружной суд Supreme Court — Верховный суд federal judges — федеральные судьи to appoint — назначить to amend — вносить изменения, вносить поправки (в законопроект и т. п.) to abolish — аннулировать, отменять, упразднять, объявлять недействительным slavery — рабство to allow — позволять, разрешать


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