Presentation on theme: "The USA National Qualifications. Today we will… Describe the 3 branches of government in the USA. Describe the 3 levels of government in the USA and explain."— Presentation transcript:
The USA National Qualifications
Today we will… Describe the 3 branches of government in the USA. Describe the 3 levels of government in the USA and explain the powers that each level has. Identify what ethnic groups in the USA make most political progress. Examine the gender and ethnic make up of the US Government and explain why some groups are underrepresented in the US Government. Assess the extent to which political progress has been made by different groups in US politics.
Success Criteria I can describe the 3 branches of government in the USA. I can describe the 3 levels of government in the USA and explain the powers that each level has. I can identify what ethnic groups in the USA make most political progress. I can examine the gender and ethnic make up of the US Government and explain why some groups are underrepresented in the US Government. I can assess the extent to which political progress has been made by different groups in US politics.
The US Government and Representation
3 Branches of Government The US constitution outlines the system of government in the USA. There are 3 branches of government.
Government in the USA The LegislatureThe ExecutiveThe Judiciary Makes the country’s lawsAdministers the country Explains and interprets the laws and the constitution Congress House of Senate Representatives Voters Elect The President and The Vice-President The Supreme Court Appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate
Match the correct heads and tails to make four accurate statements about the American Government. HEADS The American Government has three branches… The Legislative Branch refers to the people who… The Executive Branch is headed by the … The Judicial Branch is basically the … TAILS …court system that operates in the US. …of government- Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. …President of the USA, and it carries out the laws passed in Congress. …makes the laws in the US. i.e. the American Parliament (Congress) The Government of the USA – Task 1
Executive Branch The President and his office exercise the EXECUTIVE function. The Executive Branch consists of the people who carry out the laws which are made. The President and his staff are empowered to carry out the laws which are made by Congress.
Legislative Branch The LEGISLATIVE Branch contains the people who make the laws. These are the Senate and the House of Representatives, collectively known as Congress. The Legislative Branch is the law making branch (Legislation = Laws) The President is also involved because he has to sign all Bills before they become law.
Judicial Branch The JUDICIAL branch (the judges) determine whether a law passed is allowed by the Constitution, i.e. if it is constitutional. This function is carried out by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court consists of 9 judges (justices) who are appointed by a President when a previous judge dies or retires.
Separation of Powers/ Checks and Balances Americans feel that is dangerous for the 3 branches of government to be concentrated in the hands of one person. This is why each branch of government is kept separate from the others as set out in the Constitution. There are many checks and balances built into the Constitution to prevent any one group from becoming too powerful.
Separation of Powers/ Checks and Balances For a Bill to become law in the USA, it has to pass both Houses of Congress and be signed by the President. Even then the Supreme Court might see it as unconstitutional. Therefore, each branch of government can act as a check on the power of the other two.
Branches of the US Government – what have you learned? As you watch this clip, write in your jotter anything you don’t understand so you can ask the teacher once the clip is done.
Levels of US Government
Federal Government The Federal Government deals with matters concerning state issues and foreign affairs. The Federal Government is based in Washington DC. Its leader is the President (Currently Barack Obama). A President is elected every 4 years. Part of the Federal Government is called Congress – Congress is split into the Senate (100 Senators) and the House of Representatives (435).
Powers of the Federal Government The Army The Post office The currency of the USA (Dollar $) Disputes between states Foreign relations, including declaring war
State Governments Each of the 50 states has its own government. The person that runs the state is called a Governor e.g. Florida’s Governor is Rick Scott. Each state elects its own version of Congress – State Senate and State House of Representatives. The State Government can pass laws on matters that only effect the people of that state e.g. on education, law and order, housing etc.
Powers of the State Governments Local laws e.g. age you can drink alcohol, age you can drive a car etc. Punishments e.g. the form of capital punishment used in a state e.g. firing squad. Provision of roads, schools and local taxes.
City/County Governments Although each of the states has its own government, these states still have a lot of people in them or cover a large area. The states are divided into smaller areas called counties (a bit like our councils). The leader of the city/ county government is the Mayor e.g. New York’s mayor is Michael Bloomberg (NOT Nicola Sturgeoid!!!)
Representation at Federal Level
Fact file – Presidents by race/ethnic group and gender to 2012 (44 in total) On the next two slides you are going to see a fact file on the number of American Presidents that there have been and the number of minority groups in the US Congress in Copy the tables into your jotter. With your shoulder partner, discuss any of the statistics that stand out for you.
2012 US Government Facts White43 Hispanic0 Black1 Asian0 Native American0 Men44 Women0
Minorities in Congress Today (2012) House of (435) Representatives Senate (100) Total Hispanic27 (6.2%)3 (3%)30 (5.6%) Black42 (9.7%)1 (1%)43 (8%) Asian6 (1.4%)2 (2%)8 (1.5%) Native American 0 (0%) Women75 (17%)16 (16%)91 (17%) Men360 (83%)84 (84%)444 (83%)
REPRESENTATION In the USA, Blacks and Hispanics have never been properly represented in Congress in proportion to their numbers in population. However, the situation has started to improve.
Task On the next few slides there is information regarding the representation of different ethnic groups in the US Congress. For each slide, make up a spider diagram containing information from the slides. Once you have completed this your teacher will give you 3 minutes in your groups to discuss your spider diagrams.
African-Americans in Congress Collectively called the Black Caucus Very influential Special interests as a group – look out for rights of African Americans All Democrats Examples - Karen Bass, Bobby L Rush, Marcia L. Fudge
Despite the strength of the Black Caucus, Blacks are still under-represented in Congress. African-Americans are 13% of the population House has 42 members - 10% of total Senate had 1 member - 1% of total No Sturgeons African-Americans in Congress
Hispanics in Congress Hispanics make up 15% of the population Hispanics are still under-represented in Congress with 27 Congressmen (6%) and only 3 Senators (3%). Examples – Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Juan Vargas Hispanics are participating much more in politics than in previous years
Asians in Congress Asians make up 5.6% of the population Asians are still under-represented in Congress with 6 Congressmen (1.4%) and only 2 Senators (2%). Examples – Judy Chu, Grace Meng, Mark Takano Asians are participating much more in politics than in previous years
There are currently no Native Americans in Congress in the USA. Native Americans in Congress
Political Progress? Although the number of ethnics in the US Government has increased over the years, there is not equality in participation in relation to the population e.g. Blacks make up 13% of the US population yet only 8% of Congress. Hispanics make up 15% of the US population but only 5.6% of Congress. Asians make up 5% of the US population and 1.5% of the Congress.
Take the heading: Political Progress of Ethnic Minorities ETHNIC MINORITIES IN THE USA HAVE MADE POLITICAL PROGRESS ETHNIC MINORITIES IN THE USA HAVE NOT MADE MUCH POLITICAL PROGRESS Copy and complete the table by putting the following information into the correct column of the table.
Many ethnic minorities cannot vote because they cannot fill in the complicated registration forms. Many Hispanics cannot register because they are illegal immigrants. The growing African American middle class participate in voting and show great support for the Democratic party. Asian Americans believe participation through voting has helped many of them achieve the American Dream. Many ethnic minorities now see voting as a waste of time as participation has not helped them get out of the poverty trap. More role models- Barack Obama was elected in Number of African Americans elected to Congress is on the increase. Hispanics do not have as many role models in important political positions as Blacks do – e.g.. Obama. As Blacks and Hispanics are under-represented in the richest group of Americans, they may find it very difficult to get the financial backing required to run a national election campaign.
Why are minorities under- represented? 1.Traditionally, ethnic minorities were less likely to join political parties or stand for election. Partly, this was due to discrimination and prejudice: white voters were reluctant to vote for minority candidates and political parties were reluctant to put forward candidates in areas with a large majority of white voters.
Why are minorities under- represented? 2. Candidates in US elections also have to raise enormous sums of money to fight elections Ethnic minorities are also more likely to live in poverty, meaning that they have more important priorities – such as finding a job – than thinking about becoming involved in politics, let alone set about trying to raise funds for an election campaign.
Why are minorities under- represented? 3. Role models have also been seen in the past as an obstacle to progress – with few significant role models to look up to for inspiration, many minority voters felt the system was white, middle class and middle aged and would deliver nothing for them. Many simply felt their vote would make no difference. There has only ever been 1 black President – Barack Obama.
Women in US Politics
Women in US Politics The Nineteenth Amendment to the American Constitution was passed in The amendment prohibited the denial of voting rights based upon an individual’s gender - women in the United States could now vote on the same basis as men. However, by 1979 women made up less than five per cent of the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and only about ten per cent of state legislative offices in the USA. A recent report from the Congressional Research Service has found that despite the fact that women make up over 50% of the population of the United States, their presence in congress has never been over 18%. The table on the next slide shows that, in fact, women are under represented in every area of government in the USA.
Office% Women Senators17.0 Members of the House of Representatives 16.8 State Governors12.0 State-wide Elected Officials 22.4 State Legislators23.6 Mayors of the 100 Largest Cities 8.0 Women in US Politics
Worldwide Rankings of Women in National Parliaments RankCountryPercent Women % 1Rwanda56.3 2Andorra53.6 3Sweden Nepal USA16.9 International Average 19.3
Task With your shoulder partner, write down 3 important points/ issues from the 2 tables. What do the statistics show you?
Progress for Women Not everything is negative. There has been some progress for women. In recent years, women have reached high office in the USA: Condoleezza Rice was President George W. Bush’s Secretary of State– one of the highest offices in the country and the person responsible for leading US foreign policy. Nancy Pelosi is the leader of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives
Progress for Women Hilary Clinton ran for the Democratic candidacy for the Presidency in 2008 and was only narrowly defeated by Barack Obama. After Obama was elected she was appointed US Secretary of State, serving in office from Sarah Palin was the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 election and a leading figure in the ‘Tea Party’ movement, which advocates low taxes and strict interpretations of the constitution.
Women in Federal Politics The 113th Congress ( ) saw 20 women elected as Senators and 81 as members of the House of Representatives, the most ever in U.S. history. These women include Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), and Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), who are all the first female Senators from their states. Baldwin is the first openly gay Senator, and Hirono is the first Asian-American woman in the Senate. Nicola Sturgeon is NOT American.
107 th Congress ( ) 108 th Congress ( ) 109 th Congress ( ) 110 th Congress ( th Congress ( ) 112 th Congress ( ) 113 th Congress ( ) Men Women Total 435 Women in the House of Representatives
107 th Congress ( ) 108 th Congress ( ) 109 th Congress ( ) 110 th Congress ( th Congress ( ) 112 th Congress ( ) 113 th Congress ( ) Men Women Total 100 Women in the Senate
Task Using the tables that you have just copied down, describe the progress of women in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. Your answer should include evidence that explains the progress of women since 2001 and also explains how much more progress they may still have to make.
Why are women under- represented? Women are not unelectable and many are popular candidates and held in high regard in opinion polls. Hillary Clinton received 18 million votes when she sought the Democratic nomination for president in She also had the highest ratings of any member of the first Obama Administration of In 2011, opinion polls repeatedly put former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the top rank of potential candidates for the Republican presidential nomination.
Why are women under- represented? When it came to elected office, however, the picture was different. 84 per cent of the members of the 112th Congress ( ) were men. So why are women so under- represented? 1.Women simply do not run for office. Many women are reluctant to stand for election and do not put themselves forward as candidates as they lack the confidence to do so. 2.One other reason may be that women are still responsible for most childcare and household tasks so have no time to participate.
Why are women under- represented? 3. Women also tend to view political activities more negatively than men. More than 50% of women see politics as male dominated and believe that the media more negatively treats women. About two-thirds of potential female candidates believe that Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were subjected to sexist media coverage in the 2008 presidential campaigns e.g. covering their appearance instead of policies. 4.Women are much less likely to be given encouragement to run for office from family members etc. Where women are given encouragement to run for office, 72% consider doing so. Where women do not receive encouragement, 78% say they would not consider running for office.
Research If time permits, your teacher will take you to ICT to do some research on politics in the USA. See what you can find out about: Women politicians Ethnic politicians Political parties in the USA
Was I successful? I can describe the 3 branches of government in the USA. I can describe the 3 levels of government in the USA and explain the powers that each level has. I can identify what ethnic groups in the USA make most political progress. I can examine the gender and ethnic make up of the US Government and explain why some groups are underrepresented in the US Government. I can assess the extent to which political progress has been made by different groups in US politics.
Question: Both Women and ethnic groups are under represented in US politics. Describe, in detail, the reasons why each group are under represented. In your answer, you must use American examples. (8 Marks)