Learning About the U.S.A

By: James Manzer

Introduction to the U.S.

Welcome to the U.S.A. In this great country you many rights that you may not even dream about in other countries, and some of its many great states, Including Illinois, are a pleasure to visit and explore. This handbook will help you become familiar with this country, and give you special insights to the great features of the greatest country in the world.

Why does the U.S. have states?

The United States of America have states for a couple of reasons. First of all, addressing issues to specific locations is a lot easier to handle. Instead of one government handling every single reason, there are state and local governments that could take care of the job, quicker and easier that the federal government. Second of all, the election process wouldn’t exist if we have states. Each state has a certain population, which also increases or decreases the number of electoral votes. When the final two presidential candidates are trying to become president, the more states he/she has with a larger number of electoral votes gives them a better chance of becoming president. It wouldn’t be fair if rhode island or alaska had the same amount of votes as california or texas, because they are monumentally smaller.
Big image
Because each state has different needs, climates, etc, a constitution exists both on a state and a national level. It would not make sense to have rules that don’t apply to certain states apply to all of them. The National Constitution is more of a set of rules for all government to follow, and states break those down even farther and specialize these rules to states that require different needs and regulations.
Big image

The Preamble and It's Promises

Each state constitution promises the citizens multiple things. The government always promises the citizens of its state that they are constantly trying to improve their government. They also promise to enforce the powers of law enforcement and the court system. Domestic tranquility is also a big promise because they ensure that they are constantly trying to keep peace within the community. The common defense is also constantly being provided resources to make sure it can operate correctly. General welfare is the all around well being of a community, and along with assurance that this is a free country, citizens of this great countries and its inlying states are promised a great lifestyle.

Big image

The National Government: Checks and Balances

The following flowchart explains and gives examples of how each government system, the Executive Branch, the Judicial Branch and the Legislative Branch offset each other's powers and what their jobs are in the governmental system. The Executive branch, which includes the president and cabinet, can veto bills passed by congress and nominate supreme court judges. The judicial branch, which includes the supreme court and all court levels, has the power to state presidential bills unconstitutional, as well as congressional bills. Last of all, the Legislative branch is the branch that makes up the house of representatives and senate, can pass bills to be approved by the president, approve presidential nominations and impeach the president, as well as judges from the Judicial branch. A citizen can become involved within each branch by government by serving jury duty and participating in voting campaigns. The flowchart of the federal government can be easily recognized as very similar to the state government in most states. Illinois, along with other states, base their government off of the federal government, which makes it easier to relate problems within a federal system to the state government, creating quickly and easier fixes.
Big image
Illinois Branches of Government

Illinois State Government Flowchart

Big image


Federalism is a form of Government that is made in a way that all sections offset each other. For example, the Judicial, Legislative and Executive Branch in state and federal governments all have the power to restrict or review each other's decisions and powers.. Other responsibilities are also left to states and local governments, to ensure no section of the national government becomes too powerfu
Federalism: Crash Course Government and Politics #4

The Good (And Bad) Parts About Federalism

Why doesn’t Federalism always work? In situations like Hurricane Katrina, the 2012 attack On Benghazi, government branches blame other people too much instead of getting a job done or helping people. There can be lots of confusion when there are three different levels of governments all assuming that another one has the task taken care of.

What does it take for Federalism to work? Governments need to be prepared, and the local officials need to understand how the federal system of government works. A federalist government needs to have emergency plans, and need to be able to communicate. Lastly, governments need to know how to help, and to be held accountable.

Big image

Responsibilities of a Citizen

Responsibility - the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.

Obligations - an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.

What are responsibilities of a citizen? Following the legal system, there would be lots of confusion and stress if many communities had many citizens not following protocols or laws supporting and defending the congress, or to stand up for what's right for the country, and to participate in you community, and help improve the community in any way possible.

What are obligations of a citizen? To sign up for the draft, in case of a severe need of soldiers for war, to serve your jury duty, or to help enforce the legal system. Paying taxes is also necessary for each citizen of the united states. If no one payed taxes, there would be no way for the government to get the money to run.

Senators and the House of Representatives

Why would you contact either your senator or member of the House of Representatives? You can give them an idea for a bill or can advise them whether or not to vote on a bill to be passed (only bills that affect the whole country)

Senators and the House of Representatives: The Illinois General Assembly

Why would you contact a member in the Illinois General Assembly? To advise or suggest a bill to be passed or voted on that affects the state of illinois and its inlying districts.
Big image

5 Frequently Asked Questions

How many members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives are there?

435 members of the house and 100 senators.

What are some of the biggest holidays in the United States?

The 4th of July, Halloween, Christmas, Easter and thanksgiving.

What is the national anthem?


How many people live in the United States?

320 Million people.

Where is the white house and how big is it?

The white house is in Washingtion D.C. and it is 54,900 square feet!! Thats bigger than most hotels!!


"About the United States." About the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.

"Find Your Representative." · House.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.

"Find Your Senators and Representatives." - OpenCongress. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.

"Open States." Open States. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.