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GROUP WORK COURSE AMERICAN – BRITISH CULTURE topic 5 american political system

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MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
HANOI LAW UNIVERSITY
---------------------

GROUP WORK
COURSE: AMERICAN – BRITISH CULTURE

Topic 5: American political system
GROUP: 5
MEMBERS:
Lưu Vũ Hà Phương (Leader) – 442943
Trần Nguyễn Thảo My – 442932
Nguyễn Thị Thu Thảo – 442942
Nguyễn Thị Vân - 442950
CLASS: HLU - 4429B (N02)

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OUTLINE

I.History of US political system............................................................................................... 1
II.How does the US political system work?........................................................................ 3
1.Legislative branch:.............................................................................................................. 3
a) House of representatives:............................................................................................ 3
b) Senate:.................................................................................................................................. 4
2. Executive branch................................................................................................................. 4
3. Judicial branch:................................................................................................................... 5
III. Republican vs Democratic: Two major political parties....................................... 6
IV. Advantages – disadvantages of the political system in the US............................ 8
V. American’s view on the US political system:.............................................................. 10


Sources............................................................................................................................................ 12

CONTENT
I.History of US political system
-

United

State is

a constitutional

federal

republic

in

which

the president (the head of state and head of goverment,Congress, and judiciary
share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government
shares sovereignty with the state governments.
- Founding father: Historians have varied opinions about exactly who should be

included on the list of Founding Fathers of the United State, or how large this list
should be. Some names—George Washington, James Madison, and John Adams
—are obvious, but others may be more debatable. Fifty-five delegates attended
the Constitutional Convention, each of whom had an important part to play.
There were also men—Thomas Jefferson, most notably—who were not at


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the Constitutional Convention but who nonetheless played a critical role in the
foundation of the country.
Important milestone:
+ 4/7/1776: Declaration of independence: On June 10, 1776, the Continental

Congress appointed a committee of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas
Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman to draft a document expressing
the intent of the 13 colonies to declare independence as states. Jefferson penned
the original draft, the committee presented a revised version to the Continental
Congress on July 2, and the Congress redrafted it before adopting the final
version on July 4, 1776. In the months that followed, the Declaration garnered
key signatures from representatives of each colony.
+

14/5/1787: The begining of the Constitutional convention: The

Constitutional Convention, which met in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, was
originally tasked with amending the Articles of Confederation to make them
workable, since the existing confederation was too weak to protect members from
foreign invaders and too ineffectual to preserve the union. With George
Washington presiding, the delegates determined that a new constitutional order
was needed for the union to survive.
+ 17/10/1787: Constitution adopted: In designing a new constitutional order,


the learned framers relied on historical examples from ancient civilizations like
Athens, their own experiences with the British and colonial models of
government, and the recommendations of contemporary theorists like
Montesquieu. Central issues discussed at the convention included the division and
separation of powers within the federal government, the allocation of
congressional representation between the states, and the extent to which members
of the federal government could be elected by American citizens. The
Constitution was produced in secret and signed into law on September 17, 1787.

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II.How does the US political system work?
- Federal power is split into three different branches of government – the

executive (the president and their cabinet), the judiciary (the Supreme Court) and
the chambers of the United States Congress.
- The federal government, or national government, looks after things like

immigration, foreign affairs and minting money. Other powers, such as taxation,
lawmaking and law enforcement are shared between state and federal
governments.Federal power is split into three different branches of government
– the executive (the president and their cabinet), the judiciary (the Supreme
Court) and the chambers of the United States Congress.
- The U.S. political system also follows a principle of “checks and balances”,

which enables all three branches to mutually control each other. This prevents
any of these three branches from getting too powerful.

1.Legislative branch:
- The legislative branch is in charge of making laws. It is made up of the

Congress and several Government agencies.
a) House of representatives:
- In the UK, we have the House of Commons and House of Lords. Similarly,

there are two chambers in the US Congress.The House of Representatives is the
lower chamber of Congress and is made up of elected representatives from across
the country.
- There are 435 voting members of the House of Representatives (six non-voting

members also attend sessions representing US territories and Washington
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DC). Each state is allocated a different number of representatives based on their
population – California is the largest with 53 while seven states have just a single
representative.
- Representatives serve a two-year term and the entire chamber goes up for reelection every November in even-numbered years.As part of the legislative
branch of the United States Congress, the House of Representatives has control
over which legislation comes to a vote.
b) Senate:
- The upper chamber is known as the Senate and was originally intended to be a

regulatory group providing checks and balances for the work of the
Representatives – but it has been the dominant body since the mid 19th Century.
- There are fewer members of the Senate – just 100 – with each state having two


senators, regardless of its size.Senators are directly elected and serve six-year
terms – there are no term limits in place and many serve for several decades.
- The US vice-president takes a leading role in the Senate, acting as the

chamber’s president. The Senate has the power to approve or block any new
laws, to debate and confirm any presidential appointments to high-ranking office
(as appropriate) and also to conduct investigatory trials against the president in a
process known as impeachment.
2. Executive branch
- The executive branch of our Government is in charge of making sure that the

laws of the United States are obeyed. The President of the United States is the
head of the executive branch. The President gets help from the Vice President,
department heads (called Cabinet members), and heads of independent agencies.
Here are some of the things those people do:
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+ The President leads the country and commands the military.
+ The Vice President becomes President if the President can no longer do the job

and is also President of the Senate.
+ Department heads advise the President on issues and help carry out decisions

made by the Government.
+ Independent Agencies also help carry out decisions made by the Government


or provide special services.
3. Judicial branch:
- The judicial branch is in charge of deciding the meaning of laws, how to apply

them to real situations, and whether a law breaks the rules of the Constitution.
The Constitution is the highest law of our Nation. The U.S. Supreme Court, the
highest court in the United States, is part of the judicial branch. The Supreme
Court is made up of 9 judges called justices who are nominated by the President
and confirmed by the Senate. The justices hear cases that have made their way up
through the court system.
- The main task of the Supreme Court is to decide cases that may differ from the

U.S. Constitution. Once the Supreme Court makes a decision in a case, it can
only be changed by a later Supreme Court decision or by changing or amending
the Constitution. This is a very important power that can affect the lives of many
people.
=> In conclusion: The Congress - a legislative branch is to pass laws, and the
President’s role is to implement such laws after they have been passed. Finally,
the role of the courts is to interpret laws and make judgments in court based on
these interpretations.

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III. Republican vs Democratic: Two major political parties
Republican party
The Republican Party ( also


Definition

known as GOP - Grand Old
Party),is the younger of the
two parties. Founded in
1854
expansion

by

anti-slavery
activists

and

modernizers, the Republican
Party rose to prominence
with the election of Abraham
Lincoln, the first Republican
president. The party presided
over the American civli war
and Reconstruction and was
harried by internal factions
and scandals towards the end
of the 19th century.

Economic

Believe taxes shouldn't be


ideas

increased

for

anyone

(including the wealthy) and
that wages should be set by
the free market.

Social

and Based

on

community

and Based on individual rights

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human ideas
Stance


on

Death
Penalty

Stance

on

Taxes

Healthcare
Policy

Famous
presidents

Franklin Roosevelt (FDR), Abraham Lincoln, Teddy
John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan,
Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy George Bush, Richard Nixon

Voters

Carter, Barack Obama
- Democrats supported

by - Protestant voters

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majority

of

black

voters - Bussiness community

(Clinton 38%)

- White collar workers

- Urban ethnics

- Religious fundamentalists

- Blue collar workers
- Catholics
- More woman voters
* Other minors parties
- The Constitution party: Is a conservative United State political party. The

Constitution party advocates a platform that they believe reflects the foundin
Father’s original intent of the US.Constitution,principles found in the
US.Declaration of Independence and morals taken from the Bible.
- The Green party: Active as a thirs party since the 1980s.Green emphasize


environmentalism,non



hierarchical

participatory

democracy,social

justice,respect for diversity,peace and nonviolence.
- The Libertarian party: Was founded on December 11,1971.The political

platform of the Libertarian party reflects that group’s particular brand of
libertarianism,flavoring minimally regulated,laisez-fair markets,strong civil
liberties,minimally regulated migration across borders, and non – interventionism
in foreign policy that respects freedom of trade and travel to all foreign countries.

IV. Advantages – disadvantages of the political system in the US
* Advantages:
- The “check and balance” system works in many ways to keep serious mistakes

from being made by one branch or another. And The political system can guard
against the possibility that one person or group, including the majority, might
become too powerful or be able to seize control of the country and create a
democratic system.
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- America is a federal state, in which power is shared between a central authority

and its constituent parts,with some rights reserved to each.The political system
ensures the separation of national powers and prevents tyranny-it can avoid that the
new central government weaken or take away the power of the state governments to
run their own. Moreover, Local autonomy and central government formed a
harmonious unity, not only safeguarding the state sovereignty but also mobilize the
enthusiasm and creativity of the local government.
- The USA party system consisting of two party Democrats and Republicans. A

more fragmented system waste more time in bargaining and discussions in order to
create a coalition ,but Its two party system strengthens the competition of the parties,
which can adjust the interests between different classes in order to acheive
American’s pursuit of freedom and democracy .
- The Bill of Right and Constitution guarantee freedom and individual rights and

forbid interference with lives of individuals by the government.
* Disadvantages:
- The system “checks and balances” do not work the way as they are supposed to

work in reality .Now the president’s power is larger and larger.The powers of
president are formidable ,but not without limitations. Regardless the limitations by
the Congress and the Supreme Court result in poor efficiency in some situations.
Sometimes during the process of implementing “check and balance”, it sometimes
arises many problems ( such as FBI violating human-rights.)
- Because of the wrangling and prevarication between central government and local

governments,there can be different laws and policies every time you cross a state
line.Without clear national laws and policies, it can be confusing keeping up with

what is allowed from state to state. There also can be overlaps in jurisdiction,
causing confusion as to which government is responsible for a certain issue.
- The most serious disadvantages is two party system.It is difficult to practice

negotiation in the real politics and there are always conflicts provoking between
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them.And in many cases,the two parties don’t want to take responsibilities and pass
the buck which leads the government’s efficiency is low.
V. American’s view on the US political system:
The strength and stability of democracy has become a subject of intense debate in
the United States and around the world. But how do Americans feel about their own
democracy? Pew Research Center has conducted a major survey of public’s views of
the U.S. political system and American democracy and found that while Americans
are in broad agreement on important ideals relating to democracy in the U.S,they
think the nation is falling short in realizing many of these ideals.Here are some of
the survey’s other major findings:
1. Democracy seen as working well, but most want “significant” changes:

About six-in-ten Americans (58%) say democracy is working well in the U.S.,
though just 18% say it is working very well. At the same time, a majority supports
making sweeping changes to the political system: 61% say “significant changes” are
needed in the fundamental “design and structure” of the U.S. government to make it
work in current times.
2, Most Americans say it would be too risky to give presidents more power:
About three-quarters of the public (76%) say it would be “too risky” to give
presidents more power to deal directly with the nation’s problems. Just 21% support

the view that problems could be better dealt with if presidents could worry less
about Congress and the courts.
3, About a third say “who the president is” makes a big difference in their
personal lives: Most Americans say “who the president is” has a big impact in
areas such as national security and U.S. standing in the world, and 63% say it
makes a big difference in the country’s mood. Fewer (34%) say who the president
is makes a big difference in their personal lives.
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4.Government and politics seen as working better locally than nationally:
Two-thirds of those surveyed (67%) have a favorable opinion of their local
government, compared with 35% for the federal government. In addition, nearly
three-quarters (73%) say the quality of candidates running for local office in
recent elections has been good; just 41% say the same about the quality of
presidential candidates.

Sources
1. Timeline of US federal history – H fedhist
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https://networks.h-net.org/node/5301/pages/1030420/timeline-federal-history
2. The United State of American – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States
3. American Politics – History learning site
https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/american-politics/

4. Key finding on Amerian’s view of the US political system and democracy -

Pew Research center https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/26/keyfindings-on-americans-views-of-the-u-s-political-system-and-democracy/
5. What are the pros and cons of the US government system – Quora.com

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-the-US-system-ofgovernment
6. U.S. History and Historical Documents – usa.gov

https://www.usa.gov/history
7. The Political System in the U.S.A – grin.com

https://www.grin.com/document/109347 8.Democrat vs
Republican – Diffen.com
https://www.diffen.com/difference/Democrat_vs_Republican

VERIFICATION OF PARTICIPATION AND RESULTS OF
PARTICIPATION IN GROUP EXERCISE
Group: 05

Class: N02

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The total number of group members : 04
Present: 04
Absent: 0
Topic of the assignment: American political system

Determine the level of participation and the outcome of each student's
participation in the group assignment
The results are as follows:
No

ST ID

1

442943

2

442932

3

442942

4

422950

Hanoi, 13 month 11 year
2021
Word result:........................................................................................ LEADER
First marking teacher:.
……………..........
Second marking teacher:.
Phương

………………..
Lưu Vũ Hà Phương
Presentation result:……………...............
Presentation
marking
teacher:
…………...
The final result:……………….................
Final
evaluate
teacher:
…………..............

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