Unformatted text preview: The United States is a constitutional democracy, a type of government characterized by limitations on government power spelled out in a written constitution. Written in 1787, the U.S. Constitution is both the oldest and shortest written constitution in the world. It serves as the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution outlines a federal government with three separate branches: the legislative branch (Congress), the executive branch (the presidency), and the judicial branch (the courts). Over time, however, other key elements of government have developed and become just as important, such as the federal bureaucracy, political parties, interest groups, the media, and electoral campaigns. We will cover these components in detail in upcoming chapters. The Legislative Branch Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government and is responsible for...
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- Fall '08