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  1. The United States Constitution
  2. Legislative Branch
  3. Executive Branch
  4. The Judicial Branch
  5. Voting
  6. Political Parties
  7. State and Local Government
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aerial photo of US Capitol building
United States Capitol Building, Washington D.C.
Photo from The Architect of the Capitol.
Legislative Branch
Article I of the United States Constitution provides for the legislative branch, which gives power to a bicameral Congress. Bicameral means two houses or chambers. The two houses of Congress are the House of Representatives and the Senate. This important branch of government makes laws. It meets at the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C. The U.S. Congress is responsible for carrying out numerous duties including the declaration of war and the collection of taxes. The House of Representatives consists of 435 members. Each state is allotted representatives based on its population. The populous state of California has 53 house members, while the less populous state of Rhode Island has only two. House members must be 25 years old to run for office and serve two-year terms. The House is unique in that it is the only government entity that can impeach a president. The Senate consists of 100 senators. Two senators represent each of the 50 states. Article I, section 3 of the Constitution states that senators must be 30 years old to serve and they serve for six-year terms. The Vice President of the U.S. is also the president of the Senate, but only votes in the case of a tie. House members and senators must be U.S. citizens and must reside in the states they represent.
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