GOVERNMENT 101: Introduction
Are you fearful that you might one day be "that guy" on The Tonight Show who becomes perplexed by the question, "How many U.S. Senators are there?" Do you think of mudslinging as something you and your little brother used to do in the backyard on rainy afternoons? Is your knowledge of American Government, well, a bit rusty?
If you answered "yes" to any of the questions above, Project Vote Smart's Government 101 is designed especially for you. This tutorial is informative, practical and easy, and is intended to help refresh your knowledge of American politics by providing useful information about Congress, political parties, campaign finance, the Constitution, elections, state government and much more.
We hope that if you take a little time to read through Government 101, you'll be able to see past the spin and get the facts next time you vote. At the very least, you'll be a heck of a lot more competitive the next time you play Trivial Pursuit.The PresidentQualifications:
- Must be a natural-born citizen of the United States (can be born abroad of parents who are American citizens).
- Must be 35 years of age.
- Must be a resident of the United States for at least 14 years (but not necessarily the 14 years preceding the election).
The Powers of the President:
- A nice house
- A salary of $400,000 per year (taxable)
- Travel expenses of $100,000 per year (tax-free)
- Pension, on retirement, cabinet member's salary (taxable)
- Staff support on leaving the presidency
- A place in the country - Camp David
- A personal airplane - Air Force One
- A fine chef
According to Article II of the Constitution
the President has the following powers:
Powers of the President That Are Shared with the Senate
- Serve as commander in chief of the armed forces
- Commission officer of the armed forces
- Grant reprieves and pardons for federal offenses (except impeachment)
- Convene Congress in special sessions
- Receive ambassadors
- Take care that the laws be faithfully executed
- Wield the "executive power"
- Appoint officials to lesser offices
Powers of the President That are Shared with Congress as a WholeMore Information:
- Make treaties
- Appoint ambassadors, judges, and high officials
From Project Vote Smart:
Other Sources of Information:
- The American Presidency From Grolier's Online contains a "set of articles on the Presidents, the Presidency and American politics."
- Character Above All: An Exploration of Presidential Leadership From the PBS Online Newshour contains essays, a discussion forum, and transcripts from the broadcast of this program.
- Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the U.S. From George Washington to George W. Bush. Online from Bartleby.com.
- The Inaugural Classroom From PBS in association with the Presidential Inauguration Committee.
- Presidents of the United States (POTUS) Online from the Internet Public Library, this site provides background information, election results, cabinet members, presidency highlights, and some odd facts on each of the presidents. Links to biographies, historical documents, audio and video files, and other presidential sites are also included.