Topic 3. Institutions of United States Government
Democratic government in the United States consists of a complex interplay of formal institutions and evolving political practices. Under a system of federalism that establishes a separation of powers, different branches of government perform different functions:
- The Legislature makes the laws,
- The Executive administers the laws,
- The Judiciary interprets the laws.
This separation of powers exists on the federal, state, and local levels. In theory, members of the Legislature and leaders of the Executive branch are elected by the people, but historically and still today, not everyone is allowed to vote because of legal barriers and voter suppression policies. Two major political parties dominate American politics. At times in the past, third parties have raised new issues and policies for wider discussion and debate.
The media literacy activities in this section invite explorations of the branches of the government, the impeachment process, social media use by members of Congress, public opinion polls, and how political parties deliver the messages to voters.
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Media Literacy Activities
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