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The American Political System: The Essential Features


The American political system is primarily shaped by the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. All the three crucial divisions have their supremacies convened by the head of state, the U.S. Constitution, and the Supreme Court. Additionally, the American political system is vastly subjugated by two primary political parties, particularly the democratic and republican parties (Chapman 101-105). The dual-party system is centered on formalities, party guidelines, and various regulations. The paper addresses the essential features of the American political system, the issues relating to political principles, government structure, government processes, and policy positions, and how to participate in the political process.

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The Essential Features of the American Political System, including the Constitution, Government, Interest Groups, Social Movements, Political Parties, Campaigns and Elections

The essential features of the American political system comprise the constitution, the government, interest groups, and social movements. The political system’s aspects further entail political parties, campaigns, and elections. These crucial features work hand in hand, given that they have a prevailing association with each other (Gardbaum 229-235). These essential features elaborate the roles of the political system and contribute significantly to the American political system. The U.S Constitution is founded on crucial philosophies which revolve around federalism, separation of powers, and popular sovereignty.

The ideologies extend to include judicial review, checks and balances, and limited government. The constitution has been able to restrain the supremacies of the government by splitting the influence and dispensing it amongst the three government’s arms (Goelzhauser and Konisky 311-316). One of the key roles of the constitution is to create a national regime that assimilates the executive, legislative, and judiciary and encompasses a system of inquiry and correspondence among the three divisions. The constitution also partitions supremacy between the national government and the states and defends the special rights of the American residents.

The American federal government includes the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. The legislature forms regulations, declares warfare, controls regional and overseas trade, and regulates all taxing and expenditure programs (Chapman 106-109). The executive imposes rules and maintains law and order. The judiciary oversees justice conferring to the existing regulations by applying rules to complex cases and solves all disagreements by maintaining law and order. Congress legislates the engagements of the federal government.

Interest groups in the American political system epitomize the interests and views of the supporters, take part in policy deliberations, control lawmakers and track the applicable administration. These interest groups may influence the guidelines and regulations allotted to enact the law and may also contest the rulings applied in a court of law. Social movements in the American system are structured and focused groups that work unitedly to guarantee social change.

The republican and democratic political parties have controlled the American political organization since the 1850s. The dual-party system has subjugated owing to the enormous impact of funding in the American electoral system from establishments, industries, and special interest groups. Campaigns are predestined to impact the decision-making of the electorates, and they are carried out three months before the general elections (Goelzhauser and Konisky 317-325). The American polls entail casting votes to choose novel leaders for a term of four years renewable once. The candidate who gets 270 votes or more emerges the winner. The elections are regulated by the constitution, whereby the legislature oversees how the elections will be conducted in every state.

Issues Relating to Political Principles, Government Structure, Government Processes, and Policy Positions

One of the critical issues relating to political principles, government structure, government processes, and policy positions is the lack of public confidence in elected individuals and government procedures. Americans expressed their views concerning their faith towards elected officials who act on behalf of the interests of the public. Owing to recent research, only 25% of the citizens said they have confidence in the elected officials and the government processes, creating the need to streamline the current systems to retain public assurance (Goelzhauser and Konisky 326-331). Another vital issue is the design and structure of the government that needs considerable modifications. There is a need for an equilibrium between the horizontal and vertical separation of influence.

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Additionally, the design of the government at a state and national level should ensure that there is a balance between the two. Furthermore, the political system has failed to hold chosen bureaucrats liable for the absence of transparency in their line of work. Corruption has been a key issue that needs to be addressed, and those found guilty should be held answerable to ensure the accountability of every government official.

How to participate in a Political Process at a Local, State, and National Level by Learning about how the government works on all Levels

Participating in a political process from the local to the national level may take various procedures. These comprise noting down a letter to appeal to the administration for support with some problem, carrying out nonviolent protests to advocate for governmental changes, and voting in general elections (Gardbaum 241-246). This involvement may also include running for office, appearing at a government meeting, taking part in a referendum, and voting to eliminate a government executive from office. Participation in a political process further involves becoming a political party’s affiliate, registering to vote, and partaking in a judicial process.


It is thus evident that the American political system is founded on democracy. This implies that the government is chosen by residents who cast their votes to decide on their leaders. Therefore, the American administration must guard the reliability of the political system from external intimidations, which happens to be one of its roles. The government should also tackle all the issues relating to government processes, government structure, and policy positions.

Works Cited

Chapman, Emilee B. “The Distinctive Value of Elections and the Case for Compulsory Voting.” American Journal of Political Science 63.1 (2018): 101-112. Print.

Gardbaum, Stephen. “Political Parties, Voting Systems, and the Separation of Powers†.” The American Journal of Comparative Law 65.2 (2017): 229-264. Print.

Goelzhauser, Greg, and David M. Konisky. “The State of American Federalism 2019–2020: Polarized and Punitive Intergovernmental Relations.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 50.3 (2020): 311-343. Print.

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