Portal:Government of the United States

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Obverse of the Great Seal of the United States
United States Congressional Seal
The Seal Of The President Of The United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court

The federal government of the United States is the central United States governmental body, established by the United States Constitution. The federal government has three branches: the legislative, executive, and judicial. Through a system of separation of powers and the system of "checks and balances," each of these branches has some authority to act on its own, some authority to regulate the other two branches, and has some of its own authority, in turn, regulated by the other branches. The policies of the federal government have a broad impact on both the domestic and foreign affairs of the United States. In addition, the powers of the federal government as a whole are limited by the Constitution, which, per the Tenth Amendment, reserves all power not directed to the National government, to the individual states, respectively, or "to the people". The seat of the federal government is in the federal district of Washington, D.C.

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United States Capitol - west front.jpg
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the Federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall. Though not in the geographic center of the District of Columbia, the Capitol is the origin by which the quadrants of the District are divided. Officially, both the east and west sides of the Capitol are referred to as "fronts." Historically, however, only the east front of the building was intended for the arrival of visitors and dignitaries. The Capitol design came about as the result of a design competition instigated by then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. The design was ultimately that of several architects, including numerous expansions and additions, such as the dome. The current building principally houses the House Chamber, the Senate Chamber, and the Capital rotunda.

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LOC Main Reading Room Highsmith.jpg
reading room of the Library of Congress
Photo credit: Carol M. Highsmith

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