In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes and the state. Communism includes a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism and anarchism, as well as the political ideologies grouped around both. All of these share the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism; the two classes are the working class—who must work to survive and who make up the majority within society—and the capitalist class—a minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. The revolution will put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production, which according to this analysis is the primary element in the transformation of society towards communism.
Critics of communism can be divided into those concerning themselves with the practical aspects of 20th century communist states and those concerning themselves with communist principles and theory. Marxism-Leninism and democratic socialism were the two dominant forms of socialism in the 20th century; the term "communism" was first coined and defined in its modern definition by the French philosopher and writer Victor d'Hupay. In his 1777 book Projet de communauté philosophe, d'Hupay pushes the philosophy of the Enlightenment to principles which he lived up to during most of his life in his bastide of Fuveau; this book can be seen as the cornerstone of communist philosophy as d'Hupay defines this lifestyle as a "commune" and advises to "share all economic and material products between inhabitants of the commune, so that all may benefit from everybody's work". According to Richard Pipes, the idea of a classless, egalitarian society first emerged in Ancient Greece; the 5th-century Mazdak movement in Persia has been described as "communistic" for challenging the enormous privileges of the noble classes and the clergy, for criticizing the institution of private property and for striving to create an egalitarian society.
At one time or another, various small communist communities existed under the inspiration of Scripture. For example, in the medieval Christian Church some monastic communities and religious orders shared their land and their other property. Communist thought has been traced back to the works of the 16th-century English writer Thomas More. In his treatise Utopia, More portrayed a society based on common ownership of property, whose rulers administered it through the application of reason. In the 17th century, communist thought surfaced again in England, where a Puritan religious group known as the "Diggers" advocated the abolition of private ownership of land. In his 1895 Cromwell and Communism, Eduard Bernstein argued that several groups during the English Civil War espoused clear communistic, agrarian ideals and that Oliver Cromwell's attitude towards these groups was at best ambivalent and hostile. Criticism of the idea of private property continued into the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century through such thinkers as Jean Jacques Rousseau in France.
Following the upheaval of the French Revolution communism emerged as a political doctrine. In the early 19th century, various social reformers founded communities based on common ownership. However, unlike many previous communist communities they replaced the religious emphasis with a rational and philanthropic basis. Notable among them were Robert Owen, who founded New Harmony in Indiana, as well as Charles Fourier, whose followers organized other settlements in the United States such as Brook Farm. In its modern form, communism grew out of the socialist movement in 19th-century Europe; as the Industrial Revolution advanced, socialist critics blamed capitalism for the misery of the proletariat—a new class of urban factory workers who labored under often-hazardous conditions. Foremost among these critics were his associate Friedrich Engels. In 1848, Marx and Engels offered a new definition of communism and popularized the term in their famous pamphlet The Communist Manifesto; the 1917 October Revolution in Russia set the conditions for the rise to state power of Vladimir Lenin's Bolsheviks, the first time any avowedly communist party reached that position.
The revolution transferred power to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, in which the Bolsheviks had a majority. The event generated a great deal of theoretical debate within the Marxist movement. Marx predicted that socialism and communism would be built upon foundations laid by the most advanced capitalist development. However, Russia was one of the poorest countries in Europe with an enormous illiterate peasantry and a minority of industrial workers. Marx had explicitly stated; the moderate Mensheviks opposed Lenin's Bolshevik plan for socialist revolution before capitalism was more developed. The Bolsheviks' successful rise to power was based upon the slogans such as "Peace and land" which tapp
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of the Senate; the Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators; the House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house and vote in congressional committees, introduce legislation; the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative.
Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. There are 100 senators representing the 50 states; each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years one-third of the Senate is up for election. To be eligible for election, a candidate must be aged at least 25 or 30, have been a citizen of the United States for seven or nine years, be an inhabitant of the state which they represent; the Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation. Although not mandated, in practice since the 19th century, Congress members are affiliated with the Republican Party or with the Democratic Party and only with a third party or independents. Article One of the United States Constitution states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers; the Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills. The House initiates impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office; the term Congress can refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers two years; the Congress ends on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators. Scholar and representative Lee H. Hamilton asserted that the "historic mission of Congress has been to maintain freedom" and insisted it was a "driving force in American government" and a "remarkably resilient institution". Congress is the "heart and soul of our democracy", according to this view though legislators achieve the prestige or name recognition of presidents or Supreme Court justices.
One analyst argues that it is not a reactive institution but has played an active role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure. Several academics described Congress: Congress reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses, it reflects our regional idiosyncrasies, our ethnic and racial diversity, our multitude of professions, our shadings of opinion on everything from the value of war to the war over values. Congress is the government's most representative body... Congress is charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day. Congress is changing and is in flux. In recent times, the American south and west have gained House seats according to demographic changes recorded by the census and includes more minorities and women although both groups are still underrepresented. While power balances among the different parts of government continue to change, the internal structure of Congress is important to understand along with its interactions with so-called intermediary institutions such as political parties, civic associations, interest groups, the mass media.
The Congress of the United States serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a congressional district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators. Most incumbents seek re-election, their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent; the historical records of the House of Representatives and the Senate are maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Congress is directly responsible for the governing of the District of Columbia, the current seat of the federal government; the First Continental Congress was a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen British Colonies in North America. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America"; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a
Territory of Hawaii
The Territory of Hawaii or Hawaii Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 12, 1898, until August 21, 1959, when most of its territory, excluding Palmyra Island and the Stewart Islands, was admitted to the Union as the fiftieth U. S. state, the State of Hawaii. The Hawaii Admission Act specified that the State of Hawaii would not include the distant Palmyra Island, the Midway Islands, Kingman Reef, Johnston Atoll, which includes Johnston Island and Sand Island, the Act was silent regarding the Stewart Islands; the U. S. Congress passed the Newlands Resolution which annexed the Republic of Hawaii to the United States. Hawaii's territorial history includes a period from 1941 to 1944—during World War II—when the islands were placed under martial law. Civilian government was dissolved and a military governor was appointed. Upon the overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani in 1893, the Committee of Safety, Henry E. Cooper, established the Provisional Government of Hawaii to govern the islands in transition to expected annexation by the United States.
Thurston lobbied Congress for annexation, while the former monarchy lobbied Congress to protest the overthrow and lobbied against any annexation of Hawaii. First annexation proceedings began. Cleveland was an anti-imperialist and was against annexation, he withdrew the annexation treaty from consideration, mounted an inquiry, recommended the restoration of Liliʻuokalani as queen. Further investigation by Congress led to the Morgan Report, which established that the actions of U. S. troops were neutral, exonerated the U. S. from any accusations of complicity with the overthrow. The provisional government convened a constitutional convention to establish the Republic of Hawaii. Thurston was urged to become the nation's first president but he was worried his brazen personality would damage the cause of annexation; the more conservative Sanford B. Dole, former Supreme Court Justice and friend of Queen Liliʻuokalani, was elected as the first and only president of the new regime. Hawaii's strategic location to support the Spanish–American War in the Philippines made it important to American interests, as argued by naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan.
On July 4, 1898, the United States Congress passed the Newlands Resolution, which annexed Hawaii. It was signed into law by President McKinley on July 7, 1898, came into effect on August 12, 1898. A formal ceremony was held on the steps of the royal ʻIolani Palace in Honolulu where the Hawaiian flag of the Republic was lowered and the American flag of the "Stars and Stripes" raised on August 12. Former President Sanford B. Dole was appointed Hawaii's first territorial governor; the Newlands Resolution said, the Government of the Republic of Hawaii having, in due form, signified its consent, in the manner provided by its constitution, to cede and without reserve to the United States of America, all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, to cede and transfer to the United States, the absolute fee and ownership of all public, Government, or Crown lands, public buildings or edifices, harbors, military equipment, all other public property of every kind and description belonging to the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, together with every right and appurtenance thereunto appertaining: Therefore, Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That said cession is accepted and confirmed, that the said Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies be, they are hereby, annexed as a part of the territory of the United States and are subject to the sovereign dominion thereof, that all and singular the property and rights hereinbefore mentioned are vested in the United States of America.
The Newlands Resolution established a five-member commission to study which laws were needed in the newly organized Territory of Hawaii. The commission included: Territorial Governor Sanford B. Dole, Senators Shelby M. Cullom and John T. Morgan, Representative Robert R. Hitt and former Hawaii Chief Justice and succeeding Territorial Governor Walter F. Frear; the commission's final report was submitted to Congress for a debate. Many Congressmen and Senators raised objections that establishing an elected territorial government in Hawaii would lead to the admission of a state with a "non-white" majority in the racist and segregated era of "Jim Crow" laws in the South at the time; the United States Congress agreed to grant Hawaii a popularly elected government of its own and 25th President William McKinley signed a law passed by the Congress, "An Act to Provide a Government for the Territory of Hawaii" known as the Hawaiian Organic Act of 1900. The Organic Act established the Office of the Territorial Governor, an office appointed by the sitting American president from his own political party.
The territorial governor "served at the pleasure" of the President of the United States, was nominated by him and confirmed by the Senate, could be replaced at any time. The Organic Act created a bicameral Hawaii Territorial Legislature, consisting of a lower chamber House of Representatives and the upper chamber, the Senate, with its members elected by popular vote. A Territorial Supreme Court of several justices/judges led by a Chief Justice, additional appellate courts appointed by the President with the constitutio
United States Statutes at Large
The United States Statutes at Large referred to as the Statutes at Large and abbreviated Stat. are an official record of Acts of Congress and concurrent resolutions passed by the United States Congress. Each act and resolution of Congress is published as a slip law, classified as either public law or private law, designated and numbered accordingly. At the end of a Congressional session, the statutes enacted during that session are compiled into bound books, known as "session law" publications; the session law publication for U. S. Federal statutes is called the United States Statutes at Large. In that publication, the public laws and private laws are numbered and organized in chronological order. U. S. Federal statutes are published in a three-part process, consisting of slip laws, session laws, codification. Large portions of public laws are enacted as amendments to the United States Code. Once enacted into law, an Act will be published in the Statutes at Large and will add to, modify, or delete some part of the United States Code.
Provisions of a public law that contain only enacting clauses, effective dates, similar matters are not codified. Private laws are not codified; some portions of the United States Code have been enacted as positive law and other portions have not been so enacted. In case of a conflict between the text of the Statutes at Large and the text of a provision of the United States Code that has not been enacted as positive law, the text of the Statutes at Large takes precedence. Publication of the United States Statutes at Large began in 1845 by the private firm of Little and Company under authority of a joint resolution of Congress. During Little and Company's time as publisher, Richard Peters, George Minot, George P. Sanger served as editors. In 1874, Congress transferred the authority to publish the Statutes at Large to the Government Printing Office under the direction of the Secretary of State. Pub. L. 80–278, 61 Stat. 633, was enacted July 30, 1947 and directed the Secretary of State to compile, edit and publish the Statutes at Large.
Pub. L. 81–821, 64 Stat. 980, was enacted September 23, 1950 and directed the Administrator of General Services to compile, edit and publish the Statutes at Large. Since 1985 the Statutes at Large have been prepared and published by the Office of the Federal Register of the National Archives and Records Administration; until 1948, all treaties and international agreements approved by the United States Senate were published in the set, but these now appear in a publication titled United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, abbreviated U. S. T. In addition, the Statutes at Large includes the text of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, amendments to the Constitution, treaties with Indians and foreign nations, presidential proclamations. Sometimes large or long Acts of Congress are published as their own "appendix" volume of the Statutes at Large. For example, the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was published as volume 68A of the Statutes at Large.
Revised Statutes of the United States Procedures of the United States Congress Enrolled Bill Federal Register United States Reports California Statutes Laws of Florida Laws of Illinois Laws of New York Laws of Pennsylvania This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the U. S. Government Publishing Office. How Our Laws Are Made, by the Parliamentarian of the House of Representatives. Volumes 1 to 18 of the Statutes at Large made available by the Library of Congress Volumes 1 to 64 of the Statutes at Large made available by the Congressional Data Coalition via LEGISWORKS.org Volumes 65 to 125 of the Statutes at Large made available by the GPO and the Library of Congress via FDsys Sortable by Bills Enacted into Laws, Concurrent Resolutions, Popular Names, Presidential Proclamations, or Public Laws. Volumes 1–124 of the Statutes at Large made available by the Constitution Society Public and private laws from 104th Congress to present from the Government Printing Office, in slip law format with Statutes at Large page references Early United States Statutes includes Volumes 1 to 44 of the Statutes at Large in DjVu and PDF format, along with rudimentary OCR of the text.
United States Statutes and the United States Code: Historical Outlines, Lists and Sources from the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, DC Second Edition of the Revised Statutes of the United States
86th United States Congress
The Eighty-sixth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D. C. from January 3, 1959, to January 3, 1961, during the last two years of the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower; the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Seventeenth Census of the United States in 1950. Both chambers had a Democratic majority; when Alaska and Hawaii were admitted as states in 1959, the membership of the House temporarily increased to 437. January 7, 1959: The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro February 12, 1959: In commemorations of the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, Congress met in joint session to hear actor Fredric March give a dramatic reading of the Gettysburg Address, followed with an address by writer Carl Sandburg February 1, 1960: Greensboro sit-ins begin May 1, 1960: U-2 incident June 29, 1960: King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand addresses a Joint Meeting of Congress November 8, 1960: United States presidential election, 1960: John F. Kennedy elected 1959: Airport Construction Act, Pub.
L. 86–72 September 14, 1959: Landrum–Griffin Act, Pub. L. 86–257, 73 Stat. 519 April 22, 1960: Narcotics Manufacturing Act of 1960, Pub. L. 86–429, 74 Stat. 55 May 6, 1960: Civil Rights Act of 1960, Pub. L. 86–449, 74 Stat. 86 June 12, 1960: Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, Pub. L. 86–517, 74 Stat. 215 July 14, 1960: Flood Control Act of 1960, Pub. L. 86–845, 74 Stat. 488 September 13, 1960: Social Security Amendments, Pub. L. 86–778, 74 Stat. 976 June 16, 1960: Approved an amendment to the United States Constitution extending the right to vote in the presidential election to citizens residing in the District of Columbia by granting the District electors in the Electoral College, as if it were a state, submitted it to the state legislatures for ratification Amendment was ratified on March 29, 1961, becoming the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution December 1, 1959: Antarctic Treaty signed January 19, 1960: Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan signed August 21, 1959: Hawaii was admitted as the 50th state.
Democratic: 283 Republican: 153 Independent: 1TOTAL members: 437. The increase over the usual 435 members was due to the admission of Alaska and Hawaii, whose seats were temporary until reapportionment following the 1960 Census. President of the Senate: Richard Nixon President pro tempore: Carl Hayden Majority Leader: Lyndon B. Johnson Majority Whip: Mike Mansfield Caucus Secretary: Thomas C. Hennings Jr. until September 13, 1960 George Smathers, afterwards Minority Leader: Everett Dirksen Minority Whip: Thomas Kuchel Republican Conference Chairman: Leverett Saltonstall Republican Conference Secretary: Milton Young National Senatorial Committee Chair: Andrew Frank Schoeppel Policy Committee Chairman: Styles Bridges Speaker: Sam Rayburn Majority Leader: John William McCormack Majority Whip: Carl Albert Democratic Caucus Chairman: Charles Melvin Price Caucus Secretary: Leonor Sullivan Democratic Campaign Committee Chairman: Michael J. Kirwan Minority Leader: Charles A. Halleck Minority Whip: Leslie C.
Arends Conference Chair: Charles B. Hoeven Policy Committee Chairman: John W. Byrnes House Democratic Caucus Senate Democratic Caucus Senators are popularly elected statewide every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election, In this Congress, Class 2 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1960; the names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers. Lists of committees and their party leaders, for members of the committees and their assignments, go into the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of the article and click on the link, in the directory after the pages of terms of service, you will see the committees of the Senate and Joint and after the committee pages, you will see the House/Senate committee assignments in the directory, on the committees section of the House and Senate in the Official Congressional Directory, the committee's members on the first row on the left side shows the chairman of the committee and on the right side shows the ranking member of the committee.
Aeronautical and Space Sciences Agriculture and Forestry Appropriations Banking and Currency District of Columbia Finance Foreign Relations Government Operations Interior and Insular Affairs Interstate and Foreign Commerce Judiciary Labor-Management Relations Labor and Public Welfare National Water Resources Preserve Historical Records of the Senate Post Office and Civil Service Public Works Small Business Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee on Internal Security Unemployment Problems Whole Agriculture Appropriations Banking and Currency District of Columbia Education and Labor Foreign Affairs Government Operations House Administration Interior and Insular Affairs Interstate and Foreign Commerce Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight Merchant Marine and Fisheries Post Office and Civil Service Public Works Rules Science and Astronautics Small Business Standards of Official Con
Wikisource is an online digital library of free content textual sources on a wiki, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikisource is the name of the name for each instance of that project; the project's aims are to host all forms of free text, in many languages, translations. Conceived as an archive to store useful or important historical texts, it has expanded to become a general-content library; the project began in November 24, 2003 under the name Project Sourceberg, a play on the famous Project Gutenberg. The name Wikisource was adopted that year and it received its own domain name seven months later; the project holds works that are either in the public domain or licensed. Verification was made offline, or by trusting the reliability of other digital libraries. Now works are supported by online scans via the ProofreadPage extension, which ensures the reliability and accuracy of the project's texts; some individual Wikisources, each representing a specific language, now only allow works backed up with scans.
While the bulk of its collection are texts, Wikisource as a whole hosts other media, from comics to film to audio books. Some Wikisources allow user-generated annotations, subject to the specific policies of the Wikisource in question; the project has come under criticism for lack of reliability but it is cited by organisations such as the National Archives and Records Administration. Wikisource's early history included several changes of name and location, the move to language subdomains in 2005; the original concept for Wikisource was as storage for important historical texts. These texts were intended to support Wikipedia articles, by providing primary evidence and original source texts, as an archive in its own right; the collection was focused on important historical and cultural material, distinguishing it from other digital archives such as Project Gutenberg. The project was called Project Sourceberg during its planning stages. In 2001, there was a dispute on Wikipedia regarding the addition of primary source material, leading to edit wars over their inclusion or deletion.
Project Sourceberg was suggested as a solution to this. In describing the proposed project, user The Cunctator said, "It would be to Project Gutenberg what Wikipedia is to Nupedia," soon clarifying the statement with "we don't want to try to duplicate Project Gutenberg's efforts. Project Sourceberg can work as an interface for linking from Wikipedia to a Project Gutenberg file, as an interface for people to submit new work to PG." Initial comments were sceptical, with Larry Sanger questioning the need for the project, writing "The hard question, I guess, is why we are reinventing the wheel, when Project Gutenberg exists? We'd want to complement Project Gutenberg--how, exactly?", Jimmy Wales adding "like Larry, I'm interested that we think it over to see what we can add to Project Gutenberg. It seems unlikely that primary sources should in general be editable by anyone -- I mean, Shakespeare is Shakespeare, unlike our commentary on his work, whatever we want it to be."The project began its activity at ps.wikipedia.org.
The contributors understood the "PS" subdomain to mean either "primary sources" or Project Sourceberg. However, this resulted in Project Sourceberg occupying the subdomain of the Pashto Wikipedia. Project Sourceberg launched on November 24, 2003 when it received its own temporary URL, at sources.wikipedia.org, all texts and discussions hosted on ps.wikipedia.org were moved to the temporary address. A vote on the project's name changed it to Wikisource on December 6, 2003. Despite the change in name, the project did not move to its permanent URL until July 23, 2004. Since Wikisource was called "Project Sourceberg", its first logo was a picture of an iceberg. Two votes conducted to choose a successor were inconclusive, the original logo remained until 2006. For both legal and technical reasons – because the picture's license was inappropriate for a Wikimedia Foundation logo and because a photo cannot scale properly – a stylized vector iceberg inspired by the original picture was mandated to serve as the project's logo.
The first prominent use of Wikisource's slogan — The Free Library — was at the project's multilingual portal, when it was redesigned based upon the Wikipedia portal on August 27, 2005. As in the Wikipedia portal the Wikisource slogan appears around the logo in the project's ten largest languages. Clicking on the portal's central images links to a list of translations for Wikisource and The Free Library in 60 languages. A MediaWiki extension called ProofreadPage was developed for Wikisource by developer ThomasV to improve the vetting of transcriptions by the project; this displays pages of scanned works side-by-side with the text relating to that page, allowing the text to be proofread and its accuracy verified independently by any other editor. Once a book, or other text, has been scanned, the raw images can be modified with image processing software to correct for page rotations and other problems; the retouched images can be converted into a PDF or DjVu file and uploaded to either Wikis
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names. States are divided into counties or county-equivalents, which may be assigned some local governmental authority but are not sovereign. County or county-equivalent structure varies by state, states may create other local governments. State governments are allocated power by the people through their individual constitutions. All are grounded in republican principles, each provides for a government, consisting of three branches, each with separate and independent powers: executive and judicial.
States possess a number of rights under the United States Constitution. States and their residents are represented in the United States Congress, a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives; each state is entitled to select a number of electors to vote in the Electoral College, the body that directly elects the President of the United States. Additionally, each state has the opportunity to ratify constitutional amendments, with the consent of Congress, two or more states may enter into interstate compacts with one another; the tasks of local law enforcement, public education, public health, regulating intrastate commerce, local transportation and infrastructure have been considered state responsibilities, although all of these now have significant federal funding and regulation as well. Over time, the Constitution has been amended, the interpretation and application of its provisions have changed; the general tendency has been toward centralization and incorporation, with the federal government playing a much larger role than it once did.
There is a continuing debate over states' rights, which concerns the extent and nature of the states' powers and sovereignty in relation to the federal government and the rights of individuals. The Constitution grants to Congress the authority to admit new states into the Union. Since the establishment of the United States in 1776, the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to 50. Alaska and Hawaii are the most recent states admitted, both in 1959; the Constitution is silent on the question of whether states have the power to secede from the Union. Shortly after the Civil War, the U. S. Supreme Court, in Texas v. White, held; the 50 U. S. states, in alphabetical order, along with each state's flag: As sovereign entities, each of the 50 states reserves the right to organize its individual government in any way deemed appropriate by its people. As a result, while the governments of the various states share many similar features, they vary with regard to form and substance. No two state governments are identical.
The government of each state is structured in accordance with its individual constitution. Many of these documents more elaborate than their federal counterpart; the Constitution of Alabama, for example, contains 310,296 words – more than 40 times as many as the U. S. Constitution. In practice, each state has adopted the three-branch frame of the federal government: executive and judicial. In each state, the chief executive is called the governor, who serves as both head of state and head of government. All governors are chosen by direct election; the governor may approve or veto bills passed by the state legislature, as well as push for the passage of bills supported by their party. In 44 states, governors have line item veto power. Most states have a plural executive, meaning that the governor is not the only government official in the state responsible for its executive branch. In these states, executive power is distributed amongst other officials, elected by the people independently of the governor—such as the lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, others.
The constitutions of 19 states allow for citizens to remove and replace an elected public official before the end of their term of office through a recall election. Each state follows its own procedures for recall elections, sets its own restrictions on how and how soon after a general election, they may be held. In all states, the legislatures can remove state executive branch officials, including governors, who have committed serious abuses of their power from office; the process of doing so includes impeachment, a trial, in which legislators act as a jury. The primary responsibilities of state legislatures are to enact state laws and appropriate money for the administration of public policy. In all states, if the governor vetoes a bill, it can still become law if the legislature overrides the veto by a two-thirds vote in each chamber. In 49 of the 50 states the legislature consists of two chambers: a lower house (termed the House of Representati