Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.
George Washington, the first president of the United States
Signing of the Constitution, September 17, 1787 (1940 by Howard Chandler Christy)
President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers a radio address, 1933
Dates the 13 states ratified the Constitution
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King Jr. and others look on
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President Donald Trump delivers his 2018 State of the Union Address, with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
"We the People" in an original edition
President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Gorbachev sign the 1990 Chemical Weapons Accord in the White House.
Closing endorsement section of the United States Constitution
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, successfully preserved the Union during the American Civil War.
United States Bill of Rights
Currently housed in the National Archives.
President Barack Obama with his Supreme Court appointee Justice Sotomayor, 2009
John Jay, 1789–1795
President Ronald Reagan reviews honor guards during a state visit to China, 1984
John Marshall, 1801–1835
President Woodrow Wilson throws out the ceremonial first ball on Opening Day, 1916
Salmon P. Chase {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Chase Court, 1864–1873, in 1865 were Salmon P. Chase (chief Justice); Hon. Nathan Clifford, Maine; Stephen J. Field, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Hon. Samuel F. Miller, U.S. Supreme Court; Hon. Noah H. Swayne, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Judge Morrison R. Waite}}
President Jimmy Carter (left) debates Republican nominee Ronald Reagan on October 28, 1980.
William Howard Taft {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Taft Court, 1921–1930, in 1925 were James Clark McReynolds, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., William Howard Taft (chief justice), Willis Van Devanter, Louis Brandeis. Edward Sanford, George Sutherland, Pierce Butler, Harlan Fiske Stone}}
Map of the United States showing the number of electoral votes allocated following the 2010 census to each state and the District of Columbia for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections; it also notes that Maine and Nebraska distribute electors by way of the congressional district method. 270 electoral votes are required for a majority out of 538 votes possible.
Earl Warren {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Warren Court, 1953–1969, in 1963 were Felix Frankfurter; Hugo Black; Earl Warren (chief justice); Stanley Reed; William O. Douglas. Tom Clark; Robert H. Jackson; Harold Burton; Sherman Minton}}
Franklin D. Roosevelt won a record four presidential elections (1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944), leading to the adoption of a two-term limit.
William Rehnquist {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Rehnquist Court, 1986–2005.}}
President William McKinley and his successor, Theodore Roosevelt
José Rizal
President Reagan surrounded by Secret Service
Sun Yat-sen
From left: George H. W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. Photo taken in the Oval Office on January 7, 2009; Obama formally took office thirteen days later.
Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, 2013
White House, the official residence
Camp David, the official retreat
Blair House, the official guest house
The presidential limousine, dubbed "The Beast"
The presidential plane, called Air Force One when the president is on board
Marine One helicopter, when the president is aboard

Its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress (Article I); the executive, consisting of the president and subordinate officers (Article II); and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts (Article III).

- Constitution of the United States

It was through the closed-door negotiations at Philadelphia that the presidency framed in the U.S. Constitution emerged.

- President of the United States

31 related topics with Alpha

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In 1868, this committee of representatives prosecuted President Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial, but the Senate did not convict him.

United States Congress

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Legislature of the federal government of the United States.

Legislature of the federal government of the United States.

In 1868, this committee of representatives prosecuted President Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial, but the Senate did not convict him.
The 1940 painting Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, depicting George Washington presiding over the signing of the United States Constitution.
United States Congress c. 1915
Historical graph of party control of the Senate, House, and Presidency. Since 1980, the Democrats have held the Presidency for four terms, but because of the Senate filibuster, have only been able to freely legislate in two years. The Republicans have been similarly disabled.
Congress's "power of the purse" authorizes taxing citizens, spending money, and printing currency.
Congress authorizes defense spending such as the purchase of the USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31).
Congress oversees other government branches, for example, the Senate Watergate Committee, investigating President Nixon and Watergate, in 1973–74.
View of the United States Capitol from the United States Supreme Court building
The impeachment trial of President Clinton in 1999, Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding
Second committee room in Congress Hall in Philadelphia
Library of Congress Jefferson Building
Lobbying depends on cultivating personal relationships over many years. Photo: Lobbyist Tony Podesta (left) with former senator Kay Hagan (center) and her husband.
An Act of Congress from 1960.
The House Financial Services committee meets. Committee members sit in the tiers of raised chairs, while those testifying, and audience members sit below.
In this example, the more even distribution is on the left and the gerrymandering is presented on the right.
The Federalist Papers argued in favor of a strong connection between citizens and their representatives.

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.

The Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills.

Electoral votes, out of 538, allocated to each state and the District of Columbia for presidential elections to be held in 2024 and 2028, based on representation, which depends on population data from the 2020 census. Every jurisdiction is entitled to at least 3.

United States Electoral College

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Electoral votes, out of 538, allocated to each state and the District of Columbia for presidential elections to be held in 2024 and 2028, based on representation, which depends on population data from the 2020 census. Every jurisdiction is entitled to at least 3.
In the 2020 presidential election (held using 2010 census data) Joe Biden received 306 and Donald Trump 232 of the total 538 electoral votes.
In Maine (upper-right) and Nebraska (center), the small circled numbers indicate congressional districts. These are the only two states to use a district method for some of their allocated electors, instead of a complete winner-takes-all.
Cases of certificates of the electoral college votes confirming the results of the 2020 US election, after they had been removed from the House Chambers by congressional staff during the 2021 U.S. Capitol attack.
After the popular election in November, a state's Certificate of Ascertainment officially announces the state's electors for the Electoral College. The appointed Electoral College members later meet in the state capital in December to cast their votes.
Population per electoral vote for each state and Washington, D.C. (2010 census). By 2020 estimates, a single elector could represent more than 700,000 people or under 200,000.
When the state's electors meet in December, they cast their ballots and record their vote on a Certificate of Vote, which is then sent to the U.S. Congress. (From the election of 1876)
This cartogram shows the number of electors from each state for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Following the 2010 Census, New York and Ohio lost two electoral votes, 8 states lost one, 6 states gained one, Florida gained two, and Texas gained four.
This graphic demonstrates how the winner of the popular vote can still lose in an electoral college system similar to the U.S. Electoral College.
Bar graph of popular votes in presidential elections (through 2020). Black stars mark the five cases where the winner did not have the plurality of the popular vote. Black squares mark the two cases where the electoral vote resulted in a tie, or the winner did not have the majority of electoral votes. An H marks each of two cases where the election was decided by the House; an S marks the one case where the election was finalized by the Supreme Court.
These maps show the amount of attention given to each state by the Bush and Kerry campaigns (combined) during the final five weeks of the 2004 election: each waving hand (purple map) represents a visit from a presidential or vice presidential candidate; each dollar sign (green map) represents one million dollars spent on TV advertising.
Half the U.S. population lives in 143 urban / suburban counties out of 3,143 counties or county equivalents (2019 American Community Survey)

The United States Electoral College is the group of presidential electors required by the Constitution to form every four years for the sole purpose of appointing the president and vice president.

Washington, D.C.

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Capital city and federal district of the United States.

Capital city and federal district of the United States.

Looking West at the Capitol & the Mall, Washington DC
Historical coat of arms, as recorded in 1876
Following their victory at the Battle of Bladensburg (1814), the British entered Washington, D.C., burning down buildings, including the White House.
President Abraham Lincoln insisted that construction of the United States Capitol dome continue during the American Civil War (1861).
Crowds surrounding the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool during the March on Washington, 1963
Satellite photo of Washington, D.C. by ESA
The Washington Monument, seen across the Tidal Basin during 2007's National Cherry Blossom Festival
The L'Enfant Plan for Washington, D.C., as revised by Andrew Ellicott in 1792
Looking Northwest at the Mall, Washington DC
Looking West from RFK Stadium, Washington DC
Construction of the 12-story Cairo Apartment Building (1894) in the Dupont Circle neighborhood spurred building height restrictions.
The Georgetown neighborhood is known for its historic Federal-style rowhouses. In the foreground is the 19th century Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
Meridian Hill Park, in Columbia Heights
Map of racial distribution in Washington, D.C., according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people:
D.C. police on Harley-Davidson motorcycles escort a protest in 2018.
Federal Triangle, between Constitution Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. The U.S. federal government accounts for about 29% of D.C. jobs.
The Lincoln Memorial receives about six million visits annually.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest research and museum complex. Like its administration building, known as The Castle, many of its museums are on the National Mall.
The National Gallery of Art
The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts is home to the Washington National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra.
Nationals Park in the Navy Yard area on the Anacostia River
is the home of the Washington Nationals baseball team.
The hometown Washington Capitals NHL hockey team plays in Penn Quarter's Capital One Arena; the arena is also home to the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team.
One Franklin Square: The Washington Post Building on Franklin Square
The Watergate complex was the site of the Watergate Scandal, which led to President Nixon's resignation.
The John A. Wilson Building houses the offices of the mayor of Washington and the Council of the District of Columbia.
The Eisenhower Executive Office Building, once the world's largest office building, houses the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
The Library of Congress is one of the world's largest libraries, with more than 167 million cataloged items.
Georgetown Day at Georgetown University
A Blue Line train at Farragut West, an underground station on the Washington Metro
Washington Union Station is one of the busiest rail stations in the United States.
I-66 in Washington, D.C.
The Capitol Power Plant, built to supply energy for the U.S. Capitol Complex, is under the jurisdiction of the Architect of the Capitol.

The city was named for George Washington, a Founding Father and the first president of the United States, and the federal district is named after Columbia, a female personification of the nation.

The U.S. Constitution provides for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress; the district is therefore not a part of any U.S. state (nor is it one itself).

Supreme Court of the United States

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Highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States.

Highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States.

The Court lacked its own building until 1935; from 1791 to 1801, it met in Philadelphia's City Hall.
The Royal Exchange, New York City, the first meeting place of the Supreme Court
Chief Justice Marshall (1801–1835)
The U.S. Supreme Court Building, current home of the Supreme Court, which opened in 1935.
The Hughes Court in 1937, photographed by Erich Salomon. Members include Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes (center), Louis Brandeis, Benjamin N. Cardozo, Harlan Stone, Owen Roberts, and the "Four Horsemen" Pierce Butler, James Clark McReynolds, George Sutherland, and Willis Van Devanter, who opposed New Deal policies.
Justices of the Supreme Court with President George W. Bush (center-right) in October 2005. The justices (left to right) are: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, John Roberts, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Stephen Breyer
John Roberts giving testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 2005 hearings on his nomination to be chief justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg giving testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 1993 hearings on her nomination to be an associate justice
The interior of the United States Supreme Court
The first four female justices: O'Connor, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Kagan.
The current Roberts Court justices (since October 2020): Front row (left to right): Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor. Back row (left to right): Brett Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett.
Percentage of cases decided unanimously and by a one-vote margin from 1971 to 2016
The present U.S. Supreme Court building as viewed from the front
From the 1860s until the 1930s, the court sat in the Old Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol.
Seth P. Waxman at oral argument presents his case and answers questions from the justices.
Inscription on the wall of the Supreme Court Building from Marbury v. Madison, in which Chief Justice John Marshall outlined the concept of judicial review

The court holds the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution.

Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as the Appointments Clause, empowers the president to nominate and, with the confirmation (advice and consent) of the United States Senate, to appoint public officials, including justices of the Supreme Court.

Representation of all political parties as percentage in House of Representatives over time

United States House of Representatives

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Lower chamber of the United States Congress, with the Senate being the upper chamber.

Lower chamber of the United States Congress, with the Senate being the upper chamber.

Representation of all political parties as percentage in House of Representatives over time
Historical graph of party control of the Senate and House as well as the presidency
Republican speaker of the House Thomas Brackett Reed (1895–1899)
All 435 voting seats of the current House shown grouped by state, largest to smallest (From 2015)
Population per U.S. representative allocated to each of the 50 states and D.C., ranked by population. Since D.C. (ranked 49th) receives no voting seats in the House, its bar is absent.

The House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills; those of which that are also passed by the Senate are sent to the president for consideration.

The House is commonly referred to as the lower house and the Senate the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology.

Opening of the 112th Congress in the House of Representatives chamber, January 5, 2011

Article One of the United States Constitution

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Opening of the 112th Congress in the House of Representatives chamber, January 5, 2011
Gilded Age monopolies could no longer control the U.S. Senate (left) by corrupting state legislatures (right).
The impeachment trial of President Clinton in 1999, with Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding
Newly naturalized citizen Albert Einstein received his certificate of American citizenship from Judge Phillip Forman.
Congress's "power of the purse" authorizes taxing citizens, spending money, issuing notes and minting coins.
Chief Justice John Marshall established a broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause.
Congress authorizes defense spending such as the purchase of the USS Bon Homme Richard.
U.S. brig Perry confronting the slave ship Martha off Ambriz on June 6, 1850

Article One of the United States Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the federal government, the United States Congress.

Section 7 lays out the procedures for passing a bill, requiring both houses of Congress to pass a bill for it to become law, subject to the veto power of the president of the United States.

Coat of arms

Federal government of the United States

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National government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a city within a federal district (the city of Washington in the District of Columbia, where most of the federal government is based), five major self-governing territories and several island possessions.

National government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a city within a federal district (the city of Washington in the District of Columbia, where most of the federal government is based), five major self-governing territories and several island possessions.

Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Political system of the United States
Seal of the U.S. Congress
The 435 seats of the House grouped by state
The United States Capitol is the seat of government for Congress.
Seal of the president of the United States
Uncle Sam, a common personification of the United States Federal Government
Seal of the vice president of the United States
Seal of the U.S. Supreme Court
Federal Revenue and Spending
Diagram of the Federal Government and American Union, 1862
The states of the United States as divided into counties (or, in Louisiana and Alaska, parishes and boroughs, respectively). Alaska and Hawaii are not to scale and the Aleutian and uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands have been omitted.

The federal government, sometimes simply referred to as Washington, is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the president and the federal courts, respectively.

Portrait based on the unfinished Athenaeum Portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1796

George Washington

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Portrait based on the unfinished Athenaeum Portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1796
Ferry Farm, the residence of the Washington family on the Rappahannock River
Lieutenant Colonel Washington holds night council at Fort Necessity
Washington the Soldier: Lieutenant Colonel Washington on horseback during the Battle of the Monongahela (oil, Reǵnier, 1834)
Colonel George Washington, by Charles Willson Peale, 1772
Martha Washington based on a 1757 portrait by John Wollaston
General Washington, Commander of the Continental Army by Charles Willson Peale (1776)
Washington taking command of the Continental Army, just before the siege.
Battle of Long Island
Alonzo Chappel (1858)
Washington Crossing the Delaware, Emanuel Leutze (1851)
The Passage of the Delaware, by Thomas Sully, 1819 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
See map
The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776
by John Trumbull
Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge, by John Ward Dunsmore (1907)
Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth, Emanuel Leutze (1851–1854)
An engraving of Washington, likely made after his tenure in the army.
French King Louis XVI allied with Washington and Patriot American colonists
Siege of Yorktown, Generals Washington and Rochambeau give last orders before the attack
General George Washington Resigning His Commission, by John Trumbull, 1824
Shays' Rebellion confirmed for Washington the need to overhaul the Articles of Confederation.
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940. Washington is the presiding officer standing at right.
President George Washington, Gilbert Stuart (1795)
The President's House in Philadelphia was Washington's residence from 1790 to 1797
John Jay, negotiator of the Jay Treaty
Seneca chief Red Jacket was Washington's peace emissary with the Northwestern Confederacy.
Battle of Fallen Timbers by R. F. Zogbaum, 1896. The Ohio Country was ceded to America in its aftermath.
USS Constitution: Commissioned and named by President Washington in 1794
Washington's Farewell Address (September 19, 1796)
distillery
Washington on his Deathbed
Junius Brutus Stearns 1799
Miniature of George Washington by Robert Field (1800)
The sarcophagi of George (right) and Martha Washington at the present tomb's entrance
The Washington Family by Edward Savage (c. 1789–1796) George and Martha Washington with her grandchildren. National Art Gallery
George Washington's bookplate with the Coat of arms of the Washington family
George Washington as Master of his Lodge, 1793
Washington as Farmer at Mount Vernon
Junius Brutus Stearns, 1851
Runaway advertisement for Oney Judge, enslaved servant in Washington's presidential household
In 1794, Washington privately expressed to Tobias Lear, his secretary, that he found slavery to be repugnant.
Washington, the Constable by Gilbert Stuart (1797)
A drawing from a Japanese manuscript of Washington fighting a tiger.
Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.
nation's first postage stamps
Washington issue of 1862
Washington–Franklin issue of 1917
Washington quarter dollar
George Washington Presidential one-dollar coin
Washington on the 1928 dollar bill

George Washington (February 22, 1732December 14, 1799) was an American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797.

Appointed by the Continental Congress as commander of the Continental Army, Washington led the Patriot forces to victory in the American Revolutionary War and served as the president of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which created the Constitution of the United States and the American federal government.

frameless

U.S. state

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Constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50.

Constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50.

frameless
Ownership of federal lands in the 50 states
U.S. states by date of statehood:
The order in which the original 13 states ratified the Constitution, then the order in which the others were admitted to the Union
A map showing the source languages of state names

All are grounded in republican principles (this being required by the federal constitution), and each provides for a government, consisting of three branches, each with separate and independent powers: executive, legislative, and judicial.

Each state is also entitled to select a number of electors (equal to the total number of representatives and senators from that state) to vote in the Electoral College, the body that directly elects the president of the United States.

George Washington's inauguration as the first U.S. president, April 30, 1789, by Ramon de Elorriaga (1899)

Article Two of the United States Constitution

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George Washington's inauguration as the first U.S. president, April 30, 1789, by Ramon de Elorriaga (1899)
Certificate for the vote for Rutherford B. Hayes and William A. Wheeler for the State of Louisiana
Beginning of the clause in the 1787 document
In this 1944 poster, Franklin Roosevelt (left) successfully campaigned for a fourth term. He was the only president who served more than two terms.
1888 illustration of new President John Tyler receiving the news of President William H. Harrison's death from Chief Clerk of the State Department Fletcher Webster
President Barack Obama being administered the oath of office by Chief Justice John Roberts for the second time at his first inauguration, on January 21, 2009
President Franklin D. Roosevelt as commander-in-chief, with his military subordinates during World War II.
Left to right: General Douglas MacArthur, President Franklin Roosevelt, Admiral William D. Leahy, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
President George W. Bush announcing the August 1, 2005 recess appointment of John Bolton as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice looks on
Depiction of the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson in 1868, with Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase presiding

Article Two of the United States Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, which carries out and enforces federal laws.

Article Two vests the power of the executive branch in the office of the president of the United States, lays out the procedures for electing and removing the president, and establishes the president's powers and responsibilities.