The United States Senate is sometimes referred to as the "upper house" or "upper body," although there is no constitutional basis for these designations. The two chambers of the U.S. Congress were established as equal lawmaking bodies by the key framers of the Constitution. While equal in stature, each chamber has distinct duties and responsibilities.
The Senate and the House of Representatives (which is sometimes called the "lower house" or "lower body") comprise the legislative branch of the U.S. government. Historians believe that these inaccurate labels of "upper" for the Senate and "lower" for the House of Representatives stemmed from the fact that during the First Congress, the Senate occupied the second floor of Philadelphia's Congress Hall, which was a floor above the House of Representatives.Learn More
Dictatorships allow a state to take a unified direction in policy since the commands all come from a single point; but this silences dissenting voices and removes power from others. In most cases, dictatorships involve repressive and brutal regimes who use their power to oppress the people.Full Answer >
Democracy, in simplest terms, is when a government is controlled by the people it governs, such as the United States of America or France. Democracy started in ancient Greece and has evolved over the centuries. Whereas ancient democracy was typically direct, with the people literally having a voice in every issue, modern democracy is typically representative, where people elect others to represent them.Full Answer >
The primary advantage of a parliamentary system is that it makes the government accountable to the citizens for the decisions it makes by creating a group to monitor its performance. It also provides an out through a no-confidence clause that could scrap a government doing a poor job and call for re-elections.Full Answer >
A unitary state keeps all power under the control of the central government, while a federal state splits power between central authorities and local or regional governments. Typically, a federal state has a constitution or other supreme law of the land that outlines the powers granted to both the central and local governments. The United States is an example of a federal state.Full Answer >