A Representative Democracy• The United States has established a representative democracy—people rule through elected representatives. – Government is based off democratic styles of Ancient Greece and Rome.• Power is divided among the national(federal) and state governments.
The Branches of Government• The U.S. Constitution established a government that is broken down into three separate branches: – executive branch headed by president, carries out laws – legislative branch makes laws – judicial branch interprets laws, reviews lower court decisions
How does this system help our government maintain balance?
• U.S. is rich in natural resources • fertile soils • water supply • vast forests • large deposits of many minerals
Waterways• Because U.S. is bound by water, they have important shipping and fishing industries• Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico
Waterways• Many large lakes and rivers in the United States make shipping and trade much easier.
Farming and Agriculture• The United States is the world’s leading producer of food as well as the largest food exporter – very fertile soil, in plains region and river valleys• This fertile region is known as “America’s Breadbasket”
• Due to fertile soil, early farm mechanization, U.S. accounts for: – 40% of world’s corn; 20% of cotton; 10% of wheat, cattle, hogs• Crop farming in Midwest, South; livestock ranching in West
Woodlands• 1/3 of U.S. covered by woodlands• U.S. and Canada major producers of lumber
Natural Resources• U.S. is rich in natural minerals and fossil fuels • gold • silver • copper • coal • oil • etc.
Economy• The United States has the world’s largest and most diversified economy.• American products and popular culture are recognized around the world.
Success• World’s largest economy: agricultural, manufacturing, trade leader• U.S. accounts for more than 10% of world’s exports• exports—goods sold to another country• Success is due to resources, skilled labor, stable political system
Capitalism• Much of the success is due to the economic system.• The United States economy is based on the capitalist free market system.• In this system, most businesses are privately owned and operated with limited government control. – In most cases, there is no limit to success or profits.
What are some possibleproblems with the Free Market system?
Problems with Free Market• Monopolies? Unfair for competition? – Wal Mart, Microsoft, Apple• Price Gouging? – Gas, Technology