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Government

Government is a key part of any society and culture. Learn more about different types of government, politics and civic issues.

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7 Key Questions in the U.S. Slavery Reparations Debate

The question of whether to pay reparations for slavery in the U.S. has been going on since slavery ended but picked up steam this year with a House hearing on the issue. We look at some key issues in the debate.

When Presidential Approval Ratings Really Matter

Every week (or every day) there seems to be new poll giving new numbers on how many Americans approve of the president's job performance. But what do these numbers really tell us and when should we take them seriously?

Will a Third-Party Candidate Ever Win the White House?

A majority of Americans feel that neither of the two main parties is doing a great job, but they can't agree on what a third party would look like. And that candidate faces enormous hurdles to make the debating stage.

How Executive Orders Work

Executive orders are directives handed down from the president without input from the legislative or judiciary branches of government. Presidents often use them when Congress won't approve a favored regulation. But should they?

Could the Electoral College Be Obsolete By the Next U.S. Presidential Election?

American presidents are chosen by the electoral college rather than the popular vote. But a measure to circumvent that is gaining steam. So far, 15 states have signed on, but is it constitutional?

Can You Ignore a Subpoena?

Ignoring a subpoena can land you in jail. So why would anybody do it?

The Anatomy of a U.S. Presidential Motorcade

When the U.S. president comes to town, it's time to get off the roads. As fast as you can.

What Is an Oligarchy and Has the U.S. Become One?

Opinions differ about whether the U.S. has become an oligarchy, a society in which a wealthy elite has most of the power.

What Is a Constitutional Crisis?

We've been hearing the words constitutional crisis tossed around a lot lately. But what is one, really?

How the Census Works

The U.S. census is a headcount of the nation that takes place every 10 years. How has it changed over time and what's happening with the 2020 census?

How Fascism Works

In fascism, the State is all that matters, and constant conquest is necessary to glorify that State. But how do you convince people to support a philosophy that denies their personal value? Is fascism really still alive today?

What's Next for the Green New Deal?

The U.S. Senate voted to quash the non-binding resolution without ever talking about it. But that doesn't mean it's dead in the water.

Bridging the Chasm: Emory Class Delves Into America's Right-wing History

Emory historian and author Joseph Crespino's course aims to examine the history of right-wing ideology in the U.S. while at the same time teaching his students objectivity and empathy.

10 Countries Besides the U.S. That Have Electoral Colleges

A handful of other countries have electoral colleges, but they're very different in function and purpose from the one that decides U.S. presidential elections.

Is a Border Wall Really Grounds for a National Emergency?

President Trump has threatened to use emergency powers to build a border wall without Congressional approval.

Quiz: Can a U.S. President Do That?

If you follow politics long enough, there'll be headlines that make you wonder if a U.S. president can really do that thing you just read about. Take our quiz to learn what's within a president's rights.

Why Data Encryption Remains a Really Complex Issue

Encryption grants your data privacy, while locking out others, including law enforcement. Could encryption ever stay strong and grant law enforcement access?

The Ripple Effect of the U.S. Government Shutdown

When the federal government shuts down, U.S. government employees aren't the only ones affected. There's a pronounced chain of events that happen the longer the fed is closed.

5 Things to Expect if the Government Shuts Down

Congress is at odds over the federal budget, and a deadline is looming. If they can't agree, the government could shut down. We'll tell you what to expect if it does.

How a U.S. Vice Presidential Vacancy Is Filled

If the U.S. vice president must step up and become president, who becomes vice president?

Is It OK for Nondisabled People to Use the Big Bathroom Stall?

Among the line of cramped toilet stalls, there's usually a larger one reserved for people with disabilities. But if no one seems to need it, is it OK to borrow it?

Uncle Sam: The Man, the Myth, the Legend

He wants YOU, but who the heck was he?

Posse Comitatus: The 140-Year-Old Law That Affects U.S. Troops at the Border

Is sending federal troops to the U.S.-Mexico border even legal? As it turns out, a U.S. law called the Posse Comitatus Act has something to say about it.

Private Firefighters Have Been Dousing Flames for Decades

The 2018 California wildfires have called attention to the private firefighting industry. Can anyone hire a private, personal firefighting team?

Quiz: What Do You Know About U.S. Midterm Elections?

Halfway through every presidential term, the United States holds its midterm elections. The results can reshape the country's political map. Test your knowledge of midterms with this quiz.

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