Government

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


The ACLU has worked to defend fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to privacy for 80 years, but not without controversy. Read about fascinating facts and history-changing decisions the ACLU has been party to.

Although much of FEMA's recent press has been negative, for more than 20 years the agency has been a powerful force in helping Americans prepare for, deal with and recover from some of the worst disasters in history. What type of aid does FEMA provide?

States in which the majority of voters vote for the same party in every election are all but ignored by presidential candidates. Instead, they spend their time and effort in the swing states. What are they?

The foster care system is a relatively recent solution to the problem of parents being unable to care for their children. Separate and very different from adoption, foster care is usually meant to be a temporary situation. Find out how the system works and how people become foster parents.

In an election year, political conventions take over the U.S. media for days, filling TVs, radios and newspapers with political-party platforms and propaganda. But what real purpose do the conventions serve?

Just about every U.S. president of the past 80 years has released his memoirs. But they don't all take the same format. We'll look at the variations and why -- apart from historical record -- former presidents feel compelled to put pen to paper.

The FCC is the government group that reacted to Janet Jackson's Super Bowl exposure and to indecency violations by Bubba the Love Sponge. Learn about the FCC's obscenity criteria.

A caucus, like a primary, is held to determine the party's nomination for president. Those candidates face their first big test during the Iowa caucuses. Why is it such an unusual piece of the election process?

It's an all too terrifying reality: Thousands of children are kidnapped each year. The AMBER Alert system gets the word out quickly when a child is taken. Find out how AMBER Alert works.

The idea of a "war crime" seems to be pretty redundant, but there are countless treaties that declare otherwise. Learn about the basic rules of war and about specific acts that have been designated as war crimes by the Hague and Geneva Conventions.

The world looks to the United Nations for guidance on important international matters. Find out what goes on inside the United Nations and what role it really plays in international politics.

When the president goes anywhere by plane, he travels in the most amazing private jet in the world -- a flying White House complete with a gym! Take a tour of this amazing aircraft and see pictures from past and present.

With the United States at war with Iraq, male U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are, in effect, on notice. Find out what would happen if the military needed more troops.

Do the digits in my social security number represent anything in particular, or is it just a random number? Do they recycle social security numbers so that if someone dies, that number goes back into action?

During an emergency, we are told to dial 9-1-1. How and why was that number selected as the emergency phone number for the entire United States?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ensures air travel safety in the United States. In this article, you can learn about the history of the FAA and the duties the agency must fulfill.

It's easy to tap a phone. Keeping a wiretap secret, now that's the tricky part. That’s where the recording equipment and surveillance teams come in. Learn how government spies and other pros go about listening in.

The smartphone has become a crucial part of migrant travel.

The Electoral College is not an Ivy League school. Rather, it's a process for selecting the next U.S. president that actually carries more weight than the popular vote. Why is it there and should it be continued?

This American institution began with Abraham Lincoln following Stephen Douglas on the campaign trail and heckling him from the crowd. Today, the presidential debate is one of the most informative and anticipated markers of candidates' campaigns.

In the U.S. presidential election system, the Electoral College plays an extremely important role in determining who the next president will be. Learn about the Electoral College system in this article.

What do the numbers on a Social Security card mean? Are they random? And how easy is it for someone to steal your identity using your SSN? Find out all about Social Security numbers.

U.S. customs officers do far more than looking through people's bags at the airport. They enforce hundreds of laws for 40 different government agencies. We'll examine what U.S. Customs does and what you need to know about bringing goods into the U.S.

Many buildings in my area have a big red, yellow and blue diamond-shaped sign with numbers on it. Do you know what this sign means?

On my census form it says, 'Your response is required by law.' What happens to me if I don't fill it out? Will anyone even notice?