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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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What are "midnight regulations," and how do they affect the next presidency?

Think of midnight regulations as a flurry of presidential Hail Mary passes. How many regulations can an outgoing president pass before he leaves office? How many of these last-minute regulations will become law?

How the U.S. Vice President Works

The vice presidency was originally a consolation prize given to the runner-up in the national election. More than two centuries later, the role of vice president is little more respected among the public than it was in the beginning.

How the U.S. President Works

When the framers of the Constitution considered an executive branch, they were still stinging from the despotic rule of King George III. But, they saw the need for a single person to lead. Enter the president of the United States.

How Propaganda Works

When you think of propaganda, Rosie the Riveter may come to mind. A lot of famous pieces of propaganda were created during World War II, but this covert practice of persuasion stretches as far back as ancient Rome.

How do I start my own country?

Wishing you could start your own country? There's good news and bad news. The bad news is that it will take a lot of hard work to make this dream come true. But the good news is that there's actually a procedure in place to make it happen.

What is China's one-child policy?

Nearly three decades ago, the booming Chinese population caused the government to limit most couples to one child. The plan worked, but at what expense?

What's Mutual Assured Destruction?

During the Cold War, the U.S. and USSR stockpiled weapons but never started a nuclear war. What held them back from launching a strike for nearly 40 years? Could two nations embroiled in conflict have made a mutual agreement not to strike?

How Book Banning Works

Judy Blume, John Steinbeck and Maya Angelou are among the top 10 most challenged American authors. But to be challenged is not to be banned. What does it take to ban a book?

Is it illegal not to have a name?

If you decide to go nameless, the cops won't hunt you down and throw you in the slammer. But you may have trouble functioning in society.

Spy Pictures

Spying is an important part of government intelligence gathering. This collection of pictures gives you an insight into this highly secretive task.

Why Democrats Are Donkeys and Republicans Are Elephants

The donkey and the elephant are widely recognized symbols of the U.S. Democratic and Republican parties. But what do animals have to do with politics, and how do cartoons fit in?

How to Land on the Government Watch List

If you get tagged for extra security screening each time you take a flight, you may be on a government watch list. Find out how you -- innocent you -- made the list.

How Dictators Work

Hitler, Kim Jong-Il, Saddam Hussein: Dictators come hand-in-hand with violence and controversy. But what makes a dictator different from any other leader?

How can I erase my identity and start over?

Can you kiss your old life goodbye and start anew? In the movies, people do it all the time, but a real-life clean slate is a little more complicated.

How Communism Works

Before the Red Terror or nuclear arms race, there was a philosopher named Karl Marx. How did one man's ideas lead to centuries of political and social unrest?

How the Green Party Works

The Green Party wants to break up American politics' two-party system. But will their beliefs in environmental and social responsibility ever convert U.S. voters?

How Lame Is a Lame-duck President?

Once a president reaches the end of a second term, everyone begins looking for his or her successor. How much influence do so-called lame ducks wield?

Why Is the Iowa Caucus So Important?

Every four years, the state of Iowa becomes a political hotbed when it hosts its caucuses. Each state has its own nominating contests, so why does Iowa mean so much to the candidates and the media?

How the EPA Works

The EPA was established to protect human health and the environment. How does the agency interpret and enact environmental legislation?

How the U.S. Postal Service Works

The U.S. Postal Services delivers 143 billion pieces of mail a year. But it's been struggling financially for years. Will it survive? And how do your letters get to the right place?

October 12 1999: The World Population Hits 6 Billion

The world's population hit 6 billion people on this day in October of 1999. Read about the historic day in which the world's population hit the 6 billion mark.

11 Terms Used by Spies

Maybe you're involved in a covert operation. Maybe you're just curious. Spies have developed their own language of code words in order to keep from being discovered. We don't need to know, but you should learn the 11 terms used by spies here.

17 People in Line for the Presidency

It's common knowledge that if the president of the United States dies or is removed from office, the vice president takes over. But what happens if the V.P. is unavailable?

10 Political Scandals

Politicians have given the world plenty to talk about over the years. On this list of 10 political scandals, from Watergate to the Profumo Affair, which had the most extreme consequences?

How Rehab Works

While all rehab centers and programs aim to treat addiction, not all offer the amenities of an upscale resort. Learn about rehab's beginnings in prohibition and the types of treatment available today.

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