American Government Homework Four Answers

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1. Usually the most important appointment by the president is to the __________________.

Supreme Court.

2. The three departments in President George Washington’s original Cabinet were __________, ___________ and ______________. Which do you think was most important, and why?

State, Treasury and War (Defense). The State Department was considered the most important initially due to the importance of the young country having good relations with foreign nations. The Treasury Department was also very important. The War Department was relatively unimportant because the United States did not have much of a military then.

3. Explain how a president can approve or veto legislation.

The president approves legislation either signing it, or doing nothing for ten days while Congress is in session. The president vetoes legislation either by marking it as vetoed and returning to Congress with reasons for the veto, or not acting acting on the bill for ten days when Congress is out of session.

4. Describe two different actions by a president that require Senate approval to take effect.

  • Confirmation of a federal judge appointed by the president
  • Ratification of a treaty signed by the president

5. List what you think are the five most important departments in the Executive Branch, and why.

  • Department of Defense – The Department of Defense coordinates defense against an attack, as well as any war that our country gets involved in.
  • Department of State – The Department of State is responsible for conducting foreign policy. They allow the President to do other important jobs.
  • Department of the Treasury – The Department of the Treasury regulates the income of the Federal Government through taxes, providing the government with an income source. They also manage the Finances of the Federal Government.
  • Commerce Department – The Commerce Department sets industrial standards, as well as issuing patents and copyright. The goal of the Commerce Department is to create the infrastructure which allows growth in the economy.
  • Department of Justice – The Department of Justice prosecutes crimes against the federal government.

(thanks to KF)

6. Briefly describe, in your own words, the three main parts of the “Executive Office of the President” and what they do.

  • Office of Management & Budget, which helps the president with the budget
  • National Security Council, which coordinates national security policy with federal agencies
  • Council of Economic Advisors, which helps the president prepare the annual economic report.

7. Describe in your own words the constitutional qualifications of the president and what he must say before taking office. Would you add or subtract anything? Explain.

  • 35 years old
  • Born an American citizen
  • lived in the United States for the last fourteen years prior to becoming president.
  • not a resident of the same state as the Vice President
  • takes an oath to uphold the Constitution

8. Write a short letter to a newspaper praising or criticizing something President Bush is doing. Email or mail it to the paper.

Answers vary. The key with letters to the editor is to be concise.

9. The question we never answered in class: what is the constitutional basis for the federal law used to convict Michael Vick for dog-fighting?

The Commerce Clause in Article I, Section 8, because Michael Vick's dogs were brought across state lines.

10. Vice President Dick Cheney has shared more power with President George W. Bush than usual. Should a Vice President share power with the President?

No, because the Constitution defines the duties and authority of each office and that should not be altered.