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What are some facts about the U.S. government?

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The U.S. government is a constitution-based federal republic that derives inspiration from the principles of the democratic tradition. Its seat is in Washington, D.C. Fifty states make up the United States, and each individual state possesses its own state government that closely models itself on the federal government.

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In addition to the 50 states, the U.S. government also oversees a number of dependent areas, including Guam, American Samoa, Baker Island, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.

The United States declared independence from England as its own national and political entity on July 4, 1776. England recognized the new nation and government on Sept. 3, 1783. The United States observes the 4th of July every year as a national holiday.

The written foundation of the U.S. government is its Constitution. This document succeeded the earlier Articles of Confederation and became one of the young nation's founding documents in 1789. The Constitution has since undergone changes through the addition of amendments.

The U.S. government is composed of an executive branch, a legislative branch and a judicial branch. The role of the legislature is to make the laws, and the executive branch enforces those laws. The judicial branch considers the legality and constitutionality of laws passed by the legislative branch and enforced by the executive branch.

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