And now for another civics test guide blog! Remember that you only have to get six of ten right to prove to the USCIS officer that you are familiar enough with U.S. history and government.
The questions that appear here for this study guide are taken from the USCIS Civics Test Flash Cards.
What is the economic system in the United States?
The United States uses a capitalist economy. Capitalism is when people are expected to compete with each other in the business world and it is this competition is what causes stability in the economy. Another kind of economy is the communist model where the government dictates the production and sale price of all goods in a particular market. This form of government has been uniformly rejected by mainstream Americans and the suggesting its implementation may be taken as a form of insult to some Americans.
What is the rule of law?
In some governments—especially in history, but even in modern day dictatorships—rulers or classes of people with high status are allowed to do anything they want. A law might be created, but if the law doesn’t suit that particular ruler or aristocrat they can break it just because they don’t want to follow it. This is not true in the United States. No matter which status you belong to or how high a position in the government you hold you are held to the same standards and laws as everyone else. A government official cannot disobey a law just because they don’t agree with it without having to answer to the other parts of the government for their mistake. This is called rule of law and it means that no one is above the law.
What stops one branch of the government from becoming too powerful?
In the previous paragraph I mentioned how if a government official disobeys a law they will have to answer to the government for their indiscretion and it is that function of the United States government that this question is asking about. When the country was created it was decided to compartmentalize the government. Much like how they compartmentalize large boats so that if one section fills with water it can be sealed off so that the other compartments do not fill up as well and sink the boat. The boat is the United States and the three compartments are the Legislative, the Executive and the Legislative branches. The three branches have their own distinct functions as a part of the government and are responsible for watching out if the others are disobeying the laws that it creates. This is called the system of checks and balances.
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