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State structure United States

The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic, with power shared between the president as head of state and government, the United States Congress and the judiciary. The federal government, in turn, shares sovereignty with the state governments of all 50 individual states. The president of the executive branch is the president; Congress as a legislative power sits in two chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate; the judiciary, which interprets and assesses the constitution, federal laws, is in the hands of the Supreme Court as the supreme body, under which the lower federal courts rule.

The President of the United States is indirectly elected by the American population. The voters in the various states do not rely on the presidential candidate, but on electors who support a particular president candidate. The number of electors of a state is equal to the number of Congressmen of that state. California is the most important state for some electoral votes, as many as 55. The candidate who obtains the most votes in a state can send all electors to the Electoral College. In total there are 538 electors to win, the candidate with at least 270 electors behind him will become president of the United States.

United States political system overviewUnited States political system overviewPhoto: 111Alleskönner CC BY-SA 3.0 de no changes made

Government California

In the United States, the Democratic and Republican Parties have ruled since the American Civil War (1860-1865). That applies to both the federal government and the state governments. Below is an overview of the governors and their party since 1849. Until now, California had 21 governors of republican rule, 17 governors of Democratic background, one governor of the American Party and one governor of the Progressive Party.

NameIn functionParty
Peter Hardeman Burnett20-12-1849 till 9-1-1851Democrat
John McDougall9-1-1851 tlll 8-1-1852Democrat
John Bigler8-1-852 till 9-1-1856Democrat
John Neely Johnson9-1-1856 till 8-1-1858American Party
John B. Weller8-1-1858 till 9-1-1860Democrat
Milton Latham9-1-1860 till 14-1-1860Democrat
John Gately Downey14-1-1860 till 10-1-1862Democrat
Leland Stanford10-1-1862 till 10-12-1863Republican
Frederick Low10-12-1863 till 5-12-1867Republican
Henry Huntly Haight5-12-1867 till 8-12-1871Democrat
Newton Booth8-12-1871 till 27-2-1875Republican
Romualdo Pacheco27-2-1875 till 9-12-1875Republican
William Irwin9-12-1875 till 8-1-1880Democrat
George Clement Perkins8-1-1880 till 10-1-1883Republican
George Stoneman10-1-1883 till 8-1-1887Democrat
Washington Bartlett8-1-1887 till 12-9-1887Democrat
Robert Waterman12-9-1887 till 8-1-1891Republican
Henry Markham8-1-1891 till 11-1-1895Republican
James Budd11-1-1895 till 4-1-1899Democrat
Henry Gage4-1-1899 till 7-1-1903Republican
George Pardee7-1-1903 till 9-1-1907Republican
James Gillett9-1-1907 till 3-1-1911Republican
Hiram Johnson3-1-1911 till 15-3-1917Progressive Party
William Stephens15-3-1917 till 8-1-1923Republican
Friend Richardson9-1-1923 till 4-1-1927Republican
Clement Calhoun Young4-1-1927 till 6-1-1931Republican
James Rolph6-1-1931 till 2-6-1934Republican
Frank Merriam2-6-1934 till 2-1-1939Republican
Culbert Olson2-1-1939 till 4-1-1943Democrat
Earl Warren4-1-1943 till 5-10-1953Republican
Goodwin Knight5-10-1953 till 5-1-1959Republican
Pat Brown5-1-1959 till 2-1-1967Democrat
Ronald Reagan2-1-1967 till 6-1-1975Republican
Jerry Brown6-1-1975 till 3-1-1983Democrat
George Deukmejian3-1-1983 till 7-1-1991Republican
Pete Wilson7-1-1991 till 4-1-1999Republican
Gray Davis4-1-1999 till 17-11-2003Democrat
Arnold Schwarzenegger17-11-2003 till 3-1-2011Republican
Jerry Brown3-1-2011 till 7-1-2019Democrat
Gavin Newsom7-1-2019 till presentDemocrat

The fifty states of the United States are divided into so-called 'counties'. The fifty states are made up of 3,007 counties, averaging 62 per state, California has 58, and Texas has the most, 254. The division of power between states, counties, cities and towns is determined in the constitutions of each state.

Every US state, except for the state of Nebraska, has its own congress with a bicameral parliament, a House of Representatives and a Senate. the number of seats per state varies greatly, senators usually have a term of office of four years, deputies often only two years. The state administration is headed by a directly elected governor. The governor has a lot of power in his or her four-year, sometimes two-year term.

Administrative division

Overview California counties

Counties CaliforniaCounties CaliforniaPhoto: Júlio Reis,CC 3.0 Unportedno changes made

countymain townsincesurface
Alameda CountyOakland18531.911 km²
Alpine CountyMarkleeville18641.914 km²
Amador CountyJackson18541.536 km²
Butte CountyOroville18504.248 km²
Calaveras CountySan Andreas18502.642 km²
Colusa CountyColusa18502.981 km²
Contra Costa CountyMartinez18501.865 km²
Del Norte CountyCrescent City18572.611 km²
El Dorado CountyPlacerville18504.434 km²
Fresno CountyFresno185615.444 km²
Glenn CountyWillows18913.406 km²
Humboldt CountyEureka18539.254 km²
Imperial CountyEl Centro190710.813 km²
Inyo CountyIndependence186626.397 km²
Kern CountyBakersfield186621.088 km²
Kings CountyHanford18933.600 km²
Lake CountyLakeport18613.258 km²
Lassen CountySusanville186411.805 km²
Los Angeles CountyLos Angeles185010.515 km²
Madera CountyMadera18935.537 km²
Marin CountySan Rafael18501.347 km²
Mariposa CountyMariposa18503.758 km²
Mendocino CountyUkiah18509.088 km²
Merced CountyMerced18559.088 km2
Modoc CountyAlturas187410.215 km²
Mono CountyBridgeport18617.884 km²
Monterey CountySalinas18508.604 km²
Napa CountyNapa18501.953 km²
Nevada CountyNevada City18512.481 km²
Orange CountySanta Ana18892.046 km²
Placer CountyAuburn18513.893 km²
Plumas CountyQuincy18546.615 km²
Riverside CountyRiverside189318.669 km²
Sacramento CountySacramento18502.502 km²
San Benito CountyHollister18743.597 km²
San Bernardino CountySan Bernardino185351.960 km²
San Diego CountySan Diego185010.888 km²
San Francisco CountySan Francisco1850122 km²
San Joaquin CountyStockton18503.623 km²
San Luis Obispo CountySan Luis Obispo18508.557 km²
San Mateo CountyRedwood City18561.163 km²
Santa Barbara CountySanta Barbara18507.091 km²
Santa Clara CountySan Jose18503.344 km²
Santa Cruz CountySanta Cruz18501.155 km²
Shasta CountyRedding18509.806 km²
Sierra CountyDownieville18522.468 km²
Siskiyou CountyYreka185216.283 km²
Solano CountyFairfield18502.145 km²
Sonoma CountySanta Rosa18504.082 km²
Stanislaus CountyModesto18543.872 km²
Sutter CountyYuba City18501.562 km²
Tehema CountyRed Bluff18567.643 km²
Trinity CountyWeaverville18508.234 km²
Tulare CountyVisalia185212.494 km²
Tuolumne CountySonora18505.791 km²
Ventura CountyVentura18724.781 km²
Yolo CountyWoodland18502.621 km²
Yuba CountyMarysville18501.632 km²

There are also major differences at the county and local level. At city level, three forms can be distinguished, which also occur in combination:

Council and mayor: the council members are sometimes appointed, sometimes elected, and have budget rights. They also draw up general policy guidelines and monitor the city council. The mayor is almost always elected and has a veto, among other things.

-Commission: a committee of 3 to 7 elected members, one of which acts as chairman, is both legislative and executive.

City Manager: This figure is hired indefinitely and executes decisions of an elected council.

Many referendums are held at provincial and local level in all American states, and in California a great many. They are often citizen initiatives.


BBC - Country Profiles

Benson, Sara / California
Lonely Planet

Benson, Sara / Discover California
Lonely Planet

Uitgeverij Cambium B.V.

CIA - World Factbook

Elmar Landeninformatie

Hansen, Preben / 100% Californië & West-USA

Heetvelt, Angela / Zuidwestelijke staten van Amerika

Mangin, Daniel / Californië : de reisgids voor een actieve & culturele vakantie
Wat & Hoe

Ominalowska, Malgorzata / Californië
Uitgeverij Unieboek/Het Spectrum

The Rough Guide to California
Rough Guides Ltd.

Schmidt-Brümmer, Horst / Lannoo's autoboek Californië en Zuidwest-USA : on the road

Vlahides, John A. / Northern California
Lonely Planet


Uitgeverij Terra Lannoo

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info