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    United States Government - 1989

      Long-form name: United States of America; abbreviated US or USA

      Type: federal republic; strong democratic tradition

      Capital: Washington, DC

      Administrative divisions: 50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennyslvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

      Independence: 4 July 1776 (from England)

      Constitution: 17 September 1787, effective 21 June 1788

      Dependent areas: American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Island; Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Palmyra Atoll, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Wake Island. Since 18 July 1947, the US has administered the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, but recently entered into a new political relationship with three of the four political units. The Northern Mariana Islands is a Commonwealth associated with the US (effective 3 November 1986). Palau concluded a Compact of Free Association with the US that was approved by the US Congress but to date the Compact process has not been completed in Palau, which continues to be administered by the US as the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. The Federated States of Micronesia signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 3 November 1986). The Republic of the Marshall Islands signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 21 October 1986).

      Legal system: based on English common law; dual system of courts, state and federal; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

      National holiday: Independence Day, 4 July (1776)

      Branches: executive (president), bicameral legislature (House of Representatives and Senate), and judicial (Supreme Court); branches, in principle, independent and maintain balance of power

      Leaders: George BUSH, President (since January 1989); Dan QUAYLE Vice President (since January 1989)

      Suffrage: all citizens over age 18; not compulsory

      Elections: presidential, every four years (next, November 1992); all members of the House of Representatives, every two years; one-third of members of the Senate, every two years

      Political parties and leaders: Republican Party, Lee Atwater, national committee chairman and Jeanie Austin, co-chairman; Democratic Party, Ronald H. Brown, national committee chairman; several other groups or parties of minor political significance

      Voting strength: 50.16% voter participation (1988 presidential election); Republican Party, George Bush, 53.38% of the popular vote (426 electoral votes); Democratic Party, Michael S. Dukakis, 45.64% of the popular vote (111 electoral votes for Michael Dukakis and 1 for Lloyd Bentsen)
      Political Divisions of the 101st Congress (1989-90)--Senate (total seats 100): Democrats 55, Republicans 45
      House of Representatives (total seats 435): Democrats 259, Republicans 174, vacant 2

      Communists: Communist Party (claimed 15,000-20,000 members), Gus Hall, general secretary; Socialist Workers Party (claimed 1,800 members), Jack Barnes, national secretary

      Member of: ADB, ANZUS, Bank of International Settlements, CCC, CENTO, Colombo Plan, DAC, FAO, ESCAP, GATT, Group of 10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, ICEM, ICES, ICO, IDA, IDB--Inter-American Development Bank, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, ILZSG, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IPU, IRC, ITC, ITU, IWC--International Whaling Commission, IWC--International Wheat Council, NATO, OAS, OECD, PAHO, SPC, UN, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG, WTO

      Diplomatic representation: US Representative to the UN, Ambassador Thomas R. PICKERING; Mission at 799 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017; telephone (212) 415-4444

      Flag: thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small white five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; known as Old Glory; the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico

      NOTE: The information regarding United States on this page is re-published from the 1989 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of United States Government 1989 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about United States Government 1989 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 15-Apr-03
    Copyright © 2003 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)