Cultural Anthropology Daniel Beteta Jr.
As someone who is intensely interested in politics generally, and British and American politics most especially, I am fascinated by the many differences between the political scenes on the two sides of the Atlantic. Inevitably, I am oversimplifying somewhat, but the following differences strike me as instructive.
The United States has a written constitution as does the vast majority of nation states. The UK does not have a single document called the constitution but instead its constitutional provisions are scattered over various Acts of Parliament. The American constitution is hard to change and, in current political Cultural differences american and british governmental, perhaps impossible to change in any meaningful respect.
The Equal Rights Amendment - which sought to provide equal rights for women - failed and there has been no succesful amendment of the US Constitution - except for one technical measure - since What for practical purposes constitutes the British Constitution - various Acts of Parliament - can be changed by a simple majority in the legislature.
For instance, the current Coalition Government introduced fixed terms for the House fo Commons by passing the necessary legislation.
In the United States, political discourse frequently makes reference to the constitution - typically Republicans arguing that Democratic initiatives are 'unconstitutional'.
Besides the fact that the UK does not have a constitution as such, it is rare for British politicians to argue that the actions or proposals of their opponents are illegal or ultra vires. In the United States, because of the strict 'separation of the powers' meaning that nobody can be a member of more than one of the three arms of government, no Cabinet member is allowed to be a member of the Congress.
In Britain, every Government Minister must be a member of one of the two Houses of Parliament and, if he or she is not already in the Parliament, then he or she is made a peer that is, a member of the House of Lords. Although the American political system has a strict 'separation of the powers', members of the Supreme Court the judiciary are nominated by one of the other arms of government the President and approved by one part of another arm of government the Senate which is part of the legislature.
In the UK, almost all members of the upper chamber of the legislature the House of Lords are effectively chosen by the political party leaders in the lower chamber of the legislature the House of Commons.
In contrast, the United Kingdom is a monarchy with the head of state being a hereditary member of the royal family although he or she has no real power but only a ceremonial role The USA is a presidential system, with the apex of power in a President elected indirectly through an Electoral College, whereas the UK is a parliamentary system, with the Prime Minister holding office and power so long as he or she commands a majority of votes in the House of Commons.
In theory then, the American President has much more power than the British Prime Minister - he is the commander-in-chief and has the power to issue executive orders which have the full force of law.
However, the constitutional system of 'checks and balances' seriously circumscribes the power of the US President who often finds it really difficult to push legislation through Congress. By contrast, a British Prime Minister usually heads a government with a majority of seats in the House of Commons and the ability to pass almost any legislation that he or she wishes.
In the United States, the transition period between the election of a new president and that person's inaugration is two and half months. In Britain, the changeover of Prime Ministers is virtually immediate - within hours of the election result, one person leaves 10 Downing Street and within the following hour the successor enters it.
A US President is limited by the constitution to two four-year terms in office, whereas there is no limit to the time that a British Prime Minister can serve in the office. In the US, government is highly partisan with the President appointing to the executive colleagues who are almost exclusively from within his own party.
In the UK, government is normally equally partisan with all Ministers coming from the governing party but, inexceptionally the Conservatives were required to go into a coalition with the Liberal Democrats and grant them 17 ministerial positions.
The American Cabinet is appointed by the President but he does not chair it or even attend it.
The British Cabinet is appointed by the Prime Minister who normally attends and chairs every meeting. The size of the American Cabinet is fixed:Major Differences Between the US and UK Legal Systems.
April 07, by Piyali Syam Attorneys probably already know legal systems in both the U.K. and the U.S. share the same historical common law roots, and are for that reason quite similar.
Paying attention to customs and cultural differences can give someone outside that culture a better chance of assimilation or acceptance. Ignoring these can get an unsuspecting person into trouble. There are cultural and ideological differences and it is good to have an understanding about a culture's customs and ways.
Cultural Differences: American and British Governmental and Political Structures Mark H. Barbieri ANT Cultural Anthropology Daniel Beteta Jr. February 16, Abstract The objective of this paper is to contrast the governmental structures of two very similar, .
Elsewhere on this web site, I have outlined in some detail explanations of both the American political system  and the British political system .As someone who is intensely interested in politics generally, and British and American politics most especially, I am fascinated by the many differences between the political scenes on the two sides of the Atlantic.
Sep 03, · 10 Major Cultural Differences Between China and the United States. Updated on September 30, Rebecca Graf. more. Differences Between British and American English.
by Paul Richard Kuehn Popular. Anthropology. Native American Nations in Reviews: Nov 25, · Top 10 differences between Europe and America.
Listverse Here are the governmental differences spelled out as clearly as possible: Europe: The European Parliament (Europarl or EP) is the directly elected parliamentary body of the European Union (EU). Together with the Council of the European Union (the Council), it forms the.