British and American Political Systems in Two Images

Late enough in my undergraduate career to know better, I stumbled into a course on British politics. I was there by accident–my politics of the Middle East course was directly above the British class on the next floor. I made the mistake not once but twice. In my embarrassment, however, I missed some of the interesting comparisons conveyed in the images below:





Created by Otto Neurath for L.S. Florence and K.B. Smellie’s America and Britain: Three Volumes in One. See more at Brain Picker.

2 thoughts on “British and American Political Systems in Two Images

  1. Interesting comparison! Britain lacks the separation of powers as the PM is also the majority leader of the House of Commons unlike the American president and Congress. But I think the first image slightly oversimplifies the US political model. While there is a popular vote on the president, it’s primarily the electoral college vote that counts. Furthermore the president nominates justices to the Supreme Court it needs to be ratified by the Senate and receive a relatively respectable approval from the ABA.

    I just realised that the images are pretty outdated so it’s quite an unfair presentation of the British government. In 2005 the Constitutional Reform Act established the Supreme Court. Although the justices are the previous law lords from the House of Lords, new appointments are now determined by an independent body.

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