Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo






A primary benefit of a bicameral system is the way it demands careful consideration and deliberate action on the part of the legislators. A primary drawback is that it is tougher overall to pass legislation and makes it extremely difficult to push through large-scale reforms.


The executive and legislative branches complement and check each other. The purpose of dividing their roles is to prevent either from becoming too powerful. As a result, when one branch assumes more power, it necessarily assumes that power from the other branch.




Incumbents chase off would-be challengers because they are able to raise more money given that people want to back a winner and that voters know incumbents by name because they won the office in a previous election. The challengers who do take on incumbents typically lose soundly for the same reasons.




The peaks of congressional approval ratings have each occurred when the United States began military involvements overseas. This suggests that the start of a foreign war is one of the few things that triggers a positive reevaluation of Congress.







Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Jan 5, 2024 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.