The United States and Canada have become beacons of democracy around the world. This book explores the two nations' histories from colonies to world powers, as well as the ways their governments have been structured. Readers will learn about the importance of checks and balances, limited government, and civic responsibility in both countries. They will gain a deep understanding about what it means to be a citizen of such representative democracies, and how that compares and contrasts to citizenship in other areas of the world. Fact-filled sidebars, primary sources, and breathtaking photographs support this learning experience.