Government structure

Curious as to what exactly a congress is, I found the following definitions; 

1) The national legislative body of a country.
2) A formal meeting or series of meetings for discussion between delegates, especially those from a political party or labor union or from within a particular discipline.
3) A society or organization, especially a political one.

But I'm still unsure of how to understand this. If the Magical Congress has the same purpose as the Ministry of Magic, how does it functions? Does it have departments or does it have bearues and agencies representing the Congress? Simen Johannes Fagerli (talk) 18:44, March 18, 2015 (UTC)

All we know about it is on the page. No departments have been mentioned, nor any personnel other than President Quahog. -- Saxon 08:49, March 19, 2015 (UTC)
That  I know, but since a Congress per definition is not a government, how do you think such a governing body functions? What is likely? Simen Johannes Fagerli (talk) 11:35, March 19, 2015 (UTC)
Note that a Ministry is also, by definition, not a form of government, but a branch of a cabinet, responsible for a given sector of public administration.
Either way, the real-world U.S. Congress is divided into congressional committees and subcommittees, so that could be it -- I could definitely imagine something like the "United States Senate Committee on Magical Law Enforcement" or the "United States House Committee on Magical Transportation". This, of course, is speculation that bears no weight as far as canon is concerned -- we have absolutely no canonical information on the matter. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 14:44, March 19, 2015 (UTC)
Given that the magical community has a generally poor understanding of the muggle world, I think it is fair to say they adopted the terms used, without keeping their exact meaning.  As mentioned, a ministry in the British system is not a government, it is a part - department - of the government as a whole.  So the best explanation (in world) is that wizards heard the term "congress" used as part of the muggle government, decided that sounded good for their government, and went from there.  I don't think you can say that the actual organization and operation of the US wizarding government necessarily has to follow the actual form of the US Congress. Wva (talk) 16:30, March 19, 2015 (UTC)
Should there be mention as to the differences between the British International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy and Rappaport's Law since that may prove important since Newton Scamander may be more familiar with the former than the latter and fraternizing with Jacob Kowalski would be a more serious offense under the latter.
The use of the title President and the reference to a Congress seems to indicate that JKR is keeping the British-American Parliamentary-Presidential system distinction that exists in the Muggle world - though there may be slight differences between magical and non magical versions. The American system, we are told, is based on the French from France system. Canadians are told that the Senate is based on the House of Lords which is one reason why one party has called for its abolishment even before the party's creation. The American Wizarding system seems to only have a Congress and not a Senate - as far as one knows.
What is not known is whether the Magical Congress acts the same way as the No-Mag American Government which is always pressuring the Canadian Government to harmonize their laws and practices with the American ones. This may be important when it comes to Rappaport's Law or any extradition treaty when it comes to violation of said law.
The Minister of Magic seems to similar to a Prime Minister (meaning first minister or top minister or head minister). --Vaudree (talk) 19:35, March 10, 2016 (UTC)


Looked up Mercenary just to double check that I was not mistaken. There are no tasks that the Scourers historically do that fall into the category of soldier of fortune. Before the Congress, they exploited the witch hunt for their own profit and to settle scores often acting as bounty hunters but also in positions where they had the power to pass judgment over others. After the congress, more as vigilantes and hate mongers. (Vaudree (talk) 19:33, March 10, 2016 (UTC))

Regarding MACUSA

J.K. Rowling on Pottermore states the so-called Magical Congress of the United States of America was founded in 1693 right after the Salem Witch Trials and as a result of the Scourers.

However, MACUSA was founded decades before the modern-day United States of America, which was essentially a Muggle creation. I speculate that the original full name of MACUSA was the Magical Council of the United Sorcerers of America or the Magical Congress of the United Sorcerors of America (with "America" being defined as North America as a whole).

I also speculate that the territory of modern-day Canada and Mexico were originally under MACUSA jurisdiction until some point in the 19th century. --Jennings1970 (talk) 15:21, March 13, 2016 (UTC)

JKR stated that MACUSA was founded in 1693.  However, that does not necessarily mean that was the name it had when founded.  It is possible that the name changed at some point between 1693 and 1920 (most likely in the late 18th century.)  It is also possible that it was always MACUSA but the meaning of the acronym changed.  Finally, it is possible that they were prescient enough to know what would happen roughly 100 years later.  We simply don't know.  However, I would not exclude the possibility that while the organization was founded in 1693, the name changed at a later date. Wva (talk) 17:52, March 17, 2016 (UTC)

Speculations noted - you may be later proven wrong or right. I think that the wording has to satisfy two things - not picking between competing speculations and to share what is known - in practice, one cannot always do both and the latter takes precedence. What is known is that MACUSA covered the USA. Before the USA there was the 13 muggle colonies who wished to no longer be colonies. Each colony had some form of State Government but there was no overreaching Federal Institutions until after the war of Independence. The MACUSA seems to be a Federal Institution rather than a State Institution and to have both a President and to refer to the United State of America at a time when the area was made of colonies rather than States. There is no way of knowing if it ever had another name. We also know why it was created - to deal with the scourers and to implement law and order. The MACUSA makes laws and enforces laws. The witch hunts were more of an American phenomenon due to the Puritans (which JKR mentions here part 2 [1]) - the Puritans did not settle in future Canada during that time period because the area was French and Roman Catholic - neither which appealed to the no-maj Puritans according to real world accounts. Personal bias, loss of sovereignty a touchy issue in Canada, because we are. (Vaudree (talk) 14:35, March 18, 2016 (UTC))

I feel that MACUSA could have had a name at 1st that related to New England and/or New Netherlands (among other non-Spaniard, probably also non-French colonies in northeastern N. America) before settling to the current name (more than likely after the adoption of the Constitution not before), however, I'm not sure J.K. would say anything about the history of MACUSA and wizards in the U.S. before the release of the next movie set in her Wizarding World. -- Jey8000 (talk) 05:34, September 10, 2016 (UTC)

Eagle/Phoenix on seal

I noticed that the Behind the Scenes section repeatedly states that the seal depicts an eagle. Pottermore states that it is a phoenix. Which is it? "And so began the Odyssey of Hyrule." (talk) 10:41, July 8, 2016 (UTC)

Pottermore -"The central bird is a phoenix, which typically represents resurrection and immortality, as opposed to the eagle, which on the Seal of the President suggests authority and judicial power." The BTS discussion should be edited to reflect this, but may also better belong on a new article just about the Seal of MACUSA. --Ironyak1 (talk) 11:50, July 8, 2016 (UTC)

If we do this, we can also create articles on other emblems I think.--Rodolphus (talk) 12:06, July 8, 2016 (UTC)

Where should we add that part about the delivery tubes? Andrewh7 (talk) 04:44, October 1, 2016 (UTC) Andrewh7

MACUSA insignia

MACUSA Insignia 3

I was wondering if this version of the MACUSA insignia could be used in the infobox? It comes from the booklet included with the Fantastic Beasts soundtrack. --PerryPeverell 16:15, November 21, 2016 (UTC)

MACUSA locations

There has been some debate over whether MACUSA was located in Washington State or Washington D.C. There's evidence to support both locations, but without further input from JK/Pottermore we should attempt to create consensus.

The reason for moving to "Washington" (neither location was called Washington in 1777 yet) was due to:

"the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, followed by the arrival of the No-Maj Congress in [Baltimore], made MACUSA understandably nervous and they departed for Washington."

MACUSA stayed there until 1892, until the Great Sasquatch Rebellion. 

It seems much more likely that they traveled all the way to the west coast to avoid the Revolutionary War altogether. Sasquatches are a myth that grew from the Native America Salish tribe from the Pacific Northwest. 

It was likely much easier to stay hidden (for over 100 years, no less) when located far away from the majority of the American No-Maj population. When you consider magical modes of transportation, I think the stronger evidence points to the 4th location of MACUSA being Washington State and not Washington D.C. 

(PresidentHoneybell (talk) 23:21, February 18, 2017 (UTC))

"American Ministry"

This should not be treated as a canonically accurate alternative to MAUSA's actual name. The subtitle is merely for the audience's benefit and convenience. The official title of the body is "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)", however, the majority of viewers wouldn't necessarily know/remember what the acronym means. Not everyone scrutinizes movies like we do, or watch them more than once, so many would probably hear the term MACUSA for the first time in two years and go like; "Huh? O.o". Note that the screenplay gives its actual title:

AERIAL SHOT of New York and MACUSA building.

By the same token, the subtitle later in the film reads:

French Ministry of Magic

Whereas we know from various factbooks that the official title of the body is "(le) Ministère des Affaires Magiques de la France". Again, the majority of viewers don't speak French so it's convenient to have the film explain where the characters are in a way that audiences (young and old) can easily comprehend. So the whole "American Ministry" thing as a subtitle was an out-of-universe thing for the purpose of the identification of the American equivalent of the British Ministry of Magic to non-fanatical fans of the franchise, nothing more.

I know Yusuf later talks about "European and American Ministries of Magic", but that's, you know, either him misspeaking or a sign of ignorance as to how MACUSA is structured, not everyone travels and sees how magic is formed. And Tina had more pressing matters to attend to than correcting him, and she knew what he meant, so she didn't. Maester Martin (talk) 08:03, November 26, 2018 (UTC)

I totally hear what you're saying and mostly agree with your statements, but it was called the American Ministry of Magic. We can't know for sure if it's considered canon or not until proven otherwise. I'm pretty sure it has to be at least added even if it may not be considered canon just for the time being. In addition to that, no more "was the magical body in charge of governing the wizarding population of the United States of America." For some things like businesses, shops, and etc. from decades ago or something, was is fine, but not something that does/most likely still exists in the wizarding world today. I mean I know that it was never said, but there are some things that sound like speculation that is so obvious to people that it's fact. The French Ministry of Magic is kinda different since the Ministère des Affaires Magiques de la France is the name French wizards and witches have for their Ministry, and the French Ministry of Magic is the name used by English-speaking countries such as Great Britain and America. It's just speculation, but maybe MACUSA also goes by the American Ministry of Magic to some. IlvermornyWizard (talk) 01:59, November 27, 2018 (UTC) IlvermornyWizard

I am not saying MACUSA wasn't called "The American Ministry of Magic" in the movie, I am saying that given the context in which it appeared, it isn't an "in-universe" thing and should be, at most, addressed in the BTS section. 

Also, that logic doesn't really work, because while its understandable for English-speaking people to call it "French Ministry of Magic", it does not make sense for English speakers to call MACUSA anything other than MACUSA, because 1) Well, that's the name. 2) MACUSA isn't a Ministry. 3) English and American English are darn near identical, so no person who have a sufficent grasp of the English to say the words "American Ministry of Magic" would have a problem saying the words "Magical Congress of the United States of America", unless they misspoke. Maester Martin (talk) 09:43, November 27, 2018 (UTC)

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