These worksheets take a deep dive into each of the different arms of the government. Students will learn the responsibilities and common daily efforts of each branch of government. We look at how each of these arms of government have evolved over time and help to keep a balance to the American government. These worksheets will explore this topic through the use of a reading comprehension passage that presents content that is most likely new to students. each of the reading worksheets is followed by a direct line of questioning. This will help open students minds to new information.
Print Three Branches of Government Worksheets
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What Are They?
So that no one part of the government would become too powerful, the men who wrote the Constitution distributed federal power between all three branches.
What Are They? Multiple Choice Questions
Which part is responsible for applying laws to real life situations?
The Executive Branch
The President is the recognized leader of the country and serves as the Commander in Chief of the U.S. military.
The Executive Branch Short Answer Questions
The Vice President is the President’s backup in case the President cannot fulfill his or her duties at any time.
The Executive Office of the President (EOP) is the name given collectively to the many people who support the President as he carries out his or her day-to-day responsibilities.
QUESTIONS: The EOP
The OMB is the largest part of the EOP, employing approximately 500 people. Its mission is to help the President implement his or her vision for the Executive branch.
How the Executive Branch has Changed Over Time
When the Constitution was ratified in 1788, the Presidency had significantly less power than it does today.
QUESTIONS: Over Time
Andrew Jackson strengthened the party system by giving loyal followers presidential appointment. He wielded the veto extensively and exerted federal power over that of the states by defeating South Carolina's nullification of a federal tariff law.
The Judicial Branch
Power having to do with the creation and application of law is distributed equally throughout the three branches of the U.S. government.
QUESTIONS: The Judicial Branch
The appointment of federal judges is a power held by the Executive branch, while the Legislative branch has the power to confirm or deny these appointments.
Arms of the Judicial Branch Reading Worksheet
The Constitution satisfies the requirement for a Judicial branch with only the Supreme Court, but in practice, the Judicial Branch is made up of three different types of courts that each have a different purpose.
QUESTIONS: Arms of the Judicial Branch
Trial courts hear two types of cases. In a civil case, the court decides whether or not to award a plaintiff compensation for damages or injury allegedly caused by the defendant.
Balance of Power Worksheet
To specifically address the issue of balancing power between the federal government and the states, an additional balance of power was built into the Legislative branch, which consists of two distinct bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Balance of Power Question Worksheet
Which branch is primarily responsible for checking the Executive branch?
The Legislative Branch
In the system of checks and balances between the three branches of government, the Legislative branch is responsible primarily for checking the Executive branch.
The Legislative Branch - Short Answer Questions
Constitutional amendments have limited the kinds of laws Congress can make.
Changes in the Legislative Branch Since 1788
Unlike state constitutions, the federal Constitution did not originally contain a bill of rights. The Federalists argued that there was no need for a bill of rights in a Constitution that placed so many limits on federal power.
Changes in the Legislative Branch Since 1788 - Questions
. The Second Amendment says that the government cannot infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms, so Congress cannot make any law that might limit this right.
Government and Health Care
Health care in the United States is a complex subject that spans both the public and the private sectors, and both areas include many conflicting interests.
Government and Health Care - Short Answer
Every presidential administration, i.e., the Executive branch, usually has some agenda with regards to what kinds of health care they support and for whom.
What Are the Three Branches of Government?
The Founding Fathers of the United States after having endured a tenuous reign by England felt that their new government should have checks and balances built in to ensure that any decisions were evaluated and agreed upon by the people for the people. The United States constitution created three arms (executive, judicial, legislative) of the government to maintain balance. The legislative arm (congress) makes the laws of the federal government. They control all of the federal money and have the right to declare war. The executive branch (President and Vice President) was formed to enforce these laws at the federal level. This collection of people declares states of emergency, appoints Supreme Court Judges, and spends money that Congress allocates. The judicial branch (Supreme Court) is tasked with interpreting these laws and applying them to real life situations. They can also determine if a law is unconstitutional and throw it out altogether.
The United States Constitution ensures the separation of powers. This means power is not held by the federal government but divided between federal and state governments. However, it also means that the federal government is divided into three branches to ensure there is no concentration of power at the federal level.
The executive, the legislature, and the judiciary are the three branches of government. The legislature creates the country’s laws, the executive carries out these laws, and the judiciary interprets and evaluates laws and determines whether they are constitutional.
To learn more about the three branches of our government, keep reading. This article will answer all your questions regarding how these branches function, so you’ll better understand the U.S. federal government going forward.
Understanding the Three Branches of the Government
The following is a breakdown of the duties of each branch of government.
The legislature of the United States is also called the Congress and is divided into the lower house (House of Representatives) and the upper house (Senate).
This part of the U.S. government is responsible for:
- Drafting laws
- Confirming nominations for positions of the Supreme Court justices
- Confirming nominations for positions of the head of federal agencies (i.e., Department of Education, Department of Defense, and Department of the Interior)
- Declaring war on other countries
The legislature is arguably the most powerful branch of the federal government. They also have the power to consent to or deny any international treaties agreed to by the executive, including ones relating to trade and war.
The House of Representatives
This is the lower house of Congress. There are 435 elected Representatives and several non-voting delegates. Each Representative represents their home district, and the number of Representatives per state is dependent on the population of the state and can change after a census.
All revenue-based changes to the law (such as tax law) must begin with the House. Additionally, impeachment cases (such as those for Presidents and Supreme Court judges) must start in the House – if a simple majority of Representatives approves the charges, the case is then sent to the Senate.
The House is primarily concerned with government spending and taxation. Each Representative serves a two-year term before elections are held for their seat.
This is the upper house of Congress. There are 100 elected Senators - two per state. Each Senator represents all the citizens of their state, rather than only the residents in their district.
The Senate has powers over international treaties and approving federal nominations. They can draft bills unrelated to revenue and have final control over impeachment proceedings.
However, all bills must go through both houses. If a bill begins in the Senate, it must then go through the House, and vice versa. Each Senator serves a six-year term.
The executive branch of the country is headed by the President and Vice President. It implements and enforces the laws passed by the legislature. This branch can also negotiate with foreign governments (though Congress must approve all treaties).
While the President and Vice President are the head of the executive, other members of the executive branch include the members of the Cabinet and the members of the various federal agencies. These agencies include federal law enforcement agencies, which is how the executive can implement laws.
Furthermore, the executive also includes the armed forces. The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces (though it is Congress that has the ability to declare or end a war).
The judiciary includes the federal court system, the Supreme Court, and their various employees. Judges are appointed and removed (impeached) by Congress. They serve until death, retirement, or impeachment – this protects the judiciary from becoming beholden to the demands of the electorate the way Congress is.
The judiciary is given the power to implement the laws passed by Congress, determine how it applies to individual cases, and determine whether a given law is legal according to the Constitution.
The Supreme Court is the head of the judiciary, and its decisions are final and cannot be appealed. However, in some cases, federal law can overturn the court’s decision. For example, the well-known case of Dred Scott v. Sanford was superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
The executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches are the three parts of the United States government. The division of the government into three branches prevents the consolidation of power by one person (or a small group of people). It ensures that the government works for the benefit of all citizens by providing a system of checks and balances.