A worksheet series that explores all the different arms of the American 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.

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.

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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 EOP

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.

The Three Arms of the Judicial Branch Reading Passage

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: The Three 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 in the U.S. Government

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.

QUESTIONS: Balance of Power in the U.S. Government

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.