US Government Guide


Presidential Seal - Out of many One - US Government Guide

US Government Guide
This article contains a useful US
Government guide with simple definitions of many of the terms used when studying the US Government, Constitution and the US Bill of Rights. The facts and info on this page answers the question "How Does the Government Work?"

The Government and the Constitution
Articles of Confederation was the first US Constitution and the basis of the  National  government that was used during the American War of Independence. When the US gained independence from Great Britain the Founding Fathers designed and established the new Government of the United States and a new constitution in 1787. The purpose of the new Constitution was to describe how the US government would be organized, how government officials would be chosen, and what rights the new central government would guarantee to its citizens.  


US Government Guide - The 7 Principles of Government
The men who shaped the US Government and Constitution were well educated men with knowledge of politics, the law, colonial and state government. These were the men who discussed political philosophies and agreed the 7 Principles of the Constitution. Their experience with the British made them very clear on what they did not want. Agreeing the basic principles of government and the new constitution would allow them to design a government that would be fair. They also needed to define the role of the central government and the role of the individual states. Their 7 Principles were based on the following ideas:

  • Rule by the people, not a king

  • The right to vote for representatives to speak for them

  • Personal freedoms and individual rights

  • Limited government in which everyone is bound by the US Constitution

  • Power is shared between the national and state governments

  • Separation of powers into branches that make, enforce or interpret laws

  • Controls (checks and balances) between branches

US Government Guide - The 3 Branches
In their new central government, their would be no powerful monarch. The Constitution would be the 'Supreme Law'. The Founding Fathers wanted to prevent a concentration of power in one government official or in one government office. They therefore divided the government into three separate branches (Executive, Legislative and Judicial).
This idea extended to include the State Governments. Every state has its own constitution and every state also has the same three separate branches. There is a system of 'Checks and Balances' at both Federal (National) and state level to ensure the balance of power and limit opportunities to abuse power.

US Government Guide - The Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches
The Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches have different  functions consist of
Legislative BranchExecutive BranchJudicial Branch
US Capitol BuildingWhite HouseSupreme Court
The US CapitolThe White HouseThe Supreme Court
Legislative BranchExecutive BranchJudicial Branch
CongressPresidentSupreme Court
Senate & House of RepresentativesVice PresidentLower Courts
AgenciesExecutive Office of PresidentState Courts
BudgetsCabinetTax Court
EconomicsIndependent AgenciesCourts of Appeal
StatisticsPost Office, CIA,  
Library of CongressEnvironment Protection Agency 

US Government Guide to Federalism - National (Federal), State and Local Government
he system of government in the United States is called "Federalism" which consists of a structure of shared, distributed power that is divided between federal (national), state and local government. The American people elect officials to serve in the Federal and State Government.


US Government Guide: Glossary of Terms
The following  US Government Glossary of terms contains common words associated with the US, helpful for kids and children studying the US Government.
US Government Guide: Glossary of Terms
AdjournTo close or end a meeting or session
AmendmentA change to the Constitution
Articles of ConfederationThe first national constitution of the US
AppropriationA bill providing funding for authorized federal program
BicameralA two-tier system - A legislature with two houses
BillA proposed law
Bill of RightsThe first ten amendments to the Constitution
CapitolThe building in which state legislative bodies meet.
CongressCongress is an assembly of representatives.
CongressCongress is made up of two Chambers: the House of Representative and the Senate.
ConstitutionA set of laws and rules establishing the government
DemocracyRule by the people
FederalismA system of government in which power is shared by national and state governments.
FramersThe men who wrote the Constitution
GovernmentThe organization of power within a country
GovernorThe chief executive of a state
LegislatorA person who makes laws
LegislatureThe group that has the power to make laws
SenateA governing body - Congress
SenatorA member of the Senate
VetoThe rejection of a bill by the President
US Government Guide: Glossary of Terms

US Government Guide: Video of the US Presidents
The US Government Guide provides a fast overview of the key facts and trivia about the US Government of the United States. The following President of the USA video enables you to sit back and listen to the history of the personal and political lives of all the President of the USA - a useful educational resource for kids, children and schools learning about the Presidents of the United States of America. Facts and info.




US Government Guide
Interesting facts and helpful guide for kids
Key facts and info for kids
Definitions and Glossary of Terms
Three Branches - Executive, Judicial and Legislative
The seven Principles
Facts, information on US Government
Important facts, Helpful Information for schools, homework, kids and children

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