The Founding Fathers established three branches of government to ensure that no one person or group of people could amass too much power. The three branches of the U.S. government are the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. Each of the three branches is balanced by the powers of the other two coequal branches.Know More
The executive branch is headed by the president, who serves as head of state and as the civilian commander in chief of the armed forces. The president is charged with implementing and enforcing the laws written by the U.S. Congress. Thus, he is responsible for appointing the heads of the various federal agencies. The vice president is also part of the executive branch and assumes the presidency if the president becomes incapacitated, dies or is removed from office.
The legislative branch writes the nation's laws. It is comprised of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Constitution allots each state two senators; representatives are allotted to each state based on population. States with larger populations receive more representatives. Additionally, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and four other U.S. territories have representatives, but they are not allowed to vote.
The judicial branch interprets the nation's laws. Federal judges are appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land, and its decisions must be followed by all lower courts. Supreme Court justices are appointed for life by the president and approved by the Senate.Learn more about Types of Government
Governments create law, order and stability in society. They also protect a society against rule by despotism, a scenario in which tyrannical people with power and resources assert their role over people living in an area. Protecting citizens from external threats is another important role of government.Full Answer >
Rome was responsible for instituting a checks-and-balances form of government that limited the amount of power held by one person. It also granted its people some power in the formation of government through the election of representatives to the Senate.Full Answer >
An advantage of aristocracy as a form of government is that it prevents political power from residing with one person but rather distributes it among an elite who are theoretically best qualified to rule. A disadvantage is that the political power is not shared by all people, as in a democracy. Additionally, aristocracies tend to pass power on through heredity rather than merit.Full Answer >
A limited government is a constitutional government with limited power and checks and balances in place whereas an unlimited government is an authoritarian and totalitarian government. The United States is an example of a limited government.Full Answer >