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Branches Of Government

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What were the reasons our forefathers divided the government into the legislative, judicial and presidential branches?

The country was sensitive to the world “national” so they used federal, due to it didn’t reduce any powers within the States. “National” government was a central government that had power over and above the states. “Federal” government was a government was a government formed by the association of states, which gave up none of the powers (Fritz, 1987, pg.46). The Articles of Confederation was not working and the forefathers wanted a government that united all states. This created the Virginia Plan, written mostly by James Madison, however, after weeks and weeks of debating, there was nothing but disagreement on how many lawmakers each state would have in Congress. The Virginia Plan would’ve ruined the states; therefore, the statesmen sat down and came up with the Great Compromise. Under the Great Compromise, one house would base its number of lawmakers on population and the other will have the same number of lawmakers from each state (Burgan, 2007, pg. 12). The reason the government was divided into three branches was to implement a democratic government that would serve the citizens and not regulate the people. In other words, they wanted an organization devised of no single individual or assembly that would have too much authority. The three branches of government are; judicial, legislative, and executive (presidential), these have aptitude and control what the other two branches are doing. The first branch would be the Congress; it would have two separate houses, with the states sending representatives. This branch would make the laws. The second branch is the executive branch; this branch would make sure that the laws are carried out. The head of this branch is the president, hence it being called the presidential branch. The third branch is the judicial branch. This branch is the system of the court. The judges of this branch made sure that the laws were carried out fairly. The system that was put into place to perform these tasks is called “checks and balances.” Each branch is intertwined with the other two branches.

How are the three branches of U.S. Government supposed to interact?

The overall foundation of the three branches is to share authority while and watching over the other branches. Each branch has a separate function and associations with the other two branches. The forefathers planned an organization so that each individual branch would observe the other two branches to verify that they were acting with the fundamental laws and are not trying to overrule the other branches and become an empire by themselves. The three branches of government work together and are equally powered. The executive branch consists of the president, vice president and cabinet members. The main power of the executive branch is to execute the laws. The other powers of the executive branch are granting pardons, vetoing laws, commanding the military, foreign relations, such as making treaties, and suggesting laws. The legislative branch consists of the members of Congress. The main power of the legislative branch is to create the laws. The other powers that the legislative branch can perform is the power to approve treaties, reject appointments of cabinet members, override a veto, declare war, create money, collects taxes, balance the budget for the nation, and can impeach the president. The judicial branch consists of the federal courts. The main power of the judicial branch is to interpret the laws. The other powers that the judicial branch has is it can declare a law unconstitutional, declares the actions of the president unconstitutional. The three branches of government interact with each other and are limited by a system of checks and balances. Our founding fathers included the idea of separation of powers. Baron de Montesquieu, a French philosopher, was the creator of this concept. The separation of powers is the idea of dividing the power of the national government among different groups so that one person or group doesn’t possess all the power of the government. This division makes it impossible for the power of government to be abused. According to Rosenberg, all the branches of government interact with one another and are limited by a system of checks and balances.

Is the system successful? Why or why not? Are the branches balanced in power? Why or why not?

Checks and balances is the core United States constitutional principle whereby each branch of government has limiting powers over the others and thus no branch can become supreme. The separation of powers causes the branches to be independent and not infringe upon each other’s rights and duties. The powers and responsibilities of the United States government intentionally overlap. According to the National Constitutional Center, “the authority of Congress to enact laws can be checked by an executive veto, which in turn can be overridden by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses; the President serves as commander-in-chief, but only the Congress has the authority to raise and support an army, and to declare war; the President has the power to appoint all federal judges, ambassadors, and other high government officials, but all appointments must be affirmed by the Senate; and the Supreme Court has final authority to strike down both legislative and presidential acts as unconstitutional. The balance of power is intended so that no one branch can grow too powerful and dominate the national government.” Our government today allows the national government to have some of their own powers, the state governments to have some of their own powers, and some powers to be shared between both the state and national government.

How was the conflict between supporters of a strong federal government and the champions of states’ rights characterized then as opposed to now?

According to the University Of Phoenix Week Two Overview (2008), the state delegates battled with each other in the ratification conventions. Eventually every state would ratify, but it would take some time. The focus on individual rights gave the Federalists the winning hand. Eventually the Anti-Federalists organization would crumble. Within each state, Federalists and Anti-Federalists argued over the Constitution. The Anti-Federalists hoped to kill the document altogether or at least improve it with a bill or rights. The Federalists didn’t think the Constitution needed to spell out the protection of certain rights. The Anti-Federalists did not accept this. There was

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