Federal Government

The Federal Government and What You Should Know About It

What is the Federal Government?

The Federal Government is over-arching government in the United States as is established and dictated by the United States Constitution. Within the constitution, it labels the government of the United States of America as a federal republic of individual states. In common language, this means that while each state may have individual laws, regulations and statutes, these may not come in contrast with those dictated by the larger or federal government.

The Federal Government is composed of 3 distinct branches, all of which work to ensure a minimal amount of corruption and individual power. Each individual branch has some authority to regulate each of the other two branches. These three branches are the following: the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. Each branch has a specific purpose and regulates over a specific aspect of the government.

What does the Executive Branch of the Federal Government do?

In grade school, when beginning education about the United States Government, children are often taught that the executive branch of the government are those that are seen most often. They are those officials who most citizens consider the most powerful in the country – such as the President of the United States.

While it is true that the President (also referred to as the head of state) is the highest official of the executive branch of government, he is not omnipotent. The primary function of the executive branch of government, which not only consists of the president, but also includes his cabinet formed by the heads each executive department within the government.

The function of the executive branch of the government is to “execute” or effectuate the law, hence the name divined for this branch. Furthermore, the executive branch manages daily governmental affairs. These types of affairs include, but are not limited to law enforcement, foreign relations, command of the armed forces, appointment of many government officials, organizing and presiding over government departments and public services, and the issuance of executive orders.

Over what aspect of government does the legislative branch preside? 

The Legislative branch of the federal government is commonly referred to as congress. Congress is split into houses, which is why it’s often called a bicameral chamber. These houses are the senate and the house of representatives. The main objective of the legislative branch of government is to adopt laws, but they also have the jurisdiction to raise taxes, appropriate budgets and other money bills and the consent of the majority of congress must be attained to authorize treaties or declare war.

What does the judicial branch of government do?

The Judicial Branch of the Federal Government can sometimes be considered the smallest or least influential of the branches, but this is not the case. The purpose of the judicial branch is to provide a legal and impartial forum to settle disputes. These disputes range from minor complaints, which are usually handled in civil suits, the lowest level of the judicial branch, all the way to extreme and often controversial disputes, usually handled by the Supreme Court.

The primary functions of the Judicial Branch of the government is to settle disputes and to provide justice in name of the state. Due to their role to settle disputes, those in the judicial branch are also expected to interpret and implement the law with impunity. Therefore, for many people, it is the officials in the judicial branch who actually have the most power over the lives of individual citizens.

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