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Unit 4: The Operations of Government

The Constitution of the United States outlined a national government consisting of three branches, the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. Each branch is delegated different responsibilities that together work to, "establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty". This unit explores the various responsibilities of the branches and how they operate.

The Legislative Branch

The power to legislate was delegated to a bi-cameral legislature consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives.

The Executive Branch

The power to execute laws, act as the country's top diplomat, and the commander-and-chief of the armed forces was delegated to a unitary executive.

The Judicial Branch

The judicial powers of the government are vested in a Supreme Court and other inferior courts as deemed necessary by Congress.


Powers not delegated to the national government are reserved to the states. Federalism is the dynamic relationship of the national government and the states and their respective powers of overlapping authority.