About This Chapter
The Branches of Government - Chapter Summary
This comprehensive political science chapter provides an overview of the different branches of government. Using a simplified and engaging teaching style, our instructors explain the roles, functions and powers of the executive, legislative and judicial branches. The chapter is available to access at any time, and each lesson comes with a short self-assessment quiz. Take the chapter exam to make sure you fully understand these government concepts. When you're finished, you should be able to:
- Describe the roles of the president and the presidential system of government
- Recognize the functions and powers of legislatures
- Differentiate between congress and parliament
- Explain the purpose of a legislative committee
- Assess the powers and roles of the cabinet and the prime minister
- Evaluate the ideas an accomplishments of Baron De Montesquieu
- Compare the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government
- Understand the role and power of the judicial branch
- Identify sources of power for the federal judiciary
1. Baron De Montesquieu: Ideas, Accomplishments & Facts
In this lesson we will learn who Baron de Montesquieu was. Together, we will take a closer look at his history, his personal life and his legacy. We will analyze his works and the impact they have made on legal philosophy and modern-day constitutional law.
2. The 3 Branches of Government: Executive, Legislative, Judicial
In 1787, leaders from each of the states gathered to write the United States Constitution. The Constitution sets out how our nation is governed and creates a system that separates powers between different branches. This lesson explores the three branches of our federal government.
3. The Powers & Functions of Legislatures
The following lesson will describe the common structure of most legislatures, as well as discuss their main powers and functions. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.
4. Congress vs. Parliament: Main Differences
In this lesson, we will review the major differences between Congress and Parliament. We will take a closer look at why these differences exist and how they affect decision-making in those particular democratic countries.
5. The Purpose of Legislative Committees
The following lesson will discuss the purpose that small groups, or committees, have in passing laws in a legislature. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check for your understanding.
6. Presidential System of Government: Roles of the President
The following lesson discusses the seven roles that the President of the United States has. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check for your understanding.
7. The Roles & Powers of the Prime Minister & the Cabinet
In this lesson, we will examine the roles and duties of the British prime minister and Cabinet. We will pay close attention to how the prime minister and Cabinet members obtain their positions.
8. Judicial Branch of Government: Definition, Role & Power
In this lesson we examine the judicial branch of the government, including the Supreme Court and its power of judicial review. You will learn how the Supreme Court can rule laws unconstitutional.
9. The Power of the Federal Judiciary: Sources & Consequences
Federal judges and Supreme Court justices make their decisions using different rationales and theories. This lesson explores the power of the federal judiciary, including a discussion of judicial review and judicial activism.
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Other chapters within the Political Science 101: Intro to Political Science course
- Basic Terms and Concepts of Political Science
- Political Ideologies and Philosophy
- Forms of Government
- Electoral Systems
- US Federal Bureaucracy
- The History & Role of Political Parties
- Interest Groups in Politics
- Mass Media and Politics
- Political Culture, Public Opinion & Civic Behavior
- Public and Social Policy
- Fiscal Policy in Government & the Economy
- Foreign Policy, Defense Policy & Government
- Concepts of International Relations
- Theories of International Relations
- International Actors in Political Science
- International Law in Politics
- Global Issues and Politics
- Studying for Political Science 101