3 Branches of Government for Kids and Teachers Illustration

3 Branches of Government
For Kids


For Kids

The government of the United States is composed of three branches - the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. The executive branch sees that laws are carried out. The legislative branch makes new laws. The judicial branch makes sure that the laws and actions of the other branches agree with the Constitution of the United States of America.

The men who wrote the Constitution wanted to make sure that no one branch became too powerful. So they created a system of checks and balances. For example, the President of the United States is the head of the executive branch.

  • The president is the commander in chief of the armed forces.
  • The president appoints cabinet members, each of whom is the head of an important department in government. The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Attorney General.
  • The president also appoints ambassadors to foreign countries and judges for the Federal court.
  • BUT - the president cannot get any money to pay anyone or to do anything without the approval of Congress. AND - nearly everyone appointed by the president must be approved by Congress before they can take office.

Checks and balances, that's what the founding fathers wanted to accomplish, and establish in the Constitution of the United States, and they did!

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