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Forming a Government

Social Studies, Grade 5

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Study Guide Forming a Government Social Studies, Grade 5

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FORMING A GOVERNMENT How was the United States Government formed? After the Revolutionary War, the new nation of the United States of America needed a government. The first attempt at a written plan of government had been the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation, passed in 1781 during the War, gave much power to the individual states. Eventually, the citizens of the United States decided that a new government needed to give power to a central government while still keeping some powers for the states. A meeting to change the Articles of Confederation was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1787. This meeting was called the Constitutional Convention. James Madison took notes at the Constitutional Convention and wrote the Bill of Rights. At the meeting, it was decided that a new form of government for the nation would be created. The men who came up with the ideas for the Constitution, or written plan of government, decided that the new government would be a republic, where representatives elected by the people would control the country. The power would be divided among three branches with equal powers: The Executive Branch © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
The Legislative Branch The Judicial Branch Each branch of government can check on the work of the other branches. This idea is called the system of checks and balances. The Executive Branch is the branch made up of the President and his advisers. The President's closest advisers are called the Cabinet. This branch enforces the laws. The branch that makes the laws is called the Legislative Branch. The Legislative Branch, also known as the Congress, is divided into two parts: the House of Representatives and the Senate. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
The branch made up of judges who interpret the laws is called the Judicial Branch. The Supreme Court, part of the Judicial Branch, is the highest court in the United States. The Constitution was not approved, or ratified, by all 13 states until 1790. By 1790, personal freedoms for all Americans had been guaranteed by the first ten amendments, or additions, to the Constitution. The first ten amendments to the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
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