Snapshot of Topic 3
- How do the institutions of the U.S. political system work?
Massachusetts Standards [8.T3.1-5]
- Branches of the Government and the Separation of Powers
- Checks and Balances between the Branches
- Roles of the Congress, the President, and the Courts
- Elections and Nominations
- The Role of Political Parties
Advanced Placement Standards for U.S. Government
- Unit 2: Interactions Among Branches of Government
- Unit 4: Political Participation
Topic 3: Institutions of United States Government
Topic 3 examines the central institutions or branches of the United States government along with their roles and functions in our political system. The three branches of the federal government are the legislature (Congress), the executive (President), and judiciary (Supreme Court).
States also have three branches of government: legislatures (called "state legislatures," "General Assembly," "General Court," or "Legislative Assembly"), executives (called governors) and courts. Local government branches consist of mayors, councils, select board, or other governing bodies elected by the people. State and local government is explored more fully in Topic 6 of this book.