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There is no more important function for all of government to define the rights of its citizens Norman Dorsen In this essay I will give a short history of the government in United States of America US Then I will describe each of the three branches of government in the US and the relationship between them In principle the US is a democratic republic they govern themselves by choosing their leaders by secret ballot and these leaders in turn make the rules Americans started governing themselves as a nation on July 4th 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia by representatives of the thirteen British colonies in North America These states joined together formally in 1781 under a first constitution the Articles of Confederation That loose union of the states was replaced by the Constitution of the US in 1789 This document amended 26 times is still the political foundation of the US Being based on a written constitution the US government is committed in principle to the rule of law To guarantee the rights of free speech a free press freedom of religion etc the first ten amendments called the Bill of Rights were adopted in 1791 There are three levels of government in the US Local government citycounty state government and federal government Here I will pay most attention to the federal government Many of the concepts of the US government can be traced to progressive thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries eg Locke Spinoza Blackstone and Montesquiueu Out of some of their thoughts the US government system with the three branches were made A legislative branch Congress an Executive branch President and a judicial branch Supreme Court The Constitution is most of all a document of checks and balances among the three branches of the federal government and between the levels of government nation and state The legislative branch Congress that has the power to make
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