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Montesquieu The Separation of Powers The separation of powers among government is an essential part of running a government Separation of powers is the idea of dividing power among the three branches of government the executive legislative and judicial branches Separation of powers gives the three branches of governments each different power The purpose in giving each branch different powers is to form a system of checks and balances The essence of separation of powers is based on the idea of checks and balances 2 The idea of checks and balances is to keep one single branch from gaining too much power and so that no single branch exercises total power 2 The legislative branch makes the laws the judicial branch interprets the laws and the executive branch carries out the laws Within each branch are certain powers that only that branch has These certain powers allow each branch to keep the other branches of government in check and balances out the power between the branches The president is the head of the executive branch The president is the commander in chief of the army and navy of the United States but only congress has the authority to raise and support an army and to declare war 3 Congress also has the authority to enact laws but it can be checked by an executive veto 3 Separation of powers is mentioned several times in the constitution and the powers of government each branch has are described in the constitution The constitution discusses the powers of the legislative branch in Article 1 the Executive branch in Article 2 and the judicial branch in Article 3 6 Montesquieu was not the first person to explore and examine separation of powers Montesquieu read and wrote summaries of Polybius another philosophers work R Shackleton attests It was his Montesquieu practice to make extracts or synopses of books which he had read and the accident of mention
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