7 May 2022


The Three Arms of Government

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Academic level: College

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The essence of separation of powers in the U.S started earlier on when George Washington was made the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. The Electoral College, which comprised of thirty-nine delegates, made a decision to grant the Presidency the position of Commander in Chief because they believed Washington’s peaceful and republican system of governance would serve the Americans well (Foner, 2011). However, before all the states came together to form the current fifty states, James Madison came up with the Madisonian form of government which involved the creation of three formal branches namely the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary. This decision was undertaken to create a precedent and avoid future dictatorship.

This new system of government served the American government well because ever since its introduction, the government has been able to solve the country’s problems in a discrete and unprecedented manner. Also, there has been no situation in history where any branch in the government has overpowered the other. This exemplary state of governance has also been enabled by the three branches’ duty of conducting checks and balances. The legislature assumes the role of enacting laws into the country’s constitution, which means that it can also override the Presidential vetoes (Bowles & McMahon, 2014). The President, on the other hand, can use his veto power to block the passing of certain bills into law because the executive’s duty involves the implementation of the said laws. The judiciary has the judicial power over all other government branches but only in constitutional matters.

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Tentatively, the powers of the three branches tend to overlap repeatedly creating a state of competition and conflict. However, this occurrence is expected because this system of government is meant to be evolutionary like every other human process.


Bowles, N., & McMahon, R. K. (2014).  Government and politics of the United States . Palgrave Macmillan.

Foner, E. (2011).  Reconstruction: America's unfinished revolution, 1863-1877 .Harper Collins

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). The Three Arms of Government.


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