U.S. Government

Government isn't just laws. It's people, too. Understand the United States government and how it works.

How a Bill Becomes a Law
Follow a bill, from its introduction to Congress to its signing by the President. Find out about all the steps in between, including the presidential veto and the Congressional override. This article is good for people of all ages!

The Filibuster
What is this strange term? Where did it come from? How often is it used? Does a filibuster happen every other week? You might think you know the answer to these questions. Click here to find out more.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. It has nine members and decides whether laws are unconstitutional. It handles appeals from federal courts or from state supreme courts. Whatever the Supreme Court says is the law of the land.

The president is the head of the Executive Branch. Learn more about the office and its history.

The Legislative Branch has two houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate. Find out more about both of them here.

The Presidential Veto
President of the United States has extraordinary power over the shaping of federal laws: He or she can veto any law passed by Congress.

Articles of Confederation
See the framework for the original representative government. See why it just didn't work.

Shays's Rebellion: Test for America
Why was this 1787 uprising so important? See how the federal government responded to the American people's attempts to get paid for their Revoltionary War service.

The Constitution
Find out more about the background, the details, the happenings, and the aftermath of the Constitutional Convention and the signing of the Convention. Includes links to the Federalist Papers and more.

The Bill of Rights
The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution were more than an afterthought. The brainchild of James Madison, they were vitally important to every American.

How the American Government Was Different
Easy-to-read article puts the new American Constitution in context of other countries' governments at the time and draws parallels between the Constitution and ancient Greece and Rome.

Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids
Join your virtual host, Ben Franklin, as he takes you on a tour of the U.S. Government and shows you how it works. This is one of the most fun, informational sites ever on the Internet.

Lawyers, Attorneys, and more: A Kid's Guide to the U.S. Government
Lots of kid-friendly info at this! Find out more about the way government works, the way the electoral process works, and much more. Check out their hand list of links as well.

National Archives
Lots of information here about government, history, and much more. Many primary sources!

How Congress Works
Easy-to-follow descriptions of the Legislative Branch at work

How the Judiciary Works
Easy-to-follow descriptions of the Judicial Branch at work

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White