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The Separation of Powers - Battles of the Branches

Instead of placing authority in the hands of one person, like a king, or even a small group of people, the U.S. Constitution divides power. Power is first divided between the national, or federal government, and the state and local government under a system known as Federalism. At the federal level, the Constitution again divides power between the three major branches of our federal government—the legislative, the executive, and the judicial.

Big Questions

What is the Separation of Powers? What is Federalism? How do they work?

Where do we see these principles in the Constitution? Why are they needed?

What are some of the key battles over the separation of powers and federalism in American history (and today)?

Video: Federalism and Separation of Powers
Advanced Level Class
Video: Federalism and Separation of Powers
Introductory Level Class
Video: Federalism and Separation of Powers with Dr. Christopher Brooks
Video: Battle of the Branches
2021/2022 Introductory Level Class
Video: Separation of Powers Overview Lesson
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Video: Constitutional Questions with Justice Neil Gorsuch

Classroom Materials

Federalism and Separation of Powers Briefing Document

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Federalism and Separation of Powers Slides

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Federalism and Separation of Powers Slides

Federalism and Separation of Powers Worksheets

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