Lesson 3 Checks and Balances
of the Government


American History Pages
  Native Americans
  Colonial America
  American Revolution
  The Constitution
  Our Nation Grows
  Civil War
  Industrial Nation
Government Unit
  Lesson 1 - Articles of Confederation
  Lesson 2 - Writing the Constitution
  Lesson 3 - Checks and Balances of the Government
  Lesson 4 - The New Government
  The First Political Parties
  George Washington
  Article I - Legislative Branch
  How a Bill Becomes a Law
  Article II - Executive Branch
  Article III - Judicial Branch
  Lesson 5 - Bill of Rights


The Constitution set up a system of checks and balances. This system was to make sure that none of the three branches of government would become too strong.

Checks and Balances

The new Constitution had three branches of government:

Legislative (make laws)


House of Representatives



Congress makes all the laws of the country.

After a veto by the President the law can take effect if 2/3rds of the members of Congress vote for it again.

Congress may reject Supreme Court Appointments.

Executive (carry out laws)





President must ask Congress to make a new law.

The President may veto (say no to) any law passed by Congress.

The President appoints the Supreme Court Justices.

Judicial (courts)


Supreme Court (9 members)

Appeals Courts (11 in U.S.)

District Courts (93 in U.S.)


The judicial branch decides if laws or acts of Congress are in line with the Constitution. If not they can declare a law unconstitutional.