Article II - Executive Branch


Oval Office The Executive Branch of the government is responsible making sure the laws made by Congress are carried out. Article II of the Constitution sets up the executive branch.
Section 1 ~
President and Vice President

  • The President is given executive power.

  • The President holds office for a term of 4 years.

  • Each state appoints a number of Electors. (This number is equal to the number of Senators and Representatives it has in Congress.)

  • Congress sets the date and time for choosing Electors.

  • The President must be born in the United States.

  • The President must be at least 35 years of age.

  • The President must have been living in the U.S. for at least 14 years.

  • The Vice President will take the place of the President if for any reason the President cannot serve.

  • If both the President and Vice President cannot serve, Congress passes a law which appoints someone to fill the office until the next election.

  • The President will be paid for his job.

  • The President must take the following oath before taking office.

(I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.)

Section 2 ~
Powers of the President

  • The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the army and the navy.

  • The President will lead the militia of the states when they are called to serve the government.

  • The President can ask his advisors for ideas.

  • The President can pardon criminals.

  • The President can make treaties with other nations with the approval of Congress.

  • The President can appoint representatives to other nations, appoint Supreme Court judges, and other people necessary to do the work of the government.

Section 3 ~
Presidential Duties
  • The President will give Congress information on the State of the Union.

  • The President will recommend any laws s/he thinks are necessary.

  • The President will make sure laws made by Congress are carried out.

  • The President, Vice President, and all other officers of the U.S., shall be removed from office on impeachment. They may be impeached for treason, bribery, or other crimes. To impeach means to bring charges against an officers to the Senate. The Senate will act as the court to try the case.


Electoral College

Popular Vote Electoral Vote
The people vote every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November for President and Vice President.

The winner of this election is the winner of the Popular Vote.

After the Popular Vote, the electors (Each state has the same number of electors as Senators and Representatives.) vote. In most cases the electors vote for the same candidate that the people of their states voted; however, there is no law that states they must vote this way.

If no candidate gets more than half of the electoral votes, the House of Representatives votes for the President from among the top three and the Senate votes for the Vice President.


Vote Four times in the United States' history one candidate who won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote:
Year Popular Vote Winner Electoral Vote Winner

Andrew Jackson
(received less than 50% of
electoral votes)


John Quincy Adams
(picked by the House of Representatives)


Samuel Tilden


Rutherford B. Hayes


ClevelandGrover Cleveland


Benjamin Harrison


Al Gore

Al Gore

George W. Bush
George Bush

Congress has tried to change the Electoral College system without success.

Lesson Links

Lesson 1 - Articles of Confederation

Lesson 2 - Writing the Constitution

Lesson 3 - Checks and Balances of the Government

Lesson 4 - The New Government

Lesson 5 - Bill of Rights

The First Political Parties

George Washington

Article I - Legislative Branch

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Article II - Executive Branch

Article III - Judicial Branch