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State Government

Each state has its own constitution based on its unique history, needs, philosophy, and geography. A state's constitution is similar to that of the national Constitution; however, the laws made in individual states cannot conflict with the national Constitution or national laws. The national Constitution is "the supreme law of the land."

Just like that of the national government, each state's constitution separates power between three branches -- legislative, judicial, and executive. In addition, in most states, the legislative branch contains two houses . (In Nebraska, the state legislature only has one house). Instead of a president, each state elects a governor.

Let's pretend that you are given a school project to do with three other people. In order to complete the project, you divide it up and give each person a section to do. This is similar to how state government is divided. State government usually has three different sections or branches, and each branch has its own job to do.

National government and state government are two types of government, but there are also local governments. Most Americans live under the national government, a state government, and several local governments. Local government is divided into five categories

  • County
  • Town and Township
  • Municipality
  • Special District
  • School District
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