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U.S. Executive Branch

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When the delegates to the Constitutional Convention created the executive branch of government, they gave the president a limited term of office to lead the government. This was very different from any form of government in Europe and caused much debate. The delegates were afraid of what too much power in the hands of one person might lead to. In the end, with a system of checks and balances included in the Constitution, a single president to manage the executive branch of government was adopted.

The executive branch of the Government is responsible for enforcing the laws of the land. When George Washington was president, people recognized that one person could not carry out the duties of the President without advice and assistance. The Vice President, department heads (Cabinet members), and heads of independent agencies assist in this capacity. Unlike the powers of the President, their responsibilities are not defined in the Constitution but each has special powers and functions.

- President: Leader of the country and Commander in Chief of the military.
- Vice President: President of the Senate and becomes President if the President is unable to serve.
- Departments: Department heads advise the President on policy issues and help execute those policies.
- Independent Agencies: Help execute policy or provide special services.

[Summary provided by the U.S. Executive Branch.]
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