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An Essay by Josef Age 11

The Formation of the United States Government
By Josef Mitchell age 11

After America fought Britain for its independence, they needed a new government. Many people wanted different things for the new country. Planning a government that would make everyone happy in all thirteen states was very hard. The result of all the planning, talks and meetings was a government that still works today.

The country’s most important leaders met in Philadelphia in 1787, to plan the new United States government. Two plans were proposed, The Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. The Virginia plan said that the states would have representatives according to their population, larger states having more and smaller states having less. The New Jersey plan said no matter what the population, all the states would have the same number of representatives. They picked the Virginia Plan, so that each state is represented based on its population.

The leaders in the Constitutional Convention planned the new government and wrote the Constitution. A constitution is a written set of principles by which a nation is governed. The Preamble is the introduction to the Constitution and tells us its main goals. One of the goals was to form a more perfect Union for the states, so they could be united as one country. Another goal was to establish justice for the people so they could be safe.

The writers of the Constitution set up three branches of government. They are the Executive Branch, the Judicial Branch and the Legislative Branch. The Executive branch makes sure laws are carried out and commands the armed forces. The Judicial Branch interprets, or decides what the laws mean and decides if the laws follow the Constitution. The Legislative Branch makes laws and establishes taxes. They made the Government branches separate so no one branch is more powerful than another.

The Bill of Rights was made in 1790; it is an addition to the Constitution. They added these so that people would have more rights. The First amendment protects freedom of religion, speech, press, the right to assemble and the right to voice complaints about the government. Adding these to the Constitution was good, because it protects people’s rights and gives them more freedom.

It wasn’t easy for our founding fathers to plan our government. They might have argued a lot. They came up with the threes branches of government, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Their plan was successful and still works today.

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