Social Studies 4 Government Structures of the Fifty States

Have you ever looked at our federal government and thought, "Awww...I'll bet if there were little, miniature versions of it they would just be absolutely ADORBS!" Well, you're in luck. Time to learn all about state governments.

4th GradeSocial Studies
Elementary and Middle School4th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:28

like little versions of the national government. [Uncle Sam wearing a 'State' name badge]

00:31

Each of the 50 U.S. States has a government consisting of three branches: Executive, Legislative [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

00:36

and Judicial.

00:38

Each state's Executive Branch is run by a government that is elected by the citizens [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

00:42

of that state, and the governor is sort of like the state's mini-President, accepting

00:46

and rejecting bills, managing the budget, and overseeing a Cabinet. [Man bringing piles of paper to the governor]

00:50

And that's not just a place to store snacks.

00:52

In the political world, a Cabinet is a set of advisors. [The governor's staff]

00:55

Governors in each state are supported by several other leadership positions, like the lieutenant

01:00

governor, treasurer, comptroller, attorney general, and secretary of state.

01:04

The Legislative Branch of each state is responsible for making state laws.

01:08

All states – except for Nebraska – have two parts or houses of their Legislative Branch [Nebraska crossed out on the map of the US]

01:13

that work together making laws about things like taxes, education, business practices

01:17

and more.

01:18

The Judicial Branch consists of the state's court system, and is often divided into different

01:23

smaller courts, like family court, traffic court, and juvenile court. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

01:27

Before you get excited, that's not a court run by young people. [Kid sits in the judges seat]

01:30

So much for suing your parents for serving beets for dessert.

01:33

Blech.

01:34

Every state has its own Constitution that outlines how the government will run – which [Policeman takes the kids mother away]

01:38

yes, is basically like a miniature version of the U.S. Constitution.

01:42

State governments make many important decisions that can affect the daily lives of its citizens, [Governor giving a presentation]

01:47

like how state budgets are spent, the laws pertaining to traffic and driving, and laws

01:51

about marriage and civil unions.

01:53

States also tend to have a few not-so-important and often downright silly laws, too. [A slide about 'cookies in the cabinet appears']

01:58

Did you know that in Arkansas, it's actually illegal to pronounce the word Arkansas incorrectly? [Law is highlighted]

02:03

Thankfully, we're not in Arkansas right now.

02:07

(Saying Arkansas wrong) Take that, silly law! [Police siren flashing]