Cross Currents Home
Resources | About Us | 日本語サイト
Home Learn About Japan Learn About Japan-U.S. Cross Currents Learn About the U.S.

  1. The United States Constitution
  2. Legislative Branch
  3. Executive Branch
  4. The Judicial Branch
  5. Voting
  6. Political Parties
  7. State and Local Government
Listen in English | Japanese View Article in English | Japanese
The United States Constitution
The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land in the United States. The Constitution explains the purpose and organization of the U.S. government. The first United States Constitutional Convention began on May 25, 1787. Delegates to the convention clearly remembered the absolute rule of the British monarchy over the new colonies. This memory of an absolute ruler led the delegates to divide the United States government into three branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. The legislative branch creates laws, the judicial branch interprets laws, and the executive branch enforces the country’s laws. This separation of powers sought to ensure that no branch would ever hold too much power. The three branches of government continue to exist today. The buildings that house each branch, the White House, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court, are all located in Washington D.C., the country’s capital. On September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates from twelve states approved the United States Constitution. These delegates are known as America’s Founding Fathers. In 1791, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights consists of ten constitutional amendments. The first and perhaps most well known amendment provides for the freedom of religion, speech, and the press. Seventeen additional amendments were later added. The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery; the 15th Amendment allows all citizens, regardless of race or color, to vote.
Download Podcast in English | Japanese
Document | Audio-Video | Chart | Picture | Map