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2. The Department which keeps us informed about the weather is the Department of

3. If a farmer wanted information about soil, plants, or animals, he could get help from the Department of

4. A United States census is taken every 10 years by the Department of

5. The Department which enforces the immigration and naturalization laws of the United States is the Department of

Try to think of some of the services which are being given to the people of your own community by the four Departments which we have been studying. Perhaps you can name some of them below:

Two of the services performed by the Department of the Interior are:

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Two of the services performed by the Department of Agriculture are:



Two of the services performed by the Department of Commerce are:



Two of the services performed by the Department of Labor are:


Some more words which the student should understand:

bulletins-official reports issued for the information of the public. collectivelythrough representatives authorized to make bar

gains that will bind the whole group. common carriers-conveyances, such as railroads, autos, busses,

or ships, that carry goods or people as a business. compensation—that which is given in place of something else or

to make good a loss. competitive—in which one's work is compared with other peo

ple's and one is required to do as well or better than others. conservation-protection from waste or damage. construction work--any kind of building. crop rotation—the planting of different kinds of crops on a piece

of land each year to prevent taking out of the soil certain

values and wearing out the land. domains-large stretches of land belonging to one owner, usually

the Government. equipment-supplies or materials needed to carry on a particu

lar service. exchanges—a special name for the markets where stocks and

bonds are bought and sold. facilitiesways of doing things easily; good equipment and

arrangement. fertility-ability to reproduce or grow things in plenty. foster-encourage and support. handicraft-skilled work with the hands. interstate-carried on across State boundaries, from one State

to another. investors-persons who use their money to buy stocks and bonds. livestock-farm animals, such as cattle, sheep, swine, and horses. national resources-natural wealth and human energy which

can be made useful to the Nation. production—the act of making or growing. range lands--open unfenced areas on which cattle, sheep, or

horses may graze. receiver a business manager appointed by a law court to

straighten out a business which cannot pay its debts. reclamation-bringing something, such as land, back to use or

production. serums-liquids used in curing diseases. shortages-amounts which fall short of what is expected or

needed. slums—poverty-stricken neighborhoods full of old battered


statisticsa study of any subject by the use of numbers. stocks and bonds-documents which show that a person is a part

owner or a creditor of a corporation. surpluses-amounts which are greater than what is expected

or needed. viruses-poisons which cause contagious diseases and can be

used in curing them.


How Our National (Federal) Government Is Organized


“The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."

-Third Article of the Federal Constitution.

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In the last few chapters you have studied two of the great branches of our Federal Government. You learned that the Legislative Branch is made up of two houses, a Senate and a House of Representatives, which together are called the Congress of the United States. You learned that the Executive Branch includes the President, the Vice President, the 10 Executive Departments, and independent agencies.

A third branch of our Federal Government, the Judicial Branch, is made up of our Federal courts and has the duty of explaining and interpreting the Federal laws, settling lawsuits between citizens of different States and punishing certain kinds of lawbreaking. In this chapter you will study its organization and work.

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You have learned that the Congress makes the laws, and the National Executive enforces them. But sometimes the meaning of a Federal law is not clear, and that law cannot be enforced in some cases until it is better explained. Then the Judicial Branch comes to the aid of the other two branches.

In addition to explaining and interpreting the laws passed by the Congress, there are many other things which our Federal courts do. They explain the meaning of the Constitution. Since the Constitution is the highest law of our land, this is a very important task. These courts also explain treaties and agreements with other governments.

When any person is accused of breaking a Federal law, he is brought for trial to one of our Federal courts to decide whether he has really broken the law or not. Such a decision calls for a study and decision by the court as to what are the actual facts of the case and how the law, in its true meaning, applies to the facts as proved. This is the way in which the principle of “equal justice for all" is made to work.

The States need the Federal courts, to which they can take their disputes with one another. And if a citizen of one State has a legal dispute with a citizen of another State, he may go to a Federal court to settle it.

You will recall that the Constitution gives the Legislative and Executive branches of the Federal Government a great many difficult duties to perform. The courts act as a check on both branches in deciding whether one or the other has tried to use more authority than it was actually given by the people in the Federal Constitution.

You will recall also that the Constitution gives certain powers to the Federal Government and reserves other powers for the States. The Federal Judiciary is needed at times to decide when either the National or the State Governments have taken more power than they should, according to the Constitution.

To sum up, let us make a list of some of the valuable services performed by the Judicial Branch of the National Government. Among other things our Federal courts

1. Explain the meaning of the Constitution and the laws and treaties.

2. Settle legal disputes between citizens of different States.

3. Settle legal disagreements between two or more States.

4. Settle legal questions between States and the National Government.

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