State Government

In the Tenth Amendment, the Constitution also recognizes the powers of the state governments.  Traditionally, these included the “police powers” of health, education, and welfare.  So many states feared the expanded powers of the new national government that they insisted on amendments during the Constitution's ratification.  The most popular of these proposed amendments, which became the Bill of Rights in 1791, was a protection of state power.  The new Tenth Amendment stated: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Powers not granted to the Federal government are reserved for States and the people, which are divided between State and local governments.

All State governments are modeled after the Federal Government and consist of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The U.S. Constitution mandates that all States uphold a “republican form” of government, although the three-branch structure is not required.