Try the Federal Government Quiz when you finish this page.

Our government can be described in many ways. It is a democracy – it’s power is shared by all its citizens. It is also a republic – meaning that it is a type of government with a president, not a king, that is elected and responsible to those who elect him/her.

Our government is also a federal government. This means that we have a central or main government in Washington DC that also shares some power with the states.

Below is a chart that shows how the power is divided by the Federal and state governments:


  • Defending our country
  • Dealing with foreign countries
  • Making and controlling our money system
  • Trading between countries
  • Trading between states


  • Education
  • Police
  • State Highways
  • Trade inside the state


  • Collect taxes
  • Set up banks
  • Set up courts
  • Borrow money