PBS LearningMedia: Separation of Powers | Civics 101

To protect the rights of the people—the Constitution says it takes three parts of the government to make or change a law or make other important decisions. This separation of powers is the process by which states govern. The state’s government is divided into branches, each with separate, independent powers and responsibilities so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with other branches. They serve as checks and balances to each other.