The Federal Government
The federal government (our national government) provides for our national defense, conducts our country's foreign affairs, and deals with a number of issues that are national or global in scope and cannot be successfully dealt with by state or local governments - like air pollution, interstate commerce, and piracy.
The federal government consists of three branches - the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch. The federal government employs nearly 3 million civilians and over 1 million active duty military personnel - almost all of them in the Executive Branch. Federal government offices are located across the country and all around the world.
The Legislative Branch of the federal government is the Congress, which meets in the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC. Congress consists of two legislative bodies - the Senate and the House of Representatives. Click here for more information about Congress, the federal government's legislative branch.
The Executive Branch consists of all of the agencies and departments of the federal government and is controlled by the President, whose office is in the White House in Washington, DC. Click here for more information on the Executive Branch.
The Judiciary Branch consists of the federal court system. There are federal courts all across the country, but the federal court system is headquartered in Washington, DC. Click here for more information on the Judicial Branch.