Government: A System of Rules and Responsibilities
The word government comes from the Latin verb gubernare, which means “steer a ship.” Government is an active agency invested with power to manage a political unit, organization, or more often, a State.
There are many different forms of government. Some have become obsolete, while others remain in existence to this day. In modern political science, there are several ways of classifying these systems, including the major types of democracy (direct and representative), autocracy, oligarchy, theocracy, communism, and socialism.
Government is a system of rules and responsibilities that creates a framework for society. It sets the parameters for everyday behavior, protects people from outside interference, and provides goods and services that make life better for citizens. Governments are necessary for societies to function and thrive, whether they have been in place for centuries or just recently emerged.
In the United States, we have a government with three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. Each branch has its own responsibilities and functions, but they work together to provide the security and stability that citizens need in order to live their lives.
Congress, the legislative branch of our federal government, makes laws that govern the country and its people. It also raises money for the government by imposing taxes on income, property, and other sources of revenue. These revenues are then used to fund government programs. Congress can also direct the allocation of funds to specific items, known as earmarks. The President, the executive branch of our government, enforces these laws and represents us in international affairs.
The judicial branch, the third branch of our government, interprets the law and evaluates lawsuits brought by individuals or businesses against the government. The justices of the Supreme Court and of the courts of appeal and district judgeships are appointed by the President and must be confirmed by the Senate. The judicial branch also has the ability to veto acts of Congress and to overturn unconstitutional laws.
In addition to making and enforcing laws, the judicial branch is responsible for protecting our liberty. This includes guaranteeing that the rights of all people are protected by the Constitution and laws of our country, and that there is a fair and impartial process to determine the rights of those accused of crimes.
The judicial and legislative branches of our government are accountable to the people through elections, which occur every two years for both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The number of voting members in the House is 435, while the Senate has 100 members, two for each State. If a new State or territory joins the United States, the number of senators will increase. These representatives are the voice of all the people of the United States when they talk to other leaders in the world. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to participate in the election process. By casting a vote, you can help determine our future and that of the world.