The Basics of Government
Government is the system of rules and laws that adults create to make sure they can live in peace with each other, and have the opportunity to be as successful as possible. Government includes the courts, executive branch and legislature. Each country and State has its own rules about how a government is formed and what powers it has.
The founding fathers in the United States designed a government that was built on checks and balances between the three branches of the federal government. The founders also believed that the government should be limited in its power and that the citizens had rights that would be protected by the government.
In the past, most rulers ruled for their own benefit. Rulers were different from the ruled, and the rulers controlled the military and collected taxes. Rulers were called monarchs, aristocrats, or tyrants. There were also governments of the many, which were based on democracy and republics. But these types of government often led to war or tyranny, and people wanted a form of government that would be fair and protect their natural rights.
During the late 1700s and 1800s, many countries changed their governments to a more democratic form. Democracy and republics allow all people to vote on the people they want to govern them, rather than just a few select leaders. But even with these changes, some people still felt that the government was too powerful and needed to be checked by other branches of the government.
Today, most governments are considered to be democracies or republics. There are also other forms of government, such as totalitarian regimes, oligarchies, and aristocracies. Governments can also be classified by the kind of people who control them, including one person (an autocracy), a select group of people (an aristocracy), or the whole population as a whole (a democracy).
At the local level, people choose representatives to city councils and state legislatures. Those bodies make laws to guide the local community and to help them get things they need, such as schools, police departments, and libraries. They also decide how to raise money by imposing taxes. The money raised by taxes goes to various government agencies at the city, state, and national levels to pay for the services they provide.
The legislative branch is made up of Congress, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The President, who heads the executive branch and serves as the nation’s Head of State when speaking with leaders of other countries, makes sure that everyone follows the laws that Congress passes. If a President believes that a bill passed by Congress is unconstitutional, he can veto it, and the legislature must pass it again with a two-thirds majority of both houses in order for the bill to become law. The President also nominates Supreme Court justices and other important positions, and the Senate either approves or rejects these nominations. This is what is known as the separation of powers.