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The Basics of Government

The Basics of Government

Government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally called a state. It normally consists of a legislature, executive, and judiciary. A government’s structure, functions, and philosophy are defined in a constitution.

Governments have evolved many times through the centuries as new ideas and important events influenced their creation and function. The world’s nations now have a wide variety of governments, from monarchies to democracies and from republics to communist countries.

Whatever their form, all government systems share one thing in common: they create rules that must be followed. Those rules are designed to protect the people within the nation from harm, and they may also provide for their well-being and happiness. Governments are often designed to control the economy and protect citizens from outside interference.

Most people in the United States are familiar with some aspect of the federal government, the national level of the U.S. system of government. Six in seven American households receive some kind of government benefit, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. This includes things like tax benefits, health care coverage and food assistance programs.

At the state and local levels, governments set priorities for things to be accomplished and allocate funds to those priorities. For example, at the state level, funding may be allocated for things like maintaining the roads and bridges or managing wildlife. At the federal level, money may be allocated for defense, Social Security and pensions for veterans, management of national parks, and many other things. Representatives elected by the people seek to secure funding for priorities that are important to their constituents.

The purpose of government is to make sure that everyone is treated fairly. For instance, if someone’s house catches on fire, the police do not demand payment before extinguishing the flames. In general, the main goal of all governments is to ensure that citizens are safe and have access to necessities such as food, shelter, transportation and education.

Throughout history, people have discovered that it is easier to manage their lives and keep conflict at bay if they live in groups, or countries. Some of these nations have kings or queens and are known as monarchies; others, such as the United States, are democratic republics. In all cases, the leaders of these nations must be capable of understanding and addressing the concerns of their people. As the size of these groups grew, it became necessary for some of the rulers to delegate some of their power and duties to other groups. This gave rise to the concept of representational government. The king or queen still ruled the country, but some of the day-to-day business was transferred to a body called Parliament, which oversees the creation of the laws. This led to the evolution of parliamentary systems worldwide. The United States is a constitutional republic. The United States Constitution lays out three branches of the Federal Government: the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.