The Basics of Government


Government is a system of organization that creates, enforces and applies laws for a country, state, city or other political unit. It manages defense, foreign affairs, the economy, and public services. Government also regulates access to common goods like natural resources and wildlife. Governments take in taxes and use those funds to provide goods and services for their citizens, such as public education, police and fire protection, roads, hospitals, parks and libraries. They also set goals for the nation, such as reducing socioeconomic inequality.

There are many forms of government, but they all share some basic features. A government must have a leader who is the head of state, the head of the legislative branch or the head of the executive branch. They must have a constitution that defines their powers and limits them. They must have people who are willing to serve and to work for the good of the entire society, not just for their own interests or those of the political party they belong to. They must also have people who are able to tolerate opposing viewpoints and not hurl personal insults at opponents.

One of the most fundamental principles of government is that each citizen has a right to freedom of speech and expression. Government must be able to protect this right, even when it disagrees with the views expressed. This is why it is important for politicians to avoid hurling personal attacks and to stick to the facts.

The United States has a federal government, with three branches: the legislative (making the law), the executive (enforcing the law) and the judiciary (interpreting the law). The Framers of the Constitution structured these branches to prevent any single branch from becoming too powerful and to ensure that the checks and balances of the system are in place. The President nominates Supreme Court Justices and other judges, who must be approved by the Senate in the legislative branch. Congress has the power to override any presidential veto, and they can also pass legislation without the President’s approval.

The Judiciary interprets and applies the laws, and it oversees the other two branches. It does this by hearing and ultimately making decisions on legal cases. The Executive Branch makes sure that the law is enforced, and it represents the whole nation in international negotiations. It also oversees the military and national security agencies, and it is responsible for signing treaties and other agreements on behalf of the United States. The Executive and Legislative branches may veto any bills passed by the other, but they can override a veto with a two-thirds majority vote in each house of Congress.