The Basics of Government


Government is a system of rules and laws that allows adults to make decisions for the benefit of the whole society. Governments collect taxes, provide schools, roads and hospitals, keep the environment safe, and ensure that people do not harm each other. Governments also enforce the law by punishing those who break the rules. Governments may be national, local or regional. Some governments are monarchies, while others are democratic or republican. Each country has its own kind of government based on cultural and historical circumstance and beliefs about how a society should be run.

The United States has a government called the Federal Government. The Constitution gives Congress a lot of power to decide how the country should be run. Congress has three branches: the Legislative, Executive and Judicial. When the founding fathers designed our government, they knew that making any one branch too powerful could cause problems. So they created rules that make sure each branch can check the powers of the other two. They are called checks and balances.

One of the biggest jobs of the federal government is to make sure that everyone in the country has enough money to live. Congress makes laws about how much the nation should spend and it collects taxes to raise that money. Sometimes the federal government also borrows money to pay for things it needs. It also has grants that give people money for things like school lunches, airports and highways.

When a person wants to do something that is against the law, they must get permission from the government. Governments have a system of justice that lists the kinds of things that are against the law and describes the punishments for breaking them. Governments also have police forces that protect people and their property.

Another job of the federal government is to help people with their problems. This includes helping poor people find work and getting them health care and food if they need it. The government also runs national parks, protects the environment and helps veterans. The President and the Cabinet oversee the departments and agencies that carry out these duties.

In the United States, there are 15 departments and offices that make laws about education, the economy, defense, and many other topics. The President chooses the heads of these departments and they form a group called the Cabinet. The President also has special powers that he can use to solve big problems. These are called the “express” and “implied” powers.

The Executive Branch is most famous for making sure that Congress’s laws are followed. The President also talks to leaders of other countries and he makes agreements with them. The executive branch oversees the armed forces, and he can send soldiers to fight in other countries. The President also has some power over the judicial branch, but this is limited by the laws that Congress passes. The judicial branch interprets the laws that Congress creates and decides how they should be applied to different situations.