What Is Government?

Government is the body of people invested with the power to manage a political unit, organization or more commonly, a State. Government comes from the Latin locution gubernare, which means to steer or manage something. Governments can take on different forms such as monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy (direct democracy or representative democracy), autocracy, communism and socialism.

The main function of a government is to protect the nation from outside attack or invasion by using its military force, and by establishing laws that are enforced by police and other law enforcement officials. Governments also provide services for their citizens like roads, schools, fire departments and mail carriers. They may even help the poor or elderly with money and food. Governments also help with research and development, providing money for universities and laboratories. They also make sure that everyone has enough to eat and provides health care for the sick.

One of the most important jobs of a government is to protect common goods such as wildlife and natural resources from being taken by a few people and leaving others with nothing. Governments may regulate access to these goods and charge a fee for the use of them, such as for fishing licenses or toll roads. Governments may also set standards for these goods to protect them.

Many people have varying opinions about how much government should do for them, and how it should do it. Some people believe that the more government there is, the better; other people think that less government is best. It is impossible to say which type of government is best, because it depends on the needs of each country.

Almost every government has some sort of constitution or written rule book that tells how the nation will be run. Some of these constitutions are quite lengthy and detail the entire range of activities that a government can or cannot do. They are usually written by a group of people called a constitutional convention. The Constitution of the United States, for example, details how Congress and the President will make decisions.

Most governments have some kind of system where each branch has the power to check or limit the power of another branch. This is known as the doctrine of checks and balances. For example, the President can veto acts passed by Congress. He can also nominate Supreme Court justices and judges for other courts. Congress has the power to approve or reject these nominations, and it can impeach justices and other judges if they are found to have done wrong.

The Executive Branch of the United States Government, which includes the President and Vice President, oversees all branches of government to ensure that they are following the rules that were established in the Constitution. The President also negotiates with leaders of other countries. The President is the head of state, and when he talks with other heads of state, he represents all the people in the United States.