What Is Government?

Government is the set of rules that a people follow to organize and protect themselves. It also controls access to the things that are essential for civilized life, such as water, firewood, and wildlife. Governments are usually made up of people who are elected to make laws. People who serve in governments are called servants of the people.

In modern society, most people have more daily contact with state and local governments than they do with the federal government. This is because most government agencies such as police departments, libraries, and schools are run by these governments. Local government agencies are funded by taxes that people pay. The money they get is used to build roads, maintain parks, provide education and healthcare. The federal government spends money for national priorities such as the military, welfare programs and social security.

Throughout history, people have had many different ideas about what governments should do. Some think that they should create laws to keep peace and provide services. Others think that governments should use tax dollars to help people who need it the most.

One thing that all governments have in common is that they make rules to control the behavior of their citizens. The reason that people need rules is that humans have a natural tendency to fight over property and privileges. It is not easy to live with other people when everyone wants to have what they want. Governments have always created a variety of rules to help prevent this.

The word government comes from the Latin word gubernare, which means to steer a ship or vessel. The meaning of the word has changed over time. In the early days, governments controlled people and their land, raised armies to protect them from barbarians and collected taxes to pay for the army and other expenses. Governments grew larger and more powerful and spread throughout the world.

A more recent idea about the role of government is that it should be responsible for a country’s social programs. This started in the United States with President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs and continued with his Great Society initiatives and is a major focus of the Obama Administration. Many Americans are now skeptical of these programs and believe that they undermine individual responsibility.

A government has three main branches: the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. Each of these branches has smaller branches that focus on particular functions. In the United States, the legislative branch includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Senate has 100 members, two from each state. Congress makes laws for the country and makes sure that all agencies obey them. The executive branch is headed by the President, who is the head of state and the head of the military. He also talks with leaders from other countries. The judicial branch has judges and attorneys who make sure that people follow the laws that Congress passes.