The Basics of Government


Government is a set of rules created by adults that citizens must follow. It sets the parameters for people’s everyday behavior and protects citizens from other governments or individuals that might harm them. It also provides a structure by which valuable goods and services can be made available to people.

Governments come in many different forms. Generally, the way they work is that a group of people with big responsibilities are elected by citizens to make laws for everyone in a particular area or region. The governing body usually includes the legislative branch, executive branch and judiciary. The three branches check each other to ensure no one person or group has too much power.

The judicial branch is important because it decides whether or not laws are fair and equal. The other two branches, the legislative and executive, take care of the daily functions of the government, like drafting bills to create laws and funding those bills. The judicial branch also makes sure the laws and the way they are enforced agree with the Constitution, which is the document that tells how the government will function.

It’s hard to imagine how private business could protect the United States from attack without a large military. Governments also have the unique ability to raise funds, or taxes, and to spend them for their citizens. This gives them a great deal of power over how much people must pay to get services, such as schools, police and fire departments, and public parks.

A government is also responsible for protecting the environment and ensuring the freedom of speech. The founders of the United States put a lot of thought into how to create a system of government that would work well for all people. They knew that a system that gave a small group of people too much power caused problems. So they designed the legislative, executive and judicial branches of their new country to be balanced.

In the United States, a legislative branch is the Congress, and it consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives has 435 members, and the number is based on each state’s population. The Senate has 100 senators. Both branches must approve of all legislation before it becomes law. If a bill is not approved by the president, it is called a veto. After a veto, both chambers must re-approve the legislation for it to become law.

The other main role of the federal government is to regulate commerce. It keeps the country safe by regulating products like drugs, food, toys and other goods. The regulatory process helps people find the right balance between the benefits of a product and its risks to health, safety or the environment. It also helps companies by providing consistency in the amount of money they receive from the government over a long period of time. This consistency allows companies to plan for the future and invest in their business.