What Is Government?


Government is a system through which a nation or community exercises authority and has rules for how people live together. It also makes laws that try to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and that people can get what they need.

Usually governments have laws that try to keep crime low and protect the environment, for example. They also have other laws that make sure people can live and work safely. Governments make rules about things like who can own land and how much it costs to buy a house. Governments try to help make life better by providing goods and services that people need, like public education, roads, mail delivery, police protection, fire fighting, and health care. Governments also try to make sure that people can find jobs and are paid a fair wage for their work.

Some of these government services are free, or at least available for a lower cost than what private businesses would charge to provide them. These are called “public goods.” Governments provide them because they are important to everyone, not just a few wealthy people. Governments may also offer other valuable goods and services that cannot be provided by the private sector. For example, they provide security and stability in the form of a military and other services. They also provide services that give people a chance to develop their skills and improve their lives, such as libraries and parks.

Most nations and communities have different forms of government, but they all have the same basic features. They have leaders, who are elected by citizens, to decide on policy and rules. Then they have departments and other agencies to put those rules into practice. Governments typically have three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial.

In the United States, the President is the head of the Executive Branch and he signs the bills that Congress passes into law. The Executive Branch also includes the Vice President and heads of other executive departments. The Senate has 100 members, two per state, and the President must get the approval of the Senate for some key government appointments, such as cabinet members and federal judges.

The judicial branch evaluates the legality of laws that Congress and the other branches pass. The Supreme Court has nine Justices, nominated by the President and approved by the Senate. Governments have a lot of power, so they must be watched carefully to make sure they do not abuse it. They must balance security against freedoms, such as the right to free speech and the press. This system of checks and balances is an important part of a democratic government. The Constitution of the United States sets out the limits on what each branch can do.