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The Basics of Government


Government is a group of people who make the rules that we live by and then makes sure they are followed. It also judges any conflicts between the rules. It is a large and important job. Governments are usually organized into branches with specific powers and functions, and the way these functions are distributed between these branches is often defined in a country’s constitution or other law.

Most of the world’s nations have some form of government. Some have one level of government for a city or county, while others have state governments and even national governments. Some have a single leader, while others allow citizens to choose who leads them through voting or other methods of direct democracy.

In the United States, we have a government called Congress that is responsible for making laws for the entire country. It is made up of two parts, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Each part has its own number of members, and the numbers are based on how many people each state has.

Congress makes laws by passing bills. If the President (executive branch) does not agree with a bill, he or she can use the power of veto to stop it from becoming law. If Congress wants to override a Presidential veto, it must do so with two-thirds of the members of each chamber. Congress can also change laws through amendments.

A government can raise money to pay for its programs by imposing taxes on income, property and sales. These funds are then allocated to local, state and federal governments so that they can provide goods and services. For example, on the local level, governments allot money to things like police and fire departments, schools, public transportation and the management of local parks. On the state and national levels, governments allot money for things like highways, universities and Social Security.

Many countries have a system of checks and balances that prevent any one branch of the government from getting too powerful. This system is set up in the Constitution that a nation’s founding fathers wrote. The Constitution divides the government into three branches: the legislative branch, executive branch and judicial branch.

The idea behind a constitutional republic is that the people should be able to elect their own leaders, and these elected officials should be accountable to the people through elections or other forms of direct democracy. Normally, a constitutional republic has a separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches, and the legislative and executive branch have to work together to pass laws. In some constitutions, the judicial branch has the ability to declare that laws or actions of a particular branch are unconstitutional. This is also known as judicial review. A growing trend in modern government is open data, which means that information about how a government operates is available to everyone and not just certain groups of people. This new strategy is an example of a check and balance on government power.