The Role of Government Explained

In a civilized society, there are teams of people who run the cities, states, and the country. These teams of people are called government. Through a country's electoral system, people get elected to be part of the government.

Government is a system or teams of people that governs or runs an organized society. It consists of all the laws and public services in a country, a state, a city or a town, as well as all of the people that enforce those laws and provide those services.

The word government comes from the Latin word gubernar, literally means to rule or to steer.

A government wields supreme power to make laws and administer the affairs of a society. Interestingly, laws are rules that keep us safe and help us work together.

Government also makes sure we all follow those laws. Even easy things cannot be done without laws. Imagine if the government did not control things like streets and traffic! For example, would you want to cross the street if people drove their cars too fast?

The government serves the people in many ways, from the police department to the post office. Government also keeps people safe by punishing those who break the laws.

A government runs a school, a city, a state, or a country. It makes decisions because it is in charge. In addition, a government also runs important organizations, such as the military.

If there is a natural disaster, such as a hurricane Opens in new window or a pandemic, such as the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Opens in new window, the government steps in to help. Most governments are run using money from taxes collected from the people. Taxes provide the money that is needed for schools, roads, parks, and other services such as police and firefighters.

The Emergence of Government

The emergence of government arose as a result of people living and working in relation to one another. In earliest times, there were no governments because there were so few people who spent their time just surviving.

These ancient people lived with their families or in small groups called clans Opens in new window. They moved around a lot, so they didn’t have a need for laws or a system of order. Instead, the few adults in a family or group made the decisions about where to live or how to find food.

But overtime, people began to cultivate farms instead of hunting and gathering for food, they moved less and instead began to settle in places. They formed societies and lived together in cities and towns.

As people lived in larger and larger groups, it became harder to make decisions. They needed leaders to run things and settle disputes, so they began to establish governments.

Some of the earliest examples of government were in ancient Greece. During this period, people lived in separate city-states, which were like very large cities. Each city-state had its own government. Some were run by kings, while others were run by small groups of rich landowners.

In the city-state of Athens, the citizens ran the government. This form of government is known as a democracy.

In a democracy Opens in new window, the people hold the power and choose their leaders.

The free men who were citizens of ancient Athens came together in large meetings to discuss issues and to decide how to vote. Soon, other city states followed Athen’s example.

Levels of Government

There are three levels of government (local, state, and federal government). Each level of government has its own responsibilities. Every level makes sure not to do the work of another level. All levels communicate and work in relation with each other.

Local government handles many smaller projects in the community. This may be something simple such as fixing a sidewalk or cutting the grass in the park. They perform larger projects as well, such as building libraries where people can study or borrow books.

State government makes many laws, especially laws against crime. It also makes laws for schools and families. These laws treat everyone who lives in the state equally.

The federal government also makes laws and decides how to spend our tax money. It runs the military, which keeps us safe. The U.S has one federal government and 50 different state governments. It also has up to 90,000 smaller local governments.