Top Main Types of Government & Purpose of Government
A government is a group of people who can rule over a community like a state or a country. We highlight the types of governments that rule over countries. There are a few key things that make up a government
- Government make laws
- Collect taxes governments
- Have a justice system that decides punishments for breaking the law governments.
- Have militaries that can defend the country or invade other countries and
- Governments have a leader.
But even with all of these similarities, not all governments are the same. There are three main types of government autocracy, democracy, and oligarchy.
An autocracy is a government where one person controls all power. In an autocracy, The leader does not have to follow the law or listen to what the people want. This type of power is called supreme power.
The two most common forms of autocracy are absolute monarchs and dictators.
An absolute monarch is usually a king, and the King’s child will become the country’s next leader. And a dictatorship, the leader usually makes it against the law to disagree with the government. A person who disagrees with a dictator is called a dissident and can be arrested.
This one might be more familiar to you; a democracy is a government system often called the rule of the people where most citizens could vote and elect people to rule the country in a certain way.
In democracies, there are political parties. These are organizations of citizens who share the same beliefs on how they should solve problems that help citizens and interact.
In other countries, there are two main types of democracies. There are direct democracies where every citizen represents their own opinion and phones on every law and decision in the government.
The other type is a representative democracy where the citizens vote for other people who will vote on all of the government’s laws and decisions. The United States is a representative democracy.
As Citizens, we vote for a president and legislators like senators and members of the House who write and vote on the country’s laws and policies.
An Oligarchy is called the rule of the few where all of the power is in a few people’s hands. Usually, this small group of people are very rich and are in the same family. Even though there is more than one leader, an oligarchy is not like a democracy; only a few select people have the power to make new laws or change things in the country.
There are many types of oligarchies that some of the most common ones are aristocracy and theocracy. An aristocracy is ruled by people who claim to be better and of higher status than the rest of the citizens.
Usually, they are rich and have lots of privileges, and schooling in a theocracy or a group of religious leaders who runs the government in a theocracy. All of the laws of the government are the rules of the countries.
A quick summary; an autocracy has a supreme leader who does not have to follow any laws like a king or a dictator. A democracy has leaders that are voted in by the citizens, and the citizens have a say in what the laws should be. An oligarchy has a few who are the only ones able to change laws, and the citizens cannot vote them out.
All three of these types of governments exist in the world today. There are many theories about how the government should be organized. These types of ideas are called Civics. It’s important to learn about Civics so you can be an informed citizen.
Primary Purposes of Government
The primary purposes of government are four-fold to
- Establish laws
- Maintain order
- Protect citizens from external threats and
- Promote the general welfare by providing public services
Governments Enact Laws
First, all governments enact laws. However, the lawmaking process and systems vary from country to country.
In an absolute monarchy or dictatorship, laws are proclaimed by a rule. In a democracy, laws are made by the people or, more commonly, their elected representatives. Central to a democratic government is the principle of the rule of law, the idea that all people and institutions within a state are subject to the same laws.
These laws must be publicly recorded, enforced equally across the population, and interpreted by an independent and unbiased body such as a judicial branch. Both the governed and those who govern are equally protected and accountable for their actions.
Government Maintain Order
The second purpose of the government is to maintain order. All governments work to establish order and security but the underlying goal of that purpose can vary. Under an authoritarian government, the purpose of establishing order is, in large part, to maintain the stability and security of the regime democratic governments. The rule of law or a commitment to laws is used to maintain order and provide security within the state.
The preamble to the Constitution calls this ensuring domestic tranquility. This tranquility includes providing institutions such as the criminal justice system, which has the role of protecting citizens from physical harm to destruction or theft of personal property.
The government also institutes the Civil Justice System as a mechanism citizens can use to settle disputes, another key component, and maintain order and or security.
Government Protect Citizens
The third purpose of the government is to protect citizens from external threats. The protection provided by the government is not confined to maintaining order within its borders; the state also provides security from external threats. This includes physical attacks such as terrorism, and invisible tax, such as cyber espionage.
Moreover, the government has the authority to raise and maintain a military for defense purposes and the power to war. It can promote International Security by participating in diplomatic and signing treaties and other international agreements and sending ambassadors to other countries to represent the country and its interest.
Government Provide General Services
The fourth primary purpose of government is to provide for the general welfare. The word welfare, in this sense, refers to a state of happiness and well-being within society. Governments provide a range of services. To achieve this general-purpose from public education, financial support to the old maintaining a safe and efficient infrastructure such as highways and bridges and providing clean water access. All governments share this general purpose.
They implement this goal to different degrees; social welfare states such as those found in much of Europe provide extensive government services, including free public education, income support in government, and healthcare. In the United States, with its strong emphasis on individualism, liberty, and free markets, the government plays a less active role in promoting welfare.