Government is the power, authority and control exercised over a state or community of people by a specific group. Governments make laws, collect taxes, enforce rules and regulations and provide services such as police departments, fire departments, postal service, roads, education and food. Government is a necessary part of the functioning of civilized societies. There are many different kinds of governments, from monarchies to democracies, from oligarchies to republics. The form of government that a country chooses is often based on its geography or climate, historical circumstance and the ideas and beliefs of its population. Governments have existed for thousands of years, and the concept has evolved to reflect new ideas and important events.

One of the biggest reasons why governments exist is to create rules that prevent conflicts among people, such as fights over property and privilege. Governments also protect its citizens from the dangers of outside forces, such as wars or natural disasters. Governments can also help people find jobs and give them money to live. They can also provide important goods and services that private companies cannot, such as national security and education. Governments can provide these services because they have the ability to tax, draw upon resources and compel citizen compliance.

The United States Congress, which makes the country’s laws, consists of two houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The members of each house are elected by the people from their state and represent all Americans. They work together in committees to make changes and decide which bills the whole House or Senate will vote on. If the majority of members in each house approve the bill, it becomes law. If the president disagrees with a bill, he or she can veto it. A veto stops the bill from becoming law, but Congress can override the president’s veto with a vote of 2/3 of its members in each house.

The executive branch, which makes decisions and oversees the legislative and judicial branches of the government, includes the president, vice president and cabinet members. There are also a number of independent federal agencies with missions and responsibilities as diverse as the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the president’s office has the statutory responsibility of enforcing the laws of the country and commanding the armed forces of the United States.