Government is the system of rules that a society creates to organize its people, protect its citizens from outside interference, and provide for its well-being. Governments vary widely, but they typically include three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. Governments create a set of laws and enforce those laws by imposing sanctions on those who break them. Governments also provide for their citizens in ways that range from providing health care and education to building roads and preventing crime.

Governments are usually based on some form of popular democracy. This means that the people who govern the nation or state select their leaders by election or a system of hereditary succession and assign them responsibilities in accordance with a democratic philosophy. In this type of government, the rights and needs of citizens are considered and the powers of the governing body are limited in order to prevent tyranny. Other important features of a democratic government include majority rule with minority rights, accountability, and checks and balances.

Another basic function of governments is regulating public access to resources like natural lands and wildlife. Unlike private goods, which people may use without charge at any time, these types of resources are limited and can become depleted in a short period of time. Therefore, governments regulate public access to these resources in order to protect them for future generations.

Government also provides stability and security to its citizens through the military and in other forms such as police departments and fire stations. The types of services offered by government vary, but they are often essential to the daily lives of people such as mail delivery and the ability to go to school or work.

Most countries have a Constitution, which is a document that defines the structure and functions of the country’s government. It explains how the governmental structure is organized and what types of powers are assigned to each branch.

The United States Constitution divides government responsibilities into the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The legislative branch enacts legislation and appropriates funds to operate the government. The executive branch carries out the policies enacted by Congress and oversees the work of the judicial branch, which interprets laws and rules to judge controversies that come before it.

The judicial branch decides whether or not laws are constitutional, and it has the final say in cases that have no clear resolution. In this branch, the judges are elected by the people and are bound to abide by the law and rules established by the Constitution. The judicial branch also has the power to overturn laws that are not constitutional. In addition, the judicial branch has a role in ensuring that the executive and legislative branches follow the Constitution. The judiciary also has the authority to impeach and remove members of the legislature.