The Evolution of Government

Government is the entity that makes the rules for society, provides security, manages economic affairs and foreign policy, and delivers public services. Government is also responsible for protecting the environment and the natural resources of a nation. Governments make laws, enforce those laws, and judge conflicts between the laws. The founding fathers of the United States created a system of government called the Constitution that breaks it down into three branches: the legislative branch, executive branch, and judicial branch. As the number one purchaser of goods and services in the United States, the Federal Government offers a great opportunity to grow revenue and income for companies that work with it. Contracts are generally awarded on a multi-year basis, giving a company the ability to budget revenue over a defined time frame.

When the concept of government first evolved, it was based on a recognition that people needed protection against attack from outside and within. Because a group could not protect itself without being organized and having the authority to tax and compel citizen compliance, governments developed as entities that took charge of a nation or a group of nations.

As societies grew more complex, the need for more power became apparent. People discovered that it was easier to stay together and protect themselves if a single leader had supreme power over all members of the group, which led to the development of monarchy, oligarchy, and other forms of government with centralized control.

In the eighteenth century in Great Britain’s North American colonies and later in France, a new idea emerged. The idea was that the citizens had a better way of governing themselves than a king did and that a government should be by the people and for the people. This concept became the foundation of modern democracy.

Different governments have different purposes. Some focus on social programs that benefit the whole population. For example, the United States has a long tradition of programs designed to provide jobs, payments, and food for the poorest among us. Other countries have national health insurance, and many of them have substantial welfare programs that help their residents survive when their private resources run dry.

What distinguishes one form of government from another is the method by which the leaders are selected and the degree to which a government is accountable to its citizens. There are no two governments that are exactly alike, as every country has its own unique mix of socioeconomic and historical factors. Nevertheless, it is possible to categorize types of governments based on the principle that they are either of the few (oligarchy and monarchy), the many (democracy), or both. Governments may also be classified based on the extent to which they support the ideals of liberty and national security. If a government supports the latter, it will support greater restrictions on the ability of law enforcement agencies to tap citizens’ phones and limit what they can publish in the media.