Government and Its Intended Purpose

Washington DC , Capitol Building - detail, US

( – “Government” is commonly defined by dictionaries as the overarching system that governs a nation, state, or community. This includes the people who serve within it. But what exactly does that mean? When this system is governing a nation, state, or community what purpose do they really serve?

Establish Laws

The government is responsible for establishing the law. This doesn’t mean that it creates them; laws are set forth by individuals or those that represent them. What it does mean is that the government embraces the rule of law: everyone, all members of society and institutions alike must abide by the same laws.

This includes individuals who administer the law, such as judges or police officers. By enacting laws the government ensures that everyone is protected and held accountable for their own actions equally.

Maintain Order and Security

By recognizing the rule of law, the government has the ability to maintain order and provide security to the people. This is sometimes referred to as “insuring domestic tranquility.” It accomplishes this feat via institutions such as the criminal justice system, which protects citizens, and the civil justice system, which settles disputes. The Department of Justice goes a step further to provide protection to those who have had their constitutional rights violated.

Protection from External Threats

Government isn’t just responsible for the security of citizens within its borders. It must also ward off attacks from outside of country borders, too. This includes external threats such as terrorist attacks and cyber espionage.

The government maintains a military force for defense purposes. If needed, it has the ability to declare war, support international security, or even sign treaties and international agreements. It can even send ambassadors to travel to other countries to support US interests.

Provide General Welfare

Governments provide happiness and well-being to their society through a vast amount of services. These supports range from public education to programs designed to provide an income to the poor and/or aged. They also aid the population by ensuring access to important necessities, such as clean water and access to public education.

The Government’s intended purpose is to establish laws, but this is far from all it provides to the American people. It also upholds order, justice, and national security while ensuring the general welfare of the citizens it governs. Although it’s far from perfect, it effectively upholds individualism, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness when it succeeds.

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