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Static Wikipedia: Italiano -Inglese (ridotta) - Francese - Spagnolo - Tedesco - Portoghese
 
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Government

From Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia written in simple English for easy reading.

A government is a group of people that has power in a territory, according to the law. This territory may be a country, a state or province, or have another name.

  • Governments make laws, receive taxes and print money, among other things.
  • Governments have systems of Justice that decide who are going to be punished by law, and who are not.
  • Governments have police to make sure people do as the laws say.
  • Governments have diplomats so that they can communicate to the governments of other countries, try to avoid war when it is possible, make commercial agreements with them, and exchange cultural or social experiences and knowledge.
  • Governments have a military that protects the country if other countries attack. The leader of a government and his/her advisors are called the administration.

[edit] Types of Governments

Democracy

  • The most common in the Western world is called democracy. In a democracy, people can organize themselves in groups called political parties. Different political parties have different ideas about how the government should handle different problems., and can elect representatives to the Parliament or Congress.

Monarchy

  • A monarchy is a government ruled by a king or a queen. There are 2 general types of monarchies, absolute monarchies and constitutional monarchies. In an absolute monarchy the ruler has no restrictions on his/her command or power. In a constitiutional monarchy a rulers boundries are set by a document usually made by the subjects of that ruler.

Dictatorship

  • Under dictatorship, the government is run by one person. This person may or may not be elected, but does not receive their power from their family, like under Monarchy. Dictatorship may be good or bad, depending on the leader. Many people dislike dictatorship because it has no freedom from the government.

Oligarchy

  • An oligarchy is a goverment ruled by a small group of powerful individuals . These people may divide power equally or not equally. An oligarchy is different then a true democracy because very few people are given the chance to change things. An oligarchy does not have to be herreditary or passed down from father to son. An oligarchy does not have one clear ruler but several powerful people. Often an oligarchy describes the real way another goverment is.

[edit] History and Theory of Government

The simplest idea of government is those who rule over people and land. This may be as small as a community with some sort of board that looks after the goings on of those who live within it or something a little larger like a village or as big as a continent (like Australia). Those people who rule the land can allow others to own it. It is a deed by government that gives this right in the way that laws describe. Some think they have the right to hold land without government permission. This view is called libertarianism. Others think they can do so together as a group with others if they live in peace, without government. This view is called anarchism.

Almost every place on Earth is connected to one and only one government. Places without government are where people follow traditions instead of government rules, small border disputed areas and the continent of Antarctica, because almost no people live there. For every place on Earth there is a government that claims sovereign control over it. The word "sovereign" is old and means "control by a King" (sovereign). Governments of villages, cities, counties and other communities are also subordinate to the government of the state or province where they exist, and then to that of the country.

It is from Kings and feudalism that modern governments and nation-states came. The capital of a country, for instance, is where the King kept his assets. From this we get the modern idea of capital in economics. A government is said to regulate trade as well as to rule over land.

Governments also control people and decide things about what morality to accept or punish. In very many countries, there are strict rules about sexual intercourse and drugs that are part of law and offenders are punished for disobeying them.

Tax is how government is paid for in most countries. People who buy, sell, import, invest, own a house or land, or earn money are made to pay some of the money to a government.

There are many theories of how to organize government better. These are called theories of civics. Because government is run by people who can be greedy, many people think leaders must be elected by some kind of democracy. That way, if government does not act nice, they can be replaced in the next election. Still many countries' governments are not a democracy but other forms in which only a few people have power.

There are many theories of how to run a government better, and keep people from hurting each other. These theories are part of politics. No matter how a government is chosen, it must do politics to keep power.

There are many ideas about how to settle a dispute without needing force or violence but by talking and trusting. This is part of ethics. When religion convinces people not to fight or rely on government, we say an ethical tradition is at work. Most law comes from traditions like that. The Ten Commandments is one group of laws like that.