The Functions of Government

Essay by buster507College, UndergraduateA-, December 2007

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The ancient Greeks once said that the government has only one purpose, to improve the lives of its citizens. There are many ways that a government tries to improve the lives of its citizens. Sometimes they are successful and other times they may not. Either way, government regimes have organized many institutions that work to improve the lives of their citizens.

A state organizes a government to regulate and enforce many areas of their citizens. Areas like monitoring trade within and outside of the state, to ensure an education system of schools and colleges, and providing and monitoring medical treatment and healthcare for all citizens. Governments also establish order and safety through organizing a military for external defense of the state, a police organization for the internal enforcement of rules and regulation within the state. Governments provide infrastructure for transportation, like roads and bridges, sewers, water treatment in addition to maintaining that infrastructure.

They provide welfare programs to better the lives of its poorer citizens, insurance, and financing. They provide communication services like phone and electricity, an organized postal service. The list of functions that a government provides is endless.

Different forms of government may accomplish these functions in different ways. In a democracy, numerous institutions and a diverse set of practices are organized to ensure a state of structure and policy practices (Article 17). In a modern democracy, the rulers are held accountable for their actions by the states citizens, through competition in politics and the cooperation of other elected officials. What distinguishes a democratic regime to an authoritarian regime is how the officials come to power and the practices that hold them accountable for their actions by the process of voting by the citizens. The existence of elections in a democracy gives a great deal of power to...