Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Government Definition:

Organization of law-making and law enforcement; the form and institutions by which law and order are developed and maintained in a society.

Related Terms: Monarchy, Legislative Branch, State, Crown, Constitution, Executive Branch, Judicial Branch , Republic

The law-making or legislative branch and administrative or executive branch and law enforcement and judicial branch and organizations of a society and from which issues and expresses, through law, in organized form, a state or a nation.

There are several forms of government, many having evolved in modern times only.

Tyranny and monarchy and, more recently, democracy are the traditional variations but even these have been tempered by constitutional limitations of the authority of a monarch, or the authority given to a president in a republic.

In addition, there are still socialist and communist government as well as those states, such as Arab states, which actively integrate religion and law-making.

While law-making is an essential role of government, leadership and policy-making is sometimes just as, if not, from time to time, more important. Max Aitken (1879-1964), known to some as Lord Beaverbrook, wrote this to Winston Churchill in February 1942:

"The people have lost confidence in themselves, and they turn to the Government, looking for a restoration of that confidence. It is the task of the Government to supply it."

Over a hundred years earlier, Thomas Jefferson had proposed:

"The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction, is the only object of good government."

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