Societies of people established governments to help regulate law and order. When the United States became a nation, rather than just a colony of Britain, those who stepped into leadership roles developed the United States Constitution. This document established the roles and functions of the United States Government as we know them today.
In the Federal Government, there are three main branches. Congress is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives and is responsible for creating the laws based on the populace’s needs in their states. The citizens of the country elect those who hold positions in Congress. Each state has two Senators, and the state’s population determines how many representatives are in the lower branch of Congress.
The presidency (who is elected by the people), vice presidency, the cabinet, and those nominated by the president to carry out their orders make up the Executive Branch. The executive branch is responsible for enforcing the laws of the government.
The Supreme Court makes up the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch’s role is to interpret the Constitution and determine whether the laws that Congress makes and the Executive enforces are legal. The three branches of government are separate but equal. Their primary function is to protect, serve, and carry out the tasks of order that the people decide, ensuring their safety and well-being.
The Federal, State, and Local governments all have different functions. The Federal Government may play a role in state affairs when it comes to distributing funding. However, the Federal Government maintains systems that benefit all United States citizens, not just a particular region, except in a case of civil unrest or natural disaster.
The federal government is allowed to do several things that state governments cannot. First and foremost, with the establishment of the Bill of Rights, the federal government sets the foundation of freedom within our society. The Bill of Rights guarantees individuals the ability of free speech, press, and assembly; the right to bear arms; due process of law; and the right to privacy. These rights are the foundation of what makes the United States have the identity that it does. Because of the federal government’s role of protecting that right, Americans enjoy the essence of being a free society.
One of the primary functions of the federal government is to protect its citizens. The federal government can create an army and to declare war. It can also create a National Guard, which promotes law and order within a country if the state governments need assistance. The Federal Government also has the authority to disburse aid to the international communities.
Another primary function of the federal government is to maintain infrastructure. Federal infrastructure includes the central railroad systems, bridges, and roadways. Taxes are collected to make sure that people can conduct interstate travels.
Based on acts passed by Congress, the federal government also can assist in domestic affairs. Assistance is typically carried out through various agencies in the executive branch. Some of these include food and drug regulation, administrative of social benefits like health care and food assistance, and to assist in Veteran Affairs. Many agencies help regulate domestic affairs, ensuring that citizens from all states are supported at a basic level if they qualify.
Internationally speaking, only the federal government has the authority to regulate trade and commerce. It also can intercede with foreign affairs if it deems necessary. Actions in foreign affairs include supplying humanitarian aid, establishing order, and working in international groups like the United Nations on behalf of the United States’ citizens. The Federal Government also can borrow money, lend money, and acquire new territories.
The United States also runs the US Postal Service. Since the postal service is one of the oldest forms of delivering communications across the country, it is regulated and paid for by the federal government.
There are many things that the federal government does not do. First, it does not have the right to stomp on state governments’ rights. Although they provide some state funding to state governments, they cannot regulate state affairs. For example, the federal government can mandate that citizens have to make at least a certain amount of money per hour, but states can create a higher regulation that people need to make more than that. States can also provide other services that go beyond what the federal government does.
Many individuals think that the federal government is too large and those who think it is too small. This argument has been around since the establishment of the Constitution. Political parties often align to this division as well. However, the federal government provides the basic framework that allows a set baseline of what its citizens should receive.
To pay for all of these services, the United States government imposes taxes on individuals in the form of an income tax. State and local governments also can tax their constituents. The Internal Revenue Service, an agency of the executive branch’s Department of the Treasury, collects the taxes. Tax revenue is then budgeted by Congress each year.
Without a federal government, the United States would be at constant risk of being overtaken by an outside entity. There would be a massive difference between the states, within no regulation of any infrastructural system (economic or transportation), which would create enormous chaos. Also, without a federal government, states could ultimately have more control over individuals’ rights without having to adhere to any basic standards. A federal government provides a sense of uniformity while still allowing each of its own unique identities.
The United States Federal Government provides a necessary foundation for an order for its citizens. It ensures that commerce is efficient, there is a primary communication delivery level, areas experiencing natural disasters receive aid, and that citizens receive basic needs to survive. The Constitution serves as the rule book for this level of government. Each respective branch of government, and the balance of power therein, ensures basic fundamental rights for all citizens of the country.
Jump to top