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Essay on The Purpose of Government

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Published: Mar 14, 2024

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different forms of government essay

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  • Political Science

the forms of government

Updated 21 December 2022

Subject Political Science ,  Politics

Downloads 37

Category Government ,  World

Topic Countries ,  Democracy ,  Dictatorship

Different Systems of Governance

Different systems of governance are found in different countries around the world. Dictatorships, democracies, and monarchies are the three most common forms of government. However, under the democratic system of government, there are other minor styles, such as federal and liberal governance. The United States of America and the United Kingdom are two of the most advanced nations in terms of administration. The operations and structure of the states, however, vary. The United States is governed by a territorial and parliamentary republic, while the United Kingdom is governed by a constitutional monarchy-parliament system (Watts, 2004). It is important to note that these two forms of government are considered to be democratic.

Outline of American Government

The American system of government is governed by the constitution of the country. America has one of the most advanced and well-written constitutions in the world. The constitution outlines the process of electing the head of state and stipulates the length of the term. The government has three arms namely the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. The head of the state is a president who is elected into office by the people after every four years. The term of the president is limited to two terms of four years each. In the states that make up the United States, there are federal districts each one with its own governor who acts as the head of the state government (U.S. Department of State, 2013).

The legislative arm of the government is made up of two houses namely; the House of Representatives and the Senate. The public directly elects members of both these houses. The separation of powers allows the legislature to introduce all the bills which are discussed in the two houses. On the judiciary side, the president appoints the members of the supreme court. However, competitive elections are held to determine to choose the judges in over 39 states of the United States. Other notable elements in the American government is the political parties. America has only two political parties namely the Republicans who are the Right of center party and conservatives, and the Democrats who are the Left of Center party and liberals (U.S. Department of State, 2013). The formation of the American government highly relies on the electoral process with the elected head of state being in charge of leading the whole country.

Outline of British Government

The government is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch. The head of the state is either a king or queen and the head of the government is the prime minister. The head of the state is hereditary. The only elections that are conducted in which the public participates is the electing the members of the parliament to represent them. The country does not have a single formal written constitution, but their constitution is formed from various sources including statue law, case laws, and international treaties (Mustad, & Langeland, 2012). The prime minister is responsible for choosing the cabinet members who head various departments of the government.

The legislature of the British government is made up of two houses namely; the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is made up of members of parliament that have been elected by the public whereas the members of the House of Lords are appointed. The government is accountable to the parliament because it owes its existence to the parliament. The prime minister is appointed courtesy of being the leader of the party with the majority members in the House of Commons. The parliament is the sovereign body in the British government meaning that the parliament is supreme than the executive and the judicial bodies in the country (Watts, 2004). The judiciary in the British government is not appointed based on a political basis hence the courts can avoid making decisions which are regarded as favors to a particular political party.

Comparison of the Two Governments

Several similarities can be observed in both the American and the British governments. First, in both countries, there is the legislative arm of the government that is made up of two houses. The United States has the Senate and the House of Representatives while in the U.K there is the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Secondly, there are two prominent and dominant parties in both of these countries (Marsh, 2008). Although several parties exist in Britain, there are two major parties which determine the government of the country which is a similar case in the United States. Lastly, government departments in both of these countries are headed by cabinet members known as the secretary of state who are appointed by the head of state and government in the U.S. and the U.K., respectively.

The American system of government was inspired by the British example. However, when comparing the two, several differences can be noted. First, the head of state in the United States is the president who is elected. On the other hand, the head of state in the United Kingdom is the monarch which is hereditary. The prime minister is the head of the government and is appointed courtesy of being the leader of the majority party. Secondly, the two countries differ in a formal constitution that governs the country (Mustad, & Langeland, 2012). The U.S. has a constitution that was written in 1787 and acts as the supreme law whereas the U.K. does not have a formal written constitution. The country uses an entire body of laws and principles to run the government. Lastly, the period of the head of the state in the U.S. is limited to two terms of four years each while the term of the prime minister in the U.K. is not set to a specific period.

To conclude, both of these governments have an element of democracy in them. However, the American form of government is more effective than the British government in helping citizens on a day-to-day basis. The citizens in America play a key role in the formation of the government hence the government is wholly responsible for ensuring that all the needs of the public are addressed.

Marsh, D. (2008). Understanding British government: Analysing competing models. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 10(2), 251-268. Mustad, j. E., & Langeland, A. E. (2012) British and American Politics. Retrieved from: https://ndla.no/en/node/89062?fag=71082 U.S. Department of State. (2013). Outline of American Government. Retrieved from: https://photos.state.gov/libraries/amgov/30145/publications-english/1310_Outline_of_US_Government_English_TEXT_Low_WEB.pdf Watts, D. (2004). Understanding US: A Comparative Guide. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

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  1. What Kinds of Governments Exist?

    Right-wing or conservative governments prioritize individual freedom over government intervention in society. For example, they tend to believe that a free market is critical to economic efficiency. Conservatives believe that excessive government regulation can stifle innovation and competitiveness.

  2. Essay on The Purpose of Government

    One of the key functions of government is to ensure the safety and security of its citizens. This is achieved through the establishment of laws, enforcement of regulations, and the maintenance of a justice system. Without government intervention, chaos and anarchy would reign, leading to a breakdown of social order and widespread conflict.

  3. the forms of government

    Different systems of governance are found in different countries around the world. Dictatorships, democracies, and monarchies are the three most common forms of government. However, under the democratic system of government, there are other minor styles, such as federal and liberal governance. The United States of America and the United Kingdom ...