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How Governments Work - Essay Example

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This paper discusses Constitutions and their purposes, various forms of governments, the duties and roles of each branch of government, how laws are enacted throughout the world, the purpose of democracies and how they differ from dictatorships…
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How Governments Work
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Download file to see previous pages All nations throughout the world have some form of government. Governments are intended to be in place to protect the governed. They help keep order in most societies, provide certain common services, and protect themselves from attack by hostile countries (in most cases). The way in which these governments were formed and their laws can vary. Not all nations provide for the same level of personal freedoms as others do. Lawmakers rely on written and unwritten rules to help them determine laws for their people. Most governments are run with their people’s best interests at heart while other governments are run for the sole purpose of satisfying the best interests of leaders.
A constitution can be defined as a “set of rules and customs written or unwritten, legally established by which a government conducts its affairs.” (Roskin, Medeiros, Jones & Cord, p. 46) Almost every nation has either a written or unwritten Constitution. They legally limit the authority of the government. Authority of the government is divided with laws enacted by one segment and administered by another, and an independent judiciary which acts to ensure that laws are administered fairly. Constitutions describe sections of government, their authority and individuals rights to freedom. These descriptions may change based on adaptations made on existing laws. The amendments of nearly any Constitution cannot be changed so easily however the way in which they are interpreted may change. In the United States the Supreme Court must make sure that the interpretations of various laws do not contradict the intended meaning of the Constitution. The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution changes as time passes. For example in Plessy vs. Ferguson “the Court ruled that state laws requiring racial segregation in public transportation did not necessarily violate the Fourteenth Amendment , which provides for equal protection under the laws, as long as the transportation facilities for whites and blacks were physically equal.” (Roskin, Cord, Medeiros & Jones, p.337) However many years later the Court ruled that separate public schools for blacks and whites were unconstitutional because they did not promote equality even though the children were educated in similar facilities. Society’s ideas about the rights of individuals had changed but the Constitution itself did not. Constitutions do not have the solution for every legal problem that can arise so it does not need to be specific. Interpretation of various laws would depend on who is in power and how it may be applied to certain incidents. High courts similar to the United States Supreme Court in thirty other nations have this decision making ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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