As we look at government, let’s take a look at the root of the word: govern. Govern is a verb, meaning it’s an action or something we do. Govern means to direct and control; to regulate, influence or direct; to control or restrain or subdue (as in govern one’s passions); to direct or steer, to regulate the course (implies that one is directing something larger than oneself.
To control, restrain or subdue one’s passions suggests that there is a need for Self-Government. To regulate, influence, or direct is exactly what happens in Family Government when a father and mother consider what is best for each of their children individually and their family as a whole. Government at any other level than self and family is instituted to protect life and property of the individual and his or her family and their freedom.
Local Government reflects the efforts of a community to establish guidelines for the interactions of people living in close proximity daily. They work near each other, buy and trade together, share the same streets, et cetera and local government sets forth basic laws that people have agreed to live by in their community. These laws set the tone for the community and greatly influence what that community will be like. This form of government is essential.
The role of State Government, or Provincial Government, is to protect its citizens’ life, liberty, and property from criminals. All but the 13 original states in the United States of America had to petition the federal government to be included as equal and separate states in the Union. As part of this, they each had to have a written governing document, or state constitution, that they followed.
The Federal Government of the United States of America was unique when it was created. Because the Founders valued their independence, not only as colonies but as individuals, their efforts went into forming a government that could be run by individuals. Because they had seen what happens in monarchies and aristocracies, their efforts went into forming a government that required the common man to participate in his own government. Because they had seen what happens during bloody regime changes, the Founders set up a system for a peaceful transfer of power.
The more you learn about each of these forms of government, the more you understand your rights and responsibilities as an individual. You have a right and a responsibility to direct and control your own life and preserve your own freedom. The more you learn about government, in all its forms, the better you will be able to do that.
Click through each link on this page to begin your study of government, how each level differs, and what your part is in government. Choose to participate somehow in each level of government.
State Government Federal Government