What is government?

   Government is a term used to describe the different agencies by which any given community or state defines its will.
   The earliest form of government was the patriarchal. As man developed his social instincts, and began to live in communities, the family became the political unit, and the head of a family was the absolute ruler over all the members of that unit. As population increased, and social relations became more complex, a more complete political organization became necessary, and gradually three distinct types of government developed: the oligarchic, the monarchic, and democratic. An oligarchy is a government in which the ruling power is vested in the hands of a few men. Such was Athens under the eupatrids. In a monarchy, the executive power is vested in a single person, usually hereditary, whose power is either absolute or limited by a constitution. Until the first two decades of the 20th century, Russia and Turkey furnished excellent examples of absolute monarchies where the sovereign's will was law; England, on the other hand, is the best example of a limited monarchy, where the real power is not in the sovereign's hands. In a democratic government, the supreme power rests in the hands of the people, and is exercised by them directly, in which case we call it a democracy; or through representatives, when it becomes a republic. No state at the present time is a pure democracy; under the reforms of Cleisthenes, Athens was for a time a true democracy. The United States, France, and Switzerland are examples of republics.