Government - Characteristics of Government

len Alfred Ajibola - Sun, 29th December, 2019 @ 13:47

Topics in Government

Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, First Term Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, Second Term Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, Third Term Concept, Advantages and Disadvantages of Multi-Party System Concept, Advantages and Disadvantages of Two-Party System Pressure Group: Types of Pressure Group Characteristics of Pressure Group Constitution - Types of Constitution Government - Scope of Government Government - Characteristics of Government Government - Importance of Government One-Party System explained Multi-Party System explained with its Characteristics Party System: Zero Party System Two-Party System explained with its Characteristics Democracy and Types of Democracy Democracy - Characteristics of Democracy Government - Types and Forms of Government Government - Functions of Government What is Government? Definitions of Government

Academic Questions in Government

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The absence of government in a country or state is referred to as _____.

  • A. chaos
  • B. doom
  • C. oligarchy
  • D. autocracy
  • E. anarchy
  • F. meritocracy

The definition of democracy as "Government of the people, by the people and for the people" is a concept of _____.

  • A. John F. Kennedy
  • B. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • C. Aristotle
  • D. George W. Bush
  • E. Kamala Harris
  • F. Abraham Lincoln

A form of government where the wealthy rule the people is known as _____.

  • A. plutocracy
  • B. timocracy
  • C. technocracy
  • D. meritocracy
  • E. richocracy
  • F. autocracy

Which of the following countries isn't a result of the disintegration of the Soviet Union (USSR)?

  • A. Malta
  • B. Latvia
  • C. Moldova
  • D. Estonia
  • E. Georgia
  • F. Uzbekistan

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Characteristics of Government:

Recall that government is an institution or agency that is established to manage the affairs and general welfare of the people that make up a state or country.

As an instance, within your country, you probably have got good roads, clean water, good healthcare system and quality educational system; all of which are a function of your government; (that is; it is your government that makes these infrastructures possible).

Please read on the Functions of Government here.

Note: Government as an entity has its various characteristics or features that defines it.

Below are some of the observable features of a Government:

1. Law

It is the function of the government to make law; and these laws are entrenched in the constitution.

Please read on the Constitution here.

To be more specific, the legislative arm of government is responsible for the making of law. For this reason, people will often refer to the legislators as the lawmakers of a country or state.

Please read on the Arms of Government here.


2. Power

The government has the ability to exercise authority over its citizens because it wields political power.

Take for instance, the Minister of Housing (who is also a part of the Government) may approve the demolishment of buildings in a certain community in order to recreate a better design for such community.

From the above instance, the owners of such buildings may disagree with the opinion of the minister; and the best they can do regarding their disagreement is to go to another arm of government and that’s through the courts.

Please read on the subject "Government" and Definitions of Government here.

Note: Remember that the Judges and Justices (of various courts) are a part of the government since they make up the judiciary arm of government.


3. Revenue

Since it’s the role of the government to give its citizens security, good roads, quality education and other good stuffs, then a lot of money will be needed to accomplish these purposes.

Government must therefore generate revenue (money) through various means such as:


4. Legitimacy or Public Support

Every government must be generally recognized and accepted by the people.

Ideally, a good government is never imposed on the people as we had seen or heard in military and dictatorship rule.

Please read on the various Forms of Government here.

Note: The legitimately of a government is a function of democracy.

Democracy means government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Abraham Lincoln.

Please read on the Types of Democracy here.

Note: Power is vested on the people in democracy. This power is exercised in the choosing of their leaders through their votes.

Please read on the Fundamental Human Rights here.


5. Periodic Change

No government is permanent. This means that no government can rule forever.

Taking Nigeria as a reference, an election must be conducted once every four years so that her citizens can choose their President, Governors, Senators, Local Government Chairmen and so on. This is what democracy entails; and as a result, no one can rule forever in a democratic system of government.

Please read on Democracy and its Characteristics here.


6. Workforce

Every government must have men and women who will assist in implementing and interpreting the various government policies in the civil space.

Please read on Civic Responsibility and "Who is a Citizen?" here.

I want to assume that you probably would know someone who works with or for the government of your country.

Please read on the Meaning, Scope and Importance of Business Studies here.

Note: The workforces are paid by the government for their respective jobs.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in Government


Anarchy is one of the forms of government. Ironically, it is the absence of government in a society, country or state.

An instance of anarchy occurred in Somalia in 1991 after a dictator name Said Barre was overthrown. This made Somalia disintegrate into fractions with local warlords imposing their authority over their land/area.

Other forms of government includes:

  1. Oligarchy
  2. Colonialism
  3. Monarchy
  4. Communism
  5. Federalism
  6. Dictatorship
  7. Democracy
  8. Meritocracy
  9. Autocracy
  10. Aristocracy 

Please read on the various forms of government here

Democracy is a form of government where the power of choosing a leader is vested on the people. It represents a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

According to Abrahim Lincoln,

Democracy means government of the people, by the people and for the people.

In democracy, the citizens have the rights to vote and be voted for. The citizens are mandated to choose their preferred candidate by voting for them through their political party. In fact, this voting process is considered as one of the civic responsibility of every citizen.

Please read on the fundamental Human Rights here.

NOTE: No one is above the rule of law in the democratic system. If the election outcome does not reflect the mandate of the people, a court of competent jurisdiction can nullify such election.

Democracy is practiced in countries like Nigeria, United States of America, India and South Africa.