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Chapter 7 The Building Blocks of Government

PLEASE NOTE: This book is currently in draft form; material is not final.

We may sometimes think of government as a monolithic force, acting in concert to achieve its ends like a well-trained team. In fact, government is a lot of people divided into a lot of different parts. These building blocks of government usually include some kind of legislature; an executive or person in charge; a court system; and the bureaucracy—the agencies charged with putting law into practice. Additionally, in a federal system, where the national government shares power with state or local governments, those smaller, sub-national governments also will be part of the system. Let us consider them piece by piece.