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What is the purpose of government?

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Political philosophers have been debating this question for millennia. Early texts that record the names of rulers and the underlying principles of their rule include those from the kingdom of Ur, dating to about 2100 B.C.

Divine right was a foundational principle in Europe under the monarchy systems that long predominated. This concept meant that government emanated out from the person of the monarch and expressed God's will.

In the newly founded United States, which was established as a democratic republic, the idea that the government represented the people was encoded in the U.S. Constitution. The Preamble states that the federal government's purpose is to

establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and...

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