According to the Constitution of the United States, the federal government was established for six specific purposes. These purposes include unity, justice, domestic tranquility, defense, promotion of the general welfare of the citizens and securing liberty for all. While many people disagree on how the government should accomplish these purposes, the fundamentals established over 200 years ago still hold true.
Many political theorists feel that the primary purpose of government is to protect its citizens, both from one another and from outside attack. Over the years, the concept of protection has been expanded to include far more than protection from foreign enemies. Most people now feel that the government's purpose includes protecting citizens from economic disarray, which can range from protection from individual or household want or loss to protection from the loss of value of the national currency. In addition, government protection also often includes protecting citizens from exploitation, from unsafe or unfair business practices, from consumer fraud or dangerous food and products and from crime perpetrated by fellow citizens. While citizens at times disagree on the extent to which government should insert itself into the choices and freedoms of some of its citizens in an effort to protect other citizens, the protective nature of government remains its most crucial purpose.