Politics impact our lives every day. Our political choices determine our government, which, in turn, determines whether we can vote or consume alcohol, how much we pay in taxes, whether we can serve in the armed forces, which utilities we use, where we can build a home, whether we can run a business in that home, how much money we can get as a loan for educational expenses, and even which types of food we eat. Just about everything in our lives is affected by politics and government.

The democratic system of government in the United States is just one way of organizing a political system. Throughout history, there have been many systems of government and many different types of democracies. Political science is the attempt to study politics and government in a systematic way in order to learn how power works. Political scientists study systems of government and democracies, as well as how governments relate to one another and how political systems change over time. As an academic discipline, political science is fairly new, but people have studied politics for thousands of years.

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