Reichstag Building in Berlin, Germany

When thinking of the government, what comes to mind for most Americans is a president, our two-party system, and three separate branches of government. Most countries are much older than the United States so their governments have a very complex history. Some of my favorite experiences abroad have been learning about other governments and visiting government centers.

On a personal trip to London last summer, I visited the Palace of Westminster. This was a long tour that I had to book months in advance but 100% worth it! I learned so much about the Parliamentary system. I had just assumed it was similar to the United States's government but they have many core differences. After visiting the Palace of Westminster, I hope to visit government buildings on my trips abroad. 

In Prague, we visited the Prague Castle. Prague has a semi-presidential system so they have a Prime Minister and President. The Prime Minister essentially has the power of the President in the U.S., where as the President is a figurehead. The Czech President's residence is the Prague Castle. The Czech people have a long history of being oppressed by neighboring countries. Learning about their growth at the heart of the city is so powerful. 

In Berlin, we visited the Reichstag Building. The Bundestag (German Parliament) meets at the Reichstag. Germany has had many different governments in power over the last hundred years. The Reichstag building has played a major role in representing the government of the German people. The history books mention the terror of the Nazis and the frustration of the people behind the Berlin Wall, but it is surreal to be in the place where it all took place. 

The established government in which we live plays a major role in our lives. Learning about other nations' governments provides a new perspective when looking at other countries and to our own government.