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Civics and Citizenship

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Presentation on theme: "Civics and Citizenship"— Presentation transcript:

1 Civics and Citizenship

2 Civics It is the study of government and the rights and duties of citizens. Citizens are people who live in a specific community and have certain rights and duties and responsibilities as a result.

3 Rights Freedoms and protections that we, as citizens, are entitled to For example, freedom of speech, protections if we are accused of a crime, services from the government, etc…

4 Duties Things we must do as citizens For example, obey the laws, pay taxes, go to school until we’re at least 16, men must sign up for the draft, jury duty, etc…

5 Responsibilities Things we should do as citizens For example, be informed, volunteer, help others, vote, have gainful employment, graduate high school, etc…

6 Citizens Citizenship dates back more than 2,500 years to ancient Greece and Rome. It gives certain privileges to those holding it. Citizens are part of a country and its decisions- they share a common history, customs, values, etc…

7 Citizenship in America a. How is America diverse? b. Why do people come to America? c. What are some ideas that unite Americans?

8 Government A government is the ruling authority for a community that has the power to make and enforce laws. It can govern a small community like a town or a large community like a nation. Any organization that has the power to make and enforce laws and decisions for its members acts as a government.

9 Citizens Citizens agree to follow the laws and accept government authority in return for government services and protection. This is known as the social contract, an agreement between the people and their government where both sides get something and both sides give something up

10 Government There are many different forms of government. Government is considered necessary. No government is called anarchy and does not last long- the strongest member will generally take charge. Having no government is like trying to play a basketball game with no rules or referees.

11 Quick Question Why do we have government?

12 Purpose of a Government Keep order Protect the people Provide services Lead the people Make and enforce laws

13 Government Government makes it possible for people to live peacefully together. It sets up procedures to help its citizens deal with specific situations. Governments serve many purposes and offer many services and benefits to their citizens.

14 Government Governments keep order, settle conflicts, and offer protection. They provide services that individual citizens could not supply without help. They represent the community to other governments. They also guide the community and help plan for the future.

15 Government’s Roles When people live close together, conflicts are going to break out. Governments make laws to prevent and settle conflicts. Governments have power to enforce laws. Laws are rules citizens must follow. Governments set up law enforcement agencies and courts to do this.

16 Government’s Roles Governments also serve the purpose of defending their citizens from outside threats and enemies. Governments set up armed forces to fulfill this duty.

17 Government’s Roles Governments provide services like schools, libraries, hospitals, etc… They build parks, recreation centers, and transportation systems. Governments build bridges, repair streets, collect garbage, deliver the mail, etc… Governments also help those in need through special programs.

18 Government’s Roles Governments also serve the purpose of creating public policy. Public policy is the government’s plan for accomplishing goals for their community

19 Government’s Roles Governments have limited amounts of money and must decide how to use it. They create budgets to do this. A budget is a plan for collecting and spending money. They get money from taxes- money collected from the people.

20 Government’s Roles Governments also represent their citizens to other governments and communities. They serve as the figure head- representing all of their citizens.

21 Levels of Government Within a single country, many levels of government exist. The highest level is the national level- such as the government of the United States. The middle level is the state level- such as the government of the state of North Carolina. The lowest level is the local level- such as the government of the town of Newland.

22 Levels of Government All three levels impact the lives of their citizens. People are generally citizens of more than one level of government. The national government is supreme though- it overrides all lower levels.

23 Types of Government There are many different types of government, including, but not limited to, the following: -Democracy -Republic -Dictatorship -Monarchy -Oligarchy -Aristocracy -Totalitarian/Authoritarian -Theocracy -Aristocracy -Bureaucracy

24 Types of Government Democracy- the people have the power to vote, and the majority rules 2 types: –Direct: Each citizen votes on issues and the majority rules –Representative: Citizens elect representatives and the representatives makes decision on the behalf of the citizens with the majority ruling

25 Types of Government Republic: a form of government in which citizens elect representatives to make decisions on their behalf

26 Types of government Monarchy: 1 ruler, like a king or queen, inherits power and rules Two types: –Absolute: 1 king or queen with complete power –Limited/Constitutional: King or queen shares power (like with a legislative body like Parliament)

27 Types of Government Oligarchy: government ruled by a small group of people, like a couple of kings/queens Aristocracy: a government where the wealthiest/most privileged people have the power and make decisions Theocracy: a government where everything, including laws, are based on religion

28 Types of government Dictatorship: a government where 1 person takes power by force and keeps power by force/ they have complete control and use military force when necessary Totalitarianism/Authorianism: This type of government is controlled by a ruling party who has total/complete control over a country and its economy (often communist nations fall under this)

29 Types of government Bureaucracy: used in combination with other forms of government in most large countries- government laws and policies are enforced by departments that specialize in different areas Anarchy: a state of no government

30 Types of Government We live in a democracy. It is a government in which the people rule. It means rule by the many and dates back more than 2,500 years to ancient Greece. They had direct democracy- all citizens met to debate government matters and vote. It is not practical for large countries today.

31 Greek Acropolis

32 U.S. Supreme Court Building

33 Types of Government We have a representative democracy in which citizens choose a smaller group to represent them, make laws, and govern on their behalf. People are still the main source of authority, but there is a middle man. The United States is the prime example of democracy in the world today.

34 American Democracy Our government is based on several principles. –The government’s power comes from the people. –Americans, acting through representatives, run their government. –The purpose of the U.S. government is to make the U.S. a better place for its citizens.

35 American Democracy Democracies use elections and voting to help decide issues and leaders. Votes should carry the same weight to be fair and free. Voting requirements should be kept to a minimum. Competing parties are allowed to run for election and support different ideas.


37 American Democracy In democracies, not everyone can have his or her way, the majority rules- what most people want is what is done. The minority may not have its way, but most people support what is decided.

38 American Democracy Key principles: –Democracy –Republic –Rule of law: no one is above the law- not even the president. –Limited Government: the government is not all- powerful, it has restraints. –Separation of powers- government should be divided into branches –Consent of the Governed: citizens give the government its power.

39 American Democracy Key principles: –Individual (Natural) Rights: the government is to protect these rights. –Representative Government: people elect leaders to represent them on their behalf. –Popular Sovereignty: the people have the power –Social Contract: the government and people have power and should get something out of the relationship, but must also give something up

40 America’s Citizens People born in a country are generally considered citizens. Those who were not born into a country but wish to become a citizen must be naturalized- a legal process to become a citizen. U.S. citizen is given to people born in the U.S. or on its territories- even if the parents are not Americans. It is also given to children with American parents.

41 Naturalization Process

42 Clips of Naturalization Ceremonies tvrl4 tvrl4 z4e8&feature=related z4e8&feature=related

43 America’s Citizens Some people hold dual citizenship- being citizens of more than one country. Non-citizens are called aliens. Many aliens come to the U.S. to study, work, etc… Immigrants are people who move to a country and want to become citizens. Some are legal and others are illegal. There are processes to becoming a citizen.

44 The Issue of Illegal Immigration Why is it an issue? What are the different sides to the debate? Who has a stake in the outcome? How does this affect you and me?

45 Current issues on citizenship Arizona immigration law 14 th amendment questions Should amnesty be given to those here illegally Should border security be tightened Should citizenship automatically be given to people born on US soil- “Anchor Babies”

46 America’s Citizens Only the national government can grant or take away citizenship. It generally lasts throughout one’s life. One could have it stripped for treason, etc… One could also give up citizenship in a country by establishing citizenship in another country.

47 American Diversity On the back of American coins, the Latin words “E pluribus unum” are etched. They mean “Out of many, one.” This describes the many different citizens of the U.S. The U.S. is a very diverse nation. It is a nation of immigrants.


49 American Diversity Many different people live in the United States and have citizenship. It makes this nation unique and diverse. Despite its diversity, the United States is in many ways united, and most Americans do care a great deal for this country. Patriotism is a love for one’s country.

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