What is Civics? Civics – is the study of rights and duties of citizens. Citizens – have certain rights and duties. - community members - loyal to government - may share common history - agree to follow a set of rules
The need for Government Government – a community’s ruling authority. Thomas Hobbes – enlightenment philosopher, believed we must have strong government. Why do we need government?
Govt. If there were no government, we would live in a state of confusion/violence.
Functions of Government Govt. serves many functions. - keeps people safe - settles conflicts - keeps order Govt. guides the community by planning and making budgets.
Keeping Order/ Providing Security Governments make laws to prevent conflicts. - govt. enforces laws What would the roads be like without traffic signals/laws? Govt. works to protect citizens from outside threats.
Public Services Governments provide services: - schools, libraries, parks - transportation - maintain roadways - fire departments - give to needy by providing aide.
Guiding the Community Public policy – course of govt. action to achieve community goals. - most involve financial planning through Budgets. -Developing relations with community and outsiders. What would happen if we did not develop relations with other nations?
Levels of Government National Government – highest State Govt. Local Govt. – closest to the people. All must follow National laws.
Democratic Government Dictatorship – rule by one person or group. Not democratic. -Foundations of democracy began in Athens, Greece. Had a Direct Democracy. -Representative Democracy – ex. U.S. government. Works better with large populations.
Principles of American Democracy 1.Govt. power must come from the citizens. 2.Through representatives, Americans run their government. 3.Govt. purpose is to make the U.S. a better place for people who live there.
Democracy cont. -Genuine democracies have free, fair, and competitive elections. - “one person, one vote” - candidates have right to freely express their views. - vote by secret ballot.
Democracy cont. -Govt. must work to promote equality. -Majority Rule – decisions based on what most people want. -Must respect minority rights. - difficult to make work.