2 Government:“A collective of individuals and institutions, the formal vehicles through which policies are made and affairs of state are conducted” (O’Connor, Sabato, Haag and Keith, p. 5).
3 Typical Justifications for Government: 1.To protect life, liberty and property2.To aspire to a meaningful, moral community3.To achieve compromise, cooperation, and coexistence among individuals with conflicting goals and interests4.To enable the coordination on problems requiring collective action, such as the provision of public goods5.To manage common resources, prevent negative externalities, subsidize positive externalities6.To shelter us in uncertain futures and from unforeseen crises
4 These natural rights are: The Founding Fathers believed we are all born with NATURAL RIGHTS (1787)These natural rights are:LIFELIBERTYPURSUIT OF HAPPINESSBut these ideas DID NOT come from our founding fathers……….
5 These ideas, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…… These ideas, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…….that we take for granted….were taken from the writings of……..Hobbes vs. LockeHobbesessential conceptsConcepts they share:The State of NatureNatural RightsThe Social ContractWhere they differ:What drives human behavior?Passion (Hobbes)Reason (Locke)What is the best form of government?Absolute monarchy (Hobbes)Constitutionalism (Locke)Locke
6 Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651) 1. Wanted to construct a “science of politics” based on an indisputable principle2. This principle must be based on the strongest element in human nature3. The strongest element was passion, not reason4. The strongest passion is fear of violent death5. This fear gives rise to the natural right of self-preservation6. The natural right of self-preservation is the basis of Hobbes’ thoughtThomas Hobbes ( )
7 Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651) In a state of nature there is a war of every man against every man“No arts, no letters, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”To secure peace men make contracts establishing a sovereign power who is not subject to civil law since by its will it creates the lawOf the three forms of sovereignty (monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy), monarchy is the most effective in securing peaceLeviathan (1651)
8 John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690) The state of nature is not a state of perpetual war;All men are free and equal; no man by nature is sovereign over another manThe law of nature, revealed by reason, governs the state of natureNatural rights include the right to Life, Liberty, and Estate (property)John Locke ( )
9 John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690) No one ought to harm another in his life, liberty, or property; if anyone does harm another, the one he harms has the right to punish himThrough a social contract, people create a government to protect their natural rights of life, liberty, and propertyThe best form of government to protect natural rights is a government of limited powers (constitutionalism)If a government breaks the social contract, the people have the right to dissolve itTwo Treatises of Civil Government (1690)
10 Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence (1776) The founding document of the United States of AmericaInfluenced by Enlightenment political thought, especially that of John LockeStates the principles upon which the new nation would be foundedJefferson’s argument for independenceNatural rightsA right to revolutionA list of grievancesThomas Jefferson ( )
11 Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence (1776) “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”The Declaration of Independence
12 What is the purpose of government? THE SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORYThe purpose of government is to protect the people and their rights (Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness).If a government cannot do this, we have the right to get rid of that government.Has this ever happened?The American Revolution: We got rid of the King and Parliament because we felt as though they were not protecting our rights.Every time a majority of Americans chose not to reelect a president or senator or representative.
13 Are there different types of government? What difference can you think of?
14 AUTHORITARIANUse of fear and forceNo rule of lawRule by one or small groupUnlimited powerElections offer no choiceRights are not guaranteedDEMOCRACYLimited governmentRule of law is followedRights are guaranteedOfficials are elected