6Government is an institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies. It enables a society to protect the peace and carry out its policies.
7A government has the authority to set the rules for all the people living in a political unit, or state.
8Every government has and exercises three basic kinds of power: Legislative power-the power to make law and frame public policies.Executive power-the power to enforce and administer laws.Judicial power-the power to interpret laws, settle disputes
9Through the process of politicking! Government is among the oldest of all human inventions, so how is it determined?Through the process of politicking!Politics is a process by which a society decides how power and resources will be distributed within that society.
10Four theories attempt to explain the origin of nation-states and the need for government.
111. The Force TheoryOne person or a small group claimed control over an area and forced all within it to submit to their rule.
122. The Evolutionary Theory Nation states developed naturally out of the early family. Over time the family became a network of related families, a clan. The clan then grew into a tribe.
133. The Divine Right Theory Widely accepted in ancient China, Egypt, and much of Western Europe from the 15th through the 18th centuries.It held that God created the state and that God had given those of royal birth a “divine right” to rule. The people were bound to obey their ruler as they would God.During the 17th century philosophers started to question this theory and their challenges bore much of present day democracies.
144. The Social Contract Theory Developed in the 17th & 18th centuries by philosophers.Humans lived in unbridled freedom, in a “state of nature”.Humans overcame this unpleasant condition by agreeing with one another to create a state.
15Cont…People are born with the right to life, liberty, and property. To preserve their rights people willingly contracted to give power to a governing authority.The contract, set up by a constitution, forms a government which exercises the powers the people give it.The state exists only to serve the people.Essential in the shaping of the U.S. government.
16Government is necessary to avoid what the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes called “the war of every man against every man.”Without government, said Hobbes, there would be continual fear and danger of violent death and life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.