Presentation on theme: "WILSON, CHAPTER 1 DISTRICT 127 The Study of American Government."— Presentation transcript:
WILSON, CHAPTER 1 DISTRICT 127 The Study of American Government
Understanding Power: What is power? The ability of one person to get another person to act in accordance with the first’s intentions What is authority? The right to use power What is legitimacy? Political authority conferred by law or by state/national constitution What makes the US Government and Constitution legitimate?
Understanding Democracy: What is meant by democracy as the Framers used it? Representative Democracy What is direct democracy? (Participatory Democracy) Government in which all or most citizens participate directly Representative democracy? a government in which leaders make decisions by winning a competitive struggle for the popular vote Why was direct democracy feared by the Framers?
How is Political Power distributed? Majoritarian Politics Elected officials become delegates of the people, acting as the people would act were the matter put to a popular vote. Marxist view – Karl Marx View that the government is dominated by capitalists Power elite view – C. Wright Mills View that the government is dominated by a few top leaders, most whom are outside of government Bureaucratic view – Max Weber view that the government is dominated by appointed officials Pluralist view The belief that competition among all affected interests shapes public policy
Is Democracy Driven by Self-Interest? John Locke – Natural Rights (Life, Liberty, Property) – 2 nd Treatise of Government – Motivated by Self- Interest – Freedom leads to inequity and eventually chaos - Give up Freedom to govern through Social Contract – Gov’t validity is based on ‘consent of governed’ Alexis d Tocqueville – challenges our assumption that people always act in self-interest, points out the great emotion and conviction in equality within the American system