States’ Voter I.D. Requirements pre-Shelby Co. v. Holder Daily Show Discusses "R-Word" in America CBS News: N.C. Proposed Voting Laws Interactive Voting Rights Map
Foundations of Government “There has never been, nor ever will be, a people who are politically ignorant and free.” Thomas Jefferson
Government & Our Lives How does government impact your life? Why participate? – Those who participate in the political process are more likely to benefit from government programs & policies…Why? – For Your Own Good
Activity: Step 1 Define the following terms…in your own words: – Democracy – Government – Politics – Political Power – Policy Agenda – Policy – Linkage Institution
Activity: Step 2 Form a small group of 2-3 people and refine definitions. Come up with the best possible meaning for each term.
What is Democracy? Democracy: Govt. in which supreme power is vested in the people… – Means of organizing govt so policy represents & responds to the public’s preferences Founders distrust of democracy led to – Indirect Democracy: People elect representatives to rule in their interest – Why?
Political Cartoon Founders Distrust of Democracy
What is Government? Govt: The institutions & processes thru which public policies are made for society How should we govern? What should government do? – Maintain National Defense – Provide Public Services Public Goods: Services that everyone shares; can’t be denied (use of highways, clean air & water) – Preserve Order – Collect Taxes
What is Politics? Politics: process by which we select our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders pursue. – Who gets what, when, where, & why Political Participation in U.S. – U.S. one of lowest voter participation rates in World Why? – How can you participate? – U.S. voters: distorted sample…who makes up the voting bloc? Elderly, Strong Party Affiliation, High SES
U.S. Voter Participation Rates How does the U.S. stack up against other democracies?
What Is Policy? Political Power: – power used to determine who will hold office and how the govt will behave. Policy: What Government Does… – Government + Politics = Policy Policy Agenda: – Issues that attract the attention of public officials Linkage Institution – Parties, Elections, Interest Groups, & Media… connect people to government/policy makers Policymaking Institutions?: – Legislature, Executive, Courts, & Bureaucracy
Roots of American Government Influences: – Greeks: Idea of direct democracy with many people involved. The polis. – Enlightenment-the idea that government should rely on the consent of the people New Concepts: Social compacts about self-govt New Concept: People have natural rights
Roots of American Government Historical Documents – Magna Carta (1215): Estbl. idea that the power of the monarch is not absolute and there are fundamental rights held by everyone. – Mayflower Compact (1620): Idea of colonial self- government – Petition of Rights (1628): challenged the idea of divine right and said the monarch had to obey the laws of the land. – English Bill of Rights (1688): William and Mary of Orange signed this and made representative govt. supreme
Roots of American Government Hobbes & Locke – Hobbes People naturally fight so need govt for protection (stability) Social Contract – Locke: Govt’s purpose is to reserve and protect people’s inalienable rights/property Separation of Powers – Montesquieu: Separation of Powers
Locke & U.S. Government Influence on Govt. – Govt. w/ consent of people – 3 fn. of govt.—laws, settle disputes, execute laws (sep. of powers) – Limited Government – Supreme power in the legislator Influence on D.O.I – Govt. w/ consent of people – Natural Rights – Right to overthrow unjust/despotic governments
Jefferson & D.O.I What’s Jefferson’s goal in listing abuses by King George (& Parliament)? Abuses – 1-12: King George’s Estbl. of Tyrannical Rule in Place of Representative Govt. – 13-22: Involvement of Parliament in Destroying Self Rule (“King combined w/ others to…” – 23-27: Specific Actions King George Took to Abandon Colonies/Wage War
Who Governs: Theories Elite Theory: A small # of rich, powerful people make the decisions; thus, it’s rarely responsive to the will of the people. – There is an identifiable group with a disproportionate share of power. Elite = powerful.. Pluralism: So many groups vying for resources, it’s impossible for any one group to win…thus, there is compromise. More than one interest supports a decision/action. Hyperpluralism: Too many groups to make any form of compromise → political gridlock.
Responsibilities of Government Guarantees by National Government to States – Why? – A representative, republican form of govt. – Protect against invasion and domestic violence – Respect the boundaries – Admit new states-Manifest Destiny
Responsibilities of Government Clauses Establishing Federal Government Full Faith & Credit Clause: – Each State has to honor the civil rulings and laws from other states; doesn’t apply to criminal matters. Supremacy Clause: – Sets up the hierarchy w/ the U.S. Constitution at the top. Necessary & Proper Clause: – Congress shall have power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out all other powers vested by Constitution in the government.