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6 Lesson# 3 – What is republican government?
RAP: What was the name of the English philosopher that influenced the Founders AND how did his ideas influence them? Learning Goal: Students will be able to explain the ideas of republican government, the common good, and civic virtue.

7 Republic Characteristics: Citizens have the power to govern.
Citizens delegate or entrust their power to leaders they elect to represent them and to serve their interests. Citizens and their representatives work cooperatively to promote their common good rather than their own interests.

8 What did the Founders learn about government from the Romans?
The Roman Republic Lasted nearly 500 years! The people governed themselves without a king. Both common people and the aristocrats shared the power of government.

9 What advantages did the Founders see in republican government?
Representatives are elected to serve the common good. Having representatives make the laws is more efficient. Through the delegation of power to their representative, the people have a say in their government. The representative is responsible to the people. The main purpose of a republican government is to serve the common good. Representatives should not make laws that serve one person or one people group. They are to represent the entire community. It is the responsibility of the representative to know the people they represent. To make good and fair laws, problems need to be understood. Through their representative, the PEOPLE have a voice in their government. The people choose a representative that will communicate their ideas and the actions they want to see take place. The people hold their representatives responsible for making good and fair laws. Their representatives should be voted out and a new representative selected if they do not fulfill their obligations to the people.

10 What were the disadvantages of republican government?
Works best in small communities. People in a republic have to be very much alike – little diversity. People in a large and diverse republic would naturally divide into factions, or interest groups. In small communities, the people knew each other and cared about each other and the common good. Colonies were large territories. Diversity is wealth, moral beliefs, or ways of life. The colonies had different religious belief and ways of life. Factions might work against other groups or the people as a whole, rather than work for the common good.

11 James Madison Father of the Constitution
Played an important role in creating our Constitution. Adapted the idea of republican government to the reality of American life.

12 Direct Democracy and a Republic
The people themselves control government. The people create the laws they need. Works best in a small community. Larger communities have difficulty making decisions for the benefit for the good of all. Republican People’s representatives make the laws and run the government. People in government can represent a much larger area.

13 How did the Founders adapt the idea of republican government?
Laws would be made and administered by representatives. Members of government would be elected by a large number of people rather than a small or favored group. In addition, organization should be help to avoid the abuse of power by any one person or faction. This kind of government was called a representative democracy.

14 Group Work Read pages 26 and 27 of We the People.
In your group, answer the questions on page 27. Be prepared to share.

15 Why is Civic Virtue Necessary?
The Founders believed that civic virtue was important to make a government work well. Citizens needed to participate in their government to promote the common good. Through people’s pursuit of self interest, they could further the common good. (ex. Those who desire fame and leader others could practice civil virtue to be elected as a representative.) On the other hand, sometimes as people pursue their self interest they work against the common good.

16 How were the colonists taught the values of civic virtue and a republican government?
Parents taught these values to their children. Teacher taught these values in school. Clergy taught them in sermons and writings. Leading citizens was to be a good example. Values of a republican government became part of the customs and traditions of the people.

17 How were the colonists taught the values of civic virtue and a republican government?
Ideas and values of the Roman Republic were promoted in the colonies in stories. Public building resembled building of ancient Rome.

18 Why teach Civic Virtue? The Founders believed that the downfall of the Roman Republic was because citizens lost their civic virtue. Citizens of Rome began to promote their own interests at the expense of the common good. The Founders realized that Great Britain was violating these ideas when they “dealt with” the colonies.

19 WIO: Before beginning your assignment, review your learning goal.
Your task: Sensory Character Draw a sensory figure of a person living in a republic and discuss what they may feel, taste, touch, smell, hear and see. (You may speak metaphorically.) Homework: Look through different issues of your local newspaper. Find an article that concerns the common good in our community. Submit the article along with an explanation. Your explanation should include your evaluation: How does what is being reported represent the community as a whole. (Benefits to most people.) Are there any disadvantages? Who might not be served?

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