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U NIT O NE : L ESSON T WO Ideas About Civic Life That Informed the Founding Generation.

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Presentation on theme: "U NIT O NE : L ESSON T WO Ideas About Civic Life That Informed the Founding Generation."— Presentation transcript:

1 U NIT O NE : L ESSON T WO Ideas About Civic Life That Informed the Founding Generation

2 V ALUES FROM A NTIQUITY THAT INFLUENCED THE F OUNDING G ENERATION ^ Roman Republic (500 years+) greatly influenced the Founders. It was a mixed constitution (elements of monarchy, aristocracy & rule of the people) ^ The Roman Republic did the best as achieving political stability and promoting the Common Good

3 K EY I DEALS ADOPTED FROM THE R OMAN E MPIRE (R.E.) Common Good : Doing what is best for the society as a whole (central feature of ‘Classical Republicanism’) Classical Republicanism: the needs of the people as a community above individual liberty and self-determination. People should work together for the good of the country, not work for private or selfish interests History of R.E. was both an example and a warning Example: Common Good, Republic Warning: Corruption and Greed brought down empire

4 S TUDENT A SSIGNMENT * G ET O UT A P IECE OF P APER & H EAD I T 1) Define “COMMON GOOD” 2) Read Pages Explain IN YOUR WORDS the 3 Aspects of “CLASSICAL REPUBLICANISM” that were influential for the Founding Generation of Americans * Small, Uniform Communities * Citizenship and Civic Virtue * Moral Education Tell me what each of these aspects means and WHY IT IS IMPORTANT!

5 A SPECTS OF C LASSICAL R EPUBLICANISM Small, Uniform Communities Humans need each other (political animals) Need security and community Best if community was “fundamentally alike” (encourages working together rather than conflict) Early America: People in community relied on each other for survival Citizenship and Civic Virtue Importance of the “office” of citizen and its duties Be well informed and engaged in community affairs Have the courage to do what is right Duties emphasized over rights Civic Virtue: Founders looked to examples from history Cincinnatus (roman emperor) stepped down from power voluntarily Washington (1 st US President) voluntarily stepped down from power)

6 A SPECTS OF C LASSICAL R EPUBLICANISM Moral Education Instruction in “Civil Religion” the symbols, rituals and values of the society Develop Proper Habits – generosity, self-control, respect, fairness, courage Learn the Importance of Participating in Political Debate and Performing Military Service

7 R OLE OF P HILOSOPHY IN THE STUDY OF GOVERNMENT Consider these words: 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 – That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these Ends it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government DeclarationofIndependance,1776

8 ??B ASIC Q UESTIONS ABOUT G OVERNMENT ?? What is Human Nature What should be the purpose of government? Where should people in position of power get their authority to govern? How should a government be organized? What kinds of government should be respected and supported? What kinds of government should be resisted and fought?

9 S TUDENT A CTIVITY All the senior students in Washington State are being moved to an island off the coast of Washington to be able to set up and run their own society. There is no government, no laws or controls. Everyone is “free”. Discuss, in your group, the following: What would life be like if there were no government, rules or controls? Would people in the above scenario have rights or duties? If so, how would those rights and duties be enforced? What might happen if some people were stronger or smarter than others? Why? What might weaker or less sophisticated people try to do? Why? Why might people in this example try to trade some or all of their freedom to live in a society or form a government?

10 L OCKE AND H OBBES I NFLUENCE THE F OUNDING G ENERATION 17 th Century was a time of philosophical debate as to the role of government in society. * To escape the chaos, man agrees to a government to create order * A contract between the government and the governed is made Inalienable Rights of “life, liberty and estate (property) are possessed by each individual To secure these rights, people agree to a social contract

11 N ATURAL R IGHTS P HILOSOPHY Individual Rights : regardless of wealth, social status or birth It is the job of the government to protect these rights Popular Sovereignty/Government by Consent Gov’t is created and derives its power from the people They can withdraw that consent if the gov’t abuses its power “Right of Revolution” Limited Government Gov’t cannot make laws the override individual rights Sovereign people own their gov’t and control it through elections They can terminate it when it is not doing what it is supposed to do or is abuse the power they have been given Human Equality All men are free from another’s control and are equal to each other All are both with equal political rights (at time, slaves women did not have political rights, but colonists had more rights and equality that they had in England)

12 R EVIEW Q UESTIONS 1. Describe the differences between “Classical Republicanism” and “Natural Rights” philosophies. How are the differences important when thinking about the purpose and goals of government? 2. What is “Civic Virtue?” How is it fostered in small, unified communities? In large, diverse communities? 3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a “State of Nature” to explain society and politics? 4. What is meant by “Social Contract?” How is it connected to the idea that government derives its authority from the consent of the governed? 5. What might be the consequences for individuals and society of too great an emphasis on the rights of the individual over the common good? 6. Examine the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. What influences, if any, of “Classical Republicanism” and “Natural Rights” philosophies do you find?


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