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Introduction & Chapters One and Two Instructor: Kevin Sexton Course: U.S. Political Systems Southeast Missouri State University.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction & Chapters One and Two Instructor: Kevin Sexton Course: U.S. Political Systems Southeast Missouri State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction & Chapters One and Two Instructor: Kevin Sexton Course: U.S. Political Systems Southeast Missouri State University

2 POLITICS What is it? WHO GETS WHAT, WHERE, WHEN AND HOW. Where/When Does it Take Place? ANYTIME AND ANYPLACE TWO OR MORE HUMAN BEINGS INTERACT. Who Engages in it? ALL HUMAN BEINGS!

3 ALL PEOPLE ENGAGE IN POLITICS Anytime two or more people interact there are decisions being made as it relates to who will get what, when they will get it, where they will get it and how they will get it. Example: If two students need to get into a class and there is only seat available. One student calls the professor before the first class meeting and one student does not call. Both students show up at the first class meeting. WHO GETS THE LAST SEAT? The professor must decide who gets into the class and who does not. Is this a political decision?

4 ALL PEOPLE ENGAGE IN POLITICS (CONTINUED) Example: A husband and a wife are sleeping in the middle of the night. ANY POLITICS HERE? Who gets to sleep on the left side of the bed? Is the temperature set on 72 degrees or 65 degrees? Ceiling fan on or ceiling fan off? LOTS OF POLITICS!!!!

5 Governmental Politics This is the type of POLITICS that many people think of when they think of POLITICS. As we have seen on the previous slides this not the only type, or even the most prevalent type of POLITICS. BUT…. It is the primary type of POLITICS that will be discussed, explored and studied in this course this semester.

6 Governmental Politics Defined The process through which society makes its governing decisions. OR… How a country, state, county, city or other governmental unit decides who, gets what, where when and how.

7 In this class we will be looking at how different and individuals attempt to impact the decisions that the various governments in the United States makes. In other words, we will look at how the groups and individuals in the United States try to impact PUBLIC POLICY. Which is basically any decision made by any level of government. Some are major decisions while many are rather minor decisions. Examples: Should we go to war against Iraq? and/or Should the households in Cape Girardeau be allowed to use Any trashcan they want, or should the city provide them?

8 Government What is it? The Institutions, processes, and rules that are specifically designed to facilitate control of a particular area and its inhabitants. What is it purpose? In order to understand and determine the purpose of government we must look at the work of a 17 th Century Philosopher named John Locke.

9 John Locke ( ) English Philosopher Wrote the Two Treatises of Government (1690) –Held that people had inalienable rights. These rights existed even before there were any governments. –Life, Liberty and Property –Since these rights existed before governments did, it is the people that CREATE GOVERNMENTS. Even more importantly – only the people had the AUTHORITY to create governments. –Therefore it is the responsibility of the government to, first and foremost preserve the rights of the citizens that created it.

10 John Locke and Self-Interest Self-Interested The belief that all men are Self-Interested was a major point made by John Locke and other major philosophers.

11 Government What is it? The Institutions, processes, and rules that are specifically designed to facilitate control of a particular area and its inhabitants. What is it purpose? Provide PUBLIC Goods AND/OR Regulate the SELF INTEREST of people. CONTROL A PARTICULAR GEOGRAPHIC AREA How Do They Accomplish This?

12 What Does Government Do? They Provide, or ensure the provision of PUBLIC GOODS. PUBLIC GOOD: Items, goods or rights that benefit all, but in which there is little or no profit. Therefore, very few if any group is willing to provide them. Many are necessary for the proper conduct of a society. Some examples include clean water, protection, safety, green space (parks) and public transportation. Since there are few groups willing to provide them the government is usually the only group to provide them, and if the government is not directly providing the good or item, they are involved in the regulation of that good or items provision.

13 Three Types of Governments 1. Government by ONE – (autocracy) 2. Government by a FEW – (oligarchy) 3. Government by MANY – (democracy)

14 Government by One AUTOCRACY Emperors, kings or dictators. Generally must have the support of the military or police forces to maintain control. Examples of governments (past and present) Great Britain (prior to the Magna Carta ) Japan (prior to and during WWII) Cuba, China and Iraq (prior to war)

15 Government by a Few ARISTOCRACY OR OLIGARCHY Aristocracy – leaders are chosen based on their birth-right Royal families, and Holy-Families Oligarchy – leaders are chosen based on wealth, military power or membership in a political party. Generally, must have support of military or police forces to maintain control. South Africa is best example of a modern Oligarchy

16 Government by Many DEMOCRACY Government receives its right to govern from the people. DIRECT DEMOCRACY – ALL citizens participate in All decision making. (Pure Democracy). REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY – citizens choose people who decide what government actions take place. The U.S. is a representative democracy.

17 Core Values There are several core values that most people will say are at the heart Of what the United States is ALL ABOUT. Here are the most often sited of those: LIBERTY INDIVIDUALISM EQUALITY SELF-GOVERNMENT ANY PROBLEMS WITH THESE FOUR CORE VALUES?

18 Core Values Do any of these core values conflict with each other? Liberty & Individualism versus Equality? Or Liberty and Self-GOVERNMENT? What do we do when these core values come into conflict with each other? COMPROMISE OR ENGAGE IN POLITICS.

19 Power versus Authority What is the major difference(s) between the three types of governments? Some maintain control due to the fact that they have the POWER to do so. AND…. Some maintain control due to the fact that they have the AUTHORITY to do so. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

20 Definitions Power is the ability of people or groups of people to control governmental actions. –Many times oligarchies and monarchies use the power of the military and/or police to control the governmental actions. –The Soviet Union used power to maintain control –Pre-War Iraq was controlled by the secret police Most times, when given the chance the people of a country controlled in this way will throw off or overthrow the government that is controlling through the use of military or police POWER.

21 Definitions Authority is the recognized right of a person or group of people to control governmental actions. Only the people of a country can recognize the right of a government to control them. This recognition must not be based purely on the POWER that the person or group has. It must be based on the legitimate CHOICE of the people being governed.

22 Theories of Power & Authority Within The United States. Basic theories of power in the United States Political System. 1.Pluralism 2.Elitism 3.Bureaucratic Rule 4.Majoritarianism 5.Hyper-Pluralism

23 Pluralism The idea that POWER in the United States is shared by many different people, and groups of people. This idea also states that the vast number of people that share power adds greatly to our government.

24 Elitism The idea that POWER in the United States rests in the hands of just a few people or a small group of people. Some people feel it is this fact that has made this country so effective since its birth. Other people feel it is this fact that has caused many of the problems that our country has and continues to face since its birth.

25 Majoritarianism The idea that that the majority of people make the decisions in the country. Not only in elections, but also policy decisions.

26 Bureaucratic Rule The theory that it is the unelected administrators That have all the power in our government.

27 Hyper- Pluralism The idea that POWER in the United States is shared by too many different people, and groups of people. This idea also states that the vast number of people that share power greatly inhibits the operation of our government.

28 Where Will WE Go This Semester The AUTHORITY that the Constitution has given to our POLITICAL SYSTEM, and how the use of POWER within that POLITICAL SYSTEM is addressed by our country will be the center of our study this semester. With that in mind…….. Remember that ALL people are self interested, and it is a primary responsibility of the government to protect the rights of it citizens from the self-interest of others.


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