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Ideas About Government

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Presentation on theme: "Ideas About Government"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ideas About Government
AMERICAN GOVERNMENT Ideas About Government Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu

2 Watch United Kingdom Nation or State Video
What is a Government? A state is a political community that occupies a definite territory and has an organized government with the power to make and enforce laws without approval of a higher authority. A nation is a sizeable group of people united by common race, language, customs, traditions, and sometimes religion. UK Nation or State? US Nation or State? Watch United Kingdom Nation or State Video

3 What is a government? Not all states are nations:
Quebec, Canada: Follows French culture and language and Catholic religion. Most of Canada is English and Protestant. Not all nations are states: Many African tribes are divided among many different separate political states. When the territory of a nation and state coincide, you have a nation-state.

4 Four Characteristics of a State
Population – a state consists of people who share a consensus, general belief about government. Territory – A state must have area with fixed boundaries. Sovereignty – absolute authority within its territorial boundaries. Government – maintains order, provides public services, and enforces decisions that its people must obey.

5 Notice the Pashtun People don’t follow Maps Boundaries
Notice the Pashtun People don’t follow Maps Boundaries. This has been their land for over a 1000 years!

6 Theories of the Origin of the State
Evolution Theory: The state evolved from the family group. Force Theory: One person or a group used force to establish its authority to govern the people. Divine Right Theory: The rulers of the people were chosen by the gods to govern. Social Contract Theory: The people gave the government its power to rule them, and in return the government had to respect the people’s rights. A Ruler Used Force to Keep Power

7 Between Citizens & Government
SOCIAL CONTRACT Between Citizens & Government WE Citizens AGREE... To follow the laws of Government. To pay our taxes. To support our leaders. To participate by voting in elections. GOVERNMENT AGREES... To protect the rights of Citizens. To defend against enemy attack. To keep the peace and enforce justice. CONSEQUENCES FOR GOVERNMENT Breaking the Contract... Citizens have the right to change or overthrow the Government. CONSEQUENCES FOR A CITIZEN Breaking the Contract... Jail, Prison or Execution

8 Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes in the 1600s wrote a book called the Leviathan, in which he described the world without government, “In such condition there is…worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man (is) solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short…” As a result, people create a government by entering into a social contract. Under this contract the people give up their individual sovereignty to the state. In exchange, the state provides peace and order. For Hobbes, the best government for a state was a monarchy and once the social contract was made, it could not be broken. Hobbes Believed in Monarchy Watch Social Contract Video

9 Declaration of Independence
John Locke English philosopher John Locke ( ) had his own ideas about the social contract. He believed that the contract creates a limited government that relies entirely on the consent of the governed. In other words, the people, and only the people, give it the authority to govern. Locke also believed that the government should look after the natural rights of the people, or the rights that they are born with simply because they are human beings. Locke wrote about these rights in his Two Treatises on Government, where he listed the natural rights as the rights to life, liberty, and property. In Locke’s view, if a government failed to properly ensure these natural rights for the people, they had the right to abolish that government and form a new one. Thomas Jefferson, writer of the Declaration of Independence, included Locke’s idea of natural rights by listing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and adopting the idea of dissolving a government that does not protect the natural rights of its people. Thomas Jefferson Declaration of Independence

10 Why Locke and Montesquieu is important for America
Separation of Powers Charles Montesquieu – Developed the theory of separation of powers in his book, Spirit of Laws Divided power among three branches– Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches Watch Video Why Locke and Montesquieu is important for America

11 Purpose of Government Maintain social order by making and enforcing laws. Provide services for people, such as promoting public health and safety. Protect people from attack by other states and from internal threats such as terrorism. Pass laws that shape and control the nation’s economy.

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