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Citizenship and Government in a Democracy Did You Know? The word “democracy” comes from the Greek words demos meaning people, and kratein, meaning to rule.

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Presentation on theme: "Citizenship and Government in a Democracy Did You Know? The word “democracy” comes from the Greek words demos meaning people, and kratein, meaning to rule."— Presentation transcript:

1 Citizenship and Government in a Democracy Did You Know? The word “democracy” comes from the Greek words demos meaning people, and kratein, meaning to rule.

2 Government of the People, by the People, For the People. What is Civics Civics is the study of the rights and duties of citizens. In ancient Greece and Rome, only men with property could be citizens. Today most people are citizens of the country where they live. Citizens have rights and responsibilities. Citizens agree to accept the government’s authority and follow its rules.

3 What is civics? Civics is the study of the rights and duties of citizens.

4 The Need for Government A. A government is the ruling authority for a community. It has the power to make and enforce laws for its members. B. Thomas Hobbes claimed that without government, human beings would compete for territory, resources, and power. Fighting would be common, and survival would depend on strength and cunning. C. Government can make it possible for people to live together peacefully and productively.

5 How can government make it possible for people to live together peacefully and productively? Government has the power to make and enforce laws. It sets the rules that keep a community from becoming a chaotic free-for-all.

6 Functions of Government A. Governments keep order and provide security. They make laws to help prevent conflicts among people and to settle conflicts that do arise. They set up armed forces and agencies to defend citizens and their citizens and their land from enemies. B. Governments provide services that would not be available without cooperation and coordination. They provide services to keep the public healthy and safe. They also give help to needy people.

7 The Functions of Government C. Governments guide the community. They set public policy, or a course of government action to achieve community goals. D. Governments create a budget, or a plan for collecting and spending money, as part of policy decisions. Governments develop relations with the community’s neighbors and other outsiders for the benefit of all.

8 What are some key functions of government? Keep order and provide security Provide public services Set public policy and budgets Relate with other governments

9 Levels of Government A. Many levels of government may exist within a country. The highest level in the United States is the national government, centered in the capital, Washington, D.C. It makes laws for the entire country. B. State governments make laws for the people of their states. Local governments include counties, cities, and towns. State and local governments cannot take actions that go against laws and authority of the national government.

10 Name the levels of government, from the broadest level of authority to the narrowest. National Government State Government County Government Municipal Government

11 Democratic Government A. A dictatorship is a government controlled by one person or a small group. The United States government is a democracy, a government in which the people rule. In a democracy, all citizens share in governing and being governed. B. Democracy began in ancient Athens. Athens had a direct democracy – all citizens met to debate government matters and vote firsthand. Large populations make direct democracy impractical for most countries today. Citizens instead choose a smaller group to represent them, make laws, and govern on their behalf. This is a representative democracy or republic.

12 Democratic Government C. Democracies have free and open elections. Everyone’s vote carries the same weight, or “one person, one vote.” All candidates have the right to express their views freely. Legal requirements for voting are kept to a minimum. Citizens may vote freely by secret ballot, without fear of punishment. D. Citizens agree that when differences of opinion arise, we will abide by what most people want. This is the principle of majority rule. At the same time, we must respect the rights of those in the minority.

13 What are the five fundamental principles of American democracy.? Rule of Law Limited Government Consent of the Governed Democracy Representative Government

14 Who are America’s Citizens? A. The U.S. Constitution establishes two ways to become a citizen: by birth and, for foreigners, a legal process called naturalization. B. You would automatically be an American citizen if you were born in a state or the District of Columbia, in an American territory, or on a U.S. military base overseas. C. You can also claim citizenship if your parents are both citizens or one parent is a citizen who has live in the U.S. Children born on American soil to non- U.S. citizens also acquire citizenship, except for children of foreign diplomats.

15 Who are America’s Citizens? D. A child born abroad to American parents may hold dual citizenship. E. Noncitizens, or aliens, may become naturalized citizens. More than half a million immigrants – people who move permanently to a new country – gain American citizenship each year. F. Aliens must file a Declaration of Intention with the Immigration and Naturalization service (INS). They may apply for citizenship after living in the United States for 5 years (3 years for aliens married to citizens). Then, after an interview, the applicant must take a citizenship exam. If the INS decides to grant citizenship, the new citizen pledges allegiance to this country in a ceremony.

16 Under what circumstances might an American hold dual citizenship? A child born abroad to American parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the child’s country of birth.

17 Aliens in America? A. The U.S. restricts the number of immigrants who can enter the country. Highest priority goes to relatives of U.S. citizens and people with needed skills. B. Many aliens live in the U.S. illegally. Most come looking for a better life. Without friends and family here, life is hard. Laws forbid hiring illegal aliens, so work is hard to find. They live in fear that the government will discover and deport them. C. Legal aliens live like most Americans. They hold jobs and pay taxes. They do not have full political rights. They may not vote, run for office, or work in most government jobs. They must carry identification cards.

18 What types of immigrants benefit from the Immigration Act of 1990? Emphasis has shifted toward welcoming “those who want to work and produce and contribute.” The new policy benefits people with particular skills, talents, or the money to invest in our economy.

19 A Nation of Immigrants A. All of today’s more than 281 million Americans are descended from immigrants. Many scholars believe the first Native Americans crossed a land bridge from Asia to North America. B. The first Europeans to settle permanently in North America came from Spain during the 1500s. They settled in Florida, California, and the Southwest. C. Beginning in the 1600s, people arrived from France and England. The French settled in Canada and around the Mississippi River. The English settled mainly along the east coast, creating 13 colonies.

20 A Nation of Immigrants D. A flood of immigrants arrived between 1860 and 1890, many from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Another flood arrived between 1890 and 1924, mostly from central and eastern Europe. E. Today, Latin America accounts for the largest share of newcomers, followed by Asia. F. Western and central Africans were brought to America by force and sold as slaves.

21 Why did so many Europeans come to the United States after it gained independence? After independence, The United States became known throughout Europe as a land of promise.

22 A Diverse Population A. Americans are ethnically diverse. Whites of European descent are the largest group, followed by African Americans and Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans. B. Religious diversity thrives in the United States. C. American culture is a rich blend of varied influences.

23 A Growing and Changing Population A. In the mid-1800s people began moving from farms to factory jobs in cities. In recent decades manufacturing jobs declined and service jobs increased. More women have entered the workforce. B. After slavery ended, a migration, or mass movement, occurred as African Americans left the South seeking jobs in the North. Today the South is the most populous and, along with the West, the fastest growing area of the country. C. The average age of citizens is climbing upward. More Americans now earn college degrees. D. Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group.

24 Why is the average age of American citizens climbing upward? Americans are living longer and having fewer children.

25 Unity Among Citizens A. Americans share a common civic and political heritage based on the county’s founding documents. These include ideals of individual rights, popular sovereignty, equal justice under the law, and majority rule through a representative government. B. A common language is another source of unity. C. Americans show patriotism – love for one’s country. We follow the nation’s laws. D. The attacks on September 11, 2001 were acts of terrorism – the use of violence by groups against civilians to achieve a political goal. Americans responded with courage and unity.


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