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Principles of Government

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Presentation on theme: "Principles of Government"— Presentation transcript:

1 Principles of Government
Chapter 1

2 What is Government? What is Government? Brainstorm & write it down

3 Chapter 1 – Section 1 Government & the State

4 Government is …the institution through which a society makes & enforces its public policies Many different systems of gov’t around the world, all have the same 3 basic kinds of power: Legislative, Executive, Judicial

5 Basics A constitution – outline of a country’s fundamental principles, structures, & processes of gov’t Democracy – gov’t where supreme authority rests w/ the people Dictatorship – gov’t where power is held by single person or a small group No responsibility to the people ruled

6 Characteristics of a “state”
State describes a legal entity Nation technically ethnic term Country then a geographic term Population – large or small Territory – land w/ boundaries Sovereignty – has absolute power Government – politically organized

7 Origins of Gov’t Force Theory – claimed control over a territory & forced people to submit Evolutionary Theory – primitive families allowed heads of families to rule Divine Right Theory – God created the state & the ruler “divine right of kings”

8 “Social Contract” Theory
People give up their “individual sovereignty” in exchange for the peace & order that gov’t provides From Thomas Hobbes ( ) English philosopher Humans had lived in a “state of nature” but entered the “Social Contract” out of necessity

9 Natural Rights Rights that cannot be taken away
“God given rights” Rights not from gov’t From John Locke ( ) Also English philosopher Declaration of Independence largely based on Locke Jefferson: “life, liberty, pursuit of happiness”

10 Hobbes & Locke Both Hobbes and Locke believed that governments should serve to protect the public good. Does our government always meet that standard? This is a question we will examine throughout the course.

11 Purpose of Gov’t - US Form a More Perfect Union
help the states work together cooperatively Establish Justice citizens should be treated fairly Insure Domestic Tranquility maintain order within society

12 Purposes (con’t) Promote the General Welfare
Provide for the Common Defense Protect us against foreign enemies Promote the General Welfare provide services to benefit citizens Secure the Blessings of Liberty make sure that future generations continue to enjoy the same freedoms that we have

13 Ch. 1 Sec. 2 - Forms of Gov’t Gov’t can be classified in many ways; the most common include: Who can participate Distribution of governmental power within the country Relationship between the legislative & executive branches of gov’t

14 1. Who can participate… …in a Democracy – the citizens have the power & elect their political leaders “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Two types of Democracies Direct Democracy – people vote directly on policies Representative Democracy – (US) - citizens elect leaders and then authorize those leaders to make decisions on their behalf

15 1. Who can participate… …in a Dictatorship – rulers are not held accountable to the people Often totalitarian: controls nearly all aspects of people’s lives Autocracy – single person holds unlimited power Oligarchy – small, often self-appointed elite hold the power Key is the military power/ backing Oldest and most common form of gov’t known to history

16 2. Distribution of Power Gov’ts differ in how power is shared with National, state, & local levels of authority Unitary gov’t – system where the nat’l gov’t holds all legislative power & local gov’ts exist to carry out those laws Ex – Great Britain

17 2. Distribution (con’t) Federal: system where powers are divided &/or shared among nat’l, state, & local gov’ts – Division of Powers This is what we have – US Confederate: system with independent states join together to achieve common goals; states have authority over the central gov’t European Union**

18 3. Legislative & Executive Branches
Can be different ways to distribute power among the branches of gov’t We have a presidential system – legislative branch (makes the laws) & executive branch (enforces laws) are separate & independent of one another Each branch serves as a “check” on the other in the Checks & Balances System

19 3. (con’t) Others nations have a parliamentary system – in which the chief executive (Prime Minister) is chosen by the legislature (Parliament) Thus, the legislative branch has power over the executive – powers are NOT balanced Who has this system? What are some advantages or disadvantages of each of these arrangements?

20 Chapter 1 Section 3 Basic Concepts of Democracy

21 Basic Concepts of Democracy
American democracy is based on 5 fundamental beliefs: Recognition of individual worth Equality of all (of opportunity, not results) Protection of minority rights Need for compromise Individual freedom

22 Responsibilities & Duties of Citizens
Part of that “social contract” Duties: obeying the law, paying taxes, serving on a jury, & going to school & registering for the draft (currently men) Responsibilities: voting, community &/ or political involvement, respect for other views Must do vs. Should do

23 Free Enterprise System
Other name for the US economic system or capitalism which is based on similar principles in our democracy Private ownership; investments made by private decisions; success/ failure determined by competition in the market Individual initiative, profit

24 US Gov’t & Free Enterprise Syst.
Not totally laissez – faire Gov’t has duty to protect the public and preserve private enterprise Done by all 3 levels of gov’t Examples: antitrust laws regulate economic activities Zoning ordinances & building codes protect safety & communities

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