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 Principles of Government Chapter 1. What is Government?  What is Government?  Brainstorm & write it down.

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Presentation on theme: " Principles of Government Chapter 1. What is Government?  What is Government?  Brainstorm & write it down."— 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 1. Population – large or small 2. Territory – land w/ boundaries 3. Sovereignty – has absolute power 4. 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

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)  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: 1. Who can participate 2. Distribution of governmental power within the country 3. 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

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?

20 Chapter 1 Section 3  Basic Concepts of Democracy

21 Basic Concepts of Democracy  American democracy is based on 5 fundamental beliefs: 1. Recognition of individual worth 2. Equality of all (of opportunity, not results) 3. Protection of minority rights 4. Need for compromise 5. 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

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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