Presentation on theme: "Chapters 1and 2 Thinking about Politics and the American Creed."— Presentation transcript:
Chapters 1and 2 Thinking about Politics and the American Creed
Government Politics –Individual and collective efforts to influence the workings of government Government –The institutions that have the authority and capacity to create and enforce public policies for a specific territory and people
Why does government exist? Government exists to: –Maintain order / Settle Disputes –Protect Liberty Principle that individuals should be free to act and think as they choose, provided they do not infringe unreasonably on the rights and freedoms of others. –Provide public goods Goods and services that are enjoyed by all citizens.
Social Contract –An agreement among members of society to form and recognize the authority of a centralized government that is empowered to make and enforce laws governing the members of society.
Different Types of Government Democracy - Form of government in which the people govern, either directly or through elected representatives Oligarchy - Form of government in which control rests with a few persons at the top. Autocracy - Form of government in which absolute control rests with one single person
Direct Democracy –A form of democracy in which the people themselves make laws and set the policies adopted by the government.
Dangers of Direct Democracy Direct Democracy can be dangerous –Requires a high level of information –Requires a high level of participation –Potential for “Tyranny of the Majority”
The American Democracy The American System is Representative Representative Democracy –A form of democracy in which the people, through free elections, select representatives to make laws on their behalf and set polices adopted by the government (indirect-democracy)
The American Democracy The American System is Constitutional –Constitutional Democracy A form of democracy in which there is a foundational document that describes the structure, powers and limits of government.
The American System The American System is Presidential rather than Parliamentary –Presidential System A political system in which the head of the executive branch is selected by some form of popular vote –Parliamentary System A political system in which the head of the executive branch is selected by members of the legislature.
“American ideas” Political Culture –The values and beliefs of citizens toward the political system and toward themselves as actors in it. In the US, it is called the “American Creed”
Aspects of the American Creed Equality –The value that all Americans should be treated the same under the law, be able to influence government, and have equal opportunity to succeed in life.
Aspects of the American Creed Individualism –Belief that all individuals should be able to succeed to the maximum extent possible given their talents and abilities, regardless of race, religion or other group characteristics.
Aspects of the American Creed Democratic ideals –Hinges on the beliefs that government should reflect the will of the people, and that government exists because people consent to be governed.
Aspects of the American Creed Liberty –Principle that individuals should be free to act and think as they choose, provided they do not infringe unreasonably on the rights and freedoms of others.
Aspects of the American Creed Natural Rights –Rights inherent in the essence of people as human beings; government does not provide these rights. –Americans believe government exists to protect these rights, not to restrict them.
Aspects of the American Creed Property Rights –The belief that people should be able to acquire, own, and use goods and assets free from government constraints, as long as their acquisition and use does not interfere with the rights of other individuals.
Aspects of the American Creed Religious Freedom –A belief that individuals should be free to choose and practice their religious faith and that government should not establish any particular religion as the official or preferred religion.
Aspects of the American Creed Limited Government –The idea that the scope of government activities should be narrow and that government should act only when the need is great and other sectors of society are unable to meet the need.