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Levels of the Government Democracy Principles of American Democracy

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1 Levels of the Government Democracy Principles of American Democracy

2 National Government Located=Nation’s Capital= Washington D.C.
Many levels of government may exist within a single country Each level has authority over a different group of people National Government Highest level in the United States Located=Nation’s Capital= Washington D.C. Makes and enforces laws for the entire country

3 State Government Local Government
Decides matters for the people within that state Local Government Closest to American citizens Includes counties, cities, and towns Student Government

4 Democratic Government
Dictatorship= government controlled by one person or a small group of people. Democracy= Citizens share in governing and being governed. United States has this form of government in which people rule.


6 Democracy began over 2,500 years ago in Athens, Greece.
Every citizen of Athens had the right and responsibility to participate in the city’s government and all the citizens had equal vote—Direct Democracy. Direct Democracy- all citizens met to debate government matters and vote firsthand.

7 Would direct democracies work in most countries today?
Why or why not?

8 Direct democracy would not work in most countries today because of the large size and large populations. Many countries are representative democracies- citizens choose a smaller group to represent them, make laws, and govern on their behalf, but remain the source of the government’s authority.

9 The United States is the oldest representative democracy in the world.
225 years (+) - Americans have elected presidents, members of Congress and other leaders to speak for them. Citizens express their views in person, over the phone, by or regular “snail” mail, and through public opinion polls and political groups

10 “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”
– Abraham Lincoln 1) Power of the government comes from the citizens. 2) Americans run their government through their representatives. 3) The purpose of the government is to make the United States a better place for those who live there.

11 Democratic governments exist for the people= all democratic countries have free, fair and competitive elections. Through the election process, people have the chance to choose their leaders and voice their opinions on various issues.

12 What makes an election fair and free?

13 Everyone’s vote must carry that same weight.
* “One person, one vote” 2) All candidates have the right to express their views freely to the public. * Citizens are free to support candidates or issues. * Voting rules=age, citizenship, residency 3) Citizens may vote freely by secret ballot, without fearing punishment for their voting decisions

14 Competing political parties offer voters a choice among candidates
Competitive elections and competing political parties are an important element in democracies. *Political Party- a group of individuals with broad, common interests who organize to support candidates for office and determine public policy. Competing political parties offer voters a choice among candidates

15 Democracy= free to develop own capacities
* The government works to promote equality and all people have an equal opportunity to develop their talents. The Loudoun County School Board is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy of the School Board to conform to the laws of the United States and not discriminate against qualified applicants or employees on the basis of their race, color, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, marital status, age, religion, national origin, disability, or genetic information.  Issues regarding non-discrimination should be directed to the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Services, Loudoun County Public Schools, Education Court, Ashburn, VA 20148, phone: (571) , Fax: (571)

16 Majority rule- (for when you can’t please all the people, all the time)
* Citizens agree that when differences of opinion arise, we will abide by what most people want. * We insist on respect for the rights of those in the minority.

17 Fundamental Principles of American Democracy
Description Rule of Law All people, including those who govern, are bound by the law. Limited Government Government is not all-powerful-it may do only those things that people have given it the power to do. Consent of the governed American citizens are the source of all governmental power Individual Rights In the American democracy, individual rights are protected by the government Representative Government People elect government leaders to make the laws and govern on their behalf

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